I never wear foundation, but I make an exception for this tinted skin balm

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I’ve had sensitive skin my whole life. And after dealing with acne for the better part of my teens and early twenties, I’ve come to be very selective about which skin care products and brands I test out.

While I always turn to a great concealer to hide blemishes, I’m usually timid to use a foundation, fearing that it will either break me out or magnify my imperfections. However, this all changed when I tried Stila’s Tinted Moisturizer Skin Balm.

At first, upon hearing the word ‘balm,’ I was worried the product would be thick and hard to apply. However, the product’s consistency is surprisingly light and silky. Plus, it’s super buildable from sheer to medium coverage.

This balm immediately covers up my redness and blurs any blemishes without looking cakey — I love that I can still see my real skin underneath it, too. Now, it’s the very first step in my makeup routine so that I can build on a nice, even base.

On the left, I’m makeup-free. On the right, I’m wearing only the Skin Balm in the shade 1.0.
Credit: Julia Webb for In The Know

Stila’s balm is formulated with antioxidants, vitamins and other good-for-your-skin ingredients. The brand describes the product as an “innovative skin care/makeup blend.” It’s also free of fragrance, sulfates, parabens and phthalates, which my temperamental skin appreciates.

And after wearing the balm for several hours at a time on multiple occasions over the last month, I’m happy to report that it hasn’t broken me out or irritated my skin at all.

Shop: Stila’s Tinted Moisturizer Skin Balm, $32

Credit: Stila

Also available at Ulta

To apply the balm, I suggest using Stila’s Double-Ended Complexion Brush. While I normally reach for whichever brush is clean in my makeup bag, this brush is meant to be paired with the Skin Balm.

The brush has super soft bristles that are densely packed, so they glide along your skin. The larger end is great for buffing and blending, while the smaller end is perfect for applying product around your nose and eyes.

Shop: Stila Double-Ended Complexion Brush, $32

Credit: Stila

Also available at Ulta

While the balm and the brush are some of Stila’s latest launches, they both have already earned permanent spots in my makeup regime. And at $32 each, I won’t feel too bad about treating myself to a tanner shade of the balm when summer arrives.

If you liked this story, check out the skin care product one editor swears by for covering up redness.

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