The Balm Shady Lady Vol 2 palette and Mary-Lou Manizer review and swatches | KITSCH/SNITCH

The Balm Shady Lady Vol 2 palette and Mary-Lou Manizer review and swatches

August 18, 2013

Last week I bought my first ever The Balm products. I have been wanting to buy the Mary-Lou Manizer for a while, so when I saw that David Jones was having a The Balm gift with purchase, I jumped at the opportunity to buy the Mary-Lou Manizer. The gift with purchase was a free Shady Lady palette (either Vol 2 or 3) if you spend over $27.95 in one transaction (see post about the deal here). So I forked out the $34.95 for the Mary-Lou Manizer and I got a Shady Lady Vol 2 palette (valued at $49.95) for free. I have been using both of these products for over a week now so I am finally getting around to reviewing them.

I will start with the Shady Lady Vol 2 palette. Like I said before, this retails for $49.95 in Australia and you can buy it at David Jones.

This palette contains nine eye shadows, and the five darkest shades are supposed to double as an eyeliner. All of these eye shadows are shimmery. Each shade has a "shady" word followed by a lady's name... I like that this fits with the theme of the palette, but the shades are hard and too long to bother remembering.

The packaging of this palette is ok, it contains a good sized mirror, the packaging is cardboard with a magnetic closure, it is light weight and pretty sturdy. I am not a big fan of the graphic on the front, I really think they could have made it look a little more appealing.

As a whole, the shadows in this palette are really nice quality, they are soft, pigmented and are a pleasure to use. There are a couple of exceptions though (mainly the two darkest shades). I do make it a habit to always wear a primer with eye shadows, and even though most of theses shades apply nice and smoothly and are pigmented, they will crease if you don't use a primer. I used the Lime Crime eyeshadow primer for the swatches below.

Top row: Court In The Act Courtney, Feisty Felicia, and Insane Jane

The top line of shadows contains two dark sparkly shades and one taupe shade.

Court In The Act Courtney is a dark brown shadow with coppery gold sparkles. This is one of the least pigmented shadows of the palette. It is one of those shadows that has an almost matte base but contains a lot of glitter. This is a nice concept, but the base isn't pigmented enough to make this impressive. The main redeemable quality of this shadow is that it can be built up, so I like use this as a sheer crease colour, and I also like to build it up as an outer v shade. The swatches are over an eyeshadow primer, and these two first shadows really do need a primer to get a decent colour pay off.

Feisty Felicia has a very similar formula to Court In The Act Courtney, but it is more of a black eggplant shade. This also contains glitter, but the glitter is a silvery purple shade and is finer than the first shade. I also use this for a crease/outer v colour. If you build this up enough, it could make a very pretty liner. These two shades are the only shades of the palette that really do need an eye primer to help the colour pay off.

Insane Jane is a mid toned taupe that has a metallic finish. This is one of my two favourite shades in this palette. This shade would suit most people, it is easy to apply and has great colour pay off. I use this as an all over lid colour.

Middle row: Bossy Bobbi, Makeout Mary, Just This Once Jamie

The middle line contains the more colourful shades.

Bossy Bobbi is a mid toned blue that has a metallic finish. This is a nice shade of blue, you could easily wear this with taupes or browns to create a more wearable look.

Makeout Mary is an olive green that has an almost old gold sheen to it. I can imagine wearing this with a gold or bronze eye look.

Just This Once Jamie is a mauve shade that has some silver shimmer to it. When applied this looks quite pink. This isn't as opaque as the other shades on this line, and can be applied quite sheerly.

Bottom row: Mischievois Marissa, Tempting Tara, Devilish Danielle
Mischievous Marissa is a coppery peachy-orange shade that has a metallic finish. Along with the Insane Jane from the top line, this is my favourite shade. It is a nice all over lid colour that adds a nice pop of colour to your eyes. This is also one of the shades that has the best colour pay off.

Tempting Tara is a shimmery white shade, and although this is a good quality shadow, I can't see myself getting much use out of this shade... it is far to frosty. 

Devilish Danielle is a champagne peachy shade that works well as a highlight shade. This is also a really nice quality shade.

Onto the Mary-Lou Manizer. The Balm website states that this is can use to highlight your face, as an eye shadow (a really giant 8.5g eye shadow), or with a big fluffy brush to add a glow to your face. I have only used this as a highlighter and an inner corner highlight, I think that this will be too pigmented to apply all over my face.

I really like the packaging of this product, the graphic on the front is cute, the packaging is thin and sturdy, and you get a good sized mirror in it.

This is a nice light gold champagne colour which I can imagine would suit a lot of skin tones. It is dangerously pigmented though, and you only need to tap your brush in this very lightly otherwise you can apply way too much product and can be left looking too shimmery. If you like a subtle natural highlighter then I do not recommend this product... but if you like a really highlighted look, then this is for you.

Mary-Lou Manizer heavily swatched and blended out

Overall, I am really happy with my purchases from The Balm. Even though I like both of these products and I have been wearing them often since buying them, I don't think I would have forked out the full price for these if there wasn't a gift with purchase. My main reason for saying that is because the palette isn't as wearable as I would have liked, and because the highlighter is so extreme, that once the novelty wears off, I will probably only reach for it when I am going out at night.

Have you tried these products? What do you think of them?


  1. Ah the Mary Lou is gorgeous! I love it

  2. I know what you mean about the highlight being so intense! It seems as though it would be something you wouldn't get too much use out of - especially for the price I would want something more wearable.

    Sarah | More Than Adored

    1. Yeah, I couldn't justify it without the deal. I am wearing it often at the moment though

  3. I love The Balm! The Mary Lou is absolutely gorgeous! Very intense though! I really want that palette now! xx

    1. It is super intense... at least it will last ages!

  4. I went to DJs but they didn't have the promo going on last week! And Mary-Lou Manizer is always always sold out! Guess it's good and everybody knows it.

    1. Thats true... I was lucky that I bought it early!

  5. Ah, these looks like amazing picks! I'm a sucker for pigmented, shimmery shades, so there are right up my alley! And the shade names are so cute and cheeky :)

  6. I love the Mary Lou Manizer, it's amazing although I do tend to reach for my more natural highlighters x

  7. I shades from theBalms palettes are just amazing! Sooo pigmented, smooth and so consistent! I love it! I think I must get one of the palettes at least!

    1. The only iffy shades are the first two dark ones, the rest are lovely!

  8. I really need to get the Mary Lou Manizer. It's gorgeous :)


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