Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Watch Me Shine

:) I had to. I love both the movie and that song. And it's so appropriate for this post.

And really, is there anyone better to represent a beauty blog than Elle Woods?

But seriously, it was just so right for this post, since I'm reviewing the "Oh So Bright" collection from The Balm.

For starters, who can resist the packaging? Vintage pinups combined with funny play-on-word titles like Shady Lady, Staniac, and Meet Matt(e)--hell yes!

I've been eying this stuff for ages, but kept talking myself out of it because more than once I've been known to buy something based on the packaging only to be disappointed. For another, I don't like trying strange makeup since I'm allergic to a lot of it. It's really had for me to find makeup in a good consistency that contains neither fragrances nor soy (eventually I'll write a little more about that, but not today). Mostly I've seen the kits at Marshalls, and there will be one or two things in them that I like, but the others are either high in the allergy potential (like mascara) or just aren't my thing.

Then I found this kit.

To begin with, let's look at the cosmetic bag it comes in: cute and reusable, both plusses. Second, do you see the MSRP in the upper right hand corner? $59. That is more than I spend on gas in a week. It's more than I spend on food.

BUT, if you're a bargin hunter, you can find these kits for $10 or less. Mine was $9.99 at Marshalls.

So, packaging: 10. Price: 11! Let's look at the contents, shall we?

First up, the Mary-Lou Manizer.

I passed on this kit a couple of times because I don't use luminizer, but the package says it can also be used as an eyeshadow. So I thought, What the hell? I'll give it a shot.

In the compact, it's a nice brown with some gold tones to it--almost the same color as my skin when I have a little bit of a tan (like right now). "Ah," I thought, "Another nice brown eyeshadow." Because browns are my favorite. I like a natural look that doesn't smack you over the head. Yes, I like to mix it up some, but for work I go pretty neutral in my makeup.

I swept on just a touch using the Mini Buki brush that came in the kit, and WOW. It was so bright! A great golden tan, it went on really nice (I did have to even it out a little with my finger since I'm not used to using a brush like that on my eyes). I love the color. It is so perfect, and could be good with day or evening looks. Bonus: it'll work great with the eye shadows I already have.

Next up, a Pump Your Pucker lip gloss called Pink My Lemonade, which is just the cutest title ever. Shimmery and semi-transparent, it's just a couple of shades darker than my natural lips, and the texture is awesome. It's smooth, and after a couple of minutes it's not nearly as sticky as most of the other lip glosses I've tried--which happens to be my pet peeve with lip gloss. I can easily see myself wearing this both on it's own and layered over my favorite lip stain. In fact, I wore both the gloss and the luminizer to my birthday dinner on Sunday, and then to work the next day.
Swatches of the lip gloss and luminizer. The luminizer shows up a lot better on my eyes, but I'm not quite ready to start posting pictures of my face, even in part.

Last, we have a Hot Ticket nail polish. The color is "Princess." It's a nude base with pearly shimmer in it. It went on super easy. Dry time was pretty average (about 15 minutes), so if you're in a hurry it would benefit from a quick dry top coat.

I'm not real big on nude polishes of any sort, but I can see this color being a useful one to have in my palette. It's a little translucent for my taste as well. Here you can see two coats.

Overall, I thought the color was kind of blah, but like I said, I'm not a big fan of the nudes or the pearly colors, but I like the formula and would like to try it in a different color. It is 3 free.

I loved this set and would definitely buy everything in it again--though like I said, different color on the polish. It got me really wanting to try some of their other products, and I'll be looking at the more closely when I see them around now. The more I use them, the more I can't believe what a deal I got! The Mary-Lou Manizer alone sells for $22 on their website, so to get the whole kit for $10 is a steal, even if you take brand name out of it and just look at the quality of the products. I doubt I could have gotten a shadow, gloss, brush, and polish of this quality from Target even if I was buying the store brand (and y'all know how I love my Target). I don't think I could ever consider paying the full retail for it, though, which is sad because I like supporting good companies. I think the most I'd be able to stomach would be $30, but that's speaking from my end of the shoestring. Your mileage might be different.

If you haven't tried anything by The Balm, I highly encourage you to. Also, check out their website, since the company is peopled by some fabulous ladies and dogs!

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