Philosophy recently released a new addition to their Hope in a Jar skincare line called Hope in a Jar A to Z Cream and to be honest, the name made me chuckle a little bit! They didn't even bother with BB, CC, or even DD but went straight to A to Z to cover the entire spectrum of this kind of cream! Genius! :D
I have a sample size that comes in a basic squeeze tube with a fine nozzle to test out. The full size I believe comes in a pump tube. Currently there are 3 shades available – Light, Medium, and Tan. The one I have is in Medium in which I was a little concerned upon seeing the swatch for the first time that it would be too dark for my medium skin (NC30). Later I had a chance to do a proper swatch of all 3 shades in store and if I had to choose one, it would still have to be Medium since Light is way too light and Tan is way too dark. Then I combined two shades together and I'd say the perfect match for me would be the mix between Light and Medium.
Marketed as a 5-in-1 multitasking product, Hope in a Jar A to Z Cream addresses all your skincare needs by promising to treat, moisturize, prime and perfect, color correct, and protect skin from harmful sun damage all while providing a tint of color. It contains all kinds of good ingredients such as antioxidants, Lactic acid, and physical sunscreen broad spectrum SPF 20 (Titanium Dioxide 5.0%) and has a very faint refreshing smell to it that disappears upon application.
And just for fun I'm going to list what A to Z stands for! :D
antioxidants, beta-glucan, complexion perfector, day to night, easy, foundation alternative, glow, hydration, innovation, jump-start, keeps skin soft, lactic acid, makeup-friendly, no fuss, oil-free, primer, quick, refiner, skin-loving, touchable, UVA/UVB SPF 20, Vitamins A, C, and E, weightless, X off your wish list (!), youthful, and zero extra steps.
I do love the lightweight, silky formula of this cream! It's not thick like traditional Asian BB creams and not light like tinted moisturizers but somewhere in between. I like to apply it using my fingertips on a clean face and it actually feels really nice on, absorbs instantly, and leaves my complexion even and moisturized with a slightly dewy finish.
And to my surprise, considering the sheer coverage, it does cover small discoloration on my face such as scarring, redness, and dark spots really well but don't expect it to completely camouflage every flaw – you may need to layer or use a concealer for a complete flawless finish. I am quite pleased with how it smooths out my complexion while providing a “your skin but better” coverage without looking cakey or unnatural. It has not irritated my acne-prone skin, either, so that's another plus.
And even though Medium seems to be too dark initially, for some reason once it's blended out, I can't really tell the difference. It somehow adjusts itself to my skin tone so I'm really happy to see that. If you find the limited shade range to be problematic and you don't want to spend extra money to buy 2 shades, perhaps you can try mixing it with a lighter shade of foundation or top with a foundation powder that matches your skin. I personally like to set with a loose setting powder, though, for the most natural-looking finish.
The longevity is excellent as well. It does not oxidize and my face does not become oily later in the day but I am also testing this in cold Winter where my skin is usually drier than in Summer.
It is a good product with all the awesome benefits rolled into one and I can see it being handy to someone who just wants to simplify their makeup routine or just wants something that is convenient but still provides a decent coverage. I'm so glad to have tried this sample since it definitely delivered more than I had expected. :)