Winter makeup is so not my thing. Not because I’m not a fan of the trends, but more because I don’t like the way that makeup looks on my face in the winter. The cold weather and general lack of sunshine turn my skin dry, lacklustre and typically covered in breakouts. Trying to get any sort of healthy-looking glow out of my complexion is usually, I would say, near-on impossible.
It is because of this that I typically shy away from makeup in the winter. Foundations sit flat on my face, making me look void of life, powders and blushers cling to dry patches, lipstick turns my lips dry and peely, and there is, I have learned, no concealer on the planet that can hide my angry winter acne.
However, when I was sat in a makeup chair a few months ago, complaining to the makeup artist that I simply can’t find a way to get makeup to work for me in the winter, something occurred to me. My problem with winter makeup all boils down to one very crucial thing: It limits my glow. And that’s when the makeup artist suggested I swap out some of my usual winter favourites for balm formulas.
While I have used some balm makeup products (such as blusher) before and loved them thanks to their skin-like finish, I hadn’t thought to ever look into what other products were out there. You see, not only are makeup balms dewy and glow-boosting, but they also melt into the skin and deliver ample nourishment, leaving skin looking naturally radiant and healthy.
After digging out every single makeup balm that I own, I can now say that I am exclusively wearing balm makeup and have officially become a winter-makeup person. So if you also struggle to get your makeup to work for you in the winter months, keep scrolling for the most glow-boosting, best balm makeup products I have found.
Not only did this product actually get me back into wearing foundation after many years of being off the stuff, but it is also now one of my favourite foundations in existence. It's quite full-coverage (which is unusual for me), but it leaves skin looking like skin. With a subtle glow and radiance to it, it's perfect for everyday wear.
This stuff came on to my radar via TikTok, where I saw various beauty buffs singing its praises. As a makeup snob, I'll admit that I was a little put off by the somewhat child-like packaging, but after using it once, I was forced to eat my words. It smooths skin and pores with unparalleled ease and doesn't look even remotely cakey.
I can't believe this product doesn't get more praise amongst beauty editors. For months, I wished there was a product like my Kevyn Aucoin Foundation Balm with a little less coverage. Then I discovered this. It has all of the skin-nourishing benefits of a tinted moisturiser with the blurring, glowy magic of a balm.
It took me a very long time to figure out how to use this product in a way that didn't leave me feeling greasy, but once I nailed it, I was hooked. Don't (as I did) apply this stuff all over your face—you will end up looking like you've been gunged. Simply break the top of the balm, warm a little up between your fingers and rub into the high points of the face for a dewy, natural-looking highlight. On days when I can't be bothered to apply a full base, it makes me feel a little more alive.
Few concealers compare to this one. It has a creamy balm texture that melts into skin seamlessly. The best bit is it doesn't have a huge amount of coverage, so when used under the eyes, it helps to brighten and take down darkness without leaving things looking two-dimensional and flat.
I have previously talked about this iconic blusher as a cream product, but after experimenting with other cream blushers, I would say that it is definitely more of a balm. It's slightly tacky and requires a little more blending than a cream, but the results are worth it—glowing, radiant and healthy-looking.
While I wouldn't recommend this highlight for everyday no-makeup makeup looks (it contains some high-impact shimmer), I wholeheartedly recommend it for winter evening makeup. Warm a little bit into the skin with your fingers, and behold out-of-this-world glow.
With hyaluronic acid and C-peptide, this lip balm plumps lips like no other (without that nasty tingly effect that so many others possess). Plus, the pigment pay-off is really impressive.