A couple of weeks ago theBalm ran one of their 50% sitewide sales which is always exciting. They’re also always really frustrating because their website never seems to be able to handle all of the traffic even though they’ve been doing these sales for several years now. Luckily for me there was only one product I was interested in, the new Balm Desert bronzer/blush, and it stayed in stock even though it took me nearly an hour to checkout.
Balm Desert normally retails for $21 (6.39 g/0.225 oz).
Balm Desert comes packaged in lightweight cardboard with retro graphics which is typical of the brand.
The blush/bronzer is free of talc, which I appreciate as a dry skinned gal, but it does contain kaolin and silica which unfortunately can be drying. They’re all ingredients that I try to avoid when I can but I was so curious about Balm Desert because of all the recent YouTube raves that I purchased it regardless.
Balm Desert is fragrance free.
Honestly, Balm Desert isn’t quite what I expected. It’s been described by others as a rosy bronze but it’s much paler and pinker than I expected. To me it’s more of a deep pinky nude and the way it looks on my skin makes me think of Clinique Nude Pop, not in terms of color but effect. Nude Pop was quite peachy on me whereas Balm Desert’s a much darker and warmer pink but in my opinion they both fall in that same category of understated, sheeny nudes.
Balm Desert has a shimmery sheen of a finish and very good color payoff. Swatched heavily it has a noticeable gleam and appears lighter than it does in the pan, partly because of the way the light bounces off it. When I buff it out with a brush I can detect very tiny particles of microshimmer up close.
Personally, I like to apply Balm Desert a bit higher and farther back on my cheeks compared to my usual blush placement (on the apples of my cheeks). I find that whenever I use Balm Desert I can skip highlighter completely because it gives me enough glow on its own.
When I purchased Balm Desert I hoped it would be similar to the discontinued BECCA Bolero which I use almost daily. Now that’s my idea of a true bronzey blush but, as you can see, Balm Desert is nothing like it. It looks like it could be similar in the pan to Bolero or my bronzers but once it’s on the skin it looks very different.