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theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

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.

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

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Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brightened tangerine orange with peach and white micro-shimmer and a glossy shine. On my lips, it looks a bit coral-orange. The color coverage is semi-opaque; it delivers a healthy amount of color, but there’s enough translucency that my natural lip color shows through, too.  While the texture was smooth overall, it did not apply as evenly as I’d like.  It reminded me of Guerlain Orange Euphorique, which is a little brighter and more opaque. Chanel Sari Dore is more opaque and darker. MAC Made to Order is similar but doesn’t have as much gold shimmer.

Rouge Prodige is a creamy lipstick that glides on easily and delivers an ultra glossy shine. Despite its creaminess, it has a lightweight feel, and it’s comfortable to wear for the three to four hours that it wears for. It’s supposed to be long-lasting, but unless it’s a really rich red, it’s average when it comes to wear (most lipsticks wear three to four hours on me). It has a berry-like scent but no taste; the scent is subtle and doesn’t read synthetic.

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick

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5 Things Beauty Brands’ Websites Need


5 Things Beauty Brands’ Websites Need

I really feel like the online shopping experience for beauty leaves something to be desired! I wish beauty brands would put a little more into their websites.

  1. INGREDIENTS should be mandatory!  Not only is it frustrating that many brands don’t list their ingredients online, but when you inquire via e-mail, they refer you to call a 1-800 number. Is it really appropriate to have that kind of information–with all of those scientific ingredients–read over the phone?  They have to be on the box, so it’s not like it’s forever secret information.
  2. REAL PHOTOS seem to be more than just lacking but nigh on impossible to find on major beauty brands’ websites.  I know that Illamasqua has lip swatches, which is something you rarely see from bigger brands, that are much appreciated. I guess I’d be out of a job, though 🙂  You just see a lot of template photos that have the color altered in Photoshop rather than brands taking actual photos of each shade.
  3. QUANTITY should be displayed.  It drives me batty when a brand doesn’t list it.
  4. SHADE DESCRIPTIONS are so much more important than brands think!  When you’re using computer-generated color blocks for your swatches, a few words to describe the color would be so much more helpful!  No color descriptions is particularly egregious when the naming scheme is numbers!
  5. POST POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE REVIEWS if you ever want me to trust your reviews section. After hearing from readers about experiences where sites don’t post a negative review but will post a positive one, I’ve lost so much faith in the process.  Beauty consumers are getting smarter every year!

What are beauty brands’ missing on their websites?

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as “Rolex rose gold” with a metallic finish. Deborah Lippmann said it took her three years to get the finish you see in Glamorous Life–always fun to read tidbits like that. It’s champagne, it’s beige, it’s rose gold–it’s really a mix of pink and champagne with threads of gold micro shimmer to give it that metallic finish.  It was opaque in two coats.   Zoya Pandora is less metallic, more shimmered, and not as pink. Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie has a similar softness but is a cream finish and has no gold.

This is one of the easiest metallics I’ve worked with; it’s not too thick and the brush strokes easily pull into straight lines–no wonkiness. There’s a lot of inherent shine in the finish even without a top coat (though I’d still recommend a top coat for prolonged wear).  The polish applies evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.  I’ve had good luck with Deborah Lippmann’s formula–her shades typically wear for a week with minor to minimal tip wear.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer Glamorous Life
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
96%
Total

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