Palette Spotlight: Nude ‘Tude by TheBalm

Oh HAAII…. [waves awkwardly and pretends to not have been AWOL from blog for over six months…]

Yeah…real life, man. What can you do? Getting back into the swing of things and thinking about writing for this blog regularly again, I really wanted to “shop my stash” and get super familiar with what I already have, versus buying any pretty new thing on a whim.

Which is tough, because I have to say, I am OBSESSED with palettes. Specifically, eyeshadow palettes. I want all the palettes. ALL. OF. THEM. With Urban Decay promoting the July release of their Naked Smoky Palette, and Laura Mercier re-releasing the Artist’s Palette with all those gorgeous purple shades, my head is spinning. Problem is, I already have a pretty good stash of palettes, and deep down in my heart, I know that I don’t need more. So here’s the deal – every week, I’m going to pick one of the palettes from my stash, and use only that palette for an entire week of looks (well, M-F, because let’s be honest, I don’t hardly change out of sweats on the weekends, much less put on makeup).

And now, without further interruption, let’s shine the spotlight on Nude ‘Tude by TheBalm.

Nude Tude front

Nude ‘Tude features 12 shades of eyeshadow. The palette comes in two versions – Naughty or Nice – although both versions contain the exact same shades (the only difference is the packaging). As far as I can tell, you don’t get to pick which version you want when you order online. I bought my palette from Birchbox, forever and a day ago, and received the Nice version. It was $36 (I do believe I purchased it using Birchbox points though) and came with a dual-ended eyeshadow brush. I’m pretty apathetic about the brush – I neither love nor hate it. Side note, I do think the pin-up (Naughty) version of the palette is super cute, and wish I had received that version.

Here is TheBalm’s official description of the palette from their website:
This amazing palette consists of 12 beautiful shadows that make wearing nudes sexy! These satiny smooth colors can be applied naturally, i.e. “let me slip into something more comfortable” or beautifully layered. The wide range gives you light highlighters as well as brazen bold shades that work to add definition and emphasis to your lids. Nude`tude allows you to dramatically dress up your eyes—if nothing else!

The shade line-up (descriptions by moi):

Nude Tude open
Sassy: Bright white. Like, ridiculously blinding white, the mid 90’s called and they want their white eyeshadow back white. BUT, once applied, it is a lovely highlighting shade.
Stubborn: Satin medium pink. Great for base color.
Selfish: Shimmery sand shade. Lovely on the eyelid and on its own.
Sophisticated: Darker shimmery brown. I gravitate towards this one as a brow shade (mixed with others to give dimension) and also as a liner.
Sexy: Matte burgundy that leans brown when applied. Absolutely stunning and very pigmented to boot. Not nearly as scary as it looks in the pan.
Serious: Matte true black. A great liner shade and is a very deep and true vivid black.
Snobby: Bright yellow-gold. Great for base color all over the lid.
Stand-Offish: Shimmery beige-pink. One of my absolutely favorite shades and great as a browbone highlighter and a wash of color all over the lid.
Sultry: Matte medium brown. A very basic and versatile shade.
Seductive: Warm medium brown shimmer. Gorgeous!
Silly: Deep brown with burgundy and gold glitter. Really pretty in the pan but disappointing to use… it just doesn’t translate well to skin, gets muddy easily, and the glitter pieces are way too large.
Sleek: Dark brown matte. Great for liner purposes.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also link to Temptalia’s review here – she always has such great swatches, and whenever I begin to obsessively research a potential new buy (or take a close look at what I already have in my stash), I start with her blog. I also fell down the rabbit hole of watching YouTube tutorials for this palette. I especially liked EssieButton’s take on a shimmery eye look.

Nude Tude quads

It helped me to think of this palette in terms of “quads” (see pic above). You’ve got your lighter, lid/highlighter colors (SassyStubbornSnobbyStand-Offish), your mid-tone browns that are great for lids and/or creases (SelfishSophisticatedSultrySeductive), and your darker colors that are good for liner or smoky looks, if you’re talented like that (SexySeriousSillySleek).

Some looks I did this week with Nude ‘Tude…
– Monday: Just messing around with different shades (the entire point of these palette spotlights) and ended up with a work appropriate smoky eye. Swept Sassy all over the lid and brow – from eyelashes all the way up to my brows. Used Silly in my crease, blending it right into the top of my eye socket. Way too dark and instantly regretted that choice. Used a smudge brush and pushed Sleek in between my lashes on both top and bottom. Grabbed some Sultry and used it as my base brow shade, topping it off with a tinted brow gel to give it more dimension. Decided everything was a little too dark for work and used a fluffy brush and Stand-Offish to blend the heck out of everything.
– Tuesday: EssieButton’s version of a bright, shimmery eye – blend Stand-Offish all over the lid, smudge some Selfish into the crease and blend well, tap some Sassy into inner corners of eye and also under brow bone for a highlight.
– Wednesday: Easy every day eye. Swept Stubborn all over the lid and brow – from eyelashes all the way up to my brows. Did a thin line of Sophisticated on my lower and upper lash lines. Very easy and bright.
-Thursday: Patted Seductive all over the lid. Used Stand-Offish to blend it up into the crease, and a dab of Sassy in the outer corners. Used a blend of Sophisticated and Seductive to fill out brows, and set with a clear brow gel.
– Friday: Used a fluffy brush to swirl Snobby all over my lids. With a small liner brush, pushed Sexy into both my upper and lower lash line. A nice bright look with definition at the lash lines.

Nude ‘Tude by TheBalm is a versatile palette for everyday and/or work-appropriate looks. It has a number of shades that look great on their own, and also paired with other shades for more complex looks (none of which I’ve been yet to master, but good luck!). There is a large diversity of shades, especially when compared to other palettes that do closer variations on a single shade (ie, browns in Naked1; taupes in Naked2). My favorite shades are Stand-Offish and Seductive.


xx – birdie

Birchbox August 2014: A [birdie] Review

Just when I felt like my obsession with Birchbox was waning, I got a really great box. That’s the way it all works, I guess.

august 14 birchbox

theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac – I love theBalm. I have loved every product I have ever sampled from them, and this one is no exception. I love cheek products and this is a long-lasting berry-toned stain that looks natural and is easy to blend. Win, win, win.
Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow – Products withe the word “glow” or “dewy” usually do not work well with my already dewy, okay-lets-be-honest-kinda-greasy skin. Unfortunately, it’s the case with this one. The packaging is nice, though. I will be gifting this on to a less-greasy friend.
amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – 5.3 oz – Hey now! Similar to my ode to theBalm above, I have adored everything I’ve ever sampled from amika, and being somewhat of a dry shampoo buff, I must say, this is one of the best dry shampoos I’ve ever tried. EVER. EVER EVER. Seriously. It doesn’t leave that weird white cast on your hair, and it refreshes roots and leaves them feeling fresh, not weighed down. LURVE this. Will definitely be using my points on a full sized version.
CAILYN Cosmetics Dizzolv’it Makeup Melt Cleansing Balm – 100ml – Sigh. I feel like I’m contractually obligated to hate a product that maims the English language, but here we are, CAILYN. (Side note – doesn’t Cailyn sound like the younger sister of the star football player, who also ended up being a stripper? Just a thought.) Dizzolv’it – it PAINS ME to even type that out – is a cleansing balm that starts off solid, and turns to oil as you massage it into your skin. It rinses clean with water, takes off every last speck of makeup, and makes my skin soft and smooth. I kind of love it. I guess I get too hung up on these things, but I’d love it even more if it was just called “Dissolve”.
Harvey Prince Ageless Body Cream – Lotion. I got lotion in my Birchbox. Yay? Kidding. Not really. I’m saving these little lotions and using them as hand cream. This smells nice and will make my hands soft. Huzzah.Feeling a little punchy as I write this – obvs. How about you – what did you get in your August Birchbox?



Sneak Peek: August 2014 Birchbox

August 10 rolled around, and I forgot to check on my box until the day was half way over. Honestly, Birchbox has lost a touch of its shine for me, so I was mostly pleasantly surprised to see my August box.

screen grab_Aug BB reveal

theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac
Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow
amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – 5.3 oz
CAILYN Cosmetics Dizzolv’it Makeup Melt Cleansing Balm
Harvey Prince Ageless Body CreamI’ve actually sampled a few of these products before, via other avenues. Specifically, the Stainiac (love) and the BB Cream (meh, too much glow for this oily skinned girl). I’m super excited to try the amika dry shampoo, as their other products have really worked well with my hair type. And I’m intrigued by the cleansing balm – I’ve really liked other types of products like this – but good grief that is the worst name for a product ever. Dizzolv’it? Are you kidding me? That sounds like an off-brand sink cleaner that breaks up hairballs or something. And the body cream is …. zzzzzzzzz …. oh, I’m sorry what? Yes, body cream! I am receiving body cream in my box!

So to recap, that’s a love, meh, yay, yay, zzz for this month… more soon when I get the box and test everything out. Also, one thing is missing – my “sample choice”. Any of you that already sub to Birchbox, did your sample choice show up in your box picture? Or do we think it will just be added last thing to the box? They messed up my nail polish choice last time they offered this feature, so I’m curious to see if this go-round goes more smoothly.


Birchbox: A [birdie] Round-up

Hello there! As you know, we’re back. And having not posted my Birchboxes for the past few months, I wanted to get them up and share my thoughts with you ASAP before the May boxes arrive.

Here’s my March Birchbox:
Birchbox birdie March14

And here’s April’s:
Birchbox birdie April14Honestly, I’ve been a little underwhelmed with Birchbox in the past few months, which is a huge part of why I’m late in getting these reviews up. If I have an *amazing* box with fab new products, I want to jump on and blog about them. If I’m more along the lines of, well…I got chocolate at least?!?…then I’m super lazy about posting. See how that works?  =)

My fave in March was definitely the theBalm cream blush. I have really loved every product I’ve ever sampled from them, and I’ve even bought a few full-size products as well. They have fun packaging/design, and their products are long-lasting and apply beautifully.

My fave in April was the Supergoop CC Cream. I had actually received this in a “Mystery Sample” pack with an order a few months back. I tossed it in a drawer and didn’t use it for forever, but when I finally got around to it, realized it was absolutely indispensable. If I’m having a “good” skin day, it evens out my complexion and I can get away without foundation while still looking “done”. If I’m having a “bad” skin day (or week, or month), it’s a perfect base to use before foundation for more coverage. Once I’m through this sample, I’m definitely buying a full sized version.

If you aren’t already a Birchbox subscriber and want to try it out, feel free to use my affiliate link to sign up. While the past few months haven’t been fantastic, I always end up finding something that I like, and it’s fun to get a box of samples every month regardless.

How about you – any recent faves from Birchbox lately?


Birchbox Points Spending Spree

Soooo, this happened:

Birchbox points haul 2Is there anything better than seeing “Grand Total: $0.00” at the end of a large beauty order? Plus, I even scored 50 bonus points for the Gimme Brow, how cool is that?

I got trigger happy and hit “place order” a few weeks ago – despite still waiting on my 13 month anniversary code. I was *really* wanting the amika mini-blow dryer and I was afraid it would sell out, as it was getting a lot of coverage on beauty blogs and forums.

Here’s the haul… and please note, I ordered on a Friday morning and had this in hand by the following Monday. Good on ya, Birchbox!

Birchbox points haul 1Right up front is my Mystery Pick-Two – a Bulgari perfume sample (meh) and a Supergoop skin serum (meh? Although it has good reviews.) So that was kind of a bust, especially considering some Mystery packs I’ve seen, but hey, you take your chances.

As I already blogged, a few of these items were HG’s for me, so I’m loving having full-size versions at my disposal. The Gimme Brow is very cool, the Instain blush is GORGEOUS (Gawsh, I love you, TheBalm!), and the amika dryer is beyond cute and surprisingly effective for such a little guy (gal?). The only thing I haven’t tried to date is the Embryolisse – just waiting for the weather to get a little colder so my skin doesn’t throw a hissy fit and the supposedly crazy moisturizing benefits.

Tell me, what do you think of my order? What would YOU have ordered with 800 points?