Gratuitous Nudity Is The Balm

Published on October 21, 2016 by   ·   2 Comments

I mean, who doesn’t love a little gratuitous nudity?!

The Balm is a brand that I’ve seen pop up a couple of times in makeup tutorials, but not as regularly as some other brands.  It seems to be when I go “down the rabbit hole” and start clicking around and finding YouTubers that aren’t on my everyday play list that I hear of fun new brands, and that’s certainly true of The Balm.

One of the first references I heard to this brand was in a video that featured a palette called Meet Matt(e) Nude (I think it might have been a Tati video, maybe a compilation talking about a bunch of palettes or something?).  Although I’m not necessarily immediately drawn to the color selection, I have been working on adding some more basics to my kit and I really liked the sort of fun retro styling of the packaging – it reminded me a lot of Anne Taintor.

On a recent stop at the Walgreens on Pike in downtown Seattle, I found a display of The Balm products, and even though I could have taken a whole cart full of them home, I decided to give that first palette a go and see how I liked it before making too big of an investment in the brand.  And for drugstore makeup, it was definitely on the higher end of the spectrum: for 9 admittedly generous pans, I paid $42.  Plus, by reviewing this palette, it gave me an excuse to publish nude photos of beautiful men named Matt.  Like this:

Matt Harvey

His name is Matt Harvey, and I have no idea what he does.  And frankly, I don’t care.  I assume he plays some sort of sportsball, and he look good naked.  That’s all I really need to know.

Where was I?  Oh yes, eyeshadow.

Here is a great review video that I found:

I really like that she talks about the consistency of the shadows, and I have to say that I agree.  I love Urban Decay eyeshadows, but their shimmers are definitely better than their mattes; with UD mattes, I often get way too much fallout and it’s a little bit of a drag.  With The Balm, their mattes are super creamy and I don’t get a ton of fallout at all.  I do have to say that the little bit of fallout that there is has a tendency to stain the printing on the palette, but am I going to complain about an eyeshadow being too pigmented?!  Ummm, not likely!

Matt McConnaghey

Why, yes – that IS Matt McConaughey’s ass from Magic Mike.  That movie was gawdawful, but the man candy?  Delish!

Back to the shadows.  Like I said, the colors are really creamy and a great consistency for blending.  When they first apply, they seem a little bit patchy, but if you work them with a brush, you can get great coverage.  The white is probably the most patchy when I’m playing with them, but white is a difficult color to do in a shadow, and this one is pretty damn good.  it’s no SugarPill’s Tako, but still at the top of my list – and it has a slight cream bent to it that makes it a little bit more usable for everyday looks than Tako.

Here are some great shots of the palette itself as well as two sets of swatches of the colors.  I did some swatches of my own, but the hotel lighting was really poor and they didn’t turn out very well, so I decided to let the pros show them off for me!


Let’s talk about faves.  All 9 shades in the palette are unique, which is nice – sometimes nude/neutral palettes like this tend to feel a little repetitive.  Matt Garcia and Matt Rosen are probably the closest to each other, but Garcia is a darker brown and definitely has a more reddish tone where Rosen is lighter and more of a milk chocolate kind of situation.  I think I’ll get more use out of Rosen, but both are good.  I’m also a fan of Matt Lombardi, that gorgeous buttery gold shade.  It has that 60s Harvest Gold look to it, and I’m eating that shit up!  Matt Hung is also nice, adding just a touch of plum to this neutral collection.  And really, who doesn’t like hearing the words “nude” and “hung” in the same sentence?!

Matt Smith 01

Although he looks darn good nude, Matt Smith was never my favorite Doctor and of course there are some shades in this palette that I like less than others.  I already mentioned that Matt Garcia would lose a Thunderdome to Matt Rosen.  I’m also not a huge fan of Matt Singh; it’s sort of a peachy beige and I really want it to either be peachier or beige-ier.  Is that a word?  Let’s make it a word.  Also, Matt Abdul looks sort of like the color I see on my fingers when I run it over one of my shelves (I really, really hate to dust) but I imagine that it has some uses, especially for blending with some of the more vibrant colors.  Here is a tutorial that uses Matt Singh and I actually really like her final product, so maybe I just need to see these colors in action.

Overall I’m pretty impressed with this palette – you get a good amount of product, even at the price point, and the consistency is nice and creamy, which is hard to get for a matte shadow.  They are just a little bit inconsistent across the palette, but they blend really well and you get very little fallout – plus did I mention that they were pigmented as fuck?  Totally worth it!  I’m definitely down with meeting this Matt(e) nude!  And of course, this Matt as well:

Matt Bomer AHS

With the quality of this palette, I’m definitely interested in checking out more of this brand.  The Nordstrom Rack currently has two palettes available at a pretty good discount (the Balm Voyage and the Balm Jovi palettes) – I can get both of them for a little bit less than the regular price of one!  They also have a cute line of lipsticks called Balm Girls (modeled after Bond Girls) as well as a set of matte liquid lips called Meet Matt(e) Hughes.  Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to see more reviews of The Balm, if there are specific products you want to see me tackle or if you have favorites of your own!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (2)
  1. […] be fair, I did already take a look at this particular palette in this earlier post, but I was on the road and I wasn’t able to get decent swatches…and let’s be […]

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