We tried the viral makeup brand Jones Road and here’s what we thought | CNN Underscored

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Bobbi Brown’s new beauty brand, Jones Road, launched during the pandemic with the goal of creating high-performing, clean makeup that is easy to use. “It’s clean, simple makeup for every skin type and skin tone and you don’t need to be a makeup artist to use it,” the founder and makeup artist says.

Brown is one of the beauty industry’s greats — she pioneered the “no-makeup makeup” look before it became a trend and has helped people feel empowered by enhancing their natural beauty for decades. My mom has been a devotee of her eponymous makeup line (which Brown sold in 1995 and departed from in 2016) since I was born, so I grew up seeing Brown’s name on the blush compacts stacked on her vanity or on the tubes of lip gloss tossed in her purse. Now, with the virality of Jones Road beauty, Brown is reaching new audiences — still with the same ethos of creating less-is-more makeup looks that make you feel comfortable and confident.

“Jones Road is for anyone who loves a natural, luminescent look that makes you look like yourself on your very best day,” Brown says. “Most women don’t want to be overly made up — they want to use makeup to look better. And most women don’t want to look trendy — they want beauty products that are clean, easy to apply and that basically just work. Jones Road stays true to that ideal. That transparent, naturally beautiful look feels more modern right now than a full face of makeup.”

I tested five of Jones Road’s new and bestselling makeup products, from the TikTok-famous What the Foundation to a surprisingly good clean mascara.

$38 at Jones Road and Credo

Jones Road’s bestselling product, Miracle Balm, is the ultimate combination of skin care and makeup. The emollient-rich balm — made with jojoba seed oil, argan oil and vitamin E — melts into the face for a transparent layer of moisture and color. “It’s my go-to product because when I put it on, I instantly look better,” Brown says. “It adds a wash of soft-focus moisture to enhance your skin. It also reflects light so it adds a hint of glow wherever you need it — cheeks, eyelids or lips.”

Out of the nine shades Miracle Balm comes in, I tested it in Flushed (rosy tint), Magic Hour (bronze shimmer) and Au Naturel (clear). The latter is more of a skin enhancer than anything else, as it gives a glowy sheen. For just a hint of a blush tone, Flushed delivers the sheerest rosiness. My favorite out of the bunch is Magic Hour, which I use as a highlighter after applying the What the Foundation and The Best Blush. It blends with the foundation beautifully and it has a luminous finish that gives the effect of a natural highlight. I can see why Miracle Balm is a favorite multiuse makeup product — the color is so sheer that you can apply it wherever you please, and wear it alone or layered on top of foundation. Just remember to break the surface of the balm — with your finger or a beauty spatula — when you first use it. This helps you get to the softer part of the formula that you can then warm up with your fingers before applying.

$44 at Jones Road and Credo

Jones Road What the Foundation in Beige

What the Foundation is the standout product that wowed me the most. It gave really natural-looking light coverage that evened my complexion and, dare I say, delivered the dolphin skin effect with one product. I’m not typically a foundation wearer — most days I’ll just do a bit of under-eye concealer — and even when I test them for work, they end up at the bottom of a very large makeup pile. This product, however, has found a permanent place in my makeup bag. I tested two shades and found that the Beige worked as a perfect base tone for me, but with my summer tan, a couple dabs of Medium helped add in some warmth. For application, I opt to use my fingers to blend it in, but it also works with a dense makeup brush or makeup sponge. The creamy foundation looks like a tinted moisturizer and feels rich on the skin, thanks to a number of natural oils and moisturizing ingredients like sodium hyaluronate.

Jones Road What the Foundation in Medium

$25 at Jones Road and Credo

Jones Road The Face Pencil

The Face Pencil is another great example of Jones Road’s versatility. It’s a handy concealer pencil that covers redness, dark circles and blemishes. Brown says it’s a favorite among makeup artists, who love the range of 25 shades and its blendability. I love it for under-eye coverage and hiding redness around my nose. I tested four shades — 7, 8, 9 and 10 — and found that it’s quite useful to have a couple shades on hand. I use 7 (light with neutral undertones) to brighten the under-eye area and even out the redness around my nose, and 8 (light/medium with peach undertones) as a true color match for covering up imperfections.

My bare face (left) before Jones Road, and then after (right) wearing the What the Foundation in Beige and Medium and Face Pencils in 7 and 8.

$28 at Jones Road and Credo

Jones Road The Best Blush in Peachy, Sandy, Pop, Rosy and Berry

A new launch this fall, The Best Blush was created by Brown because a great powder blush has always been in her back pocket. “Powder blush is what I grew up on,” she shares. “A pop of pink has always been my go-to as a makeup artist, and it has been just as important in my own beauty routine. Even on days when I’m not wearing makeup, you’ll find pink on my cheeks … even if it’s a pinch to mimic a natural flush. It’s the easiest way to lift and enhance the skin.”

Available in five rosy shades, the talc-free formula is light and looks super natural, but it’s also buildable for more of a punch of color. The squalane-infused powder can be worn on bare skin without looking chalky, or layered with the Miracle Balm (“for added luminosity,” according to Brown). Rosy and Sandy were the shades that worked best for me, and I used Jones Road’s Blush Brush for effortless application. I also like swiping some on my ring finger and tapping the color on my eyelids for an easy, monochrome makeup look.

$26 at Jones Road and Credo

Jones Road The Mascara

Brown says The Mascara is another MUA-favorite. “It’s very hard to make a clean black mascara, but we seem to have mastered it,” she says. Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting to like The Mascara as much as I do. With my stubborn, straight lashes, it takes a high-performing mascara to keep them lifted all day. The Mascara’s oversized, curved wand helps generously coat my lashes with one swipe, and the conditioning formula easily holds them up and adds length. However, it wasn’t smudge-proof for me, so I found that the best way I could get a long-wearing curl is to do a first coat of The Mascara followed by one coat of my favorite budge-proof mascara, Twenty/Twenty Beauty’s Clean Sweep Mascara.

Using the products above — in addition to the honorable mention of The Lip Tint in Nude Rose as well as my favorite brow products — I was able to do my makeup in under 10 minutes. The resulting look has admittedly become my default makeup since I first tested the products, and I’ve re-created it for work events and date nights alike.

My makeup look using Jones Road products.

While I didn’t experience any drawbacks that would keep me from reaching for any of the Jones Road products altogether, there are a couple things to know before trying it yourself. The light, “no-makeup makeup” look that the line achieves doesn’t quite reflect how the products feel on the skin. The Miracle Balm and What the Foundation specifically feel rich and heavy — some reviewers have noted a “sticky” feeling — since their formulas have emollient ingredients. I think I’ll appreciate feeling that extra layer of moisture in the cold winter months, but it takes some getting used to. There have also been reviews that note a grainy texture in the What the Foundation — I experienced this in the Beige jar but not the Medium. I believe this has to do with how the ingredients settle in the container, but I was able to massage the product in without any issues and the little bits of formula blended out without a trace. It would also be nice to see SPF in the What the Foundation formula, since similar products that act as a tinted moisturizer (like Ilia’s Super Skin Tint) have that benefit.

Makeup enthusiasts who like the minimalist aesthetic and easy-to-use products of Ilia, Merit, Saie and Glossier will love the versatility of Jones Road. The base products — The Face Pencil, What the Foundation and Miracle Balm — are really what makes Jones road shine. They provide a seamless foundation for the barely there makeup look, and play well not only with other Jones Road products but with makeup from the aforementioned brands too.

While Jones Road comes with a slightly higher price point than the other no-makeup makeup-loving brands, its products feel like makeup pro tools, thanks to Brown’s expertise. A clean beauty brand (the brand avoids 2,700 potentially harmful ingredients) with a focus on performance, the products first and foremost feel like makeup you would find in a professional MUA’s kit — because that’s what they were made for. Brown created Jones Road to fill a gap in her own kit, and the result is quality cosmetics that pros and beginners can benefit from.

And while we didn’t test it for this story, Jones Road also has a line of skin care — so if you like to stay loyal to one brand in your beauty routine, it has everything you might need.

It’s clear that Brown has been intentional with creating high-performing cosmetics that work for everyone. Whether you’re shopping for your teen, yourself or your mom, Jones Road is adaptable to any age, skin type or beauty routine. Best for those who love a natural, you-but-better look, the products are great for building confidence in your makeup skills and yourself.

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