Ilia Skin Tint Review: Our Editor Tried the Foundation That’s Sold More Than 3 Million Bottles

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Our editor tried the bestselling Ilia Skin Tint, the serum-style foundation with SPF 40 that has sold millions of bottles. Spoiler alert: you need it.

To say I’m obsessed with Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is an understatement. In the few shorts years it’s been on the market, the beauty wonder has sold more than 3 million bottles, racking up tens of thousands of well-deserved five-star reviews. In a former life, I was a beauty editor. I tried every product under the sun, but even the best foundations left me unimpressed. They either felt cakey or the color was never quite right, so I focused on other beloved makeup essentials like the best lipsticks for my skin tone and game-changing mascaras. That is, until I found this little bottle of heaven.

What Is Ilia Skin Tint?

Each bottle of Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint offers a skincare-grade, protective take on traditional foundation. The easy-to-use dropper bottle serves up light to medium coverage. Whether you’re a beauty novice or seasoned pro, it’s a cinch to achieve an all-over luminous glow. It’s also buildable enough for committed makeup artists to use strategically over problem spots that are typically reserved for the best concealers. Available in 30 colors ranging from ultra light to rich and deep tones, there’s a perfect bottle for everyone.

Built-in SPF 40 with zinc oxide shields against UV rays, blue light and pollution to make it one of the best face sunscreens of all time—even without the gorgeous color delivery. Formulated with hyaluronic acid for added moisture, plant-based squalene for a velvety finish and pore-perfecting niacinamide, each wear is better than the last.

Those are difficult words to type as a gal who used to hate foundation, but it’s true. And good news for ladies with sensitive skin: It’s fragrance-free, vegan, silicone-free, chemical screen-free, oil-free and non-comedogenic. Frankly, it’s a modern marvel and if I ever meet the chemist responsible for the formula they’re getting the most intense high five of the century from me.

How To Use Ilia Skin Tint

close up of hand applying Ilia Skin TintBryce Gruber/RD.com

You only need a few drops to cover your entire face. If you go down a TikTok rabbit hole, you’ll see influencers applying Ilia Super Serum SPF Skin Tint with fancy makeup brushes and sponges. You can do that—but there’s really no need. The only thing you need to do is shake the bottle before each use. The pigments can occasionally settle or separate, but a vigorous shaking for two to three seconds whips it back to the most gorgeous emulsion.

The product goes on like heavenly manna for the face with nothing more than some circular-motion massaging with your fingers. I think that’s one of the best things about this product—a little goes a long way, and you really don’t need any extra gear to make it look perfect. And when I say perfect, I mean it. Get ready for loads of unsolicited compliments on your skin.

My Ilia Skin Tint Review

I tried the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint in shade Bom Bom ST5, a light-medium hue with neutral undertones to match my pale olive skin. Giving you the most in-depth makeup feedback was my top priority, so I used it in a variety of ways. First, I tried it after my usual morning skincare routine. I started with a clean face, followed by vitamin C serum and a medium-density moisturizer. I put the Ilia Skin Tint on as my last step and the result was perfect: No dry spots, no pilling. My complexion was instantly dewy and well-covered. Ilia Skin Tint is sort of like a social media filter in real life—and it’s brilliant.

I also tried applying the Ilia Skin Tint on top of my favorite makeup primer to see if it would improve the final result. The finish was equally impressive, though the added priming step really isn’t necessary. Finally, I tried using the product on totally dry skin that hadn’t been prepared at all. The outcome was still a million times better than ordinary foundations, but I strongly prefer the smoother satin-like finish that comes with layering this skin tint over moisturizer.

My favorite thing about this serum-foundation hybrid is that I barely need any additional concealer. Don’t get me wrong—I love my affordable Maybelline concealer pen, but I just have less to cover now. The faint sun spots I’ve racked up over time (ahem, my teen years spent baking in the Florida sun) and my telltale signs of being an exhausted parent seem to melt away almost instantly. And because it offers seamless coverage, those weird demarkation lines between the jaw and neck are all but extinct, too.

Pros

  • Easy to use, no special brushes or sponges required
  • 30 available shades make it an ideal choice for most complexions
  • Built-in mineral SPF 40
  • Offers light to medium coverage that makes skin look airbrushed
  • Dewy, natural-looking finish
  • Fragrance- and silicone-free
  • Safe for sensitive skin types

Cons

  • Has a thick texture that takes some getting used to, but it melts into the skin almost instantly providing natural-looking coverage

Final Verdict

close up of hand and face after applying Ilia Skin TintBryce Gruber/RD.com

If I haven’t been clear enough—you need Ilia Skin Tint. It’s easy to use, protective and gives a natural-looking glow to all skin types, while offering moderate coverage. It’s so good and I love it so much that I bought a second bottle. Seriously, I’m nervous my shade will sell out and I’m not willing to risk a skin tintless lifestyle now that I’ve been spoiled.

If you’re on the fence, hop over. It’s more radiant over here. Even people who are “bad” at makeup are good at Ilia Skin Tint. If price is a concern, know that you only need a few drops to cover your entire face. That means a single bottle lasts way longer than typical foundation, and could get you anywhere from three to four months of use.

Where To Buy Ilia Skin Tint

Ilia Skin Tint in a variety of Colorsvia merchant

You can buy your own perfecting bottle of Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint With SPF 40 on the brand’s website for $48. It’s also available on Amazon, but hurry up. Popular colors tend to sell out.

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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.