Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jocks and Loose Women

I was browsing the David Jones Beauty Book 2013 and what immediately caught my eye was the offer they had for theBalm. If you spend $27.95 on the brand, they'll throw in your choice of ShadyLady Vol. 2 or Vol. 3 eyeshadow palette valued at $49.95. The only product I have from theBalm is the Mary-Lou Manizer, but I've been keen to add the NUDE'Tude palette to the mix. The only problem was I didn't particularly want to fork out $49.95 for it, so I settled with the bare minimum, one of their highly regarded blushes in FratBoy. I did some prior investigation into the difference between ShadyLady Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, and I opted for Vol. 2 as it seemed to have more shades I'd actually wear.




l-r: NARS Deep Throat, theBalm FratBoy, Benefit Sugarbomb, Australis Screen Siren

I've always heard positive things about theBalm blushes, so I didn't mind picking one up even though I already have close dupes of pretty much every single blush they've put out. I decided against Hot Mama (too shimmery, looked very similar to Sleek Rose Gold) and CabanaBoy (I don't think I get along with these deeper, plummier blushes as they tend to make me look bruised and drained, plus I already have NARS Sin, Benefit Dallas and Rimmel Genuine Plum in that colour family), so it was a choice between the pink DownBoy and the peach FratBoy. I've always struggled with certain pink blushes as they end up looking ruddy and unflattering on me (hello Illamasqua Naked Rose), so I decided that FratBoy would suit my yellowish complexion more than DownBoy, which might be better for paler skin.

The packaging calls to mind a more streamlined Benefit, with the same cheerful, flirtatious, vintage vibe and attention to detail. The football field surrounding the mirror is a cute touch that ties in nicely with the name of the blush. It's housed in cardboard which I can't help but feel is a bit cheap, but at the same time it looks well made and is compact and lightweight. FratBoy is your typical warm, medium pinky-peachy-coral shade. There's a minuscule amount of gold shimmer that's barely detectable on the cheeks. It's basically a matte blush on me. The colour is quite deep and heavy even when I apply it lightly, unless I make an effort to really sheer it out and buff away the edges and over the blush to soften it. It has a strong, earthy tone that I'm not convinced looks entirely fresh and 'peppy' on face. It's very similar to NARS Deep Throat (though Deep Throat has the shimmer factor) and Australis Paparazzi Perfect High Definition blush in Screen Siren (which is a touch darker and more red). While very smooth and pigmented, I was expecting more with the lasting power. This only lasted around 4 hours or so and by day's end had more or less completely faded.



l-r: Caught in the Act Courtney, Feisty Felicia, Insane Jane, Bossy Bobbi, Makeout Mary, Just This Once Jamie, Mischievous Marissa, Tempting Tara, Devilish Danielle


ShadyLady Vol. 2 is my first foray into theBalm's eyeshadows, and the swatches speak for themselves. These are by and large soft, buttery shadows with vibrant colour payoff. They're the kind of shadows you could apply and blend with your fingers. No brushes required. The only exceptions are Caught in the Act Courtney and Feisty Felicia, which are much drier, slightly chalky and apply very patchily, requiring several layers to build up pigmentation. Feisty Felicia looks like such an alluring deep eggplant shade with reddish glitter, but it's closer to a straightforward black (and not a good one at that). I thought Caught in the Act Courtney would be a rich, deep bronze, but it's too sheer and dark to sweep all over the lid for a fuss-free daytime smoky eye. 

My two favourite shades (predictably) are the silvery taupe Insane Jane and purplish grey Just This Once Jamie. I find the two look better paired together, as by themselves they're either too grey/cool or warm/violet. I don't see myself getting much use out of the last two highlight shades, and the other three (Bossy Bobbi, Makeout Mary and Mischievous Marissa) are frankly too colourful for me to wear on any regular basis. As pleased as I was with the texture and pigmentation of these shadows, there were two notable exceptions (one of which was particularly disappointing as I was hoping it'd be a standout) and the majority of the other colours simply aren't up my alley. If only the free palette was NUDE'Tude instead.

37 comments:

  1. Those shadows look so creamy & pigmented in your swatches! I really need to pick up some of theBalm's eyeshadow palettes -- the look so fun to play with! x

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  2. Love the eyeshadow palette! I have the blush, and love it! xx

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  3. The eyeshadow palette looks so beautiful. I've been really wanting to try some theBalm products - mainly because of the Mary-Lou Manizer. Those shadows though, so beautiful! x

    thebirdsong.co.uk

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  4. Frat boy looks like a really fun blush color. I don't knoq why but I've been obsessed with blush lately!

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  5. i have this eyeshadow palette too but I hardly reach for it. Love my Nudetude!!!! Frat Boy is a pretty blush.

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  6. I've heard wonderful things about that particular blush, it's a shame you don't find that it lasts on you!! :( Their hot mama blush lasts on me all day so I guess I was expecting the same from the others as well; shoot. And I've actually got the NUDE'tude palette and... I wish I could say I loved it more. The shadows are gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but they're all VERY frosty, the shimmer shades are chalky like what you experienced here, and the colors end up looking fairly similar once on the lids :/ I don't know, it's not a bad palette but definitely not something I feel one NEEDS in their collection you know?

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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  7. I've been wanting to get the balm products for ages!
    I specially want their new eye primer and Nude'Tude palette. Although, I'm also eyeing their blushes and highlighters!
    And After seeing this swatches, I'm also aiming Shady Lady 2 <3

    Have a nice day dear, please take care.**
    Kisuu*

    http://beauty-with-love.blogspot.com

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  8. I really love the quality of theBalm shadows. I have the Nude Tude and the shades are perfect for me. I didn't want to pay full price either, I bought it during a 40% off sale from the Balms website.

    All of the Shady Lady shadows look gorgeous!

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  9. Oh if only. If only. But I like this Shady Lady palette although the original suits my taste better and suits the palette name better :)

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  10. LOL The Balm always has the most unique packaging, I swear. Love the products, though. Those shades are super pretty, and I love the pigmentation!

    www.hudasbeauty.blogspot.com

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  11. oh I have been wanting the Nudetude as well but I haven't got the urge to dig my pocket to buy it T.T it retails for 29€ here in Germany, so it is actually not that 'bad'-but I am currently saving for my paris trip in a week ^^
    I bought shadylady vol 2 for my sister few months ago and she loves it! the shades look wearable yet not boring :-D

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  12. Nice eyeshadow swatches! Much better than mine!! lol
    xxx Kat

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  13. Have tried a few of theBalm products and am quite impressed with the brand :) Not to mention the packaging is so darn cute!
    Haven't tried their shadows yet, but the colour payoff looks really good!

    www.beautibop.com

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  14. I love the look of theBalm products but have never tried them. The eyeshadows look fantastic and the blush is a gorgeous colour ! Good choices

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  15. Feisty Felicia looked so good in the pan, how disappointing. Your two picks parallel mine but I certainly wouldn't purchase a palette for two shades that only work well together.

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  16. I didn't realise theBalm was sold in David Jones, good to know. The eyeshadows are an intersting mix and they look quite pigmented but it sucks about the two that aren't. xxx
    Life of Verity

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  17. I really love Makeout Mary! If that came in a single pan, I would buy it! I really need to buy some theBalm products! maybe later when I've used up my other blushes :) x

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  18. You made the right choice! I have both Shady Lady Vol. 2 and the Nude 'Tude and reach for the shady ladies much more often. I like the Nude 'Tude a lot but it's like... too much brown??? I used to be afraid of the darker colours in the Shady Lady too but now they are awesome. You'll learn to love them!

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  19. Because we all need more coral blush and eyeshadow! TheBalm seems to do the best eyeshadows- just as good, if not better than Urban Decay. Maybe problematic when it comes to application. I saw this on Kat's blog but I didn't see the promo at the DJs theBalm stand. The Mary-Lou Manizer is always out of stock so I would probably have picked the same things you did. I like the look of Just This Once Jamie and Devilish Danielle but the colourful shades wouldn't get worn much. I'm thinking of putting together an Inglot palette if I ever get to the local stockist halfway across town. The more I see palettes like NUDE'tude and LORAC Pro the more I feel like creating a customised assortment of colours I would actually wear.

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  20. I used to have Frat Boy but sold it in a blog sale as it was so neglected.... regretting that decision now to be honest!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

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  21. i think i need to go to david jones ASAP!!
    the pigmentation of the eye shadows looks amazing. just this one jamie looks so pretty and wearable.
    i want to try theBalm blushes, but i have heaps of blushes i have yet to use.

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  22. Such a great deal! I've been trying to take advantage but theBalm shelves have been stripped bare in my DJ's :(

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  23. These shades look amazing! Great colours xx

    Justine | BRIGHTON DREAM

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  24. I have Frat Boy and always find I have to use it over a primer or set it to make it last on me. I love the shade of it though so I don't mind too much x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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  25. the eyeshadows are absolutely gorgeous!!!omg need to try them after your photos!! Bisous doll!! ;)

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  26. Interesting packaging :) i'm always a sucker for those. The color fratboy looks really great from the swatch. definitely love that it has a deeper color.

    Joyce @ carouselstreet.com

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  27. i was considering getting the mary louinizer to qualify for the shady kady palette, but i guess ill just hld out for the nudetude palette :)
    also i was wondering what facial oils you like? I'd love to se a review on the sanctuary spa therapists oil

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    1. I love lots of them! I like the Sanctuary one quite a bit :) I find all of them super super similar though, I can barely distinguish between mine. I might do a post about my face oil collection - was thinking of doing that but not sure how useful it would be because I think they are all pretty much the same LOL

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  28. I think thebalm fratboy looks the best among all other shades =)

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  29. Wow the color payoff is intense! I heard about this deal but forced myself to stay away from DJs haha! There's so much hype about frat boy! blushes that don't last is my pet peeve though!
    my favorite colors from the palette are the same as yours c:

    à la foliee

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  30. I love The Balm packaging. Mary LouManizer is my go to everyday! I haven't tried their blushes but now I'm intrigued to.

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  31. I have this palette as well as volume 1. I like volume 1 better but volume 2 isn't too shabby. I did a review on vol 2 back in the day and noticed the same to colors that gave you trouble also gave me trouble. Patchy when swatched. They aren't bad when applied with a fluffy brush though. When I reach for this palette I normally use Courtney as a deepening shade anyway. TheBalm has such nice texture when they get it right! I have yet to try out their blushes.

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  32. I've always wanted to try their blushes, I think the colour looks great. Although the eyeshadow palette may not be right up your alley, at least you have more the reason to know that the Nude'tude palette is worthwhile since their eyeshadow quality is super good all around. The odd one out for the Nude'tude palette is Silly (the dark purple sparkle shadow) - it's not as pigmented as the others and a bit chalky. I read other reviews and people had the same problem. So just a heads up when you get it :)

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  33. There's something off about Frat Boy. Like there's something weird about the colour. I've been staring at it for ages, but don't really know what it is. I guess it's probably the "earthy" tone to it, like you mentioned. I actually thought it was a proper peach!

    I love theBalm shadows! Just this once jamie is one of my faves! Now I want caught in the act courtney and insane jane.

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  34. I love TheBalm stuff - that blush looks gorgeous. My favourite is Cabana boy.

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