Lightful C 2-in-1 Tint and Serum with Radiance Booster
Lightful C 2-in-1 Tint and Serum with Radiance Booster is an interesting twist on the serum concept (more on that in a moment). M.A.C. included a solid array of beneficial antioxidants, anti-irritants and repairing ingredients. Its lightweight gel-like formula makes it ideal for any skin type (including the acne prone) but it's not exactly a serum feel. While it has many good qualities, it has a few shortcomings that keep this from being a highly recommended product.
As the name implies, this is actually two separately packaged products. The main component is the serum, which is housed in a hard plastic bottle with a pump-dispenser. Unscrewing the lower half of the bottle reveals a smaller-sized container of tinted serum, which has a standard screw-off cap. Though the tinted serum bottle appears smaller, both it and the regular serum are the same fill weight.
The clear serum is intended to be used in the evening, while the tinted version is the "daytime" version that can be worn as your makeup or underneath your sunscreen as a traditional serum, albeit one with a tint. The tinted serum is virtually identical in formula to its counterpart, save for the color it lends to skin. We'll take a closer look at each, starting with the clear serum.
Its gel-like texture is quite sheer and dries rapidly on skin without residue—hence the appeal to those with oily to combination skin, or anyone who prefers a lightweight aesthetic. Though M.A.C. describes this as a "radiance" booster, it has no shimmer or iridescence; we assume this is in reference to its combination of ingredients that can improve the overall health of skin.
As mentioned in the opening, M.A.C. added a pleasing array of antioxidants and anti-irritants—sodium hyaluronate, caffeine, as well as cucumber, turmeric and mulberry extracts (just to name a few). The Lightful C part of this products' name is a callout to the ingredient vitamin C, but oddly, the brand included a form with less research around it—ascorbyl glucoside. That's not bad, it's just that we were hoping a more researched form would be in play to justify putting "C" in the name.
There is some research showing ascorbyl glucoside can help improve discolorations in skin, but what does exist has only demonstrated effectiveness when combined with niacinamide—thus, you really don't know how beneficial this form of vitamin C is on its own (Journal of Cutaneous & Aesthetic Surgery, 2013 and Skin Research & Technology, 2006). While it has antioxidant benefit, it's not as impressive or proven as forms like ascorbic acid or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Had that been the only quirk, this would have had enough positives for us to overlook it.
Unfortunately, M.A.C. added an iffy amount of grapefruit peel extract—it's iffy because it appears at a moderate placement in the ingredient list, but the formulas themselves have no discernable scent. Thus, the risk is lesser from its potential to irritate, but it does make this a potentially troublesome option for those with sensitive skin.
To the tinted version: At the time of this review, M.A.C. offers this product in five color choices. The shade range offers something for those with fair/light to deep skin tones. We should note that the degree of coverage is almost non-existent—you will certainly need still concealer for any red marks or other imperfections you wish to keep hidden (and/or your favorite foundation, depending on the amount of coverage you prefer).
In the end, the combination of its beneficial ingredients and pleasing aesthetics give Lightful C 2-in-1 Tint and Serum with Radiance Booster enough pros to earn it a good rating. On another note, the size is also larger than what's typical—combined, you get nearly two ounces, making this somewhat of a bargain compared to the average serum size offered from an Estee Lauder brand, of which M.A.C. is one.
- Contains a mix of beneficial antioxidants and anti-irritants.
- Packaged to protect its air- and light-sensitive ingredients.
- Lightweight, gel-like texture makes it ideal for oily to combination skin (or those who prefer a lighter serum).
- Larger than usual size for a serum.
- Contains a potentially iffy amount of grapefruit peel extract.
M.A.C. Cosmetics At-A-Glance
What more can one say for this long-standing makeup line whose products have spoken eloquently for themselves for years? In many ways, M.A.C. Cosmetics is a pivotal line not only for makeup artists but also for any in-the-know cosmetics consumer. Although M.A.C. has several singularly outstanding products, they generally excel by virtue of the range of choices offered. The color selection for everything from lipsticks to foundations is exceptional. Most of the makeup brushes are beautiful, full, and soft, as well as properly sized to fit the contours of the face and eyes.
When it comes to skincare you may be tempted to dismiss the small assortment M.A.C. offers and skip right to their makeup with its well-earned positive reputation. But doing so would mean missing a handful of beautifully formulated products that are worth trying. By no means is M.A.C.'s skin-care line one-stop shopping (at least not if you have blemishes, skin discolorations, or require more than a couple options per category), but you'll find more than just the color products impressive here, and the prices aren't unreasonable either!
M.A.C.'s salespeople are often trained makeup artists, too. This is especially true in the freestanding M.A.C. boutiques, where the staff tends to be true makeup artists.
Note: M.A.C. sets itself apart from other beauty brands by staying ahead of the curve by launching a seemingly-constant rotation of impressive limited edition products, usually with fashion-forward themes. Though it's impossible to review every limited edition product, many of M.A.C.'s are as impressive as those in their permanent collection.
Strengths: Some impressive moisturizers; praiseworthy foundations in a mostly gorgeous range of shades; good concealers; several great powder-based products including blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow in various finishes; dizzying array of lipstick shades in mostly sumptuous formulas; several very good mascaras (regular and waterproof); top-notch makeup brushes; many of the Prep + Prime products work as claimed.
Weaknesses:A few products with high levels of potential skin irritants.
For more information about M.A.C. Cosmetics call (800) 588-0070 or visit www.maccosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.