Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: theBalm Balm Voyage Eyeshadow and Lip Palette

Balm Voyage is one of theBalm's newer makeup palettes, containing 16 eyeshadows and three lip/cheek stains. Although theBalm is billing this as a "travel-friendly" palette, there's really nothing about this gigantic monstrosity of a palette that is going to make for easy lugging around. Maybe theBalm's marketing department and I simply have different definitions of "travel-friendly", but I think that term generally refers to compact packaging that gets you what you need in a small space. This palette is the size of a lab notebook.


Because the palette is a mix of powder and cream products, it is set up in such a way that the powder and cream products open separately, presumably to keep eyeshadow dust out of your lipstick.

Each of the eyeshadows is named for a plane seat position, meaning it's all numbers and letters. I am wavering in between that being "kinda cute" and "kinda lazy".


The palette swings open to reveal a mirror inside of a lady's face, presumably so we can all imagine we would look like as a dirty-blonde white lady. (Side note on the packaging: only white women take vacations?!)


The info on the side of the mirror is a whole new kind of baffling to me. It contains what appears to be passport information... but why was she born in 1953? Let's say she is 20 (which is a pretty low estimate in my opinion). ...She's dressing like this in the 1970s? What?


For your (/my) convenience, this review is split into eyeshadow-y-ness and non-eyeshadow-y-ness.

Eyeshadow


As a general rule, I would say that these eyeshadows are pretty lovely. Although they lean on the powdery side, they are, in general, nicely pigmented and relatively easy to work with.


With only a few exceptions, these shades are neutrals. However, they're dramatically different from the colors you might receive in a traditional neutral palette. I think these shades would be particularly excellent for someone who maybe a little bit bored with their current neutrals palettes, but too intimidated to hit the bright colors just yet.

Here's how they swatched (two swipes, no primer):

From left to right: A4, B4, C4, D4, A3, B3, C3, and D3
A4 is a charcoal gray with turquoise and violet shimmer.
B4 is a shimmery medium-dark brown.
C4 is a dark, brown-leaning red with a shitload of silver shimmer.
D4 is a dark olive green with lovely golden shimmer.
A3 is a bright, metallic silver. (It swatches so beautifully-- it goes on like liquid!)
B3 is a gray-leaning matte mauve. It is one of the weaker shades in terms of pigmentation.
C3 is a matte, sandy brown.
D3 is a metallic dark gold. (This is another particularly gorgeous one.)

From left to right: A2, B2, C2, D2, A1, B1, C1, and D1

A2 is a frosty, cool medium purple with blue shimmer that almost reads as a duochrome.
B2 is a frosty seafoam.
C2 is a dark blue-leaning teal. It almost reads as a matte, but it has a few hunks of blue shimmer in it.
D2 is a lovely peachy pink with a frosty finish. It swatches like butter.
A1 is a frosty mauve. It's another really nice one.
B1 is a manila-folder cream-y beige with a matte finish. This one has great color payoff, but it really, really soft.  It kinda feels like you are dipping your brush into powdered sugar. This makes it a little more tricky to work with.
C1 is a yellow-leaning cream frost.
D1 is a frosty mustard yellow.

The pans are a little inconsistent (with the matte shades being the crappiest), but most of them are perfectly lovely.

Here are some eyeshadow looks that I did with this palette:









Lip and Cheek Stains

One of the big, obvious disadvantages of a palette that is a mix of powder and cream products is that powder gets in the cream and makes it yucky. TheBalm obviously tried to counteract this by creating a separate flap to go over the lip/cheek creams. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work well enough.


Even though I have never used the palette with the lip flap open, the products are coated with a layer of nasty-looking eyeshadow dust.


At least the swatches look pretty when you can dig through the dust:


The first shade I'm going to examine, Second Officer, is a medium red.

On the lips:



On the cheeks:



First Officer, on the other hand, is a light, orange-y coral. It is the most opaque of the three lip/cheek shades.

On the lips:



On the cheeks:



Finally, Captain is a cool-leaning medium pink.

On the lips:



On the cheeks:


Like most two-in-one products, these are a mixed bag. Although the colors are pretty, I think they apply a little patchily to the cheeks, but are too drying and paint-like for my lips.

Despite the things I am grumpy about, I still feel pretty good about this purchase because of the price point. The Balm Voyage palette retails for $42.50 for 1oz of eyeshadow and 0.21oz of the lip and cheek stains. Even if you have no interest in the cream products, that puts the value at a very, very comfortable $42.50 per ounce. If count the cream products, you're at a ludicrously inexpensive $35.12 per ounce. That is absolutely drugstore pricing. (For example, Maybelline Expert Wear Quads are $6.49 for 0.17oz, or $38.18 per ounce.)

I hate the packaging and I don't find the lip/cheek products to be enjoyable. The eyeshadow, though, is pretty lovely and very nicely priced. So the rest? I'll grin and bear it. 

26 comments:

  1. Love your no-nonsense review, as per usual. You always make for such a fun read. Two questions - 1. would you consider the quality of the shadow better than the average urban decay or too faced shadow? 2. what is that lip color you're wearing in picture number 5? (I LOVE the eyeshadow look you've got on in that one too -- so sultry and dramatic.) You always have such gorgeous lip colors!

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    Replies
    1. I would say it's on par with Urban Decay, although theBalm shadow textures are really different. Too Faced seems to be stepping up their eyeshadow game, so I'd say most of Too Faced's recent releases are probably better, although their older formulas are worse. Very subjective, though, obviously!

      And that's Urban Decay's Shame!

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  2. YES, you started doing additional close-up lip swatches! I love reading posts with good lip swatches. And I'd go with the naming system being a little lazy, though the colour range looks great.

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  3. Ooh it's a bummer that the matte shades aren't that great. :-( i will have to pass on this one.

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    1. Yeah... they're not embarrassingly bad, or anything, but you can definitely find many, many, many better mattes out there!

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  4. Thanks for the review. As a heads up, you can purchase this on Hautelook when the Balm is on sale for half the price.

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  5. Hah! I had exactly the same thought about the birthdate thing when I saw photos of this palette in another place. It was like the person designing the whole 'retro vibe' thing kind of only thought 75% of the way through the concept...

    Love the purple eyeshadow look with the yellow top!

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    Replies
    1. It's very strange... I'm not sure what the thought process was there!

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    2. Seems like maybe they're trying to personify "the look", so the birthdate would be that of the time when this 1950's retro look was popular? And/Or they were trying to keep with the theme, and thought that throwing in a different date would be inconsistent.

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  6. I absolutely adore the very last eyeshadow look. Very understated. What lipstick are you using, if you don't mind me asking?

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I already have that. Nice to see I know what I like.

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  7. I am going to convince myself not to buy this exclusively for c2. (such a lame naming theme too. ugh)

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  8. I nabbed the Balm Jovi pallete when it was on Hautelook for 19 bucks, and lurve it. It's a lot smaller in size and has more variety in the products, so it was genuinely travel-friendly (like, I don't need 20 big eyeshadows when I travel?). It also comes with a separate set of blush and highlighter powders, so if the creams don't work out (which they did not -I could live with them on my lips over a balm, but on the cheeks, le no) you still had a wearable blush.

    Also, why no put creamy products on the top of the pallete... that way powders won't drift to the bottom when you hold it right side up to read the pretty packaging? Or do like the UD Face Cases, and include a separately packaged lip product that fits neatly within the pallete itself. *kisses Shattered Face Case* *Cops a feel from the Shattered Face Case*

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  9. I just found your blog last week and I am really enjoying your reviews. I think it's great that you include so many photos and looks. It helps tremendously. You have a really great face for showing makeup looks.

    I am completely intimidated by cream blushes but your application here looks so natural. I was wondering do you use any tools, sponges or brushes for application or do you blend by hand? It really looks natural in your photos.

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  10. This palette fits perfectly into Anita Vacation's matched luggage. Pan Am never makes a fuss about oversized baggage.

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  11. Thank you for the review! Very helpful indeed. I'm falling out of love with TheBalm. From the lack of diversity on the packaging to the penis-themed Matte palette... meh.

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  13. Your blog is very nice. You have provided interesting information. I will return to your site often to check. Keep up with your good work.
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  14. This palette is gorgeous. I just love theBalm's products. They're awesome!! I just purchased it off theBalm's website and the pigmentation is so great. Hope you checkout my haul: http://sweetandsourmakeuphour.blogspot.com =)

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  15. I'm loving the sturdiness of this palette compared with the flimsy nature of most palettes' packaging, but you're right - this is NOT a great palette for travel. A friend told me she didn't think it was a palette meant to be traveled with, but that travel was simply the "theme". I am dubious.
    I have yet to play with the cheek/lip creams, but judging from your photos, using them as lip colors is a tad too matte for my liking. On your cheeks, though, they look like the colors the little baby Jesus meant you to have when you were born - seriously stunning.

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  16. I know this post is old and you might not remember it, but which lipstick are you wearing in the last eyeshadow look? btw: looking at beauty bloggers/vloggers for years and years, you are not only the best and most logical that I found, but you are pale like me and like stuff that I like most of the time (makeup-wise). So needless to say you are very helpful for me, and I just wanted to thank you :)

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  17. I would just like to point out that while I'm not easily offended, the remark you made about white women on the packaging kind of ruins any chance for a white reader like to to enjoy reading any further. I've had an issue with this archaic way of thinking for a while and am sad to see it continue, but I simply cannot understand why racism against white people is somehow the only form that is accepted. Just because this package of eyeshadows features only white women on the package doesn't imply that only white women travel; that is honestly a downright retarded way of thinking. There is nothing wrong with having nothing but white women on the packaging, just like there would be nothing wrong with only black women pictured on another packaging. Some of us whities have frizzy hair and use relaxers but black women are always pictured on the box....should I somehow feel bad about the fact that even though I use the product my race isn't pictured on the box? It's such a silly and close-minded way of thinking and paying way too much attention to something that shouldn't even matter in the first place. Every minority always says that race shouldn't matter but they forget to add that they mean it shouldn't matter unless the person is white and then it's a free pass to being a racist bigot. Really unfortunate.

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