Cargo's fragrance-free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 is a good, though pricey, option for those seeking sheer coverage, antioxidants, and sun protection in a single product. This comes in a squeeze tube that makes it easy to control how much product comes out, and it glides on smoothly, with a makeup sponge or with your fingers.
Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 feels slightly greasy when first applied, but quickly dries to a dewy finish that's flattering on many skin types. (Those with oily skin might want to avoid this one, though, because it could highlight oily spots.) This provides broad-spectrum sun protection via mineral actives, which is good news for those who might be sensitive to the so-called "chemical" sunscreens. It also has some good antioxidants, which makes it even better than others in this crowded category of skin-care products.
Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 wears well without settling into lines or emphasizing dry spots. The coverage is sheer, it's not super long-wearing by any means, but it holds up well for about four hours without significant fading.
Four shades are available, which is standard for a tinted moisturizer, and most of the shades are yellow-based and natural looking. Watch out for the "Honey" shade, though, as it's far too orange to appear natural on its intended skin tones, but that is really the only misstep!
In the end, Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 is a great option, but you can get the same or better performance from other tinted moisturizers for less! You can find them on our list of Best Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5%, Zinc Oxide 5%. Inactive Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, L-Lysine, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Phytantriol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Boron Nitride,Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides).
Strengths: Some good foundations; excellent lip glosses; several bronzing options; great eyeshadow sets (though not every color combination is recommended); some high-performance mascaras; the liquid eyeliner; a handful of innovative products that nicely distinguish Cargo from other makeup lines.
Weaknesses: A few otherwise good products are marred by an abundance of fragrance; no foundations with sunscreen; limited selection of brushes; the Blu-Ray concealer isn't worth the money; standard to below-standard pencils and lipstick; several items are overpriced for what you get.
Canada-based Cargo is a makeup line founded a little more than 10 years ago by a woman whose mission was to create a professional color line that would appeal equally to makeup artists and everyday women. Apparently, the dozens of product lines that existed just weren't good enough—obviously, she hadn't seen Stila, MAC, Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Quo, Bobby Brown, or Nars, and on and on. Cargo hit the beauty scene with a blend of celebrity fanfare and panache that has become the standard for any new cosmetic brand that wants to grab attention and have the press write about them.
Celebrity gossip and fashion magazine write-ups aside (believe me, their recommendations aren't objective in the least, they love everything; have you ever read or heard a celebrity or a fashion magazine say that a makeup or skin-care product or brand is really awful?), there are plenty of reasons to consider Cargo an option when looking for a new makeup look or just to replenish your current supply. What Cargo doesn't do, however, is distinguish itself in any significant way to indicate you should abandon your favorite Stila, Laura Mercier, M.A.C., Revlon, L'Oreal, Rimmel, or [insert-your-favorite-makeup-line-here] products, although in some cases, you may indeed be tempted.
Several independent beauty stores retail the Cargo brand and you may be wondering what does Cargo do really well? This is definitely a line to shop if you're a fan of bronzers and lip gloss. They also have some reliable foundation choices, improved eyeshadow palettes, and a handful of innovative products worth your attention, assuming you're OK with Cargo's higher price point. (In that regard, this is a line to shop with caution because many of the items aren't worth the splurge.) It's admirable that Cargo donates a portion of lipstick sales to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, but, unfortunately, the lipsticks have one of the greasiest formulas you're likely to find.
What Cargo lacks are foundations with sunscreen, and their one liquid foundation is overloaded with potentially irritating fragrance chemicals. This is also not the line to look to if you're shopping for matte blush or eyeshadows. All manner of shine dominates, though this is typical of many makeup lines; so, if anything, Cargo is just following the herd. Another disappointment is that Cargo initially offered an impressive range of brushes, but that range has now been whittled down to only a few.
Advertising is where Cargo really falls off the wagon and joins most of the other cosmetic companies, bragging about what several of their products do not contain, such as paraben preservatives. The insanity is that although they in some cases push the claim that the product does not contain parabens, at least one-third of the line's formulas still do contain parabens. We don't get the rationale behind emphasizing that something is allegedly bad (and due to media hype lots of consumers are wary of products with these allegedly evil ingredients), and then at the same time continuing to include it in many of your products. Parabens are not the terrible ingredients they're made out to be; and it's clear that Cargo doesn't really think so either or they wouldn't keep selling products preserved with parabens! we mean, really!
For more information about Cargo, call (800) 295-8877 or visit www.cargocosmetics.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!