Radiant Summer Skin for Just $12.99: Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Product Reviews

Sonia Kashuk just reminded me why I have to get my air conditioner fixed. You see, with the mercury rising indoors and out, her Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($12.99) means I won’t have to wear a heavy mask of makeup in the heat. πŸ™‚


I never thought I’d see the day when anything would come between me and my trusty tube of Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, especially a drugstore product, but here we are. For years, Laura’s sheer-to-medium coverage has evened out my skin tone and kept my combination dry/oil skin happily hydrated and (nearly) breakout-free, but in hot and/or humid weather, it has at times looked and felt heavy on my skin.

With summer quickly approaching, I decided to keep my options open. Last week I started testing Sonia’s Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, and so far, so good.

It’s not the first drugstore tinted moisturizer I’ve tried over the years, but it is the first, in my opinion, able to hold its own against Laura’s in more ways than one. Like Laura’s entry, buildable, pigmented Radiant Tinted in Tan covers up red patches and pimples, evens out my skin tone, and helps to hide any scratches left by Edward Scissorpaws, who, by the way, is still on my sh*t list (NOTE TO SELF: work on forgiving and forgetting). And this it does with a single layer that feels lighter and more comfy than Laura’s to me.

I swear it looks like real skin, too, and isn’t heavy, thick or fake-looking at all. A touch of barely-there shimmer gives it dimension and further helps diffuse my fine lines and wrinkles.

If you have very oily skin, you could probably wear it all by itself, but if you have shiny patches on your forehead or cheeks (like I do), you might set it with a blotting powder (I like MAC Blot). That’ll take care of those oily areas. Or, for even more/better coverage, you could use a sheer powder like the MAC Studio Careblends, which I’m using in these pics.

sonia kashuk radiant tinted moisturizer spf 15 review

sonia kashuk radiant tinted moisturizer spf 15 review

sonia kashuk radiant tinted moisturizer spf 15 swatches
Swatches from the left: Tan unblended and blended; Linen unblended and blended

sonia kashuk radiant tinted moisturizer spf 15 review
Wearing Tan

Radiant hasn’t triggered any breakouts yet, but I have read some reviews on Makeup Alley warning about it causing pimples. If you have sensitive skin, it might be a good idea to start with a patch test for a week using a spot on your cheek. Beter safe than sorry, ya know?

As far as drawbacks or negatives, I could name a couple, and they’re both fairly annoying. Radiant isn’t moisturizing enough for me (one way in which Laura’s wins). If you suffer from dry skin, applying it on top of a layer of moisturizer should help.

And then there’s the limited shade selection of just four colors. πŸ™

The product also contains a few ingredients I would love to see replaced, like various dimethicones, Peg-40 Castor Oil and parabens

  • Active ingredients — Octinoxate (7.5%) and Avobenzone (2%)
  • Inactive ingredients — Purified Water, C12 – 15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Emulsifying Wax, NF, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cethyl Dimethicone Copolyol, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, Peg-40 Castor Oil, Hexyl Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dromiceius Oil, Tocophyeryl Acetate, Carbomer, Allantoin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Ascorbate, Methyl Paraben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben. May Contain: CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxide, CI 77499 (Iron Oxide), Mica

Considering its strong points and the price, I really like Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, but I would love, love, LOVE it to pieces if Sonia tweaked the ingredients and expanded the number of shades. πŸ™‚


PRICE: $12.99
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Target stores and also online

I can see the finish line!

Can you believe it’s almost Friday? How the heck did that happen, wow!?

So how’s your Thursday coming along? Whatcha been up to today?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nikolas says:

    Ooohhhhhh I’ve been looking for a good tinted moisturizer lately!!! I haven’t used one in a whiiiiiile cuz I love extra coverage but i think I can get good enough coverage if I use a little bit of powder foudation on top πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      I know what you mean. I’ve been wearing MAC Studio Sculpt lately and that covers EVERYTHING, but this is a nice alternative for those lighter days when you don’t want to wear so much. πŸ™‚ What powder foundation do you use?

  2. Mayra says:

    I love this tinted moisturizer!!! I used to use the smashbox one, but it is too thick for my oily skin. I bought this one at target and I use it everyday now. It’s perfect for this Florida summer. I’m glad you like it.

  3. Kelsey V. says:

    I’ve always wanted to try a tinted moisturizer, but I’ve always been so afraid they would wear right off of my oily skin.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Oooh I put this on my target list! I’ve been using the illuminating LM one recently and like it. But it’s hella pricey!

    I had a great day- got a much needed pedi and went to the botanical gardens with my little family. I got some great flower photos! What have you been up to today?

  5. Which shade would you recommend for a NC25? And also, if it’s not moisturizing enough for dry skin, then it won’t be too oily for oily skin right?
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips recently posted … Difference Between Smudgeproof And Waterproof Mascara

  6. Vijaya says:

    This looks great and affordable!
    Vijaya recently posted … Now I know My ABCs

  7. Beatrice says:

    I’m not huge on tinted moisturizers. I feel like I can make efficient enough ones by mixing my moisturizer and foindation together, but that’s just me πŸ˜›
    Beatrice recently posted … Green Face of the Day My Glow-y Face Routine

  8. kana says:

    i am definitely going to try this out! although, i do love laura’s bc it has spf 20 and sonia’s only has 15. :/ trying not to burn up here! hehe πŸ˜› but, for the monies… sounds like its worth a try!! thank you karen πŸ™‚

  9. steph b says:

    Good to know. As much as I love LM, it doesn’t have broad spectrum sunscreen and I layer another underneath. In winter, that works but just feels too heavy in summer. This and one from Boots are on my to try list. Good to know you liked it. Not sure how the silicones will work for me though. My old, pre-LM fav was the Olay Definity tinted moisturizer which had silicone lower on the ingredient list. After a year of loving it, I started having issues with heavy silicones.

  10. Jenny says:

    Right now I’m using Tarte Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer and I absolutely, positively, adore it, but the price tag is a little more than I care to pay all the time so I’m looking forward to trying this! I’ve also heard good things about the Aveeno TM, but I don’t think the coverage is close to LM or Tarte.

  11. Julia says:

    A tinted moisturizer that compares well to Laura Mercier’s? Wow. I’ve been wearing Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer for at least 5 years now. I’ve been wearing it so long that I can’t remember exactly when I started using it.

  12. Ashley says:

    Oh this looks great! I’ll have to see if I can pick some up to try the next time I’m in the States. I love Target so much, I cannot wait until they come to Canada!
    Ashley recently posted … Wordless Wednesday

  13. GG says:

    Thank goodness it has broad spectrum sunscreen! That always bugged me about LM’s tinted moisturiser, Actually, the LM illuminating tinted moisturiser has a broad spectrum sunscreen, but it’s waaaay too shimmery and slick for my oily skin.

    Pity I can’t try this in the Netherlands πŸ™

  14. Karen4 says:

    Sounds like a nice product, and the tan looks great on you, Karen! Personally, I’ve just discovered Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear Tinted Moisturizer w/SPF50. I know you reviewed it last year and were disappointed the color selection didn’t work for you. As a fair-skinned gal (NW20-23), I’m using the Fair to Light version with great success. It gives me a hint of sunkissed glow for the summer without looking fake. Plus, ya gotta love the SPF50! Oh, and I also wanted to mention my new love–Physician’s Formula’s newest formula of Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Air Brushing Loose Powder SPF 30. I’ve used Bare Minerals often, but this one by PF I think is actually better! Even on my 49 year old skin, it gives me an airbrushed look that lasts most of the day. I had been looking for a mineral powder foundation for use in the hot, summer weather, and I think I have found it. I use an SPF primer beforehand (or the tinted moisturizer) and then lightly apply the powder to finish. I think it’s a great choice, and for under $14, you can’t beat it!

  15. Issa says:

    that’s nice! i also like to use tinted moisturizer nowadays since it’s summer down here… πŸ™‚ nice review!

  16. Kim says:

    I’m definitely a tinted moisturizer kind of gal. Everything else looks kind of cakey on me (which I’m sure is my poor application). I wasn’t thrilled with the LM and found it hard to blend but, as you know, I love, love, love my Tarte Smooth Operator! That said, the coverage is pretty sheer so I’m sure it won’t be a winner for everyone. I’ll also add that I find Tarte to be much more forgiving on my aging skin (not settling in any wrinkles or drawing extra attention to them). I used to use Murad’s Tinted Sunscreen for years and years but, I’m pretty devoted to Tarte now. πŸ™‚

  17. penelope says:

    Great review! That tinted moisturizer looks fanstastic on you! I’d also reccommend Pixi’s illuminating and conceal tint with SPF 30 that you can find at Target as well. It got good reviews on MakeupAlley. I was going to shell out for the Laura Mercier one, but I think I’II give this one a try first.
    I also wanted to say to I’m a new reader to your blog and absolutely love it! We have pretty much the exact same skin tone so I can see what shades to pick out just from viewing your blog. Keep up the good work!

  18. Anna says:

    I was also going to mention that you should test first if you have sensitive skin. When I wear it on the outer corners of my eyes, it BURNS. πŸ™ That’s not normal, right?! Maybe I’m allergic to one of the ingredients.

  19. sara says:

    Yikes! Those ingredients sure aren’t very skin friendly:( I’ll stick to my LM, and Tarte smooth operator…a little pricier, but both are worth it in my book!

  20. Nina says:

    i actually use this TM — im not going to pay more than 15 dollars for what’s just a combo of foundaiton and moisturizer. πŸ™‚

  21. Lauren says:

    What’s on your lips here?? I love it πŸ™‚

  22. Ana says:

    I got this at Target a long time ago, not knowing it contained emu oil (I’m a vegetarian.) Looks like they changed the packaging (used to be a pump bottle) and also the obviousness of ‘Emu oil’ in the ingredients. A much better (but more expensive) TM at Target is the one by Pixi πŸ™‚

  23. Ali says:

    I’m always worried about tinted moisturizers not having enough coverage/falling off from oily skin as well, but I MIGHT give this one a try! Do you think you’d have to wear it for any reason with a primer or maybe some aloe underneath as well?

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