All throughout March there will be lots of indie skincare content coming your way here on the blog. Make sure you check out the intro post on this new series here. I’m taking a little liberty with the first installment today as I’ll be reviewing a skincare-makeup hybrid – the brand-new Ilia Beauty Super Serum Skin Tint with SPF 40*.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch event for this product in NYC last month where I got to hear founder Sasha Plavsic (read our recent Q&A here) talk about the concept and the formulation. This is first and foremost a skincare product that happens to have a little coverage – at least from my perspective. It took two years for Ilia to get it completely right, and it boasts a patent-pending non-nano zinc oxide that protects against sun damage. So if you’re into the idea of lightweight, light-coverage bases that do a lot more for your skin than just even it out, you’ll really want to pay attention. I’ve been testing out my bottle of the Super Serum for a few weeks now, and I’m ready to present you with my unadulterated thoughts. Let’s get started!
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS, MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK. FIND OUT WHAT THAT MEANS HERE. THIS PRODUCT WAS GIFTED TO ME BY THE BRAND, BUT OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.
WHAT IS THE ILIA SUPER SERUM SKIN TINT SPF 40?
A clean, light-coverage, tinted mineral SPF 40 serum that boosts skincare benefits.
Your tinted SPF will never be the same. This first-of-its-kind formula fuses skincare, makeup, and sun protection into one easy step: a weightless serum that leaves your skin looking like skin. Boasting SPF 40 coverage with non-nano zinc oxide (safely shielding skin from UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light, and infrared) in an unprecedented 18 shades. Created with a blend of Hyaluronic Acids, plant-based Squalane, and Niacinamide, ILIA’s Skin Tint evens tone, softens fine lines and imperfections, and dries down to a natural, dewy finish. And this super serum doesn’t stop there: it also creates a natural barrier for your skincare—sealing in hydration, plumping skin, and boosting any antioxidant effectiveness by 200%. Plus, it’s silicone-free, fragrance-free, chemical screen-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and safe for sensitive skin. This is SPF, made super.
– Ilia website*
HOW I APPLY THIS PRODUCT
Make sure you shake the bottle really well first as the product can sometimes separate due to its runny, water-like consistency. The product comes out via a pipette. I tend to apply two to three droplets on each cheek, one on my forehead, and a small one on my nose. I then use the warmth of my (clean) hands to blend the product across and into my skin. (This is how the brand recommends you apply the formula, but of course you can do whatever you want.)
Just to note – I’ve applied this product both over completely bare skin (with no moisturizer underneath), and over the NARS Tinted Glow Booster as well, just to boost the radiance a bit.
MY THOUGHTS ON PACKAGING
Ilia has recently rebranded itself so all their product packaging has been updated. The metallized effect is now gone, and everything is incredibly sleek and clean-looking, with white and soft blush, lavender and nude tones. I absolutely love the new vibe it went for!
The bottle on the Super Serum Skin Tint is small and quite lightweight, so you could easily travel with it or put it in your handbag. When it came to the pipette delivery system, I had a little bit of a learning curve using it. This is the first base product I’ve used that has such a thin consistency, so you do have to be careful that this doesn’t spill everywhere. But once you get the hang of working with it, it’s totally fine, and the packaging does a good job of containing the product inside.
(To be clear: unscrew the cap, squeeze the top of the pipette so it fills up with product, and then squeeze again to release it.)
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON APPLICATION
I’ve had no problems applying this product, both over the NARS Tinted Glow Booster or bare skin. The skincare ingredients help it glide across the skin effortlessly without any tugging or patchiness, but you do have to keep one thing in mind. Because of the high SPF contained in this product, the process of blending may bring out a white cast on your skin, BUT do not despair! Just keep blending; the color will self-adjust and disappear into the skin.
Just FYI – while there’s definitely no fragrance in this product, I have noticed a certain “natural” smell that you can really only detect during application; it disappears otherwise. Perhaps it’s the SPF or the one of the skincare actives that causes it, I’m not sure. It doesn’t bother me much, but in case it bothers you I mention it here.
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON COVERAGE / FINISH
As this is a skincare-makeup hybrid, the coverage level here is definitely on the lighter side. There is a certain amount of buildability, so I’d say you can get anywhere from a sheer-to-light coverage. But if you’re not into light, second-skin finishes you will not go for this.
When you first apply this product, it leaves a beautiful naturally dewy finish to the skin. Personally I wouldn’t call it shiny or oily, but keep in mind I have very dry skin so radiance is very welcome here! You can also feel the hydration in this as it leaves the skin just slightly tacky. However as the day goes on both the finish and tackiness definitely mellow out. When I looked at my face in a magnifying mirror, I really couldn’t see this product sitting on my skin or in my pores, which is really great.
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON SHADE SELECTION
I was shade-matched at the launch event to Tulum, which is the second lightest in the range with a warm undertone. It definitely comes out yellow initially, but considering this is such a lightweight, light-coverage product, it just blends into my skin without a weird cast. There are a total of 18 shades in this range with a pretty even distribution from light to dark, and several undertones represented. So I do think there’s something for everyone here.
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON WEAR
As I mentioned earlier, this formula is very second-skin like, so on my dry skin it tends to wear pretty evenly throughout the day. Normally I wear my makeup anywhere from 8 to 11 hours in a day. Also keep in mind that it’s currently winter where I live (in the Eastern U.S.), so I haven’t yet tested this in hot or humid conditions.
The only negative I could mention is that it collects a bit in the corners of your nose. Nothing horrible, but it’s worth mentioning. I imagine this has to do with the product’s thin consistency. Other than that, I’m very happy with the wear overall.
RATING: 4.5 / 5 ⭐️
Read this: Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara Review
MY THOUGHTS ON PRICE
For the standard 30 mL of product, the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint retails for $46.00. As I’ve said many times in the past on here, I do believe in investing in good quality bases that make all the difference to your skin. For me this means the following: light coverage, lots of hydration & radiance, plus added skincare benefits like SPF. So this base really ticks all the boxes for me, and when my bottle runs out I would absolutely repurchase it with my own money. Plus if you compare it to a few other luxury tinted moisturizers on the market, like the Laura Mercier or the NARS, it’s right on target with the price.
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
If you can’t tell already, I really love this product! I would absolutely recommend it if you’re looking for a second-skin base with light coverage but lots of skincare perks. Just FYI – I have read some Sephora reviews from customers who claim it was too shiny or greasy for them. I have not had either of those issues myself, but if you have oily or combo skin you may want to take this under consideration.
Have you tried the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint yet? I’d love to know!