Rare Beauty's tinted moisturizer is the first product to help me embrace my acne and blemishes — not hide them

  • Rare Beauty's Positive Light tinted moisturizer costs $30 and is sold in 24 shades.

  • I love the product because of its light coverage, hydrating formula, and glowing finish.

  • It also helped me embrace my acne and redness, which I typically try to conceal.

When my friends started raiding their mothers' makeup bags for lipstick and eyeliner as teenagers, I mostly just cared about foundation.

I was desperate to find the most full-coverage products to cover my skin, and used copious amounts of concealer to hide my acne. While my skin — and confidence — has improved over the years, I've never been truly content with the redness, scarring, and blemishes that still make appearances.

So when Rare Beauty announced its Positive Light tinted moisturizer last year, I didn't think the product would be for me. It looked great on models and the brand's founder Selena Gomez, but surely it wouldn't work for someone with acne-prone skin like me — or so I thought.

After trying the product myself, wearing full-coverage foundation didn't seem like a necessity for the first time in years.

The Rare Beauty Positive Light tinted moisturizer costs $30 and is sold in 24 shades

I purchased the product in its second-lightest shade from Sephora, though it can also be found on Rare Beauty's website.

The brand describes its moisturizer as "no-makeup makeup in a bottle." It's said to be hydrating, lightweight, and protective thanks to the infused SPF 20 sunscreen. It also promises to provide "glowing, light to medium coverage" with a blurring effect.

Rare Beauty recommends shaking the bottle before using it and applying the product to the skin with either your fingers, a sponge, or a brush.

Rare Beauty's Positive Light tinted moisturizer in the shade 12C.
Rare Beauty's Positive Light tinted moisturizer in the shade 12C.Amanda Krause/Insider

Rare Beauty's description of the face product is spot-on, in my opinion.

I applied the moisturizer with Rare Beauty's Liquid Touch foundation brush, and it blended into my skin instantly. The pores across my cheeks looked blurred, and the redness on my forehead became less pronounced. And that's not to mention the glow — my skin instantly looked radiant and healthy after applying the product.

Whereas some tinted moisturizers I've tried previously felt heavy like foundation, I had the opposite experience with this one. It felt gentle, hydrating, and light on the skin, almost as if I wasn't wearing makeup at all.

Reporter Amanda Krause with no makeup (left) and with Rare Beauty's tinted moisturizer (right).
Me with no face makeup on (left) and me with Rare Beauty's tinted moisturizer (right).Amanda Krause/Insider

Surprisingly, I also loved how this moisturizer didn't entirely conceal my natural skin. The texture on my cheeks was still visible, and some acne and redness around my mouth and chin poked through.

Close-up photos that show Rare Beauty's tinted moisturizer on skin.
I love the glow of this product (left) and its light coverage (right).Amanda Krause/Insider

While wearing the product, I truly felt more confident and happy in my own skin

I've been wearing full-coverage foundation with concealer on top for at least a decade, and it's not an easy habit to break. When I first started using this moisturizer, there were days when I felt like I needed to add some extra coverage to my breakouts, and others when I wanted to return to my usual routine.

But in the year since I first tried it, the product has almost entirely replaced foundation in my routine.

There's no weight of a heavy, full-coverage product when I wear it, and I like seeing my natural skin texture poking through. After all, base makeup — like foundation and concealer —  should enhance your skin, not hide it.

I wear lipstick, eyeliner, and blush for fun, but foundation has always felt like more of a necessity. But with more products like this one on the market, I now feel like that doesn't always have to be the case.

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