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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review and Swatchfest: theBalm's Balmbini Face Palette

During one of my many Marshalls meanders (literally, sometimes I just meander around looking for deals, sales, new products to blog about....just sad) this little baby fell into my path.

theBalm's Balmbini Face Palette ($28 at thebalm.com)

Because this will be a long, content-filled post, I'm going to spare you the witty narrative and just tell you that,  this palette normally retails for $28, (although, I got it for $16.99 at Marshalls!), so each product is essentially $4 a piece.  I'm going to hit you some swatches with a little cost analysis thrown in the mix. Note: the cost analysis will be done on the palette as it normally retails simply because I can't ensure you will find it at your Marshalls.

Shadow blushes in Down Boy and Hot Mama
Down Boy on the left and Hot Mama on the right
Down Boy (3.5 g) is a matte baby pink while Hot Mama (3.8g) is a peach with shimmery gold undertone. Typically, Down Boy retails for $21 for 9.9g which means you are getting 35% of the product at 19% off the price. Hot Mama retails for $19 at 7.08 grams so you are getting 50% of the product at 21% of the retail price.

As far as quality goes, these blushes are smooth, not chalky and have great pigmentation. Another plus is that the size of the pans are big enough to be able to dab a fluffier blush brush. The two colors they give you are great picks for the palette as well because you have a cooler baby pink and a warmer golden peachy-pink. The fact that they double as shadows gives you more room to play!
From the left: Mary -Lou Manizer, Insane Jane, Jealous Jordana

From the left: Mary-Lou Manizer, Insane Jane, Jealous Jordana
Mary-Lou Manizer is just as it sounds, an illuminator! It's a pretty standard frosty cream-colored illuminator. I noticed that it has the same texture as the two shadows that sit next to it. Not a big deal, but it is definitely different than comparable illuminators (MAC MSF, Lara Geller Blush N' Brighten, etc.). It typically retails for $20 for 8.5g and, in this palette, you get 1.5 grams. That's 18% of the product for 20% of the price.

Insane Jane is a frosty medium grey-taupe. When I looked on theBalm's site, I couldn't find it for individual retail, but it is in the Shady Lady Vol. 2 Palette. The texture is out-of-this-world smooth and really blendable. I would do a price rundown since it doesn't look like you can buy it individually to begin with.

Jealous Jordana is a frosty- almost metallic- hunter green that retails for $16 for .12 oz. In this palette you get .15 for essentially $4. Wow. That works out to be 125% more for 20% of the regular price. Unless the shadows are more than .12 oz. or the back of the palette is wrong, these numbers are right people.

A final note on the blushes and eye shadows: I noticed they have  really pleasant minty smell (like aromatherapy minty). I don't know that I have ever owned a shadow with a smell, but I'm glad my first one was good!

Finally, the lips:
 Read My Lips Lipstick in Wanted on the left. On the right, special edition tinted gloss

Lipstick in wanted on the left, gloss on the right
First off, in the tutorial that I will post later, I call the Lipstick "Read My Lips" as the color when it is actually "Wanted". Just to clear that up. Despite looking like it would be a fiery red on the lips, it ends up being a more pink based, berry-red when applied. The coverage is sheer. The lipstick typically retails for $17 for 4g and you get 2.6 g in the palette. That's 63% of the product for 24% of the price. The one thing I don't like about the lipstick in the palette is that, unless you have a lip brush handy, it's fingersville for you. That means a messy finger and haphazard application (not to mention a shortened life due to germ-i-ness). But, that can be said for any palette with a lip product in it. A redeeming factor of this palette is that the bottom flap covers just the lip products so that you can use the powder products without having to worry that the fallout is getting in your lipstick.

The gloss that is included in the palette isn't available for individual sale (to my knowledge), but it is just a sheer, smooth gloss. Nothing special but for a texture that is like butter that gives a slight sheen to the lips. Nothing goopy or tacky about it.

Overall this palette is amazing both for the products in it and for the deal you are getting. As someone who has never tried theBalm products but heard rave reviews, this might have been the buy of the year.

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