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theBalm #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Eyeshadow

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans

There are forty-four shades of eyeshadows available in pan-form from theBalm, which launched at the beginning of this year. They can be purchased at their San Francisco store or by calling 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. 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. For more information about sizes, the palettes, and a general overview of the custom palette/eyeshadow pan system, please read this post. 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. .

#1 is a warm-toned, dark brown with gold micro-glitter and copper sparkle over a satin-matte finish. It had really good color payoff, and the texture was fairly soft and smooth, but you could feel some of the sparkle separate from the base color, so there was fall out during application. I noticed some minor fall out during wear, but only some of the sparkle translates onto the lid so there’s less that falls out over time. The color lasted for eight hours before gradually fading. Makeup Geek Bada-Bing (P, $5.99) is grayer. Chanel Seduction #4 (LE) is less sparkly, more frosted. MAC Constructivist (P, $18.50) is darker, cream product. NARS Surabaya #2 (P, $24.00) is lighter, warmer. NARS Mekong (P, $24.00) is darker, cooler-toned. MAC Carbonized (LE, $15.00) is darker. bareMinerals Pumped (LE) is warmer. See comparison swatches. This seemed really close to Silly, but #1 had a better texture and more pigmentation.

#2 is a silver-sparkled, cool-toned pinky-purple. The texture was dry, powdery, and almost gritty–I could really feel the powder and sparkle in it. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and it was difficult to apply. It’s a shade that really has to have a sticky, almost white-tinged base to work in any usable capacity. What color I managed to get onto the lid lasted for six hours before I saw noticeable fading. Laura Mercier African Violet (P, $23.00) is cooler-toned with a golden sheen. MAC Swelter (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned, more muted. Buxom Schnauzer (P, $18.00) is a cream product. Inglot #445 (P, $6.00) is cooler-toned, frosted. See comparison swatches.

#3 is a muted, dark green with cool undertones and a fine, emerald green micro-shimmer and satin finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and fairly smooth. It wore well for eight hours before showing signs of fading. Tarina Tarantino Very Wicked (LE) is more frosted. Makeup Geek Envy (P, $5.99) is very similar. Urban Decay Damaged (LE, $18.00) is brighter. Make Up For Ever #80 (P, $20.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

#4 is a softened, pink-tinged peach with a frosted finish and warm undertones. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth without being powdery. This shade lasted for eight hours before it started to fade. This seemed really similar to theBalm Stubborn, though it appeared slightly lighter in the pan but the swatches were nearly identical. Kat Von D Precious (LE) is similar. LORAC Champagne (P) is lighter. MAC A Natural Flirt (LE, $19.50) is warmer.Le Metier de Beaute Nouvelle (LE, $30.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

#5 is a deep, dark, muted cool-toned purple with a satin finish. It had fantastic pigmentation, and the texture was very soft and finely-milled but slightly powdery. The color wore well for eight and a half hours when I tested it. theBalm The Stroke (P, $16.00) is very similar, if not identical, but the color payoff was weaker. MAC Double Feature #8 #2 (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

#6 is a muted, coppery brown with warm, orange undertones and a pearly finish. It had excellent pigmentation, and the texture was soft, buttery, and smooth. The color lasted for just over eight hours when I wore it. Kat Von D Dog Roses (LE) is brighter. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #3 (LE, $16.00) is more frosted. Anastasia Rum Cake (LE) is slightly more frosted. NARS Isolde #2 (P, $24.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

theBalm Eyeshadow Single #1
#1
#1
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total
theBalm Eyeshadow Single #2
#2
#2
4
Product
5
Pigmentation
4
Texture
6
Longevity
2.5
Application
48%
Total
theBalm Eyeshadow Single #3
#3
#3
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
89%
Total
theBalm Eyeshadow Single #4
#4
#4
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
theBalm Eyeshadow Single #5
#5
#5
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
theBalm Eyeshadow Single #6
#6
#6
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer

Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer
Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer

Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer ($55.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a deepened, orange-toned brown with subtle gold sparkle. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes (05) (LE, $75.00) is less warm-toned, matte. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is more shimmery, lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is lighter, more muted. Clarins Splendours (LE, $35.00) is less shimmery, a little lighter. See comparison swatches.

According to the brand, the bronzer is described as a “sheer, silky-light powder.” If by sheer, they mean, intensely pigmented with the merest flick of the wrist, sure, we’re on the same page, but since that’s not at all what sheer means, their description is far off. The powder is so, so pigmented–a little goes such a long way–but the texture is incredibly soft, silky, and finely-milled, so at least part of what they say is true. It’s just slightly powdery, though. It’s absolutely possible to get a softer, sheerer application out of the bronzer, but you’ll want to use a stippling or less-dense brush and a lighter hand to do so. Otherwise, the application is easy, as the powder is very blendable, and it wears for a full eight hours before gradually fading.

Le Metier de Beaute Bronzer Sun Drenched
9.5
Product
6.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
86%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

theBalm Eyeshadow Singles & Custom Palettes (Overview)

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! 🙂

theBalm   Eyeshadow Single
0
Product
0
Pigmentation
0
Texture
0
Longevity
0
Application
0%
Total

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Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad
Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a warm-toned palette that features a champagne, brown, rosy plum, and deep plum. Yesterday, I mentioned that I have a hit or miss relationship with Tom Ford’s quads, and this is one of the better ones I’ve tried (I also thought it would show that not all of the brand’s quads are like Ice Queen). It was only the darkest shade that I had any significant issues with–though I think for most, near-perfection is a prerequisite to consider something at this price point.  I can see this being a real workhorse of a palette for some with the color combination being a good mix of light and dark, matte and shimmer, so I disappointed that the last shade was such a miss.

Orchid Haze #1 is a warm-toned, golden peach with a frosted, almost metallic, finish. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was incredibly soft, smooth, and finely-milled. It wore well for eight hours before starting to fade. Too Faced Marzipan (P, $16.00) is less frosted, darker. bareMinerals Ball Gown (LE) is more golden. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #2 (LE) is less frosted but very similar. theBalm Stubborn (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. theBalm Third Eye Blinded (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. Estee Lauder Pink Zinc (P, $24.00) is a cream product. bareMinerals Custom Made (LE) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Orchid Haze #2 is a warm-toned, medium brown with warm, orange undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. The texture was soft and finely-milled but slightly powdery. It’s a shade I thought was easier to apply with a dampened brush, as it gave it a smoother application and minimized excess fall out. It did wear well for eight hours before it showed signs of fading. Sleek MakeUP Python (P, $9.99) is darker. MAC Pink Sensibilities #1 (LE, $21.00) is similar. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is less warm-toned. Clarins The Essentials #9 (LE) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Champagne Shimmer (P, $28.00) is a cream product. CoverGirl Melted Caramel (330) (P, $4.99) is darker, less frosted. Clinique Ample Amber (P, $17.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Orchid Haze #3 is a softened rosy plum with a pearly finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and velvety. There was a very slight powderiness to it. When I wore it, the color lasted for almost eight hours before looking faded along the edges. Chanel Quadrille #1 (LE) is darker, less shimmery. Urban Decay Buzz (P, $18.00) is lighter, warmer. theBalm Just This Once Jamie (P, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Make Up For Ever #141 (P, $20.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Orchid Haze #4 is a muted, blackened burgundy with neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. It had seemingly good color payoff, but the texture is very powdery, so it sheers away as soon as you blend or touch the product–it doesn’t really seem to bind or adhere well to the skin. On the lid, it looked dry and slightly uneven/patchy and was difficult to blend. The color wore well for seven and a half hours. Tarte Plums Up (LE) is lighter, warmer. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is brighter, shimmery. Kat Von D Fur Elise (P) is lighter. theBalm Sexy (P, $16.00) is darker. theBalm Moderato (P, $16.00) is similar. MAC Blackberry (P, $15.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quad Orchid Haze
Orchid Haze
Orchid Haze
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total
See All Glossovers

Also In This Review

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush
Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush ($9.99 for 0.17 oz.) is a medium, rose-tinged brown with warm undertones and a golden champagne shimmer. Too Faced Peach Beach (P, $30.00) is lighter, less shimmery. Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $43.00) is darker. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is browner, less shimmery. NARS Douceur (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, less warm-toned. Burberry Earthy (P, $42.00) is less shimmery, browner. See comparison swatches.

When Revlon reformulated and released their Blushes, I was excited, and the color range looked good. I’m all over a brown-based blush; they’re totally underrated, but they’re the types of blushes that I often reach for and there aren’t nearly enough options to choose from–most of them are very pricey, so I was hoping for a more budget-friendly version to recommend to readers. Unfortunately, the texture of this needs work; it’s stiff and dry yet powdery, almost chalky at times. I had to scrape off the product in order to get swatches of it to show up on my skin; using the included applicator produced no visible color on my skin. I had slightly better luck packing on the color onto my cheeks, which I owe to my skin type being normal (so there are some natural oils, which help powders stick), whereas the skin on my arm is drier. Even after some color applied, it was really difficult to blend. To add further insult, the shimmer in this does emphasize pores, so if you have larger pores or skin imperfections, this can exacerbate both! This blush lasted six and a half hours on me.

Revlon Powder Blush Naughty Nude (006)
7
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
7
Longevity
4.5
Application
73%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Milani Sweet Grapefruit, Coral Crush, Red My Lips Brilliant Shine Lipglosses

Milani Brilliant Shine Lipgloss
Milani Brilliant Shine Lipgloss

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Milani’s Brilliant Shine Lipglosses, and today, I have three more shades that I’ve tested from the line-up. To recap, the recently launched formula is supposed to have rich color, extreme high shine, and comfortable lasting wear,” plus be “moisturizing and non-tacky.” The texture is thick but smooth and mostly non-sticky, and the gloss smells like sweet vanilla but has no discernible taste. It comes with a paddle-shaped, sponge-tip applicator that fits along the curve of the lip. The formula has a high-shine, glossy finish, and they wear between three and four hours on me. I notice a slight tackiness that develops after an hour of wear, but it never feels full-on sticky, but it’s not 100% non-sticky. In some ways, the formula reminded me of MAC Lipglass, just not as thick or as tacky. They’re somewhat hydrating as well.

Milani Sweet Grapefruit (09) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss ($5.49 for 0.21 oz.) is a medium, warm-toned pink with a cream finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage with some translucency but a noticeable amount of color. This shade lasted four hours on me. Chanel Sonate (178) (P, $29.50) is darker. Paul and Joe Beaute Carnaval (06) (P, $29.00) is lighter. MAC Kiss & Don’t Tell (LE, $15.00) is pinker. MAC Star Quality (LE, $20.00) is darker, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Coral Crush (10) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss ($5.49 for 0.21 oz.) is a medium, muted orange with a creamy, glossy finish. It had semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage, but the natural lip color will still come through. As the gloss is on the thicker side, it seems to bunch up if you press your lips together. It wore well for three and a half hours. MAC Everlasting Nude (LE, $19.50) is more muted, lighter. MAC Strictly Plutonic (LE, $20.00) is darker, sheerer. See comparison swatches.

Red My Lips (12) Brilliant Shine Lipgloss ($5.49 for 0.21 oz.) is a bold, brightened, medium red with subtle neutral-to-warm undertones and a creamy, glossy finish. This shade had rich, opaque color coverage, and it didn’t settle into lip lines. The gloss wore well for four and a half hours on me. Maybelline Signature Scarlet (020) (P, $8.99) is lighter. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $15.00) is darker. Revlon Fire (P, $7.49) is warmer. MAC Russian Red (P, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss Sweet Grapefruit (09)
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total
Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss Coral Crush (10)
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
84%
Total
Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss Red My Lips (12)
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

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