Tinted Moisturizer Comparison: Sonia Kashuk vs. Laura Mercier

After trying out Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face Kit for awhile, I decided to see how her tinted moisturizer compares to Sonia Kashuk’s.  I’ve been using SK TMs for two years now and like the benefit of having even skin without looking made-up.  I wear this on weekends or laid back days all year round and most of the summer.  It’s long been a popular product in the v/blogosphere and for very good reason.

But LM TM is hailed as being HG quality.  With such a variance in price point (SK $7.82/oz compared to LM $24.71/oz) I want to know – is LM really worth it?

To start with, LM is available in a number of stores, Sephora being the most popular.  SK is exclusive to Target, which allows the brand to remain high-quality yet low cost.

The shade range from LM (10) is double to SK (5) giving it a bit more appeal even though TMs are sheer enough to wear without an exact match.

Sonia Kashuk Beige, Laura Mercier Sand, Sonia Kashuk Honey

Honey is the newest shade available from the SK line; it hit stores this spring and is the fourth deepest of the five shades.  The deepest shade is Tan.

From Laura Mercier, Sand is also the fourth deepest shade.  But there are six shades deeper than it.  I do note more yellow tones to Sand than to Honey and Beige is more pink.

The formulas for either TM are slightly different.  LM comes in a regular or an oil-free formula.  SK only has one.  I don’t notice a difference in terms of my oil production;  Neither line does much to control it.  LM does feel thicker than SK and has more coverage, but the difference is barely noticeable.  I find them equally hydrating and opt out of my normal moisturizer when I put these on in the morning.  They both also have sun protection – LM is SPF 20 and SK is SPF 15.

Here are the first seven ingredients of each.

SK:  Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone

LM:  Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Water (Aqua), Disiloxane, PEG -30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate

How do they wear?  See for yourself.


I used the same primer, mattifier, concealer, and powder for both looks to make sure I wasn’t changing the appearance of my skin in any way other than the TM.  Can you tell the difference?  How about now:

Both of these enhance the skin nicely for a natural and even complexion and both are high-quality products.  The differences are ever so slight, but in the end I can’t call SK a dupe for LM.

Have you tried either of these?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • kysbel

    I actually like how the SK makes your skin appear completely nude, instead the LM makes it a bit more obvious because the coverage is better. I think I’ll try the SK since LM is a bit pricey. Thanks for this comparison :)

    • iamalisonm

      Glad you like the post :) I think you’ll enjoy SK!

  • http://myhighestselfblog.com/ Tina B

    I like both but the first picture looks very natural, even more so than the second!

    • iamalisonm

      I agree! That second one has a bit more coverage. Almost more like a sheer foundation than a TM.

  • http://beautyvigilante.blogspot.com Sarah S.

    I like my TM to be as moisturizing as normal moisturizer… are these? I’ve tried so many TMs in the past that needed another moisturizer underneath (argh) or they would apply blotchily. I also like a good coverage… I’m kind of partial to the one with more coverage (is it the LM?). I think if I had your cute freckles I’d go with the SK b/c they show through more, but I don’t really have freckles, just sunspots and blemishes, LOL.

    • iamalisonm

      I think these are fairly moisturizing. A little more than I’d like with my combo-oily skin, but I don’t know how’d they fair for dry skin. The higher coverage is in fact LM. She makes two formulas so maybe the one for drier skin would work for you. What about a BB cream?? I’m not sure where they rank in moisturizing terms, but they’d have more coverage and still be lightweight.

  • Kristi C. (@lov2read68)

    Both look fantastic on you! But with the side-by-side comparisons – I do prefer the SK one for summer. It looks completely fresh-faced & not at all made up!

    • iamalisonm

      I’m sensing a trend. Everyone should save some $$ :)

  • Ebru

    So glad to see you made this comparison post! I was always curious about the LM one. I also like your first photo, you look like you’re not even wearing anything on your face, so natural and pretty! :)

    • iamalisonm

      When I wrote it I had a feeling you’d like it. Especially after I rec’d SK Honey to you :)

  • http://www.beauty-reflections.com Tracy@Beauty Reflections

    I think they both look lovely on you!
    What I can’t swallow about the LM one is the price. But I guess if you look at it as a foundation then it’s not so bad.

    • iamalisonm

      The price is definitely steep. I try to remember it’s technically two products…moisturizer and color. But I haven’t decided if I’ll buy when I run out.

  • wearyourvitamins

    IS SK on the left? Because I keep reading the post but don’t see labels anywhere. :) But SK is on the left, right and LM on the right? Or SK top and LM bottom.

    • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

      I intentionally didn’t include labels because I wanted to see what readers thought without knowing what I was wearing in each photo. If you check out the comments, they overwhelmingly prefer SK. I used SK on the top and left photos. I used LM on the bottom and right photos.

  • Emma

    Thank you for this comparison! Did you use SK Beige or Honey in the top and left photos? I think I am in between Mac’s NC35 and NC42 (the current shades they have available, and the NC42 is a bit too orangey I think), and not sure if I should try SK Beige or Honey… If you have a recommendation, I’d appreciate it!

    • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

      I used Honey. NC35 – NC42 is a huuuuge difference. I range from NC37 – NC40 on my face (my body gets much darker) and use Honey most often. Since summer is over, I’d go with the lighter shade as you will be back to NC35 before NC42. But if that is your depth during warmer months, you can switch to Honey as your tan deepens or use Beige and add bronzer.

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