When is tinted moisturizer actually foundation? When it goes on heavy and gives a serious amount of coverage, as in the case of Hourglass’ Illusion Luminizing Tinted Moisturizer.

It is not necessarily a bad thing: I got a great color match for my yellow-undertoned fair skin with “ivory,” and it did a decent job of evening out my age spots and red marks. But even though my skin looked good, it felt a bit claustrophobic and a touch (gulp) greasy; the moisturizer was more moisture than I had bargained for.

In terms of anti-aging benefits, the product contains SPF 15 and a patented peptide called INSTALIFT®, which is supposed to lift and tighten the skin. Hourglass does not disclose any of its clinical trials, but in my own experience I can say that my face looked a touch more plump after blending the product in. “Lifted” and “tightened” though? That may be stretching it.

It also contains “Hyaluronic Filling Spheres” which are supposed to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, though again, with no proof from the company. I used it both with and without a primer, my favorite method of combating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In my results, using a primer is a much more effective method of filling in imperfections and creating a smooth canvas than this product by itself.

While it is free of parabens, fragrance, and oil, it does contain a ton of silicones, which may explain the thick texture. It also has a “luminizing” effect, i.e. it’s quite shimmery. That adds a touch of glam, but do you really want to be so va-va-voom at the office?

Tinted moisturizers are usually ideal for a sheer daytime look—but Hourglass’ is definitely better for the evening. And at the $55 price point, there are many other liquid foundation options.


Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Cylcomethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Water, Silica, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hyaluronic Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Potassium Cetyl Phospate, Glycerin, Alumina, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Methicone, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton), Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Laurate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
May Contain: Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499).