What it is: Ciele Tint and Protect SPF 50 Tinted Serum Foundation is an all mineral SPF skin tint (12% Zinc Oxide) with light-medium buildable coverage and a natural-looking dewy finish. There are 13 shades to choose from and you get 1.28 oz for $44. Foundations are usually about 1 oz, so you get a bit more with this one. It can be purchased from Ciele Cosmetics or Sephora.
Packaging: Glass bottle with glass dropper and a plastic lid. The bottle is substantial and does not feel fragile. So far pulling the dropper out and putting it back does not seem to be making the neck of the bottle messy.
Smell/Fragrance: This is fragrance free and mostly scent free except for a very faint chemical scent. I do not notice it at all with normal use but can detect it if I’m actively looking for a scent.
Expiration: Mine has an expiration date printed on the bottom which is May 2025 and I purchased it in October 2023.
Ingredients: Below are ingredients directly from Ciele’s website for shade 4. They list specific ingredients per shade as they vary slightly.
Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Lauryl PEG-8 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Isododecane, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Isohexadecane, Trilaureth-4 Phosphate, Iron Oxides CI 77492, Dimethiconol/Propylsilsesquioxane/Silicate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Methicone, Mica, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Lauryl PEG-10 Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Phenoxyethanol, Bisabolol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Caprylyl Glycol, Allantoin, Iron Oxides CI 77499, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebac, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebac, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-10.
Shade: Before buying this, I was torn between shades 3 and 4 and decided on the latter. Shade 4 has a warm-leaning undertone but does not look obviously yellow, peach or pink in hue. It is also a little darker than I usually go for in foundations or concealers. Being a light-medium coverage and having a very natural finish, I actually very much enjoy that this is slightly darker and warmer than my skin tone. I find using my lighter concealers and foundations over it gives me the perfect complexion match. Usually, I unintentionally end up using foundations that are a bit light and add some sort of cream or powder bronzer to help balance my skin tone. Using this is like going in the opposite direction.
Application: My go-to method for applying foundations in general is dotting it on my face with my fingers and then using a sponge for a final blend. It is super easy to blend it out using only my fingers but a brush or sponge also work perfectly fine and give me a similar finish and level of coverage. It spreads over the skin quickly and easily and blends out with hardly any effort. It’s one of the easier products of this type that I have used in terms of application. It also layers on itself beautifully.
Texture and Finish: With one light layer, it looks extremely natural on the skin. It has a glowy finish but it’s not too glowy – not shiny/greasy/oily looking. Just a nice pretty glow without any shimmer. Even up close, it is very difficult to tell there is any makeup on the skin. Adding a second layer and deliberately applying it heavily, adds a bit more coverage but my skin still looks very believably “natural” and not makeup-y.
Coverage: Light to light-medium. It is buildable but I personally apply a foundation over this to noticeably even out my skin tone. If you have significant redness, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, freckles, etc., those things are probably still going to show through but look a little more diffused. The combo of applying two layers and the color being ever so slightly deeper than my skin tone help even out my complexion so that my freckles and darker areas blend in well with the lighter areas of my skin. So, while coverage isn’t very high, the overall effect is decently impactful.
Longevity: I have only been using this for about a week so I don’t have the best feel for longevity yet. So far, it doesn’t seem to be making foundations I wear over it get oily/shiny much more quickly that they would otherwise. My skin does not feel any more greasy by the end of the day than it usually does without it. For reference I have combination skin that is tending closer to normal-to-dry as we are approaching winter in my part of the world.
Pros and Cons:
Things I like:
- Super natural looking. Just looks like skin.
- Applies and blends quickly and effortlessly.
- Buildable and remains natural looking even when layered.
- Feels hydrating and moisturizing but not too heavy or oily.
- When used under higher coverage foundations, gives my skin a slightly smoother look (like a primer).
Drawbacks to consider:
- A little expensive. I feel like it will probably last a decent amount of time though. I went through my Ilia Skin Tint in about a year and that one had less in the bottle.
- As a standalone product, the coverage may be lighter than you expect if you are used to medium coverage foundations.
Do I Recommend It?
With the one caveat of only having been using it for a week or so and not having a good idea of longevity, I’d otherwise say absolutely yes. Especially if you are makeup lover and need a good SPF for underneath, this works super well. I will say, if you only really want a tinted SPF to get around issues with white cast and don’t care that much about makeup, I’d say check out the Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen with SPF 50. That one works about as well when used alone for much cheaper but doesn’t look as nice underneath makeup.
How It Compares To Other SPF Tints
Below are three similar types of products I’ve tried and my thoughts on how they differ.
Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 50
- Leaves less of a glow on the skin
- Feels even more lightweight and seems to dry down slightly
- Lighter (almost non-existent) coverage
- Thicker consistency
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
- Feels slightly oilier, looks a tiny bit shinier
- Makeup sometimes sits more heavily or looks more obvious when applied over this product
- Smell is not very strong but is more noticeable with this product
- Coverage for both is about the same and they are both similarly buildable
It Cosmetics CC Cream SPF 50
- Much more coverage
- Much less natural looking
- To me this feels, applies, and looks a lot more like a medium coverage foundation rather than a thinner skincare type of product
- Thicker consistency
With all of the above considered, I like Ciele Tint and Protect the best out of them all. It is the most natural looking and plays the best with makeup over top.