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  • b-glowing20% off skincare orders of $60+ with code 20SKINCARE, ends 10/25.
  • Ulta50% off Urban Decay Naked Concealer (now $14.50), ends 10/28.

Round-up: theBalm Eyeshadows

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans

If there’s anything to be learned from reviewing 44 eyeshadows individually, it is that even a “single” formula can vary! I wish theBalm Eyeshadows performed more consistently and consistently better, as when all the ratings were averaged, the overall rating was a B. I feel like the brand’s eyeshadows are better than that, particularly in some of their past palettes as well as the Shady Lady singles.  There were certainly high quality, high performing shades in the range, but there were far too many Cs and below.  Due to the very limited distribution (you can only purchase through their boutique, so while anyone can place an order via phone, it’s hard to test for yourself), it’s a real bummer that they weren’t better overall.  The majority of the range has a softer, more muted vibe to the colors–nothing really too bright or bold or rich–and a few of those more contrasting, richer shades would have been much welcomed. There were far too many variations on gold and beige that were just marginally different, so there was room for shades with bolder qualities.

By Rating:

theBalm has said that some of the shades are ones that have been released in palettes, but there’s no list of which number lines up with which shade, so here’s a list of the new singles and their closest matches within theBalm family (including a few within the 44 shades that are very similar)…

Coverage

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10 of the Best Bright Lipsticks for Under $10

Go bold or go home with these ten picks for bold, bright lips–perfect for spring or summer–and all for less than $10! You can view these ten in the Swatch Gallery if desired. What are your top picks for a budget-friendly bright lipstick?

  1. Revlon Flirtatious — a shimmery, cool-toned red
  2. L’Oreal Pink Flamingo — a bright pop of cool-toned pink
  3. Revlon Vivacious –a vibrant fuchsia pink
  4. Revlon Fuchsia Shock — a shiny, fuchsia
  5. Revlon Wild Watermelon –a juicy coral-red
  6. Revlon Lollipop — a glossy, muted fuchsia pink
  7. Milani Violet Volt — a metallic, fuchsia-purple
  8. Milani Sweet Nectar — a pop of neon orange
  9. Maybellnie Shocking Coral — a bold, coral-red
  10. Maybelline Fuchsia Flash — an electric, cool-toned pink

Guerlain Terracotta Collection for Summer 2014

Guerlain Terracotta Collection for Summer 2014
Guerlain Terracotta Collection for Summer 2014

In 1984, Guerlain revolutionized the way a beautiful bronzed look was achieved. The endless hours in the sun to attain that perfect glow while also causing damage to the skin, could now be traded in for a healthier, much quicker way to “tan.” Terracotta was born and with it, a natural-looking glow season after season that never betrays your secret. On the strength of thirty years of expertise and innovation, Guerlain now introduces a new collection of beauty must-haves as part of the Terracotta collection. Step into the secret of a healthy glow…

Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation SPF 20 ($53.00)

Comparable to sunshine in a tube, this magical, lightweight fluid gives skin an instant touch of summer, leaving behind a perfectly radiant glow. Used on its own or paired with Terracotta Powder for buildable color, there is no easier and healthier way to create the perfect customizable tan for every complexion. Terracotta Joli Teint has a feather-light texture that glides on, leaving an incredibly fine and silky veil over the skin. It contains nourishing natural ingredients which counter the visible effects of fatigue, reviving dull skin for a radiant, even complexion. Available in 5 shades: Light, Natural, Medium, Dark and Ebony.

  • Light
  • Natural
  • Medium
  • Dark
  • Ebony

Terracotta Brush ($42.00)

This is the perfect ally for creating a smooth, perfectly tanned complexion. Its ultra-soft natural bristles are red, like those of Guerlain make-up artists, and evoke the warmth of a sunset. The convenient and elegant travel size slips into any handbag for touch-ups during the day, carefully protected in its bronze velvet pouch with a magnetic closure.

Terracotta Sunless ($53.00)

This 2-in-1 self-tanning gel delivers a veil of moisture and sun-kissed color to the entire body. Incredibly simple to apply, it melts into the skin. Within one hour, the skin is perfectly bronzed for up to four days. This intensely nourishing formula contains a subtle blend of self-tanning DHA and 100% natural organic argan oil rich in polyphenols and moisturizing fatty acids. Terracotta Sunless creates the look of a beautiful, even tan with the feel of smooth, satiny skin.

Terracotta After Sun Cream ($53.00) (Limited Edition)

Because tanned skin is even more beautiful when it is intensely hydrated, Guerlain is offering its first exclusive Terracotta after-sun care, boasting the Tan Booster Complex to enhance and intensify bronzed skin. Formulated with precious ingredients of natural origin and infused with the scent of the tiare flower, Terracotta After Sun completely hydrates, softens and soothes skin from the effects of the sun.

Availability: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks

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theBalm #37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 Eyeshadows

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans

#37 is a dark, neutral-to-cool-toned brown with a soft, pearly sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was really soft and easy to blend. It wore well for nine hours on me. MAC Phresh Out #5 (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Bewitch (LE, $18.00) is slightly warmer. MAC Smut (P, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

#38 is a pale, warm-toned yellow with a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation, and the texture was soft, buttery, and smooth. This shade lasted for eight and a half hours before fading. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful #1 (P) is similar. Makeup Geek Bling (P, $5.99) is darker. Dior Golden Flower #2 (LE) is less frosted. Disney by Sephora Charming (LE) is similar. MAC Short Shorts (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Nylon (P, $15.00) is a smidgen yellower. See comparison swatches.

#39 is a medium-dark brown with warm, red undertones and a silver sparkle. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable. I did have some minor fall out over time, but the color itself lasted for eight hours. Sleek MakeUP Flora (P, $9.99) is darker, browner. Makeup Geek Country Girl (P, $5.99) is lighter. NARS Naiade (P) is less sparkly. theBalm C4 (LE, $16.00) is less red. Inglot #122R Bottom (P, $6.00) is darker. Guerlain Turandot #2 (LE) is less sparkly. See comparison swatches.

#40 is a brightened, yellow gold with a metallic finish. It had so-so pigmentation, as the texture was a little stiffer to work with. This shade managed to wear for seven and a half hours before it started to fade. theBalm D1 (LE, $16.00) is similar. Disney by Sephora Gus Gus (LE) is darker. NARS Goldfinger (P, $24.00) is lighter. Chanel Topkapi #4 (LE) is darker. bareMinerals Rising Star (LE) is similar. Inglot #403 (P, $6.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

#41 is a golden beige with soft, warm undertones and a frost finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was fairly smooth and easy to work with. This color wore well for almost eight hours. theBalm D3 (LE, $16.00) is a smidgen more gold. NARS Hollywoodland (P, $24.00) is a cream product. Dior Night Golds #5 (LE) is darker. bareMinerals Aspire (P) is yellower. See comparison swatches.

#42 is a dark green with gold shimmer and warm undertones paired with a soft, satin finish. It had really nice pigmentation, and the texture was soft and smooth. This shade wore well for eight and a half hours. Clarins Forest #3 (LE) is darker. theBalm D4 (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Dior Bonne Etoile (384) #1 (LE) is more shimmery. Make Up For Ever #84 (P, $20.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

#43 is a muted, medium-dark, blue-teal with a mostly matte finish–there is a little iridescent sparkle that sits on top. It had so-so pigmentation, as the texture was slightly dry and powdery. I had good wear for eight hours before it started to fade. theBalm C2 (LE, $16.00) is very similar. MAC Dynamic Duo 3 #2 (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Cool Heat (LE, $15.00) is brighter. Inglot #338 (P, $6.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

#44 is a light-medium, neutral-to-warm toned brown with a matte finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, as the texture was a little powdery. The color managed to wear well for seven hours before fading became apparent. Tarina Tarantino Hollyhock (LE) is darker, more shimmery. theBalm C3 (LE, $16.00) is very similar. Urban Decay Rewind (LE, $18.00) is darker. NARS Yamal (LE, $24.00) is similar. MAC Omega (P, $15.00) is warmer, darker. See comparison swatches.

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 all of them in the Swatch Gallery here or view photos and swatches on theBalm’s Eyeshadow Single product page.

#37
#37
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total
#38
#38
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total
#39
#39
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total
#40
#40
6.5
Product
6.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
71%
Total
#41
#41
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total
#42
#42
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
#43
#43
6.5
Product
7
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
74%
Total
#44
#44
7.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
82%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Sisley Paris Mango (3) Phyto-Blush Eclat

Sisley Paris Mango (3) Phyto-Blush Eclat
Sisley Paris Mango (3) Phyto-Blush Eclat

Sisley Paris Mango (3) Phyto-Blush Eclat ($85.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a light-medium peach with a satiny, golden sheen. Hourglass Dim Infusion (P, $35.00) is darker. NARS Sex Appeal (P, $29.00) is pinker. MAC Cream Soda (LE, $21.00) is more matte, darker. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper (P, $30.00) is more beige, more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

The formula is supposed to be an “ultra-fine powder texture [that] allows for customized makeup application that is appropriate for all skin shades,” while also being long-wearing. The brand also includes skin softening ingredients in the formula (it’s a very skin care driven brand), but short of wearing this for weeks on end, I won’t be weighing in on that aspect. It’s not all that practical to use the shades individually, as each section isn’t large enough to accommodate a blush brush, though you could try to concentrate your blush in the lighter/darker sides. When swirled, the lighter, peachy color dominated whereas the pinky-coral hue darkened it slightly and gave it additional warmth. It’s a blush that is going to work best on lighter complexions; I’m about medium and at its most buildable, it’s a subtle blush on me–it adds warmth, a little color, and a subtle sheen. It gives more of a glowing effect than overt shimmer, so there’s no fear of emphasizing pores or skin imperfections. The texture is soft, finely-milled, though it felt a little thin–not quite as buttery as I expected or as smooth. The color wears eight hours on me before starting to fade. The included brush was somewhat scratchy and prone to shedding.

Mango (3)
Mango (3)
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Sisley Paris Toffee (7) Phyto-Ombre Eclat Eye Shadow

Sisley Paris Toffee (7) Phyto-Ombre Eclat Eye Shadow
Sisley Paris Toffee (7) Phyto-Ombre Eclat Eye Shadow

Sisley Paris Toffee (7) Phyto-Ombre Eclat Eye Shadow ($47.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a medium-dark, red-toned brown with warm undertones and a soft, satin finish. Makeup Geek Brown Sugar (P, $5.99) is darker, less red-toned. Anastasia Truffle (LE) is less warm-toned. Inglot #122R Bottom (P, $6.00) is darker, less shimmery. MAC Exposed (LE, $15.00) is more muted, lighter. Guerlain Les Fauves #2 (LE) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Phyto-Ombre Eclat formula is supposed to wear all-day long and have a great texture with blendable, buildable color. The brand also says that based on the “naturally-derived extracts (green tea, white lily, and camellia)” that the formula also “protects and softens the delicate epidermis of the eyelids.” I can’t attest to any long-term effects of wearing Sisley’s formula, but as an eyeshadow, it is exceptional. It is really everything you’d want in an eyeshadow: richly pigmented, beautifully blendable, incredibly finely-milled but never powdery, and long-wearing. It very nearly blends itself, but it doesn’t sheer out–it adheres well to the bare skin with even, smooth color, and the edges soften almost as you apply the color. When I tested it, the color wore well for nine hours with very, very minimal fading. Whether it’s worth it is going to depend on the individual, as it’s a luxury product with a corresponding price point, but at least it performs at a high level.

Toffee (7)
Toffee (7)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total