I wanted to like this- the color matched my skin perfectly. However it irritates my eyes no matter how far I keep it from them. Also it is too sheer for my crappy skin. The color match is great but I don't like to have to build coverage. If you don't have sensitive eyes or need a lot of coverage, then this is a great buy. I bought it at Kohl's. I am going to have to stick with my Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturizer, which is expensive (the reason I tried TheBalm - $25 vs. $43 for LM) but it covers my imperfections in one application.
Love this BB cream! Purchased this as replacement for my Holy Grail Urban Decay Tinted moisturizer which has been discontinued! The texture is nice, coverage is medium and buildable. Can wear alone or finish w/a pressed or loose powder. More bang for you buck! they give more product than most companies. Chose Medium color due to my summer tan (NC35) & it matches perfect! Better than the UD! and its cheaper! my new HG BB cream indeed!!!! Perfect for oily skin, my face isn't a grease ball after a long day. I love to use this with the tiny bit of UD Surreal Skin Loose powder in Vision that I have left, give its a matte finish. Doesn't irritate my super sensitive skin! Smoothes pores, covers up fine lines, giving an overall polished natural look!
I bought the shade "light" a few days ago from a department store. It was $25. This is a decent product. It is a very good quality tinted moisturizer. Depending on how you apply it, it can be sheer to medium coverage. It has quite a wide range of shades for a tinted moisturizer line, which is a plus also. However, because I have tried drugstore products that are similar, I find that $25 isn't very reasonable. I use a CC cream by Lumene, which retails for $15 at drug stores. The CC cream is my HG, so it is what I compare most bb/cc/tinted moisturizers to. The Balm's tinted moisturizer does not wear quite as long as my HG, it also only has an spf of 18, whereas Lumene's CC has 20. I also find that the CC cream I use is even more lightweight and less noticeable on the skin, even though it has slightly more coverage than The Balm's tinted moisturizer.
Overall, I think that the BalmShelter tinted moisturizer is a decent product, however, there are other products I would grab over this one. It is a very moisturizing product, and it hasn't irritated my skin at all. If you prefer tinted moisturizers, probably go for this one if you only need a little bit of coverage. Otherwise, if you want a tinted moisturizer with a fair bit of coverage, try the Laura Mercier one. If you want something inexpensive & are willing to go the bb/cc route, I recommend Lumene's products.
PROS: Good shade selection (affordable enough I can mix two, if needed.)
Great in my large pores and wrinkles. Gives a very subtle glow (NO shimmer), just making my skin look BARELY dewy and pretty. Good coverage for a TM (I can even layer a bit, if needed, and my skin texture still looks good.)
The broad-spectrum SPF doesn't burn my very sensitive skin. And no fragrance to bother my skin either.
Very reasonable price.
Because it has SPF, I don't have to put SPF under it (and that's great, because almost all chemical SPFs I use burn my skin a bit...and the physical ones look awful in my pores/wrinkles.)
Leaves me with a small amount of moisture in my skin throughout the day. (More oily skin, see "application tips.") Does NOT highlight my dry flakes. Can EVEN use this under my eyes without making my eyes look hideous, like most foundations and even most TMs do. This gets a "best" rating, partly because of its great ingredients, from Paula's Choice beautypedia review thingy, which is rare.
Not tested on animals.
CONS: Harder to find. (But see purchasing tips.) Oily skin might have to set it with powder. (I'm not sure, though.)
COLORS: I would think quite pale skin would be able to wear the "lighter than light."
I have NC 15-20 skin; I'm mostly neutral and lean slightly warm/yellow. When pale (15-20), I mix 2/3 "lighter than light" with 1/3 "medium." I also can do well with 1/3 "lighter than light" and 2/3 "light/medium." ......... I don't go with "light" because it leans just slightly olive. But my skin is kind of weirdly toned where some things lean olive on me that don't on others. ("Light" is very popular in all these reviews here, so it may be my weird skin.)
BUT the "light" in the FOUNDATION version (TimeBalm) is great for me when I'm pale. (I mix in some of the "light/medium" of that one when I'm more tan, like NC 20-25.) And the "lighter than light" in the FOUNDATION version (TimeBalm) seems like it really would work for very pale skin.
When I'm tanner, about NC 20-25, I can do two parts "lighter than light" with one part "medium" and simply increase the amount of "medium," the tanner I get. Or when I'm a bit tanner than NC20 (and closer to 25), I can wear "light/medium" alone. And again, I just avoid the "light" in my mixes because of my weird skin. By the way, Pinterest has some great swatches for both the foundation and TM.
APPLICATION TIPS: Because of my large pores, I like to pat this into pores and then smooth on with fingers. I can use a damp beautyblender sponge to smooth this out even more beautifully.
To make it last even longer and disguise my pores even further, I can first use L'oreal magic perfecting primer patted into pores. I let it sit for at least a minute and I then apply the TM. (But it really performs so well in my pores, that I rarely even use the primer anymore.) OR for a very similar effect, you may want to set this with powder (or even use the makeup artist Wayne Goss's little trick of applying moisturizer, then loose powder, then TM or foundation. He describes it on his youtube channel. It sounds bizarre, but it works.)
I've seen bloggers say they like to use this as sort of a primer for foundation. I can absolutely see how that would be fantastic.
REMOVAL TIPS: If you are prone to clogging, you may want to remove this with a cleansing oil before using your regular cleanser.
PURCHASING TIPS: You can buy it online at Nordstrom.com, thebalm.com, dermstore.com, blush.com, overstock.com, and amazon. Soap.com sometimes carries it and for very good prices. My local Kohl's carry TheBalm products, so I get to try out products using the testers. But I know Nordstrom is great about online returns with free shipping both ways (not sure about thebalm's policies on that.)
ALTERNATES: MAC TM is quite nice; although, the fragrance may be upsetting for some people's skin. The foundation version,TimeBalm, is nice for a slightly dewy finish and even more coverage than this (but it's not quite as kind to my pores/wrinkles.) For more of a semi matte or satin finish, L'oreal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Advanced Age-Reversing Makeup is pretty good but not near as nice for wrinkles as this. This is MUCH kinder to wrinkles and pores than ANY of the Laura Mercier TMs.
Long story short -- I love this stuff.
After a bad experience with NARS tinted moisturizer (its lightest shade, Terre Nueve is too dark for my skin), I bought this when theBalm had a 50% off sale one day. I have the shade "lighter than light" which is music to my ears.
I read that it was fragrance-free which is great for my sensitive skin and even at full price, you get more than 2 ounces (which is super rare in my experience). It also comes in a very hygenic squeeze tube (that I can also cut into when I run out and scoop out the reluctant remains inside which is a fun bargain thing).
I use my fingers only, rub it over my face...and that's it. It blends beautifully. I can add an extra layer to places I need it, no problem.
I have pretty good skin and prefer light, dewy coverage (for reference, a layer of L'Oreal true match with a beauty blender is about as heavy as I go). This is my go-to everyday foundation and I will be repurchasing again.
ETA (9/25/14): Bought a second bottle of this when it went on sale on Hautelook last week. Getting it 50 percent off means I'm paying $5.80 for an ounce of product which is blow-your-mind amazing good deal. (Most foundations and BB creams, etc., are one ounce.)
I've tried other foundations inbetween (NARS Sheer Glow, Sephora Airbrush) and this, despite my desire to try new things, will always be with me because it gives me what I want.
ETA (10/20/14): I also highly recommend theBalm for customer service. Hautelook told me, one month after my order was placed, that this product was "oversold." I was pretty disappointed (and also with the fact that I had to call them and inquire, as opposed to the other way around) and reached out to the theBalm about the situation. I got an email back five minutes later, telling me it was bizarre that happened, but that they'd honor my 50 percent discount. In the mail three business days later was my BalmShelter for $12.50.
Best tinted moisturizer hands down! Light coverage, good shade selection, utilitarian packaging without being ugly, large amount of product, and I have oily skin and I won't say you won't get oily, but your skin just stays looking like skin! Will repurchase!
Awful. I wanted to find a good tinted moisturizer since I was transitioning from foundations so I decided to use this one. I got the light shade and it was WAY too dark and orange on me. My skin looked greasy and disgusting. I was so embarrassed and immediately took it off. The worst part is that I bought this from Amazon so I can't even return it.
Definitely sticking with my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. Provides enough coverage and looks completely natural on me. More expensive, but totally worth it.
I'm really glad I found this tinted moisturizer because it's exactly what I've been looking for.
To start off with I have super dry cheeks that can't handle foundation without looking flakey and unnatural upon closer inspection. Because of this the first thing I look at is how natural a product looks on my face. I've only used one other tinted moisturizer before this one and it was Bobbi Brown's tinted moisturizer (not the oil free one) and the coverage wasn't heavy enough and it made my skin look drier, not to mention the price of it, so I ended swapping that one out of my collection.
With TheBalm's tinted moisturizer I'm just so happy. The coverage is sheer to light. I have red cheeks with spots and it covers a lot of the redness but the spots are still there (I expect this from a tinted moisturizer). The key thing is it looks so darn natural! I can pat it in and nothing will flake up on my face. With this and some concealer I'm good to go.
My colour's around nc25 and I use a mixture of light and light/medium, but lean more towards light.
Love this product, love love love!!! I have in medium, and it's perfectly match my skin (lucky me, I bought it online btw). I love the texture, very easy to blend (using hand or brush), and make my face looks great whereas it's light/sheer coverage with a lil' bit dewy. You can also make it looks matte, just apply matte powder and done, just perfect! Repurchase? Sure!!
I recently bought this TM from Hautelook for about $12,so it was comparable in price to drugstore foundation that I usually wear. This product is fantastic. Easy and quick to apply with your fingers and turns silky smooth. I top it with powder and I'm good to go.