Each and every year, as a sweaty summer approaches, beauty savants are left swapping out their full-coverage foundation for barely-there options in the hope of finding a virtually weightless tinted cover-up. But despite trying a plethora of offerings, there never seems to be a product that earns a Goldilocks-level seal of approval—until now.
Whether you opt for a tinted sunscreen or moisturiser, the promise made is generally the same: a) a lightweight formula, b) coverage that doesn't need additional help from concealer, while withstanding more than one hour of wear and c) a natural finish that's not too matte, too dewy, too cake-y or too sweaty-looking.
But, as one may assume, finding a holy-grail summer base that ticks all three boxes can feel, well, almost impossible. That was, until TikTok put Tower 28 on the radar.
Ever since the social media platform cottoned onto Tower 28, their reviews have been coming in hot. And the latest to win their praise was the brand's tinted sunscreen, called 'Sunnydays'—which boasted a 2,500 person waitlist when it first launched. But before we get into how the product looks on the skin, first we must sing its other praises.
Unlike other tinted moisturisers, Sunnydays includes SPF 30 to protect one's skin from sun rays, but that's not all. Free from alcohol and fragrance, the non-nano zinc formula is reef-safe, dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, gluten-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
In fact, their tinted sunscreen is the first and only complexion makeup with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance, meaning that it is certified as safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin. And as someone whose skin breaks out from nine out of ten new products I try, my interest was piqued.
However, did Sunnydays tinted sunscreen pass our sun-filled, summer's day test? Read on for the entire journey.
WHAT DOES TOWER 28'S SUNNYDAYS TINTED SUNSCREEN PROMISE?
Before I jump into how my skin fared, let's take a look at exactly what Tower 28's Sunnydays Tinted Sunscreen does (and doesn't) promise your complexion.
According to the brand's website, Sunnydays—which boasted a 2,500 person waitlist—is a 2-in-1 mineral sunscreen foundation featuring broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection. Aside from preventing sun damage, the product also works to even redness, combat blue light pollution and soothe UV-stressed skin, all while maintaining a natural finish that allows freckles and imperfections to breathe.
Suited to a wide variety of skin tones, the product includes 14 shades with a light to medium buildable coverage and a natural, velvet finish—sans any white cast or changes in colour due to oxidation. Working with celebrity makeup artist Kirin Bhatty to nail the shades and undertones, the brand apparently worked on perfecting their deepest shades first, before working on their lighter ones to ensure a diverse offering.
While its makeup properties appear to impress, the product itself also benefits the skin. Sunnydays' ingredients list includes skin-loving must-haves, like prickly pear extract, aloe vera and white sage sourced from California deserts—which explains the shade names.
As for their efforts in sustainability, the product's packaging is made from 60% recycled plastic to help divert waste from landfills and reduce the end-user responsibility associated with recyclable or compostable materials.
Thankfully, the product won't break the bank. In a similar price range to the most popular tinted bases on the market, Sunnydays only clocks up at AUD $43.
Personally, I couldn't wait to put it to the test. Sporting an incredibly fussy complexion, a change in wind direction can send my skin into a pimple-infused frenzy. But when I stick to the devil I know, my skin flourishes. In terms of coverage, my complexion has me feeling incredibly fortunate. Aside from a pair of prominent dark circles under my eyes, I've never suffered from acne or eczema and my skin tone is fairly even.
However, most tinted moisturisers always fade away by the middle of my work day nor do they remotely cover my under eye discolouration. And of course, they always leave me looking like a sweaty mess or stick to the (many) dry patches on my skin. Let's face it, a new summer staple in my routine was long overdue.
Curious about whether Tower 28's Sunnydays Tinted Sunscreen lived up to the hype? So was I.
HOW TO APPLY TOWER 28'S SUNNYDAYS TINTED SUNSCREEN
When it comes to using the product, it's fairly straight forward. Stored in a Gen Z-approved lilac tube, the product is dispensed via a simple squeeze, similar to your favourite sunscreen.
Designed to be used daily as the last step of a skincare routine and the first step of a makeup routine, multiple coverage options can be achieved depending on what medium you use to apply it to the skin.
For those after a light to sheer coverage, that evens out redness and discoloration, squeeze a pea-sized amount onto the fingertips and gently pat into the skin until all the product has been blended out evenly. And trust me, the skincare qualities within the formula make an even coverage very easy to achieve.
If a medium or buildable coverage is needed to cover blemishes, simply repeat the above steps but instead of your fingers, go in with a damp beauty sponge, foundation or stippling brush and tap into the skin for a natural finish. Simple as that.
Of course, if you're concerned about the level of sunscreen in the product, applying a layer of your favourite SPF beforehand won't hurt.
THE INITIAL VERDICT
Much like many who work in an office, the morning rush to leave the house looking presentable is a true test of speedy styling. And when it comes to makeup that'll ensure I'm ready to go from my desk to the bar, I need something that can go on fast, stand the test of time and keep me looking alive come five o'clock.
And luckily, Sunnydays does all it promises and more.
Pre-makeup, I opt for a very simple skincare routine. Applying a light vitamin C serum and a light layer of sunscreen, the tinted sunscreen was up next. Squeezing a small amount onto the back of my hand, I reached for a beauty sponge and applied the product to my T-zone first, slowly working my way out. Then, using my ring finger, I applied a touch more product to my dark circles, which always need some extra help. And voilà, in less than two minutes, my base looked near flawless, no tedious blending needed.
For those with stubborn or cystic acne, building up the product could help with coverage, but keeping your favourite concealer on hand is also a good idea.
As for coverage and texture, I could barely even feel Sunnydays, in fact, it just felt like my own skin. Sporting a velvet finish, it offers a lit-from-within radiance, without shine or visible clinging to any dry patches.
Note: For the sake of the experiment, I opted to not apply any setting powder or spray, nor any blush, bronzer or contour products in order to let the product steal all the glory.
But what did Sunnydays look like on my skin after five hours of wear? See for yourself:
THE FINAL VERDICT
Thanks to a complexion that is both Sahara desert-level dry and extremely sensitive, finding a foundation or tinted base which doesn't result in a break-out is a miracle. And lo and behold, this product is an absolute godsend for my skin.
However, no product is perfect—despite this one being oh-so-close. Naturally, there is one tiny titbit to note before adding it to your shopping cart.
For those who are looking for a quick no-makeup-makeup moment in their summer routine, then consider Sunnydays your go-to. However, if you also suffer from serious acne or prominent discolouration, it's important to note that while this product will still work beautifully, spotting a full-coverage concealer on trouble spots and setting your base is a good idea.
As for longevity, Sunnydays looked just as fantastic after a long, 12-hour day in an air-conditioned office. Of course, the ninth hour saw a small amount of faded product and a persistent dry patch reemerging, but overall, my skin looked just as dewy and healthy as it had when I first applied it.
Compared to its competitors, Tower 28's tinted sunscreen effortlessly fills the gaps in the market that many other offerings fail to. And when successful, others will be fooled into thinking the Sunnydays glow is the result of an expensive trip to an esthetician, what's not to love about that?
Is it worth the money? Absolutely. Not only does Tower 28's tinted sunscreen offer a radiance unlike anything else, but it remains that way all day.
Personally, on the dark day that my tube of Sunnydays runs out, you can bet that I'll be joining that waitlist for another.