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Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Balm | 'Bahama Mama' Bronzer


Aloha! Is it me or does it feel all summery up in here?! There's something about The Balm's 'Bahama Mama' bronzer that makes me feel like adorning a pair of sunglasses, grabbing myself a coconut-y cocktail and setting off in my flip-flops for the nearest beach.  They've certainly nailed it when it comes to quirky, feel-good packaging and although it's not to everybodys taste, it worked like a charm on me and it's the thing that drew me in to trying my first product from the brand (marketer's dream, aren't i?).  I've always heard good things about The Balm - and after my beloved Nars Laguna decided to crumble and wear thin around the edges right before I'm set to jet away on holiday, I thought it was about time I grabbed a new bronzer and 'Bahama Mama' seemed to tick all my boxes.  Although I promised myself I'd save it for my jolly-holidays, I couldn't resist using it straight away (it would take willpower of steel not to what with the glorious weather we've been having) so I thought I'd give you the low-down on exactly why I'm loving it and why it's earned itself a space in my holiday makeup bag...

First off - like I've mentioned above - the packaging was the first thing to lure me in. It isn't exactly the most classy of them all but it earns tip-top marks for being bright, quirky and fun - it definitely lives up to its snappy name!  The design-geek in me can't help but find the decorative sleeve and 'slide-out' mechanism rather satisfying - and since I bought this to take on my travels, it's so handy that Bahama Mama is really thin and compact - they haven't skimped on a mirror either.   Appearances aside, it's actually a really good bronzer.  The pigmentation is amazing and you literally need the smallest sweep of a brush on the surface to pick up colour.  It's definitely on the darker end of the scale when it comes to shade but this is exactly what I was looking for.  Through summer, I do tan quite easily and my skin gets noticeably darker - I wanted something that would still be beneficial to use even if I'm already quite tanned and I also wanted something I could use when I'm paler to use as an all-over bronzer.  This is perfect as it contains virtually no shimmer, has a lovely, natural looking olive undertone and instantly gives that sun-kissed feel.  I've been using it all week at a design event in London and I've had no false tan on - in fact, I've been quite pasty (thanks, lack of sleep!) and this has really helped awaken my complexion and has kept me looking healthy and glowy even if I've felt far from it!  It's not so pigmented that it's difficult to work with - and it also doesn't appear at all orange - so don't let the darker colour scare you off!  I've been using it for all over bronzing as opposed to contouring (although i bet it would work a treat!) and it's so easy to work with - I simply use my Real Techniques Blush brush and work into the temples, outer cheekbones, chin and down the centre of the nose to help give that naturally bronzed look.

One thing that struck me was how similar it actually is to Nars Laguna.  It's maybe ever so slightly less creamy and slightly more matte in finish, but they're undeniably very close when it comes to shade, undertone and overall quality.  I struggle to find anything similar and I often find bronzers far too orange (i'm very fussy with this) but The Balm definitely has that much coveted 'olive' tone to it and it has seriously impressed me. I'd actually say that The Balm's offering is ever so slightly darker compared with Nars - but that's exactly what I was after - it's probably the darkest bronzer I own. If you need something that's going to actually show up on your skin when you have a tan, or similarly give you the appearance of a natural, olive glow then look no further than 'Bahama Mama'. It isn't for everyone and it might have the tendency to look muddy on paler skin, but if you're in the market for trying a good quality, matte bronzer which packs a bit of a punch, then I'd really recommend it.  It's definitely not going to be an all-year-round bronzer if you're wanting something incredibly versatile but I'm in love with it already and I think it's the perfect companion for anybody wanting to enhance their summer tan! It's one of the best bronzers I've used in a long while, that's for sure.


I bought mine from Feel Unique here when they had an offer on. It's currently £13.50 which is pretty good going to say how good the quality and pigmentation is - I reckon it's going to become my 'go to' summer bronzing product from now on. I adore it!

Have you tried 'Bahama Mama'? What's your favourite summer bronzer?

20 comments:

  1. As always a lovely post Beth! That bronzer looks gorg! I love that you compared it to NARS, I may even like it MORE than the NARS because its less shimmery! I need to try this out. I always enjoy reading your posts you have such a great personality!

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  2. Looks lovely! Looks like a great cheaper alternative to the Nars one x

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  3. It looks like such a pretty colour x

    http://books-and-memories.blogspot.co.uk/

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  4. Gorgeous post. I love the packaging and as of yet haven't tried anything from The Balm, but I seriously need to!

    Sophie x

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  5. It's seriously dark! I havent tried any of their products apart from the Mary Lou-Manizer highlighter but I'll definitely give this a swatch the next time I'm in & Other Stories xx

    ellabooxo • beauty & lifestyle

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  6. WOW they are so similar and I love the packaging it would be great for holiday xx

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  7. Oh wow they really are quite similar! I'm such a sucker for packaging so I can see myself getting this purely for that haha. Plus it sounds amazing xxx

    Angela | The Sunday Chapter

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  8. This may be a bronzer I want to try! I'd love to use one (believe it or not I haven't before) and this one may be a good match for me. I don't like any kind of skin/face makeup to look too unnatural.

    http://www.misshannahmae.com/

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  9. it looks so similar if not even identical to laguna
    thanks for sharing


    http://ranosalman.blogspot.com

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  10. I absolutely love this bronzer and I often alternate between this and Benefit's Hoola! Bahama Mama is so underrated and I wish more people knew about it/The Balm! Great review, and you hit all the points on the head!

    xx

    Shree
    PorcelainShree | A Charming Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  11. Thanks for the recommendation! I have just recently finished my NARS Laguna bronzer! So will have to keep this one in mind!

    www.britishbeautyaddict.com

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  12. I adore The Balm, I used to use Frat Boy religiously. I can't believe how similar it is to Laguna!

    Em

    www.emsmixedbag.com

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  13. I have been looking for a new bronzer to try and completely forgot about this gem! It swatches beautifully!

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  14. This sounds like such a good bronzer, I really need to try it out! x
    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD

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  15. I love the way you write :) this looks like a really nice bronzer. I have seen this on a few blogs now and heard all good things so looks like its next on my list!

    www.eyelashwishes-x.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I love how detailed your posts are, it makes them so personable! Ill have to try out bronzer, I've always been more of a blush girl!

    Check out my blog : http://beauty-fetch.blogspot.com/

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  17. This sounds great! The Balm always has packaging that lures me in too!

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I always read all of my lovely comments. Make sure you check back as i often reply but if you do have a specific question and want a quicker response then please do email me over at birds.words@yahoo.co.uk or tweet me (@Beth_BirdsWords). Thank you for all your support! x