This palette, The Balm Appetit eyeshadow palette, was released recently though I’m not sure if it’s a limited edition or not. It doesn’t say it’s limited edition so I’m guessing it’s a permanent line product but it’s around the time some of the Christmas products are going to be coming out so it could be one too. It’s a palette with nine shadows, each one is 1.5g each, and has a food theme so the names are a combination of men’s names and food in a mix of odd but kind of fun puns. The palette is also cruelty free.
The nine eyeshadows could be grouped into three different finishes; three mattes, three foils and three satins, though the satins have varying amounts of shine and shimmer particles in them. The price seems to vary quite a bit but I bought it off HQ Hair which have it on sale for £30.60 with the 10% off The Balm products they have at the moment. I did also get a further offer but it’s not on there any more, it’s been replaced with another. I can’t find many places in the UK that has this exact palette but The Balm’s own website has it for $39.50 so it seems a good price.
As with all The Balm palettes, all their products in general, the packaging has a retro feel, it reminds me of the art you get on a lot of posters in the forties or fifties maybe with the pinups. This one is set out like a menu with men’s names twisted a bit to become dishes. I do like how they do this with the names of their products but it seems a bit over the top when just food names would have been cut enough on a menu themed product.
The packaging is like other The Balm palettes in that it has the exact same art on the palette itself on an outer card sleeve that can be kept to protect the palette and it helps to keep it secure in travel. It has the themed picture on the front and does stand out amongst other palettes if you keep this side showing, otherwise there’s nothing on the sides saying which it is which would be a nice touch as they do have pattern down the edges of the sleeve. The back has the ingredients and a small picture in the bottom corner that shows a representation of the nine colours, though the top two rows are pretty close the bottom three eyeshadows look a lot greener so don’t go by this is you find it in store. There’s also a little code in the corner to scan with a smart phone (if yours can do this) with a tutorial, my phone doesn’t like scanning these so I don’t know how good it is but it is a nice touch especially if you’re new to makeup or want some ideas.
The palette itself is made of card, it has a magnetic clasp which holds very securely, even in travel, though I would recommend keeping the sleeve just in case. One thing about this palette which did surprise me is the size, maybe it wouldn’t you. It is smaller than I expected so I’ve taken a photo next to a DVD case as I think they’re pretty universal size wise, even looking at other reviews I thought it would bigger for some reason. It isn’t a big thing as there’s a decent amount of product in there but thought it was worth mentioning. Inside there’s a nice mirror, though the fact that it’s card means the hinge doesn’t stay upright so you do have to lean it against something to hold it in place. It’s a good quality mirror and a nice enough size, though it has a larger border around than some palettes I think this is because it’s card so it makes it more secure.
One of the things that made this palette stand out to me is the second layer of card which has the phrase ‘Eat ur ❤ out’ cut out of it to show the eyeshadow through. It’s a heart shape rather than the ❤ but I don’t know the emoticon for that. I like this, it’s a nice touch and something different to the clear plastic sheet to keep the powder off the mirror. It’s also got a magnetic clasp at the top so it hold shut and would be a second layer of protection if the top lid did open accidentally, as long as things didn’t poke through the letters anyway. Underneath this are the eyeshadow pans themselves which are set into card and have the names printed underneath. I like the look of the card and it’s sturdy enough but it’s not as wipe clean as plastic and after just these swatches some of the darker colours have stained around so if you like your palettes staying clean looking then it might bother you.
The colours themselves are neatly divided, I like it when companies do this, into rows with the different finishes so that’s how I’ve swatched them. I’ve shown them applied wet directly onto my skin as well as dry on a primer and directly onto my skin to see the difference. As far as lasting power goes they all lasted really well when I tried them Thursday night, I used a mix of the mattes and foils and after five hours it still looked good, I couldn’t see much difference from when I applied it, when I used them on top of the Models Own eyeshadow primer in matte. These swatches use Urban Decay Primer Potion but I don’t see much difference between the two with these colours.
The matte formula in general for these is good, it’s got good pigmentation but it’s not as creamy as some of the other colours in the palette.
Bruce Schetta – Matte light peach. Fairly cool toned, very smooth and pigmented especially for a matte. Blends out well and a great colour for brow bone highlights if you’re pale skinned, or to blend out the others.
Mac Encheese – Matte warm purpley, grey brown, I guess you could call it taupe but it feels a bit purple for that to me. I’m not sure how to describe this colour as it appears more pink or purple in the pan than on my skin to me. Very pigmented and smooth though does get a bit powdery when you pick it up on the brush. Blends out well, especially with other colours and a good transition colour.
Ray Sinbread – Cool matte mid brown. It seems fairly close to the colour of their Bahama Mama bronzer so I think it’d be a good multipurpose product as a bronzer too if you wanted to cut down on products for travel. Well pigmented but slightly powdery, it does apply smoothly and evenly and blend out well.
The foils, as The Balm describes them, are probably the stand out formula in this palette for me, they’re very creamy and pigmented with or without primer.
Tate R. Tots – Pinky dark champagne foil. Very creamy and pigmented, one layer and it’s opaque. Blends out well and it takes both the base and the shimmer particles when you do. It did take quite a bit to get enough of this one to show up when using it wet though, took longer to get it on the brush like that.
Rocky Road-Icecream – Mid taupe foil. Again, it’s a bit purple for me to call it taupe but I think that’s the best colour for it. It’s like a foil version of Mac Encheese with a bit more of a blue undertone. Very pigmented and one layer is enough to be opaque. Blends out well though with a primer it did seem to stick a bit and show where it was first applied so move it quickly if you’re putting it on a base I think.
Chris P. Bacon – (Probably my favourite name from these) Bright orange copper foil. This is the stand out colour for me in this palette, so bright and easy to use. I think it’s the creamiest of the lot, applies evenly and opaque with one layer. It works well as an eyeliner if you want it to as it’s so soft it applies precisely without needing additional water. Blends really well and probably the most metallic of the lot as it doesn’t show up as shimmery as the other two foils when blended.
The last row are the satins, as The Balm calls them, though they seem like they have a bit more shimmer in than I’d call satin. These are the driest of the three formulas, which surprised me when there are mattes there too, and would say that this row was the least pigmented. It’s nice to have the greys in there to cover different looks but I don’t know if these are up to the standard of the other six.
Hal Apeno-Poppers – Off white cool cream satin. This one is fairly pigmented though it’s very close to my skin tone so it doesn’t really show. It does take a few layers to become what I would consider opaque but it works well as a wash to brighten your eyes and as it starts out sheer and can be built it might work as a highlighter too if you like them shimmery. Blends out pretty well but can disappear to nothing easily if you don’t have a primer there.
Artie Chokedip – Mid to light cool blue grey satin. This one applies a lot lighter on my skin, though with a primer it does look a darker shade, if only slightly, it’s still lighter than in the pan. Decent pigmentation but does need to be built up to be anything like opaque. Blends out well but easily disappears though it does take the base and the shimmer particles out rather than just moving the shimmery bits like some do.
Alfred O’Pasta – Dark grey cool satin. Not that pigmented, need to be built up to be at all opaque and then it’s not as dark as in the pan. Not very creamy, feels quite dry and powdery on the brush and doesn’t always apply that evenly without a primer.
The eyeshadows say they can be used wet or dry and I decided to give this a try so each of the colours is swatched as wet as well, that’s the top one. It shows that actually there’s very little difference in the pigmentation if you get enough of the product though I did find that to get this amount of product I had to do more work with the brush in the pan than I did with just applying it dry onto my eyelid or the primer. I also found that, once they’re dry, they don’t seem to blend as well with this, they leave a mark where they were first applied so I’d recommend only doing this if you want a precise area covered or to use them as eyeliner, which works pretty well if you get enough of the eyeshadow on there. I dipped the brush in water, wiped it off a bit and used it when it wasn’t dripping wet but still more than damp to start with and it didn’t affect the eyeshadow in the pan at all when it dried off, it still worked exactly the same as before. That’s always my main worry with trying this.
Overall I do really like this palette. I will say that there are some colours that let it down, the darkest grey especially is disappointing especially considering the great start with the mattes, but with seven, possibly eight, out of nine being good I can accept one that isn’t the same quality when the best ones are as good as they are. The mattes really impressed me, I tend to find they can be a bit hit and miss even within the same company often, and the foil row in the middle is the kind of eyeshadow that I think The Balm does best. The main thing that makes me love this palette is the mix of finishes, the fact that I have everything that I want colour and finish wise for one of my go to looks so if I’m travelling I don’t need to bother with two or three palettes to cover the shimmers and the mattes, especially the lightest matte which I always seem to find doesn’t come in the same palettes as the other colours I want. That fact alone makes this worth purchasing for me, it’s the one I’ll be taking with me when we go away soon so I’ll see how well it stands up to my expectations.
I think that the bottom row definitely lets this palette down, though Hal Apeno-Poppers is a pretty decent shade. I wish they’d chosen colours that used the same finish as the others as both of the formulas used for them are great. The foils have small enough shimmer and it doesn’t leave fallout wherever you use it even when blending and the mattes are pigmented and creamy and apply evenly.
The colours in this palette are mainly cool tone, the only truly warm toned colour to me is Chris P. Bacon which seems to have just been thrown in there and that may be part of what makes it stand out so much. If you want a warm toned palette this won’t be for you but for cool toned neutrals fans this is a great palette with a mix of finishes.
At the end of the day having played around with this and tried it in different ways I do not regret buying it and would recommend it to others. Even with the two more disappointing colours it’s still a really nice palette and does have a nice mix of finishes. It’s just not one to get if the greys are two of the colours in here that you’d use the most. I think it’s the sort of palette that could make a nice present for a makeup fan, it’s cute and well pigmented. Although it’s more expensive than I would often spend on makeup I think The Balm in general is worth the higher price tag and this one is too.