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Kevyn Aucoin Foundation Balm
Credit: Nordstrom

I’m a bit obsessive with foundations. I mean, I spend hours reading online reviews and trying out products in stores, hoping to find one that will leave my skin glowing and even-textured. But with my combination, acne-prone skin, that’s easier said than done.

Often, full-coverage foundations leave my face looking uneven and cakey after a few hours of wear. Lighter options don’t get the job done either, as they look splotchy on my face. As for concealers, I don’t like their heavy feel. With that said, I was stunned when I found Kevyn Aucoin’s foundation balm.

Packaged with a soft flat-top brush, the foundation looked so creamy that it took strong willpower to resist eating. Since liquid foundations had previously been my go-to, I first applied the balm with a heavy hand. But with this product, a little goes a long, long way. At first, I wasn’t quite sure I matched the color with my skin (I chose Light 4.5 for the winter), but it quickly blended into my skin after a few moments. As for the brush, rather than leaving marks where each strand pressed up against my face, it blended evenly and with precision.

My skin is like a toddler in that it acts up on an hourly basis, but applying the balm was like putting a magic eraser to my face: blemishes were immediately hidden away, and my skin looked as good as any Instagram influencer’s.

Aucoin products are high quality and adored by makeup fanatics and novices alike (I consider myself in the middle of the two), so its effectiveness really shouldn’t have surprised me.

With any full-coverage foundation, I apply a setting powder around my chin and T-zone because that’s where I get the most oily; this also helps prevent makeup from getting onto my clothes. The powder-foundation combination seemed to work wonders because my foundation at the end of the day looked just as good as it did at the beginning.

Thinking that it might be a fluke, I next tested the foundation on a weekend outing, hoping to see how a day in the sun would affect the quality. A day of farmer’s markets and shopping didn’t seem to diminish what I saw previously, which solidified my admiration.

Months of using this foundation balm have taught me a few things: it applies best quickly following a moisturizer, it can double as a concealer for spot coverage on days that don’t call for full makeup, and it lasts a long, long time. I’ve barely made a dent in the balm, and I use it almost every day. I also love how it’s easy to use other with other applicators, like sponges.

For those who have combination and oily skin, or who have breakouts here and there, this balm is heaven-sent. I haven’t found a product better at hiding away zits or acne scars, and certainly not all day long.

Kevyn Aucoin Foundation Balm & Brush

This story originally appeared on RealSimple.com by Summer Cartwright.