Saturday, June 29, 2013

theBalm Balm Jovi Palette - Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. I used my Hautelook invite link in this post.

Everyone else seems to be doing it, so here's my reminder that Google Reader is going away after this weekend. If you want to make sure you still see my new posts, which should start going up more regularly again, I highly suggest following me on Bloglovin'. It's a simple site to use. I'm also loving a new feature on Bloglovin' that allows you to mark posts as favorites. I know I'm going to use that feature a lot to check back on posts because I want to see if my comment was responded to or if I'm interested in the conversation going on in the comments.

Now that I got that out of the way, on to the review!

I'm a child of the 80's, so I grew up with Bon Jovi. Then I had one of my first experiences feeling old when I was in college. Bon Jovi had released their album Crush with the hit single "It's My Life." One of my friends was in WalMart and overheard some younger kids talking about Bon Jovi saying, "That Bon Jovi band is pretty good. They're going to make it big." D'oh!

With my affection for 80's hair bands, and Bon Jovi in particular, I was immediately drawn to the cute concept of the Balm Jovi palette. I resisted for a while but caved when theBalm had their 50% off sale. The full price for the palette is $39.50, so I got it for $19.75. The nice thing is that theBalm shows up on the website Hautelook (affiliate link) frequently, and their permanent products are marked down around 50% on there as well, so it's not too difficult to get a really good deal on this palette (or any of their other palettes).


theBalm always has fantastic packaging. They are creative with it, but they don't make their packaging bulky.

One of the best packaging features for this palette is the divide that you can see about 3/4 of the way down the palette. Why is that a good feature? The top flap covers the powder products, and the bottom flap covers the cream products in the palette. This means that you don't have to worry about powder getting into the cream products. Love it! I hate when palettes combine powder and cream products because it creates a huge mess.

Another nice packaging feature is the mirror on the inside. It isn't a great mirror, but it would work in a pinch. Besides, they integrated it into the design so well that it's super cute.

The flap that covers the cream products has four suggested looks formatted to look like a Top 20 hits list, which is cute and helpful if you aren't sure how to combine the colors in the palette on your own.


This palette includes 12 eye shadows, a highlighter, and a blush (and the two cream lip/cheek products that aren't pictured here but will be pictured later). The eye shadows are divided into three color groups: Heavy Metal, Classical, and Alternative.

Heavy Metal Shades:
From left to right: Metal-ica, Iron Maid-in, Lead Zeppelin, and Alice Copper
Metal-ica is a classic silver shade, and Iron Maid-in is a soft gold shade. I think I've used Iron Maid-in the most out of the all the shades in this palette. It's a great, easy lid shade.

Lead Zeppelin
My camera has a bad habit of dulling down shimmer and complexity in shadows. If anyone has any tips to help with that, I'd love to know. Here's a better shot of Lead Zeppelin to show that it does has shimmer in it. There's muti-colored shimmer, but most if the shimmers are gold like the ones you can see in this picture. The base shade is a dark forest green.

Alice Copper
Alice Copper is a burgundy purple shade with silver shimmers, that didn't even show up well in this picture. There is less shimmer in this shade than there is in Lead Zeppelin.

Classical Shades:
From left to right: Adagio, Allegro, Moderato, Presto
The classical shades are all matte shades, which is great. Adagio is a classic matte cream shade. It's a little too dark for my vampire-fair skin, but for most people, it will be a perfect highlight shades. Allegro is a great mid-tone brown that leans slightly warm. These types of shades are my favorite for the crease. Moderato is a deep purple, and Presto is a dark chocolate brown.

Alternative Shades:
From left to right: Blink 1982, The Stroke, rem, and Third Eye Blinded
Blink 1982 is a dusty light purple shade with subtle shimmer. The Stroke is a deep navy blue with blue shimmer. rem is a light lilac shade with a gold sheen, and Third Eye Blinded is a dusty soft pink shade.

Here's a picture that shows the shimmer in The Stroke a little bit better.

Another picture to show the gold sheen of rem. Sadly, even though this shade swatches really nicely, when I tried using it on my lids, it applied really patchy, and it was hard to work with.

Highlighter and Blush

Left to right: Solid Gold and Don't You Want Me?
Solid Gold
Solid Gold is a standard gold highlight shade that is almost identical to theBalm's Mary Lou-manizer highlighter. Don't you want me a a standard peachy-pink shade that is matte.

Lip and Cheek Colors:

Left to right: Milly and Vanilly
Milly is a dusty rose shade, and Vanilly is a sheer red. 

I've never been a huge fan of cream lip products in palettes. There's the mess issue when they are in the same palette as powder products (thanks for solving that one theBalm!). There's also the convenience factor. I don't want to take a big palette with me to touch up a lip color. Because of that, I like that these cream products can be used on the lips or the cheeks. I haven't used them much yet. I think I've tried both once on the lips, and I used Milly on my cheeks one day (I applied it with a stippling brush). It was actually a nice cheek color that seemed to last pretty well. I wouldn't consider these a selling point for the palette, but they aren't a detractor from it either.

Final Thoughts 

Overall, this is a really nice palette. It's got a great mix of shades and finishes. theBalm's powder products are good quality, and the cream products in this palette are decent and are stashed in their own section, so they don't make the entire palette look like a mess. Since it is somewhat regularly available on Hautelook for around $20, it's a great steal.

Will you be picking this up the next time it goes on sale? What are your favorite products from theBalm?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. I used my Hautelook invite link in this post.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Luxury Lane Soap Triple Care Hemp Body Wash and Whipped Up Sugar Scrub - Review

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. I am not being sponsored for this post and all opinions are my own.

I've been slacking. I still haven't gotten to replying to comments. I have a ton of pictures to edit and a lot of posts that I want to write. Sadly, I've been really busy teaching summer school and too tired when I've been home to do much of anything. Summer school is done soon though, so that should help.

I figured I'd go ahead and do a quick review post today about two of my new favorite shower/bath products.

A while ago, I did a haul post and showed the products I received for being part of the Luxury Lane Soap Test Team. I used the 15% off coupon included in the box to purchase a few items.

Triple Care Hemp Body Wash in Vanilla Oak - $9.95 for 8 fl oz

I love this body wash! It lathers really well, and the lather sticks around long enough for me to wash and shave with it. I also love the Vanilla Oak scent (there are currently 18 scents available on the website). It's vanilla, but it isn't super sweet. I would also suggest the Blackberry Tea scent, which I have in a couple other products. According to the website, it is thinner in consistency than most body washes because there are no "chemical thickeners, filler, or silicones," so I was expecting it to be watery like the Dr. Bronner's soap, but it isn't. It's thick enough that it sticks to the top of my loofah until I lather it in.

Whipped Up Sugar Scrub in Dark Kiss - $7.99 for 6 oz

Again, I absolutely love this product! It combines the Luxury Lane Soap whipped soap with raw organic sugar to make an excellent scrub. I love that it's so thick because the sugar stays evenly distributed, and I'm not let with a few grains of sugar and a bunch of oil at the end of the jar. I also don't lose half the the scrub just trying to get it from the jar to my body. It's not super scrubby, so if you are looking for an intensive scrub, this isn't it. However, it is nicely moisturizing, so it would probably be really good for dry skin.

Additional Information and Final Thoughts

Kylee Lane, the owner of the company, clearly takes pride in all aspects of it, from the jars and labels to the way things are shipped. Everything looks professional (and in some cases nicer than professional). The prices are reasonable and compare with prices at places like Bath & Body Works, and shipping isn't terrible ($5.95 flat rate shipping with free shipping on orders over $75). So far, I have really enjoyed the things I have tried, and I will happily continue to purchase from this company.

Have you tried Luxury Lane Soap products? What are your favorite indie bath and body companies?