It’s also great for cuticles!

By Braelyn Wood
Updated January 08, 2020
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As a member of the combination skin crew, I’m constantly battling to keep my skin looking fresh and dewy without the addition of an oily sheen along my T-zone that screams “I did my makeup six hours ago.” But while my nose and forehead tend to appreciate (and quickly absorb) a good dose of setting power, the rest of my skin quickly becomes overdone and stiff-looking after even the smallest bit of powder. To restore a dewy “no-makeup” glow to my skin, Honest Beauty’s Magic Beauty Balm ($12; is my go-to.

A 2016 release from Jessica Alba’s Honest skincare line, the all-purpose balm is meant for liberal application just about, well, anywhere. For me, it’s the perfect highlighter for cheek and brow bones. Unlike traditional shimmery highlighters, this oil-based balm is completely glitter-free. That means my cheek and eyebrow bones catch the light like a Glossier ad, but retain that “no makeup, makeup” look. I round it out with an extra dab on my eyelids and lips for a final look that just screams natural glow.

I not only love how this balm looks, I also adore how it makes my skin feel. The clean formula uses a combination of shea butter, natural fruit, and botanical oils (including olive, sunflower, coconut, jojoba, rosehip, and argan) to soothe and soften skin. It’s not only giving my skin a healthy glow, but also moisturizing with every application—so basically, the product that completes my everyday beauty routine is also my secret weapon against dry and irritated skin. The magic balm can really be used anywhere—while I most often use it on my face, I also employ it on my cuticles, elbows, and knuckles in the winter to give my extra-dry skin an extra barrier of protection and hydration. The unscented formula further suits the balm’s wide range of uses.

While many beauty balms can be pretty oil (since they’re mostly used on dehydrated skin), this one is not at all greasy or comedogenic (read: clogs pores). As someone prone to breakouts, I’m extremely cautious when I see a product with a long list of oils (no matter how natural). However, I’ve never experienced a breakout in areas where I’ve applied this balm. While my skin tends to react negatively to other oil-based treatments or serums, the light consistency of this balm manages to lock in moisture without clogging pores.

While you can expect one application to last throughout the day, the balm is compact enough to throw in your bag in case you want to re-apply on the go. And luckily, the sleek, lucite container looks undeniably chic on a vanity. Of course, if you’re interested in something even more compact, Honest also offers its magic balm in stick form ($15, that’s perfect for travel. It has similar ingredients, but the addition of mica adds a hint of shimmer.

Personally, I prefer the compact form because it means I can really play with where I want to apply the balm—whether that’s on the dry skin around my nose in the winter or along my collarbones. The absence of parabens, sulfates, and petroleum means I’m not worried about putting it near sensitive body parts like my eyes.


One Amazon reviewer on a similar hunt for a dewy look said they stumbled across this magical balm after trying other tricks, like vaseline or salves. “Everything was way too heavy and just felt gross,” they wrote. “This however is different. I apply it to my eyelids (on non shadow days), my nose, Cupid's bow, chin, and the tops of my cheekbones. It makes my skin look so healthy and dewy and I forget I'm wearing it.”

As the interest in glowing skin continues to take the beauty world by storm, we all find our own holy-grail products. However, I’m positive this multi-use balm will remain a staple in my makeup bag for years to come—whether I’m looking for glowing, fresh, and dewy skin or just a quick cuticle treatment.

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