TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer Review, Photos, Swatches

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF 18 ($25.00 for 2.25 oz.) is designed to give “long lasting moisturizer” with a polished look while skin feels “silky.” Immediately, I wished there were more shades available–there are only three: Light, Light/Medium, and Medium. I tested out the Light/Medium shade, which I found to be a pretty good match, though perhaps a hair light, for my complexion (I’m NC25/30 in MAC, Punjab in NARS).

Tinted moisturizers are great for days when you want a little coverage but not a lot of makeup. Hallmarks of a great tinted moisturizer are sheer coverage, creamy consistency, and hydrating. BalmShelter provides enough coverage to even out my skin tone (especially around the cheeks, where I am a bit blotchy) and helping to give my face a uniform color (I’m darker around my hair line than anywhere else). It has a natural finish, so it’s not matte but not too dewy. I did find it more dewy than not, and if you have oilier skin, you may find it even more necessary to finish with a setting powder. I do, normally, set even tinted moisturizer with powder, though.

What I really liked about BalmShelter was its very creamy consistency; it was thick without being goopy and spread really well and evenly. It definitely felt like a lotion, which made it even easier to blend and cover my face during application. It comes in a squeeez tube, and there is no problem getting just what you need out. I wasn’t as keen on its ability to hydrate, though; it was decent but I felt like I needed to layer moisturizer underneath. I couldn’t just use BalmShelter in lieu of a moisturizer. For oilier skin types, it may be enough, but for my normal-to-dry skin type, it wasn’t quite enough. It wears for six to eight hours before I notice it has sheered out in some places (like my t-zone).

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer Review, Photos, Swatches

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TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer (Light/Medium)

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
No Foundation / TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

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About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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Your assessment is bang on. I can use it without a moisturizer on my oily skin but I fall between the shades TheBalm offers and it didn’t provide enough coverage for me. I really liked the texture and love the company and wanted to like it more, but it’s not the right product for me.

I love the texture of this TM! You also get a lot for the price. I prefer tarte Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer mainly because it provides SPF without the sunscreen smell (using only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide).

I agree, Tarte Smooth Operator is the best tinted moisturizer I’ve tried. It has good coverage, SPF, is creamy and seriously moisturizing. I use it every day in lieu of a foundation, and as long as I set it with a powder it stays beautiful all day! I like it better than Laura Mercier’s.

Its looking so nice on you…better than a foundation. I must say this blue color looks too too fab on are glowing like a fresh dew!!

I’ve been waiting for this review! Now if only you had tried Laura Mercier TM and could tell me how it compares.

I use Laura Mercier(oil-free) TM in Nude and have been considering changing to this more affordable brand.
Has anyone else tried both?

Woah, I honestly think your complexion looks better with nothing! This did have an okay finish, but it seemed to dull your natural “glow” if that makes sense, haha. I think I’ll be passing…

How does this compare to Macs’ Studio moisture tint? I was thinking about buying this one but, after your review, I’m having second thoughts…can anyone tell me which one is better?Thanks!!

They both have pretty good coverage for TM. Mac is harder to blend but it has matte finish. theBalm feels nicer on skin and much easier to work with but i feel it wears off really fast.

Great review =) You have a lovely skin ! I think it is really great that you’re naturally contoured^^ (darker around hair line!)

I want a light coverage for summer to look more natural and let my skin breathe… any TM would do the trick, but before any purchase I wanted to ask the pros here at temptalia if I could obtain the same effect by mixing a drop or two of my liquid foundation into my daily moisturizer?
Any input is appreciated 🙂

Looks like it gives good overally coverage (balancing your cheeks and forehead well) and blendability is nice to know as that is my problem with the Korres one!

I’m so sick of these companies who make TM and/or Foundation that’s not light enough for the pale ladies or dark enough for the cocoa ones. It’s so frustrating! I really wanted to try this one too, I like TheBalm’s stuff. It’s just really hard for me to support companies who consistently do this :/ Korres, Josie Maran, UD to a lesser degree…sigh.

Sorry for the rant Christine, it looks good on you though!

Sadly, the sunscreen in this TM is unstable – avobenzone is unstable on its own, but further destabilized by octinoxate. the two should never be present together, and in this one they are. Also they did not stabilize the avobenzone at all – to be stable it must have octocrylene. This means not only will this product not give you UV protection, it will damage your skin because chemical sunscreens produce free radicals when they break down. :-(.

i think there are two different forms of this product. for one, the tube I have says 2.15 fl oz instead of 2.25fl oz, the words “spf18” are blacked out, and the ingredient list is different from what I think is the american version of this product. people on makeupalley complained about the castor oil and parabens in this, but no where on my tube or on the box it came in can I find castor oil or any sort of parabens in the ingredient list.

Does anyone know about why this is?

You don’t provide any proof, fact, evidence or a link to find what your saying to be supported.  The top link shows that NONE of the SPF’s listed are in this particular product.
You MUST provide evidence of what you are saying or it is untrue–especially just as a “some extra information to list,” as we have nothing to back up your story without further research.  You don’t provide supporting evidence.  Why?

NO, you are right–there are NO sunscreens listed in that article present in this product.  It is free of those sunscreens.

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