The Balm Cosmetics is a makeup brand that I have long heard about but only just recently became acquainted with. As far as I knew (which was little) they were solely a makeup brand but I have since learned that they also do skin care, hair care and nail polishes... so there ya go!
Last year I got the 'Nude Tude' eyeshadow palette in a goodie bag and fell in love with it. The shadows are extremely pigmented, creamy and very blendable. Major thumbs up! I did a makeup tutorial using the palette shortly after which ye can see here...
Since receiving that palette I was itching to try more but have been limiting my makeup purchases to kit essentials over the past few months and hadn't gotten around to picking any more of their products up, so I was super excited to have been contacted by the brands' PR and shortly after sent a selection of their products to try out!
So here's a run down of the bits I received with swatches and what I think of them thus far.
(Please note that in my video I was quoting prices from Asos.com but here I will quote prices from Debenhams.ie as they are a lot more affordable there!)
We'll begin with lips...
PRETTY SMART Lip Glosses.
(AKA Read my Lips)
These glosses come in 11 shades. They are nicely pigmented and creamy with the usual tacky gloss texture but very opaque and comfortable on the lips. I was sent 'Pow' a gorge intense pink, 'Bam' a very wearable, neutral rosy nude and 'Boom' a deep wine burgundy shade. Great shade names and great packaging!
These guys come in at €14.50 each on the Debenhams website. A lot more affordable than the full price of €17.61 on Asos.com.
MEET MATT(E) HUGHES Liquid Lipsticks.
The liquid lippies come in a total of 8 shades and will set you back €15.50 on the Debenhams website. I'll fess up and admit I'm not the greatest connoisseur of liquid lipsticks. I have the Bourjois ones which I love but that's about it (I think)! I have tried others but haven't gone as far as starting up a collection of any size. These seems like really nice products though... the formula is very creamy and opaque. They feel very comfortable on for a good 5-6 hours before it shrivels up on my lips anyhow! I have tried these with and without primer, and with and without pencil. I think primer is a must for prolonged comfort but lip pencil could be skipped if you want, however I still prefer to apply over pencil for the perfect shape. And you can absolutely simply apply the lipstick directly to the lips using the doe-foot applicator but I prefer to use a lip brush for precision.
I have 'Loyal' a deep blue based red and 'Committed', a rosy/mauve toned nude. Both are fab on and I'm struggling to favour one over the other.
The BALM GIRLS Lipstick.
There are 6 shades of these lipsticks available at a cost of €15.50 again on Debenhams.ie compared to a whopping €19.01 on Asos. I was sent 'Mai Billsbepaid' (I'll admit, took me a minute to figure out the pronunciation), this is a gorgeous mauve toned nude which seems to have a satin finish and a hydrating formula. It has quite good colour pay-off but does have some transparency to the finish. All-in-all a really nice lipstick, though maybe nothing particularly special to write home about.
HOT MAMA & CABANABOY Blushes.
'Hot Mama' is definitely one of The Balm's iconic products that I had heard loads about from other bloggers etc. I think it's supposed to be a decent dupe to NARS 'Orgasm' blush. It also reminds me of MACs' 'Peachykeen' blush or Benefits 'Coralista'. It's a golden peach/orange toned blush with a frost finish. Lovely for tanned or sallow complexions as a blush or as a highlight on deep skintones.
This costs €17.00 on Debenhams compared to €21 on Asos.
'CabanaBoy' Blush is a gorgeous cranberry toned, satin/matte finish, blush available for €18.00 on Debenhams. (doesn't seem to be on Asos at the minute).
I personally adore cooler tones like this for my own skin colour/tone and prefer the matte finish due to the annoying texture on my cheeks at the minute thanks to localised acne outbreak.
MARY-LOU MANIZER Highlighter.
The Mac Daddy of all highlighters, I was more than happy to finally get my grubby mitts on this beautiful golden powder. The 'Mary-lou Manizer' has definitely reached iconic status among makeup lovers worldwide and for good reason... it is a serious mega-watt highlighter!
This will set you back €20.50 (Debenhams) or €24.65 (Asos)
Its golden tone suits most light to medium skin tones and it can be used for multiple effects on the eyes and face. When I first ever swatched this in the Makeup Forever store in Dublin, I noticed how un-powdery it felt! It almost seems like it contains oil or something that gives it a creamy texture. I think this may be down to some wax contained within the ingredients. It's not necessarily a complaint as it really helps with skin adhesion and longevity, but it's just a little unfamiliar as a face powder. It actually kind of reminds me of the texture of the Sleek Makeup eyeshadows.
NUDE DUDE VOL. 2 EyeShadow Paltte.
As I mentioned above, I am a big fan of the 'Nude Tude' palette so even before swatching the shadows in the 'Nude Dude' Vol. 2 palette I knew I would like them in texture etc... and I was right. It's the exact same quality of product as in the other palette. The palette contains 12 highly pigmented shades with a mix of mattes and shimmers. The six shades on the left of the palette are warm and in the golden family, while the six on the right half are pinky/purple and deep in tone. The mattes are smooth and easily blended with some powdery fall-out but nothing worrying, and the shimmer shades have amazing colour pay-off and skin adhesion which can be seen in the swatches below which are on clean, un-primed skin.
MEET MATT(E) NUDE Eyeshadow Palette.
Another stand-out product for me among the lot, the 'Meet Matte Nude' palette is decent mix of warm and cool matte neutral shadows. There are 9 shades with generous sized pans in the palette and it will set you back €43.00 on Debenhams.ie and a hefty €52.82 on Asos.
Despite the expected minor fall-out when the pan is disturbed by a brush, this doesn't cause much mess on the face in terms of fall-out and the texture of these mattes is just lovely. Very smooth and blendable. Decent over clean skin but very pigmented over eyeshadow primer as is obvious in the swatch picture below. Highly recommend this palette!
SCHWING Liquid Liner.
The final product today is the 'Schwing' liquid liner. €15.50 on Debenhams and a reasonable €16.90 on Asos considering.
This is a lovely intense black matte eyeliner with a rigid nib. I am usually not the biggest fan of these types of nibs and while I don't love this one, I do greatly prefer it to others that I've tried as it is very fine at the tip, allowing for greater precision.
A very decent liquid eyeliner, though no better than the NYX Collection Noir Eyeliner or the Bourjois 16hr Liquid Liner.
Over all I am very impressed with what I have tried of the brand so far and for the purposed of this post I am giving the brand a strong 4.5/5. This is also boosted thanks to the gorgeous and tastefully playful kitch packaging... a vintage-aesthetic lovers dream!
Let me know what from the brand do you Guys love and what not so much.
Laters for now!