Time Balm Concealer Blows Dark Circles Away

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

After using The Balm’s Time Balm Concealer for about a month, I gotta say — this stuff is totally legit (too legit to quit, even!).


It’s already replaced Dior Sculpt as my Numero Uno concealer love, making it worthy of a celebratory head bang (insert flying hair, rocking head and sign of the beast [HERE]).

Oh, Time Balm, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

First, price, which at $18 is $13 less than a tube of Dior Sculpt. Sure, neither one is drugstore-level affordable, but $18 sounds a lot better than $31 (and that extra $13 could go toward a tube of something wonderful like MAC Nymphette… I’m just sayin’.)

Time Balm Concealer in Medium

Yet price isn’t even the main reason I heart this tamer of dark circles so much. Quality is. In just about every way, I give Time Balm the edge over Dior Sculpt.

Time Balm: The Deets

Available in six shades from light to medium-dark (find them at Sephora), this cream concealer comes in a wee pot with a screw-on top and an applicator sponge. SIDE NOTE: I actually ditched the sponge, finding it a little too small for me and difficult to use. I prefer to apply and buff it with a foundation brush.

One issue I often have with concealers is how many will settle into my fine lines and look obvious after a few hours of wear. I’ve struggled to find ones that appear to blend into my skin, as opposed to sitting directly on top of it.

Dior Sculpt fits that bill. It always did a great job of covering up my dark circles, but after a few hours of wear it starts to fade and find its way into my fine lines.

Time Balm, on the other hand, hates my fine lines and avoids them like the plague (a BIG PLUS for this 30-something girl!). Not only does the formula start out the day strong, covering up my circles, but I think it stays truer, longer, hardly fading at all throughout the day.

On me, the Dior lasts about eight hours before going kaput; I’d say Time Balm lasts up to 12. Oh, and if you’re prone to waterworks (like I am from time to time), Time Balm has stayed put through mountains of tears.


I DO wish the packaging looked cuter, but overall I think it’s a fantastic, seemingly natural, full-coverage concealer for dark circles. LOVE IT! Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. H. says:

    definitely worth checking out! what shade did you use, Karen?

  2. H. says:

    never mind. it says medium. i can be such a space cadet sometimes! lol

      • H. says:

        that’s what happens when you start writing an essay the day before it’s due! at least i had little bit of an outline and im almost done typing it! lol.

        btw, how’s the consistency of this concealer? i usually use MAC select coverup, as i like the consistency. i do notice that it tends to cease under the eyes after a while. maybe The Balm’s concealer will be the right one!



        • Karen says:

          LOL! 🙂 I know that feeling all too well.

          MAC Select is a liquid, so it’s thinner and more like a lotion. I used to use it a few years ago and the creasing issue happened to me, too.

          Time Balm is thicker and creamier — more like a cream blush!

  3. mkdallas says:

    That’s pretty impressive. Is it pretty easy going on, i.e. enough slip but not too much? I’ve actually been using the Cargo Onebase (concealer/foundation in a tube with a wand applicator) I nabbed 1/2 price at Sephora last week and I’m also impressed with that. Love your blog…thanks for all the tips and reviews!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, I’ve been tempted by that Cargo product many times. Maybe I should go and see if I can snag one…

      In regards to application, yes, it applies perfectly. It’s much easier to manipulate than other cream concealers I’ve tried.

  4. Devs says:

    Perfect Timing! I was just on the Sephora website and looking up reviews wondering whether or not I should get this. I guess is should! Thanks for the review.

  5. Ooh, maybe I’ll try this. I can’t decide between this and bobbi brown tinted eye brightener, but it’s just so pricey!
    .-= scarlettholly’s last blog post… Puppy Shot of the Day =-.

  6. Toni says:

    Oh, this is totally something I need! I have dark circles and have been using lightweight concealers, because anything heavy looked bad and cakey and settled in fine lines. I will definitely have to check this out!

    Thanks for the info!

    • Karen says:

      Sure thing! 🙂

      Oh, what brush are you using to apply your concealers? I switched to a foundation brush and it has made a world of difference.

      • Toni says:

        Karen, I don’t use a brush – I just use my fingers or I use a sponge. Does using a brush help? I think I have one from my MAC SE eye brush set from the Holiday 2009 collection. I’ll have to give a brush a try. I also want to try using a brush for applying my foundation as well.


        • Karen says:

          It makes a huge difference for me… I think the finish is less heavy and natural when I use a foundation brush (as opposed to fingers or a tiny concealer brush). 🙂

  7. This has been on my wishlist for a while. Maybe it’s time I gave in and went and got it. I’m always hearing nothing but great reviews.
    .-= SoVeryFabulous’s last blog post… LUSH Oatifix Face Mask Review =-.

  8. Tracy says:

    Sounds wonderful. So here’s my problem. I have allergies, therefore I’m always blowing my nose (yeah nice – I know). So anyway – I have a lot of redness around my nose, and I can’t find anything that seems to hold up. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but I always end up undoing whatever I apply around the nose to cover the redness. Any ideas??? Do I need to just keep re-applying??

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy, Maybe start with a primer first to give the products on and around your nose some extra staying power. As for holding up to the friction of tissue, this will probably stand up well, but ultimately, if there’s a lot of rubbing going on, you’ll still have to reapply.

  9. Arianne says:

    Hellz yah Time Balm! This stuff is for serious circles. Love that it gets an A+. 🙂
    .-= Arianne’s last blog post… Beauty Blog Link Love =-.

  10. Nina says:

    *** raises hand *** — i am in serious need of a good concealer just about now. my clinique and neutrogena reliables are not working for the dark circles i have….

    worth checking outk indeed!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hey Nina! If your circles are really super dark you might also want to pick up a color corrector. It’s a little extra work but it’ll definitely hide the most unruly dark circles!

      • Sasha says:

        Hi Karen, im looking for the best dark circles concealer thank god i found your blog. Anyways i really do have one of the worst dark circles in the world(lol). i think im born with it and when i have lack of sleep, it gets no better. Anyway you mentioned to Nina she might need color corrector. i really dont know much about make up so i wanna know whats the best color corrector there is which is not too pricey and where can i buy it. i dont care if its extra work, as long as it’ll work for me. thanks!

  11. julie says:

    Thanks for the review, Karen! I know I’ve asked earlier, so this is helpful! I’m also loving this concealer and I agree it does not settle in lines like others do!

  12. Vonvon says:

    Tried this before during theBalm makeover. Totally Agreed with you, Karen!
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… The Robinsons Sale: Exclusive Cardmembers’ Preview Sale 27 & 28 January 2010 =-.

  13. sunmom says:

    some say that this concealer is difficult to blend, is it? and does the content of the jar dry up fast?

    • Karen says:

      I haven’t had any trubs blending. It’s seems a lot easier to blend in comparison to other concealers I’ve tried, like MAC’s and Laura Mercier’s.

      As for dry out, I’m not sure yet. I’ve only had mine for a month, so we’ll see!

      Has anybody had any issues with Time Balm drying out? Please share!

  14. jen says:

    You do NOTTTTT look 30 something! And OMG THIS CONCEALER SOUNDS AMAZINGGGG. As much as I shouldn’t I am totally heading to Sephora tomorrow to check it out. Do you think it would work for blemishes on my face as well or is it strictly for undereyes?

    • Karen says:

      Aww, thanks. 🙂 Yes, if you can find a shade that matches your skin this should definitely work on blemishes. Just be sure to buff out the edges so it doesn’t look too obvious.

      Oh – and you might want to see if your Sephora offers samples! I always ask the makeup artists for a sample before buying concealers. That way I can take it home and live with it for a few days. Plus, it’s a good way to test how it looks in natural light!

  15. Nancy says:

    This is definitely my HG concealer!! I’ve been using it in mid-medium for 2 years. That shows some commitment. LOL I buy backups every year during the Sephora FF sale.
    .-= Nancy’s last blog post… A Little Late =-.

    • Karen says:

      That’s a good idea! I’m going to put it on my list for the next one (a keep a running one, LOL… it’s hella long).

      Have you tried the foundation? I’m kinda tempted!

  16. amy says:

    I used to use this up until I finished it up and started using MAC Studio Sculpt. I really like this concealer too and I might go back to it eventually.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… FOTD Golds, Greens, Purple and Hot Pink Lips using Nars Schiap Lipstick and Nars Easy Lover Lipgloss =-.

  17. Lana says:


    I went to Clinique to get that make up remover balm you told us about a little while back. And you know what?! It was sold out! In Edmonton! Tiny Edmonton! I probably could have checked out Holt Renfrew, but I feel like a bull in a china shop when I am in there. So afraid I am going to knock something over, break it and have to buy it. And then I’ll be banned from the store forever. Anyways, I’m going to say it was because of your post that it sold out at the Bay Clinique counter. Now I have to wait! 🙁

    • Karen says:

      Oh noes! Hmm… we gotta think of a way to tide you over, LOL! Do the sales associates give out samples? Maybe if you ask one of them can make a little jar for you just so you can try it.

      On the other hand, that’s a good sign that it’s sold out. I guess a lot of women love it, too! 🙂

  18. Stacie says:

    I love this concealer! I found mine on sale at JC Penney for $8–score! It has replaced Benefit’s Erase Paste as my HG, since it plays well with my Bare Escentuals, and the Benefit didn’t. The Erase Paste was much stickier, also. But this stuff is fantastic!

    • Karen says:

      What a deal! The bargain hunter in me is deeply jealous of your $8 find, LOL!

    • Melessa says:

      ooo im glad to hear that, i currently use bare minerals. i try other foundations and always seem to end up back at B.E.
      but idk the color i have now seems too dark and the next one down seems too light. i feel i have to pack it on everywhere and cant just conceal a few spots cause the color doesnt match. maybe this concealer will let me do that and be able to just do a light dusting of foundation

  19. yasmin says:

    Right now I use Touche Eclat – how does this compare to it, Karen?

    • Karen says:

      Hey Yasmin! I prefer this one, but that’s because my circles are pretty dark. I’ve tried Touche Eclat in the past and I didn’t really feel like it had enough oomph for me. Are you liking it? Because if it works for you maybe stick with it… this might be overkill.

      • yasmin says:

        It generally works for me just to generally brighten the area rather than cover circles…Which on me aren’t too bad unless I have clearly not gotten enough sleep…sounds like maybe I should give this a try for those days!

  20. Marisa says:

    Hey Karen!
    I have this concealer also…but I can’t find a way to apply it without it looking so bad on me ):
    I’m 16, so I don’t have problems with the lines yet, but I do have very dark circles, and i have applied this this with the sponge, my fingers, and a concealer brush. The concealer brush was just some cheapo’l thing I found laying around so I’m guessing that’s what my problem is LOL
    Do you have any tips or tricks, or is there a certain concealer bursh I should use for this??


  21. NC says:

    Gotta check this out !! I have been using MUFE concealer and needed a change .. what do ya suggest Eclat or Time Balm ??

    • Karen says:

      Time Balm for sho’! I’ve tried Eclat in the past and it was just okay… it’s good for sheer to light coverage. Time Balm definitely has more POW!

  22. Catherine says:

    OOOOH. This sounds fabulous! I’m currently using MAC’s Select MoistureCover but it seems to fade and sink as the day goes on. I couldn’t use Studio Sculpt since I’m allergic to the spf in it. I’m about at the bottom of my tube though so I’ll definitely check this out when it comes time to get a new one. =)
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… NOTD: China Glaze Strawberry Fields & Cherry Blossoms =-.

  23. Gracie says:

    My mom actually has this concealer…hmm maybe i should try it sometime??

  24. Wow! It genuinely looks natural instead of caked on like a lot of concealers tend to. Am I just majorly out of the loop or what? I’ve never heard of Time Balm!
    .-= Khalia Bentson’s last blog post… Prescriptives is Closing Up Shop!!! =-.

  25. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been so tempted to buy this every time I go into Sephora… I tried some, and it really seems to work well (and it actually matches my skintone, woot!). But I’ve decided, in an effort to save money, that I have to go through my current tube first. It’s reeeaaallly tempting though…. cuter packaging would probably be enough to push me over the edge!
    .-= Rebecca’s last blog post… Dear drugstore foundation companies: =-.

  26. Lisa says:

    After this week I really need this. Trouble with the daughter and hubby. 2 peas in a stubborn, hard-headed pod.

  27. marisol says:

    I didn’t make it to Novato today. Got distracted at Bed Bath & Beyond. But maybe this weekend I may have to go get it. I can’t wait!

    Thank you . . . thank you. . . thank you!
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Tequila & I Are Still Friends =-.

  28. Jayme says:

    I may have to try this, i currently use MUFE full cover concealer with a corrector but it ends up giving me fine lines and i am only 21 so that should not be happening.

    • Melessa says:

      yeah i use bare minerals and i just turned 20 dec 5. i should definitely not be having these problems either! i cant wait til im 30 lol

  29. Jenny says:

    Oh. Em. Gee. The timing of this post is perfect! My bestie’s birthday is coming up and we were just talking about concealers. I think this would be perfect for her! Her problem: she just hates concealers that would settle into her fine lines. What do you use to set your concealer? And.. how would you compare this product to Laura Mercier’s secret camoflauge?

  30. Aleia says:

    Karen, I saw you mentioned this in a post some time ago and I have been meaning to check it out. I am still on the hunt for the perfect concealer. I recently bought MFDH and I’m so so about it. I was looking at Kim Kardashian’s website today and I saw her make up artist uses something called beauty tech ice cream concealer. There is only one website that sells it, besides Hong Kong. Have you heard about it? or tried it? I am going to check out this one you just mentioned. p.s did you use a powder over it to make it set? I hope you respond! =x

  31. Jasmine says:

    Hi Karen,

    Have you ever tried Benefit Erase paste, how do these compare? I’m starting to get the whole cakey undereye concealer thing going with my fine lines, and it’s driving me bonkers. I got MUFE lift which is nice but doesn’t provide much coverage.

    Thanks 🙂

  32. daang that makes a big difference. I’m using a liquid concealer right now that doesn’t settle, but fades in about 6 hours. I’m definitely going to go check this one out, thanks for the rec!

  33. inday says:

    yay! i’m so glad you posted this karen! i just started using concealer under my eyes this past year because i’ve never had a problem with dark circles before. while my circles are not that bad, i’m loving the way concealer can brighten up my whole eye area as well as help keep my eye make up in place. i started with neutrogena but have noticed it settling into the lines which i loathe! like some of your other readers, i’ve considered the eclat, but now i think i should try this one out instead! thoughts?

    also, i have to say wow! at your application skills! in the close up of your eye with the time balm it doesn’t even look like you have anything on!!

    thanks again karen!

  34. Tavia says:

    Finally this is one concealer that I like 🙂 and the price is really working for me too 🙂
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Make Up For Ever Bronze Makeup Collection for Spring 2010 =-.

  35. Kymberlee says:

    I could KICK myself. They had this concealer at Dillard’s for 70% off! I almost bought it but I put it down!

  36. Kat says:

    Oh wow! Once my Laura Mercier runs out I will have to try this one!

  37. Anastasia says:

    Must acquire! I usually use Boi-iiing (Benefit) but today I think I could even make a zombie stop in his tracks and turn and run screaming. Thanks for the review!

  38. Andrea says:

    Yay ! Thanks for the review.. I am DEFINITELY going to try this !!!!

  39. Alexandra says:

    i really want to try this now! but should i go for “lighter than light” or “light”? i’m nw15. thanks in advance for any help xxx

  40. pouneh says:

    Yes I have been waiting for a trusted makeup blogger/guru to review this product as I am on a look out for the perfect concealer for my wedding this summer and well the rest of the days as well hehehe. I will be trying this soon even thu I do not always suffer from dark circles but when it matters they r always there (lack of sleep). Thank you sooo much for this review Karen.

  41. Daya says:

    Thank you for this review Karen! I JUST ran out of concealer this morning lol Going to go get this one!!

  42. Carey says:

    What kind of foundation brush do you use Karen?

  43. Trude says:

    Wow an A+ review! This is going on my wish list! 🙂
    .-= Trude’s last blog post… I Heart Faces – Texture =-.

  44. I’ve got to try this! I have about 3, 492 used once concealers. Thanks for the review!
    .-= Cindy (Prime Beauty)’s last blog post… Focus on Skincare–A-Z =-.

  45. phoi says:

    Hi Karen!

    You definitely do not look 30-something!! You look great!

    Thank you for this review. Have you tried Bobbi Brown’s creamy concealer, and if you have, how does this one compare to it? I’ve been using MAC’s studio sculpt, and lately (maybe because of the drier weather) I’ve been noticing it settling into and emphasizing my fine lines. I’m only 22 : (
    I’ve been wanting to try BB’s, but after this review, I may want to look into theBalm’s.

    What would you recommend? This one or BB’s? Thank you!

  46. Dominique says:

    I’ll be trying this one out! My current use is Ben Nye, but its kinda waxy smelling…..
    .-= Dominique’s last blog post… MAC Lily land/ Warm & Cozy =-.

  47. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen! Omg… i have the worse under eye circles and any sort of miracle remedy is welcomed by me! I like the results of this product on you and think I’ll have to try it myself!
    .-= Sarah’s last blog post… 2010 SAG Award Winners =-.

  48. Melessa says:

    definitely intrigued and want to try this porduct asap!! ive always had problems with dark circles since i was a child- and getting zero sleep doesnt help anything lol. in fact, i was diagnosed with asthma sometime before jr. high, i got inhalers and never used them… i guess dark cirlces are a symptom, especially so young, but i guess im just blessed* in the genetics department..along with my gawdawful skin =)

    speaking of, time to take my antibiotics—– if anyone cant get rid of acne go to your derm and ask for some pills. the first one i tried barley did anything, i cant remember but she then either uped the doseage or changed the pill but now im on 1000MG of ampicillin each day and my skins never looked better. i still get zits but its nowhere near as bad as it was….now i have to try and fix all this scarring this acne did =/ thanks again for the awesome genes mom!

  49. Dominique says:


    try DDF’s lightening gel. It’s pretty expensive, but worth every penny!! I actually found it on eBay for $35, so maybe check there?

  50. Mia says:

    Love it as well! I have it in fair and it made a lot of my days. My skin is dry and sucks all the moisture out of whatever concealer I put on. Result is dried river bed on my face. So not pretty.

    I like this a lot, the only downside is I apply this with a concealer brush and that means a lot of washing the brush 😉

    Must try the foundation brush with it. Thanks for the review!

  51. Hi!
    This concealer seems to be everything I’ve EVER wanted! I’ve read several reviews about it and I can’t wait to give it a go!!

    The only thing is… I live in Brazil and I don’t know if I can purchase it here. In the website, it seems like I could (as there Brazil is an option between the shipping countries), but I’m not sure…

    Do you know anything about this?
    Thank you!!

    xoxo from you brazilian fan!
    .-= Suzana Meireles’s last blog post… suzanameireles: Sério, to ficando maluca procurando um novo concealer. Tinha decidido (Effacernes Waterproof) e aí vem esse da The Balm.. #makeupaddicthelp? =-.

  52. Tiffani says:

    So excited to go and get this! I am CONSTANTLY in search of a concealer that works but is not too cakey or dry. I haven’t had luck thus far, so I settled on using foundation and then LM Secret Camoflouge over top (Which I love and can’t live with out!). But that never seemed like enough coverage, especially in the winter when I’m paler.

    And it’s SO true, using a Foundation brush makes ALL of the difference. Get it at a MAC or Laura Mercier counter. I’ve had mine for a few years!

    Karen, I’m curious about how you feel about pairing the TB with LM? Too much or just right?

  53. Kristen says:

    SO happy to see this review, Karen! I’ve been wanting to try this for awhile – I read great things about in the mags, but wanted a real-life opinion before I turned my back on my trusty MAC concealer. I think I may have to pick it up now, cause it looks fab under your eyes.
    .-= Kristen’s last blog post… It’s What’s Inside that Counts: Jones in Philadelphia =-.

  54. Kimie says:

    I’ve been using this concealer for over a year! The same pot…seriously what a value. It has not “dried out” but I will say it has stiffened 😉 I warm it up on the back of my hand and it’s good to go. I use Mac 224 to apply and it feathers out beautifully. With 2 boys under 2 I won’t be caught dead without this! I have used tons of other concealers, from elf to more pricey-er and this one without a doubt rules!

  55. Alexandra says:

    I wonder if they stock this in the UK ?

    I bought a mini skin care kit from bobbi brown this week and it has a eye cream in that,thats meant to make a great base for concealer . Has anyone tried it ?
    I can find that concealer gets stuck in my fine lines too. The joys of being 34 lol

    Gannet and Marlina say hi to tabs,and wonder if he is up for a spot of world domination lol 🙂

  56. Betty says:

    Ohh!! I’m def giving this a try! =) I have SEVERE dark circles. Like I look like I haven’t slept in a year…or two. =(

  57. I so need a new concealer,I’m using Bobbi b its to thick and will always find its way into my fine lines!
    .-= House of Accessories’s last blog post… Grey,Turquoise,Silver,Teal Fringed Hammock Photo Prop Afghan baby nest 2 by3.5 pick this one or design your own =-.

  58. Is this available online somewhere too? Not Sephora, because we Belgian people cannot order from them. 🙂
    .-= misswhitemilkyway’s last blog post… Favorites Mei 2010 =-.

  59. Juliete says:

    Are you tired? “Do you not feel” well was a common comment I heard all my life. I read reviews on Time Balm and went to two Sephora stores that told me they did not carry the product. So I ordered the product online. After one use I heard, you look good today and I have heard that remark for many days. Time Balm is not cakey but goes on natural and made my imperfections look like that never existed. I have a lot of blue around my eyes. I use a brush to apply the product then my inde finger to press it in. I have never submitted a review before but Time Balm really helped me.

  60. Mel says:

    niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. i’m going to have to go out and get ASAP. Thank’s karen!

  61. Jen in VA says:

    How does this compare to Benefit BOING in your opinion?

  62. Ally says:

    Do you have dry skin?? or oily skin?? does that effect how it blends?

  63. Shameem says:

    I live in Germany and just ordered Time Balm Concealer from feelunique.com It’s cheaper than most stores and includes free shipping worldwide. I haven’t tried it yet, but inspired to do so after reading all the pros on here! Will let you know how it goes 😉

  64. MACNC35 says:

    What shade in this concealer will match an NC35 in MAC in general or to be more specific an NC35 in Studio finish concealer or moisture cover?

  65. Sanama says:


    I am a Mac NC 40. I understand that the color medium of the Balm concealer will suit my skintone. Butfor a highlighted look can i use light/medium shade?

  66. G says:

    This is amazing!! Don’t think I’m going to be trying out any other brands; in the world of makeup, finding something that’s so suitable is so rare. Undereye coverage is good, natural and lasts the entire day. Doesn’t cake and blends so well too – i eyeball it with my fingers. A little goes a long long way; I’m starting to think my current pot will never end. An excellent recommendation!

  67. Sush A says:

    How does this compare to the NARS creamy concealer? I am NC30-NC35, should I be getting medium or mid-medium? Thanks!!!

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