theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette

I grabbed theBalm’s Meet Matt(e) Nude palette for a steal at Nordstrom Rack recently. It retails for $42, and I got it for $14.97. It also appears on Hautelook from time to time, so you can definitely get this for less than retail.

About the Palette

This palette contains nine matte eyeshadows. It’s cruelty-free but not vegan (carmine is one non-vegan ingredient I can identify on the packaging). This is a typical cardboard palette with a magnetic closure. It has a great mirror in the top, which is a nice surprise!

Palette packaging

Palette with mirror

The pans in this palette are a great size. The whole palette is 25.5g, so each pan is about 2.8g. You have more than enough room for any eyeshadow brush, and each pan still has a bit of space in between so you don’t accidentally knock one shade into another.

Pans close-up


You get a good mix of colors in this palette (left-to-right on my arm):

  • Matt Johnson – Dark bluish-gray
  • Matt Garcia – Medium warm brown
  • Matt Malloy – White
  • Matt Rosen – Medium camel brown
  • Matt Wood – Dark neutral brown
  • Matt Singh – Medium pink
  • Matt Abdul – Light-medium gray
  • Matt Lombardi – Muted yellow
  • Matt Hung – Medium taupe

Application and Wear

As I swatched these on my arm, I noticed they are on the dry side. Some companies make their mattes creamy, some crumbly, others dry. Which texture is best depends on the color you’re using and your personal preference. I tend to dislike dry eyeshadows, so I was skeptical when I started to use the palette. However, these are surprisingly blendable and don’t look or feel dry when you’re using a brush.

The pigmentation for these is pretty good. They’re not as pigmented as, say, the mattes in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette, but it’s way better than a lot of matte shadows (particularly from brands that have mastered their shimmers but can’t get the mattes right). I was more impressed by how consistent these perform across the palette. For most palettes, and specifically a matte-only palette, I expect one or two duds, but none of these are duds in my book. They blend and layer well, and they all show up on my skin. Keep in mind I have pretty pale skin, though, so I can’t say if this is true for darker skin tones. I’m tempted to lend this to a friend and see how it performs on darker skin.

While these colors are all blendable, I noticed that once they’re on, it’s tough to differentiate between some of the shades. There are a few browns and a couple grays, and they aren’t totally unique once they’re on the lid. I also noticed that there is some fading with this palette (but not creasing when I use a primer, hallelujah!), so by the end of the day these do get a little muddled.

The standout of this palette for me is Malloy (the white), which is not at all what I would have expected. It is super bright, and even with fading, you can still see it at the end of the day. I would expect it to be the first to fade away completely, but it holds strong. My other favorites are Singh (the pink), Garcia (warm brown), and Wood (dark brown). These shades are all awesome staples and I reached for them each time I used this palette.

Casual Looks

I want to show three different ways I wore this palette recently so you can get a feel for both the pigmentation and the differentiation issue.

First day

  • Singh over the entire lid and past the crease
  • Lombardi above the crease
  • Hung on the lid
  • Garcia in the outer corner
  • Abdul on the lower lash line
  • Singh to blend
  • Urban Decay highlighter (from the Gallery palette) on the inner corner and part of lid

First day look

Second day

  • Singh in the crease
  • Garcia on the lid
  • Urban Decay highlighter (from the Gallery palette) on the inner corner and part of lid

Second day look

Third day

  • Malloy on and above the lid
  • Singh in and above the crease
  • Rosen in crease and bottom lash line (blended out with Singh)
  • Johnson over a navy blue eye liner on the upper lid

Third day look

Final Thoughts

This is a fun and useful palette to have in my collection. The shadows are good but not amazing. I recommend picking this up if you like matte shadows, love having the basics covered, and can find a good deal for it. I wouldn’t pay full price for this, but I would definitely pay around $20 (which I did!).

Have you tried this palette? What do you think about it?

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