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 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 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 on Human Face|
|TheBalm's Pinstripe on Human Face|
|TheBalm's Lace on Human Face|
|TheBalm's Swiss Dot|
|TheBalm's Swiss Dot on Human Face|
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).