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For makeup lovers in the know, Westman Atelier is a luxury brand that just works. Its suite of products has been created by celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman, who has blessed the faces of Jennifer Aniston and Emily Ratajkowski with dewy, youthful complexions.
The latest release from the brand is the Vital Skincare Complexion Drops, $113, a skincare and makeup hybrid that promises "breathable coverage" and a radiant finish in 20 shades.
The product’s base is squalane and water, which gives you a fair idea of its liquid texture. Plus it’s packed with ingredients like tsubaki oil, ginseng and pomegranate extracts to retexturise, brighten, soothe, and calm skin over time. The complexion drops are seriously glow-inducing, so are best suited for people with dry, normal and combination skin (but not for those with oily skin types).
Ahead, three Refinery29 Australia editors — a full-coverage lover, a skin tint devotee, and someone who prefers bare skin — test the skin tint and give their unfiltered verdicts.
Zahra Campbell-Avenell in Shade ‘Atelier IX’
The Vital Skincare Complexion Drops are truly just that — you only need a few tiny drops for light coverage and a “your skin but better” finish. The coverage can be built up (but to me, that defeats the purpose of a skin tint!). The packaging is luxurious and the perfect size to stash in a makeup bag.
I didn’t mind the slightly oily texture because I love a dewy look, and on that front, the serum delivers! The only thing I didn’t like was the smell, which can often happen with fragrance-free products. My favourite part of these complexion drops is that they're loaded with skincare actives, particularly the pomegranate extract, which has a number of documented benefits including as speeding up cell regeneration, reducing hyperpigmentation and promoting collagen production.
Ange Law in Shade ‘Atelier I’
I’m a skin tint girlie through and through, so this launch by Westman Atelier was an exciting one for me. With added skincare ingredients, the Vital Skincare Complexion Drops promise to soothe, hydrate, firm, and brighten the skin throughout the day but if I’m being really honest, I’m far more interested in how it will look and feel on my skin (the skincare benefits are just a little bonus), and the fact that it’s also dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic.
I was colour matched by Deynece Marie Petri, Westman Atelier’s Global Manager of Education and Events, who recommends removing the cap and covering the opening at the top of the bottle with a fingertip before giving the bottle a good shake. Once that’s done, I drip a five-cent piece-sized blob of product onto my hand and use a dense buffing makeup brush (the MECCA MAX Complexion Buffing Brush, $20) to apply it. Westman recommends using a brush to apply the product, though she prefers the product’s luxury companion brush, the Westman Atelier Liquid Blender Brush, $208. Once blended, I pat my entire face with a beauty sponge to ensure that there are no streaks left behind.
The truth is, I’ve never met a Westman Atelier product I don’t like and that trend has definitely continued with the complexion drops. As someone who likes a light, dewy coverage, this product is perfect for me — it evens the slight redness around my nose and between my brows, and can be built up to my idea of a medium coverage.
It layers nicely with the rest of my cream products and doesn’t separate throughout the day (even though it’s currently summer and almost always 3000% humidity), but definitely benefits from a layer of translucent powder on top to tone down the shine. Overall, I really like this product and think my dry skin will be particularly thankful for it, come winter.
Millie Roberts in Shade ‘Atelier VII’
As someone with very sensitive skin, I don’t wear anything on my face during the day except for moisturiser and sunscreen — but with the hype around the Vital Skincare Complexion Drops, I was ready to take the plunge and finally try a skin tint. Having never used one before, I didn’t know how hard I had to shake the bottle beforehand and it initially came out separated and oily. I popped the lid back on and gave it a vigorous whack and the product came out properly.
I am a firm believer in applying foundation with clean fingers and used this approach here too. The skin tint seamlessly blended into my skin and gave me a dewy finish, which I appreciated. I used two or three drops and it only took a minute or two to work the product in completely. I was quite taken aback by the smell, which reminded me of plasticine, but if you shake the bottle properly it goes away soon enough. (I could still smell it on my hands though, so make sure to wash them after applying the product.)
I am extremely acne-prone, but was excited to hear that the Westman complexion drops include skincare ingredients to do a bit of heavy lifting throughout the day. How that manifested, though, was bringing to a head some under-the-surface pimples by the end of the day. It’s not necessarily a bad thing — they were always going to erupt and it meant I could treat them faster — but the life cycle of these zits was sped up a lot.
The skin tint bordered on looking oily on my skin after six hours, but still leaned towards the dewy zone. But it's nothing a blot wouldn’t immediately fix, and I liked how bright and perky I looked after a long day. Because of my personal skin problems, I wouldn’t use this every day, but definitely on the days I want to look a bit more put together without needing to resort to foundation.