Indie Lee's New Hints Range Makes "No-Makeup Makeup" 10x Easier To Master
I have an uncanny feeling that Indie Lee can read my mind. Want proof? About a year ago, I wanted to toss my hat in the retinol ring, though I test way too many products to jump straight into prescription-strength concentrations—then the brand launched their gentle Retinol Alternative Cream, plant-powered by rambutan. This winter, I was itching for a gentle makeup remover that wouldn't irritate my skin or make my eyes bleary—like clockwork, my inbox pinged with their skin-soothing Cleansing Balm.
Recently, I've been on the prowl for multitasking complexion products that feel light as air (once warmer weather rolls around, I try to wear as little makeup as possible). And, well, Indie Lee's telepathy strikes again: Today, they're introducing Hints, a dreamy new category that effortlessly streamlines your makeup routine. I'm certainly one to swoon over a good skin-care-makeup hybrid, but this range is heaven.
The new Hints line proudly serves as a bridge between skin care and makeup—a tinted sunscreen serum that provides a whisper of coverage, a color-correcting, mousse-like face cream, and a glow-inducing serum stick. It's skin care with a hint of something extra…get it?
First up: that aforementioned sunscreen serum, called the Daily SPF Primer. Sunscreen serums tend to layer beautifully under makeup, thanks to their lightweight, spreadable consistency (that's why Indie Lee calls theirs a primer), but they also serve as a skin care/SPF hybrid.
"They often contain more active ingredients at higher concentrations to address different skin issues," board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., previously told mbg about sunscreen serums. Indie Lee's silky new number comes infused with niacinamide to brighten tone and balance oil production, vitamin E oil to strengthen the skin barrier, and allantoin to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
Next, we have the Color Balancer—or as I like to call it, my skin-calming hero. Think of it as a moisturizer that instantly nixes discoloration concerns, like inflamed breakouts, rosacea flare-ups, and uneven skin tone. The soothing, cica-infused formula looks moss green in the jar yet quickly neutralizes as you work it into your skin; it has become my most beloved of the three (but more on that later).
Last but certainly not least: the Hydrastick. This precise applicator allows you to swiftly plump fine lines and blur discoloration with a single swipe—the ceramides work hard to flood the skin with moisture while the antioxidant-rich arjuna extract evens tone. It also has a sunny yellow hue that subtly deposits golden undertones into your skin. What does this mean? This Hydrastick makes you glow, whether you use it before makeup or to refresh a midday face beat.
I've been testing the full line for about three weeks, along with mbg's beauty director Alexandra Engler, and let me just say: It's an absolute dream for no-makeup days.
You know those mornings when you look puffy and inflamed but groan at the thought of tapping on concealer or coating on mascara? (Yes, playing with makeup is part of my job, but sometimes I do crave a fresh face!) After massaging in the SPF primer, tapping the Color Balancer on irritated areas, and swiping the Hydrastick across my cheekbones, forehead, and tip of my nose, I have a dewy, even complexion that looks totally natural—without a stitch of makeup.
I don't usually love oily sunscreen formulas since they tend to feel heavy on my combination skin. So I'll be honest: The vitamin E oil gave me pause, as it tends to be pretty thick. But rest assured, this serum maintains a thin consistency; it truly feels like applying a protective veil of moisture.
And the Hydrastick certainly lives up to its name: It immediately quenches dry areas and even provides an instant cooling effect. I also have warm undertones in my skin, so I adore the slight golden tint—it gives my cheekbones the prettiest shine.
But if we had to pick a favorite of the bunch, both Engler and I are enamored by the Color Balancer. "The Color Balancer has quickly skyrocketed to become a nonnegotiable for me," she gushes. "As someone with mild to moderate rosacea, I deal with a lot of redness from weather, sun exposure, foods, and alcohol. As a chronic condition, I'm always looking for management help (as you can't treat it entirely). Mostly this involves lifestyle changes, calming topicals, and when an unavoidable flare-up happens, makeup. And now this product. The green-tinted cream color-corrects as I blend it in to help ease my ruddy complexion, while the centella asiatica (sometimes called "tiger grass") and lutea root extract get to work soothing the skin and providing a boost of antioxidant protection."
I personally deal with temporarily splotchy, inflamed skin in the morning (it tends to dial down in a few hours), but just a tap of product instantly neutralizes those red patches. "I cannot recommend this enough for anyone who deals with redness," Engler adds, and I wholeheartedly agree.
After testing Indie Lee's new Hints lineup for three weeks, the mbg beauty team is simply obsessed. Each product thoughtfully streamlines your makeup routine so you can wear as few layers as possible—the very definition of "no-makeup makeup," no?
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.