My one exception is theBalm's BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer in Lighter than Light.
Like most of theBalm's packaging, the box is adorned with a sexy white lady acting all sexy-like. The drawings on theBalm's packaging sometimes read as "tacky" to me, but I think this one is pretty cute, even if they did miss an opportunity to have different drawings on the different shades, reflecting the skin tone the product in question matches. (I concluded a while back that theBalm's packaging design team has never gone outside and noticed that not only do non-white people exist, the brand is presumably trying to sell things to them.)
The tube inside is a massive 2.15 fluid ounce squeeze tube with a handy cap that prevents too many microbes from migrating and having little microbe babies in my makeup.
I also have to give theBalm props for keeping their entire color range consistent across products. Their concealer, foundation, and tinted moisturizer all come in the same shades. As a primarily online makeup shopper, I find that so fucking convenient. It's very frustrating when brands decide that they're going to randomly completely change their available shades based on the product. I can't imagine the thought process: "Hm. People who need foundation are all pink-toned and need at least 15 shades to find a good match, but people who need concealer are all yellow-toned and only need four shades. Because of reasons."
Lighter than Light is a fair shade. It's much yellower than I am, but I am essentially the color of a pink oil pastel, so that's not super meaningful for the neutral-toned among you. (I suspect that it does lean warm-toned in general.) Still, when it's all blended out, it hardly makes me look jaundiced at all, so, in this sheer product, the yellow undertone is probably not going to be match-prohibitive for most.
|TheBalm Lighter than Light in blended and unblended swatches.|
The finish is on the dewey side of natural.
To give you a sense of the coverage, here's my face with only sunscreen on my skin:
And here's how I look post-tinted moisturizer (nothing else):
Throw a concealer on top and this works well for casual makeup days. It's the makeup equivalent of flip flops: comfy, easy, and low-maintenance.
I do have one last gripe: the SPF 18 seems like such an afterthought to me. First off, no one's applying enough tinted moisturizer to get even that paltry sun protection. Secondly... SPF EIGHTEEN? That's super low. Given that the active ingredients are chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate, Avobenzone, and Octisalate) which can be irritating for some, it seems that they're excluding those who have to stick to physical sunscreens in favor of what's essentially a marketing gimmick, rather than real protection.
TheBalm's BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer retails for $25 for 2.15 fl oz, putting it a budget-friendly $11.63 per ounce.