I've tried quite a few products from theBalm by now and really like their eyeshadow formula, so I decided to add another palette to my collection. But with getting their Balmsai Eyeshadow Palette I've definitely stepped a little bit outside my comfort zone of only wearing bronze-golden-coppery neutrals, since this palette contains a variety of everyday wearable shades as well as some more colorful options.
theBalm's Balmsai Eyeshadow and Brow Stencil Palette comes in cardboard packaging, with an additional sleeve, for added protection. The palette is thin and although it is made from cardboard it is sturdy and isn't showing any signs of wear yet. When you close the lid, there is a magnet underneath, which ensures that the palette doesn't open randomly. There are 18 eyeshadows inside with different finishes in a total of 14,4 grams of product. The eyeshadows in the palette lean mostly neutral/cool. Although some colors look bright and colorful in the pan, the overall look I am able to achieve is still somewhat muted. Some of the colors inside have excellent pigmentation, while others are a little disappointing. All eyeshadows are quite powdery, so tapping the brush before taking it to the eyes is essential if you don't want to end up with a lot of fall out. I've been using these with a primer underneath and they lasted all day on me, although some shades (like Big Kahuna) were prone to losing its full intensity after 3 or 4 hours.
Besides the eyeshadows they also included two eye stencils, one to use on the brows and one to help with achieving a cat eye and perfect wing. When I tried using them I didn't find them to be super helpful.
Eyeshadows included are divided into 4 categories:
- "In the Buff" (Basics):
Wipe Out is a light pinky beige with satin finish. It has a buttery soft texture and is nicely pigmented.
High Tide is a white beige with frosty finish and small glittery particles inside. It has a soft texture and nice pigmentation.
Hang 10 is a golden beige with satin finish. It has a buttery soft texture and medium pigmentation.
Dream Boat is a medium pinky beige with shimmery finish. Soft texture and nice pigmentation.
Sandbar is a duochrome golden grey-green with a pink shift. Pigmentation is not the best.
Tublar is a medium golden brown with a shimmery finish. It is buttery soft and nicely pigmented.
- "Maverics" (Splash of Color):
Epic is a muted medium warm brown with pinky/reddish undertones and a satin sheen. It has a soft texture and nice pigmentation.
Surf's Up is a muted dark blue-ish grey with shimmery finish. Medium pigmentation and soft texture.
Big Kahuna is a duochrome aqua blue-green with a golden shift. On the lid it doesn't apply in its full intensity, so I keep packing it on and on. As far as colorful shades go, this is probably my favourite in the palette.
Kawabunga is a muted olive green with a shimmery finish. It has medium pigmentation and buttery soft texture.
Surfari is a blackened purple with blue shimmers inside (on the swatches it looks deceivingly burgundy, but is quite impossible to build on the eyes). It has medium pigmentation.
Pipeline is a muted blue with purple shimmers inside. It doesn't apply too even and has the least pigment of all (but looks ok on the swatches).
- "Carve & Angle" (Brow/Shadows):
Score is a muted neutral matte taupe brown. This also matches my brows. It has a soft powdery texture and is nicely pigmented.
Dig It is a medium-deep taupe brown with a matte finish. It is soft and is nicely pigmented.
Woodie is a neutral/warm dark brown with a matte finish.
- "Catch a Wave" (Use Wet or Dry):
Stoked is a black with red shimmers in the pan, but translates more like a grey, because it's quite sheer. Applying it wet helps a bit, but it doesn't become black.
Ripper is a deep grey brown matte. It has a soft texture and nice pigmentation.
Righteous is a deep black with tiny bits of reflective shimmers inside. It has a soft texture and nice pigmentation.
I also included a couple of looks. For more details scroll below.
Look 1: Lid - Tubular, Inner Corner - High Tide, Crease - Epic & Dream Boat; Lower Lash Line - Sandbar & Tubular. Lashes: L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara.
Look 2: Lid - Hang 10, Crease - Score & Dig It, Inner Corner - Wipe Out, Liner - Ripper. Lashes - Dior Lash Primer & Eyeko Mascara.
Look 3: Base - Wipe Out, Crease - Score & Woodie, Lid - Kawabunga with Big Kahuna in the center, Inner Corner - Wipe Out & High Tide; Lower Lash line: Pipeline & Righteous.
Look 4: Base - Wipe Out, Crease - Score & Dig It, Lid - Surf's Up with Big Kahuna in the center, Inner Corner - Wipe Out & High Tide. Clio Brush Liner in Kill Black. Lashes - Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer & Essence Mascara.
Look 5: All over base - Wipe Out, Crease - Score, Centre of the Lid - Big Kahuna, Liner - Surfari. Lashes - Dior Lash Primer & Eyeko Mascara.
(You can see that I really like Big Kahuna, despite it not applying as pigmented as it looks in the pan and swatches, as I tried to center most looks around it.)
Overall I have mixed feelings about this palette. On one hand I really like the selected shades but eyeshadows perform worse than I'm used to from the brand. Some of the shades look the best if I use a finger to apply them, while others are a bit of a miss. It is still a nice addition of colors to my collection, but it's not a palette I keep reaching for, because nobody's got time for poorly performing eyeshadows, especially when I have a bunch of excelling ones within reach.
It is available here.