Review: The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

October 7, 2013 § 4 Comments

Hello, Internet and happy Monday!

Today’s review is about the highlighter I bought with my Maquillalia order back in the Summer. Here‘s the link to the haul, if you’re interested.
It’s the super famous-on-the-web Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter by The Balm.

Mary 1Just a word before starting: when I placed the order I really wanted to try the MUA Undress Me Too Highlighter but it was out of stock. 😦 Therefore, I decided to give this The Balm one a try because of all the nice things on YouTube and on blogs in general. Plus, it was discounted so, really, I couldn’t go wrong.

Color&Pigmentation. It’s definitely a gold highlighter instead of a pink one. Before buying it I knew it would have been more on the warm side than the MUA Undress Me Too is. However, I did not expect that it would be this gold! Don’t get me wrong, the color truly is amazing, but on my cool and fair skin tone it doesn’t wear as good as on warmer people. The pigmentation is super. S-U-P-E-R. Almost dangerous, I’d say. You really need the tiniest tiniest amount of it, or you’ll end up having gold shimmer all over your face!

Application. Extremely easy. The texture is so smooth it feels like a cream butter-y highlighter. As a result, blending it is the easiest thing ever. The only thing you need to be careful is taking the tiniest amount of product, as I was saying earlier.Mary 2Longevity. It wears pretty well. It does fade a little bit, but it doesn’t require to reapply it during the day. On my skin it lasts from the morning to the late afternoon. Awesome. ❤

Packaging. It’s so super cute. I love the name of the highlighter (so fun!) and I love the paper packaging as well as product itself. The big round mirror is quite helpful too. Oh, and there’s so much product in it that it literally will last me for years. Never going to need another gold highlighter in my life.

Store&Price. The Balm is quite a pricey brand. I would compare it to Urban Decay, price-wise. However, I got mine for 13€ because it was (it still is!!!) on sale, but it retails for 17€ on Maquillalia.

Overall 8/10. I truly suggest this product it you are looking for the perfect gold highlighter. It really is a keeper, from the pigmentation to the packaging itself. However, truth be told, I couldn’t give this product a 10 simply because the color does not suit my skin tone as well as I expected and it still is an expensive highlighter. A tip: after watching Lauren Curtis using it as an eyeshadow and one morning I decided to give it a go. It was such a great surprise! It’s so perfect to make eyes brighter and I’m super happy that now it’s a multi-use product! 😉

Have you ever tried this highlighter? What do you think about it?

Stay beautiful.


Huge Maquillalia HAUL (& various first impressions)

August 19, 2013 § 17 Comments

Hello hello, Internet!

As I mentioned some weeks ago, I wanted to place an order on because I am literally in love with everything that is sold on that website. I finally got time last week to pick up some things and I definitely caved in to lots of products I didn’t need. I killed two birds with one stone with this order, because I bought some products for my sister as well, since it was her 30th birthday last week. Because I already gave her the makeup, the list of what I bought is shorter than all the makeup shown in the Instagram picture down here.

Huge #haul. Details soon on my blog (hopefully) #maquillalia #makeup #iambrokenow

My experience with the website: Would I order again? If I had spare money to throw out of my window, yeah, definitely!
Anyway, I placed my order last Thursday before noon, and the parcel was shipped the day after and came here on Wednesday. I asked for some samples and, aside from the common samples they give (skin care products, the spanish Hean brand makeup, ecc) and the little Haribo candy bag, they added a MeMeMe cream eyeshadow (which is about 9€) and a sample of a setting powder by Hean, I believe (since there’s no label on it).
Tons of kind-of-cheap brands are sold. For example, Sleek, MeMeMe, NYX, Essence (even the limited editions), Catrice, Accessorize, Revlon, Babyliss, The Balm, ecc.
The website in general is not the easiest one to surf, because the sections are not well organized and because there’s no way to filter product for price, date, brand, reviews, ecc. Nevertheless, I found everything that I looked for thanks to the “search” bar.
I think, anyway, that the biggest downside is the shipping cost. It really is too much! I was insane enough to spend over 100€, so the shipping was free, but I don’t know if I will buy stuff from there again because I would end up paying shipping almost as makeup products. To Italy (but I believe also in the rest of Europe – I’m not sure if they ship internationally), they ship by GLS which, to me, it has been a pain in the back. For some reason, the address of my place is not well saved in their PCs and so they end up trying to ship it to another address if I don’t phone them in time. This is the third time it happened and I don’t want to know about GLS anymore. :/

haul maqui 2

Let’s cut to the chace and let’s see what I bought.

  • Babyliss rotating brush (46€): this is the main reason why I placed the order in the first place. I wanted to try it so badly for years and I would drool over tutorials on YouTube using this magic wand. I used it two days ago and, sadly, I must admit that it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. First of all, it’s not very easy to use, but I believe that practice makes perfect, so I’ll just need to don’t give up and try more and more. Second, I think my hair is too long to be styled with this brush: it kept tangling on the brush and on itself over and over! Moreover, I tried to roll the brush on the entire length of a piece of hair, but I didn’t end up having the big curl I expected. So, yeah..kind of disappointed by this tool. I hope I’ll feel better about it after finding the better way to use it on my hair.
  • MUA Undress Me Too palette (4.99€): second reason why I placed the order. We all know how the Naked palettes tempt every makeup girl alive, but I really never found the courage to just pick my wallet and leave 45€ at Sephora so..I went online for a good dupe for the Naked 2 palette, and this MUA one kept popping out. I had to have it. It’s smaller than I thought it would be, but, just as the Naked, it has 12 eyeshadows (even if I believe there’s less product) and they really are very dupes for the Urban Decay ones. I still haven’t used it on my eyes, but I swatched all the shadows and..well, some are more pigmented than others, but, overall, I’m not that impressed with the pigmentation. Quite poor, to be honest. I’ll get back to you when I tested it well!
  • Sleek Blush Palette (Trio) in Flame (12.99€): this one was a long story, get comfortable before you keep reading. I was desperate to get NARS Exibit A since I watched LillianMasie‘s videos: it was too stunning to not tempt me. When NARS finally came to Italy (it is sold at Sephora, now) I looked online happy that I could finally buy it. Of course it was too dang expensive for my wallet so, again, I googled dupes for the amazing red toned blush. The closest ones were the NYX powder blush in Red and the red one in this Sleek trio. Lucky as I am, I added to my cart the NYX one (about 6€), but, of course, it was out of stock when I actually placed my order. I had the chance to try the cream red one (by NYX as well), but I was scared that a cream red blush would look too harsh and comes the Sleek palette. I still haven’t worn it, but of course I swatched all the colors and I’m super impressed with the pigmentation. Plus, it surprised me that even the darkest shade (that I’ve never thought I would wear) is stunning! Definitely a good purchase! 😉
  • China Glaze nail polish from the “On Safari” collection in Purr-fect Plum (5.40€): this was an impulsive add. I wanted to get a China Glaze nail polish (I’ve never had), but I struggled picking up the color. The ones I wanted weren’t on sale and I didn’t want to spend like..more than 8€ on a nail polish. I ended up picking this one and realizing after it came home that my sister has a Kiko nail polish veeery similar to this one. Yay, me! -.-‘
  • The Balm Mary Lou Manizer highlighter (17€ -> 13.26€): another product I bought because the highlighter I wanted (MUA Undress me too highlighter) was out of stock. I’ve been hearing so many great stuff about this one that I wasn’t that disappointed that I had to buy it! 😛 was on sale so..13€ is still a lot to me, but if it was 17€ I would have never added it to my cart. I expected it to be less gold and more pink, but it’s stunning anyway. Can’t wait to wear it as an eyeshadow as well!!!
  • MUA Lipstick in Shade 15 “Juicy” + Shade 16 “Nectar” (1.49€ each): I’ve heard good opinions about these lipsticks and for just 1.49€ I had to have them. I struggled picking the color up because I feel like I had every of their shade in my lipsticks collection already. I am so glad I picked the only two colors I was missing among the other lipsticks that I own! I swatched them on my hand and it’s so creamy and pigmented that my mind was blown. I regret not getting more of these.
  • Montagne Jeunesse Various Masks (1.75€ each): I know that these masks are available at Acqua&Sapone as well, but my drugstore does not sell them (I am so lucky, I know), so I bought them online. I just picked three of them and we’ll see how they work! I’ve heard great stuff about these, especially the Chocolate one!
  • Sleek Lipstick in Smother (6.50€): Sleek lipsticks are amazing. I’ve watched online swatches and I wanted to get them all! I decided to get this deep plum color because I still don’t own any color like this and because, as the Internet says, it should be the perfect dupe for MAC Rebel (another lipstick on my wish list since ages – but too expensive for me to buy it!). Trying it on my hand I realized how incredibly creamy and pigmented it is. Again, I wish I got more shades!
  • NYX Powder Blush in Angel (5.95€): this is a super raved product on YouTube. After I saw it for the first time I was scared that they put in my package the wrong color. I turned the blush over and no, it actually was “Angel“. It’s not the light pink I expected at all, but after swatching it I was squeeing hard. Perfection, literally! And super pigmented as well! The downside is that, for being a cheap brand, NYX blush aren’t that cheap at all. I don’t regret buying it..I just wish it was cheaper!
  • Essence nail polish form the Snow Jam Limited Edition in #04 “Top of the Ice-Stream” (1.99€): I remember seeing this polish thanks to MissHollyBerries here and I just had to have it. I’m in the white-nail-polish phase, recently, and I couldn’t be happier with this milky-shiny one!
  • Sleek Blush Palette (Trio) in Lace (12.99€): a super raved blush palette by the british YouTube gurus. Definitely not a disappointment! Super pigmented and smooth! I love all the three shades, pretty pretty pretty! The middle one should be close to NARS Orgasm (correct me if I’m wrong)!
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Istanbul (5.95€): another range of products super talked of on YouTube and blogs. Again, I wasn’t sure about the shade I wanted. I was going to get a nude/pink one and a red one, but, because I couldn’t just ask for a bank loan for this order, I got rid of the red one and ended only with this pink one. I tried it on and it seemed very good (super pigmented, that’s for sure), but I cleaned it right after so I still don’t know about its staying power. I’ll let you know!
  • Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (10.99€ -> 8.79€): another reason why I placed this order. I’ve been hearing about these brushes for years and I really wanted to test the big deal they are. I would have got the stippling one as well, but it was out of stock too. 😦 I tried this one twice to apply blush, and I’m impressed already. I know it’s a miracle worker for liquid foundation application and I can’t wait to try it! I plan on writing a review soon so, stay tuned!
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo XXL Volumen (5.25€ -> 4.25€): finally I got it. In Italy it’s sold nowhere and I’ve been looking for a spray dry shampoo since last year when I got the Lush one and I ended up not using it because it wasn’t in a spray can. Still have to test this baby out. 😉
  • Samples: as I was saying early I got a stunning deep green MeMeMe cream eyeshadow that I gave my sister, a powder, a leg gel, a face cream, a hair mask and a shampoo – super pleased!

& that’s all!
I wished I get more MUA lipsticks because who knows when I’ll do another MUA order and I wished I tried something by Catrice, but, honestly, nothing attracted me enough to get it! :/

 haul maqui

I know, I know, I spent a fortune for this haul, but it was since March that I didn’t allow myself to makeup shop, so I’ve been quite good! 😛 I have to go to Rome in September and in October to do my TOEFL and GRE exams, and hopefully Sephora and MAC won’t tempt me! 😀

Talk to you on Thursday, girls!
Stay beautiful,


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