theBalm has been around for ten years now, and what makes them stand out for me is their adorable packaging, and the fact that they are paraben and cruelty-free, YAY! theBalm draws on the philosophy of, "beauty in 5 minutes", basically meaning that the majority of their products are multipurpose, I love this (and so does my bank account). For instance, I love using Hot Mama (a lovely peachy-pink, some say a dupe for NARS Orgasm) not only as a blush/highlighter, but on my lids. I find that doing this really ties a look together, as well as being able to achieve it quickly. I also find this to be a dupe for one of my fave MAC Eyeshadows, Paradiso, with just a touch more sheen.
BalmShelter is another multipurpose item, being a moisturiser with a tint and an SPF 18. I love this, and while it doesn't give me quite enough coverage for winter, I know I'll be reaching for this all the time in summer. It'll be perfect to wear to the beach, because there's nothing worse than wearing a caked-up face when it's boiling hot. However, if you do prefer a light, natural cover, I would absolutely recommend BalmShelter; you can use it in conjunction with Sexy Mama, which is an anti-shine, translucent powder and gives a nice, matte finish. Sexy Mama is great because it can be used throughout the day for touch ups, and because it contains no colour, it never looks patchy or uneven. It is perfect as a setting powder as well, because we all love our makeup to be long-wearing.
The Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow palette is simply gorgeous. It's one of my absolute go-to eye palettes when I'm getting ready, I love the range of colour and the high pay off. I raved about this particular product recently on nzgirl, and you can read all about it here: http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/buy/thebalm-nude-tude-eye-shadow-palette-2/. I'm really looking forward to trying out all the other palettes that theBalm have on offer, I have heard great things about Balm Jovi and Shady Lady! As I mentioned in my review on nzgirl (linked above), I consider this palette to be a more affordable and accessible version of Urban Decay's beloved Naked Palette. You all know how much I adore those two palettes, so this is a major compliment!
Because of the beautiful weather we've been having, I've been spending some time in the sun, so bronzer is needed. I prefer my bronzers to be absolutely matte so they can be used for contouring purposes, and Bahama Mama is exactly that. There are no orange tones in it at all, so it doesn't look fake, and it is yet another multipurpose item as you can use it as a bronzer, a contourer, and as a matte brown eye shadow. Perfect! Buying this product would save you having to buy three separate items, which makes me super happy.
I've saved the best (my favourite) for last. theBalm Time Balm Foundation is boss. If you're looking for a medium to full coverage cream foundation (erring towards full), this is your guy. It was formulated because the accompanying concealer was so popular, and after using this for a couple of months I can see why. I apply mine with a damp Real Techniques sponge (a dupe for the Beauty Blender), and the end result is lovely. I find it to be an almost matte finish, but if you prefer a definite matte finish, you can pop on a touch of the Sexy Mama translucent powder (mentioned above). If I apply it in the morning, it is still going strong by the time I need to take it off early evening, which I love. The packaging is cute in its wee container, and it does come with a sponge as well in case you need one (I do recommend using a sponge to apply this over a brush). It comes in 8 different shades, so you'll definitely be able to find the one that is right for you, I am currently using the light/medium shade, but will switch to medium for summer. I've also found that it leaves my skin looking nice and hydrated- and even though it is a fuller coverage, it looks flawless, not cakey! If I am wearing a lighter coverage foundation, I find this product can double up as an awesome concealer, which covers dark spots, pimples and acne scars no problem. My fave cream foundation, easily.
All in all, I LOVE theBalm, mainly because of the versatility of all of the products! It's a cult brand in the US, and I predict their popularity will only increase, particularly as more people are beginning to look for cruelty free cosmetics. For swatches, to purchase (the foundation and tinted moisturiser swatches are especially helpful) and to read more, go to http://www.blushbabynz.com/, which is where I purchased the majority of these products.
I also have an amazing treat for one reader, the beautiful special edition Shady Lady Eye Shadow Palette (pictured on the pinned post), worth $55NZD! To be into win, simply like this page https://www.facebook.com/blushbabynz, and comment on the pinned post in the FB group to let me know you've done so!
Hot Mama Shadow/Blush- $29 NZD
Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturiser with SPF 18- $35 NZD
Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder- $29 NZD
Nude 'Tude Eye shadow Palette- $59NZDInstain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush- $32 NZD
Bahama Mama Bronzer, Shadow & Contour Powder- $29 NZD
TimeBalm Cream Foundation- $42 NZD
(as seen on http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/buy/thebalm-cosmetics-range/)