Fair warning: I look like a deer in the headlights for most of these pictures. I'm not sure why, but that's how it is. So just...ignore my stupid face and look at the product.
ANYWAY. The product at hand is the Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF30 in the lightest shade (Level 1, Fair/Light). It was sent to me and highly recommended by Kristina, the blogosphere purveyor of all things Paula's Choice. Kristina assured me that this product would be light enough for my skintone (N5 at its lightest, but most often around N10) and comfortable for my combination-dry skintype (since one of my biggest problems is finding foundations that are suitable for dryer skin). I refused to believe her. I should've had more faith.
This tinted moisturizer does exactly what it says it'll do: it gives you a very sheer, light coverage that's matte, but more along the lines of "natural skin" matte, not soul-suckingly-dry-flake-exaggerating matte. It's not as invisible as some tinted moisturizers--I'd say that the coverage is just below a single layer of MAC Face & Body. So while you'll still need concealer for zits and undereye circles, you'll notice that your skin looks more even and smooth with very little product or effort.
The Sheer Matte Tint has a surprisingly thick texture, given how sheer the coverage is, but it smooths in to the skin beautifully and doesn't feel heavy. It applies best with fingers. And while I don't rely on my makeup for my sunscreen on most days, the SPF30 is a bonus for days when I really do have to rush out the door.
I was also quite impressed with the staying power of this tinted moisturizer. I always add undereye concealer and a bit of powder through my t-zone, but even then, I tend to get a bit of fading throughout the day. The Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint looked pretty darn good for an entire 12 hour day, probably because it is matte, so it's less likely to slide around.
TOP: Paula's Choice; BOTTOM: Tarte
It's rare to find tinted moisturizers that are workable for dry, super-pale skin, so I wanted to compare the Paula's Choice TM in Fair/Light to the Tarte Tinted BB Treatment in Fair. Both cost about $25 for 1oz, are sheer and blendable, and contain SPF30. The Paula's Choice provides a little more coverage, however, and has a more matte finish. It's also a shade darker: I'd guesstimate that the Sheer Matte Tint would work for N10-15 skin, whereas the BB Treatment is lighter and still works for me when I'm N5. Lastly, the texture is quite different: the Tarte TM has a very silicone-y feel. Between the two, I'm more likely to repurchase the Paula's Choice; while they're both great, the Sheer Matte Tint's higher coverage makes it better suited for my emergency makeup bag.
A finished face, including a small amount of blotting powder in the t-zone and undereye concealer.
Overall, I'm super-impressed with this product and will gladly repurchase it.
RATING: 5 out of 5.
You can purchase this product at PaulasChoice.com.