Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pan That Palette 2016: 5 Eye Looks with The Balm Nude'Tude

One of the main post ideas I had after writing my rambling rant on how I'm currently not so much into make-up products (here) was to do different eyeshadow placements all focusing on a single palette. That palette is obviously The Balm's Nude'Tude, which I'm trying to pan this year.
From my understanding, there's some sort of general consensus online that Nude'Tude is not a great neutral eyeshadow palette - the undertones are weird, it lacks a matte highlight shade but has too many dark mattes, and so on. And yeah, I can see that - for my fair complexion with cool undertones, a lot of the shades in this palette are not ideal, even though the shadows themselves are pigmented and easy to apply. But while these shades may not be ideal, they're still absolutely workable and wearable. Let me show you how :)
1. Gradient Gunmetal Smokey Eye:
Use a dark eyeliner at the lashline as base; I'm using the Stila Bluefin Smudgestick from my current Project Pan - that's where the teal microglitter is coming from. Set the liner and blend it upwards and inwards from the wing with a matte black (Serious). Apply a shimmery taupe (Selfish) to the center of the lid and the lower lashline and blend out. Continue building the matte black at the lashline to the desired depth, smudge a very small amount on the outer part of the lower lashline. Highlight the inner corner with a white pearl (Sassy), blend out the outer corner and crease with a warm matte medium brown (Sultry). Finish with lots of mascara and black eyeliner on the upper waterline.

2. Daytime Cat Eye:
Apply a mix of yellow and pink pearl shades (Snobby + Stubborn) all over the lid and highlight the inner corners with Sassy. Define the crease with a matte brown (Sultry) and the lower lashline with a shimmery bronze (Schitzo). Line the upper lashline with Silly mixed with a drop of Inglot Duraline; it's a liquid silicone product that turns powders into long-wearing cream formulas. I just poured a drop directly into the corner of my eyeshadow pan so that I can still use the rest as a regular powder eyeshadow with my brushes. I have to admit that I was disappointed with how Silly performed as a liquid liner; I was hoping for a subtly glittery wing but the result was that of a dark matte brown, very similar to the shade Sleek from the palette. So far, no matter what I do, I cannot make the beautiful shimmer in Silly show up on my eyes :(

3. Sophisticated Khaki Smokey Eye:
Apply a darker taupe/ grey/ khaki cream eyeshadow all over the lid, blending it out into the crease - I've used Benefit Creaseless Cream in Skinny Jeans. Blend out and warm up the crease with a matte brown; I decided to use my face contour shade (NYX Taupe), but you could use Sultry from the palette. Define the outer corner with a dark khaki brown (Sophisticated) and dab a little yellow pearl (Snobby) on the centre of the mobile lid with your finger. Brighten the inner corner with a mix of Sassy and Snobby; I decided that Sassy alone would be too cool-toned. Line the lower lashline with Sophisticated, pop a little Snobby in the center of the lower lashline to mirror the lid placement. Black mascara on the lashes, black eyeliner on the upper waterline, green eyeliner on the lower waterline (optional - I had TIGI Perfect Eyeliner in Green lying around, so I thought why not).

4. Aegyo Sal-inspired:
This is one of the looks I liked from the Korean Beauty Secrets book I've recently reviewed. For those not in the know, aegyo sal is that little roll of fat on the lower lashline that babies often have (some adults too), and of the trendier looks in Korea is to either highlight or mimick that by applying a shimmery eyeshadow to the under eye area.
I'm saying this is aegyo sal-inspired because I do not have that 'baby eye fat' and what's more, I actually have some fine lines in that area that look more pronounced when covered in shimmery eyeshadow. So I've only applied a mixture of white pearl (Sassy) and shimmery champagne (Stand-offish) to the inner half of my lower lashline and around the inner corner, and a medium matte brown on the outer half of lower lashline. For my lid and crease, I applied a light layer of satin pink (Stubborn) all over as a base, and topped with another fine layer of warm matte brown (Sultry), buffed out into the crease. I also applied a smidgen of dark matte brown (Sleek) along the outer portion of my upper lashline, but otherwise skipped eyeliner.

5. Typical Monika Daytime Definition:
I realize that in my photos, this looks exactly like the second look (Daytime Cat Eye), but it's a little different: a typical Monika look has a more defined/ darker outer corner, and the upper lash liner is thinner and less winged out. For this look, I used the shimmery champagne (Stand-offish) on the lid, a matte medium brown lightly through the crease (Sultry), and a matte aubergine (Sexy) in the outer corner. A mix of the champagne (Stand-offish) and pearl white (Sassy) on the inner corner, medium matte brown (Sultry) along the lower lashline. The upper lash line is accentuated with a darker eyeliner (Stila Bluefin), lightly set with a matte black (Serious). A black eyeliner to tightline and lots of mascara.

I was the happiest with my Aegyo-sal inspired look - it was quick and easy and yet quite a bit different from my comfort zone (look 5). For a bit more drama, I also liked the first look - I quite like the smoked out lashline as opposed to lots of darker shades in the outer corner of the eye. But all in all, I've been leaning towards less eyeshadow lately, and I'm particularly not that fond of eyeliner at the moment. I think that daily eyeliner wear (due to having various pencil liners in my Project Pans/ Projects Make A Dent) has started to feel a little boring to me, and I appreciate the cleaner/ more effortless look of having only mascara-ed lashes against the lighter background of the eyelid.

All in all, it was a good experiment. I've been using The Balm's Nude'Tude for over a month now, and I can't really say that it has felt like a challenge so far. Every time I reach for the palette, I'm able to come up with little tweaks or slightly different placements. I've also been mixing and layering all the shades quite a lot, and it's fun. There's a whole LOT you can do with 12 different eyeshadows - and I actually feel like the variety of looks I've been able to achieve comes more from trying various approaches and styles as well as combining shades as opposed to having a variety of actual eyeshadows to choose from. What I'm saying is - I don't need 10 neutral eyeshadow palettes. For me, there's going to be more variety in looks in the scope of a single palette versus across those ten different selections. Almost every single neutral eyeshadow palette has a light shimmer, a medium brown, a cool and/or medium shimmer, a dark brown. Sure, the undertones may be different - but the basic placements remain the same. Once blended together, a lot of eyeshadows from palletes that may at first seem very different in the pan will actually look nearly identical on the eyes.

Which look was your favorite? Do you tend to do the same eyeshadow look every time you do your make-up, or do you like to experiment?


  1. I'm trying to pan Nude 'Tude this year as well! I used to avoid certain shades in the palette because they weren't EXACTLY what I wanted them to be, but you're right that a lot of eyeshadow colors can look roughly the same once blended out. I'm still having trouble using the two highlight shades, though. Snobby can be nice layered over darker colors (or over Stubborn for a rose-gold effect), but Sassy just stymies me. I love what you did with it for your aegyo sal look, though.

  2. Oh my, such eye candy (pardon the pun!) I absolutely cannot get over that first look on you, utterly breathtaking and makes me want to pull out a darker eye look, perhaps this weekend for a Valentine's date. I just can't seem to take flattering face shots like this, it's driving me crazy

  3. Oh, I have this palette and barely use it. I love the looks, especially the first one.

  4. Yep, the complexion of this palette is weird. I would use the whole right side, but none of the shades of the left side. I ám also missing a matte or velvety nude shade. Nevertheless I like all of your looks. They are so wearable. I like the upper look the most. It is that kind of look I wear every day

  5. this palette wasn't a hit for me b/c the shades just seemed a bit too cool to what i prefer but i'm sort of re-thinking my decision to give this up; you look so lovely in all of these looks!
    someone mentioned that i should blend two color together to create a new shade. and i hadn't thought about that before.

  6. I love all my TheBalm palettes, I have all the volumes (1,2 and 3), the Nude Tude and the Meet Matt (e). TheBalm just doesn't have enough love from the beauty world, so underrated. And all looks are lovely by the way. :)

  7. You have such a talent for this Monika! Honestly if you weren't just concentrating on panning this particular palette I'd request you do this for any other palettes you have. Very inspiring!

  8. Oh I love how you did the entire round up of looks. I also enjoy doing a shimmery inner corner but sometimes I find it ends up in my eye and irritates it.

    I'm also doing a pan that palette challenge this year! Would love for you to check it out. Just followed you on twitter and instagram :)

    Raincouver Beauty