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Eyeshadows are one cosmetic that I actually find quite hard to review - I mean they're all pretty similar, and to be honest I'm not sure that I'd ever find an eyeshadow that would make me go 'WOW'. Although having said that, I have bought ones that I've just thought 'meh' about so maybe one day I'll find an amazing one! In the meantime, I'm going to review Smashbox eyeshadow in the form of a quad in varying shades of Pink (which unfortunately is no longer available as a colour option!).
Quads don't seem to be available on the Smashbox website currently, but a trio costs £21. Although this is pricey, they are available for cheaper on Ebay (just beware fakes), and to be honest as a premium brand you expect to pay this much. I have been a fan of Smashbox since the old days when they were only available on QVC when I used their primer, which is quite frankly brilliant! (I've previously reviewed that.) The Smashbox packaging is pretty sharp but simple - In matte black, which I really like. You get a reasonable amount of each colour, and colours are split equally (unlike some where you get less of the darkest shade for example).
The four colours complement each other perfectly - There is a bone colour for all over highlighting, a light pink for the lid, a medium pink and a very dark almost burgundy shade for the smokey look and the socket and lining. I imagine using a wet brush it would make quite an effective eyeliner, but must confess I haven't tried this. The pigmentation of each colour is good, although the bone colour could be stronger as I find I need a few layers to see it is there. The pigmentation of the darker colours is perfect - Use just a little for a nice daytime look, and build up to a smokey night time look.
These eyeshadows don't crease, and they do last a long time but tend to fade gradually (but this is better than sliding off into the creases!). Also, when applying you do not get fall out on your cheeks which is also quite good. The colours go on smoothly, with no patchyness and are easily blendable which is essential especially with the darkest colours for the smoky eyed look. I tend to use these with the Smashbox eyelid primer, and this works amazingly at keeping eye make up in place!
Just because it doesn't make me go wow however, doesn't mean that its not good - It does everything that I would expect a good eyeshadow to do and therefore I would recommend it completely. I find Smashbox products always to be of the highest quality, and love the fact that they are developed and tested for photography in their own studio as it seems to make them more reliable for living up to the claims! Yes its pricey, but it will last a long time, and if you're looking to treat yourself then look no further :-)
Smashbox Eyeshadow Quad (Glitz)
This is one of my first Smashbox products and it came in a set of about four/five makeup products which I still have. I bought this set while on a Royal Caribbean cruise as they have a fragrance/beauty store on the actual ship and this was one of the sets available - as it is an American ship/company there are mostly American brands such as this on the ships. I bought the set just over two years ago and I haven't been as impressed with this product and this brand as I thought I would.
- About the product and packaging
The Smashbox set that I bought contained mostly full size products and the set was only $50/60; one of the full size products was this Eyeshadow quad/palette. This eyeshadow quad obviously contains four eye shadows and it contains 7.9g of product. The Eyeshadow quad is in the shade 'Glitz'. The packaging for this product is black with a clear section on the lid so that you can see the actual shades of Eyeshadow in the quad. I really like the packaging; I think it could have looked really cheap but it looks/feels sturdy, durable and quite sleek, in my opinion.
- Eye shadows: shades, texture, uses
There are four eyeshadows in this quad, hence the name and there are only two finishes of eyeshadow in the quad - matte and shimmery. There is only one matte eyeshadow, the rest have satin finishes with metallic shimmer. I personally prefer eyeshadow now that are matte rather than shimmery shadows as they look more natural obviously; although the shimmery shades are nice overall. The shades do not have individual names unfortunately. The shades included: a matte creamy colour, a mushroom/taupe shade, a golden bronze shade and a chocolate shimmery brown - great for anyone who likes neutral eyeshadow, like me.
Firstly, the only matte shade in the quad is the creamy off white shade which is the most worn shade in the quad for me; I use it the most out of all of the shades. This shade is a basic off white shade that is completely matte with no shimmer or glitter. I use this shade the most and it has a couple of purposes, for me. For example I use this shade as a base eyeshadow before I apply anything else so that other eyeshadow will apply more smoothly to the skin. I also use this shade as an all over the lid shade, a matte tear duct/inner corner highlight and a matte brow bone highlight. This shade is also really good as a base to help to neutralise the slight redness I have on my eye lids. Overall, this shade (and other shades similar to this - you can find this shade in almost every neutral palette/quad) is really useful and has multiple uses. I mostly use this shade as a base or as I find that the texture of this eyeshadow is really nice and very smooth so it applies quite nicely to the skin although I find that shade to be a little bit chalky and powdery which can be a big annoying while using the shadow. Overall, a really nice shade with multiple uses and a nice texture but it can be a bit chalky/powdery. I would rate this shade individually as 4/5.
Secondly, the mushroom/taupe shimmery shade. I really like the appearance of this shade in the quad but when it is actually on the skin it just looks like a silver with grey undertones - it is not a very flattering shade on the skin, in my opinion. I only use this shade occasionally as it is not the nicest shade and it doesn't have the best texture or pigmentation, in my opinion. The previous matte shade had a really smooth texture and this is not as smooth and it is even more powdery/chalky when used. As well as the disappointing shade and the poor texture this shade is also not very pigmented either - it shows up slightly on the skin and the pigmentation/colour payoff is really quite poor. Overall, this shade does not show up very well on my skin and when it does it is just a grey/silver which is not very flattering in my opinion. I would rate this shade individually as 1/5 unfortunately.
Thirdly, a shimmery golden bronze shade which like the previous shimmery shade, looks really nice in the quad/palette. I do not own anything like this really, the only fairly similar shade to this is my BM Beauty bronzer in the shade Summer warmth and the orangey shade in my Boots 17 Spring Fling Hazy Days Palette (not available, limited edition). The shade is fairly unique and it does look fairly matte in the quad/packaging but it has a satin finish and it does have some small flecks of golden shimmer in it which does looks really nice. I have only used this shade as an all over the lid shade as that is the only way to use it in my opinion - as it is far too powdery to be used as a liner. The texture of this shade is really quite smooth, despite the shimmer although it is really quite powdery/chalky which creates fall down when used on the eye lids - this means that some of the eyeshadow drops down from the eye lid to the cheeks when using as it is too soft/powdery. The pigmentation is ok but it could be better and on my pale skin I find that this shade can look a bit odd and slightly unflattering. Overall, a fairly unique shade which has a nice texture but it is too powdery/chalky and it has some fall down. I would rate this shade individually as 3/5.
Lastly, the golden chocolate shade which is my second favourite shade in this quad (after the matte off white shade). I use this second most often, after the matte off white shade and the shade in my opinion is gorgeous. The shade is a golden chocolate brown shade with golden shimmer and slight warm/red undertones. I really like this shade, it is the prettiest shade in the quad and it looks really nice as an all over the lid shade or as a liner or just applied in the outer corner of the eye. Even with the shimmer in this shade it still has a smooth, soft texture which applies really nicely, easily and quickly. I use this most in the outer corner of my eyes or as an eyeliner (along the upper and lower lash lines and blended). This shade applies and blends really nicely and evenly - it also has fantastic pigmentation. The pigmentation initially is great but it can be built up to be more intense as well. Overall, this is my second favourite shade in the set and it is the best overall shade in the quad - the matte shade is first because it is has more uses. I would rate this shade individually as 5/5.
I find that most eyeshadow regardless of the brand crease on me really easily and the best eyeshadow products for me include: the soap and glory nude quad and the ELF studio cream eyeshadows but these shade when used with a good primer are really good too, surprisingly. I use this quad with my Nars Smudgeproof eyeshadow primer which is ridiculously expensive at nearly £19 but it does work really well with these eyeshadows. The mushroom/taupe shade and the golden bronze shade (the two shades that I don't like very much) last really well with the Nars primer - they last for about six to seven hours without creasing which is great! The off white shade also lasts really well with a primer underneath and the golden chocolate shade lasts well too. Although I find that the darker the shade the more likely the shadow is to crease so I have to make sure I have an eyeshadow primer on before I use this product. Overall, the longevity of these shades is surprisingly really good which I didn't expect given the overall average performance of the eyeshadows so far.
- Overall opinion (of the product and brand, in general)
Overall, I think that this eyeshadow quad is quite average with the best two shades being the off white and golden chocolate shadows - the other two shades are rarely used. The longevity and overall texture is quite good, in my opinion. I think that this brand is a bit overhyped and in my opinion this product and the brand in general does not live up to the hype of the products I have used which include: the photofinish eye lid primer, the photofinish foundation primer and the HD foundation - although the HD concealer and the Halo to go powder are really quite good.
- Price and availability
I bought this eyeshadow quad as part of a set from a store on a Royal Caribbean ship and I went on another Royal Caribbean cruise recently (august 2012) and the set that I initially bought two years ago is still available to buy. I think the set with four/five full size products was about $50-60 which is great especially as they were all full size products and at the time Smashbox products were not readily available - and they were really quite expensive so it turned out to be a great value set (especially with the current conversion of the dollar/pound). This palette can be bought individually from eBay.co.uk.
*Packaging - sleek and durable
*Neutral shades that are great for everyday wear, in my opinion
*3 out of the 4 shades have a smooth texture
*The off white shade and the golden chocolate shade are gorgeous and have multiple uses
*Overall, the pigmentation is good (some shades have better pigmentation than others)
*Longevity overall is good (when used with a primer)
*The mushroom/taupe shade is not as smooth as the others, it is not very pigmented and it is not a very flattering shade, in my opinion
*Most shades (apart from the bronze shadow) are really quite generic and not unique at all
*The golden bronze shade is not very flattering on my pale skin - I think it would look a lot nicer on individuals with darker/tanned/olive skin tones
*The mushroom/taupe shade and the golden bronze shade can fall down and are quite powdery
*Availability in the UK
Thank you for reading my review
I was introduced to the smashbox range two years ago when i was lucky enough to receive a gift set as a christmas present.
the range of colours that smashbox offers is fantastic and they often bring out limited edition ones.
the set i had was a very natural colour that looks the same in the container as it does on your eyes and from experience that is not always the case, it does have a high colour pigment in and thats why the colour is the same.
it gildes on beautifully and the matt shades are great to use as a base colour as well.
you can use a brush or your fingertips and it still glides on smooth and it grips so you dont get bits of colour on your face.
It is very long lasting and the colour stays put and the best thing for me was that it does not crease on your eyelids.
It can be an expensive brand but if you use it all the time its worth the price.
A while back I bought a set of Smashbox cosmetics from QVC which included two eyes shadows. At the moment I have a palette of Avon eyeshadow which I use most often, so I only really wear these two now again, but I wore one of the colours for about three days in a row last week, so I thought I'd review it while it is still fresh in my mind!
I believe Smashbox make their eye shadows in duos and trios but I just have two of the single shadows. There is a wide range of colours available and they come in either matte or shimmer shades. Both of mine are shimmery, so I can't really comment on how good or bad the matte ones are.
The shadows are pressed powder which come in round black pots with screw on lids, and the lids have a little clear window which is handy if you have several, because this way you can see which colour is which very easily. You don't get a brush or applicator included with these, but I rarely use the ones that come free with eye shadows anyway, so I wasn't too fussed about that.
When sweeping a brush over the eyeshadow, although the brush picks up a lot of the colour very easily, I also found that it left me with loads of loose powder on the top which made it quite messy as this had to be shaken off.
I found that the eye shadow goes onto the lid very smoothly and easily and these are very pigmented so you get a strong colour. It is possible to get a more subtle look, but you will probably have to tap some of the powder off your brush first or blot it on a tissue. In fact like I said the powder is quite...well, powdery (as silly as that sounds) so you will probably find that some will fall onto your cheeks too. This is solved by holding a tissue under your eye as you apply it, although for those of us with time starved lives, it's not always the most convenient option.
The finished look from these shadows is actually quite impressive. It gives a nice amount of shimmer without looking too sparkly or over the top, and as mentioned the level of pigmentation is really good.
Now normally I use Urban Decay's primer potion under my eye shadow, but due to the fact I lost it last week (shock horror, but it's OK it's now been found, much to the relief of my bank balance) I have used it without, and can confirm that this eye colour stays on for hours and doesn't even so much as crease, which is really impressive.
Now as I got these in a set, I didn't realise how much they cost until I looked it up online for the purpose of this review. I was shocked to find that the single shadows cost £11.26. I do own the odd item of expensive make-up, but I'm not sure I would pay that for an eye shadow in the future unless I really really loved the colour. You can buy them from www.justbeautydirect.co.uk
So in conclusion, I would give this full marks for colour, pigmentation, staying power and overall finished look. The price though is a little high and I found it annoying how messy the powder was (especially considering it was a pressed powder!) so that let it down a bit. Overall though, a good eye shadow and I would use it again, but only if I could get hold of it a bit cheaper.
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