The Balm is in my opinion one of the most under-rated brands in the makeup world. I’m so glad Mary-Lou Manizer became super popular and everyone fell in love with that champagne/golden glow that shines like no other! Quirky packaging, high-quality products, strong pigmentation and long lasting - what is not to love? Today I'm going to be reviewing the bronzer/contour powder from their line called 'bahama mama.'
Update: I'm shocked that this bronzer is now £17??? Honestly guys I recommend this contour kit which is double the price of this, but has a lot more product and more uses!
The illustration on Bahama Mama is not my most favourite from their line, but it certainly fits in with the whole hawwii bronzing theme. And also, you can’t deny the detail and effort in the illustration! So much more interesting than a lot of other brands, which is one of the reasons I adore the Balm, they add such personality to their products!
This bronzer is encased in rectangular cardboard packaging, i’ve travelled with this bronzer before and not experienced any breakage. It’s more susceptible to little dents and what not, but nothing that causes any major problems. The bronzer is encased in a little sleeve which I thought was a really cute protective step they took, and when you push the bronzer out from the sleeve you find the identical packaging. It opens like a little book and has a magnetic closing. On the left hand side there is a mirror which is surprisingly useful size for travelling as you can focus on the eyes/lips or the whole face. On the back is one of those QR codes which links you to a video tutorial, again so cute and innovative, however I’m left a tiny bit disappointed because for research purposes I downloaded a scanner and...video was not found. Ah well.
Bronzer Colour and Use
As you can see, this matte bronzer is dark and it means BUSINESS. I would describe the colour as a medium/dark brown crossed with a little grey, which makes it wonderful for sculpting out cheekbones that you never knew were possible! The tone of the bronzer is so unique in that it creates shadows fantastically well in sight. I tend to use this after I have already bronzed up my face with the bourjois bronzing primer or alone when I want to embrace a paler face but feel like adding sharp cheekbones that morning. If you are the skin tone NC20-35 or below I wouldn’t recommend this for bronzing, as it’s a little too dark and you run the risky of looking quite orangish and muddy in some lights, but do use it for sculpting and contouring! If you’re below NC20 and heavy handed, I would advise you to stay away from this for the same muddy reason. If you are NC40+ this could work well as a bronzer and/or contour depending on intensity.
Bronzer Pigmentation and Lasting power
This is nicely pigmented like all the Balm products, however if you use a moderate hand you can pick up the right amount to sweep in the contours of the face perfectly. I appreciate that it’s not as saturated as Mary-Lou! I don’t find myself going back and forth trying to add more as it doesn’t lack pigment, however it is super blendable and I find it easy to soften out the intensity which I really appreciate - dark streaks down the cheek are never a great look. This lasts all day on my skin, so a huge thumbs up there. Only slight niggle I have with the powder is that as it’s quite soft (and easily blended) it can get a little messy in the pan. I tend to sweep my brush once and use that on one cheek, and then pick up the loose powder to use on the other cheeks.
Bronzer Size and Price
You get 7.08g of the stuff and it costs around
£13.50 £12.15 from here (currently on sale). Now in comparison to other contour powders like Sleek’s this is almost half the amount. However the bourjois duo also gives you around 7g of bronzer, and the Balm actually give around 2g more than you would get in a NARS duo of Laguna. With that in mind I think it is a bargain price, due to it’s unique tone of being able to properly contour without orange/red tones and also the small amount you need each time! This pan will no doubt last me till it expires and because of that I think it’s money well spent. On top of that I ALWAYS buy my The Balm products in the ASOS beauty sales, saving enough to make me content to add to my collection!
I’ve talked about how I use this bronzer in my contouring series - number 3 ‘sculpting out ya cheekbones’ which you can read here if you’re interested.
Pros: Great for sculpting cheekbones and adding shadows. In fact it’s one of the BEST contour powders I’ve ever tried for my chubby cheeks. The tone of the powder is unique and unlike any bronzer I’ve seen in the drugstore, it balances warmth with cool shadow so well! A little goes a long way and it blends really well - no streaks. The packaging has a travel friendly mirror. It’s pretty versatile for those who are of warmer skintones.
Cons: It’s not cool enough to be a contour for lighter complexions unless used with a VERY light hand.
Repurchase? Yes, this is such a wonderful product for round faces and for most skintones - I know I won’t be without it!