Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Balm Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow Palette

As reported in my February Haul, I recently acquired the Balm's Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow Palette through points I had earned on my Birchbox account (through doing surveys, buying a subscription for my mum etc.) - I had been waiting on it coming back into stock and I pounced pretty much as soon as it did and *spoiler alert* I'm so glad I did.

So, let's start at the beginning shall we. Packaging wise the palette is contained in a little sleeve, which is a nice touch and stops the palette from falling open. Why would the palette fall open you ask, well it's my not-so-favourite type - the plastic coated card, held by a magnet sort. In fairness, the magnet is pretty strong on this one, so I wouldn't see it being much of an issue, but still, it just never feels as sturdy as a plastic clip box.

Once you open it up you'll see the lovely big mirror contained within the palette - it's basically the full length, height and width of the lid and is more than ample for using to apply makeup. This is a big plus for me; I hate when palettes have tiddly wee mirrors that you can only see one eye at a time in! There's also a little brush at the bottom and bonus, it's not a useless foam applicator! Truthfully I haven't actually really used this one, but I thought having a nice, delicate angled brush was a nice idea as I know personally, it's not something I necessarily would normally pack if I'm away overnight.

So, on to the eye shadows (FINALLY). There are twelve, arranged in two rows of (shockingly enough) six. They're not the hugest size for a palette of this price/size but it's still a pretty decent amount and let's face it; quality over quantity, right? The colours are also clearly named which I love as it means I can jot down combos I want to try easily and also so that I can talk to you guys about them quickly (and without having to use my super lacking descriptive skills too much). So the colours are all named after personality attributes and are (going top left to right and then bottom left to right: Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious, Snobby, Stand-offish, Sultry, Seductive, Silly and Sleek. I showed this palette to my boyfriend who, after spending five minutes wondering aloud why you'd want stand-offish eyeshadow (I mean, it's supposed to stick right?), remarked that they all begin with an 'S'... yes, yes they do.

Top Row Swatches //
Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Sophisticated, Sexy and Serious

Sassy: Almost white shimmery colour that I use as a brow and inner corner highlight. It's paler than I'd normally use for that but it blends out well and I'm as pale as Casper anyway so it works for me.

Stubborn: A less shimmery, but still far from matte, mid, dusky pink. Now, we all know I don't love pink near my eyes (unless I'm looking to rock the mother of seven insomniac newborns look) so I haven't worn this a lot. It's a nice level of shimmer for day-wear though, without being totally matte.

Selfish: A medium brown with gold shimmer through it. I don't normally do a lot of sparkle through the day so I'm surprised to have been wearing this as much as I have been, but I find that when worked into the crease, the gold shimmer makes it super flattering.

Sophisticated: Kind of a darker more chocolately version of Selfish. This one is a little dark for me, unless I was doing a big smokey eye or similar, so to be honest, other than playing with it, I haven't really used it. It's definitely nice to have as an option in the palette though.

Sexy: Although I stay away from pinks (mostly) I have been experimenting with using this deep cranberry in the crease and find it's actually really nice. It's a different take on a neutral eye, but it's subtle enough that it adds warmth without shouting that it's really a red rather than a brown.

Serious: Serious indeed, this is a very slightly shimmery black that looks scary. Actually though, I don't think it's brilliantly pigmented for a black; I like it, but I don't feel it's a true black (like Urban Decay...), it blends out to look lovely and smokey though.

Bottom Row Swatches (Top to Bottom) //
Snobby, Stand-offish, Sultry, Seductive, Silly and Sleek

Snobby: This is probably the colour I thought I would love most, but actually don't wear that much. It's a golden, sandy shimmery colour that I thought I would love for every day stuff, but I feel it's a little too yellow on me to wear on it's own... it looks awesome when teamed up with Selfish though.

Stand Offish: Yeah, OK, it's a pink... but this is the colour I've worn most! In my defense it's actually got quite peachy tones running through it and that combined with quite a bit of shimmer is making me love it for a slightly more Spring appropriate, girly look.

Sultry: So this one is matte (at least I'm pretty sure) and it's a mid, sandy brown that I absolutely love. Its very versatile and can work for day or night time.

Seductive: A shimmery bronze. It looks more metallic than glittery when applied and so it certainly doesn't look over the top for an everyday look. Again, I blend it into the crease and I love it.

Silly: Now I'll be honest, this one pushes little old neutral eyed me a little outta my comfort zone. It is a very dark red/brown with gold glitter through it and at first, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, or wear it with but it's actually not nearly as intimidating as it looks once it's been blended a little.

Sleek: This is a very dark, matte brown that for some reason I find a little patchy - but don't let that count against the palette folks, I can say with a good chance of certainty that it's probably my skills (or lack of rather) that are the problem here. It's a nice addition to the palette for when you want something dark but not quite black.

In terms of application, these shadows are a delight. They are very creamy and very pigmented so it's really a fun and effortless process. There's no building up, layering, excessive blending or any other annoyances involved - it's just one sweep and done. Woohoo. I'm very happy with the fallout levels in the sense that there really isn't any. I think because they're so soft and creamy it just sticks to the eyelid really well and doesn't fall away.

They last well througout the day, not as good as my beloved Urban Decay shadows, but to be fair, this does cost about £10 less than the Urban Decay Naked palettes, so really, it does well considering. I haven't tried it with a primer yet either and I imagine that would make it all kinds of awesome. 

I'm totally in love with this palette, the range of colours that push the boundaries a little of traditional 'nude' shadows, but which are all still so wearable. Also, the mix of shimmer, matte and glitter colours, combined with the different shade range means that you can really make an infinite amount of looks. It's available for purchase from Birchbox here, for £26.00.


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