Tried & True: Why the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Is a Makeup Bag OG
"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."
Here at T&C, we pride ourselves on our discerning eye for quality. With Tried & True, our editors will give you an inside look at the pieces they simply cannot live without.
When I started out as a beauty editor, way back in 2008, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm had an almost mythical status. It was in every backstage makeup artist’s kit at Fashion Week; and in every beauty editor’s handbag. By then, it was already a confirmed classic with a capital C: Clarins first introduced it in the 80s, and you would have been hard-pressed to find a supermodel who wasn’t devoted to it in the 90s. But somehow, somewhere, it began to get lost in the shuffle, buried beneath a deluge of newly launched products promising to do everything better than anything that had come before. Quite honestly, I forgot about it.
But then, midway through 2022, I randomly came across a tube and tucked it into my travel toiletry bag, thinking it might come in handy for perking up my flight-depleted skin when my press trip schedule got hectic. And wow, so it did. The first time I used it I had just landed in Paris after a sleepless overnight flight and needed to enact a quick spruce-up before an event. I patted it on thick, left it for only about 10 minutes, looked in the mirror and thought: What sorcery is this? Whereas only moments before I had looked sallow and sunken, fine-line-riddled and dog tired, I now looked juicy, glowy, hydrated… Alive! From that moment on, BBF became my travel BFF.
The genius of Beauty Flash Balm is that it can be used in multiple ways. First, it can be used as a mask: just apply a generous layer for about 15-20 minutes, rinse, then moisturize. Next, it can be used as a makeup primer: the trick is to apply a thin layer, then follow immediately with makeup. (Not only does it help your makeup last longer, it imparts unicorn-like luminosity. Almost every time I use it this way, I get compliments on my skin). And finally, it makes an amazing on-the-go radiance booster/refresher: Just tap it on top of existing makeup, focusing on the cheekbones, and you will immediately see youthful vivacity restored. I am sure that there are countless other tricks for using this stuff—you can mix it directly with your foundation, for example—but those are, at least, Clarins’ suggestions.
Only a few months after I had rediscovered the original, Clarins quietly relaunched Beauty Flash Balm last fall, tweaking the formulation so that now 96% of its ingredients are of natural origin. When I heard this, I was initially trepidatious, for rare is the reformulation that lives up to the original. But, good news! Beauty Flash Balm 2.0 has all the tightening, smoothing, and plumping powers of the original. It is slightly more sheer and gel-like in texture, which actually makes it easier to use under makeup, but it still has the just-right peachy tint that makes skin sing. I’m now pretty soap-boxy about this product. In an era when, let’s face it, there are far too many skincare “solutions” cluttering our shelves and vying for our attention, Claris Beauty Flash Balm remains a Holy Grail: something that really, truly works.
You Might Also Like