What is with PB and highlighters recently eh? A couple of weeks back, I told you about a liquid highlighter that had me absolutely head over heels over it, and this week, I’m going to show you yet another highlighter-type product. Ok, so this one doesn’t call itself a highlighter, but an illuminating balm, and there is a difference. It means you are justified owning both! LOL!
The Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm popped on the scene some time last year, and straddles the line between the Bobbi Brown makeup and skincare ranges. You will notice this from 2 things – the name (the Bobbi Brown Extra label usually encompasses the skincare range) and the product description (Moisture Balm).
This isn’t a primer, nor is it technically a highlighter. What it is, if you can imagine, is like a moisturiser that illuminates your skin so it looks brighter, radiant and better. It’s like faking good skin when you don’t really have great skin or are feeling a little blah that particular day. It’s not a must have, because it’s not a life-changing skincare item, but it is most certainly nice to have! 🙂
Does this Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm take the place of your regular moisturiser? Perish the thought! Well, it might, if you’re in a hurry (it certainly is moisturising) but I’m a stickler for using a proper range of skincare, and keeping skin enhancers like this one, in the makeup category – like BB or CC cream, or anything that claims to make your skin look better… with makeup. This means it goes on after all your skincare and sunscreen.
And that’s what this is, to a degree.
The Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm squirts out a creamy texture, with an obvious iridescence and shimmer to it. When blended, fairly thickly, you can see how the patch of skin looks more reflective and “illuminated”. In a sense, this then functions a lot like a highlighter.
The shade is a very pale gold, which adds some warmth and shine, but what I like about this, is that it isn’t too shimmery or shiny when you apply to your skin. Because of the fairly creamy texture, I find that gives skin a bit of a hydration boost, and feels soft and supple. The very fine pearlized shimmer smooths out to give skin a very subtle radiant sheen that tricks the eye into seeing healthy, radiant skin, without seeing the shimmer.
There are a few ways you can use the Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm, all of which I’ve tried with varying degrees of success:-
- Wear on its own to give the appearance of healthy, luminous skin – The fine pearlized shimmer lifts the complexion without making it look frosty or shiny, and gives skin a luminosity that is at once natural, yet fakes an uplifted complexion. Perfect for days when your skin feels a little dull but you don’t feel like wearing any makeup.
- Wear it under foundation to add a subtle glow – If you wear this under a thin layer of foundation, it adds some oomph to the foundation, especially if your foundation might make your skin look a little flat.
- Blend it with foundation to add luminosity – A little dollop not only smooths out foundation due to the creamy texture, but the fine shimmer also adds luminosity that turns most liquid foundations to a glowy texture
- Wear it over foundation to add highlight – You can also dab a little on your skin as you would a highlighter, to add a little shine where you want it.
My favourite way to use this is either on its own, or blended with foundation. I like the effect, which is a little less glowy than the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. However, I will caution that due to the texture, this product will be best appreciated by the dry skinned gals. If you have oily skin you could wear it on your cheeks, but personally, I’d skip it because the texture might feel potentially heavy on your skin as it wears through the day. If you have drier skin however, like me, then you might like this, because it not only acts as a highlighter, it gives skin an additional boost of moisture that keeps it from drying out under makeup 🙂
Another thing I like is the packaging. The pump twists up, which makes it very portable and unlikely for covers to fall off and have your makeup bag filled with shimmery lotion. But most importantly, the pump is easy to control so you can dispense just the right amount, which in this case is “Not too much!” A little goes a long way, and we could all do with some subtlety!
It’s taken me over a year to come around to telling you just how much I like this, but I suppose, better late than never eh? 😀 It’s very nice, and I like it very much, but the price does prohibit me from telling you to run to your nearest Bobbi Brown counter. I personally feel that the RM245 | US$65 asking price is a bit steep, no matter if you list this as a makeup or skincare item. It’ll be hard to justify buying it, I’d absolutely agree!
IN A NUTSHELL
The Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm is a creamy moisturizer texture that has very fine pearlized pale gold shimmer that gives skin an illuminated, radiant, healthy effect. While it does feel moisturising and very comfortable, especially on drier skin, I’d put this in the makeup category, so I’d use this only after all my actual skincare and sunscreen. I like wearing this on its own to give skin a little boost, and to trick the eye into seeing better and more rested skin than I may actually have, or to blend it with foundation. I don’t find it as shiny or shimmery as most liquid highlighters, and the creamy texture does make it feel more comfortable on skin than most pure highlighters, but I will still peg this one for makeup. Not an everyday cream, but a nice boost to the skin. Which you might need once you pale at the asking price 😛
PROS: Creamy texture feels comfortable on skin, Skin feels moisturised and supple, Highlighting effect is subtle, Versatile use, Pump is easy to control dispensation of product, Portable packaging
CONS: Pricey, Confusing categorization which might lead people to actually use this as moisturiser when it should be treated as a makeup product
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who has drier skin and wants to use a highlighter/illuminating product that feels comfortable on drier skin, Anyone who wants a highlighter/illuminator that is subtle
PRICE: RM245 | US$65 for 30ml
AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown stores and counters nationwide, BB Online, Sephora, Nordstrom
If you’re keen to know what’s in there, here’s the ingredient list
Do note that like all highlighter products, a little goes a long way unless you want to look like a discoball, or like you fell face first into a bucket of glitter. Neither is very flattering. So it will go a long way due to how little you use each time. Can this justify the price? I don’t know, it’s still pretty steep!
Have you tried this Illuminating Moisture Balm? Do you have a favourite highlighter?
In fact, do you even use highlighters? I used to be terrified of them, because a lot out there do look quite frosty on skin and it’s not terribly flattering. When it’s as hot where you are as it is here, shiny rarely equates with radiant, it usually means oily and sweaty! LOL! 😀 But this one’s nice and subtle, the way all highlighters should be.
6 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
ML Chan says
I think this is possibly the best explanation of the product, how to use it and why you should use it! Even I’m finding this super handy! Now where’s MY bottle… I know I stashed it somewhere… darn it.
Paris B says
Haha glad to have been of service! I do like it a lot – hope you find it as useful!
Esther Yeong says
Hi Paris, I’m just curious, will you still use the Guerlain Meteorites pearl over this ? As the function and effect seems to be the same? I am so so so tempted to run over to Guerlain counter to test on the Meteorites but still struggling over the price tag!!
Paris B says
Hi Esther, no I won’t as it might end up looking too shimmery. On days when I don’t wear my Meteorites, I wear the Hourglass Diffused powder, as that has less shimmer and gives a better finishing than Meteorites 🙂 If it’s any consolation, the prices will only go UP! 😛 But if you can wait, wait till Sephora does their member sales at 20% off then pick one up then! Shh… don’t say I told you to 😉
The Extra line usually for dry skin, I think, and I always expect the products quite expensive compare to the rest of Bobbi Brown skincare or makeup. So I use the products when I have no other option or at my driest skin, hehe.
I like your options of using this moisture balm alone or mix with foundation. I think for events or special moments when you want to shine (illuminating pun LOL), this is a good idea for those who want to do less hassle with makeup like me, haha. I don’t trust myself with putting highlighter or do magic with so many makeup steps so this sounds like a simple approach 🙂
To be honest, currently I just put on my sunblock and/or foundation stick and pressed powder when I go dressed up. Put on light shimmer eyeshadow, slightly thicker eyeliner than daily look and smokey mascara for more oomph eye looks and my trusty pinkish purplish lipstick. Even skip blush as this year is my lazy blush and bronzer LOL I did this in a wedding last weekend and got compliments on how pretty I was 😉
Paris B says
You know what Fathin, you are absolutely right about the Extra line being for drier skin. I really should pay notice to things like this LOL! Actually, you don’t even need this for special occasions, just whenever you don’t want to look too flat. I find this plays very well with her Skin foundation and even the Serum foundation. Just to add that bit of oomph! you know 🙂 It sounds like you’ve got your makeup look sorted which is wonderful! On lazy days I even skip my eyes altogether 😛 Just draw in a thick eyeliner and go haha!