I’m feeling summer is a great way of catching up on long overdue reviews. Where I posted a mascara review last week, today I’m bringing you a review of The Balm’s Balm Voyage palette. I picked up this palette in Barcelona. I walked into Primor, which is the Spanish version of a high end drugstore and lo and behold: they sold The Balm. The stand had been picked over, but they still had this and I still wanted to try some The Balm products. So I went to the register, paid for the palette and then lugged around with it for the next two weeks until I got home and was able to take pictures of it.
The Balm Balm Voyage eye, cheek & lip palette
I love make up palettes, eyeshadow ones in particular. They are very collectible and I love using them as well. I like palettes that allow me to use my creativity like the Urban Decay Vice palettes, but I also like a good neutral. This palette has both some fun colors to play with, as well as some neutral for a more every day look. It retails for €42,95 and contains 16 different eye shadows and 3 lip/ cheek products.
The palette comes in a sturdy cardboard packaging with a slip overlay that secures the palette and keeps it closed. A bit of a hassle, but I am a tad afraid of throwing away the slip as I feel the palette might just pop open. I just found out that there is a Vol. 2 of this, which features 9 eyeshadows, a highlight, a bronzer, 2 powder brushes and 2 cream products. That is a tad more complete than this, which focuses on just eyes and a few cream products.
The Balm calls this the Holiday Face palette and I think the idea, apart from the traveling theme that has been used, is that you can take this with you on vacation and have a versatile palette for on the go. I find the palette a tad too bulky for that. It’s rather large, but slim and lightweight, but the fact that the packaging could pop open or the slip tear at any given moment makes me reluctant to chuck this in a bag and take along. It does come with a mirror and a few ideas of how to use the shadows together.
On the back you’ll find a complete overview of the palette. The shadows can be used wet or dry and the lip/ cheek products are a rich cream. The ingredients are listed on the back too, which is a pro. Many make up products ingredients can only be found online, but not on the product itself. So good job to The Balm.
Let’s have a look at the cream products first. Like I said, I took this half way round Europe in a backpack before taking these pictures. And you can see that the cream products have started to bubble. They melted due to the heat in hotel rooms and that’s why I’m afraid their texture or conservation has been compromised. When I bought this, I really bought it for the shadows. I hardly ever used cream products on my cheeks and when I want to wear a lipstick, I’ll take this that as this requires a brush if you want to apply it nicely. So despite the pretty colors and great pigmentation I’ve never used these, and I don’t think I ever will.
No, the reason why I bought this palette was because of the eyeshadows. There are some random pops of color in here such as mint green, a blue toned purple a nice petrol and a mustard yellow. The neutrals in this palette are also not your bog standard neutrals. There is a dark mauve and a stunning looking khaki shade, as well as some rose toned. This, to me, looked like a very versatile palette at first glance, which is why I picked it up.
Because that is what The Balm gets: making products that aren’t just pretty and high quality but also less predictable. The shade range in this is phenomenal and I love how you are not stuck with the everlasting matte black and creamy whites. There is a mixture of cool and warm toned shadows which again helps it to be more versatile. However, I do find this palette hard to work with. Precisely because of the fun color combinations. I just don’t know where to start!
A3 – B3 – C3 – D3 – A4 – B4 – C4 – D4
A3: a frosted silver
B3: a matte taupe that leans more brown than grey
C3: a matte milk chocolate brown
D3: a shimmery champagny gold
A4: a dark shimmery grey with a brown undertone
B4: a satin matte dark brown
C4: a shiny reddish dark brown
D4: a shiny dark khaki/ olive green with a hint of gold
These are the swatches of the top 2 rows, which includes the more neutral and darkest shades. There are 2 mattes, one almost matte and everything else has a bit of shine, shimmer or straight up frost to it. Pigmentation is great: these shadows are buttery soft and apply well. Even the matte shades, thought C3 is a tad harder to work with as it has a rougher texture.
A1 – B1 – C1 – D1 – A2 – B2 – C2 – D2
A1: a shimmery dusty rose
B1: a matte flesh/ peach toned color that pulls more beige against my skin
C1: a shimmery vanilla shade
D1: a shimmery mustard yellow
A2: a shimmery duochrome bluetoned purple
B2: a shiny mint green
C2: a matte teal/ petrol color
D2: a shimmery dusty pink
Like the first set of swatches, the pigmentation here is bang on. Again a matte (C2) has a bit of difficulty and C1 isn’t all that intense, but since that is pretty much the only highlight shade in this palette I feel that is not too much of a problem. The colors are quite random though and that’s what makes this palette harder to work with. However, I did come up with two different looks.
Eye shadows used: A2, C3, C1, C2
Because the reason why I bought this palette is for one that stunning purple as well as the teal color, I knew I had to feature them in a look together. I used the purple all over the lid and on the eye it doesn’t appear as vibrant as in the pan or on the swatch. I found it very easily blends away and thus you need to go back in and really build up the color after every step you take. The pop of teal is a fun touch, but again, it could have been more vibrant.
Eye shadows used: A4, D4, B3, D3, D2, B1, C1
A much more successful look was this one, which focuses on the champagne gold and the stunning olive shade. As you can see 8 different eye shadows went into this look and that’s why I don’t think this palette is a great every day one, but more a special occasion one. This look is intense and smoky and I love that for a party or special occasion but this is not a great every day look for work.
Despite the fact that you can get some stunning looks with this palette, I do not find myself reaching for it as much as I had thought when I bought this. The colors are stunning, pigmentation is great and the selection is unique. However, the shadows blend away very easily, making shades less vibrant on the eye than on a swatch or in the palette. To get an intense eye look, requires work and going back and forth between shades and reapplying them.
The buttery softness of these shadows is exactly what is plays up when you use them on the eye. This is not a throw in your purse, every day make up palette, nor is it fit for traveling. But, if you are looking for a palette that has great pigmentation, an unexpected color selection and you don’t mind putting some time and effort into your make up look than this is for you.
Have you ever used The Balm make up products? What is your experience?