Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

The first time you look at the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette you think wow that is flipping beautiful and you would not be mistaken.  The palette which consists of 7 shimmery shades on the top row and 7 matt shades on the bottom row is kinda the perfect neutral palette although I have had to grow to love some of the shades (more about that later).  Along with the eye shadows your €43.00 gets you a double ended brush and a trial size of the Full Exposure Mascara so already you're only paying about €3.00 per shadow with a free brush and mascara (that's makeup maths).

The outside of the box is a sleek heavy cardboard type material - lightweight and durable its subtly hides the glimmer that is inside

Smashbox brushes are known as the Louboutin of makeup brushes because of their distinctive red handle. I have a few from kits over the years (they really stand the test of time) they are great quality brushes and this one is no exception.  The matt end is my favorite side by far (similar to a MAC 217 blending brush), it picks up and deposits product beautifully.

The shimmer end of the brush is similar to a MAC 239 Shader Brush but this little fella is a bit different as the picture below shows both sides of the brush are different fibers.  When I first went to use the brush with the shimmer shades - as instructed - I found it difficult to get any product on the brush but that is more to do with the shimmer shadows that the brush itself.

Most makeup palettes these days come with instruction leaflets helping the user to make the most from their palette but I have to give huge props to Smashbox who have taken their own spin on this by giving looks depending on the users eye shape.  I think this is a genius idea - I am forever seeing looks with cat eyes but my eye shape doesn't lend itself to cat eyes so with this leaflet gives your eye shape 3 different options. Excellent idea Smashbox, the product suits your eyes rather than you having to suit the product.  

Now I think its time to take a closer look at the colours - cause they are very pretty.

Swatches of the first 4 shades top and bottom

Swatches of the last 3 shades top and bottom

When I looked at this palette I thought - this is the perfect neutral palette - it has a fantastic range of shades BUT what about the quality of the shadows? Do they hold up to the high standards to which I hold Smashbox?     I am a massive fan of Smashbox eye shadows in fact they are my holy grail shadows.  Often when you buy a palette or a set the quality of the eye shadows is not the same as when you buy an individual shade from the brand - Smashbox don't play that way.  The quality of the products in the set is just as amazing although I have had a couple of issues. 

The matts:
I don't really like matt shadows, for the most part they are chalky and bitty to use and honestly I just don't have the makeup skills to make them work - this is not the case with Smashbox matt shadows. So even though I don't like matt shades I had to see what Smashbox could do.  They did not let me down I AM IN LOVE. Honestly I have been using the matt shades ALL THE TIME.

The shimmers:
When I first swatched the shimmery shades I was in love - I mean shimmers are my thing.  However when I went to apply the shimmery shades using the shimmer side of the brush hardly any product went onto the brush??? I used another brush, same thing.  The colours were pretty but I couldn't work with them, they are mega shimmery.  I went along with my life thinking I will use the darker shimmery shades wet as a liner and sure €43.00 for 7 shades is still only €6.00 per shade.   I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be using the light shimmery shades (the colours I would normally use every day) out of the Full Exposure Palette.  I was having a chat to my pal Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits (go and say hello to her here) and she was asking how I was finding the Full Exposure palette - I explained I loved the matts but couldn't get the shimmers to work, Karen the genius said "Look Bridie forget about the brush and press those shimmers onto your eyeballs" (they were not her actual words but if you know Karen, you will know it's not far off).  Well did you ever have a Hallelujah moment?  I took Karen's advice and low and behold the light shimmery shades pressed onto my lids work fantastic. HALLELUJAH.  Shimmer at last

I wish Smashbox hadn't confused me with the brush and had of just said - "Yo makeup lover, press those shimmery shades into your eye, you can use either side of the brush on the matt shades, that is our present to you".

 Dark shade used damp as a liner over Matt shadows

I have pretty much been wearing the look below every day - I use a brown Matt shadow all over the lid, with a darker brown shade in the crease and I press the light shimmery shade onto the centre of the lid.  I think its pretty, natural and more importantly a very easy look.

Smashbox Full Exposure costs €43.00 and is out now - (it's a great purchase once you know to press the shimmery shades).

If you're slightly turned off by my tales of shimmer (seriously they are great once you know how to use them) Smashbox have a brilliant Spring Collection out soon which is packed with colour. 
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