theBalm Autobalm California & Cindy-Lou Manizer

A while back to celebrate the launch of theBalm on Retailbox they sent out some gorgeous press deliveries which included some glittery popcorn, mini marshmallows and a product from theBalm. There has been a justifiable amount of excitement over the fact that theBalm is finally easily accessible in SA, because this makeup is not only adorably packaged but pretty darn good. No longer do we need to order the cult Mary-Lou Manizer from overseas and wait weeks for delivery, all the while hoping that customs doesn’t slap on one of its random duties.

I have already done a review of theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Palette a few weeks ago, and thought I would get into a bit more detail on some new theBalm products for those of you who were considering purchasing them. It can be a bit difficult to choose a product online without being able to see testers in store, so us beauty bloggers have a job to do!

On my list of top picks was an Autobalm, so I was delighted to receive the Autobalm California to try out. There is also a more cool-toned version, Autobalm Hawaii available, both for R289. These are great value for money as this little palette, slightly bigger than an SA driver’s license, contains what appears to be a blush and three eyeshadows but in reality can multi-task like a working mom. The blush can double as a shadow, one shadow doubles as a highlighter, another as a brow product (too warm-toned for me though) and the third as a liner.

The blush is a beautiful peachy pink shade which I think is very flattering. Although it is quite small to pick up with a large blush brush, it is very pigmented and you only need to do a bit of a dab as opposed to a swirl of the brush. The quality is great, and I find both the blush and shadows very long-lasting. I like that you can actually create a few different looks with just these few shades, and the darkest shadow works really well for both a smoky eye or as a liner. All in all, I can’t fault this little palette for its portability (it would fit in the smallest clutch), multi-tasking ability, quality and shade selection. The only tiny niggle is that the brow/crease shade is too warm-toned for most light brows and not exactly universal.

I featured the Mary-Lou Manizer in my 2014 makeup favourites, and all I can say is that it lives up to its cult status and is the best highlighter I have tried. It has definitely become a holy grail product to me which I use daily. I was very keen to try the Cindy-Lou Manizer (R385), a peachy pink highlighting blush. You do need to get your expectations right before trying this, as I thought of it more as a pink-toned highlighter and discovered that it doesn’t work as such on my fair skin. It is definitely a blush! So…er…keep it away from the bridge of your nose or anywhere else besides your cheeks or eyelids. You see, I do these dumb experiments so that you don’t have to…

If you really don’t like shimmer in your blush then I would stay away (try their iconic Frat Boy blush instead!!) but if like me you’re a bit of a shimmer-lover then this is just plain gorgeous. It is a beautiful subtle pink and even though it swatches very shimmery, it makes for a pretty blush which catches the light on your cheekbones as opposed to making your entire cheeks shine. On the packaging Cindy-Lou’s alias is “The Con-tour Artist” which I was puzzling over until I noticed that on fair skin it does in fact give the illusion of a contour, blush and highlight all in one go. No idea how it does that, but I do look as if I’ve contoured first (when in reality I am too lazy to). This probably wouldn’t show up on darker skin tones, but if you’re fair then try it for yourself!


2 thoughts on “theBalm Autobalm California & Cindy-Lou Manizer

  1. Laura Jane (Whimsy Is Forever) says:

    Love the idea of little all-in-one palettes – perfect for a night or weekend away! California looks a bit too warm toned for me so I must def check out Hawaii! Can’t wait to try more things from the Balm – I’m already addicted to my Mary Loumanizer!

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