This award-winning serum foundation is finally available in Canada — and I tried it first

·Shopping Editor
·5-min read

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ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 is finally available in Canada, and I tried it first. Image courtesy of ILIA.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 is finally available in Canada, and I tried it first. Image courtesy of ILIA.

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While there is a long list of reasons why I love Canada, one of the biggest drawbacks to living in the Great White North is the long delay that often comes along with access to cool new releases. Whether it's movies, streaming services, fashion or beauty, us Canadians are often left waiting while the rest of the world moves on with out us. 

One product that I've been eagerly anticipating was the Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation from clean beauty brand ILIA, which had previously been unavailable to shop in Canada. That all changes as the award-winning foundation has finally arrived at Sephora

Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation. Image courtesy of ILIA.
Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation. Image courtesy of ILIA.

SHOP IT: Sephora, $62

What is it?

Unlike most foundations that come in either a powder or a creamy formulation, ILIA's Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation is, as its name implies, a serum. That gives it a lightweight consistency that manages to combine the elements of makeup, skincare and SPF all in one product. 

Non-nano zinc oxide helps boost skincare effectiveness while protecting skin from sun damage—all without a white cast. In addition to providing light coverage and SPF protection, this serum also also combines skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, hydrating squalane, and texture-refining niacinamide help to improve the look of skin over time.

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First impressions

I won't lie, it was a bit of a struggle to find my correct shade match based on the online foundation swatches, but once I did, I was obsessed. Normally, my shades in complexion products fall within the light-medium range, but with ILIA's Super Serum Skin Tint I fell firmly within their medium range with their ST9.5, a medium shade with golden undertones. I could probably even get away with a shade darker, but with winter on the horizon I figured I'd stick with a lighter tone as I'll definitely lose some colour throughout the season. 

The consistency of this foundation is unlike most that I've worn in the past, but if you're familiar with Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint, this offers a similar feel but with way more coverage. It has the same lightweight, liquid feel, but applies with a dropper rather than Glossier's squeeze bottle tip. 

Befor and after photos wearing ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation in ST9.5 (plus a little blush, eyeliner, and tinted lip balm).
Before and after applying ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation in ST9.5 (plus a little blush, eyeliner, and tinted lip balm).

Normally I don't find myself reaching for foundation on an everyday basis since I find them too heavy and drying, and will only turn to them for special occasions. That said, I'm a huge fan of the dewy finish and second-skin feel of the Super Serum Skin Tint, and can actually see myself using it for everyday "no makeup" makeup looks.

One thing that's important to note is that this serum does have a pretty strong scent upon application that isn't the most pleasant. The scent does disappear after a few minutes, but if you're sensitive to smells you may find issues with it.

What others are saying

Since this foundation has only just arrived in Canada, it has yet to receive many reviews from customers. However, it's been available in the U.S. since 2018, and has earned an impressive 4.5-star rating from more than 6,500 customer reviews.

"This is the best 'foundation' I have ever used in my life," raved one reviewer. "My face looks so smooth and it is so sensitive and I have had ZERO issues! I would (and do) recommend to everyone!"

"I am not a makeup person so something easy and natural looking is my go to...So easy to use, not cakey, plus sunscreen. Perfect product for me," shared another. 

Women of all ages have raved about this foundation's performance, with one user writing, "I’m 58 and have been looking for years for the right kind of make-up that would keep my skin moisturized and minimize my fine lines and pores. This is it!"

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Some shoppers have found that although this serum is billed as being hydrating, that it didn't provide enough hydration throughout the day. 

"I use a serum and moisturizer and tried using this a couple of times now but it always dries me out," reads one review. "It magnifies my pores and fine lines as well. Maybe it will work with a different moisturizer or primer underneath."

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The brand does recommend sticking with a facial oil like pure squalene if you do need some extra hydration, but I've found that if you wait about an hour after applying your skincare before this foundation, you'll also get good results, especially if you have dry skin like me. 

Final thoughts

Now that I've had the chance to test out the Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation, I have a few tips for anyone who might be interested in testing it for themselves. Now that this foundation is beginning to hit Sephora shelves in store, I'd recommend checking it out in person since it can be difficult to figure out your shade online. I personally went with a darker shade than I thought I'd need, something that other reviewers online have also echoed.

If you're a fan of full coverage, heavy foundation, this likely won't be the best fit for your preferences. It's lightweight with light coverage for a "my skin but better" finish, and leaves a glow that some found to be too shiny for everyday wear. Like many makeup products, there's no one-size-fits-all approach, but if you're also looking for a product that combines SPF, colour-correction and some skin-boosting benefits, this might be the foundation for you. 

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