Review: The Balm Balm Voyage Face Palette

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As the second volume of the Balm Voyage collection (is it a collection with just two?) was recently released, I think in March, and I only found out about it yesterday I thought I’d do a review of the first one. The second is on my wish list and I might even risk eBay for it as I can’t find a release date for it in the UK. Anyway, onto the review of the first. It’s quite a long review, next time I might cut these longer ones in two, what do you think? Leave them as one or post them in two parts?

I bought this palette from Asos when they had an offer of 20% off for students, though I can’t find it on their website at the moment so I’m not sure if they still stock it. It doesn’t seem to be available in many places in the UK but I found it on the Feelunique website at £37.50 if you want to buy it. The palette has 16 eyeshadows and 3 cheek and lip tints, the eyeshadows come to 28.8g (1oz) and the lip and cheek tints 6.6g (0.21oz) so you get a fair amount of product in the palette, the eyeshadows in particular were bigger than I was expecting going by palettes of a similar price from some other companies.

balmvoyage13The first thing I love about this palette is the design of the outside of the packaging. It comes in a cardboard sleeve which keeps the lid flap bits closed and makes it easier for travel. The cover is so pretty, it has that The Balm style with the women infront of backgrounds for countries that look like they could be tourist board advertisements from the early to mid twentieth century. The back has a picture of the three lip products along the bottom and all of the eyeshadows with a textured look on the shimmer ones to tell them apart. It also includes the ingredients, click on the picture on the right to see them up close, I hope they’re clear enough. I have to say that I find the plane at the top a little odd on the back, the windows have the images of women from the front and they’re all in strange poses to be in an aeroplane but I guess it keeps with the look of the palette.

To keep the eyeshadow and lip/cheek products apart so you don’t end up with a lot of powder on the crème products there are two separate flaps. The one covers the three lip/cheek products at the bottom and the other is larger and covers the eyeshadows.

balmvoyage10Inside the larger flap is a mirror which is made to look like a passport as its frame. It’s a nice enough mirror but not the most convenient shape for me, I’m not sure why but I prefer the wider mirrors. The lid does not stay up unless you lean it against something as the palette is cardboard and it’s just a continuation of the back, there is no hinge. I have found that, over the time I’ve had it, some of the eyeshadows (especially D3 and C1) seem to transfer onto this lid, you can probably see them in the photo as there’s a smudge over Americaine and another at the top right of the frame around the passport photo. It’s a bit annoying as these have actually stained the cardboard but it’s nothing too big, a clear plastic case would have been nice. Under the flap at the bottom are four combinations they recommend for the eyeshadows.

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Now onto the eyeshadows themselves, please excuse the fact there’s a few dents, the one in C3 was caused by me dropping the camera on it and I think the others were a hairbrush. I’m undecided on the names for the eyeshadows, they’re set out as aeroplane seats which is a nice idea but I do prefer their normal naming style. Some of these aren’t the most pigmented and a bit powdery compared to other shadows I’ve got from the Balm but others are really creamy and they all blend pretty well with a primer beneath them.

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A4 – I think this is meant to be black but not the most pigmented black I’ve seen. It’s a fairly matte base I think with silver shimmer added to it. Works well in the outer corner and comes out as a bit of a shadow rather than full on black.

B4 – A dark brown with copper shimmer in it, one of my favourites and goes on really well. Pretty well pigmented and creamy, blends out very well in the outer corner and works quite well as a liner with a fine brush.

C4 – A red brown base with silver glitter on it, definitely larger bits of glitter in this than any of the others and there’s quite a bit of sparkly fallout with it but it does stick well. This is one of the powdery ones, I’m not sure if it’s the glitter that makes it less stable but without a primer it needs to be built up.

D4 – This has an olive green or khaki look though I think it has a dark brown base and it’s the slightly coppery and gold shimmer or duochrome that gives it this appearance. Another one like B4, creamy and goes on well.

A3 – Pure silver metallic finish. No glitter that I can tell really, it’s just a metal look eyeshadow to me. Nice and creamy and blends well but does need a couple of layers to make it proper silver as it’s a bit sheer. Somehow this one managed to be creamy but look powdery in the pan.

B3 – Matte mid brown, a cooler toned brown, going towards grey. This is one of the powdery ones with less pigment, I think it seems to be a problem with the mattes in this palette. It’s a nice colour for the crease or as a transitional colour. Considering how powdery it seems it does blend well.

C3 – Warm matte mid brown. This is another like B3 that applies powdery and slightly patchy without building it up. It’s so soft and smooth to use though, it blends really well and I like the look of this one, it’d less patchy on a primer.

D3 – Shimmery dark gold, though that’s not a great description I’m not sure I can think of another one. There seems to be very little pigment in it when you look at the colour straight on. From an angle it’s so pretty, it catches the light perfectly and comes off a warm gold, it didn’t improve much on a primer.

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A2 – Purple with a blue duochrome. This was one of the colours in the palette that stood out to me. It’s nowhere near as pigmented as I expected and applies patchy without primer unless you build it up. It also blends to almost invisible if you’re not careful, it leaves a purple shimmer which could be nice on top of a matte colour. On top of primer though this colour changes a lot, it becomes much more pigmented, definitely one that needs to be on top of a base.

B2 – Shimmery pale aqua, more on the blue side than green. Straight on it has very little pigmentation but from the side or when the light catches it it’s a really nice aqua with a greeny yellow duochrome to it. It feels creamy but is another that seems powdery when it’s on the brush. Like with A2, when I tried this on top of a primer on its own it became much more pigmented, it still only shows as a wash of colour on top of others though.

C2 – Matte dark turquoise base with a hint of blue shimmer. I think this is the most pigmented of the eyeshadows which surprised me as it’s a matte base. It appears powdery but blends really well and doesn’t need much to give quite a bright colour. The blue shimmer is very sparse and not at all obvious when on the eye though it probably does add some depth to the shadow.

D2 – Shimmery pale peach or champagne colour. It’s got a bit of a pinky tint to it, it’s a nice all over colour for a light shimmery look. Another of the creamy formulas like the other shimmery colours that blends really easily. It’s pretty pigmented and applies fairly thickly because of the texture but it’s such a pale colour it’s hard to tell.

A1 – Pale shimmery pink with a brown/peach hint. It’s a pale colour that works as a good mid colour between D2 and B4. It’s fairly well pigmented and has a nice texture, another of the creamier ones.

B1 – A matte peachy nude colour. A really nice creamy matte colour with a fair amount of pigment and a great colour to use to blend out eyeshadows. It has a pink undertone but it fairly pale. Blends easily but can disappear if blended too much. It does appear powdery and has some fallout if you use too much.

C1 – A very pale shimmery yellowy cream. This has a good texture, blends easily and, for such a pale colour, does have quite a bit of pigment to it. This works really well to add some depth in the inner corner. It’s one of those that somehow appears powdery on the brush so you have to be careful not to get too much on or you get a lot of fallout.

D1 – Sheer yellow shimmer. It looks like a nice yellow with some golden yellow shimmer in it but when I used it straight on it looks like a wash of yellow but slightly patchy. From the side it picks up light well and gives a nice yellow sheen. It does have a nice texture and blends really well. With the primer base I found this did become more yellow but still rather disappointing.

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I’ve just finished my Urban Decay primer so the primer I have at the moment is Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight which has a bit of shimmer to it by itself. It does show, however, the difference when you look at A2, B2 and D1. I tried a few others to see and it did make a difference with the others. I don’t remember the Urban Decay bringing them out as well so maybe it was time to get a new primer anyway.

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The lip and cheek stains are in bigger pans and named after the pilots’ ranks (I think) which is a nice touch with the aeroplane theme. The formula feels like it should be moisturising, and feels nice on the lips but it seemed a bit greasy almost on my cheeks. I’ve not tried many crème blushes so it may be that I’m not used to the idea or feel of them.

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Second Officer ­– A true red lip look, the formula makes it slightly shiny so it’s not a matte lip stain. It does blend out pretty well to become paler but on the cheeks it’s still too bright for me as my skin is very fair. It does seem to hold quite well on the lips and does stain if you leave it on for any length of time.

balmvoyage5First Officer – A peachy coral colour. This is a lot thicker than the other two, you can see how it looked after I used it. I really like this colour, it’s well pigmented and looks more like a lip stick when on than a lip stain. The blended out swatch on this shows it doesn’t blend out that well, this took a bit of rubbing to get it that spread out, so either go very lightly for a cheek tint or use it just as a lip colour.

Captain – A pinky red that blends out to be a nice pink colour. Of the three this is the one I’d use as a cheek stain personally, it blends out to be pretty sheer if you want it to. This formula is the same as the Second Officer and blends easily while it’s still wet. Once it’s set it stays though so you do have to move fairly quickly.

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I have mixed feelings about this palette, it’s one that I love the look of and like to think I’ll use the shadows but when I have the palette in front of me I just don’t know what to do without sticking to my more normal neutral shades, it just doesn’t inspire me to try new things, which sounds like a weird thing to say about an eyeshadow palette. Standout colours for me were C2 and the shimmery ones, though I could probably find dupes for them they were just so creamy. Some of the ones I was most excited about were the biggest disappointments, A1, B2 and D1 were stand out colours in the pan but not when I used them. First Officer is the sort of colour I’d choose for my cheeks, if it was the same formula as Captain and Second Officer I think I’d love it but as it is it’s a very nice lip colour but I did like the idea of having a product that does both.

I like the idea of this palette; having the eyeshadows and lip and cheek tints in one to have an all over face palette that’s good for travelling is definitely appealing and the colours are quite summery but I don’t think the formula of the eyeshadows is up to the formula in the smaller palettes I have and it’s not quite the quality I was expecting. It’s a nice palette and I do like it but to me it’s not worth the £35 it was full price when I got it, as I got it in sale I’m happy with it but I don’t think I would have been at full price. It’s a palette I could take away with me but it would be for a longer holiday and this wouldn’t be the only palette; I’d need another to be able to reach for other colours and I think that’s the problem I have with this palette.

If you’ve made it this far well done, this did end up being longer than I thought it was. In the future would you guys prefer me to cut these longer reviews into two? I’ve not reviewed such a big palette before so wasn’t sure which is best. If I did I would have the second part up the next day rather than waiting for the next scheduled day.

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