Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: theBalm Instain Blushes

When turned seven years old, I had a birthday party that featured entertainment by Cricket the Clown. Like many clowns, Cricket wore a red nose, cherry colored lips and brightly colored, perfectly circular spots of blush on the apples of her cheeks.

Cricket the clown is the perfect audience for theBalm's new Instain blushes. Unfortunately, I am not.

I was so confident that I would love theBalm's Instain blushes that I bought four of them. FOUR. The packaging is absolutely darling. Occasionally I think theBalm's packaging is tacky (the artwork on their new hair products looks atrocious), but these are elegant and absolutely dripping with 1920s charm. (Or maybe 1940s charm. I don't know. I'm bad at decades.) They also included women of color on their packaging, which has been something that has bothered me about their artwork in the past. But they worked to remedy the problem on this packaging line.

My four instain blushes together.
I like bold, unique colors and these blushes certainly provide that. Each color is very distinct and substantially different from the other blushes that I own.

I have also loved every blush that I have tried from theBalm in the past.

During the 50% off sale, it looked like stars had aligned! It looked like I would get something beautiful and perfect and amazing in gorgeous packaging! Sadly, I should have known better than to get my hopes up this high.

First, as basic description: the instain blushes are supposed to be long-wearing blushes that stain your cheeks. They are not quite matte, but they are very close. There is a very faint shimmer, but it is only really noticeable in the pan. Pinstripe has the most shimmer (putting it solidly as a demimatte), but toile, lace and swiss dot are almost completely matte.

From left to right: Toile, Lace, Swiss Dot, Pinstripe.
The problem with these blushes is that they are WAY too pigmented. Pigmentation is good, because products that lack it don't alter your appearance. There are many products where I would be confident stating that more pigmentation is better, period. Blushes are not one of those products. Blushes need to be pigmented enough to be noticeable, but can't take over your face. These products are not only ludicrously pigmented, but they are difficult to blend. It's like drawing on your face with a sharpie marker.

The colors are significantly brighter and more vibrant than they appear on theBalm's website.

Here are the blushes I bought:

Toile is described by theBalm as a "strawberry". It's a bright, almost neon-looking coral.

TheBalm's Toile
This one was the easiest to work with, but it still posed challenges. Every one of these pictures is as light a hand as I could possibly manage. Although this didn't end up as laughable as the other colors, it was still too bright and it took a substantial amount of effort to prevent it from being even brighter.

TheBalm's Toile on Human Face
Pinstripe is a deep plum. My love of purple blushes instantly drew me to this product.

TheBalm's Pinstripe
Unfortunately, this was terribly unflattering. I look like I've been slapped in both cheeks.

TheBalm's Pinstripe on Human Face
Lace is a neon, "highlighter" pink. I don't have a good explanation for why the woman depicted on the packaging has only one boob.

TheBalm's Lace
This color is only really appropriate for someone looking for a true neon blush. On me, it looks like I have a sunburn.

TheBalm's Lace on Human Face
Swiss Dot is a peachy orange with a tiny bit of strawberry. It's 80% of the way towards being a smoothie.

TheBalm's Swiss Dot
Like the others, this was so vibrant that it was clearly unflattering. It looks like I have awkward chipmunk cheeks.

TheBalm's Swiss Dot on Human Face
In terms of longevity, they seem to do an admirable job staying on all day. However, if they look bad from the get-go, that just means you spend a longer portion of your day looking like you have a skin condition.

Overall, I am very disappointed in these products. I love the packaging and the idea, but they're absolutely unwearable. I put a substantial amount of effort into toning down the color, but they were still too bright. I feel that you shouldn't have to fight your makeup to get the look you want.

The one caveat I have to this negative review is that I can imagine that these might work well on some women of color.

At $22 for 0.2oz ($110 per ounce), they're slightly less expensive than blushes by Tarte ($130 per ounce) and much less expensive than Nars ($181.25 per ounce).

21 comments:

  1. Oh that is too bad! I wanted these but I think now I'll stay away, since I have paleish skintone like you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's a shame. I thought I was going to love them!

      Delete
  2. I think part of the problem might be that you put the blush on your entire cheek area, which is totally fine if that's what you like. However, I apply mine differently, and I think the pigmentation shown in your pictures would look fine the way I do it, and I'm very pale too. I don't bring mine in towards my nose any farther than my iris (or the invisible line there would be coming down from it. Then I blend it up my temples a bit. I have a round chubby face, but I think that way would suit your face too. Maybe try it before you declare it a total loss? They are such pretty colors, especially that top one! I want it now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll try playing with them a bit more over the next couple of days. I don't normally have such expansive blushiness, but I was trying to get the buggers to blend and they. won't. do. it! Grr!

      Delete
  3. have you tried applying with a duo fiber brush? that might help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not. I just used my normal blush brush. I'll give it a go!

      Delete
  4. I like the first one on you. I think if you applied it a little further from your nose it would look better (but I understand the amount of space they occupy is probably because of how much you had to blend them). The last one is pretty nice too. Did you powder over them? That might help to tone them down (although maybe too much!) By the way, I found your blog from RAoM and I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was wondering about these! I didn't pick any up, but only because they were backordered. I actually love Toile and think it looks great on you - it happens that that's the one I really wanted, too. They do look like they're almost TOO pigmented as a whole, though. Lace and Pinstripe are out of hand!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Darn, I'm sorry these were such a fail for you! I'll be staying away from these––I'm very pale, and while I do like a pigmented blush, it absolutely needs to be blendable!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really like super-pigmented, matte makeup. The lack of blendability is worrying (blush is the one thing I'm worst at applying) but I have a duo-fiber brush that I love for colors like these.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I actually bought all of them! I have darker, golden skin, though, and I like pigmented blush. To be perfectly honest the only one of these colors I don't think looks marvelous on you is Pinstripe. I like how all the other ones turned out! Even though your review is negative it's only made me more excited for my order to arrive. I usually just build entire makeup looks around blush, with lipbalm and maybe a weak cateye, and I'm looking forward to so many of these colors for summer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What if you put your foundation over the blush?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've no problems possibly wearing these blushes if I were to buy them. My main motto in makeup is "go bold or go home" and as long as a product is not literally jumping out of my hand, it's "wearable" to me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maybe you can try applying the blush first and then foundation over? I know people do that with cream blush sometimes because of pigmentation as well! It might give you a glow from within kind of look, especially the one that you said made you look sunburned. It might be your perfect natural flushed look? Please update this post with different methods on how to apply!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're nuts, I love all but Pinstripe on you. I do think placement is everything. You have gorgeous bone structure and it would look great high on your cheekbones then diffused a bit toward the apples.

    www.emeraldsandstripes.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would apply these with my powder brush to sheer them out, and maybe dip my brush into some translucent powder before dipping into the blush pan.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am here to give my testimony about Dr SUKU who helped me in my life, i want to inform the public how i was cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) by Dr SUKU,i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HERPES and i saw comment of people talking about how Dr SUKU cured them. when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HERPES result came out negative. I pray for you Dr.SUKU am cured you can also get your self cured my friends if you really need my doctor help, you can reach him now:greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com or call his Mobil number or you call him telephone:+234874839242 THANK YOU FOR YOU HELP TO CURE MY (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS)AM SO GRATEFUL,I WILL ADVICE YOU FRIENDS HIS WILL HELP YOU TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM EMAIL:greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am here to give my testimony about Dr SUKU who helped me in my life, i want to inform the public how i was cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) by Dr SUKU,i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HERPES and i saw comment of people talking about how Dr SUKU cured them. when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HERPES result came out negative. I pray for you Dr.SUKU am cured you can also get your self cured my friends if you really need my doctor help, you can reach him now:greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com or call his Mobil number or you call him telephone:+234874839242 THANK YOU FOR YOU HELP TO CURE MY (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS)AM SO GRATEFUL,I WILL ADVICE YOU FRIENDS HIS WILL HELP YOU TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM EMAIL:greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com..

    ReplyDelete



  16. I've had Zika virus problem last month. I tried everything, of course I went to the doctor. about a hundred times, and though about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I’m gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was surfing the internet I found Dr.ADAGBA contact number. I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I’m cured by Dr. ADAGBA herbal medicine, I’m very thankful to Dr. ADAGBA and very happy with my hubby and family.his email adagbaspiritualtemple@gmail.com or contact his hot line: +2349057354407 for any type of disease HIV/AIDS,CANCER, ALS, Hepatitis C, PCV.. HERPES,through his via email;adagbaspiritualtemple@gmail.com his website
    http://adagbaspiritualtem8.wixsite.com/dr-adagba

    ReplyDelete
  17. I used to suffer from HERPES GENITAL for about 3 years so I can relate to people who have the cured. No medications or treatments ever really did anything for me (i tried them all no one work. but I was actually able to completely cure HERPES naturally after countless hours of online research. What worked for me is as follows: I saw Dr ILLUOBE Information online that he normally cure and treat disease and infirmities with his Herbal Medicine, I never really believed the people who where recommending him thou i saw on blog about 6 people where also testifying on how they were cured by Dr ILLUOBE,and still Ellen recommend Dr ILLUOBE who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES GENITAL VIRUS and gave me his email, so i mail him He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after two weeks the HERPES GENITAL VIRUS that was in my body got vanished . so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him: drilluobe@live.com .. if you are infected with any disease like HIV, AIDS,CANCER, HERPES.PVC, or any other disease you can also be happy like me by contacting.....
    Name: Dr.ILLUOBE
    What apps Number: +2348109031502
    Email: drilluobe@live.com
    Website: http://drilluobetemple.webs.com

    I’m given you 100% grantee, soon as you have getting in touch with Dr.ILLUOBE your problems will be solved accurately.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete

  18. Hello Wonderful Viewers Join me give thanks to Dr Sunshine for his Divine help on my life. 3 years ago i was diagnosed of Genital Herpes, and ever since i have been looking for a remedy on how to eradicate my disease. so i went in search for a cure and behold i came in contact with my famous Dr Sunshine who has cured people of their Genital Herpes, i was so glad that finally i can be cured from this disturbing disease and so i contacted his email adrress: dr.sunshineherbalhome@gmail.com call or whatsApp +2349051208634 and when i did email him he wrote to me and give me a brief instruction on how to get my medicine prepared and so he did he prepare my medicine and sent to me to receive and told me that in 2 weeks i will see his great work.i beckoned on his words and so he did.i received my medicine and i used it in 2 weeks and i was totally cured. contact him today and be cured. So friends my advise is if you have such sickness disease, HERPES CURE OR CANCER OR HIV&AIDS, PENIS ENLARGEMENT,ASTHMA.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...