This Blurring Balm Is The Ultimate Mattifier For My Oily Skin

It’s a match made in makeup heaven.

As a beauty writer, friends and acquaintances constantly come to me in search of the product that will solve their skin care woes. Of course, there is rarely just one item that addresses all of one’s problems (beauty-related or otherwise), but this week, I was able to deliver. When my friend Sofi texted asking what to use to prevent excess oil production on the skin while also providing coverage, I was well into having discovered Danessa Myrick Beauty’s Blurring Balm Powder, my new go-to grease-combatting BFF that’s so robust it kept my skin dry — and makeup intact — amid an especially steep and arduous hike (in 80+ degree weather!). And did it so well that people complimented said makeup after the fact.

This might not sound particularly impressive, but it is for my skin: I’m one of those people who’s perpetually blotting their face. I’m extremely oily (and prone to sweating) so makeup tends to melt off of my skin the second I step foot in high temperatures, and in humidity, there’s no point in wearing any at all. Or at least, there wasn’t... until I came upon this blurring concoction.

Read on for everything to know about Danessa Myricks’ Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder, and why it’s now my favorite product for mattifying makeup atop oily skin.

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Fast Facts

  • Price: $36
  • Best for: Priming and/or setting makeup, absorbing oil
  • Your rating: 5/5
  • Brand: Danessa Myricks Beauty
  • What we like: Its versatility: It mattifies oily skin and works as a primer, setting powder, and medium-coverage foundation
  • What we don’t like: Some reviewers dislike the smell

What Is The Danessa Myricks Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder?

The Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder is technically a cream, though it acts, looks, and feels nothing like one. In fact, it actually resembles a traditional concealer. Once applied, however, it transforms into a pore-blurring balm that mattifies the skin and provides buildable light-to-medium coverage. And when used atop makeup, it dries with a consistency similar to that of a setting powder (comparable to that of the cult-favorite setting powder by Laura Mercier). Therefore, this balm can replace multiple products in your beauty regimen, acting as a primer, foundation, and setting “powder” all in one.

The balm comes in 10 different shades, as well as one translucent option for all skin tones and types. I’ve tried a tinted shade (number two) and Universal (aka translucent), and prefer the color-correcting benefits the tinted option provides when used as a primer. If you’re exclusively seeking pore-blurring and texture-improving benefits on top of makeup that’s already on, however, the translucent is plenty.

How Does It Work?

As for how this seemingly magical product works? It’s all thanks to an ingredient called upsalite, which is comparable to chalk. It may sound weird, but think about it this way: Gymnasts customarily apply chalk to their hands in order to keep them dry, and it’s no different when a similar substance is applied to the face. Intrigued, I queried an expert.

“Upsalite is magnesium carbonate, which is essentially chalk,” Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology, tells Bustle, reiterating that countless athletes and CrossFit enthusiasts use chalk to keep their hands dry. “Lebron James famously uses chalk before every game for the same reason,” he adds (which later led to his infamous ‘chalk toss.’)

Thus, like chalk, upsalite — which is porous magnesium carbonate — can absorb a tremendous amount of moisture due to its high surface area and pore volume. Translation: It doesn't prevent the production of oil or sweat, but actually gets rid of unwanted moisture, like oil and sweat, by soaking it up.

Meanwhile, the formula’s squalane and hyaluronic acid ensure the skin stays adequately hydrated with the moisture you do want, which is a must — even if your skin is oily. “When the skin is dry it can try to overcompensate by producing more sebum than may be necessary, causing oily skin,” Mudgil asserts, noting that the combination of upsalite, squalane, and hyaluronic acid works to down-regulate excess oil production in the skin.

My Skin

As noted above, my skin is very oily (my mother insists this is a blessing in disguise, but I’ll circle back about that when I’m 60). I’ve tried what feels like millions of blotting pads, mattifying primers, and allegedly oil-reducing setting sprays and powders. While these products have helped somewhat, they didn’t do nearly enough to keep makeup from melting off of my skin or to prevent my face from resembling a pan that just finished frying eggs in butter.

I knew the blurring balm was different when I accidentally hiked four steep miles in 80-degree weather whilst wearing a full face of makeup (I thought it was going to be more of a scenic walk, OK?). That morning, I used it as a primer, and then on my T-zone to set my makeup. Several hours later, I emerged from the hike with my body drenched in sweat — but my face completely dry. My makeup also looked like I had just applied it, and after posting a selfie from the top of the mountain, several followers messaged to compliment how nice my skin and makeup looked.

Wearing the Danessa Myricks Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder.

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Worth It?

The blurring balm is 100% worth it. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this blurring balm is a great value, since it’s so versatile, and requires such a small amount in order to work. It’s already replaced primer and setting spray in my routine, and I think it also might replace my foundation on the hottest — and most humid — summer days.

Final Verdict

If you’re prone to oily skin and/or looking for something that ensures your makeup stays in place amid the hottest and most humid months, Danessa Myrick Beauty’s Blurring Balm Powder is a must-have beauty staple. I’m already getting a second to keep in my purse for the summer.

Studies referenced:

Bamford, E., Grahn, A., Århammar, C., Ajaxon, I., & Annerén, C. (2021). Mesoporous magnesium carbonate for use in powder cosmetics. International journal of cosmetic science, 43(1), 57–67.


Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology in New York City