I love these Autobalm face palettes for travelling, after using the California one last month when I went away I decided to get the Hawaii one as well and thought I’d do a bit of a comparison as well as a mini review of each of them. In the UK these are available from Superdrug for £16.49, the California palette is here and Hawaii is here. For a mini palette that has products for various different uses as well as just eyeshadows I think it’s a good price.
I like the way these have been given the appearance of a driving licence but with the Balm twist, I have no idea what actual driving licenses from these states look like but you can tell what they’re meant to be even if they look nothing like this. The California one has a road map of California, I think it’s probably California, behind the ingredients on the back and the Hawaii one has a map of the Hawaiian islands, this goes well with the theme and I think it looks nice but they make the back a bit busy if you want to read the ingredients, especially the California one.
The size is great for travel, they’re 9cm by 6cm for the surface and are about 1cm deep meaning they fit well into smaller makeup bags as well as pockets or loose in your bag. They both have a cardboard sleeve that’s exactly the same design as the front, this helps to keep the palettes themselves looking nice but holds them closed which is very useful as they’re just held together by magnets otherwise.
Inside both of the palettes is a mirror that takes up most of the lid, these have a border of the maps on the back of the packaging. They’re nice quality, not distorted and easy to hold up due to the size. They aren’t mirrors you can just flip up part way and they’ll stay up because the hinge is just part of the cardboard palette so no friction to hold it up, if they’re leant against a surface though they don’t slip forward. The layout of the products themselves is the same for both, though a few of them have different recommended uses apart from eyeshadows. The eyeshadow pans themselves are a good size, the smaller ones are still big enough for my brush easily. The blushes are a bit small for some brushes but I find that they aren’t too bad as the brushes I have fit in it fine and I don’t think they’re especially small, maybe not ones to use larger blush brushes on.
Now onto the differences, the products themselves and the colours are quite different, though to be honest I think they both work well on my skin and I’ve taken both away recently. I used them together and they still took up less room than the palette I used to take without the need of a blush as well.
Blush/shadow (1.6g/0.06oz) – a warm coral/peach colour, has a bit of shimmer but not in an obvious way, it just looks like a fresh glow and I only really noticed it when I’ve been reviewing it. Looks powdery in the pan but goes on pretty creamy. It has good pigmentation so a little goes a long way, though it does blend out easily as a blush. As an eyeshadow it’s a bit peach for my skin but it does last well.
Highlighter/shadow (1.1g/0.04oz) – Shimmery pale warm pinky peach. Pretty well pigmented but as it’s pale it doesn’t show that well on my skin besides as a shimmer. Nice and creamy, very easy to apply and blend out. Really nice for an all over shadow or as a highlight in the corner of my eye, lasts well with a primer with little or no fallout. I do find it a bit too shimmery for a highlighter rather than an eyeshadows as the shimmer is very obvious
Brow/crease (1.45g/0.05oz) – Matte medium warm brown. Pretty well pigmented but needs building for it to turn out true to the colour in the palette, a bit powdery but blends well. A nice colour for blending on the outer corner, would work well on brows as well if it was the right colour for me. I don’t use brow products normally but it was easy to apply and lasted fairly well for that.
Lid/liner (1.45g/0.05oz) – Matte dark brown base with coppery shimmer/glitter. The shimmer is pretty big on this one compared to the others but still not much fallout. Well pigmented and very little of this product is needed. Works fairly well as an eyeliner but didn’t last as well as an eyeshadow. It’s fairly powdery feeling but I think that might be the glittery bits, blends really well but does definitely need the primer, without it’s much less pigmented.
Today I used the three colours besides the blush on my eyes with some Urban Decay primer underneath, they lasted a seven hour warm car journey and still looking good ten hours after I applied them so these definitely last well on me.
Blush (1.6g/0.06oz) – Matte bright pink, maybe a bit of shimmer but nothing obvious, I only noticed now I’ve commented on the other blush that there might be any in there. Very well pigmented, definitely very little of this needed. Blends out well which is good as I looked a bit like a clown when I first applied it. This feels a bit powdery too, maybe it’s their blush formula, but it doesn’t feel it on the skin.
Highlighter/shadow (1.1g/0.04oz) – Matte light creamy beige. My most used of the colours in these palettes, it’s a great highlighter for under the brow as well as a good colour for me to blend out any darker colours as it’s a fairly good match to my skin tone. It does seem to turn out a bit warmer on my skin than it looks in the palette which is a bit odd. Another that feels slightly powdery when I used my brush in it but not when I use it.
Lid (1.45g/0.05oz) – Shimmery taupe. I think I’d call this a taupe anyway, it’s a really nice colour and the creamiest of the shadows in these palettes. It’s pretty shimmery and is great for an all over lid colour but doesn’t have much fallout which surprised me. Blends out well and lasts really well for the six hours I wore it.
Crease/liner (1.45g/0.05oz) – Matte dark cool brown, maybe has a hint of shimmer in it. I thought this was a matte colour but having swatched it on my hand now it’s a bit like the blush in the California palette in that it has the hint of shimmer to it and I don’t think it’s from the lid colour next to it. Fairly well pigmented but definitely needs to have primer under it. Doesn’t blend as well as some of the others but works well as a liner.
If you go just on what the product ‘names’ are then the California one is more versatile, though I don’t think I’d use the three multiuse products or the blush/shadow, highlighter/shadow and lid/liner shades as both of those mentioned so it’s not much different than the Hawaii palette in that way for me.
I think that the main difference for these is supposed to be that one is a more cool colour based palette while the other is warmer. I would say that Hawaii is the cooler of the two but as they’re fairly neutral colours I found that both work quite well on me. My skin is very fair (the palest colour most foundations do can still look yellow sometimes on me) so I’m not sure how this would work compared to other’s skin tones. If you know that a warmer or cooler look suits you and you’re interested in this palette then go with whichever is closest to what you like. The main difference to me was which of the colours is matte and which are shimmer as they seemed to do the opposite for the two palettes with the equivalent being matte in one palette and shimmer in the other with the exception of the blushes.
Although I love the highlighter/shadow in California it’s too shimmery as an eyebrow highlight for me, so I’d need the same product from the Hawaii palette if I wanted that, also dark lid/liner shade from California has a bit too much shimmer and not enough staying power as a liner for me to use it like that. The Hawaii highlighter/shadow product doesn’t work well for me as an eyeshadow as it’s so close to my skin tone so it reduced the products I had to work with and the looks I could do.
Overall I really like both of these palettes and think that either of them is a good travel palette. I think that either on their own has enough colours for it to be the only product I take for my face for a short stay away. I would say that I could make a good eye look with either, without the need for the other. For the amount of product you get I think these are a good price, especially compared to other products from the Balm.
I think that if you want a good travel palette with a range of products for a short stay away these are worth looking at if they’re I the price range you want to pay. They’d also make a good product as a trial for the Balm to me as they’re the same quality as their larger palette I own, or possibly better. They might make a nice present for someone just starting out with makeup, they don’t have the ideas leaflets a lot of companies do but they do give you the suggestions of trying the same product in different ways and a bit of an all in one product.