theBalm timeBalm review, swatches – Lighter Than Light, Light, Light/Medium | My staple silicone-free concealer

theBalm timeBalm anti-ageing concealer review

The product: theBalm timeBalm Anti-Wrinkle Concealer in Lighter Than Light, Light, and Light/Medium

You see timeBalm all the time on theNotice. Every tutorial, every makeup look, every shade comparison — they all (or almost all) have one secret ingredient in common: timeBalm. It’s my old standby; the only silicone-free concealer I’ve tried so far that runs light enough for my skin.

A couple weeks ago, I finished off an entire pot of this concealer, right down to the last smudge. It took me five and a half years (during which time my timeBalm somehow managed not to go off at all), but as someone who has literally never finished off a makeup product before — it was a pretty big deal for me.

theBalm timeBalm concealers

theBalm timeBalm shade comparisons

L-R: theBalm timeBalm concealer in Lighter Than Light, Light, and Light/Medium

The formula: The beeswax-based timeBalm concealer is free of silicones, parabens, and fragrances, and enriched with Vitamins A, E, and C to help combat the signs of ageing. theBalm says it’s so good for your skin that you can wear it to sleep, and while I absolutely would not recommend  this, I have admittedly done it once or twice (by accident!) with no harm done.

theBalm timeBalm Anti-Ageing Concealer Ingredients: 

Tridecyl Trimellitate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Talc, Diethylhexyl Adipate, Isoeicosane, Carnauba Wax, Beeswax, Octyldodecanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, C18-36 Acid Glycol Ester, Panthenol, Tribehenin, Ceresin, Lauroyl Lysine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Linoleic Acid, Soybean Sterols, Phospholipids, Silica, Propyl Gallate, Soybean Oil.

+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77007.

theBalm timeBalm Lighter Than Light swatch shade comparison review

theBalm timeBalm in Lighter Than Light

theBalm timeBalm light medium swatch comparison review

theBalm timeBalm in Light

theBalm timeBalm Light swatch comparison review

theBalm timeBalm in Light/Medium

The texture & wear (aka “what makes timeBalm so great”): I really love the timeBalm formula because, for a consumer product, it resembles theatre makeup quite closely. It’s a wonderfully creamy, high-coverage product, and works well for both concealing acne and covering dark circles (though it does struggle a bit with extremely dry patches and pronounced wrinkles). Because the formula blends out so beautifully, I use my timeBalm as both a foundation and a spot concealer, similarly to how something like the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer ($48 USD) would be used — but at a fraction of the cost.

I have extremely dry skin, and though timeBalm does catch on my really rough patches (I’ve yet to find anything that doesn’t), I get all day wear out of it as long as I follow up with powder. This includes morning-to-evening coverage of blemishes–I layer timeBalm with a mineral powder to cover up scars and acne–which is quite the feat!

theBalm timeBalm lighter than, light, medium swatches

theBalm timeBalm concealer comparison swatches – Lighter Than Light, Light, Light/Medium

The shades: Lighter Than Light is yellower than MAC Studio Fix Concealer in NW15. It’s similar to NC20, but pinker, and its warm undertones run more peach than orange, unlike NC20. Light is similar to MAC NW20 but just a hair darker, and runs a touch more yellow-orange than pink-peach. If you match NW20, timeBalm in Light will definitely work for you. If you match MAC NW25, Light will by way too fair for you.

I can’t for the life of me find my pot of Light/Medium (and I literally searched for three hours yesterday), but if memory serves me right, it’s darker than Light and NW20 but not as dark or orange as NW25 — the NW20-NW25 shade jump seems particularly large to my eye for some reason. I’m pretty sure Light/Medium is a little more olive and more orange/saturated (but with less peach and pink) than Lighter Than Light and Light, too.

theBalm timeBalm concealer review

The verdict?

I really, really love timeBalm. It’s the only makeup product I’ve ever used up & re-purchased, and though I’m always on the lookout for something better (something that magically hides dry patches, perhaps), I’ve yet to find anything else that meets my criteria.

I use theBalm’s timeBalm concealer as both a concealer and a foundation, and it pulls off everything from spot concealing to sheer coverage without breaking a sweat. It’s also scent-free and silicone-free, and comes in seven shades.

Availability: $18 USD at Nordstrom; in Canada, you can find theBalm at many Rexall locations. timeBalm is also available in cream foundation and liquid forms, though I haven’t had the chance to try either!

theBalm timeBalm packaging

theBalm timeBalm Concealer packaging

theBalm timeBalm shades

theBalm timeBalm Concealer reviewtheBalm timeBalm Lighter Than Light shade comparison vs old

theBalm timeBalm concealer in Lighter Than Light – new/old, before I used up the old one!

theBalm timeBalm Lighter Than Light swatches - old and new

My new & old pots were a slightly different shade; thankfully, not so dissimilar to make a difference when worn.

theBalm timeBalm concealer ingredients

theBalm timeBalm ingredients

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  • mostlysunnybunny

    Hey Rae, thanks so much for the review! I'll need a new undereye concealer soon, and this sounds so promising! I can find the brand in my town now as well. Definitely going to look into it!
    My recent post It’s Time to Join the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Revolution!

  • I love TIme Balm! Such great coverage and smoothness. I do like a bit more brightness though and need to find another product to wear with it. This is my go-to when my skin is feeling dry or if I don't have time for eye cream.
    My recent post Inspired by Victoria’s Secret Model Alessandra Ambrosio

  • beautyreflections2013

    I have one and it is pretty good! But I can't use it under my eyes-I'm too OLD Rae hahaha.
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    • Aww, Tracy! You will never be old in my eyes! Not with hair as cool as yours, at least. :D

  • Wow I have never heard of this before! I probably couldn't use under my eyes (starting to get wrinkles ACK!) but you say it can cover acne scars well? I'm so intrigued!

    • It covers acne better than acne scarring, but I use it for both! For scarring (because my scars are so much darker than my skin) I layer it with a powder concealer a shade lighter than my skin — the two of them together will last long into the evening :)

  • scoo06

    The blue packaging is so cute! I don’t really understand why they would put them in pots.. that usually makes all such products very messy and unhygienic..

    • This texture literally couldn't be packaged in any other way! Way too solid for a squeeze-tube; far too soft in the summer for a stick.

  • I am a huge fan of theBalm but I can't believe I've never tried these before! Gonna go swatch these the next time I'm in stores!
    My recent post Marcelle Eyebrow Pen: Review and Swatches

  • This sounds amazing and the price is pretty incredible since it lasted you so long!
    My recent post My first custom nail polish c/o IndiePolish

    • I know!! And I use this all over — it's crazy how wonderfully pigmented this stuff is.

  • Esmeralda L

    I definitely need to find where to buy this in my country. This looks really nice and I still need a good concealer.

  • Liz

    I had Light/Medium for about 3 years? and recently tossed it because I thought it was too old. Wah! Just made a bin dive into the empties bag but apparently I tossed it into the regular garbage for some reason. WOE. But I still have Medium which actually suits me better. Light/Medium always looked too pale/cool for me, and I'm about NC25-35ish. I wish there were more shades in between though, but I think that would be really difficult to insert given the current shade names, lol.
    My recent post Ogle Friday: Milani Rose Powder Blushes (LE)

    • Noooo! Sorry to hear that, Lizbob! But I'm glad you still have Medium.

      I'd love to see more shades in this range, too, but I think they offer a pretty good number of them considering the size of the company!

  • Alison

    You'll never believe this, Rae! I must have been falling asleep to theNotice because I recently had a dream that I was at my old school campus and I left, went out into the carpark, and you were there, casually leaning on your car… applying timebalm. No lie.

    • THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. I can't believe you dream about me. I can't believe you dream about me and timeBalm, which is exactly how I've always wanted to be thought of. :D :p :p :p

      Yesterday I dreamed about fish. It was not as cool.

      • Alison


        Ahahahahaha, happy to have put a smile in your day. :P It was a very fun dream, especially since that part was basically about makeup squealing.

        Hah, I'm curious! What in particular about fish? I remember having a dream once about those frogs that communicate via sign language (they live near noisy waterfalls) but never once about fish.

  • truecolorjoy

    how are you applying this in your under eye area? i have this too but find it a too dry to blend out as easily as i would like in the under eye area. i do, however, love this on top of my eye primer on eyelids as a neutralizer.
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    • Just with a brush! Fingertips work well, too — but the trick is to pat gently and quickly, rather than to try and push the product around.

      If it's still too dry for you, try letting the product "cook" while you put the rest of your makeup on — apply the right amount under your eyes, and let it warm to skin temperature before blending it out with a brush. (Pick something fluffy or dense; I don't find that traditional foundation brushes work very well with the timeBalm formula!)

  • Arielle

    lighter than light looks like it'll work great for me. I also have really dry skin and do the concealer as foundation thing as well. So I'll DEFINITELY be trying this out!

  • kristen

    Sigh! Well, now I want it. Silicone free? Similar to KA SSE only cheaper? Silky yet covers blemishes with the best of 'em? Sign me up! And kudos to you for finishing a concealer! My pan-loving heart fluttered! <3
    My recent post MAY FAVES! ❤

    • :D Thanks, Kristen! I was pretty proud :P

      (I have to note, though: similar to SSE in function, not in texture! I haven't tried the KA yet–ONE DAY–but I believe it's much creamier and more pigmented!)

  • glittergeek

    Oh my gosh throwback!

    This was the first ever product review I read on theNotice many many years ago and bought as a result. I almost can't believe you still use it! I do remember it being really excellent. :)
    My recent post Fresh 5-Minute Face with NARS Adult Swim Collection for Summer 2014

    • No way!!! :o :o Man, that review is OLD now.

      Thanks for sticking around for so long, lady :) <3

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