If your vanity is looking a little crowded these days, we may have just found the perfect product to help pare down your routine. Introducing the Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm, a product that may help streamline your early morning, get-ready regimen once and for all. What with all the creams, serums, essences, and whatever else you slap on your face on a daily basis, this is a game-changer.
The argan oil–based (and Allure Best of Beauty–winning) skin-care brand recently launched a multipurpose, argan- and shea butter–packed product that touts itself as a “skin finisher and primer,” and it’s already one of the top-selling products at Sephora. (Don’t believe us? Here’s proof.)
But what exactly is a skin finisher? According the brand, it seals and sets your makeup look, leaving you with a flawless finish, but it can also be used as a primer under your makeup. Pretty cool, huh? We thought so, too, which is why we put the balm to the test, and the results were more than we’d hoped for.
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First of all, the Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm works on just about every skin type, which is especially great news for those with sensitive skin (like me), and combats that prewinter dryness we’ve come to expect this time of year. Because I was slightly hesitant to apply the product after my makeup, I started off slowly, applying the cream as a primer before my BB cream and concealer. I found that the balm immediately absorbed into my skin, creating a soft matte texture just as a traditional primer would.
After a couple days, I finally mustered up the courage to put it over my makeup. Applying it in a gentle tapping motion—as to not disrupt my BB cream and concealer—I found it had a similar effect as when used as a primer, drying down to a velvety-smooth finish. And surprisingly, something that looks so shiny in the jar actually seemed to tamp down the oil on my cheeks and around my T-zone. Who would have thought? The balm has a nice, unexpected side effect, too: Whether used over your makeup as a “finisher,” or under your makeup as a primer, the sheen of the formula actually acts as a subtle, totally natural-looking highlighter when the light hits your cheekbones in just the right spot.
After an entire week of use, I’m giving this multipurpose balm my official seal of approval, because for $36, you’re getting way more than just a “skin finisher”—you’re also taking home an argan oil–based primer and a luxe highlighter, all in one. What’s that phrase? Killing two birds with one…pretty rose-gold jar?