Not all glow-giving products get it right. (Too much sparkle! Too little dewiness!) Leave it to Chanel to create a multitasking balm that creates flawless radiance.
Written By ANNIE TOMLIN
What’s in a name? In the case of Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick — Chanel’s multitasking, glow-imparting makeup stick — the answer is simple: confidence. After all, if you’re going to put the French word for essential in a beauty product’s name, it had damn well better be one of those how-did-I-ever-live-without-this miracle workers.
And this deceptively simple-looking stick fits that bill, according to our Violet Code committee of testers, who gave unanimous praise for it. “If I’m going to narrow my kit down to the bare essentials, this is crucial,” says legendary makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who uses it on clients like Margot Robbie. “Absolutely crucial.”
But what is it about this hydrating balm that stands out from others? For one thing, it brings an incredible glow to lips, eyes, skin, and body. There’s also the texture. (Heavenly.) It’s smooth and silky, allowing it to glide over skin gracefully before blending seamlessly. It feels utterly weightless, yet it’s hydrating enough to make dryness disappear. As though this sensorial pleasure was not enough, there’s the fact that the three shade options create a holy trinity of radiance unlike any other.
In Sculpting, a pearlescent champagne color, the glow is subtle and sophisticated. No sparkles, no glitter, no inadvertent tribute to the too-frosty luminizers of the early 2000s. Just an alluring highlight. Transparent, a clear balm, creates a dewy, pigment-free finish that looks glassy and fresh. And new for summer, Golden Light is a desert-inspired veil of bronze, imparting a semi-sheer, sun-kissed warmth that flatters all skin tones.
The uses are limited only by your imagination. Wear it alone, to accent cheekbones, as a subdued lip treatment, to highlight the clavicle, or as eye color. Or borrow some of Dubroff’s favorite red-carpet techniques by mixing Transparent with cream blush to help diffuse the pigment; the same goes for blending the sheer balm with an eye pencil to create a cream eyeshadow. (“It won’t alter the color, just the texture,” she notes approvingly.) Another of her pro tricks: Place a touch of balm on the center of the eyelid to make eyeshadow catch the light and look more alive.
So while it does take a certain boldness to anoint your product as “essential,” in this case, it's fully warranted. But don't just take our word for it; witness the commentary from the world's most discerning makeup artists, below. They call it essential. And once you see what one little swipe can do, you'll be doing the same.
“Hands down, my favorite Chanel product of the past few years. It’s just as useful on lips and brows as it is for cheekbones and décolletage.” —KATE LEE, Makeup Artist
“I love this silky glowy balm — there’s nothing niftier than a universal stick! Apply directly onto cheeks or use fingertips to add a luminous bounce to cheekbones, lids, or lips for a modern, refreshed look.” —JO BAKER, Makeup Artist
“My go-to for adding a natural-looking highlight on cheekbones, the center of lids, brow bones, anywhere! It’s an excellent choice for adding sheen without the weight and making skin look like skin, but better.” —PATI DUBROFF, Makeup Artist
“This has become a kit staple for me! All three shades are must-haves. Transparent imparts radiance to cheekbones that mimics freshly moisturized skin, the Sculpting shade adds glow plus a very subtle pearlescence, and Golden Light lends a warm dewiness.” —BEAU NELSON, Makeup Artist
As with every product on VIOLET GREY, Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick reached our shelves once a minimum of 70 percent of testers deemed it a winner. At that time, we added it to our skin care edit with the Violet Code’s official stamp of approval.