It's a Kinda Magic: The Balm For Keeps

See that little, innocuous-looking bosca up there? It's a bit of a chameleon, so it is. Upon opening, it looks like it contains two powder eye shadows, but the truth - oh the truth ladies - is all a little stranger.

Find out more after the cut!

For this is not an eye shadow duo at all. Nope, this here is For Keeps, a newbie from The Balm. It's actually power-to-liquid lip tints. Yup!

Aaron de Mey has already explored this idea with his B.B Kiss crayon, which you'll find in Lancome's current collection, O My Rose, but the concept is a lot older.  This here is Geisha makeup. I have a little shell from Japan, filled with a dark green lacquer, which, when wet, transforms into a spectacular scarlet, which you can paint on lips for really vivid stain. B.B Kiss and For Keeps follow the same theme, except both are powder-based.


I love anything new and different so needless to say I tried it out immediately.

Pros? Simple to use, the stain is long-lasting and once dry (which happens almost immediately) you can layer lipbalm over for extra comfort. The included brush is nice and easy to use as well. With practice, you'll learn how to vary the intensity too.

Cons: I didn't like the shades in the compact I was sent, though there is another version available in more-me-style pinks, you do need to have water handy to mix (I suppose you could use spit but that would be EEUUW), do not attempt to mix this on your hand unless you want to be tattooed for some time, and there is a bit of a learning curve in application to get it looking even.

So, this is how you mix: wet your brush and swirl it around in the pan. The resultant mix is a lot richer both in texture and colour than you might imagine based on how dull they really do look when dry. This kit contains Plum Berry (left in the palette, and top right) and Brown Sugar (right in the palette, and bottom right) and you can see how they transform on the skin.

The Petunia Pink and Raspberry Red kit is the one I think I'd go for out of preference - I doubt I'll get much use out of this one as the shades just aren't my cup of tea.  One is too gothy, the other too Mammy. I do love the idea though and am a huge fan of stains for daywear in general - you get colour that's relatively long-lasting, without the transfer factor of lipstick. If you're put off by the 'lipstickness' of lipstick yet like a painted pout, then really, stains are the way to go.


Both For Keeps kits are available at Harvey Nichols, Make Up For Ever, selected pharmacies (call 087 2611278), and the Arnotts Project for €23 a go.

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