Kosas Tinted Oil vs Gressa Minimalist Serum

Two highly popular foundations, two dual purpose products which combine makeup and  skincare. Both founders preach and embrace minimalism, hassle-free make-up, and inner as well as outer beauty. I greatly adore them both, as well as their creations.

I have talked about the Minimalist Serum many times, and will do here again so you can get a better idea of the Tinted Oil. Let’s take a closer look at their foundations.


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Consistency: Higher viscosity/thickness than oil

Packaging: Glass bottle with dropper

Coverage: Medium to Full

Color: 3.5 to 4, Light Medium-Tan w/ warm olive undertones & Medium w/ golden yellow undertones

Finish: Satin, Skin-Like

Price: $62 for 15 mL/ 0.5 fl oz

Ingredients: Cold Pressed Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Coconut Alkanes (and) Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, L-Lysine on Sericite (Mica [CI 77019] and Lauroyl Lysine), Silicon dioxide (Silica), GRESSA Healing ComplexTM: *Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Extract, *Azadirachta indica (Neem) Extract,*Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) Extract, *Melissa officianalis (Lemon Balm) Extract, *Berberis vulgaris (Barberry) Extract, *Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Extract, *Sambucus nigra (Elder Flower) Extract, *Momordica charantia (Bitter Melon) Extract, *Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice Root) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Extract, [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]. *Ingredients from Organic farming.

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Consistency: Very thin, silky

Packaging: Plastic bottle w/ nozzle

Coverage: Light-Medium

Color: 04, Medium skin w/ warm undertones

Finish: Satin, Skin-Like

Price: $42 for 30 mL/ 1 fl oz

Ingredients: Coco-caprylate/caprate, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, octyldodecanol, persia gratissima (avocado) oil, silica, kaolin, mica, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) extract, tocopherol, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, camellia oleifera (tea) seed oil, rosa canina fruit oil, rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil [+/-:titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxides (ci 77491, 77499, 77491, 77492)

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What’s my verdict on these two products?


Consistency: Gressa definitely has more of a thicker consistency in its formulation. This small difference helps you in terms of control: the product doesn’t slide around as much as the Tinted Oil once deposited onto a surface such as skin, and it is easier to obtain your desired amount. I also believe it plays a factor in ease of layering and longevity. With the Tinted Oil, the experience is literally as if you are pouring from a bottle of face oil in your skincare cabinet, so you can imagine how loose, thin, and slippery this product is – it is literally a tinted oil. This does make it a tad more difficult to control; when you deposit the product onto the back of your hand, a curved surface, more product will come out than you would like if you’re not careful and it will start to slide down. After a few times, however, you can get the hang of this. Make sure to to control how much you squeeze the bottle as well to not get too much product out.

If you remember my post about Kosas blushes, you will remember how I stated their product textures and creamy consistencies were so dreamy and unique, yet not necessarily the best for application or longevity purposes. This same description applies here as well. Since my skin will get oily as the day progresses, you can imagine that a thin oil consistency doesn’t hold up very well to it. However, even after blotting, my skin still looks better than pre-application of both products. In summary, portion control is easier with Gressa and I prefer the slightly thicker formula for ease of control and application on my skin.

Packaging: This should not come as a surprise when I say I am not a fan of the Gressa foundation/bronzer/illuminator bottle packaging – there has been an issue with product spilling from the sides and consistent leakage with every bottle I have thus far repurchased. I naturally prefer a dropper with any oil application for the sake of control it lends, however I would much rather forego this if it avoids these aforementioned issues. Kosas may not give us the most luxe packaging, but it does give us a simple and functional bottle with the Tinted Oil. The line itself embodies modern, bold, and practical, thus it’s straight-forward white and black packaging does it justice. The product can be stored upside down or lid up (i suggest the latter or else it gets too messy), and has a nozzle for an ever easy dispensing method. In this way, you won’t miss the last few drops as in the case of a dropper that doesn’t extend down the whole length of the bottle. You simply shake, flip over, squeeze gently, and deposit the product onto your skin. As I stated above, however, be careful in your use or else too much product will come out when you squeeze the bottle. Without very light pressure, you will get more out than you planned for. Keep in mind you won’t be able to avoid some product being dispensed even if you aren’t pressing the sides. This bottle isn’t perfect by any means, especially considering the fact that there will be some spills and frills around the nozzle and inside the cap due to the nature of the package, but I do think it is more controlled than with the Gressa Minimalist Serum. As the product collects inside the lid rather than spilling over onto the sides like Gressa, the bottle won’t get messy externally. I just wish the packaging allowed for better control for dispensing product.

Coverage: Gressa is excellent for covering literally all of my imperfections, from textured skin to discoloration to deep scars. It truly is amazing how it doesn’t settle into your skin and emphasize the imperfections, but rather perfectly sinks into it- all with the smallest amount. In short, it’s my real life Snapchat filter. Kosas has also very much impressed me in this aspect, as my skin indubitably looks better post-application, once again with only a small amount. The Tinted Oil, however, is definitely lighter coverage than Gressa. That being said, it still covers some redness and uneven pigment in my skin while letting it breathe and shine through, which is why I look to foundation in the first place. For more problematic skin, though, I can imagine this being an issue.

In general, it is harder to get more coverage and layer with oil-based foundations, and although Gressa is very good in the coverage arena, for more severe breakouts I will need extra help in this arena as well. For any breakouts that are not covered to my satisfaction from both products, I will use the Fitglow Beauty Conceal + for a more heavy duty performance.

Color: When it comes to Gressa, I fall in the Light/Medium Spectrum: Color 3 is much too yellow, 3.5 is still not a perfect match for me, and 4 is a tad too dark. Of course with a thin application, 3.5 and 4 work just fine for me, but still they are not an ‘exact’ match for my skin to be sure. I will now say that I have never encountered a better match for my skin tone in a foundation until I met Kosas – just refer to the picture above and you will understand. I have listened to how the founder obsesses when it comes to creating universal products for all skin tones, and it shows.

Upon release, the brand filled their Instagram with pictures and videos of multiple models of different backgrounds for each tone, and this greatly eased the process of selecting which color would suit me. I am generally too lazy to sample before I buy, and it is naturally more difficult to go this route when we mostly order our green beauty through online vendors. Thus, I greatly appreciated this ease of decision making made possible by the ever practical and creative founder. However, if you are one to try before you buy, I do believe they are currently working on making sample kits, something Gressa already offers to its customers.

I have to emphasize that if you are using the correct color for your skin, believe me when I say it makes a huge difference in how you look overall – by making you look like yourself in the first place. I truly feel like every other makeup product comes together better on my skin as well as a result. As a plus, you don’t need to extend down to your neck because the color of your skin will be the same. 😉

A very important note to point out as well is that both also do NOT oxidize in my experience, which is a huge bonus.

Finish: Both truly allow your skin to shine through, which allows for such a beautiful, natural finish. It truly is your skin but better, in both cases. In order to not ruin this satin, dewy, skin-like finish, however, be mindful of how you use the two foundations. With both products, try to start off very minimal – and I mean literally a few drops. You may be surprised by how much you actually need to achieve the look you want. If you overuse either of the two, you WILL find that your skin looks too dewy and oily, as both are oil-based. It will parallel how you look and feel when you put on way too many layers of any oil skincare product – your skin will reach a point it simply doesn’t want to absorb any more and it will just stay on top. If anything touches your face, it will definitely rub off very easily in this case of over-saturation as well. On the other end of the spectrum, also do make sure to keep up with your exfoliation routine and moisturize well, since both do have the tendency to cling onto dry patches of skin.

My cream and liquid blush/bronzer/highlighter products blend seamlessly over both foundations- one of the advantages of silky, oil-based foundations is the ease of blending that comes with not just the product itself but for all others that follow as well.

Price: Gressa is the pricier option hands down. There are a few factors to consider here which can all contribute to this, such as the fact that the brand uses ingredients such as the “Gressa Healing Complex” (proprietary blend of botanical extracts), the glass bottle and dropper, etc. It’s performance justifies the price in my eyes, as well as the fact that it offers such good coverage you truly need only a few drops to get the job done- this product will last you a quite a while.

Ingredients: I’m not one to sit here and type about how this ingredient has this benefit or that without properly looking at the research or background behind it – this is why I include ingredients but usually don’t make further comments about them. Do your research and decide what you want to use. For me, I will share that I do look for balanced oil profiles, and that is a bit trickier to find when it comes to skincare and makeup items. Avocado oil and Camellia Tea Seed Oil used in the Tinted Oil, for example, are high in oleic acid. This product is literally recommended to be applied as if it were a moisturizer, and if you are not interested in a product with a high oliec acid profile and don’t need a make-up product that is so moisturizing, then this is something to think about.

I already use oils in my skincare routine, thus I really am not looking to replace those products that have been working so well for me, even though the Tinted Oil and Minimalist Foundation Serum both double as skincare products. Thus, I look to minimize any application after my skincare routine; I am conscious to not saturate my skin unnecessarily with product, especially when it comes to ingredients that may be inflammatory.  This is why I greatly appreciate the fact that you only need a thin layer of each product to beautify your skin. Whether make-up items be of a cream formulation or oil, I will apply the same mentality as mentioned above. For yourself, using the foundations in place of a serum/moisturizer may actually be a very attractive option to you, and they may work even better than the current moisturizer you are using; whatever your routine allows for, use these products accordingly.

I will have to say, unfortunately, I do feel I get congested from both products (you can see this in my pores as the day progresses), but I do not have severe breakouts as a result either, it will be more minimal. My skin does get oily as the day proceeds, and sadly neither of the two products aid in that area. If I use too much or my skin is imbalanced, it will actually exasperate it. You may find yourself that you need to set both with a powder, although I choose to forego this and simply blot when I feel the need.

In each category you can see one product puts on a stronger performance, yet overall across the board the score balances out to the conclusion that both are quality products. Which one you choose will be based upon your preferences. If you are strictly looking for more coverage, for example, you will lean towards choosing Gressa. If you want a very close match to your skin tone, you may give Kosas a try first. I won’t lie, I have combined both of the two products together often (why not right?), and was very happy with the result. You get the best of both worlds that way, and can customize your ratios. That is definitely not necessary, however, to purchase and use two foundations. For me, I will continue to repurchase both products since I love them oh so much. They are not perfect, to be sure, but they are hands down some of the best performing foundations in green and conventional beauty.

Are you excited to try out the new Tinted Oil by Kosas? Or will Gressa always take the crown for you?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cristina says:

    Thanks so much for sharing all this great info! I’m madly in love with Gressa but of course am also curious about the Kosas tinted oil. Thanks to your detailed post I now know what to expect if I decide to give Kosas a try. I do wish that Gressa made an even lighter shade of foundation because their lightest is still a bit too dark for me. I just add a good dusting of translucent powder on top and that seems to even things out.

    1. vsafaria says:

      It’s so hard finding a perfect match for complexion products, which is why I was so surprised that with only a 10 shade debut Kosas hit the mark for me. I could have just got super lucky that Kosas Tone 4 worked perfectly, just as for someone else Gressa in Tone 4 may be a perfect match for their skin tone. I say give the Tinted Oil a shot if you’re also looking for the “right” color!! Just keep in mind that it is definitely lighter coverage. I’m loving combining the two haha with a higher ratio of Kosas to Gressa to maintain the color!!

  2. NH says:

    What is the gressa shade in your pictures above?

    1. vsafaria says:

      It is shade 04 🙂

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