Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Easter Bunny, I'd Like Psychic Abilities and a Tan

Photo Credit: Superdrug
 So...a couple of weeks back, if you remember, I posted about Too Faced's Beauty Balm. I said that it was awesome and I loved it, and that its price was really reasonable, especially when you took into consideration the fact that there wasn't a drugstore beauty balm on the market.

The next day, Garnier announced their new beauty balm. I kid thee not. Like to have spewed my coffee all over the television screen.

The nice people over at word-of-mouth marketing agency, BzzAgent, must have somehow psychically sensed my predicament, because my email immediately dinged with a campaign invitation. They sent me a full-size bottle to test, saving me the $12.99 I would have, otherwise, felt compelled to spend after telling all you lovely folks that such a thing didn't exist. I swear, I have got to invest in a crystal ball.

So, how does the drugstore brand fare? Well, let's break it down:

Packaging: The tube is nothing special. It's simple in style, but neat and clean, and a lovely pale bronze. I especially like the inverted, hygeinic design, and that it holds a generous 2.5 oz. 9 out of 10.

Application: I squeezed a little onto the back of my hand, and noticed right away that the balm had a very thick texture--almost as rich as my heavy-duty foundation-plus-primer formula. However, the product applied very smoothly with a foundation brush, sinking into the skin quickly. 10 out of 10.

Appearance: Now, this is where things get a little dicey. Shade aside, the balm's finish was sheer and slightly dewy, and very, very pretty. My skin looked clear and even, but not made up, which is perfect for Spring and Summer. There's even a hint of caffeine in the balm, which wakes up the skin for a subtle glow. The problem comes in when you take the shade into account: it didn't match. The shade I was given was "Light/Medium", and was about a shade too dark, and just a tinge too yellow for my fair skin. Unfortunately, my only other shade option in the Garnier line is "Medium/Deep", which would be entirely too dark for me. That's it. Two shades. If you fall somewhere in that limited spectrum, you could buy both and mix them together for a custom color, but if you fall on either outer end of the range, you're pretty much S.O.L. I'm hoping that over the course of the Summer, as I gain more color, I might eventually be able to wear this. We'll see. 6 out of 10.

Photo Credit: BzzAgent
Wear: I popped a little powder over the top, just to tone down the shine a bit. One mid-afternoon blotting and an early evening powder touch-up, and this looked beautiful all day. In other words, it performed as well as my much pricier luxury brand balm. That kind of hurts my soul... 9 out of 10.

Price: Okay, this depends on how you look at it. Yes, you do get 2.5 oz (one full ounce extra than my almost any other brand), but if you are not an exact match to one of the two shades available, you have to buy both shades to custom blend your own. And yes, each shade is considerably less expensive than any other brand on the market, but if you have to buy two...well, that eats into the savings, now doesn't it? 5 out of 10.

Final Verdict: 7.8 out of 10. The range of shades is beyond disappointing, but if you can wear it, there's not a better deal out there.

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