High-end Haul: theBalm Cosmetics



Hey there beauties! So, another week has passed (and passed very quickly might I add) which means another beauty segment here on Marina Writes Life and, trust me, today's post is one I've been meaning to publish for a while now but, hey ho, finally the time has come!

A while ago, myself and the lovely Grainne, from theBalm's EU office, chatted back and fourth about sending me some products to try out and review. Now this, for me, was a moment that could have probably forced me to shed a tear or two - theBalm Cosmetics is the absolute epitome of an OG brand, being around since 2004, and has made a huge name for itself worldwide. In addition, theBalm is a brand that I have previously purchased from personally - the honour becomes even greater at the point in which you're being gifted products from brands you buy from. ICONIC.

Aside from that aspect, I was excited to dive in (head first, of course) into some new makeup and cosmetic FILTH so, if you're ready to hear my thoughts on this plethora of products, just keep on reading...




Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush* - $21.00
Beginning with the standout product from my point of view (i.e the one that shocked me the most), here we have the 'Balm Desert' bronzer/blush. Now, when I first read the title, my initial reaction was: "HOLD ON THERE, SISTER, HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE A BLUSH?". 

Lost in a state of confusion, I took a dip into the powder, swatched it, and instantly swallowed my words as the most beautiful dark mauve shade emerged. That's right, despite how the colour appears within the pan, this isn't your bog standard warm brown bronzer; the tone is just perfect for use as a blush on darker skintones, with buildable pigmentation and a soft and buttery texture. However, if you are of a fairer complexion, you would definitely be able take advantage of the versatility of this product and bronze your life away with it - the more you build it up, the less of the pinkish undertone you get. 

As someone who doesn't wear blush due to the lack of options available for women of colour (no, I can't wear magenta pigments on my cheeks, guys), this is a massive WIN, so you'll, for sure, see me busting out the blush the next time I do a full face for the Gram. 




Mad Lash Black Mascara* - $18.00
Bold and genuinely as black as it gets, this mascara has been my one and only for the last while - at this point, I couldn't fathom bringing anything else with me on days out as a part of my "touch-up makeup kit" (you know, for when someone cute walks by and you just want to make quite sure that your makeup's still FIRE). 

Due to the fabulous curl and height this gives your lashes, I find that I always seem to have enough of a wispy effect going on after a few coats with the curvalicious wand that my trusty little eyelash curler isn't even required (sorry baby). The formula is also clump-free and the perfect balance between thick and loose - once it's on, you don't even realise it's there for the remainder of the day, unless you're, generally speaking, quite a tearful person (this isn't supposed to be a waterproof moment). 

In conclusion, if you LIVE for a bit of drama and pizzazz when it comes to lashes, look no further as this is, indeed, the mascara that will transform your eye makeup - I love it.



Bonnie-Lou Manizer Highlighter & Shimmer* - $24.00
Unless you've been living under a rock for a long ass time, you will have already heard of the 'Manizer' sister highlighters; Mary-Lou, Betty-Lou and Cindy-Lou are queens of the strobe all around the globe. However, as I own the Manizer Trio palette containing mini versions of the three, I am, unfortunately, aware of the fact that none really work for my skin tone as highlighters (they still make stunning shadows though, don't get me wrong), which is why I was utterly stoked to see the new sister in town, Bonnie-Lou.

Bonnie-Lou is a gorgeously golden highlighter perfect for medium dark skintones such as mine (if you're any darker than me then, girl, Betty-Lou has got you covered), containing a wild amount of pigment and the same smooth texture seen across the board with highlighters from theBalm. This formula allows for a more wet than glittery effect on those cheekbones, leaving you looking like an oozing liquid gold dream rather than a kid's christmas card - it's a must have within your makeup collection. 



Time Balm Face Primer* - $30.00
Onto the one personal request I actually had when it came to selecting the PR products, this vitamin enriched base has had my foundation looking RIGHT lately. Since the minute I saw this primer and read that vitamins A, C and E were included within the formula, I knew I had to have it and, trust me, I was not wrong.

The silicone-like texture and properties of this mean that it's ideal for those like myself who have larger pores and/or fine lines on the skin (don't worry, it's okay, join the squad) as it's capable of  smoothing, evening out at practically blurring surface imperfections - the canvas it leaves you with is wonderful. In addition to that, with the aid of this primer, my makeup has never slid off at all (even in the baking heat of western France) or caused breakouts post-wear (touch wood).

Therefore, if you have a similar skin type to mine or similar skin concerns, you'd really benefit from giving this baby a go - if you don't, you'll never know how soft your skin could look through makeup and that would be a real bummer.



Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow Palette* - $42
Oh, did you not hear? Guys named Matt are OUT and shadows named Matt are IN, thanks to this palette of classic but beautiful matte shades, ranging from light to dark whilst remaining fairly warm-toned in nature. As always, from left to right on each row, the naked swatches and corresponding descriptions are as follows: 


Matt Lin: A creamy beige with yellow undertones

Matt Thomas: A muted pastel pink

Matt Rossi: A medium cool toned brown with a purple edge



Matt Lopez: A nude beige

Matt Kumar: An rusty crimson

Matt Moskowitz: A dirty violet



Matt Evans: A cool toned wood brown

Matt Reed: A true chocolate brown

Matt Ahmed: A charcoal black

As you guys can see from the three rows of swatches, the shades and their formulas, regardless of the variation of tones, are very consistent - each one is smooth, buttery and HELLA pigmented. I also love the fact that the fallout here is minimal and that they succeeded in creating a palette containing all mattes that can still be worn on it's own. For an everyday, non invasive look this is ideal and, with the addition of the tiniest quantity of black (side note: this is probably one of the best blacks I've ever worked with as, formula wise, they're difficult to get right), on a fluffy brush, applied to the crease, it can be turned into a night appropriate smokey eye in seconds. 

This palette has really changed up my perception of matte shades; I've come to realise that they're not just transition shades and can be used to create all manner of knockout looks on their own - bye bye shimmers (for today, at least)!



Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick* - $17
And, last but not least, here we have EVEN MORE Matt(e)s, however, this time, we're talking my favourite product category: lipsticks. 



Now, shades 'Committed', 'Charming' and 'Loyal' (going downwards from the top in that exact order) were gifted to me and, as a little bonus, I decided to throw in 'Adoring' (a lovely rich burgundy already owned by myself) in order to add to the spectrum. 

With regards to the formula, of course, I already knew judging on 'Adoring' that these would be consistently bold, creamy in texture, comfortable on the lips and long wearing - you simply cannot go wrong with theBalm's liquid lipstick formula (I don't know what kind of sorcery they're performing at headquarters but... it's working). Each and every lipstick within the range, in my opinion, smells EXACTLY like mint choc chip ice-cream (it's honestly identical, folks)  and the colour scheme revolves solely around reds, pinks and nudes, due to the love and devotion theme it's based on - all 18 shades tie in with one another, which is a really cool concept.

Overall, I totally recommend trying a few shades out as, I'm sure, within the Meet Matt(e) Hughes collection, the perfect colour to compliment your complexion and style is there, waiting for you. 



Phew, that was a lengthy ride so thank you for sticking with me every step of the way! Every product I tested out for you guys today was luxurious and high quality so, if you happen to be searching for some new makeup to treat yourself to this Summer (it's all about that self love), don't sleep on theBalm Cosmetics when you make your purchases.

Thank you so much for reading today's post - it was a lot of fun to put together so I really hope it made for some enjoyable reading material (and makeup porn).

Have you tried any products from theBalm? If so, what did you think of them? Would you like to see more products from theBalm featured here?

Sound off in the comment section below, without forgetting to leave me any additional feedback, opinions or queries you may have - I love hearing from you guys! Finally, be sure to follow my blog by email for additional updates as to when I post, delivered directly into your inbox.

Until next time,
Marina Rosie x

67 comments

  1. The Balm cosmetics are one of my fave brands tooo and I love their highlighters. The matte lipsticks look so pigmented and the colours look so intense! I will definitely be giving those a try.

    xo
    http://www.khvdija.co.uk

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    1. Yasss Khadija - theBalm's makeup is so good! You're spot on about the highlighters and their quality so it was amazing to find one that's the right shade for me. Girl, I totally recommend the Meet Matt(e) Liquid lippies - I can just see 'Adoring' on you now, it'd look stunning against your skin tone! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  2. You've really made me want that mascara - always looking for some lifting and curling action!

    Angela
    http://blushandpearls.com

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    1. Thank you for reading Angela! x Trust me, you'd love it, it's a really good formula and the wand, being curved, really helps get that curl! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  3. I need to try that primer! I love makeup bases, which have good ingredients in it and you sold me on these liquid lipsticks :)

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi there darling! So glad to hear that you're loving the look of the primer - I requested it for the sole reason of the ingredients but it impressed me on another level! I can see all of the liquid lippies on you - you've GOT to get some! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  4. The blush! I totally thought it was a contour but I can see the mauve there which is lovely on your skin by the way. That meet matt palette looks really pigmented as well which means I'm picking it up today, can't help it!
    Ell xxx

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that got a real shock at the colour - it makes a beautiful blush shade, specially for darker skin tones, so thank you very much, I really appreciate that! Honestly, the palette is a winner, so if you're looking to delve a bit more into the world of matte shades, it's perfect! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  5. I've not tried anything from this brand yet but everything looks really good! Love all the review too, looked like you picked up some really lovely bits. Chelsea xo

    www.thatskintgal.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Girl, you need to get yourself down to Superdrug, Debenhams and the Feel Unique website to get your hands on some bits! Thank you very much, they're all stunning products which aids me in understanding why theBalm is so credible and loved all over the world! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  6. What a great variety of well priced, effective products. You explained them so well and made me really understand how they could be part of my beauty regime.

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    1. This is such a nice comment to wake up to - thank you so much. theBalm is an amazing brand to have as part of your collection so, if you buy anything, trust me, you won't be regretting it! xx
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  7. That highlighter and these liquid lipstick shades are so gorgeous!

    www.fashionradi.com

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    1. Too true! Bonnie-Lou is my perfect golden highlight shades and, as for the lipsticks... STUNNING! Thanks for reading! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  8. Thanks a lot :D

    I really really love The Balm products :D I have the Bahama Mama and Mary Lou-Manizer :D

    NEW TIPS POST | ESSENTIAL IN A TRAVEL NECESSAIRE. <3
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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    1. I'm so glad you're a part of the fan club, Miguel! Bahama Mama looks like a beautiful bronzer (too light for my skin tone but, formula wise, is probably BOMB) so for bronzing with theBalm, I use the shades from the 'Highlite n' Con Tour' palette - such deep, rich tones! I imagine Mary-Lou looks stunning on you - I use her for inner corner highlighting and, jheez, she is blinding! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  9. Those products look amazing! Those shades are very gorgeous, got to give it a try too.

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

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    1. Yesss Simone! I totally recommend theBalm for you - you'd absolutely love some of these goodies, gorgeous! xx
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  10. Wonderful post darling, so nice,original and interesting!
    Would you like to follow each other? Follow me and I'll follow you back!
    Have a great day!
    http://elenabienvenido.blogspot.com.es/

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    1. Thank you very much hun - really appreciate that you enjoyed hearing about theBalm! Of course, I'll head over and see what your blog's all about now! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  11. Wow I had actually never heard of this brand (maybe they don't sell them over here?) but I loved your fun and detailed review! Plus the fact that they small like mint chip ice cream has me sold! Going to have to check them out!

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    1. It's lovely to be able to introduce you to a brand that you've never heard of Melissa! Thank you so much, I'm glad you found the review to be entertaining and informative - my aim exactly! I've just checked your location in your Facebook bio and realised that you're in New York - of course you can access theBalm cosmetics from the US! Just head over to https://thebalm.com/ to get some of these and that includes the mint choc chip ice-cream scented lippies, haha! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  12. So good to know that the Balm Desert bronzer works well on deeper skin tones as a blush! I am much lighter in complexion so I use it as a bronzer, and it works so well without a blush!

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

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    1. I know, I was so shocked! My face is a lot darker than my arm in the moment (unlucky tanning) and yet it still gives my skin a soft and subtle look of "health" if you know what I mean - adds a bit of colour into the cheeks! Yes, I can imagine you wouldn't need a blush with it as it is so warm - I'd definitely call it a multi-use product if it works for both of us! xx
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  13. Oh amazing haul, all these products must be great! Loving their packaging! ❤

    xoxo,
    Jessica
    What To Style | Instagram

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    1. Thank you so much Jessica, I'm glad you're loving the look of these babies from theBalm! Yesss, they do some of my favourite packaging - so retro and unique! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  14. I think theBalm is such an under-rated brand! The quality of the products is excellent and the prices are so great! You need to try Schwing liquid eye liner & Mary Dew-manizer! xx

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    1. I know right! They don't get spoken about enough because, honestly, every product I own so far I love, in regards to quality, range and price! Thanks so much for the recommendations, those will definitely be the next bits I pick up - I'm eyeing up Bonnie Dew-Manizer for my skin tone too because, if it's anything like the Bonnie-Lou, them I'm about to be dripping in gold, yet again! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  15. Je ne connaissais pas du tout ces produits mais les couleurs sont vraiment très jolies ! Merci à toi pour cet article :)

    (J'ai remis mon commentaire car le premier a visiblement bugué !) gros bisous !

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    1. Merci d'avoir lu mon article aujourd'hui Amélie! Je suis très contente de te faire découvrir une marque si bonne que theBalm - les produits sont vraiment top! T'inquiètes ma belle, j'ai supprimé l'autre - gros bisous à toi aussi! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  16. I never tried anything from The Balm before, but I definitely want to try one of their highlighters and blushes. I love their packaging too! The swatches you included are so helpful! Thanks for sharing :)

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and leaving me such a wonderful comment - it was a pleasure making this post so I'm stoked you enjoyed it! Yasss girl, definitely go for it, as I can see you sporting the Hot Mama blush and the Mary-Lou Manizer - they'd be perfect against your skintone! You're totally right, the packaging is so gorgeous and retro, which is what sets theBalm apart from some other brands.
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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    1. Thank you - they are! xx
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  18. That is really a surprising bulsh shade given how it looks in the pan. But a pleasant surprise for deeper skintones for sure. I haven´t tried much The Balm myself, I am not really into highlighters and don´t think I have seen it on display around here.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

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    1. Yes Anne - I was so surprised, and in a very pleasant way because I don't find very many blushes that actually work for me! theBalm Cosmetics has so many beautiful products so, even if you're not into that highlight, there are so many other products from blushes to bronzers to shadow palettes that you can find!
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  19. I really need to try the highlighters as I've heard so much about them. The new shade looks perfect on your swatch!

    http://amyevans.co.uk - Amy

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    1. Awe, thank you so much Amy! It's such a beautiful shade and I was so happy to see the highlighter range expanding - I can see you mixing the Bonnie-Lou with Mary-Lou for your perfect highlight! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  20. I raised my eyebrow when I saw Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush too but oh my, my, my....after seeing your swatch, I think I need to add it into my collection!

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Thank you so much for reading Shireen, always love seeing you here! I know, I was really surprised because, to be honest, on my skin tone, this isn't gonna bronze anything, so I was thinking that I wasn't going to be able to use it (sad face) until I swatched and saw that it was a lot more pinky than I thought! It makes a wonderful blush and it's a fabulous one to add into your collection! I've learned now not to judge a book by its cover, that's for sure!
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  21. I love the Balm so much, ever since I was gifted Nude palette several years ago. I actually buy the Balm palettes (various ones, either Nude, or 3 colored ones I forgot the name of) to all my friends as I think these products are awesome. I especially like those little drawings that are on the packaging as it reminds me heavily of pin-up which I always liked.
    Great post btw, hope you enjoyed the cosmetics.
    Dorota
    www.journalofdorota.com

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    1. Such a wonderful comment, Dorota! Ah, the Nude Tude and Nude Dude palettes are absolute OG pieces of makeup so I'm genuinely not surprised you're enjoying them so much! I have Nude Beach (it's full of warm browns, reds, champagnes, purples... heaven) as well as this one as it's wonderful! I do agree, the images on the packaging keep those palettes a little sultry and pin-up like, which is really original to see. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading today!
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  22. such a great haul! the eyeshadows look really good xx

    http://www.claresloves.com/

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    1. Thank you very much Clare! Ugh, honestly, I can't tell you how good that formula is - so smooth and they blend like a dream! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  23. I love the balm!! Their formula is amazing!

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    1. Totally agreed Christina - the quality of everything is through the roof! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  24. I have not tried much from the Balm only the Marylou highlighter and I love it. But the palette and the liquid lipstick shades are really pretty. That blush though! Such a beautiful shade of mauve. Need it in my life hehe.

    Via | http://glossnglitters.com

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    1. Hey there Via, lovely to hear from you! Yasss, the OG Mary-Lou Manizer is such a cult favourite, so glad you're loving it still! x Yass, I can see you sporting the blush so well on your complexion - don't hesitate to pick it up! Ah, trust me, I'm even wearing the palette right now on this fine Sunday morning (just a little bit of Matt Reed buffed out into the crease) and, knowing your tastes, you'd adore the lippies! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  25. Absolutely love that eyeshadow palette! Xx

    www.mybeautysilence.com

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    1. It really is a beaut, isn't it darl?! xx
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  26. I can't believe I've never tried anything from The Balm. I'm always hearing so many amazing things about the brand. The eyeshadow palette looks so nice, so many lovely shades! The lipsticks look lovely and sound so good!xx

    emjbarker.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Omg, Em, you've simply got to give them a go! I'm not surprise you've heard only good feedback - everything is honestly the best quality! The palette has genuinely become a go to for me everyday (such stunning tones) and I couldn't ask for more when it comes to formula on a liquid lipstick! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  27. I'm just discovering this brand, I'm in love with their BatterUp stick eyeshadows, but wow, with all these swatches I'm tempted to try other products ! I agree on blush shades for darker skintones, a lot of brands do not provde enough shades !

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    1. theBalm is a wonderful brand to get to know and discover - the products are of the best quality! I haven't tried those stick shadows yet but they're next on my shopping list if you like them Cathy! x Spot on, it makes me so mad sometimes when I se the shades available - just pink, pink and more neon pink! That's why I was so impressed to see such a beautiful mauve shade! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  28. thank you, i like all post you shared about cosmetic type

    https://weekendsale.club/

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    1. Thank you, really glad you appreciate them all! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  29. How haven't I come across the Bonnie highlighter shade?! It looks right up my street :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. It's brand new Jasmine! So glad they came out with this shade because the others, although I was using them as shadows, don't do it as highlighters for my skin tone - this one is just perfect! I reckon you'd love it, you're right, it's so your colour! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  30. I have never used the product of this brand, thank you for sharing, I will try

    https://lizado.com/

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    1. Thanks very much for reading Emma! Yes, I totally recommend trying theBalm! x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  31. Okay hold up - the Bonnie Lou highlighter looks STUNNING! I have the other three and LOVE them so this will be one to try out. I'm so proud of you for getting sent products by theBalm. I love them as a brand! x Nikita

    BLOG//Jasmine Loves

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    1. Yasss quen, I've missed reading your blog posts and seeing you up here! The Bonnie-Lou would look just stunning on your skin tone babes, I can see it now - sit down Mary-Lou and take a back seat! Thank you so much, that means an awful lot - I, too, was really flattered and, for me, I consider it to be something of a milestone. x
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  32. The Balm Desert bronzer/blush has a really pretty dark mauve shade to it.

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    1. So true, it's beautiful, especially on darker skin tones as it compliments a more tan complexion PERFECTLY! Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie xx

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  33. These products look amazing I love the highlighter and the palettes have stunning colours Thanks for another great review babe xoxo Cris
    https://photosbycris.blogspot.com/2018/08/hipsiti-your-one-stop-travel-guide.html

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    1. Hey there gorgeous, so good to see you here! xx No, thank you for reading Cris - so happy you enjoyed th review and are loving the different shadows and highlight shades! xx
      Lots of love,
      Marina Rosie x

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  34. Hi Marina :-) Wow what a wonderful treat to try all these beautiful products. I have an eye-shadow palette by The Balm and the pigmentation is so good. I think it’s a cruelty-free brand which is pretty awesome. They have the most striking packaging too! :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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