Smashbox describes this eye shadow palette as: "A set of universally awesome neutrals" both effortless and essential.
Mixed reviews are common when a popular makeup brand comes out with an expensive eye shadow palette. This one had me all confused with all credible sources saying these shadows were either incredible or absolutely terrible. The concerns were mainly surrounding wear time and color payoff but using a primer and a few simple application tips, I found many redeeming qualities, myself! Neutral eye shadow palettes have become quite the trend, so what superfluous characteristics set this one apart from the others?
Here's what I think of it:
Color Variety: This palette comes complete with 14 shades, 7 of which are matte and 7 with a shimmery finish. This to me is what makes it so unique to others which only offer the matte shades or just the shimmery ones. I personally wish they were named with actual names instead of numbers and that at least those shades were written underneath each shade because that would just make my life as a blogger/youtuber easier. My favorites of the bunch are the purple shimmer in the top row all the way to the left, the navy shimmer in the top row all the way to the right, the gold shimmer third from the left in the top row is also gorgeous. Of the mattes, I really like the cool browns and that black! If you like a smokey eye, your set and if your more keen on the neutrals you'll love these shades too. There's a perfect inner corner highlight color and one to double as an eyeliner so really it has almost everything!
Pigmentation: The color payoff on those matte shades is actually pretty incredible, the shimmery shades on the other hand come up a little short. I have figured out how to work with them and get the most out of each shade though. Using a synthetic flat shader brush with some Mac Fix+ I pack the color on over an eyelid primer of course and then I go back into the product with my finger and that builds up the color intensity beautifully. (I will certainly demonstrate this in a makeup tutorial in the near future)
Consistency: The matte shades are buttery and smooth but the shimmers are a little harder to work with on blending and some have quite a bit of fall down which can be messy.
Packaging: I like the holographic lettering and black background. The palette itself is quite heavy and large so it wouldn't be my first choice for traveling with but it does have so many eye shadows to choose from in terms of creating different looks. The lid flips open to reveal a huge mirror which is very convenient and clicks into place with no faults so that makes it quite sturdy. As with all of Smashbox palettes there is a place for a brush too and that's definitely a plus.
Top Row- Shimmery Shades
Bottom Row- Matte Shades
Lasting Power: Some eye shadows stay on the eyes well even without laying down a primer first. These are not them. Without an eye shadow base, these will begin to crease within the first couple of hours and then will slowly wear off. I have gotten a full 8 hours plus when I pair these with my Mac paint pot or any other primer and that is pretty fantastic.
Extras: Along with this palette you get a fabulous double sided brush. I did not think I'd like it at all but surprised myself and use it all the time. The flat shader side is nice for laying down color and the other side is a large blending brush that gets those looks looking just perfect. Also, a mini size full exposure mascara is thrown in there. I think it's decent but it isn't the best mascara I've ever owned. I do use it for an every day look. If you thought that was it, it isn't. You will get your moneys worth with this one, because a eye shape chart is included explaining all the different ways to apply these colors to suit your specific eyes.
Overall: I love that this palette comes with matte shades and shimmery ones as well. I think some shades could have been better in pigmentation but using an eyelid primer and your fingers to apply is certainly a quick fix. The colors themselves are pretty great to apply with the mattes doing better in that aspect then the shimmers. Although it comes at a steep price, the colors as well as all of the extras thrown in make it all worth it. You've got everything you need- shadows, a brush and a mini mascara as well as a very handy eye chart.Is there a neutral palette in your collection? If not, do you plan on purchasing this one?
Leave me a comment in the form below this post, I love hearing from you!
Thanks for stopping in!