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Missing your summer glow? This viral tinted serum gave me instant vacation skin

It transformed my dull winter skin and gave me a faux tan.
Courtesy Madison San Miguel

Winter comes with a plethora of joyful festivities: Holiday gatherings, chilly snow days and warm beverages. But what it doesn't come with is long sunny days, ocean waves and tan skin that the summer and spring often bring.

This has faulted me to an unattractive combo: Darker-than-normal eye bags and Casper-like dull skin. Since my skin doesn’t appear as lively as it does during the middle of the year, my makeup and skin care suffer: My foundation clings to dry spots on my skin, while my moisturizer settles too quickly, leaving me with a matte finish, for instance.

When I first heard about Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops, a tinted alternative to their viral Watermelon Glow Drops, I knew I had to try it. Consider this an improvised version of taking a trip to the beach when the weather is lacking, or a skin care-meets-makeup hybrid for those days when your usual makeup base routine is too much of a task. After all, it claims to provide your skin with a sun-like glow without compromising on skin care. 

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops

It’s packed with skin care benefits

One of the key benefits of this serum is in its name: niacinamide. If you’re new to the ingredient, don’t fret. Niacinamide is incredibly beneficial for all skin types, especially those with oily and combination skin. It can even treat a handful of skin concerns, including rosacea, hyperpigmentation and large pores. That alone told me this serum would be a winner for my dry, and often irritated, skin. 

Along with niacinamide in its ingredient list is centella asiatica, hyaluronic acid and watermelon (duh!) — all of which calm redness, hydrate the skin and deliver tons of essential vitamins, depending on the ingredient. Those who experience redness and dark spots might appreciate the fact that the serum promises to even skin tone over time, too. Meanwhile, those with oily and/or dry skin will enjoy its lightweight and gel-like formula, which shouldn't oversaturate your pores. All-in-all, I can guarantee that most, if not every skin type, will be happy with this product. 

The glow is undeniable

There’s a reason the brand emphasizes glow in the product description. The original and non-tinted serum has long been raved about for the dew-like finish it provides. And similarly, this new launch offers the same wow-factor, if not even better. 

Once I blended the serum into my skin, I couldn’t believe the slight reflection my skin had — If you’re familiar with the glass skin trend, this is in essence the same, to give you an idea. And don’t worry, the glow looks and feels natural. I enjoyed that the results weren’t an unappealing and heavy sparkle. Instead, your skin looks like you drank gallons of water and have indulged in a lifetime of regular facials. 

It gives you the "I was just on a beach vacation" look

The most notable perk of these glow drops, however, is the tint it leaves. Glow Recipe describes it as a sheer, tinted serum that doesn’t blend patchy nor streaky. And I can attest that it lives up to all of these claims. I used only one pump of the product, and that alone covered my entire face and left some over to blend into my neck (you can’t forget your neck application!). Although the tint is very light, it is enough to make a difference. 

But what is useful about this product is that it is perfect for when your foundation is a bit too light, or if you need extra coverage. You can use it on its own and build it up to your desired tint (it can only provide so much of a "tan," though), or blend it in with a moisturizer or foundation. I found that it applied better on its own, but it worked well with my foundation that has a similar serum-like consistency. And you can opt to blend it with your fingers or a brush on bare skin, or whatever your starting base is (both worked effectively for me!).

While I am on the lighter side, the tint wasn't overwhelming. Some tinted serums are too much for light to medium complexions like mine, but this one was a perfect match. The brand also claims it works for all skin tones, however, I am unsure if it will provide equal results considering how sheer it blends out. But if you want the glow, this serum is a must to have on your shelf.

And those who prefer a non-tinted version of the serum, you'll want to consider the original:

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Serum

With this pick, you'll get all the perks of Glow Recipe's tinted version, without the extra shade. Whichever you choose, your skin will be sure to thank you.

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