When 3 Shady Ladies Are Better Than 1


Few eyeshadow palettes have grabbed my attention as much as The Balm’s Shady Lady palettes. I was hooked the first time I laid eyes on Shady Lady Vol, 1. Despite the cardboard packaging, the eyeshadows were of good quality and they could be used either dry or wet.

Each of the Shady Lady palettes has different animal prints on the cardboard cover and inside, there is a mirror almost as big as the palette itself. The majority of the eyeshadows in all 3 palettes have frost texture and pigmentation is very good as is colour pay-off. There are some outstanding colours in each palette but on the whole, they are colours suitable for everyday wear.

When I spotted Vol. 3 at Sasa a fortnight ago, they didn’t even have a tester yet. It’d just arrived and the outlet I went to only had 3 Vol. 3 in stock whereas they were still displaying Vol. 2. Of course, I didn’t need any convincing since I already had the earlier 2 volumes and my collection wouldn’t be complete without the latest Volume.

Vol. 3 has the following colours:-

(1) Lusty Lee (shadow) – silver frost with glitter(2) Envious Erin (shadow) – white with glitter(3) Racy Kacy (shadow/liner) – metallic brown frost(4) Save Bet Annette (shadow) – frosty pink(5) Turnaround Rebecca (shadow/liner) – metallic frosted green(6) Come Hither Heather (shadow/liner) – gray-purple with glitter(7) Open To Offers Olwen (shadow/liner) – metallic teal(8) All The Way Annie (shadow/liner) – dark purple with glitter(9) Guilty Gwen (shadow/liner) – black with glitter

All the colours are soft and quite buttery in texture except for Guilty Gwen but it’s probably best picked up by a slightly wet eyeliner brush. There are 6 colours in this palette which can be used as liners, the most liners out of all the Shady Lady palettes.

My favourite colours in this palette are Turnaround Rebecca and Open To Offers Olwen. A point to note about Vol. 3 is that the palette only contains 14.4g of eyeshadow compared to 17g in Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. For the same price of RM120, one gets less in Vol. 3. That works out to 1.6g of each colour in Vol. 3 compared to 1.88g of each colour in the earlier 2 Volumes and of course that also means cost has gone up with regard to each colour in Vol. 3. Nevertheless, it’s still a lot more cost effective than purchasing The Balm’s mono eyeshadows.

Vol 2

Vol. 2 has some dark, earth tones which would please those who like or prefer the natural look. Again, the textures are more towards metallic/frost. I’m not that fond of the colours in this palette as there are hardly any bright, cheerful shades in here. It’s good for days when one has to wear a more conservative look.

Vol. 2 has the following colours:-

(1)  Caught In The Act Courtney (shadow/liner) – a colour which is a repeat of the first colour in Vol.1. It’s a chocolate brown with shimmer and gold glitter(2) Feisty Felicia (shadow/liner) – black with glitter(3) Insane Jane (shadow/liner) – pewter-silver metallic frost(4) Bossy Bobbi (shadow/liner) – metallic blue frost, one of the 2 outstanding colours in this palette(5) Make Out Mary (shadow/liner) – metallic olive-green, the other outstanding colour in this palette(6) Just This Once Jamie (shadow) – satin purple-brown(7) Michievous Marissa (shadow) – frosted orange-brown(8) Tempting Tara (shadow) –  icy white frost(9) Devilish Danielle (shadow) – peach pink frost

Unlike the other 2 palettes, the liners in Vol. 2 are all arranged in order (the 1st 5 colours). One can easily create smoky night looks with the colours here and there are more than enough dark colours to use as liners.

In terms of complementary colours, Vol. 2 wins hands down compared to the other 2 palettes. It’s the most balanced palette of the 3. This would be the perfect palette for someone unsure of how to pair eyeshadows but I can only pick Bossy Bobbi & Makeout Mary as the most outstanding colours. For me, it’s the most boring palette of the 3 yet immensely workable.

Vol 1 Cover
Vol 1
Shady Lady Vol.1 Swatches

Finally, there’s the one that started it all, Shady Lady Vol. 1 which came out in 2009. It’s still my go-to palette because it contains 3 of my all-time favourite Shady Lady eyeshadows, Jet-Setting Jennifer, All About Alex and Easy Wheezie. The colours in this palette are so easy to pair with colours from other brands.

Vol.1 has the following colours:-

(1) Caught In The Act Courtney (shadow/liner)- please refer to above under Vol. 2(2) Shameless Shana (shadow) – bronze-brown with shimmer(3) Luscious Lani (shadow) – champagne peach-pink with shimmer(4) Jealous Jordana (shadow/liner) – dirty green with black nuances(5) Risque Renee (shadow/liner) – dark blue-black matte(6) Curvy Cami (shadow) – metallic magenta with glitter(7) Jet-Setting Jennifer (shadow) – metallic gold beige frost(8) All About Alex (shadow) – grey-green frost with no glitter(9) Easy-Wheezie (shadow) – metallic blue-grey

Vol.1 has the least liners of the 3 palettes but it contains some beautiful colours, some of which are in their permanent collection as mono eyeshadows. I use Jet-Setting Jennifer and Luscious Lani on a regular basis with eyeshadows outside of this palette.

Overall, I am pleased with the quality of the eyeshadows in all the palettes. They don’t crease on me but sometimes there is some fading and smudging on my undereye area. It’s best to use the eyeshadows over an eye primer to get the best results (intensity) as well as maximise the lasting power. There are already countless colour combinations with 1 palette but with 3 palettes, the combinations are endless.

The only thing I don’t like about the palettes is that because the material is cardboard, they get stained very easily and it’s a bit of a pain to keep the interior tidy especially around the mirror and eyeshadowsI wouldn’t recommend taking them on travels because I took them around in my handbag for a few days and there was some slight fall-out from the eyeshadows but having said that, I can’t really complain because they really are fantastic value. Who else offers such variety (9 eyeshadows) and at such quality for RM120?  Their mono eyeshadows are RM47 for 3.4g which makes the palettes a steal by comparison. The quality of these eyeshadows is comparable to some counter brands.

The Balm is available at Sasa outlets nationwide.