theBalm Shelter Tinted Moisturiser in Medium and Light/Medium - review


Gosh this review has been a long time coming. I've had these products for ages and wasn't using them nearly enough - in part because I wanted to get rid of lesser products first (ridiculous I know) and in part because I've been trying to streamline my collection, and I've therefore preferred reaching for smaller-sized products that I know I can get through more quickly.

Since these products are over double the standard 30ml size for a base - and I have two of them - it's felt like a better idea to reach for the 30ml tubes that were already half empty. But it won't be a better idea for long because these things don't last forever!

Fortunately the shelf-life for these is 24 months, so I've got at least 12 months left before I need to start worrying about whether they'll expire soon. Since there's so much in each tube, I'll likely need that time - although I am discovering that I use more of this moisturiser on each application than I do any other product, so they probably won't last as long as I think.

I bought both the light/medium and medium shades of this tint in the Bellabox shop, because I could tell from reviewing online swatches that I would be between colours (and indeed I am). It's a little annoying having to mix them each day, but this isn't unusual for me (I always seem to be between colours) so I'm used to it.

theBalm claims/product details:
  • Weightless, creamy and silky-smooth tinted moisturiser with SPF 18
  • Offers sun protection while helping improve the look of your skin’s tone and texture
  • Leaves you with a polished complexion and a radiant glow
  • Provides sheer to medium coverage 
  • To use: apply to a freshly washed face with your fingers or a makeup brush
  • RRP $25AUD for 64ml, but do shop around
  • Shelf-life after opening: 24 months

Above I've dabbed the medium shade on the left, the light/medium one in the middle, and I've mixed the two on the right.

Below I've blended the three patches in. They don't look that different on my arm, do they? But they certainly do on my face. I need to mix more or less of each shade depending on how pale I am. At the moment I'm mixing them at around 50/50.

There's my bare face:

There's me with one layer of product:

 And there's me with two layers of product:


This has to be one of the best tinted moisturisers on the market. I'm not the first person to have said this and I certainly won't be the last. And the fact that you get twice as much product for only $25 just adds to its value.

What can I say about this that hasn't already been said?! It's a sheer product that's buildable, so it still looks natural even after I've applied two thick layers. As I said above, I do find that I need to use more of this than I do other tinted moisturisers, which may be one of the reasons why theBalm made this tube so big.

What's good about the sheer factor is that I can use more or less of it depending on how my skin's looking on the day. Some products go on too thickly and some don't layer well, but this is a great consistency - not too thick and not too thin - and you can build it up to your desired level of coverage without issue.

I apply it with my fingers (as I do all bases) and it's easy to blend and smooth out. The finish is a little dewy but not massively so - so don't discount this if you don't like dewy products because it doesn't have that greasy look/feel that some products containing sunscreen can have.

I like that it has a reasonable amount of sun protection and I also like that I can apply enough of this to get the benefit of that sun protection without looking overdone. My husband hates makeup but he loves this product on me because he can't tell I'm wearing it: that's how natural-looking it is. It's one of those 'my skin but better' products that seem to be harder to come by than they should be.

It wears well on me - much better than many tints - and I don't usually need to reapply it unless I'm going out at night. It doesn't sit in pores or fine lines and I like both the medium and light/medium shades - they're nice and natural. Sometimes tints that come in a limited range of shades (as this does) are too orange/yellow or pink, but the two shades I've tried are neutral.

Paula's Choice gives this product its 'best' rating (see here) and I've seen people who don't normally like tints (and prefer foundations) rave about this product, so I'm not the only one who loves this.

Huge ticks from me! I've given it an HG tag : )

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