Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans

Just in time for the new year, theBalm Eyeshadow Pans ($6.50 for 0.12 oz. each) launched so that you can customize your own palettes. It also coincided with the opening of their store in San Francisco. Right now, these can only be purchased through their store, though you can place phone orders (415-817-1800). Each eyeshadow pan is available for $6.50 and comes in a cardboard sleeve. The 9-pan palette is $8.00, while the 16-pan palette is $10. If you fill either the 9- or 16-pan palette up at the time of purchase, they will run you $44.00 (normally, $66.50) and $64.00 (normally, $114.00) respectively. I love the concept, and it’s very affordable, whether you fill at the time of purchase or as you go over time. There are five different designs to choose from for the 9-pan palettes and five for the 16-pan palettes. Each palette is made out of thick cardboard–same as theBalm’s eyeshadow palettes have been in the past–and come with full-sized mirrors on the top flap.

Aside from availability/distribution being limited, these are all numbered–none of them have names–and there is overlap with previously released shades (I asked and this was confirmed), but there is no chart or information regarding which shades are from what previous palettes. It would have been nice to know, so if there was a shade you really had your eye on from a palette, whether to replenish or purchase for the first time, it would be easy to do so. It would also help anyone avoid duplicates if they’re a regular theBalm palette buyer. theBalm is also a brand that seems to use names everywhere else in their range, so I would have liked to see these also have names. When I was opening each of these, the majority of the original labels were lifted off by the exterior packaging, so I had to add my own labels and handwrite the numbers on the back of each–the label just has the number, but it’s not something the customer should have to deal with when purchasing a product.

I’ve been testing these since late December, and I’ve now finished testing every single shade for wear, so you’ll see reviews moving forward. This is the first of several posts–there are forty-four shades!–and can be considered the overview. The eyeshadow pans contain 0.12 oz. (I’m not entirely sure how they crammed so much product in the pan), but the pan itself is not oversized–it is the same size as brands like MAC, Urban Decay, Makeup Geek, etc. They fit into MAC palettes (old and new), but they don’t seem to stick; I can turn my new MAC palette upside down, give it a tap, and the eyeshadow will pop out. However, they work well in Z Palettes and do not require additional magnets.

It will take me some time to actually write-up and post individual reviews, so I have gone ahead and added all of the photos and swatches for the forty-four shades in the meanwhile. You can view swatches of all of them in the Swatch Gallery here or view photos and swatches on theBalm’s Eyeshadow Single product page. In general, I like them, but some shades are powdery so they perform best over an eyeshadow primer and/or need to be patted, rather than swept, on to minimize excessive powdery fall out during application. Pigmentation and texture were also good with there being a few misses, and the texture was typically soft, slightly powdery, and occasionally, a few shades had a drier texture that was powdery but not stiff. Individual reviews (along with dupes and all that good stuff) to come! :)

The Glossover

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Eyeshadow Single

In general, I like them, but some shades are powdery so they perform best over an eyeshadow primer and/or need to be patted, rather than swept, on to minimize excessive powdery fall out during application. Pigmentation and texture were also good with there being a few misses, and the texture was typically soft, slightly powdery, and occasionally, a few shades had a drier texture that was powdery but not stiff.

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Friday, February 14th, 2014

theBalm How 'Bout Them Apples? Lip & Cheek Cream Palette
theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples? Lip & Cheek Cream Palette

theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples? Lip & Cheek Cream Palette ($32.00 for 0.70 oz.) contains six shades of cream products that are designed to be used on the lips and cheeks. The formula is described as having a “smooth finish that won’t streak or fade.” In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of theBalm’s multi-tasking lip/cheek products as they can be drying on the lips (which is a problem that many lip/cheek products suffer from), so I was wary about this palette. After wearing and trying all the shades on lips and cheeks, it’s definitely an improved formula. I think they function and wear better–and more comfortably–as cheek products than lip ones, but they’re more tolerable on the lips. Some are more comfortable than others as lip colors, so you can check my shade-by-shade review below for more information on those. As blushes, these are true creams–they don’t set or dry down completely or feel like powders on the skin, so they have dewier finishes. They’re blendable and buildable, but they tended to wear for six to seven hours.

Cider is a light peach with a faint hint of pink and a luminous sheen. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and this particular shade didn’t really build–it started and stayed at the same intensity. It lasted for six and a half hours on me. As a lip color, it did accentuate imperfections on the lips somewhat, and it wore for two hours–very slippery on the lips–but was somewhat hydrating. MAC Lured to Love (LE, $25.00) is a powder, so it has a different finish. MAC Something Special (P, $21.00) is darker, pinker. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Cobbler is a vibrant, orange-toned red with a luminous sheen. This shade had buildable color payoff that could be worn as a sheer, reddish tint or a bolder, brighter, candy-apple red. As a blush, it wore well for seven hours, and as a lip color, it managed three hours and was lightly hydrating. Kevyn Aucoin Fira (P) is more orange and a powder. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Pie is a muted, pinky-red with a luminous sheen. It was buildable to semi-opaque coverage both on lips as well as cheeks. When I tested it as a blush, the color wore well for six hours, and as a lip color, it wore well for three hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) is warmer, brighter. theBalm Toile (P, $22.00) is a powder. MAC Posey (P, $21.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Crisp is a warm-toned coral with gold shimmer and a frosted finish. The color was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage both on cheeks as well as on lips. The golden sheen is less prominent when I wore it as a blush than when I did as a lip color. On the lips, it was drying, and the frost emphasizes any imperfections easily. On cheeks, pores were slightly emphasized. It wore well for six and a half hours on cheeks and four and a half hours on lips. Clinique Peach Pop (02) (P, $21.00) is less shimmery, lighter, powder. Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) has no shimmer, brighter. NARS Soulshine (Together) (LE, $29.00) is a powder. MAC Fleet Fast (LE, $21.00) is a powder. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Candy is a cool-toned, bubblegum pink with a luminous sheen. It had good color payoff, and it was easy to apply and blend on the skin. On cheeks, it lasted for six hours, and on lips, it wore well for two and a half hours and was lightly hydrating during that time. Sleek MakeUP Macaroon (P) is very similar. Bobbi Brown Summer Pink (LE, $26.00) is darker. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Caramel is a muted, orange-brown with a luminous sheen and warm undertones. It had mostly opaque color payoff, and the color was buildable and blendable. The color lasted just over six and a half hours when I applied it to cheeks, and on lips, it managed to last for three hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Early Morning (LE, $25.00) is shimmery, powder. MAC Fiery Impact (LE, $25.00) is powder. MAC Optimistic Orange (LE, $21.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

The Glossover

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How 'Bout Them Apples?

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8.5/10

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8/10

Longevity

7/10

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5/5

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Cider

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8/10

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9/10

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8/10

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6.5/10

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Cobbler

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9/10

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10/10

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8.5/10

Longevity

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5/5

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Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Soft, flushed cheeks with a hint of luminous sheen — that just says spring to me! Here are five of my current favorites for the spring season…

  1. Clinique Plum Pop (04) — cool-toned, plummy pink with a satin finish
  2. Chanel Revelation (63) — light-medium, warm-toned pink with a satin finish
  3. theBalm Down Boy — a soft, cool-toned pink with a satin finish
  4. Burberry Blossom — a softly shimmered coral-orange
  5. Hourglass Radiant Magenta — a light-medium, warm pink with a satin finish

What are your favorite blushes to wear during spring?

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

theBalm How 'Bout Them Apples? Palette
theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples? Palette

Introducing How ‘Bout Them Apples?, a multi-functioning lip and cheek cream palette from theBalm. These freshly-picked, long-lasting shades are formulated to have a smooth finish that won’t streak or fade, so there are no bad apples in this bunch!

Availability: Now @ theBalm

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer
theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer ($24.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a “soft peachy-pink highlighter.” It’s a soft, pinky-peach–but I’d actually call it rose gold–with a frosted sheen. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is lighter. bareMinerals The Magic Moment (LE, $26.00) is very similar. MAC Talk of the Town (LE, $25.00) is darker, less peach. Benefit Rockateur (P, $28.00) is not quite as shimmery, darker. MAC Adored (LE, $30.00) is pinker. MAC Lust (LE, $30.00) is pinker, more metallic. See comparison swatches.

You may have heard of Mary-Lou Manizer. This is a very similar product, just in another shade. It adds luminosity, warmth, and an overall glow wherever it is applied. It can be used on cheeks, as well as on lids and the rest of the face, if desired. On my medium complexion, it adds subtle rosy, bronzy warmth but not a lot of obvious color, along with a glowing, luminous sheen. On fairer complexions, I would expect that this could be used as a subtle blusher in addition to being a highlighter. It doesn’t have a chalky or white base, so it should work as a highlighter on deeper complexions. The finish is high-shine but forgiving, so it doesn’t emphasize pores. It lasted for eight and a half hours on me before starting to show signs of fading. This powder had such a soft, buttery, silky texture that it was easy to apply and blend, and it’s very, very pigmented–a little goes a long way.

The Glossover

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Cindy-Lou Manizer

Temptalia Recommends
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10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, January 9th, 2014

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer
theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

A captivating addition to our Manizer series, Cindy-Lou Manizer is a soft peachy-pink highlighter that plays up your finest features, while adding a radiance to your complexion. Don’t let her warm façade fool you, this Con-tour artist can double as a highlighter, shimmer or shadow. $24.00 Available at theBalm