I’m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Loving You Lately: Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (Full Review)

Hey everyone! I've sort of forgotten about this (supposedly) weekly series of mine, but here we're back with something that's been brightening up my days... as well as my face!


Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, HKD 298 / 50ml.

theee Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.

Overhyped, much? A lot of people would agree. This is one of those ultra-polarizing products where a lot of people have so many good things to say about it (It's all-in-one! It does everything! It solves all my skin woes!) yet on the other hand, a lot of people detest it (It's rubbish! It gives me balls of dead skin! It smells bad and does nothing!)

With those contradicting reactions, I thought it'd be super important for me to pitch in my own thoughts.


HKD 298 based on Sasa online. I, again, cannot list nor remember the actual price I got it for from Sasa retail. Fabulous me again kept all my shopping receipts to take home to Manila (for reference!) only to throw them out before I could jot anything down. Second year in a row that I did this, guys!

I kept seeing these in Sasa and Bonjour but never in the actual Clarins counters. I asked around the Pacific Mall Clarins counter and the attendant said that the Beauty Flash Balm is being phased out. Does anyone have the story on this?

Product Description:

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Tube

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm does not have a traditional description nor prescribed use. From the label, it merely says "brightens, tightens" as opposed to primer, moisturizer or whatever. The instructions state that you may also use it as a facial mask, to be left on for 10-15 minutes.

This balm is peach-colored with a synthetic alcohol scent but it spreads colorless and odorless. It holds its own shape when squeezed out but it's not as goopy as that implies. It actually feels very watery and runny, and can be spread easily using a feather-light touch. There's no suffocating feeling but there is a certain wetness upon application that goes away in about ten to twenty seconds.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Swatch: Dotted and Spread

How to Use:

I've read reviews of Flash Balm being disgusting on the face, due to its tendency to ball up in gooey bits. Krysty of Vain Jane Writes, whose rave review pushed me to buy this, wrote the highly informative feast of information I needed to avoid useless CBFB despair.
  • As a skin pick-me-up
Clarins tells you to smooth a thin layer all over the face down to the décolleté. OBEY. BEHAVE. Do not try to overdo it through excessive quantity nor excessive pressure. It will ball up and leave you looking fuggity fug fug. Just be guided by the texture of the balm. Once you've wetted enough of your face, that's fine. No need to layer.

I use about a pea-sized dollop for my entire face.
  • As a mask
Spread a reasonably thick layer over your face, enough for you to be able to say there's something actually sitting on your face. It's pretty runny and absorbs easily so if your skin is parched like mine, the first few bits of product will be lapped up thirstily by your pores.

Remove after 10-15 minutes.

  • As a skin pick-me-up
Thankfully, what seems to be a very limiting manner of application works just as fine for me. It's how I apply junk to my face anyway: thinly and lightly. A lot of Clarins detractors report that balling up issue, which I feel only happens when you put too much or rub too hard. It's never been a problem for me. 

How do I love this product? Let me count the ways. My favorite use is as a skin pick-me-up. If you follow my blog closely, you might have noticed that one of my major skin complaints is dryness and sallowness. Straight out the shower and with freshly applied sunblock, of course this is not a problem. I head to the office looking as fab as can be.

After four hours, or by the time lunch rolls by, a rancid transformation takes place.

Me in the morning vs. Me at lunch time (source)

I go from Betty Bright to Zombie Zusan (sorry, had to make it work.) I use face mists midday but it only brightens me up for about five minutes. By the time I'm back in this drying, air-conditioned skin-killer of an office, people say hello to Zombie Zusan once more.

By February of this year, I ran out of face mist and started using CBFB and it's just... different. When I use it I look like what I looked like four hours prior: dewy, glowy, bright and fresh, with all my flakies matted down. I've used CBFB in sweatier conditions, too, and it still works just as amazing in refreshing my haggard face. True to its word, CBFB leaves me bright and tight whether applied on dry or mucky skin.

So then I wonder, am I just attributing too much to this little balm or is it really the miracle worker I think it is? I don't know half the ingredients in this list but it's an interesting mix of drying agents (rice starch, third on the list), disinfectants (octyldodecanol, an alcohol), humectants (glycols) and moisturizers (glycerin.) Basically, everything your skin needs when it's freaking out.

I theorize that the starch features heavily in sloughing off midday funkiness, while the alcohol disinfects and tones. I assume there's enough moisturizer from the rest of the ingredients to keep you dewy.

What I'm trying to say is: I think it's a cleanse-tone-moisturize routine bottled up into one.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm Review
  • As a primer
It is not outright recommended as a primer but I've heard of some people trying to use it as such. It doesn't smoothen nor blur anything like normal silicone primers would, but it primes the face and helps makeup stick by way of de-gunkifying and moisturizing.

I still use it prior to makeup, but I don't consider it a primer even though it extends my makeup wear.

  • As a mask
I never use it as a mask. I think it's wasteful. This thing is too precious and with the looming discontinuation (hope I'm wrong here!) I'd rather use actual skincare for that.

Lasting Power:

I usually use it around four hours after initial makeup application, and I don't find myself looking nasty even up to dinner time, which is around six hours after. I've never tried it during a formal event (i.e. with long-wearing makeup) and I don't think I should muck up such a heavyset foundation with this runny balm.

I'm not sure if it will evenly revive caked foundation or if it will mess up your makeup. Has anyone tried?


Long-lasting freshness you can't get from face mists.


Yes! Forever and ever until I can find a cheaper alternative! Please let this not be permanently discontinued. I sincerely hope Clarins is just repackaging this thing uhuhuhu.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Beauty by Tellie score: 5 / 5 - Trusted by Tellie

So far, I haven't found a skincare routine to completely address my sallowness and dullness. I've tried a few products that have worked well on me and it leaves my skin looking good most of the time. I still run into bad skin days once in a while, though. HOW TO FIX?! Facial mist has only a temporary effect and once my skin goes into that funk, it will stay that way until I sweat and the heat makes me glow *snort*

I love Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for reviving my skin. It's like a waterless cleanse-tone-moisturize routine in a tube.

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