A Love Letter To Kosas


Dear Kosas,

Doesn't everyone hope the love of their life will come from a set up? The best stuff always comes friend recommended—it’s actually kind of the core tenant upon which this very beauty site is based. Such is the way I discovered thee.

OK fine, I had already discovered you months ago—via random PR emails and semi-frequent pop-ins to the Goop store on Bond Street. You seemed… fine? Kind of boring. I didn’t feel any particular way about you, and wasn't itching to take you home (if you know what I mean). But then, three crucial things happened. First, I noticed makeup artist Juan Jaar’s kit was full—full!—of you on set for this makeup shoot. Then, when interviewing Lily Aldridge, she mentioned that your Tinted Oil gives that elusive level of coverage where her skin is evened out but freckles aren’t erased. Finally my friend Sydney, the person I text when I want to talk makeup, let slip that your lipstick in Undone was her favorite lipstick ever. So I did what any reasonable beauty editor would do, and called you—57 times products—into the office. I had to see if what we had could work.

Our first date was a red lipstick (Fringe). It was somewhere between my favorite red and my favorite brick, and so creamy—perfect for applying imperfectly, with a finger. Then we rendezvoused on my cheeks. Creamy High Intensity Helios does the work of a bronzer, meaning I look warmed up and slightly sunkissed, but in a lit-from-within way that feels more believable. On the other hand, powder Contrachroma is the exact right shade of blush to wear when I’m wearing a red lipstick—not too pink or peachy where it’ll clash, but warm enough to make a bright lip less harsh against the rest of my face. (I’ve struggled with this for a long time, and feel lucky that I can be vulnerable here.) I was feeling good about where we stood, so I went for the Tinted Oil. It was easy enough to match my shade, because they’re labeled by undertones—I’m a 3.5, fair with neutral undertones. Lily compared it to MAC Face and Body, and I’m feeling the comparison to my favorite face and body foundation from Dior. Despite being an oil, it dries surprisingly matte and doesn’t feel greasy. It actually covers the pigmentation on my cheeks yet looks sheer enough, and enough like skin, that I don’t feel like I have to put it everywhere.

I must admit, my love came on like a freight train—Lip Fuel in Pulse is like a mini Olio e Osso with a dreamy beige-pink tint. (I love it so much that I gifted one to a friend.) Undone and Rosewater are great, but Stardust is the sheer, hydrating wash of “my lips but better” that I can’t believe I’ve lived so long without. The eyeshadow in Waterfall, a powdery baby blue, is just so pretty (though be warned, it is messy to apply). The Lip Oil is the most pigmented one I’ve tried, and occupies that space between gloss and pure oil—it smells like a lip gloss, stays like a lip gloss, but at the end of the day my lips feel more hydrated than if I had used a traditional lip gloss. Jellyfish is a safe bet, but I like Jaws, which looks like a shimmering red sports car, or Dip, which reminds me of Fenty’s Gloss Bomb, the best.

After only a month, I realized that I wanted to be exclusive—the only makeup I was actually wearing was you. It’s not that you're anything revolutionary, but your textures feel good, your colors are the best, and you're just really solid makeup. I wish I could see even more of you: doubles—triples?—of all the lipsticks to keep in every bag I own; a blush to give to my mom, who’s asked me every time I’ve seen her recently for whatever shade I’m wearing; lip oils to give as holiday gifts. Maybe that makes me boring, but it also makes me a person who actually wears makeup, and doesn’t just hoard it in her bathroom to open and look at and never put on. I'm so glad I found you—just in time for cuffing season.


Shop Ali’s favorite Kosas products:

Photo via ITG