Six lip shots to paint a picture of this love | theBalm “Prom Queen” Stainiac review, swatches

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Have a bit of a re-review for you today, rather than an… actual review. Of, um, new things. That we haven’t already covered to death. (Stay with me, I promise this’ll start making more sense in just a sec.) Anyhow, I’ve been wearing theBalm Stainiac more or less every other day, for the past few months, and I wanted to give it a re-review in time for this weekend’s US sales! So, um, yes.

The product: theBalm Stainiac cheek and lip stain in Prom Queen. (Which, incidentally, is phenomenal on the lips but only sort-of-okay on the cheeks.)

I fall in and out of love with lip products on a pretty frequent basis, so when I find something that I actually stick to, through multiple seasons? It’s a pretty big deal.

Prom Queen, described as a “light rosy pink,” gives just the perfect natural flush of colour to my lips. It looks rather coral in the tube, and even in the swatch, but for whatever reason – it really doesn’t read coral on my lips. The colour is very much just an intensification of my natural lip colour, and it’s by and far the most natural-looking lip product I own, both in the shade and the bare-lip finish.

theBalm Stainiac swatch: Prom Queen on dry, bare lips

With the number of stains on the market today, I guess the most important part of this review is not how is the formula? but, rather, how does the formula stack up?

In short: it stacks up well. Very, very well.

Of all the lip stains I’ve tried, be them gel or liquid or cream, this one measures up the best in all categories. There’s no flavour, scent, dryness, or stickiness in the resulting colour; it’s never a fight against the clock to get it on in time (I accredit both the formula and the the doe-foot applicator for this one); and, of course, the colour looks really natural – not overly bright, like many lip stains.

Oh. And did I mention: it barely catches on my dry bits, and fades like a watercolour? That is: it fades in the centre first, of course, but does so in a very ombré sort of manner. There’s never a hard line of demarcation, and it can bet me from breakfast to lunch without touchups, no problem.

L: theBalm Prom Queen only // R: theBalm Prom Queen + Annabelle Coralicious (seen also in: this pink lip comb)

How to apply

(or, “if you’re not doing it this way, you’re not allowed to bitch about the results!!“)

To start, I’ll 1. exfoliate my lips, making sure they’re free of any lip balm or gloss. Then, I’ll 2. carefully apply a layer of product with the doe-foot applicator. After maybe 10-20 seconds, I’ll 3. take a damp q-tip over the entire lip area. It picks up a lot of the colour, yeah, but it’s integral in 4. leaving you with an incredibly even, long-wearing wash of believable colour.

To finish the lip, 5. top with some lip balm, sheer lip stick, or gloss (petroleum-free works best to keep the colour on), and you’re good to go. (The formula isn’t stripping, but it’s like having bare lips! You’ll want something on them, for sure.)


theBalm Staniac in Prom Queen + Annabelle Volumelip gloss in Coralicious

A few last-minute notes…

Stainiac usually retails for $17US, but theBalm is doing 40% off sitewide for Black Friday. Use code BLACKFRIDAY from 9AM PST to 11:59 PST to pick up your Prom Queen for a measly $10.20. That’s practically drugstore prices, people! (Actually, in Canada, I’m pretty sure we have some drugstore lipstains that cost more than that.)

The ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol. (+/- pigments and dyes)

(P.S. Check out this theBalm Stainiac review for more photos, swatches, plus my initial impressions!)

theBalm Shady Lady review: Jealous Jordana

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The product: theBalm Shady Lady eye shadow/liner in Jealous Jordana

Jealous Jordana is a really gorgeous blackened green – think dark teal/forest shimmer on a dark grey base. There’s something about the shade that I just can’t put my finger on, and I think it’s because the base is cooler in tone than the shimmer; depending on the lighting, this can look very teal-on-grey or very emerald-on-black.

Whether used wet or dry, I find this shade is deliciously pigmented and blends easily. I’d say it’s a frost finish, but not a “true” frost per se; there’s just a bit of fine-milled shimmer mixed in there, too.

Jealous Jordana swatched dry / dry over primer / wet

Jealous Jordana swatched dry / dry over primer

The verdict?

This is my only eyeshadow by theBalm, but I was really impressed with it! The pans are huge (0.12 oz, though I believe they’re 0.1 even, now), which makes the $16 (US) price tag quite reasonable, and the quality is lovely. The only thing I’d change about them is the packaging; I’m a klutz, so I’d definitely prefer a sturdier (read: plastic or metal) package.

Catch it in action:

More images, ramblings, and ingredients after the cut…

A green-on-green makeup look

Monday, April 18, 2011

A number of you were quite excited for the Jealous Jordana feature, so I thought I’d work it into another look for you. (The review itself will be up later this week!) I find that a look based entirely on a shadow with such a blackened base looks too heavy on my lids, so I’ve used MAC Humid as the main lid colour… hope you like it!

The eyes

Base and basics: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk (base), Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero (upper lashline, waterlines), Smashbox Matte Eyeshadow in Smoke (brows), Marcelle Liquid Eyeliner in Very Black (winged liner)

Eyeshadows: MAC Frost Eye Shadow in Humid (vibrant green), theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (blackened green), Lancome Eye Colour in Honeymoon (gold), MAC Matte2 Eye Shadow in Blanc Type (skin tone)

Lips and cheeks

Lips: Clarins Crystal Balm in Crystal Coral (sheer coral; comes out in May)

Cheeks: MAC Blush Powder in Harmony and Smashbox Eye Shadow in Smoke (blended together to contour), Clarins Barocco Face Powder (peachy blush)

More looks featuring Jealous Jordana

Hard Candy Glamoflauge: yes, I’m totally crazy about it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just as a preface to the review: Glamoflauge comes as a set, with both a pencil and a tube of concealer. The pencil was fine – regular low-end-of-the-drugstore stuff if you ask me – but the cream product really wowed me. So, this review is for the latter only!

What it is: Hard Candy Glamoflauge, in Light

What’s kind of crazy:  I’ve been in love with theBalm’s timeBalm for years (years!) and surprisingly… I think I may like this even more. On top of that (here’s the truly crazy part), it’ll only run you six dollars. $6! Seriously!!

(I warned you that it was crazy.)

[Edited to add: the whole review was pretty crazy, actually, so I just went ahead and edited that right into the title. Glamoflauge = crazy Rae. And now that we have that out of the way, onto the review.]

The formula: The one downfall of Glamoflauge is its texture, which is on the dry side for something that’s packaged in a tube. My beloved timeBalm has a lot more slip to it, making it easier to blend, and I’m concerned with how well Glamoflauge will sit with ageing skin (especially around the eyes). However, on my combination slightly oily/very dry skin, I have no issues with creasing or catching – it blends just fine and stays where it’s put, but the formula does take some getting used to. When I first started testing this out, I kept trying to use more product than I actually needed!

Indirect sunlight; click to enlarge (a lot).

L – R: NC 15, NW 15, the Balm timeBalm Lighter Than Light, Hard Candy Glamoflauge Light tube, Hard Candy Glamoflauge Light pencil, NC 20, NW25, NC30. All MAC shades are Studio Finish concealer.

The pigmentation: As you may have already guessed, the pigmentation of Glamoflauge knocked my socks right off. In one word, it is fantastic. This conceals just as well as high-coverage formulas like MUFE Full Cover and Lancome Effacernes, but it does it at a fraction of the price. Plus, it manages to do it without silicones, parabens, or fragrances — an impressive feat for any face product, if you ask me, much less a heavy-duty concealer.


theBalm continues to impress with Stainiac

Friday, August 27, 2010

What it is: TheBalm Stainiac tinted gel blush/lip stain in Prom Queen

The wear: Like many stains, this has a liquid-gel texture — meaning that it’s definitely not moisturizing, but also that it isn’t really drying. It wears for about the same amount of time as any other stain does on me, and as the colour fades, it doesn’t give that telltale ring of colour around your lip line. (However, like all stains, it might catch on dry bits, so don’t forget to exfoliate first!)
The colour: Prom Queen’s packaging is pretty deceiving – the description (“sheer rosy pink”) is spot-on, but the orangey text on the tube had me worried about the colour inside. It’s not too warm-toned, though, as you can see in the swatches!
indirect sunlight / flash
The catch: Also because of the liquid-gel texture, this takes a little getting used if you’re going to be using it on your cheeks. For instance, if you use an oil-based moisturizer (or just straight oil,) it won’t go onto your cheeks well at all — make sure to skip the oils and silicones, or “cheat” on your skincare for a day, skipping the oils and ‘cones on your cheeks altogether. It takes some time to apply, but the gorgeous stain lasts all day!
bare / stained. click to enlarge.

Don’t forget: never try to apply a stain to your lips if you’ve just put on lip balm! Like oil on your face, things like petroleum and beeswax will create a barrier between your lips and the stain, preventing it from absorbing properly for that all-day wear. Instead, put on your lip balm or gloss after staining!

topped with clear gloss.

The verdict? I’ve tried a lot of lip and cheek stains, but I can safely say that this is one of my favourites. It’s most similar to my Etude House stain, but I like the smell/taste of this one a lot more (read: there isn’t one of either,) and the packaging is so much easier to deal with. Plus, Prom Queen is a great colour — very wearable, and sheer enough to give almost all skintones a lovely, subtle tint.

AvailabilitySephora, Apothica,

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