Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UPDATED: theBalm Balmbini Master Post

theBalm was having a 5 hour 50% off sale last Thursday, so I took the plunge and ordered one of their palettes, which has 2 of their most popular blushes, their beloved highlighter, two eyeshadows, a lipstick, and a lipgloss.  I've long been lemming the blushes and highlighter, and Temptalia had given their eyeshadows fantastic reviews, so for $14 (and free shipping!), I was super psyched to try them out.
theBalm Balmbini Babies of theBalm Face Palette
Since it was just coming from San Francisco, my order arrived on Monday.  Cue hyperactive squealing on my part!  I actually managed to take some pictures of the palette before I could manage to ruin its pristine beauty––usually, I have no planning skills and use the product before I can take pictures of it (Wet N Wild Silent Treatment trio, this may have happened several times with you...).

The packaging is adorable; the palette is adorned with little pictures of all of theBalm's products, very retro-cute.  The palette opens between the middle and bottom rows with magnetic seals, which is great for protecting the creamy lip colors from any powder migration (a common problem in mixed-medium palettes).  There's a generously sized mirror on top, and the palette, about the size of my hand, is also very slim, since there is no drawer for brushes or anything.  I'll break down the value of each product below, but theBalm claims the palette is worth $85, and with a full retail price of $28, you're still getting a savings of $57, or 67% off.  Since I managed to snag it for half that, I saved 83.5% off the retail value!

Here's a summary list of the individual review posts for each of the products, along with how much the amount in the palette is worth:

Top row
Down Boy blush/eyeshadow, a matte cool pink
   0.12 oz, worth $7.20
Hot Mama blush/eyeshadow, a peachy pink with gold shimmer (similar to NARS Orgasm)
   0.13 oz, worth $9.88

Middle row
Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter/eyeshadow, a shimmery sheer golden ivory
   0.05 oz, worth $4
Insane Jane ShadyLady eyeshadow/liner, a creamy taupe shimmer
   0.075 oz, worth $12
Jealous Jordana ShadyLady eyeshadow/liner, a blackened green
   0.075 oz, worth $12

Bottom row
Wanted Read My Lips lipstick, a sheer red
   0.09 oz, worth $10.93
Special Edition lipgloss, a sheer peach
   0.11 oz, worth ~$10

Total value of products: $66

Now, theBalm's website says the palette has a value of $85, which is clearly not the same.  Even including the mirror, I wouldn't put the palette's value (in terms of product amount) above $70 or so.  So, while I disagree with theBalm's calculations, I still think it's a hell of a deal, especially if the eyeshadow shades appeal to you.  The convenience of a palette that contains everything you need besides foundation and mascara is also compelling; I know I'll be bringing this when I go to DC in a few weeks, and it will be a major space-saver (assuming, of course, I can convince myself to leave my other products behind).

Now, what you've all been waiting for: the overall score!  Confetti!  Cheering!  Cartwheels in the street!

$28, available from theBalm

Pros: Blushes are gorgeous (and generously sized!), as are the luminizer and eyeshadows; versatile shades for eye and lip mean most people can make a flattering look, included mirror is a handy plus, separate flaps for cream and powder products helps prevent cross-contamination
Cons: Expensive, Jealous Jordana isn't of the best quality, have to supply your own applicators

Quality: 9.5
Effectiveness: 4.75
Ease of Use: 4.75
Senses: 5 (no irritation, and the lip products smell yummy!)

Pigmentation: 4.5
Duration: 4.75
Consistency: 4.75

Price: 1.5 ($28 is a lot, even for a full-face palette)
Value: 4.5 (I had to dock a bit for the over-exaggerated value claims from theBalm)
Packaging: +1
Grade: A-

This palette is awesome.  The biggest drawback, of course, is the price.  If it hadn't been 50% off, I never would have tried it, but I'm really glad I did!  And I hope that my reviews can help you decide whether it's worth the investment for you.  I recommend checking out all my individual reviews for more detail on the products themselves, but in short, if you're looking for a travel-worthy full-face palette, give Balmbini a try!

So, after all is said and done (and reviewed and swatched), what do you think of Balmbini?  Comments make everything 50% off!  (Man, I wish that were true.)
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