WTF Is Balmy Skin and How Do I Get It at Home?

April 23, 2020
Samantha Holender
By: Samantha Holender | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
balmy skin

If you’ve never been a glowy skin gal or a matte makeup stan, we have some good news. The makeup rulers have declared a new aesthetic for 2020 that falls smack dab in the middle. Enter, balmy makeup. It’s a buttery, skin-first vibe that gives off a lit-from-within radiance sans the grease and shine. To find out just how to achieve the balmy makeup trend, we turned to celebrity makeup artist Billie Gene. Ahead, he’s sharing his tips for getting the soft and luminous face beat. 

TIP #1: Prep the Skin 

The key to executing this look is supple-looking, ultra-hydrated skin. “I like to first apply a dry face oil to the skin to help the appearance of the complexion,” says Gene. “Then, go in with your normal moisturizer and apply it all over your face.” To get skin that looks healthy and luminous without added shine or tackiness, we like to use the Maya Chia Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil and the Kiehl’s Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream

TIP #2: Highlight First

Once your skin is prepped and ready to go, apply primer on areas that are textured (read: bumps, breakouts) or are prone to shine, like the T-zone. While you would normally head for your foundation directly after, Gene recommends applying your highlighter first to achieve a subtle lit-from-within glow. “Gently apply a liquid highlighter or illuminator to the high planes of the cheeks, bridge of the nose and forehead.” We’ve been loving the Lancôme Teint Idole Custom Highlighting Drops.

TIP #3: Foundation Second

Feeling a little too shiny? Fear not, placing foundation on top of the highlighter will help tone things down. “This look is about skin, so be sure not to create a perfect matte canvas,” says Gene. “Always aim to create a butter texture rather than a matte or shiny finish.” Use foundation only as needed and opt for a lightweight, velvety one (like the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation) and apply the product with a damp beauty sponge. “You want to focus on a soft, romantic, halo skin effect rather than a glowy, dewy look that’s a bit more intense and intentional.”  

TIP #4: Powder Away Shine 

“To avoid looking greasy, simply apply your translucent powder anywhere you see unwanted shine,” says Gene. We recommend the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder for a non-cakey, shine-free finish. Another tip? Spritz your complexion with setting spray to give it a buttery soft finish. “If your skin becomes too flat throughout the day, refreshing with a setting spray always brings the skin back to the balmy state.” For a refresh, we turn to the NYX Bare With Me Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Revitalize & Set Multi-Tasking Spray

TIP #5: Finish the Look 

Balmy skin doesn’t require blush or bronzer, so feel free to take a risk with the rest of your makeup and play up other features. “You can finish with a bold lip or naked eye with great lashes,” says Gene. “If you’re a little bit more daring, try pairing the skin trend with a bold eye.”