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?