The Beauty Bee Awards: Best of 2013!

BBAIt’s time to go through my Beauty favourites for 2013! :) I had a difficult time choosing between products, so I thought it would be fun to present the “winners” alongside the other products that nearly made it. I love everything shown here, but the winners have been consistent faves throughout the year (or at least since I acquired them).

I didn’t limit myself to any number of categories, but I ended up with a nice round number: 10. The winners/faves are named in the photo and my little bee mascot can be seen hovering close to them. Let’s have a look! :) 

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Rave Review: theBalm’s Put A Lid On It!

theBalm is a cosmetics brand that I loved from the moment I first set eyes on their packaging. The first products I actually picked up and tried were the liquid Time Balm concealer and the Shady Lady eyeshadow palette (Vol. 2) and from then on it was not just love but obsession. Not that obsession is greater than love but… you get the point. Huge plus that their products are paraben free and the company is cruelty-free (they don’t test on animals). If you visit their website, you’ll see Wheezie the pug in the upper right corner, and if you read about theBalm’s team, you’ll see a love for dogs runs in the company. So adorable. I like getting to know brands like theBalm…
TBP1…by both reading about their company and buying their stuff, like Put A Lid On It (625Php), their uh-mazing eyelid primer. The packaging is, as usual, super cute but the real best part about all of theBalm’s products that I’ve tried is that what’s inside the packaging is even better. 

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INSTAIN: New and lust-worthy from theBalm

I was thinking about makeup (hello, when am I not) brands this morning and as I’ve been mulling over a couple of purchases from theBalm, I decided to head over to their website to read some product descriptions. A selection of their products are available locally (inside Beauty Bar) but we don’t really get up-to-date stock here–for example, we finally have Meet Matt(e), but Nude ‘Tude and Meet Matt(e) Naked have not washed up on our shores. The newest addition to our local selection is theBalm’s eyeshadow primer, Put A Lid On It— this is what I’m thinking of trying out soon, as an alternative to the UD shadow primer. That’s what I wanted to look up when I visited their site this morning… and I saw this:

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.20.37 AMHoly moly. NEW BLUSHES? In adorable vintage Vogue/InStyle (is InStyle that old?) packaging? Each named after fabric patterns and featuring adorable illustrations on theBalm cardboard packaging that I absolutely adore? I. WANT. THEM. ALL.

Immediately started looking at reviews online and it seems that the product was launched in April of this year. Temptalia has reviewed only one shade so far– Argyle — and the formula seems promising! The ones that I have my eyes on are Houndstooth and Pinstripe… and heck, I want the rest of them, too, just like I said!

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 8.21.13 PMPhoto from The Happy Sloths, a blog that has done a review for each shade already! Click here or on the photo to see that post.

I’m already thinking of ways to get my hands on these blushes as soon as possible… theBalm does ship internationally, but I would have to pay a crazy amount on shipping and customs fees to have them sent here. My mom will be in the US in September, so that’s probably the soonest that I may be able to order these. Sigh. I suppose all good things are worth the wait anyway!

**EDIT: Just saw this! Beaty Bar posted it on Instagram quite some time ago so hopefully I’ll be seeing INSTAIN soon! 

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 6.04.09 PM

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette for Holiday 2012


theBalm is one of my top brands–ever! Their eyeshadows, blushes, and bronzers (both Bahama Mama and Mary Lou-Manizer) are items that I swear by. I also have their Muppets palette, which is one of only 1000 ever produced (so proud of it).  

Now, they come out with this. Oh. My. 

[product description and photo taken from] 

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette for Holiday 2012

With this palette, you’re ready to take center-stage! Featuring shadows, a highlighter, a blush and creamy lip and cheek colors that are sure to top the charts, BALM JOVI is your backstage pass to looking like a rockstar. All of these shadows can be used wet or dry- so “live and let dry”. The headlining highlighter and scene-stealing blush will set the stage, while “Milly” and “Vanilly” will (lip) sync up your look. BALM JOVI is compact and portable, yet it has everything you need to take on tour!

The palette, aside from being absolutely gorgeously designed, has twelve eyeshadows, a highlighter, a blush, and two cream lipsticks! Their packaging quality is always fantastic and well thought-out. That bottom flap is definitely a separate cover for the cream products, to ensure there’s no gross mixing of powder and cream. The palette will be released on theBalm’s website on September 5th and will sell for 39.50 USD.

How can I say no to this?  

My UNII Palette

A couple of months ago I ordered a UNII palette from the US and it has proved to be extremely useful. The UNII palette is essentially a customizable make-up palette, much like the Z Palette except that the UNII palette is made of a sturdy plastic instead of cardboard.

Here she is! I ordered mine in Pomegranate because the black and white were out of stock and it was the closest to red they had. I actually like the color much more than I expected. The palette feels sturdy and is really pretty, too. It’s certainly much better than some original packaging out there, and it makes a lot of sense to be able to have shadows/powders from different brands together in one place.

The palette is a good size (approximately 3 x 6 inches) and it includes a full mirror, a metal plate, a rubber gripper, and a strip of adhesive-magnets (for the bottoms of your refill pans). UNII cosmetics has since come out with a new design which does not have a metal plate and magnet strip. Instead it has the magnet inside the palette and the rubber gasket which you can see on my UNII is no longer removable. A minor change is that the rubber gripper is much cuter in the new palette. A not-so minor change is that the colors available are now much cuter! You can check those out at their website: But for now, let me show you what I did with mine!

These are the shadows that I chose to place in my UNII palette. It’s obviously a neutrals palette, but with this combination I can make both a natural day look and a heavier evening look if I want to. That space below the bottom row of shadows can fit (and it usually does hold) an eyeliner. With that, I’m all set. This has travelled me once and it definitely beats bringing many single shadows or one pre-made palette that may limit you to a certain look. I prefer this even to my Urban Decay NAKED palette, which only makes sense, because these shades are tried and tested by me for use on me. The shadows/powders are namely:

Top Row: Dior random powder – The Balm “Devilish Danielle” – The Balm “Mischievous Marissa” – The Balm “Insane Jane”

Bottom Row: Shu Uemura M 851: “Soft Brown” – Shu Uemura M 860 “BXH2271” – Shu Uemura Bronze – Shu Uemura IR 900Y “BXH 1408” – Laura Mercier “American Coffee” 

The Dior powder is a general highlighter. The theBalm shadows are my favorites from my “Shady Lady” palette (yes, I ripped them out)– Mischievous Marissa gives me a lovely, peachy glow and Insane Jane just makes my eyes pop. The Shu matte soft brown is my perfect lid shadow, while the deep brown to its right is the most amazing brown I have ever come across. I usually use that in the crease of my eye and I only need the tiniest bit to create the most dramatic effect… combined with that bronze, the effect is just amazing. For everyday looks, I use the LM American Coffee on my crease. Also, notice how the Shu shadow on the far left of the bottom row is slightly thinner than the others? Shu Uemura has started producing their shadows in Korea instead of Japan (I was thinking maybe the factory was affected by the recent natural disaster?) and has downsized their eyeshadows. It isn’t very obvious when you buy the single eyeshadows in their new packaging, but it’s definitely noticeable when you place the pans side by side. I only have two that are very recently purchased and I haven’t noticed any compromise in quality which is great, of course, but the downsize is definitely a bummer. Anyway, the other two shadows that I haven’t mentioned (Devilish Danielle and the Shu Gold) are highlighters for me. They are amazing just like all the other shadows in my UNII.

Putting my palette together was a ton of fun, which I did expect since I love my make-up (hehe). One down side to the UNII might be removing single shadows from their already beautiful original containers. In this case though, there wasn’t any particular casing that I really wanted to hold on to. It’s a good way to customize to your own needs, as make-up really is something as personal as jewelry– only you really know what you like best. I might want another UNII palette in the future for powders or even a collection of brighter eye shadows, but I’m still not too sure. For now, I’m perfectly happy with the one UNII that I own and have come to love.

Again, you can check out UNII cosmetics here and have a look at that adorable honeysuckle palette! They’re now going for 26 USD (usually 29) which is a holiday price, I think.

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