timeBalm Foundation

by TheBalm  
Price:
$28 
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundations without Sunscreen > Cream-to-Powder Foundation
Last Updated:
4/16/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

timeBalm Foundation is a creamy, fragrance-free foundation option that provides medium to full coverage and has other positive attributes. However, it's limited to skin that's not oily or too dry.

This comes in a screw-top container with a sponge provided. We recommend using a foundation brush or blending sponge (such as Beauty Blender) instead, as the flat sponge that's included tends to drag this foundation across the face instead of providing smooth application. With a brush or better sponge, though, it applies very easily.

Time Balm is natural looking, with a satin finish that lasts several hours, and it definitely covers up redness, brown spots, and other skin imperfections. Because it's a cream foundation, we don't recommend it for people with oily skin (as it will not last long), and it's not quite moisturizing enough for people with very dry skin. For those with normal to slightly dry skin, though, this is worth checking out.

Time Balm wears well throughout the day, emphasizing wrinkles only after about eight hours of wear, and it doesn't show pores at all! It comes in a variety of shades that look natural on their intended skin tones, including options for very light to medium dark skin.

Pros:
  • Natural-looking satin finish that wears well for several hours.
  • Medium to full coverage of skin imperfections.
  • Wears well throughout the day without emphasizing pores.
  • Natural-looking shades for light to medium- dark skin tones.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Starts to emphasize wrinkles at the end of its wear time.
  • Creamy texture isn't suitable for oily skin, but isn't quite moisturizing enough for dry skin.

Tridecyl Trimellitate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Talc, Diethylhexyl Adipate, Isoeicosane, Cera Carnauba (Carnauba Wax), Cera Alba (Beeswax), Octyldodecanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecylascorbate, C18-36 Acid Glycol Ester, Panthenol, Tribehenin, Ceresin, Lauroyl Lysine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Linoleic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Phospholipids, Silica, Propyl Gallate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines.

Today, most cosmetics companies seem to be launched for one of three distinct reasons: they come about as the extension of a high-end fashion house's brand (like Burberry, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, or Armani); they're created by some corporation under the endorsement of a celebrity (Drew Barrymore's Flower Beauty or Kat Von D's line); or, as is the case for theBalm Cosmetics, an entrepreneur saw an "unfilled niche" in the cosmetics market and decided to get to work.

theBalm was founded in San Francisco by Marissa Shipman, who spent years trying to break into the cosmetics industry before forming her own company in 2004. As the story goes, she crafted her own products in her kitchen by consulting makeup books she bought from Amazon.com. (We hoped that one of them was Paula's Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, but given many of the formulations, we don't think so.) Eventually she was able to hire a chemist, get a lab (Bye-bye, kitchen workshop!), and secure distribution through cosmetics retailer Sephora. theBalm's products have (pardon the pun) exploded and are now sold in dozens of countries worldwide.

It's interesting to note that theBalm is quite reminiscent of the Benefit brand; the similarity of the packaging, marketing, colors, product selection, and even the place of origin - San Francisco – is blatant. Featuring recyclable cardboard packaging with retro pinup-style artwork and cutesy names, theBalm line includes both makeup and skin care products, and is reasonably priced, although it's definitely more expensive than what you'll find at the drugstore.

The company's makeup is definitely its stronger suit, with some good options, such as a couple eyeshadow palettes, the mascara, and its pressed-powder blushes. It has one true blockbuster product: Balm Shelter tinted moisturizer. This standout product performs amazingly well and is deserving of its many accolades.

Unfortunately, theBalm also has some problematic makeup, in particular, and ironically, their lip products. The inclusion of irritants in two of its lip products is disappointing, and an otherwise excellent lip gloss (with SPF, no less) is marred by a fragrance that's downright overwhelming initially and potentially irritating if used every day.

As far as skin-care, the company's collection, called TimeBalm, is surprisingly larger than you might think. It includes cleansers, toners, moisturizers, AHA exfoliants, masks, eye-area products, and a handful of ancillary items that are questionable in terms of their benefit—though some of them, like the foundation primer, are indeed worth checking out.

Overall, based on the formulas, there’s little reason to give the majority of these skin-care products a second thought, as most of them are laced with one or more problematic ingredients or, in the case of most of the moisturizers, suffer due to jar packaging, which compromises the product’s stability. The prices are good, but there’s not much value in saving money on average-to-problematic products, especially when spending just a bit more can get you far better formulas.

theBalm boasts that TimeBalm skin-care products are free of parabens, synthetic dyes, and phthalates, and many consumers seem to be seeking such products. However, parabens are not a problem, and phthalates aren’t usually included in skin-care products—they’re more often seen in nail polish and in some fragrances. Not including synthetic dyes is helpful, but it would have been even better for your skin if theBalm had avoided fragrant oils and other plant-based irritants. Lots of theBalm products contain great natural ingredients, but they’re often commingled with potentially irritating natural ingredients, and that doesn’t add up to great skin care—it’s more of a ticking time bomb than anything else.

For more information, call 510-522-3610, or visit www.thebalm.com. And yes, we're aware that "it's thebalm.com" is an expression used to indicate something that's totally cool. Coincidence? We'll let the reviews speak for themselves!

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Friday, July 11, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    love
    • Good medium coverage. Slightly dewy finish. Quite good in my wrinkles. Doesn't highlight dry flakes as much as most foundations and even TMs. I am NC(almost neutral) 15-20. When most pale, I wear the "light." When getting tanner (NC 20-25), I mix in more "light/medium" with that. Quite pale skin can probably wear the "lighter than light." Can buy at Nordstrom.com, thebalm.com, dermstore.com, amazon or my local Kohl's.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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