If, like me, you’re both captivated and turned off by products called Miracle [insert word], you need to know about Jones Road.
Miracle oil, miracle broth, miracle cream, miracle cure – there are miracles a-plenty across the beauty and skincare landscape. Walk through the beauty realm of a department store and you could be cured of just about any ailment. I admit, the marketing magic isn’t lost on me. I hear miracle and my ears are pricked up, I’m intrigued, I’m listening – sell me your ancient remedial magic. Most of the time, if we’re honest, it’s a let down. The lotion, cream, oil or ointment is beautifully scented/gorgeously packaged/outrageously expensive, but you’re left thinking “well, my skins not as line-free as those Japanese artisans who soak their hands in this ingredient daily”, or “my acne hasn’t disappeared like it healed that burn victim’s scarring. Nothing miraculous to see here. But then, we didn’t really expect a miracle did we? Most often I revert to more reliable remedies: eat better, rest more, worry less.
Establishing that cosmetic purchases don’t often result in miracles, we can get to Jones Road. I might’ve set the scene rather pessimistically, but trust me – this is a miracle you can get on board with.
After what feels like decades of beauty trends delving deeper into the layers of full-coverage, heavily contoured, false-lashed looks, it feels as though the tide has just changed. Faces are getting barer, freckles are reappearing, balms and blushes replacing contours. The aesthetic that I covet from the desaturated photographs of my parents wedding album – stripped back skin, a little colour, a little sparkle, no overdrawn lines and a good dose of hippy era individuality thrown in – is coming to town. Just as my mum would tell me everything comes back around eventually, “the natural look” is back in. Did it ever go out, or was it just hiding behind the “baking”? Suddenly a heavy mask; a full face and a shelf of a million products, feels very old school. How perfectly apt that Bobbi Brown (the woman, not the brand), who brought natural beauty back in fashion, is bringing it back once again. A brand that feels so responsive and reading of the climate at this very moment, Jones Road is very much new school makeup – new world makeup. I could fan-girl for paragraphs about why Bobbi Brown is such a role model for women and girls, but you’re here for the miraculous balms.
It was November 2020 that I first wrote about Jones Road when their hero balm first launched, and I was thrilled to see the range recently expand with two additional shades; Sunkissed and Magic Hour. These two have fast become makeup bag staples, but before we talk colours, let’s just address it. The miracle.
Miracle Balm continues to be a product I receive the most questions about. Is it a product that is going to heal your scars (they’re your character), delete your pores (they’re normal), or erase your lines (they’re your story)? Nah, and it doesn’t claim to. Miracle Balm is a lightly tinted, slightly irridescent, sheer, moisturising balm – a makeup-skincare hybrid. The miracle might be the adaptable shades that can be used on just about any complexion, or the multi-use practicality that lends itself to face, lips, eyes, cheeks. But I think the intended miracle, and the one it definitely succeeds in, is how it takes unmade-up skin and makes it look alive, and how it takes overly made-up skin and makes it beautifully natural once more.
Lips feeling a little dry? Miracle Balm. Makeup looking cakey and powdery? Miracle Balm. Feeling a little pale and dull? Miracle Balm. Fine lines starting to appear when you use concealer? Miracle Balm. Lost your mojo for makeup but just want to look better? Basically; miracle balm, miracle balm, miracle balm.
It’s makeup that makes you look better. There shouldn’t be something miraculous in that, but there is.
I went through the original four shades in this earlier article, but I was beyond excited about the new additions.
Sunkissed, a chocolatey brown, is a natural choice for deep skin tones who want a skin-matching balm. It’s a shade that I’m sure a makeup artist would say is too deep for my skin tone, and I would agree with them – and then use it anyway. Despite inheriting skin that burns easily in the shade, I can still miraculously use any of the six shades. With Sunkissed, I just have to go a little lighter and blend a little more carefully – and want a really sun-hit look. Is it your perfect colour match if you’re fair? No. Did it make me feel good when I checked my mirror reflection? Sure did. The sun came out, my eyes somehow looked less tired and my skin was glowing. So here’s the miracle: a little bronzing, a little dewiness, somehow distracted my own micro-analysing, hyper-critical female gaze from the bluey purple under my eyes or patchy pigmentation across my forehead. It skewed my own perception. Play up the good, and you don’t need to change the “bad”. Miraculous common sense.
If you find the shade Bronze can lean a little copper, or show a bit too orange on your skin, Sunkissed might be more your jam. The colour looks like chocolate gelato in a pot; rich and without a hint of orange that so often accompanies anything labelled brown and bronze. Its described as a reddish bronze, but it’s not red in the way Tawny is – it’s much more of an underscoring hint of red. Even those worried about rosacea cheeks who are wanting a suntan should get along with this shade.
Magic Hour is altogether unique. While the other shades (bar Au Natural) can be used as a skin tint, this is very much your highlighter or targeted skin enhancer. With noticeably more iridescence than any other shade, Magic Hour is like turning the setting sun onto your cheekbones. With a base of very light champagne-brown, you don’t have to worry about this being too gold or at all orange. It hits the sweet spot between warm and cool. It’s described as a medium bronze, but I wouldn’t choose Magic Hour hoping for a bronzing effect. This is glimmer and glow all the way.
In a way, Sunkissed is what I always hoped Bronze would have been, at least while I await an in-between goldilocks shade, and Magic Hour is the shade I never knew I was dreaming about. They’re good, this Jones Road team of clean beauty wizardry.
I’ve been applying Magic Hour almost solely to the top of my cheekbones, as a glimmering lip balm, and as a dewy eye gloss. I keep it off my forehead or those fine lines get more attention than they need, and away from the centre of my cheeks where pores are most noticeable. Sunkissed goes a little all over – cheeks, forehead, nose, anywhere that makes me feel like I’ve spent those early morning hours at the beach when the sun is kind enough to tint but not cruel enough to burn. Aside: SPF always, yes, I hear you, and fake it don’t bake it etc etc. But also – a little vitamin D is vital.
I don’t think this is the end of the line for Miracle Balm and I’m excited for future shade extensions. I still dream of a perfect pot of cool toned browny bronze for the palest vampires among us – a little (fairer) sister to Sunkissed if you like, and I can imagine the beauty of a popping pinky coral for a balmy blush, or a berry hue somewhere between raspberry and cherry – the new Lip and Cheek stick might just fill this space.
So, does it perform miracles? There’s no walking on water or water into wine, but there’s this: I slapped it on, walked past the bathroom mirror – lockdown hair scrunchie and all – and thought, I look pretty. Makeup that does that? Pretty miraculous.
Find Jones Road Miracle Balm at jonesroadbeauty.com (US, Canada, UK only – send your tears on a postcard to Montclair, or use a mail forwarding service for int’l delivery.)