Having a nice ass is a reality I live with daily. Humility, on the other hand, comes and goes. Now, I fear it may never return, at least when it comes to that part of my body. Jennifer Lopez is to blame. Let me explain.
Among her many talents — dancing, acting, performing, serving looks — Lopez is also, like many of her famous colleagues, a beauty brand owner. And make no mistake, J.Lo Beauty has some hits on its roster. I tried That Big Screen SPF 30 Moisturizer for Allure last year and it’s one of the few products that have made it into my regular roster. It also set my expectations high when I heard that the brand was launching a Firm + Flaunt Targeted Booty Balm ($65).
The balm is the first offering from the brand’s new body line (launching July 24, Jennifer’s 53rd birthday) and it’s already, as the kids say, passing the vibe check. In addition to rich hydration, this formula delivers, almost instantly, a tighter, firmer feel to your skin. While it is marketed as a product for your butt, it’s great to use all over your body.
The J.Lo Beauty team said they worked on this formula for about a year to find the best firming ingredients. What they settled on? Pink pepperslim and guarana seed extract, which the brand claims can impart a smoothing effect to the skin and help fade the appearance of stretch marks. “[Pepperslim] is an oil extracted from pink peppercorns that is purported to increase microcirculation and prevent small fat deposits from combining and growing into larger ones,” says Cincinnati-based cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos. But she notes that these tests on the ingredient have only been done in vitro (in a test tube or petri dish), not on actual people. That said, she and New Jersey-based cosmetic chemist Ginger King agree that pepperslim can be helpful in making the skin look smoother.
Guarana seed is a source of caffeine, says Dobos, and that’s where the temporary tightening effect comes in. “Caffeine is an antioxidant that is a great vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens up blood vessels,” Mona Gohara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut previously told Allure. “It does for your skin what it does for your soul — wakes it up a bit.”
I’ve already tried this new booty balm, and it works beautifully. You immediately feel the firming action, and the glow this gives my skin makes me want to walk around without pants all day. Full disclosure: I’ve tried this only a few times, certainly not long enough to confirm whether or not my butt looks long-term different, but for now, at least, it feels different when I apply this stuff. So far, so good.
But if you want to hear from more than just me, I get it. So here’s a little more information that I got from a fellow nice booty-haver, Mrs. Jennifer Lopez (Affleck).
Lopez: It’s no secret that I believe our bodies are temples – they carry us through every stage of life and help us do amazing things. It was in part due to my feeling that we often neglect our bodies, but also because it’s what my fans and beauty customers were asking for.
When we dug deeper and asked questions about the areas of the body they wanted to care for, the booty consistently ranked at the top. So the goal was to create a product that addresses the things that we all think about when it comes to our booties or any other hard-to-treat area like the stomach, back of arms, and thighs: firmness, skin elasticity, stretch marks, dry skin.
ALLURE: When did you know the formula was just right?
It was a combination of the results I was [personally] seeing and the clinical testing results we were getting in.
I’m a stickler for getting a product just right — if it’s not perfect, I don’t want my name on it. I worked with scientists and chemists and together we went through a few rounds of formulations until we all felt like it was the gold standard of booty balms.
Like all the products we create, I used it for a while before giving it the green light — almost a year — because I also believe in consistency, and the results I was seeing were just getting better and better over time. But then we got the clinical results and user trials and we knew we had the best booty formula. The clinicals are insane — every single person who used it saw an immediate increase in hydration. And the overwhelming majority of people who used it saw an improvement in skin elasticity and texture and smoothness as they continued to use it. [Editor’s note: The brand did an 8-week clinical study of 34 women, ranging from 27 to 63 in age, and 71 percent had an objectively measured increase in skin texture and smoothness after four weeks. In a user-perception study of 29 participants, 79 percent said their booties appeared noticeably firmer after eight weeks.]
ALLURE: What is something surprising you learned in the process of making this product?
When we did the research with all the consumers and tested the product, it was enlightening to learn how much the booty — or the perception of how it looks — is tied to our body confidence. I didn’t realize how much attention women were giving, or wanting to give, to this area of the body. The booty is truly an underserved asset in the beauty products area.
ALLURE: How do you like to use Firm & Flaunt Targeted Booty Balm?
I use it once daily and I apply it to my booty, thighs, stomach, and even the arms, and I know it’s working cause I can feel a little tingle.
ALLURE: Fun fact — you and I are both from the Bronx! How has being from the BX influenced your outlook on beauty?
The Bronx definitely has a unique zip code beauty ideal, different from other places. But more than being from the Bronx, it was being Latina that really shaped my definition of beauty.
Culturally, Latinas take pride in how they look. We take pride in our bodies, our different shapes, our diversity. I never really had an issue with accepting my body or beauty as it was because Latinas have a confidence that is passed down through our mothers and all of the women in our life.
ALLURE: How has your outlook on beauty evolved?
I still feel the same about beauty as I always have — it is limitless and has no expiration date. It starts with who you are and how you feel about yourself. Self-care and self-love go hand in hand. I’m launching JLo Body on my birthday and baring it all to celebrate this exact idea of ageless beauty and body confidence. If anything, with age, I think you become more comfortable in your own skin and with who you are. And I think we’ve heard this before, but there is nothing more beautiful than a confident woman. They say men get better with age, but I’m here to say that women do, too!
Pick up the J.Lo Body by J.Lo Beauty Firm + Flaunt Targeted Booty Balm ($65) on jlobeauty.com starting July 24.
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