Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Smashbox Reign Collection Monarch Eyeshadow Palette

Smashbox Reign Collection: Monarch Palette

Smashbox Reign Monarch Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00) is a trio of eyeshadows housed in a leather flip top palette. Each eyeshadow has a shimmery outer ring with a matte center. Majesty features a soft, pale white-gold; a frosty copper bronze; and a grayed brown.

Like the Majesty palette, the outer rings are more pigmented than the center counterparts. The centers are merely sheerer and have a matte finish. They do have a tendency to mix, so it can difficult to keep the shimmer from the mattes. Make sure you take care of your palette and clean it regularly so you can actually have two different shades rather than one big one!

This is definitely the more neutral one of the two, and you can easily wear these shades together to the office or out (just go heavier on the dark brown). This palette feels very warm-toned, whereas the the Majesty palette felt more neutral or just slightly cool-toned. The shadows do feel soft and smooth, particularly the outer rings of color, but the mattes are not chalky either. I found the Monarch palette to be much better in terms of overall quality, too — the shadows just seemed to go on smoother and more pigmented.

Again, the value is just as good on this palette as the Majesty palette (same amount, same price). These eyeshadows are about $100/oz. compared to MAC at $290/oz., Urban Decay at $320/oz., and Make Up For Ever at $240/oz. You’ll either love the packaging or it won’t make or break the purchase for you; for me, it was more the latter.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: For an affordable palette of slightly amped-up neutrals, Monarch offers an answer!

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Smashbox Reign Collection Majesty Eyeshadow Palette

Smashbox Reign Collection: Majesty Palette

Smashbox Reign Majesty Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00) is a trio of eyeshadows housed in a leather flip top palette. Each eyeshadow has a shimmery outer ring with a matte center. Majesty features a pale peach, a reddish copper, and a black.

I found that it was difficult to keep the matte and shimmers separated from each other, because inevitably one would mix with the other. This sort of rendered the matte center to be a little useless, just because it ended up looking much like the outer ring. I was testing a tester, so it was even worse than a palette with normal usage (e.g. the one you’d buy!), so do keep that in mind while browsing the swatches! I will caution you to dust off your palette regularly to avoid shimmer getting into your matte centers!

The first shade is a soft, shimmery peachy-gold. The middle eyeshadow is more of a burnt brown with reddish shimmer. I know Sephora describes it as a “plum burgundy,” and I didn’t see that whatsoever when I swatched it. The center of the middle eyeshadow was similar, just more of a matte finish, and it applied sheerly (as did all of the centers). The rightmost eyeshadow in the palette is a blue-shimmered black, which isn’t as smooth as I’d like — I did get a little drag when I swatched it. Again, the center is a sheerer, matte-r version of the outer ring.

I’m disappointed that the center of each eyeshadow shade didn’t swatch better, and I’m not thrilled that they go on sheerer than the outer rings either. The colors are wearable, but they don’t seem out-of-the-norm, and I’d say Smashbox single eyeshadows feel smoother, silkier, and I’d probably opt for one or two of those instead of the palette, if you already have these shades covered! These three shades work well together, and you can easily create a few smoky eyes with this one.

However, there is one big selling point to this eyeshadow palette that shouldn’t be overlooked — it’s very high in value! With 0.423 oz. of eyeshadow in the palette, it brings your cost down well below costs per ounce in any other high-end brand of eyeshadow. These eyeshadows are about $100/oz. compared to MAC at $290/oz., Urban Decay at $320/oz., and Make Up For Ever at $240/oz. You’ll either love the packaging or it won’t make or break the purchase for you; for me, it was more the latter.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you like products high in value, this palette is well worth the investment, particularly if you want to add more neutrals to your collection.

Availability: Sephora

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Friday, July 31st, 2009

Smashbox Cosmetics – Eyeshadows – Photos & Swatches (Part 2)

Smashbox’s Eyeshadows ($16.00 each) are really a sleeper hit to me. I’ve always heard rave reviews about their Photofinish Primer, Halo Powder, and gel eye liner, but their eyeshadows are really fantastic. Super smooth, pigmented, and easy to use. Not too expensive, either! Here are the other sixteen shades available…

Where to Buy: Nordstrom.com

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Friday, July 31st, 2009

Smashbox Cosmetics – Eyeshadows – Photos & Swatches (Part 1)

Smashbox’s Eyeshadows ($16.00 each) include thirty-two shades of ultra smooth, well-pigmented eyeshadows. Most of the eyeshadows are shimmery, with just a few having more satiny or matte finishes. Their eyeshadows are also touted as hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. I was actually quite surprised by how smooth and velvety they felt, not to mention everys ingle one had amazing color pay off. Many of the shades are even more striking in person than they are in photos, too! The price point is not too hard to swallow either, which is always a plus.

Where to Buy: Nordstrom.com

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Friday, July 31st, 2009


Smashbox Ecstasy Blush

Smashbox Cosmetics – Blush Rush Blush – Photos & Swatches

Smashbox’s Blush Rush Blushes ($24.00 each) are available in eight shades. It is a powder blush with soft sheen or subtle shimmer, but nothing glittery or chunky in the least bit. Smooth texture, well-pigmented (but not intensely pigmented), these blushes offer great colors for everyday wear. We were able to snap photos and grab swatches of six of the eight (missing Heartbreak and Paradise) at our local Smashbox counter. Flush and Chiffon were my faves! (Chiffon is curiously a bit like NARS’ Orgasm.)

Where to Buy: Nordstrom.com

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Friday, July 31st, 2009


Pout, Scoop, Candid, Radiant, Pop, Flash, Pop

Smashbox Cosmetics – Lip Enhancing Gloss – Photos & Swatches

Smashbox’s Lip Enhancing Gloss ($18.00 each) comes in three different finishes: sheer color with full shine but sheer color; true color, which has a softer shine and medium opacity; and full color, which is the most pigmented with high shine. There are eleven shades in sheer color, nine shades in true color, and six shades in full color. Lip Enhancing Gloss is non-sticky, thin to medium in texture, and fairly moisturizing. They last so-so on lips–I get a few hours of wear–and they have a nice glossy finish.  Here is a selection of swatches and photos of some of the Lip Enhancing Glosses (all the ones my Smashbox counter had)!

Where to Buy: Nordstrom.com

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