10 July 2016

The Balm is one of those brands that I have heard whisperings about for a while, but have never really felt myself drawn towards. I think this might have something to do with the quirky packaging that, although fun, doesn’t have me feeling enamoured the way some high/medium end equivalents do. It was really only when a counter popped up in my local Debenhams a month or so ago that I became intrigued, and since then my love for the brand has done nothing but grow. I’ve got my hands on a couple of their ‘cult classics’ and have also made a few new discoveries along the way, and so I thought it I would share these with you today so that if you’re umming and ahhing like I was about whether or not to give them a try, you will at least know where it might be best to start. 

Starting off with what is likely the most famous product in the range – this beautiful honey-gold highlight really packs a punch and will suit almost any skin tone. The formula is buttery and buildable so that if you are a fan of taking the ‘lit from within’ look to the extreme then this is entirely possible. At the same time though, the product is blendable and very finely milled (no glitter chunks here) and so if it’s just a subtle shimmer that you’re after, this is easily achievable too. I have a lot of love (like most people right now) for the Becca highlighters, however, this definitely rivals the ones that I have tried, and in comparison to some of the peachier shades, gives a much more ‘natural’ finish. If it’s an everyday option that you’re after, this might well be it. 

Speaking of every day – this is one of those shades that can be worn without needing to think too much about whether it will clash or compliment the rest of your make up look. It is non-offensive yet incredibly pretty at the same time with its peachy-pink hues, which I find particularly suit my paler skin tone. The fact that it is matte makes a nice change and means it has become a firm favourite for me when it comes to office make-up wear. Not to mention the fact that the cardboard packaging makes it light and slim to transport around if I feel in need of a top up throughout the day. 

Now that I can claim to have mastered the art of the liquid eyeliner, I find weeding out the wheat from the chaff a much easier task than I had done previously. The biggest plus to this is that the finish it gives is super matte – a big tick in my book. The sponge nip is also relatively flexible and not too firm so as to inhibit your ability to create the perfect feline flick, plus I never get any transfer onto my slightly hooded lids. I’m intrigued to try the new LancĂ´me Grandiose liquid eyeliner as a comparison (the one with the twisty handle that seems incredibly gimmicky!), but for now this is sitting at the top of my list. 

In general, I don’t really find that you can go too wrong with a matte liquid lip. So long as pigmentation is good and application even, you know what you’re getting. The Meet Matte Hughes Liquid Lipsticks tick both of these boxes and at the same time, last well and aren’t at all drying on the lips. Of course, as with any matte lip product, they aren’t moisturising either, but there is certainly no danger of flaking or caking whilst you’re wearing these. The shade range is limited but lovely comprising plenty of peachy nudes and rosy mauves (my favourites), along with a couple of darker shades. I can’t comment on the application of the latter, as I picked up the colours ‘Honest’ and ‘Committed’ – the former a slightly brighter corally-peach and the latter a more muted pinky version. I love how when applied they have a light minty scent that lingers on your lips and this combined with their overall impressive performance undoubtedly means I will be picking up some more shades in the weeks to come. 

What products from The Balm have you tried? Is there anything I’ve overlooked and am missing out on? 

Sarah x

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