I got this as a Christmas present and before requesting it, I researched a bunch of different palettes. I wanted something neutral, so I took a long look at Urban Decay’s Naked palettes. But then I saw Smashbox one and fell in love. It has exactly what I was looking, “14 must-have neutral shades-from nudes to blacks, long-wearing shimmers to velvety-smooth mattes” that were beautifully packaged.
But before I told Santa what I wanted, I looked up the reviews on this palette, as well as tested out Sephora’s sample (no, I don’t care about germs). There seemed to be two main complaints. The first is that this palette is light on intensity and product pick-up while the second is that the shimmery colours aren’t shimmery enough.
I actually agree with these complaints but to me, they aren’t problems. I picked this palette because I wanted a diverse collection of neutrals that were perfect for daytime wear. Because of that, I want the colours and the shimmer to be on the light side. Yes, this means that if I want impact, I need to layer, layer, layer but I’m okay with that.
Smashbox seems to acknowledge this by saying in this product’s web description, “it's easy to turn up or tone down the luster.” The company also says that this is an “essential, effortless” product and I agree. While yes, I do sometimes have to put a lot of product on, depending on what look I’m going for, this product goes on easily and blends wonderful.
The colours aren’t that vivid but then they’re neutrals, they’re not supposed to be bright. While I do wish that there was a shimmery off-white shade, the colours that this palette does contain are perfect for daytime looks as well as sophisticated nighttime looks. M6 and M1 have become my go-to daytime lid shades while I use S4 as a highlighter all the time. I’m also really enjoying S6 and S7 as nighttime eyeliners.
But while I agree with most of Smashbox’s claims for this product, I don’t agree with the company about its claim that this is a “long-lasting” eyeshadow. While it doesn’t flake or smudge, it needs a primer in order to stay in place for longer than an hour or two. If I skipped a primer, there was always a slow but steady crease creep that resulted in visibly less product by the end of the day.
Smashbox’s big thing with this product is eye shape. The palette comes with instructions on how to use it to best highlight your eye shape, instructions that were made “after nine years of research” and staring at over 5,000 eyes. I have used the eye shape chart a whopping one time, mostly because I’ve stored it separately from the palette. The results were nice but not amazing. Perhaps, once I’m better organized and can have the eye chart nearby, I’ll use it more often.
What I am using is the brush that this palette comes with. One side is designed for matte, the other for shimmer and while it’s not a precise brush, it’s good for sweeping (or patting in the case of the shimmer shadows) product onto my lids.
I’m also getting a lot of use out of the mini-tube of Full Exposure mascara that came with the palette. Look for a review on that later this week.
At $58 at Sephora.ca, this doesn’t seem like a cheap product but actually, it’s a pretty good deal. For that price you get a mascara, an eyeshadow brush and 14 versatile and flattering colours. It’s all packaged in a sleek, black rectangle that includes a mirror and a magnetic closure, making it ideal for travel.
Luckily for me, I didn't have to pay a penny for this product since Santa brought me what I wanted.
Would I buy this product: Yes! I’m currently using this product almost daily and I will likely continue to do so until I run out of my favourite shades.
Should you buy this product: If you’re a fan of neutral eyeshadows then the answer is an easy yes.