“Who told you to put the balm on?”
So said exasperated attorney Jackie Chiles to his client Cosmo Kramer in “The Maestro” episode of “Seinfeld.”
Kramer had applied a suspiciously effective balm to a burn from a spilled cup of coffee, an injury that he was supposed to show off in court to win big bucks.
These days, it seems like the entire beauty industry is telling us to put the balm on. Scores of brands are now offering utilitarian less-is-more tubs of the emollient goodness.
But none is more alluring than the Miracle Balm from Jones Road, the year-old brand founded by cosmetics maven, Bobbi Brown.
The stuff is so good, it could have converted the fictional ambulance-chasing attorney Chiles into a devotee.
This summer, the $38 tubs invaded my Instagram feed. At times, when it’s sold out, the Dusty Rose hue, in particular, the balm’s waitlist swells to 10,000 people. And celebrities like Bridget Moynahan and Cindy Crawford (who has her own skin care line) regularly rave about it.
Then, there was video after video of women turning their makeup-free faces into glowing visages by applying the multipurpose formula to their cheeks, eyelids, necks, you name it. It all came out of one palm-sized pot and the women looked dewy, refreshed and muy natural.
Brown calls it “no makeup makeup,” which is a very appealing notion to a low-maintenance kind of gal like myself. Sold. (They don’t call ’em targeted ads for nothing.)
“It was a happy accident,” Brown told The Post of the balm, which contains moisturizing ingredients like jojoba seed oil, argan oil and vitamin E.
Five years ago after leaving her namesake brand, which has long been owned by Estee Lauder, Brown went back to her roots and started working as makeup artist again. Intrigued by the “clean makeup” movement, she started tinkering with concoctions for the perfect foundation-balm hybrid. But it was tricky to get the formula right.
“The lab didn’t do exactly what I had asked for. It came out this sheer, tinted balm in one color. It wasn’t the right thing,” she said. “But when I put it on, I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ It instantly made my face look better.”
She then handed out prototypes to her friends who went wild for it, solidifying the fact that she was onto something. Brown launched the brand with the balm as its hero product and added other easy-to-apply products like face pencils (a creamy multitasking concealer you can basically draw on anywhere you need it), minimalist eye shadows and highly pigmented eyeliners that look even cooler smudged. The balm comes in four shades: Au Natural, Bronze, Tawny and Dusty Rose. In the coming weeks, she’s adding two more colors, Sunkissed and Magic Hour, to the mix.
“It’s how you make your skin look better without looking like you’re wearing makeup,” said Brown. “It has all of these emollient oils that can replace moisturizer. It can be put on top of foundation so it doesn’t look so cakey. I can press it into the skin and it looks alive.”
To use it, you “break the seal” by working your fingers under the slightly harder top layer. She advises using all your fingers and palm to really dig in since warmth from the hands makes the texture spreadable and easier to work with. You can also apply it with a brush or a pad if you prefer.
I used my fingers to put the bronze balm over my entire face and then rubbed some dusty rose on my cheeks and eyelids to give them some pop. My entire face glowed — and I didn’t have that gross feeling walking out into the summer heat with a full face of makeup on.
That first night, my childhood friend’s dad who hadn’t seen me in a few months told me I looked younger. Who am I to argue with the man?
A week after I broke the seals, I emptied my cosmetics bag into the trash. I kept some basics, but replaced a whole bunch of other crap like foundation, cover-ups, bronzers and various creams with the balms. My skin feels moisturized and my routine is pared down.
And with respect to Mr. Chiles, I can say, “Put the balm on.”
Rounds of applause
More of the best buzzed-about balms made for multitasking.
Makeup by Mario Master Secret Glow Highlighter
For a glossy look without conspicuous sparkle, dab on this translucent formula from Kardashian makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic’s professional-grade line.
Honest Beauty Magic Beauty Balm
Free of synthetic fragrances and made with soothing shea butter, this sheer basic adds an effortless glow to lips and cheeks. It softens cuticles, too.
Winky Lux Strobing Balm Highlighter
Shine a spotlight on your best features with this creamy pearlescent formula housed in a darling gold compact.
Tower28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer
Toss this bronzing balm in your beach bag and swipe over décolletage and cheek contours for a sun-kissed shine. For the glitter averse among us, the brand also makes a shimmer-free sheer balm with the same calming green tea extract.
Merit Beauty Flush Balm
Swipe this chic globe of cream blush (available in five shades) on cheekbones for a subtle, sheer tint.