Honey Face & Body Primer

by TheBalm  TimeBalm
Price:
$34 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundation Primer
Last Updated:
5/1/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This foundation primer boasts of its vegetable-derived ingredients to help create perfect skin, but the marvelously smooth texture and silky finish this product leaves is due to the synthetic silicones it contains. That doesn't make this a bad primer, just one with misleading claims.

The formula is fragrance-free, suitable for all skin types, and, unlike the majority of foundation primers, contains a good mix of soothing plants, skin-repairing plant oils, and antioxidants. It works beautifully under most types of makeup (finding the right mix of foundation and primer takes experimentation) and is easy to apply.

The small amount of product you get means this isn't a great option for use on the body, unless you want to go through this in less than a week! Actually, a primer product like this really isn't needed from the neck down anyway.

This primer contains mica for a radiant finish. That's a nice touch, although those with oily skin may not relish the idea of adding shine to their skin.

Note: The small amount of plant oils isn't likely to pose a problem for those prone to breakouts or clogged pores.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free formula is easy to apply.
  • Silky finish improves skin texture and works well under makeup.
  • Contains a good mix of beneficial ingredients, going beyond the standard primer.
  • Versatile formula is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive.
Cons:
  • None, provided you don't apply this all over the body, which would not be cost-effective.

Honey Face & Body Primer gives skin a satiny, soft finish. It contains vegetable derived oils, antioxidants, and Jojoba to help perfect your skin.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Mica, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Honey Extract (Mel Extract), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Jojoba Esters, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hexylene Glycol, Retinyl Palmitate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

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!

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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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