Smashbox Photo Matte Eye Palette & Mascara Review & Swatches

Enhance Your Eyes With Smashbox Cosmetics

I’ve heard many a blogger sing praises about Smashbox products, from their holy-grail primers to their coveted lip products. It’s a brand that I’ve known about for ages, but haven’t really experimented with. I’ve received sample sizes of their eye and face primers through Sephora and ispy Glam Bags, which I absolutely loved but eventually lost because the travel tubes were so tiny.

I think I may have just died and gone to heaven when the mail man knocked on my door and presented me with a of Smashbox goodies! Today I’ll be reviewing some of their most recent eye launches, including the Photo Matte Eyes Eyeshadow Palette and a selection of their most popular mascaras!

An All-In-One Eye Palette

The Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Eyeshadow Palettedoes it all. Eye shadow, liner, and brow powder are housed within the sturdy cardboard case, lined with a large mirror. The palette contains 14 shades – all matte, ranging from darks to lights, and warm to cool tones. You can use the shadows wet or dry. It’s an incredibly versatile palette! It also comes with a dual-ended brush – a fluffy side for eyeshadow, and a stuff angled side for brows.

I brought this palette with me on my trip to LA (which you can read about here) – it was an absolute godsend for multitasking makeup.

Eye Palette Formula & Pigmentation

The dry colour payoff was pretty good – a bit powdery, but still very blendable and soft. I actually prefer this medium-level of pigmentation, especially when filling in my brows (or else they end up looking too full and sometimes blocky. On the lid, I’ve been wearing the shade Vanilla (soft light beige) and Heirloom (soft coral) with Desert (medium/neutral brown) buffed into the crease. I typically don’t use eyeshadow primer – the shadows tend to last for most of the day but does tend to fade. I would recommend using it with a touch of primer!

As I mentioned earlier, you can wet these shadows to create a sharp, pigmented liner. Obviously, this works better with the darker shades. I’ve been applying Canyon to my lash line with the damp angled side of the brush to thicken up my lash line.

The small pan shades in this palette are:

Haze (light gray)

Rosehip (muted pink)

Grounded (medium cool brown)

Desert (medium/neutral brown)

Heirloom (soft coral)

Dune (light grey/brown)

Blackout (black)

Ditch (burgundy)

Jolt (deep grey/brown)

Earthy (warm brown)

Canyon (dark brown)

Suede (soft red brown)

The two large pan shades Wheat (soft warm brown) and Vanilla (soft light beige)

The palette itself is quite large but overall was great for travelling! Wheat worked well for me as a matte bronzing/contouring shade. Although it leans a touch on the warmer side, I used it to contour my nose and the sides of my face.

Weirdly enough, this palette doesn’t seem to be on Canadian Sephora (although there is a travel size palette here, which contains 8 of the shades for $28.) Smashbox also has another Matte eye shadow palette, which contains more purple and reddy tones. I personally like the Photo Matte eye palettes better – the different brown shades can multitask for brows, liner, contour, and shadow! More bang for your buck, in my opinion!

Lashes To The Goddddddds, Darling

I also received four of the Smashbox mascaras! From left to right – Smashbox X-Rated Mascara, Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer, Smashbox Indecent Exposure Mascara, and finally, the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara.

Now I must warn you: I have the world’s most stubborn eyelashes. They’re stubby and thin, grow at a down angle, and won’t hold a curl no matter what I try! I bought the famed Shu Uemura eyelash curler, I’ve tried using heat and heated curlers.. It seems that as soon as I try to use a non-waterproof mascara, or a formula with a wetter consistency, they seem to immediately droop and lose any sign of curl from before. I’ve watched video after video on curling tips and secrets, and nothing seems to work on me.

The formula either has to be waterproof, or quite dry. (My HG mascara was the Scandal Queen Fairy Drops mascara!) The exception is waiting for the lashes to dry completely, and then curling them… but that often leads to watery eyes and a lash curler covered in mascara and lash hairs.

Each one of these eyeshadows retails for $25 on Sephora!

Here’s a brief overview of the wands and packaging…

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

A large mascara tube filled with a milky, lotion texture type liquid. It has quite a stiff wand with two types of bristles – a single line on one side, and a comb-like patch on the other side.

Although this lengthens my lashes like crazy, it causes my mascara curl to fade in seconds. I think this is because of the wet formula. It dries to a bit of a tacky consistency, and looks more like a milky clear coat than a stark white primer. It dries quickly, but doesn’t become crunchy – it works best when your black mascara is applied shortly afterwards. Find it here for C$25.

Smashox X-Rated Mascara

This comes in this cool, twisted black tube. The wand has large, plastic bristles and is triangular shaped – one side has smaller, flatter bristles, and the other side has longer bristles. Find it here for C$25.

Smashbox Indecent Exposure Mascara

Of all the Smashbox mascaras, this is the only one that really seems to work for me. Indecent Exposure comes in a black tube with a velvet cap. The brush hairs and small and thin, and work better to coat sparse hairs and my thin *cough*non existent*cough* lower lashes. The formula is a bit drier than the X-Rated and Full Exposure mascaras, which probably explains why my lashes don’t droop within seconds. Find it here for C$25.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

Aaaand finally, the Full Exposure mascara. The wand is large with thick bristles – judging by the shape, the bristles emphasize length and volume! Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the wand because my lashes are thin and sparse and I’m very likely to poke myself in the eye! However, my friend swears by this as her holy grail mascara, so it’s definitely something to check out if you have longer, thicker lashes! Find it here for C$25.

That’s it for my review! Smashbox is definitely a brand that I’ve started loving recently, I definitely have a little collection starting. Their hydrating primer is one of my absolute faves, so maybe I’ll do a brand spotlight or FOTD feature!

Have you tried Smashbox products before? Are you a fan of matte eyeshadow? What’s your holy grail mascara 

*PR samples sent to me for consideration, but  as always everything is 100% my honest opinion!

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