I think that, by now, we all know The Balm absolutely slay at packaging. As a brand, The Balm has consistently given us cute, kinda retro, pun-heavy and slightly silly products. I mean, a mascara called “Tall Dark and Handsome”? Yes, please. So when they came out with these travel sized palettes, they took a product that was relatively simple – a blush and three eyeshadows – and they came up with a really fun idea. They made it look like a driver’s license.
The palette itself is roughly the same size as a driver’s license, it’s quite compact and not particularly deep so it’s easy to pop into your makeup bag or handbag. The packaging is cardboard with a magnetic close and a sturdy mirror. It’s gorgeous to look at, fun and quirky, and very on point with the brand’s style. The pans aren’t huge, the blush especially is tiny for what you would expect for a blush, but perfect for a travel sized product.
As for colour selection, I honestly didn’t really see the colours working together. There is a very hot pink blush (very bright) a satiny “highlighter/shadow” which is almost matte and not particularly highlighting but works great as a base shade, a dark matte purple “eyeshadow/liner” and a metallic silver eyeshadow. With only three eyeshadows, your options are always going to be limited to basically one look. But when I first saw the palette my first thought was “silver and plum..? Really?” but then I gave it a go and was surprised at how well it worked.
The eyeshadows are high quality, pigmented and soft and blendable with minimal to no fallout. If you lay down a good base of the highlight shade, then mix the purple slowly and softly through you get a really lovely crease colour even without a transition shade. Which goes against basically every YouTube dos and don’ts for eyeshadow video. Ever. It also lasted really well. I put it on at 6:45am (over the Too Faced eyeshadow primer) and wore it all day at work, through a 60-minute spin class and a shower and when I took it off at 8pm, it hadn’t faded or smudged or anything. It still looked awesome.
And now for the stuff that I didn’t like, which was, in a nutshell, the blush. It’s too much. To be fair, I am a very light touch with blush because I feel like your face makeup should look as though you’re not wearing makeup at all… but this stuff? Well, I used an incredibly light hand and I still looked like a clown. And no matter what I did, it wouldn’t blend out. Two of the girls at work even admitted it didn’t look very good. I’ve heard that people with darker complexions haven’t had any issues, but personally, I was really not a fan.
This palette (and her sister California) sell for NZ$39.99 at Life Pharmacy, which personally I think is quite steep for three small eyeshadows and a blush. They are high quality, though, and something I could see myself continuing to use regularly. The blush, on the other hand, I will probably never use again.
TL;DR: awesome little palette, blush is way too much for me, maybe a little bit spensy but I think it’s worth it.
As always, this blog post is entirely my own opinion and I do not represent anyone or anything. I was gifted this product however my opinion is still completely honest.