The One Beauty Product That Does It All (and How to Use It)

Updated 09/23/16
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Miracle worker is not a term we use lightly. Much of our time at Byrdie HQ is spent testing out some of the most buzzed-about products and treatments, and while many of them are great—even amazing—few are downright magical. Yet there’s an oft-overlooked product that is the stuff of miracles. Oil-based salves and beauty balms (not to be confused with BB creams) can do it all: Tame flyaways and unruly brows? Yes and yes. Turn powder blush into a creamy, sheer color? Absolutely. Hydrate and soothe the driest, chapped skin? Yep.

Of course, salve is not exactly new: Smith’s cult-classic Rosebud Salve has been around since 1982, after all. But after years of putting that stuff on everything—lips, cuticles, elbows, you name it—it seems like the rest of the beauty industry has finally caught on, and now we suddenly have our pick of salves and balms galore. And when you consider the minimalist, low-key beauty look that’s sweeping the runways this fashion month and check out all the things you can do with balms below, you might realize that your makeup bag only needs to be one product deep.

Keep reading to discover 10 brilliant uses for balm!

One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm
One Love Organics

Remove Eye Makeup

We like removing our waterproof mascara with balm before tackling the rest of our face with a traditional cleanser since the former gently removes every last bit without any scrubbing or tugging while hydrating that delicate, wrinkle-prone skin around the eyes.

Jurlique Rose Love Balm
Jurlique

Soften cuticles

…or elbows, or any other particularly dry area.

Pictured: Jurlique Rose Love Balm ($12)

Rosebud Perfume Company Smith's Rosebud Salve
Rosebud Perfume Co.

Un-chap lips

Or just keep a hydrated pout in check—Smith’s pink-tinted formula offers the perfect wash of color, to boot.

Earth tu Face Face Balm
Earth tu Face

Tame flyaways

Add just a touch of balm to your fingertips and smooth that unruly hair down.

Pictured: Earth tu Face Face Balm ($68)

Poppy and Someday Sunshine Daydream Salve
Poppy and Someday 

Soften heels

Step 1: Slather your heels in balm. Step 2: Put on your softest socks. Step 3: Go to bed. Step 4: Wake up to your softest feet ever.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm
Dr. Jart+

Condition lashes and brows

You’d be amazed at the difference nourished eyelashes make, in both bare appearance and for mascara application. As for brows, the hold of a balm is more forgiving than a gel—and it adds mega definition.

Pictured: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm (Discontinued)

Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm
Bobbi Brown

Illuminate cheekbones

As we learned at New York Fashion Week, glossing up cheek and brow bones is the new way to highlight—and it makes skin look so dewy and fresh.

Glossier Balm Dotcom
Glossier

Get a glossy lid

Another NYFW favorite. Go clear, or mix with powdered shadow for a colorful take.

Pictured: Glossier Balm Dotcom ($12)

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
May Lindstrom

Make an ultra-hydrating overnight mask

This one is especially key for the cold, windy days ahead: The best remedy is covering your face in a nourishing formula before bed and letting it sink in while you sleep. Kiss angry red patches and dryness goodbye.

RMS Beauty Organic Lip and Skin Balm
RMS Beauty

Make a cream blush

To illuminate, hydrate, and add a wash of color all at once, simply mix some balm with powder blush and smooth it over your cheeks. We told you it was a multitasker!

Did we miss a great use for balm or salve? Tell us your favorite way to use it in the comments below!

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