Saturday, April 21, 2018

REVIEW: Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint

I bought the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint a couple of months ago with the expectation that summer would be on its way. Well, we're almost finished with April and it's not even 50° Farenheit outside, so this ended up being a bit premature; it's still cool enough for me to wear a regular foundation without feeling like I'm sweating under it, and I'm not outside enough to warrant daily sunscreen use. Yet I've worn this tinted sunscreen quite a bit in April because I like it despite its foibles.

What foibles, you ask? Well, there are several, but the most egregious is the packaging. Philosophy dumps their Skin Tint in a jar with a plastic cover, and while that jar might fit with their brand aesthetic, it's a giant mess. A lot of the product sticks to that lid and seeps around the edges; opening and closing it always leads to Skin Tint smeared on your fingers, no matter how careful you are. You could get rid of that little plastic cover once you've scraped all of the product off of it, but I wouldn't recommend it, because then you'll have an even bigger mess--you can see the product that's gotten on the lid even though I've used the cover.

At this price point ($39 for 1oz), I think a tube would be easier to control and still reasonably attractive. Be kind to us, Philosophy; most of us still own at least one white shirt or beige bag we'd like to keep stain-free.

Natural light on top, fill flash in the middle, ring light on the bottom. From left to right: Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint in 2.5 Ivory, Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation in 110 Porcelain, Buxom Show Some Skin Foundation in Tickle the Ivory, The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.0N.

The shade range is another puzzler. On the Sephora website, 2.5 Ivory looks to be the lightest shade; the little color square is quite light and yellow, and of course, it's the lowest number. I was damn shocked when I opened the jar, though, because the product looks much darker and more beige. It's lighter on the skin, but it still is darker than the online swatches suggest, and it has a peachier undertone than what I'm used to seeing. I'd peg it at a MAC NC/NW15 at the lightest.

Also, while the color squares make 2.5 Ivory and 3.5 Sand look very different in terms of depth, the swatch pictures make 3.5 look lighter. Let me demonstrate:

To be clear, I swatched 3.5 Sand in a Sephora in JC Penny's, and it could be darker than 2.5 Ivory. But I honestly couldn't tell in the store lighting, and these swatches on the Sephora website just add to my confusion. What gives, Philosophy? Am I using the right shade? Why are the shades on the website so different from what's in the pot? And while I'm asking questions, what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? (Oh, God, I really am 30 now, aren't I?)

On the bright side, the shades range from light to dark. They could definitely use more variety in their undertones, though, especially since this isn't quite as sheer and shade flexible as you might think. This also oxidizes, getting about a half shade darker roughly 15-20 minutes after initial application.

Despite the fact that the Philosophy Skin Tint is much darker than what I normally go for, I've been able to wear it because I've started self tanning my neck and I'm using less product now. When I first tested this tint (above left), I used a bit more than ¼ teaspoon, which made it look a heavier and dryer than it should, and it also made my un-tanned neck seem even lighter by comparison. These past two weeks (above right), I used a little less, and combined with the self tanning I've done on my neck, I got a pretty good match.

Now, it is generally recommended that you use ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen or a "nickle-size dollop" on your face. As my dermatologist pointed out, however, one size does not fit all; people have different face shapes and sizes, some formulas are easier to spread evenly than others, etc. As somebody with a relatively small face who keeps a ¼ teaspoon on her desk just to measure product amounts, I think that the slightly-less-than-a-fourth-teaspoon, closer-to-a-penny-size of product I apply is fine for me if I wear a hat and only get incidental exposure. You might apply more because you have a larger face or want more coverage, or you might apply even less for a barely-there finish. Just keep in mind that you may not be getting complete sun protection.

Philosophy calls this a "whipped water-gel makeup and skincare hybrid," and I think that's a fair assessment. While it looks like it will be quite rich and thick in the jar, it actually has a bit of a "fluffy," airy texture, and it feels smooth and weightless on the skin. It's very easy to blend with both fingers and a Beauty Blender; a brush gave me some streaking. Again, I have found that a penny size amount works best on my skin; it gives me a smooth, even application with light coverage that doesn't cling to dry patches or majorly emphasize fine lines. You can build this to a light-medium sort of coverage, but if you have dry skin, more product will mean more clinging.

One of the best things about this tinted sunscreen is that it also works well on dehydrated skin. I did look a bit dryer and more matte on the most dehydrated parts of my face at the end of the day, but it wasn't my usual "shriveled prune, dusty cabinet" sort of look. Because it's not mattifying, though, I'd hesitate to recommend it to truly oily skin. Combination skinned folks will definitely want to use a mattifying primer or some powder on their oily spots to cut back on shine.

From left to right: 15 minutes after application, 3 hours of wear, 7 hours of wear. The day went from cloudy to sunny in between pictures 1 and 2, hence those differences in lighting; picture 3 was taken at night with no natural light.

I found this tint comfortable for a full day's wear. It was totally weightless and never itched or burned. I definitely got shinier on the oily parts of my face, namely my nose, but the product didn't really break up or get patchy. (I am wearing powder in my t-zone in the above photos, but I found the wear to be roughly the same with or without powder.)

It photographs well in natural light and in artificial or studio lighting, but it does turn a little white in flash photography. I will gladly wear it to my friends' upcoming daytime summer wedding, but I certainly won't wear it for a night on the town. It also seems to have a sort of "skin blurring" effect, probably because there's a decent amount of silicone in the formula.

The verdict: I love the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint way more than I expected. I can see it becoming my go-to summer base, thanks to its lightweight texture, ease of application, and SPF protection. But no product with packaging this shitty can earn 5 stars from me. Work on that container and the shade range, Philosophy, and then we'll re-assess your value.

RATING: 4 out of 5
I purchase Philosophy products from Sephora.


  1. Really considering buying this, as my previous favorite tinted moisturizer, the Rimmel BB Cream in Very Light, is no longer available at any of my local stores. I am pretty oily but I think if I didn't use another moisturizer underneath and I powdered my t-zone, I could get away with this.

    I have been puzzling over that bizarre Sephora website swatch situation for a bit, and I think the reason all their little square swatches look so wrongly ordered is because the shades that are 1, 3, and 5 in the lineup were added to the range after the initial release. Those little boxes even appear to have a different texture than the others, so they were clearly added in afterward. The swatch-smears, on the other hand, were on every website I looked at, so that part is crappy graphic design on the part of Philosophy. How hard is it to cross-check that the shade you're saying is lighter than the other ones in the lineup is, in fact, lighter? It's Photoshop, they could have made it any color they wanted...

    1. Honestly, I find the set up so perplexing. It's such a great product--I'm wearing it almost every day I do a full face this summer--but it'll never get the love it deserves if they don't repackage and repromote it.

      Put me on your list, Philosophy. Do it. I'll pimp this right out if it's in a tube.

    2. I'm dying to give these idiots my money, but I'm 60+ miles from the nearest B&M store that carries it, and as an official FishBellyWhite person, (I wear the lightest foundation in, oh, EVERYthing...), I can't decide between the Ivory and the Sand. By all rights, the Ivory SHOULD be lightest, but when I look at your swatches, that would be far too dark for my old mug. And too pink; I'm a cool-neutral redhead. (yes, really). I hardly want to spend $40 or so on something I'll toss. I'm thinking maybe MUFE Face and Body, you know? (FYI, if you haven't tried Glossier's Skin Tint, or RdF's Skin Veil, you GOTTA.)

      Thanks for the post!