With eyeshadows, face powders and lip colours.
Any new release from theBalm Cosmetics excites me. They have the cutest packaging and good quality makeup. I liked theBalm's Balm Voyage 1, reviewed and swatched here. This "sequel" palette, the Balm Voyage Vol. 2 Travel palette, doesn't really feel like a sequel, but more like a standalone travel palette. Apart from the packaging, there are few similarities between the two - there are fewer eyeshadows; the pans are smaller, and there are more face products. Balm Voyage 2 is marketed as a travel-friendly palette - there are blushes, lipsticks, a bronzer and a highlighter all within a sturdy case. Two-thirds of the eyeshadow shades chosen are neutral.
Scroll down for the review and swatches of theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette
Packaging of theBalm Voyage Vol. 2This is where theBalm Voyage 2 palette scores. It has the same theme as Balm Voyage 1 and includes postcard designs from destinations around the world. However, Balm Voyage 1 had a "passport" inside and the pans were arranged like airplane seating. The sequel has simpler arrangement and the shade names are translations of the word "Welcome". It comes with the same cardboard packaging and slip-case. The eyeshadow pans are about the size of those in N*de 'Tude.
The size of theBalm Voyage 2 is about 75% of the Balm Voyage 1.
Inside, there is the mandatory mirror, designed within a ship's helm. As is usual with theBalm's palettes, there are separate flip covers for the powder and cream products, which is something I love.
Balm Voyage I had 12 eyeshadows; this has 9. Part I had three lippies; this has two. But this has a highlighter, a bronzer and two blushes - score!
Formula, pigmentation of theBalm Voyage Vol. 2Hmm. I think fans of theBalm have been used to the incredible softness and pigmentation of the N*de 'Tude, Balm Jovi, theBalm and the Beautiful/Muppets, Shady Lady and other earlier palettes from theBalm.
Don't get me wrong. These shadows ARE super-pigmented, that is a cert. They do feel nice and soft and are easy to blend. But when you compare them to the brilliant quality of previous shadows from theBalm, these fall a bit short. TheBalm still performs well when you compare them to a bunch of other brands but when you pit them against their own standards, there is a bit of dryness to some of these.
Also, now the eyeshadow palette market is saturated, and when you look at, say, Lorac Pro 2, or Too Faced Chocolate Bar, you find super-silky shadows and even the matte shades come with opacity and little powdery fallout. You tend to drool over each and every shadow in those palettes, not just for quality, but also for shade selection and uniqueness.
Shades are my issue with this palette. It is summer, and you expect some nice brights; the shades in this palette make me feel this should have come out in the Holiday season. Plus, and this maybe because I have palette saturation now, you get the feeling you have seen most of these eyeshadows in your stash, if you get my drift. Tervetuloa and Benvenuto are the only Summer-ish shades I see in here, and they would still not look out of place in Autumn/Winter palettes.
The lip/cheek colours are creamy and more suited for this season. I only ever use them as lip colours because cream blush and I = a bad combination. One is a bright pink while the other is a coral. Both blushes - pink and peach - are pretty and Summery.
If you thought Kuwakaribisha (Strewth! I don't even want to try pronouncing that) luminizer and some of the others looked familiar, yes, that is because they are. The former is a dead-ringer for Mary Lou-Manizer, theBalm's cult highlighter, while Dobrodosli is like Down Boy blush. Croeso is similar to Bahama Mama bronzer.
The bronzer, blushes and lippies are all highly pigmented and a delight to play with.
All the shade names are the word "welcome" in different languages.
Swatches of theBalm Voyage 2Top row, from left: Welcome, Bienvenue, Benvenuto, Welkom, Valkommen, Kuwakaribisha (highlighter), Huan Ying (blush), Bem-Vindo (lippie)
Second row, from left: (Empty space below Welcome) Bienvenido, Tervetuloa, Willkommen, Failte, Croeso (bronzer), Dobrodosli (blush), Vitajte (lippie)
In natural light, dry on bare skin:
Verdict and where to buyWith nine eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter, two blushes and two lippies, this is a very good choice for travelling, when you don't want to cart off a gazillion separate compacts, palettes and single eyeshadows. You get a nice choice of a peach or a pink blush, and the bronzer functions as a contouring powder at a pinch.
I only wish there were a couple of medium all-over-lid eyeshadows and maybe a nice bright purple and a green, and a medium blue. That would have made this palette comprehensive and the only one you will need for a few weeks away from your stash, whether you travel in Summer or Winter. Funny thing is, the first Balm Voyage palette came out over Winter and there were some summery teals in there!
I have a couple of months' travel coming up from June 1 and I don't want to carry half a plane of makeup with me - this is one of two palettes I am taking along. It has the mandatory blushes, bronzer and highlighter in addition to some pretty smoky eye choices. I probably need one versatile, Summery eyeshadow palette as well; I haven't finalised the second one yet.
I bought this from theBalm's website for $39.50. I should probably have waited for a flash sale, where theBalm.com slashes prices by 40-50%, but it was my birthday and I treated myself to this and N^de 'Dude, which I will show you next week.