Inke’s Beauty Corner

Inke’s Beauty Corner: Updating the Makeup Bag with Natural Cosmetics, Part 1 – Skin Tint

Inke’s Beauty Corner | 14.1.2019 | Inke

Inke, whose makeup bag also includes synthetic products, puts natural cosmetics to the test. 

I’ve now been writing my Inke’s beauty corner column for a year and a half. For someone who gets her kicks out from all sorts of cosmetics, it’s been an enlightening journey. What fabulous ranges! Such intriguing bottles! The innovation! And, above all: The pace at which natural cosmetics have caught up with so-called regular cosmetics – often beating them to the game!

I’m pretty sure there are others who still felt a few years ago that natural cosmetics were bought mainly as an eco-friendly replacement for so-called regular cosmetics: decent enough products were available, but they had a similar vibe as the lactose-free, gluten-free and vegan alternatives on offer in the early 2000s. They left out ingredients people wanted to avoid and did the job, but felt more like “replacements” rather than appealing options in their own right. (Or maybe it’s just me who thinks like this, but wahay – finally also this late bloomer has seen the light!)

Even the biggest critics can no longer talk about replacements, as natural cosmetics increasingly cater for any taste and need. Now no one looking for a natural alternative needs to settle for a “basic foundation”, but has a huge selection of formulas to choose from just like in the world of synthetic ingredients. Natural ranges now include traditional foundations, powder foundations, matte products with coverage, serum foundations, cushion compacts, mineral foundations and tinted moisturisers. A lot has also happened in branding: the cosmetics sections of eco-friendly shops and luxury department stores alike are stocked with convincing, aesthetically appealing options. I bet many end up buying natural cosmetics without even realising these days… 

My own bathroom cabinet has pretty much become filled with natural cosmetics by now. Of course I aim to use up my mixed array of regular jars from before so they don’t go to waste, but I admit that the thought of applying a lotion containing silicone with no skin-caring properties whatsoever seems absurd. Why would I reach out for a bottle like that if I know that every ingredient in the natural product next to it genuinelycares for the skin? 

Despite seeing the light, my makeup bag is still a mixed bunch of mostly synthetic products.

I have of course tested many decent natural makeup products over the years, but very few of them have the stylethe synthetic products I’ve chosen have. Perhaps I’ve also lived according to my former knowledge even though I should know better by now: there’s plenty on offer, also to meet my personal wishes and habits! 

In the coming months, Inke’s beauty corner will be on the lookout for natural products that can replace the go-to products in my makeup bag – they have to be at least as good, hopefully better. 

I’m looking to update the following everyday go-to products in my makeup bag:

– skin tints that even out the skin tone and give light coverage 

– non-caking loose powder that sets makeup without killing glow 

– pigment concealer that comes in a jar

– serum foundation rich in pigment

– creamy blush stick in a certain shadeof coral pink

– creamy, fairly natural but super fabulous highlighter

– volumising, tinted brow gel

– a good mascara with a lash-separating, natural finish (someone might say boring, but hey, we all have our thing!)

– creamy eyeshadow applied with fingertips that doesn’t scream ”makeup” but intensifies the gaze

–perfect, fiery red lipstick with a matt texture that’s not dry

As the list may suggest, my everyday makeup has a no makeup feel – apart from wearing lipstick about once a week. I may layer ten different products on my face, but those without the know wouldn’t necessary realize. I don’t want to cover or change my features with makeup, but like to apply it for the sheer joy of doing so and the freshness it creates. So, the first alternatives I’m after serve as a perfect example of my preferred makeup style! 


Old fave: Instagram favourite Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint shade Medium

Natural alternative: Kosås Tinted Face Oil in shade 04, Medium

Why I love the original: The Glossier skin tint is what I’d wear on a good skin day – which are frequent these days, thanks to my good (natural) skin care products and routines. I like the natural-looking result: skin doesn’t have to be completely even and flawless, but a slight tint and smoother finish are enough. Less is more during the weekdays, whereas I want to pair darker eye makeup with slightly more coverage on the skin. 

The low-pigment product comes in small drops and can be easily applied with fingertips. The intention isn’t to cover anything as such, but the tint does even out the skin tone and gives a glow without the slightest worry about a caky finish. Any area left to hide can be tackled with concealer! 

The Glossier drops blend perfectly into skin, and the colour is even without leaving visible smears. Skin gets an even tone and a slight glow without ending up with a layer that can be seen or felt with fingers. If I had freckles, this wouldn’t hide them. 

Someone might think why bother if you don’t even want the makeup to be seen. Personally, I feel this product does to my skin what natural light does to a selfie: I’m still myself, but glow in the best possible light. Not a bad aim, ay? 

However, the product’s INCI list reveals quite a combo of silicone, which left me wondering whether such a super-toned and gorgeous finish is even possible to achieve naturally. 

In the swatches, Glossier on the left, Kosås on the right.

How does the natural option compare: Searching and testing an alternative raised quite a few doubts and fears, but there you have it. The Kosås tint is at least as good, if not better! A pretty convincing start to the series on updating the makeup bag, right?

I tend to apply a pretty generous amount of face oil or Weleda Skin Food under makeup, because I want my skin to show through and even shine. But these tinted serum drops are oil-based as they are! It shows in the results – it’s a bottle of pure glow. 

I find you need even less of the product than with the Glossier tint, a few drops are plenty for the entire face. The first shade I tried was bang on, and the shades on offer cater for many: there are as many as ten to choose from. That’s double the amount compared to Glossier! 

As something minor to criticise, I noticed that you have to be more careful in applying the product around the fine lines around the eyes than with the Glossier counterpart – especially if using at all too much, it tends to gather in creases before drying and setting. This can be easily fixed with a few extra strokes with a brush, and I find it a small price to pay for the otherwise perfect, genuine glow and natural formula that the product offers. 

The brand is visually appealing as well, and a pleasure to slip in the makeup bag also purely for looks. The name is funny if you understand Swedish: my bilingual husband sniggered and asked what I was doing with that cow sauce (ko = cow, sås = sauce). Quite a coincidence for a makeup brand, isn’t it? However, I believe the name is supposed to be pronounced according to the Spanish kosas, in which case I believe it means ‘things’. Scandinavian, strange-looking letters can be dangerous in the wrong hands… 

Unfortunately, not all Kosås products fulfil the criteria for natural cosmetics, but this tint raises no concerns. The pigments used in the label’s blushers and lipsticks are however a cause of complaint, so anyone wanting to stay on the straight and narrow – take note when shopping! 

Verdict: Thumbs-up! Definitely. With this product, I don’t feel I have to give up anything, as the natural alternative is at least as good and even the packaging is just as cool. The glowon the other hand… Well, I think it’s even a little better! The staying power is just as good in both, the complexion may not look as good as it did after applying in the morning in either, but that’s life. And there’s nothing to stop slipping the tiny bottle in your handbag, so you can dab some more on the cheeks during the day. At least in my case, I find the phone display seems to eat up some of my makeup no matter what I do. (Hands-free is a friend – if I’d only remember to keep the headphones attached…)

I personally favour natural cosmetics mainly for the results and only secondly in an effort to avoid chemicals. In this sense, it seems logical to update a product that is spread to such a large area on a daily basis to a natural one that cares for the skin at the same time. I smother nourishing oil onto my skin anyway, so why not use a tint with an oil base. The oil cocktail in the product is pretty convincing: avocado, jojoba, rosehip and raspberry seed oils. It’s easy to become a fan! 

Updating my makeup bag will continue – follow along to find out what alternatives I’ll be featuring next time. 

Translated by Rebecca Watson

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