I’ve never been a big tinted moisturizer user, but last week, as my skin gradually started shriveling up in the winter dryness of London, and as I had only packed a mineral powder foundation, I figured it was a good time to try out a more moisturizing base.
The only question was which brand?
With the help of last month’s issue of Elle UK, I decided on Bobbi Brown.
Bobbi Brown has a standard SPF 15 tinted moisturizer, but I was more interested in the richer, more moisturizing tinted balm from Bobbi Brown’s Extra line (described as “a collection of super-luxurious balm-based products formulated with natural plant extracts such as pure orange, rosemary and olive oils”). I love stocking up on foreign magazines when I travel, and in Elle UK there was an article with skin/foundation tips recommended by Bobbi Brown herself. That’s when I decided I wanted to try Bobbi Brown’s Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm. There are a few reviews already out there, including some of my fave beauty sites, i.e. makeupalley.com, Temptalia, and TotalBeauty.com. General consensus was that this was a light-coverage, rich formula (which was perfect for some, not ideal for others) and, well, that sounded good to me, so I decided to try it out for myself.
I’m a fan. But it’s not for everyone. I have generally very clear skin so I prefer a light coverage product – check. I also have dry skin that started freaking out in the colder climate. Therefore, this product was a great solution for me. It may not be as suitable for women with oilier skin, or for those who are enjoying warmer, more humid winters (Ah, Christmas escape vacations, anyone?).
Here are some of my thoughts.
As I said, I prefer sheer coverage. I wasn’t seeking a liquid foundation substitute… just a moisturizing product that would do the absolute bare minimum in evening out my skin-tone. It gave a nice, dewy glow, which is the kind of finish I prefer, as I have dry skin, and a finish like this infuses my skin with a bit of life.
I think in my “winters” spent in Hong Kong, or even winters in New York, I would normally consider this formula too rich. But in the dry London weather, it’s what I needed. It instantly absorbed into and calmed my chapped skin and didn’t cake or simply sit atop the skin’s surface. Not all the areas of my face were equally dry, so I concentrated its use on my forehead and chin and very little around areas, like my eyes, that needed it less. I noticed that a few reviewers commented that the product was too greasy, but I personally didn’t get this at all, not even on the more oily parts of my face.
I love the scent…in general. It’s aromatic, and citrusy with a spicy kick to it (ginger, perhaps?). I was initially a little put-off, and certainly surprised, by the intensity of the aroma as I’m not used to strong scents in my face products. I still prefer more mildly scented face products because I don’t like being aware of the make-up that I’m wearing – and a heady scent does give it away. But I do love that scent…and it’s growing on me.
When I had the beauty advisor try this on me in-store, she used a foundation brush then switched to fingers. I, too, much prefer applying this with my fingers. With light application using the fingers, this seemingly small amount of pricey product really lasts and goes a long way. I apply over my regular moisturizer – I don’t think it’s moisturizing enough on its own to be used alone. I see it more as an opportunity to add extra moisture.
I treat this as a balm, not a cream or lotion – which is why I suspect I never found this to be greasy the way that many other reviewers had. So instead of taking a dollop, I swipe my finger around the jar and apply like a balm.
Finally, this product was a hit for me in London, but different formulas are necessary for different climates because our skin changes with the weather. I suspect that in Asia, I’ll be using this less.
Added perk: it has SPF 25. This may be interesting to some, but for me, I put on my regular SPF 50 Shu Uemura Sunblock regardless, because, well, I’ve just been trained that way.