There has been a huge buzz around Smashbox cosmetics over the past couple of years, and with the release of their Full Exposure Palette that buzz only got louder! I was lucky enough to receive one of the palettes to try out, and have been playing around with it – here are my thoughts…
The palette contains 14 essential eyeshadow shades – the 7 along the top row are all shimmers, and the 7 along the bottom are velvet mattes. I instantly loved the fact that there was an even split, and that the colour range was so broad – within both the shimmer and matte sections, the spectrum ranges from blacks/dark greys to nudes. The palette also comes complete with a double ended brush (one end for the shimmers and one for the mattes – genius!) and a mini Full Exposure Mascara, which I also love!
How awesome do the shades look?! There’s everything you need for neutral day time looks, and to amp it up with a sultry smokey eye. As soon as I spied the two end shades (the shimmer grey and matte black) I was already dreaming up some gorgeous, gothic combinations! I decided to swatch a few of the shades for you – on my arms, in true blogger style! Just before I introduce them, I wanted to mention something I thought was brilliant about the palette. It comes with an eye shape chart, detailing how to create looks with the shadows on different eye shapes! I thought that was a fantastic touch, and a really helpful guide.
Right, on to the swatches! First of all I picked 4 of my favourite shimmer shades to show you. They applied so smoothly, and didn’t contain a single trace of chunky glitter (which is not only irritating to the eyes, but also difficult to blend). I’ve always said that Smashbox shades initially seem a little chalky, but the millisecond you start to blend them that totally disappears.
The shades are (from left to right) S1, S3, S6 and S7. It goes without saying that S7 is my favourite, and I just know how awesome it would look in a dark, smokey look. I really enjoyed trying out the other shades too, and the lighter ones like S3 would look fantastic in the inner corner of the eyes. They are all the kind of shades I know I would use for a night out look, and can’t wait to try out the suggestions from the eye shape chart to see how they can work best for me! The pigmentation of the shades is very good, and they really stay put once applied.
Now on to the mattes!
Again, from left to right: M7, M5, M4 and M1. My personal eyeshadow preferences are always the darkest and lightest shades, so M7 and M4 were naturally my favourites but the others were just as impressive. It’s difficult to describe the texture, other than velvet – they almost melt into the skin, leaving them super blendable and really easy to work with. I actually gave M1 a blend with the matte end of the brush, and they worked together so well – I know that I’ll end up using the brush as go-to as well. The shadows may require a couple of coats to be super deep, but the buildable coverage allows you to create a look that’s as intense or soft as you like.
All in all, my first impressions of the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette are excellent. I’m really excited to get to grips with using the shadows in looks, and would love to hear any tips you have too! For reference, the palette retails for £36 and is available in places like Boots, and the Smashbox website!