Summer is cruel to the indoor-type folk. I've barely been able to look at myself in the mirror recently, let alone put product on and take photos of myself. My boyfriend spends more time primping than I do. I generally just write off three months and don't even try until March comes around.
Which goes partway to explain how I grappled with these products before finally feeling confident enough to write this, and when I say "confident", I loosely mean "hoping I'm not entirely the sweating blotchy creature I think I am". At a certain point, you have to go: good grief. Lets just get this done. The rest of the world does not wait for me to finish being precious.
All that aside, The Balm are one of those glorious creatures who you really don't have to pimp much. Those who haven't tried them still know who they are via the hilarity of the packaging/promotional stuff, those who have tried are converts. I'm mentioned before on this blog how epically awesome the Hot Mama blush is - still wearing every day, btw - and how I still grieve for missing a chance at the Balm Jovi palette. Oh, god, it's called Balm Jovi. Hang on, give me a moment.
I'd heard about Sexy Mama before (via other Bbloggers, which means I trust em), but for some obscure reason was under the misconception it was an illuminator. Which I have nothing against, but illuminators are a sometimes-food for me - so I was relieved upon realizing that it was actually an anti-shine translucent powder. And if illuminators are sometimes-foods, then anti-shine powders are air and water.
It comes in one shade, which it truly impressive, since it didn't feel overly transluscent to me - very pale and subtle, but not translucent. It also "cuts up" very easily - I could load a fair bit onto my kabuki brush right off the bat without having to rough it up.
And then, oh my, this is Stainiac in Prom Queen:
It's a good thing it's such a good product, because up close on the wand, it's - kinda creepy looking.
My first experience of lipstain was Revlon's Once Bitten rollerball, however long ago, and it took a good three days to come off my skin. As a result I'm wary of them, and handswatch them all first. This one is actually a very forgiving one - subtle and easy to move around, dried to matte fairly fast and looks great under a tiny bit of clear lip balm. The stain stays put for a healthy period, through eating and lipbalm applications, and is forgiving enough to reapply without it being vitally necessary to be near a mirror. And it smells like cookie dough. Oh yes. This has factored into it's regular use.
Here's the powder and lipstain - nothing else (though in the interests of full disclosure I had my lashes and brows tinted two days ago) :
Apologies for the glowing white neck. Sometimes I just need to let my inner glowworm out.
It's an impressively subtle powder, really - you can barely register that I'm wearing anything, and even then you can still see pores and freckles and whatnot. There's even a bit of my natural shine ("natural shine", I like that) coming through. The effect is more of an airbrush than anything. And I really like the stain. Coupled with my recent tinting I could quite happily wear just these two products out - though if my skin was acting up I'd likely need more coverage. I suspect this powder might be rather wonderful teamed with one of my sheerer BB creams.
The only gripe I have - which isn't really a gripe anyhow - is that the powder has that smell that I've noticed in all TheBalm powders and blushes - it's sort of chalky. I thought it might be a talc thing, but The Balm specify that they don't use talc, so who knows. It's only really noticeable while applying and even then only really initially.
So once again I'm hella topical and love a product everyone already adores - but Stainiac was a huge find and I'm rather thrilled with it. What now, team? What else from TheBalm must I try?
Sent for review!!