Thursday, December 30, 2010

TheBalm Shady Lady Vol. 3 Palette Review & Swatches

Repurchase: Maybe
Price: $39.50 (0.51 oz)
Product: 22/25
Packaging: 4/5
Value: 9.5/10
Overall Grade: B+

I've loved TheBalm's Shady Lady palettes since day one when I first got Vol. 1 about (I believe) two years ago. I loved them for their sleek, travel-friendly compacts, wide variety of shades, and quality eyeshadows. Vol. 1 and 2 were both hits for me so how did Vol. 3 hold up? Read on..

The Packaging: The nine Shady Lady eyeshadows are housed in a sleek, giraffe print palette with a huge mirror that makes the palette great for travelling. Although the palette itself is made of cardboard, it isn’t the stiff, bulky, ugly cardboard you’d expect –it’s very slim. I’m in love with the palette’s “thinness” –it doesn’t take up any space in my makeup bag.

What’s with the giraffe print? Since the first volume, the palettes have always contained an animal skin design. Vol. 1 was coated in chic leopard, Vol. 2 in fierce zebra, and Vol. 3 in my favorite –giraffe! (They’re my favorite animals!)

The Product: The quality of the eyeshadows overall is very good. They eyeshadows are smooth, easy to blend, long lasting, and are fairly pigmented. All the shades are very pigmented with the exception of Runaround Rebecca (which I had to swatch a few times) and Guilty Gwen (a bit chalky.) Also, some don’t seem to have that “excellent” color payoff that I always seek from TheBalm –Come-Hither Heather and Open to Offers Olwen only have “good” color payoff while the rest of the five eyeshadows have excellent color payoff.

I feel that the color payoff of the previous two palettes (Vol. 1 and 2) is better than Vol. 3. Most of the shades from those palettes contain excellent color payoff while with Vol. 3, I hit a few “good” and “average” shades.

I also felt that the color choices that TheBalm decided to include this time around weren’t nearly as beautiful as the palette’s previous counterparts. Also, something I’ve noticed about nearly all the eyeshadows in all three Shady Lady palettes is that it’s always “blank” with shimmer. Where’s the diversity? Where’s the fun? What I love about Urban Decay’s eyeshadows, for example, is that they always switch it up. Sometimes we get pink shimmer and other times we get copper glitter (versus having "plain" shimmer with each shade.)

HOWEVER, what I absolutely love about TheBalm’s Shady Lady palettes is that they always include new colors (I believe there was only one dupe before which was Caught in the Act Courtney from Vol. 1 and 2.) The reason I stopped buying Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows palettes was because they always included shades that I already had from previous palettes and they did this over and over again. Seriously, who needs five copies of the exact same shade? I seriously only kept my Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows and sold off Vol. 1 and 2 from the series.

The Color:
  1. Lusty Lee- Grayed silver with silver shimmer
  2. Envious Erin- Creamy beige with shimmer
  3. Racy Lacy- Burnt coppery brown with shimmer
  4. Safe Bet Annette- Slightly frosted ballet pink with shimmer
  5. Runaround Rebecca- Light sage with shimmer
  6. Come-Hither Heather- Taupey plum with shimmer
  7. Open to Offers Olwen- Deep peacock turquoise with shimmer
  8. All the Way Annie- Deep eggplant purple with shimmer
  9. Guilty Gwen- Black with silver glitter
Above (no flash) from left: Lusty Lee, Envious Erin, Racy Lacy, Safe Bet Annette, Runaround Rebecca, Come-Hither Heather, Open to Offers Olwen, All the Way Annie, Guilty Gwen
Above (with flash) from left: Lusty Lee, Envious Erin, Racy Lacy, Safe Bet Annette, Runaround Rebecca, Come-Hither Heather, Open to Offers Olwen, All the Way Annie, Guilty Gwen
 Above (no flash) from left: Lusty Lee, Envious Erin, Racy Lacy, Safe Bet Annette, Runaround Rebecca
Above (no flash) from left: Runaround Rebecca, Come-Hither Heather, Open to Offers Olwen, All the Way Annie, Guilty Gwen
Overall: I have to be honest here –I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this palette. I wanted to be an avid collector of all the Shady Lady palettes but I'm not loving all the shades (all together) here –probably because there are only a few neutral shades. I already know I won't be using half of the shades on a regular basis which beats the purpose of why I keep buying these palettes.

Although I like most the shades (individually), I buy these palettes as something that I can use regularly (that's why I like to travel with them) so I'm not sure about this palette. However, if you like all the shades, it's really a great palette to have.

Where To Buy: Sephora


  1. I think it is really pretty and you should keep it, but it's only my opinion :) maybe if you don't have it in the future you'll miss it?

  2. wow ive been lemming to have this BUT u gave it a B+ so never mind LOL :)) great colors though

  3. First time I saw this line, It remind me of Benefit!

    The palette looks really pigmented, but I have all those colors *__* But I think it's a cool product to give as a birthday present. : )

    Really great review!

  4. I'd keep it for sure!
    Love that wonderful green (;

    C'mon, use them! They're calling you! haha

  5. @ MsAd89.. I'm 95% sure I'm going to keep it -I'm starting to realllly like the colors! =P Gosh I'm so indecisive.

    @ Rinz.. A "B+" is still REALLY good as it's above average and almost an "A." The reason I gave it a "B+" was because not ALL the colors were excellent -a few were just "good" which by all means still means it's a great palette. LOL no duds here.. If you like the colors, I'd recommend it!

    @ luckiebeauty.. Thank you. =) I think it would be an excellent birthday present for someone who likes some color (not crazy amounts of color.. but some.)

    @ Sagavica.. I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep it. =P I just have to start wearing more color and STOP using so many neutrals.