Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint Review, Swatches

In Paula's Choice, Skin Care Products by Angie Canning5 Comments

Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 30

Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint has been a favorite of mine since the beginning of last fall.  Being that I’m on my second tube of it, I figured now is a great time to review it for you.  Between the time of my first and second purchases, the shade range had been updated, so it is a little different than the original, but I have found the equivalent shade works for me.  Today I have swatches of all four available shades, as well as before and after photos of Level 1, Fair/Light.


At the end of last year, Paula’s Choice was excited to announce that the Barely There Sheer Matte Tint had been given an increased SPF rating when it underwent more testing.  This was great news to me, as I like to wear a minimum of SPF 30 every day.  Because of this, the product packaging has been updated with a sticker indicating the new SPF rating on all remaining inventory.  The product packing will be updated permanently once the stock is depleted.


The product dispenses in a convenient squeeze tube.


Active Sunscreen Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.


Barely There Sheer Matte Tint is currently available in four shades.
L to R: Level 1 Fair/Light, Level 2 Light/Medium, Level 3 Medium and Level 4 Medium/Tan


Before (Left) and After (Right) Wearing Barely There Sheer Matte Tint.  You can see it is a light coverage that does give the skin a satin matte finish and evens out the skintone a bit.  I love to put a mineral powder on top of this (please see details below).


Barely There Sheer Matte Tint has been my go-to product for a quick “get out the door routine”.  After using it for a month or so last fall, I realized I this reminded me most of a BB Cream – it evens out my skintone and provides SPF coverage, which is what I look for in a BB Cream.  The coverage is sheer, but it is an excellent tinted SPF on it’s own because it isn’t shiny, and when going for a fresh and slightly more made up look I like to top it off with Laura Mercier Mineral Powder.  The combination of the two is amazing!


The formula is similar to a very light foundation.  It is not runny and is slightly creamy but not thick.  Because it contains SPF, there is a slight sunscreen scent, but it is not strong or bothersome to me.


I swatched the photos above quite heavily so you can get an idea of the different tones each level provides.  Once blended out on the skin, however, they become very sheer, as you can see in my before/after photo above.  If you are in between shades, Paula’s Choice recommends going a shade darker because it does sheer out and will still give your skin a touch of translucent color that you can blend down the jawline and neck.  I found it convenient to purchase a small sample of the shade I was interested in before purchasing.  While the sample is small, it does provide enough to color match to find which shade would work best for you.  This product is meant to be sheer, but can be built up to an extent, although it will not be a full coverage foundation.  I prefer to work it into the skin, while still using a good amount for sun protection and then add a mineral powder on top for more coverage if I need it that day.


Sheer Matte Tint alone lasts on my skin for approximately 6 hours and begins to fade.  I do like to wear it with a mineral powder on top, which of course extends the wear.  If you are wearing this as your sun protection, bringing it along and reapplying it as directed (every two hours) is recommended.


I like to apply this product with my fingers to work it into the skin, much like a BB Cream.  I have used a flat top kabuki brush in the past as well, but I prefer my fingers.  It smooths on very easily and absorbs well into the skin.  My skin is left with a satin finish, and it lasts that way for approximately four hours before I get oily, which is typical for my skin.  My favorite thing about this product is that it is not overly hydrating (as some tinted moisturizers can be), but it is not drying either, so if I have a few dry patches I’m dealing with they are not accentuated so it makes me feel very balanced.  As I mentioned above I love to top the Sheer Matte Tint off with a mineral powder.  My favorite is the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder, which I buff in with a large powder brush after applying the Sheer Matte Tint. I find I can get the longest wear out of this product when working with it that way.  I also love the finish, and how the two products work together.  Here is a photo of what the product looks like when topped with Laura Mercier Mineral Powder:

Wearing Paula's Choice Sheer Matte Tint with Laura Mercier Mineral Powder on top

Finished face makeup using Barely There Sheer Matte Tint in Level 1, Fair/Light with Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Natural Beige on the top.  (Please note I also used concealer, brightener, blush, etc.)  On the lips: Smashbox VIP Pink.


Overall I find the Barely There Sheer Matte Tint to be the perfect product to apply every day before regular or mineral foundation for SPF coverage, or alone as a shine-free SPF.  The unique properties of this product make it ideal for oily skin, but it is also not drying, so any skin type would feel comfortable using it.  Although the coverage is sheer, it does even out the skin.  If you are looking for a lightweight and easy-wear face product perfect for the summer, definitely take a look at the Barely There Sheer Matte Tint.

RougeRating 96%, A

      • Product – 10/10
      • Formula – 10/10
      • Pigmentation – 9/10
      • Longevity – 9/10
      • Application – 10/10

Price and Availability

$14.95, 1 oz. Paula’s

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  1. I can’t even with your perfect skin! You are gorgeous. Love the glow this gives you, looks perfect for the summer! I’m going to look into ordering a sample along with some of their other products you’ve reviewed! <3

    1. Author

      Hi Marina, thank you for the kind compliments. This is definitely perfect for summer. Topping it off with a mineral powder makes this absolute perfection! I hope you try it for sure! I’m excited to hear what you think. 🙂

    1. Author

      Hi Natalie – yes I definitely love it! I would totally recommend it for sure if you are looking into something like this. 🙂

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