Wednesday, May 9th, 2012


theBalm to Launch Schwing

Hit it out of the park with Schwing: A rich, long-lasting liquid eyeliner that lines and defines with a marvelously matte-black finish. This specially formulated, easy-to-use eyeliner is smudge proof, non-flaking, and fast-drying (perfect for girls on the go).

Lining and defining eyes has never been easier. Built with a uniquely tapered, felt-tip applicator, Schwing gives you careful control over subtle strokes and bold lines. Create winning looks with this rich, matte-black finish that won’t smudge, flake, or take forever to dry. Cool and compact, Schwing fits wherever you need it. Whether you’re home or away, get ready to bat those eyes and play the field…

Schwing is:

  • Easy to apply
  • Smudge-proof
  • Paraben-free
  • Suitable for contact lenses

availability: May 2012, $17

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

5 Fantastic Coral-Pink Blushes

If you’re not enamored of corals as much as I am, you may lump them all together as “coral,” but there is a definite distiction between a coral-pink and a coral-orange (and to an extent, coral-red!). There are corals that pull pinker, so they appear less warm, peach, and orange on the skin tone, while there are corals that pull warmer, so they appear redder, more orange, and peachier.

  1. Tarina Tarantino Parasol — shimmering coral-pink with a champagne shimmer-sheen
  2. NARS Orgasm — classic pink base with golden sheen that translates to a pink-coral
  3. theBalm Frat Boy — coral pink with just a faint sheen
  4. MAC Posey — pink-coral cream blush
  5. Tarte Glisten — medium-dark pink base color with a golden sheen

What’s your favorite coral-pink blush?

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

5 Playful Plum Blushes

Plum blush can be used in a variety ways, from subtle to bold, so it can really bring drama to the face and create a look that really emphasizes the cheeks if one desires.  If you have a cooler complexion, you may look for a plum with a subtle pink or berry tone, while warmer complexions may look for a plum with a subtle brown undertone.  Or throw away the rules and go for the one that strikes your fancy :)

  1. Bobbi Brown Plum — rich pink plum
  2. Burberry Cameo — softened brown-plum
  3. theBalm Cabana Boy — shimmered plum-berry
  4. NARS Oasis — dirty plum with gold shimmer
  5. MAC Plum Foolery — dirty plum with a shimmer-sheen

What’s your favorite plum blush?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Eyeshadow Palettes

The idea of picking a mere ten fantastic products for the entire eye category (which, as I’m sure you’re aware, I have a great love for) was borderline absurd. I could not resist breaking it out a bit more :)

  1. Bare Escentuals The Playlist Eyeshadow Palette (plus lots of love for the Ready formula in general!)
  2. Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palettes
  3. theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette
  4. theBalm Cast Your Shadow Palette
  5. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette
  6. Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette
  7. Chanel Topkapi Eyeshadow Quad
  8. Inglot Eyeshadow Palettes
  9. Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope
  10. theBalm Shady Lady Vol. 3

What was your favorite eyeshadow palette this year?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette
theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette ($28.00 for 0.59 oz.) is a limited edition follow up to Vol. 1 (which is still available, but I don’t have it and haven’t seen it myself). It includes one highlighter, four eyeshadows (or liners), lip/cheek color, and a lipgloss.

As other theBalm products are packaged, this one is also in cardboard packaging with a full-sized mirror on the interior of the lid. The palette opens about two-thirds of the way down so that one side covers or reveals the powder products and the other side covers or reveals the cream products–this is a really nice feature, because it helps to limit any loose powder from contaminating the cream products. It contains a good amount of product and is a good value overall.

  • Promiscuous Pearl is a pale beige with champagne shimmer. It adds a soft glow on cheeks without being overwhelming. If you like Mary Lou-manizer, you’d like this one, just as a more neutral version. The texture is still really buttery and soft, so it is blendable and finely-milled and doesn’t emphasize pores. It reminded me of Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees.
  • Jinxy Jasmyne is a sooty black that looks morre intense in the pan than it does on the skin. It has a mostly matte finish, but it’s rather dry and ends up being chalky and uneven. When applied, it can easily darken the crease, but you really need to use a fluffy brush (remember to tap off any excess!) to make this one work. Application is better with a damp brush, like one might use if you were to use it as an eyeliner. It’s similar to a lot of matte blacks, like MAC Carbon.
  • Manic Maribel is an orange-y copper with a frosted golden sheen. The pigmentation is opaque with soft, blendable color. It’s almost the same as Bare Escentuals Louder. It’s a little lighter than shades like theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • Open to Offers Olwen is a muted teal-blue shot through with silvery-blue shimmer. This shade is also in the Shady Lady Vol. 3 palette. It has good color payoff and a dense, buttery texture. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter but similar.
  • Lavish Latoya is a medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. It was on the sheerer side, though. Urban Decay AC/DC is quite similar with a slightly more metallic sheen. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar. Milani Purr-fect Purple is a little lighter. theBalm All the Way Annie is a bit darker but still close.
  • Strawberry is a poppy red that can be applied opaque or blended out for a sheerer look. On lips, it’s much pinker–more like a slightly coral-pink with a creamy finish. The color coverage is mostly opaque. It’s not as dark as MAC Ultra Darling. NARS Niagara is more coral. It’s pretty close to Bobbi Brown Pink.
  • Nude is an opaque beige nude with a cream finish. MAC C-Thru is similar in color, but this is much more opaque.

It’s not my favorite palette by theBalm; I think it has promise and potential, but it’s not fully there.  The color combination is off for me–this is not a palette that lends itself to a lot of versatility.  I feel like you really need to pull in products from your stash to make the palette really pop.  The cheek/lip color is pretty but vibrant enough that it doesn’t pair well with the eyeshadows.  I was disappointed in the texture and payoff of Jinxy Jasmyne and Lavish Latoya was just slightly under-performing.   Shades like Manic Maribel and Lavish Latoya are found in a lot of brands, so this wouldn’t be a palette for long-time beauty aficionados.  As a face palette, I’d have liked to see a powder blush, rather than a mega-sized black eyeshadow.

The Glossover

palette

Balmbini Vol. 2

B+
The overall quality of the palette is there, but the color combination doesn't resonate as well with me--as a face palette, it needs more in the cheek department; it's too eye-heavy.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, November 25th, 2011

By Amanda, Traveling Contributor

While earning her degree at university, Amanda traveled around the world to a plethora of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. She currently lives on New York City’s Upper East Side where is pursuing a graduate degree and working in education. Amanda has studied the histories of beauty around the world and is herself, an avid admirer and practitioner of the beauty techniques she studies.

To track her travels, thoughts, and techniques follow her at www.aklectique.com. As a world traveler (and with more travel plans on the horizon), she’ll be offering a unique perspective of the amazing local brands and products she’s discovered and still discovering.


Traveling Must-Haves by a World Traveler

I’d like to share with you what I take with me whenever I go traveling. From the High-Atlas Berber villages in Morocco, to the Pyramids in Cairo, to Red Sea just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to Diocletian’s palace in Croatia, and through Nottingham’s rainy days, these products have proven their metaphorical “valor” for their resilient consistency and inherent capacity to work well across varying climate conditions.

I’ve found that my MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Power ($23.00) works for me in all whether conditions. Whether it be the 125 degree weather in Egypt or -30s in New Hampshire, this product provides the same consistent coverage and staying power across temperatures. I’d find that my bronzer and highlighter (listed below) are best suited for all temperatures below 85 degrees. If the temperature is higher, I risk looking shiny all day long. Finally Benefit’s One Hot Minute ($30.00) adds the perfect amount of matte color to my face to prevent me from looking washed-out in any climate.

Now, the eyes are almost a free-for-all. I tend to keep in neutral when I am traveling so as to not stand out as a foreigner too much.  (Below is a more detailed list of eye products that I’ve found to last underwater in Jamaica and Croatia, as well as after a long day of work.)  To the complete the visage, my must-have lip product is my Burt’s Bees Sun Protect Lip Balm ($3.99). This lip balm neutralizes the color of my lips and allows me to then apply pigmented lip product that is appropriate for the given situation. More often than not, I find myself using MAC Snob ($14.50) or Revlon’s Nude Attitude ($7.99).

Just remember: When traveling, less is more!

Check out Amanda’s list of must-have products for travel! Continue reading →