Kosas is one of those cool, if-you-know-you-know kind of makeup brands. The vibe is less bare face, more tinted skin care. Given the aesthetic trend of using less makeup — or at least, looking like you're wearing less makeup — it's no big shock that the brand has taken off, almost simultaneously with the fall of Glossier.
The fresh, minimalist ethos is one thing to love about Kosas — the other? The really, really good products. There's the tinted face oil, which our team of beauty editors could not stop telling our friends about for a solid six months. There's also a tinted lip balm that I keep in two different bags. Then, the concealer, which in its two years of existence, has won awards, become a noted staple in so many TikTok tutorials, and topped Sephora's best-seller list, right up there with the ubiquitous Nars creamy.
The best part about the Kosas concealer is that it's been designed as an eye cream in a concealer, so I find that it brightens my under-eye darkness better than any makeup I've tried. With this new, corresponding foundation, there's a similar hybrid thing happening with the skin-care ingredients I look for in my serums and moisturisers built right into the formula. There's niacinamide, olive-derived squalane, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and a reef-safe mineral sunscreen SPF 25.
In my experience, I will still do my morning skin-care routine, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serums followed by moisturiser, then I go in with Kosas concealer under my eyes and a pump of the new foundation (I wear shade 190, light medium with neutral yellow undertones), on the back of my hand, and then all over my face. The result is brighter skin that's close to pore-less. It's really all that I want and need in a foundation. I recently tried the Charlotte Tilbury foundation, and I prefer this one; it's more lightweight and has an SPF.
It would be perfect, but there's always space for upgrades: In this case, the shade range could be more varied. It's an improvement, for sure. Kosas faced criticism a few years ago when the Tinted Face Oil launched with ten "fluid" shades (they've since expanded to 16). Comparatively, this Skin-Improving Foundation has 36 shades right out the gate. The flag is that there's not a whole not of nuance in the undertones of the deep shades. Or, there seems to be a lot more nuance within the lighter shades.
Of course, it's a brand-new foundation, so we can't predict how it will be received. I will say, I'm thrilled I was able to find my perfect shade and undertone. Foundation matching is a pain — that's universal — but it's worth it for an everyday foundation that makes you feel confident in your skin.
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