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Is the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 an A-list BB?

By now, you’ve likely heard the term “Beauty Balm” about a million times — MAC released three different BB shades as part of last summer’s Prep + Prime collection, Clinique unveiled its Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30, Estée Lauder launched its own Daywear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme SPF 30, and the list goes on. One of the most buzzed-about BB creams, however, is the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm ($32 at Sephora.com), the latest in Dr. Jart+’s ever-expanding range of beauty bams.

Now, let’s start with the basics: what IS a beauty balm? In the most basic of terms, these balms tend to hydrate the skin, even skin tone, and add a dewy finish. In other words, they incorporate both makeup and skincare elements, but they’re neither illuminators nor are they tinted moisturizers. These lightweight creams, then, are lightly tinted and offer a hint of coverage, but this veil of luminous color tends to be rather sheer, yielding a more dewy, transparent glow. Unlike creamy luminizers and highlighters, Beauty Balms do incorporate skin nourishing and conditioning ingredients, helping to moisturize the complexion, even skin tone,  provide UV protection, and smooth the complexion. But, by the same token, they don’t typically provide as much coverage as the best top-notch tinted moisturizers. Ideally, then, Beauty Balms should be used in addition to tinted moisturizers or layered under your powder or foundation.

Out of all the Beauty Balms I’ve tried, the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm is quickly skyrocketing to the top of the list. This particular formula feels deliciously cooling and soothing, as if a misty spray of water was penetrating the skin’s surface. One tiny droplet is enough to cover quite an expansive surface area — and, when you lightly massage it into the skin, the complexion absorbs it readily. The hyaluronic acid  in the formula hydrates the skin and helps it retain moisture, smoothing the skin’s surface, and acting as a cushioning agent for the collagen molecules that are pivotal to overall firmness and elasticity. The formula’s sea water content, meanwhile, is packed with minerals that increase cellular metabolism and cellular turnover, helping to make skin appear supple and create the “dewy” effect we all covet. The Dr Jart+ Advanced Water Bead Technology, meanwhile, goes the extra step to assist these moisturizing ingredients in penetrating the top layers of skin. Other ingredients include aloe leaf juice and Portulaca oleracea, both of which soothe the skin, minimize redness and inflammation, and calm any topical irritations. A combination of octinoxate, octisalate, and titanium dioxide, meanwhile, act as sunscreens, protecting the skin from sun damage.

If you have dry skin, the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm feels absolutely heavenly, and it does make the complexion look more supple and luminous. Plus, the formula is completely oil-free so it won’t leave skin looking shiny or greasy (unless, of course, you’re too heavy-handed with the product, in which case the sheer amount of product might overwhelm the skin since it is, after all, an organ and can only absorb but so much moisture at one time). It’s essential, then, that you use the Water Fuse Beauty Balm sparingly — a dime-sized amount should be more than enough to cover your entire face and neck.

In terms of negatives, while the Beauty Balm is lightly tinted, it doesn’t offer a great deal of coverage so that you will, in fact, need concealer to cover up under-eye circles, blemishes, and dark spots. Also, the balm’s tint is rather fair so that it may look a bit too light on women who are in the light-to-medium tone range (it’s slightly too light for me and, though I’m Latina, I’m on the fairer side of the spectrum).

That being said, I’d recommend using the Dr Jart+ Beauty Balm with your favorite tinted moisturizer. This has become my go-to technique of choice: mixing the Tarte Amazonian Clay Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer (or the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer) with a droplet of the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm, then applying the mixture atop my skin. In the end, I have the coverage I need, along with a bit of a radiance boost. It’s the perfect combo!

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