Product Review: The Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturizer

Here is a promise I am making myself: I will use base products sparingly, only when going out, for important meetings, or when I really want to feel "my best." But it's ironic that to feel my very best self, I look to various products to cover what makes me me. My best self is really my ideal version of self. It is the one with no under-eye bags that have only grown in shade and size, it is the one with widened eyes, flushed cheeks. My best self is a romanticized version of me. Take the makeup off and you will see a tired, sullen chick -- though perhaps what I see in the mirror is also a more self-conscious, harder-on myself, me. 

I've expressed before, here for example, that part of the reason I love makeup is because it's a creative process. Observe the women walking out of Sephora and they will have various colors and lines on their inner arms and hands after having dipped their fingers and rubbed the products on their skin, contemplated the colors, remarked on the textures, drawn themselves closer to the daylight to see the shimmers of products reflecting. There's also a ritual to makeup. A calming rite in putting a selected number of products every day, changing ever so rarely. 

So here is my promise again: I will force myself to be more comfortable with my real self. I will not envy my best self. 

I have put away the foundations - which I seldom used anyway - in a drawer, and instead look to tinted moisturizers and BB creams to give me just a bit of coverage and unify my skin. Even so, with this layer of makeup being so subtle and thin, I think it's important to let our skins breathe and be skin. Recently, I've used the Balm tinted moisturizer only in the places I really "need" it most. The center of my face. A little bit around my nose, a dab on my chin. Under my eyes. It's a good moisturizer: it's dewy, has sheer coverage, and it does a good job unifying the colors of the face. I have the shade medium, and while it was my perfect summer shade, I am finding that it is starting to look too dark on me now. 

I've been looking for a cheaper alternative to the Nars tinted moisturizer, which I adore, and this one is a really great contender. If only it had more shade options, then I'd be happy to exclaim I had found the new queen of them all. The Balm Tinted Moisturizer might not be a queen, but she's a damn good baronness. 

Sorry Ms. royalty, though, I'm hoping to bow to you less frequently. 

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