I have been on the hunt for a new sunscreen for a while. In my searches, this Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen caught my eye more than once. I would consider this a lightweight moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup in one product. It is a mineral sunscreen that comes in 3 shades that are sheer enough to span a wide variety of skin tones and is supposed to have a matte finish. The price is also attractive, hovering around $18 for 3 fl. oz. depending on where you buy it. You can get it directly from Australian Gold or from several retailers including Amazon, Ulta, and Target.
I often wear sunscreen underneath makeup but haven’t found many that work well for that purpose. In general, I find chemical sunscreens are oily feeling, no matter how much they claim to be “oil free”. And they usually cause my foundation to get very shiny and break down early in the day. Mineral based sunscreens I’ve tried in the past tended to cause my foundation to cake, gather in pores, and be difficult to blend.
This is one of the more moisturizing mineral sunscreens I’ve tried that is somehow also not greasy or shiny. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable or have a strong smell and has gotten along with the majority of the makeup I’ve paired with it.
The way I’ve been using this is either by itself or with makeup over it. It provides a little bit of sheer coverage with one layer but I can apply a second layer to get more noticeably evened out skin. It also smoothes the look of pores and texture. The result is very natural.
Here’s a before and after of two layers of just the sunscreen by itself:
And here are a couple of pics wearing makeup over the sunscreen:
For reference, I swatched it next to some of my other foundations and concealers. The Australian Gold Sunscreen is the sheerest of everything here and is layered more than the others so you can actually see the color. It is one of the darker shades I have but this works out fine since it is sheer.
Does it wear well under makeup?
So far, I have tried this with several base makeup products including Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation, Too Faced Born This Way Multi-use Sculpting Concealer, Essence 16h Cover & Last Powder Foundation, and NYX Bare With Me Concealer Serum. I love the Nars foundation but it does not get along with this sunscreen at all, probably because of the matte finish. However, all of the other products applied perfectly fine over it. I didn’t find that they were more difficult to apply over the sunscreen vs just on bare skin and they didn’t look much different either. It doesn’t seem to shorten foundation wear time or cause shine to develop earlier than it normally would.
How much coverage do you get from it?
This has very sheer coverage. One layer almost doesn’t look like any coverage at all, but does provide a tiny bit of texture smoothing. Two layers is my favorite way to wear it, giving me something similar to a light coverage foundation. The result looks just like my natural skin both in color and finish but just more even and smoother.
How’s the color? Does it oxidize?
I chose the lightest of the 3 available shades. The color is a smidge darker than what you’d typically find as the lightest shade of a foundation or concealer… so not “fair or pale”, but just “light”, if that makes sense. It has a somewhat strong peachy tone to it but is sheer enough that I think it would still work for a sizable range of fairer skin tones. I have not seen it oxidize at all.
Is it really matte?
No. I think Ulta’s product description exaggerates by saying it gives a “powder matte” finish. Some of the reviewers mentioned that it gave them a matte finish. I maintained my skepticism about this claim and tried it anyway.
It just has a natural finish. It doesn’t take away shine but also doesn’t add shine either. The product dries down a tiny bit within a couple minutes of application but never looks truly matte. I definitely like the finish of it better than most sunscreens I’ve tried though.
What does it feel like?
Lightly moisturizing. When this first touches the skin, it feels and spreads like a basic lotion. It is more gel-like than any of the other products I swatched above. It neither feels exceptionally water or oil based, just somewhere in the middle. It isn’t heavy or thick but I can tell I’ve applied something to my skin. There is no “powdery” or dry feel to this but once it dries down, it causes some friction if I rub my hand over where it’s applied.
What does it smell like?
This is fragrance free but it does have a very light scent to it that reminds me of clay. It isn’t something I noticed with regular use until I actively went looking for a scent.