December 31, 2012

theBalm Nude'tude Eyeshadow Palette

Can a girl have too many neutrals? Certainly - and with this being the third palette I'm reviewing for my "alternatives to Urban Decay's Naked palettes" series,  I think I may be reaching that saturation point. I'm a little desperate for something hot pink. Or teal. (Bare Minerals Remix collection, I'm eyeballing you.)

But if you are in the market for a neutral palette, the Nude'tude from theBalm is a lovely one to consider.

thebalm nude 'tude palette

thebalm nude 'tude palette


Much like Lorac, theBalm is one of those brands that seems to squeak by a little under the radar, through absolutely no fault of its own. The formulations are generally excellent, the packaging is super-cute, and the price point is very reasonable for a mid-range brand. (Extra points for being frequently featured on discount sites like Hautelook.)

I have several items from the line, and have been impressed with each one. If there's a stinker lurking about, I have yet to encounter it. While the Nude'tude is not quite as amazing as the three Shady Lady palettes I have, it is more excellent than not.

The packaging is right in line with the brand's tongue-in-cheek, vintage vibe. (If you're not particularly keen on staring at barely covered derrières, it is also available in a "clean" version.) Like the Lorac Pro palette, the packaging is slim and sleek, making this incredibly easy to toss into a purse or weekend bag, and the large mirror is a nice bonus.

thebalm nude 'tude palette
With flash.

thebalm nude 'tude palette
Left side.

thebalm nude 'tude palette
Right side.

The shade range is not quite as varied as that in the Laura Mercier and Lorac palettes (and tends towards the warmer end) but it's more than adequate - four highlighters, four mid-tones, four crease/liner shades. 

The pigmentation and texture is not the same across the board. Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Snobby, Sultry, Sophisticated and Seductive have the signature pigmentation and smooth, rich texture that I associate with theBalm eyeshadows. They are soft to the touch, apply with great pay-off, and blend perfectly, without thinning out. They are an absolute dream to work with. (Stubborn on the lid and Sultry in the crease is a perfect no-fuss day look, by the way. Exactly the right balance of shimmer to brighten the eye and depth to add definition.)

Stand-offish is a teeny bit harder to work with. It comes on sheerer, and the shimmer verges on glitter, with some fall-down. 

As for Sexy, Serious, and Sleek - the pigmentation is less intense with these, so if you want to do a strong smoky eye, you will need to build these up. Their texture is drier than that of the other shades, which makes for less intense swatches.

In terms of application, however, the softer payoff and drier texture means that they are in some ways easier to work with, if what you want to do is to add depth to your eye look. They pick up easily on a brush, without excess powder, and they blend well. Smoking out the corner of your eye is as simple as a little wiggle and a couple of small sweeps. (A super intense black is amazing for creating a rich, smoky eye. It can be more bang than you need when all you want to do is take your eye makeup from workday to dinner out.) On their own, however, they tend to look faded and a little dull.

Silly is the one shade that I found actually problematic. Like a lot of matte-with-microglitter type shades, the glitter ended up migrating everywhere. If you're keen on the finish, a sticky base is essential.

Wear time was 8 hours, easy, over primer. Closer to 5-6 on bare eyes, with the lighter shades being the most vulnerable to fading.


thebalm nude 'tude palette swatches
Left side: Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Snobby, Stand-offish and Sultry.
Natural light.

thebalm nude 'tude palette swatches
Left side: Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Snobby, Stand-offish and Sultry.
Sunlight.

thebalm nude 'tude palette swatches
Right side: Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious, Seductive, Silly and Sleek.
Natural light.

thebalm nude 'tude palette swatches
Right side: Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious, Seductive, Silly and Sleek.
Sunlight.

Availability: At Nordstrom, currently sold out on theBalm website. Occasionally available from Hautelook. At some select Jean Coutu locations in Quebec. Price is 36$ USD.

Pros: Good range of light to dark shades, preponderance of superb textures, very easy to use, comparably inexpensive and a great value.

Cons: Skews to the warm end of the spectrum, the darker shades require building up for intensity, can look faded and dull when used on their own. A couple of the shades have glitter fall out.

(I purchased this item from Hautelook.)

8 comments:

  1. Judith4.1.13

    Great palate! Own it and get lots of use out of it! I hope you had a beautiful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I hope you had an amazing holiday season as well! =)

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  2. i do like this palette as well. Your swatches are really good! :)

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  3. It's too bad that I'm kinda snobbish when it comes to theBalm's packaging - I have found nothing but quality from most of their products, but I prefer classic, clean lines with minimal 'stuff' visible, so this palette visually is a turn off, sadly. Also - I'm not huge on neutral palettes in general - not against them at all, but I don't wear a ton of neutral shadow (usually if I'm going for that kind of look I just won't wear any) so these always tend to be overlooked by me :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't say it's my personal style, which tends to be more classic/feminine, but I do enjoy their campy/vintage vibe. It's definitely a risk to go the cute as opposed to elegant route with mid-to-high-end makeup. I wonder if that's partly why they're not as widely distributed as they should be, based on quality alone?

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  4. I really find they fade on me! I have seen nothing but great reviews so I really want to love this palette, but when I know I'll be out of the house for more than 5 hours (aka everyday), I usually reach for my Naked palette. I know I can trust UD to stay on there and not fade away, but I can't say the same about Nude Tude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I found the same thing when I didn't use a primer, though with one I didn't have any problems getting to last at least a regular workday. Did you find they faded on you regardless?

      I have yet to succumb to the lure of any of the Naked palettes, can you believe it??

      Delete

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