Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner in Neptune & Sparks

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 26 - 2014

I have very little patience for a lot of things.  Life’s little foibles that increase my intolerance levels are varied and far-reaching… waiting to use the bathroom in the morning, picking up a freshly-boiled kettle only to discover that the person before you didn’t put enough water in for two cups… you know the kind of thing.

I’ve got another one for you.  Reaching for your eyeliner only to discover that it’s so blunt, that were you to use it… you’d risk losing an eye.

So, it’s just as well that Smashbox have saved my sanity and devised an “always sharp” waterproof liner range and I’ve got two from the 3D (a.k.a sparkly) line-up to show you swatches of today.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liners

3D Sparks on the left, 3D Neptune on the right

Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill retractable eyeliners, they actually feature some kind of voodoo sharpener in the lid, meaning that everytime you twist the cap off… the tip appears neatly tapered and ready for some precision action.  You don’t need to twist these up to expose more product, they’re just ready-to-wear time and time again.

My only complaint about them is that from what I can tell, there’s no way of discovering when they’re nearing the end of their lifespan.  3D Sparks is a golden olive shade, dark enough to pass for a softer black or grey with a bunch o’ gold glitter and 3D Neptune is a very pretty navy blue with brighter sparkles.

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liners Swatch

3D Sparks on the left, 3D Neptune on the right

The formula is quite firm and stays put well, giving long-wear without transfer or running.  I’ve even worn one along the lower waterline with great success and no eye-irritation from the shimmer particles.

The Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liners are priced at £16-a-piece, so I’d like to point out that for those on a budget, it’d be worth checking out the Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner at £6-a-piece which also give a similar sparkle finish, albeit with more drag and none of the fancy self-sharpening!

Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liners are available to purchase instore at Boots and online at boots.com or smashbox.co.uk priced at £16.00 each

* press samples

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Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

Smashbox’s answer to the Urban Decay Naked franchise is finally here, and for anyone who can’t get enough of these nude eyeshadow compendiums, prepare to have your head turned by another claimant to the throne.

The Smashbox Full Exposure Palette features a full set of complementary shimmer and matte shades.  Complementary in the sense that they pair up beautifully… you’re not really looking at a full palette of fourteen-different shades, it’s less convoluted than that.  Consider it more like a palette of seven daily-use shades that give you a choice between two textures.

The housing is pretty substantial in a I’m-not-very-portable kinda way.  If you don’t mind the chunkiness of the UD palettes, then this won’t bother you but if you prefer something a little more streamlined, take a look at the recent Clinique offering as an alternative.  The front of the Smashbox palette features some too-gorgeous-for-words holographic lettering that made me go a little weak at the knees.  I’m not ashamed to admit that my head gets turned by such frivolity… it’s beautiful.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 04

Once inside, there’s a large mirror, the fourteen eyeshadow pans, and a high quality, double-ended brush.  The brush is worth a particular mention as it’s been designed to work in partnership with the textures in this palette.  One end should be used for applying the matte shades and one for the shimmers.  It’s a nice touch.  There’s also a mini mascara included.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 06

Onto the shades themselves, this is, afterall… the heart of the palette.

I would have prefered to see the mattes along the top row here… they are, after all, the workhorse part of the palette.  The mattes are beautiful, non-chalky and rich in colour.  They apply with great pigmentation and blend smoothly… a reason in themselves to pick up this palette.  The seven shades offer the full-spectrum from palest to darkest along the neutral line and I can’t really fault them.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 05

I can’t say the same for the shimmers.

The top row of the palette will confound you.  How can the mattes be so uncomplicated and these beautiful shimmers so… high-maintenance?  The easiest way to give you an idea of how they apply is to remind you of the “notorious” glitters from Urban Decay, the likes of Midnight Cowboy… such a beautiful shade but so finickity.  With the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, you’re basically getting a set of seven of these along the top row.

Are they unworkable?  No.  Are they useless?  No.  But you have to learn to love them if you don’t want to cast the whole thing out the window.  The learning curve for this isn’t steep but for many, it will be an ask too far.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 07

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-Palette-Swatches

The base of the shimmers is only lightly pigmented, meaning that you’re going to need a primer for these shades to display anything more than a pretty scattering of glitter across your lids.  This isn’t a problem and I recommend using something like the Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy which still works better for adhering glitters to your eyelids than anything else I’ve tried.

Alternatively, you can just go with it and ride this palette bareback.  Embrace a dusting of complementary light (and lack of colour) across the matte base that you’ve applied from lower portion of the palette.  That is after all, I’m assuming… the reason why these shades work so nicely paired as you look at them from top-to-bottom in the pans.  Just be sure to do your eye-makeup before your foundation routine to work around any fall-out issues.

Basically, this palette, beautiful though it is… has its pitfalls.  There’s room for post-purchase disappointment if you don’t know what you’re getting from it… so do go and check it out on the counter with an open but cautious mind about whether it would fit in with your beauty routine.

A final special mention goes to the rather nifty eye-shape chart that the brand have included.  It features mini-tutorials on how to use the palette to suit a variety of eye-shapes from almond to round, downturned to monolid, and even includes some tips and techniques for hooded eyes.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 03

Have you tried this palette?  What are your thoughts?

The Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette is priced at £36.00 and is available to buy instore and online from boots.com or smashbox.co.uk

* press sample

if you liked this post, please don’t forget to check out my subscriber options, here

Introduce your BFF to Smashbox and score a FREE Try It Kit!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 29 - 2012

What with it being the season of goodwill and thinking of others, spare a thought for your BFF (best friend forever!) and invite them along to your local Smashbox counter for a no-holds barred, makeup play-date!  Whether you’re looking for advice on a cool smoky eye or hot tips to create the perfect statement lip, the beauty crew at Smashbox will demonstrate how to up the beauty ante this party season.

Whilst you’re there, register both your details with the Smashbox team and you’ll both be treated to a free Smashbox Try It Kit * containing some of the brands most talked-about products.

free smashbox try it kit

The Smashbox Try It Kit contains:

Photo Finish Foundation Primer 7.1ml
Photo Finish Lid Primer 0.5ml
Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx 0.8g
Hyperlash Mascara in Blackout 4ml
Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume 4.2ml

…and is available on counter**, exclusively at Boots, from 1st – 31st December 2012

In London last week, I got my makeup done at a Smashbox event whilst catching up with blogging BFFs: @vexinthecity and @makeuptomakeout, the girls were on top form and Lina in particular was sporting a rather incredible hot pink lipstick from the LA brand. Check it out:

free smashbox try it kit

But for me, when it comes to Smashbox, it’s got to be all about the face – the brand are renowned for their primers and base products, so when I was offered the chance to be made over by the lovely Janine Bird, Smashbox’s National Make Up Coach, I was keen to see how their base products would perform on my dry skin.  Here I am… looking all “speshul”, consider it a before/after…

free smashbox try it kit

free smashbox try it kit

Janine used their HD foundation on me and it felt extremely comfortable on my skin, not at all heavy or drying, which is what I was expecting following dalliances with other HD foundations.  Having said that, I also felt that the lightest shade was too yellow-toned for my complexion, I got away with it… but the match was definitely not 100% for me.  Still, flawless skin ahoy and it did. not. budge. an. inch. all evening.

If you’re curious about the line, now’s the time to head into your nearest participating Boots store and check it out.  Don’t forget to take a friend!

* press sample

**Customer registration required (including postal address) following a makeup session. One Try It Kit per customer, whilst stocks last. Closing date 31st December 2012. Your Try It Kit will be delivered within 6 weeks of the closing date.

FOTD: Look, A green-eyed… mons…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 19 - 2012

Well, not entirely monstrous, but green is not a colour that I can pull off with much success.  Mr. L, who never comments on my makeup (other than to tell me I look lovely when I drop enough hints that he ought to be saying something), readily agrees that green is not a colour I should allow into my makeup-playing repertoire too often.  About halfway through the day I asked him, “Have you noticed that I’m wearing green on my eyes today?”.

“Yes. *pause* It doesn’t look too bad does it?”

And that ladies, clearly means that it looks amazing.  Or not.  I’ll go with the former.

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re getting a bit old to wear bright colours on your eyes?  I do.  I mean, when I was 27…. I thought I was getting too old, but now that I’m 30 and I’m looking at the photo thinking, “I think it doesn’t look too weird” but, I surround myself (online) with beautiful women who love to have fun and enjoy a passion for makeup.  What must women who don’t share our creativity when it comes to slap think?

Of course, one totally shouldn’t care what other women think and I’m neither fishing nor asking for validation here, it’s just that being on the cusp of the wrong side of 30 makes me hesitate.  Nothing more and nothing less, I guess it comes down to the fact that you can’t really pull off the “cute” thing once you reach your thirties, and so there’s no room for error in the same way as when you were younger.

“Should know better”.  I’d like that on my headstone… along with “One Day”, a long-held shot at faith.

I usually only have time in the morning for the basics when it comes to makeup but Mr. L has been super-generous with his time in the run-up to releasing his next game, so you can expect a few more FOTDs than normal simply because it feels lovely to walk out of the house in a proper made-up face once a week you know?  The type where you’ve played and pontificated over choosing what to apply rather than reached for the quickest, most fool-proof things you own.

Anyway, I’m really rambling.  I’ll do a quick product breakdown.

Face

Face Atelier Ultra Foundation in Ivory
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC-1
Guerlain Terracotta Moisturising Bronzing Powder in 00

Eyes

GOSH Velvet Touch Eyeliner in Green Grass on the upper lashline
Purple Eyeshadow from the Smashbox Muse Artist Eye Palette on lower lashline
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara*
Illamasqua Eye Brow Cake in Gaze

Lips

Bourjois Sweet Kiss Natural in 09 Sienne Kiss*

What’s your colour nemesis?  Do you hesitate when it comes to colour?

* press sample

Video: February Favourites

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2012

Smashbox Bionic Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 23 - 2011

Smashbox is a brand that just isn’t that easy for me to lay may hands on – sure, it’s in Debenhams but my local Debenhams is situated a 10 minute walk from the main shopping area, making it a bit of a black hole as a far as I’m concerned.

Smashbox Bionic Mascara in Jet Black is currently available at CheapSmells.com — who knows for how long, they have a pretty rapid stock turnover — and they sent me a sample to put to the test.

The mascara has a “wet” formula, something which I noticed immediately because I can never help but worry when buying from online cosmetic ‘discounters’ that I might be getting very old stock… and in the case of mascaras, old stock = dry mascara.

I needn’t have been concerned as the Smashbox Bionic Mascara I received is most definitely wet, any wetter and it would have been an instant fail, like the Bourjois 1001 which I hated until it began to dry out.

You can see from the before/after that the Smashbox Bionic Mascara (on the right!) offers decent lengthening if not much volumising.  I like the inky black shade and the fact that it left my lashes feeling soft and flexible.

It’s not the showstopping mascara I’d have liked to see from Smashbox but it’s a better-than-natural daily mascara (I hate ‘natural’ mascaras) which won’t dry out any time soon and offers genuine single-sweep lash boosting.  Maybe not for nights out on the tiles but a really, very good daily choice for work.

Smashbox Bionic Mascara in Jet Black is priced at £12.95 (a £16.50 value, 22% discount) and available from CheapSmells.com

What’s your favourite ‘daily’ mascara?

* press sample

Review: Smashbox Soft Focus Powder Eyeliner

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 27 - 2011

I fished the Smashbox Soft Focus Powder Eyeliner in Gunmetal out of a press day goody bag a couple of months ago and promptly fell in love.  Deeply pigmented with a lovely hint of sparkle, it ticked many of the boxes that the Guerlain powder liners have never been able to do for me — number one being a soft, flexible tip that doesn’t fill me with fear everytime it comes within 2 inches of my eyeball.

I think that these powder eyeliners are a love ‘em/hate ‘em type affair and after buying and giving up on the Guerlain Kohl, I thought I was in the latter camp along with all the other haterz.

Not so.

Yes, there’s fall out.  Obviously more so than any other kind of liner but I remedy this by applying before foundation and it doesn’t bother me.  You can (if you’re careful), apply without dropping a speck but if you manage it consistently, you’re a better woman than I am.

The ‘nib’ of the wand is a flexible, soft sponge that holds enough rigidity to run along the waterline but is also soft enough to provide a good application to the lashline.  I feel that the Smashbox shades are inferior to Guerlain’s which are generally, simply beautiful — but I can work with these happily.

The Gunmetal on the left contains more sparkle than the Black.  The fall out is visible and I didn’t take any care here to minimise it.   I went out and bought the Black because I loved the smoky definition that the Gunmetal provided but wanted something a little more dramatic to wear in the evenings.

My favourite thing about the Smashbox Soft Focus Powder Eyeliner is the way they wear after a few hours, the line fades evenly and cleanly – if you want something sharply defined that will look the same at 6pm as it did at 8am, these won’t be for you.  Over the course of the day, they soften and melt without straying too far and give a nicely ‘lived in’ look, not as dramatic as the whole rock-chick thing but heading in that direction.

The Smashbox Soft Focus Powder Eyeliners are priced at £19.50 each (yes, expensive) and are available instore at Debenhams, or you could save a few pennies and buy online from JustBeautyDirect.

Do you wear loose powder eyeliner?  Love it or Hate it?

Smashbox Softbox Nude Eyeshadow Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 19 - 2011

Fifty quid is a lot of money to spend on an eyeshadow palette when you’ve got brands like Urban Decay banging ‘em out for under £40 but I came across some photos of this Smashbox palette from a press day when I was archiving some pictures and thought I’d tell you a bit about this rather pretty offering from Smashbox.

The potential to be a neutral lovers dream, the Smashbox Softbox Nude Eyeshadow Palette is a good choice for everyday looks with a few matte inclusions to encourage a broad appeal.  It features nine muted eyeshadow shades and two cream liners (one on each end).  Also included is a double ended brush making it an attractive proposition for those who are looking for a single set of wearable shadows in one compact package.

At fifty pounds, it’s not cheap but that is also one of the reasons I’m posting about it today.  The Smashbox Softbox Nude Eyeshadow Palette was released as a limited edition Summer launch so if it is catching your eye, keep an eye out for potential bargains on this palette across the web or perhaps even instore at Debenhams as the Autumn/Winter products supercede.

Kirstie at Beaut.ie has a great, indepth review on the palette here.

The Smashbox Softbox Nude Eyeshadow Palette is available to purchase online at Debenhams.com priced at £50.00

EDIT: £30 online at QVC – what did I tell ya?! (thanks for the spot Joanne!)

Review: Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 27 - 2011

Lip stains are generally pretty cack aren’t they?  That Max Factor Lipfinity one?  Cack with a capital C, it tastes revolting too.  The Revlon Just Bitten version is only mildly more tolerable but horrendously drying on my lips.

And so, it was with a certain amount of “here we go again…” that I took this Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm* away with me after a recent blogger event.  My previous experiences were definitely playing heavily on my mind.

The Smashbox stain is a dual-ended affair with a liquid-dispensing felt tip on one end and a stick of balm on the other.  The shade is Sangria, a bold wine-red… as you may have guessed from the name.

The felt tip is the best I’ve used… it’s non-scratchy and dispenses an even amount of stain across the surface of my lips regardless of the angles I’m using to apply.  These would probably go down really well in outer space for that reason alone.

The other end offers a chunk of barely-coloured balm designed to match the stain in a hydrating formula.

Some lip stains that I’ve used have had the tendency to be wishy-washy, needing many coats to build up the colour.  Not so here… the Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm in Sangria (I haven’t tried the other shades) is bold.  Very bold.  Vampy bold even.

Unfortunately, it all starts to go a bit wrong from here.

Once applied, I liked it a lot… infact I decided that I loved it.  2 hours in and the colour was holding fast without my lips being painfully dehydrated as a result.  I had even decided that I would look past the £21.50 price tag for something that was such a WIN at being awesomely long-lasting and beautifully powerful.

Then suddenly at around the 4hr mark, things went awry and the colour slipped VERY quickly.  I should also point out that I hadn’t eaten anything (just sipped at the usual 56 cups of tea over the course of the morning).

This is how it looked when I first applied it.  Lovely innit?  I was full of “OMG, I <3 Smashbox” at the time this photo was taken.

Problem is that when this thing fades, it fades UGLY.  Mr. L was adamant that I was bleeding from the mouth.

It was looking not so hot after 4 hours but I left it another hour before taking the photo.  I don’t want a lip colour that’s gonna scare the crap out of people around me.  I don’t need that kind of hassle in my life and I don’t want people stopping me in the street asking if I need a paramedic.

On the plus side, the Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm does not feather, isn’t horrendously drying and looks amaze when first applied.  If you can remain no more than 4ft from a mirror at all times when wearing it for re-application checks, you’re gonna be in heaven.  Me?  I’m a bit scared of it.

Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm is available in 6 shades and is priced at £21.50 from Debenhams.

* press sample

 

Pink Week at Lipglossiping – QVC dedicate a Smashbox lip duo!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 2 - 2010

Next up doing their bit for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is…

What is it?

The Breast Cancer Care Smashbox Smile Brightening lipstick duo from QVC – in luscious pink!

Light up your smile with this Smile Brightening Lipgloss Duo (each 6ml) from Smashbox. Each lipgloss is packed with light-reflecting particles for a gorgeous shimmering pout, as well as specially coloured pigments designed to reveal your brightest smile. It’s also infused with a cool minty flavour that will make you feel fresh and ready for the day or evening ahead.

Price

£13.31

Donation

QVC will donate all net profits to Breast Cancer Care

Availability

Online at QVC throughout October

Swatch Saturday – Smashbox Muse Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 10 - 2010

The Smashbox Muse palette is from the 2009 Spring Collection.

10 positively creamy shades… pastels on top, stronger shades on the bottom.

The brush that it comes with is surprisingly soft and useable… the top row shades are gentle and spring-like, whilst the others comple the more dramatic pairing.

I’m delighted that I picked up this palette and right now, it’s an absolute steal over at Just Beauty Direct priced at £13.74

Do you wear pastels?

Smashbox Cleansing Oil – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 18 - 2009

I was on the lookout for a replacement for my beloved DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (which at £16 a bottle is a touch rich for my blood whilst currently hemorrhaging money in preperation for my new arrival)… when I came across Smashbox Cleansing Oil on eBay for £5 a bottle.

smashboxcleansing

I’ve been trying it for 3 weeks now and thought I’d give my verdict on how it compares to DHC.

It’s a huge bottle in comparison to most branded Cleansing Oils weighing in at 345ml and is definitely thinner and lighter so a little really goes a long way!  It doesn’t cause me any sensitivity – even practically rubbing it into my eyes (and I often react to the mildest of products).  It removes all that DHC does and removes everything perfectly – so far top marks…

I’m not a huge fan of the smell, it’s slight cucumber-ey in a cheap rather than refreshing way, but it’s not terribly noticeable.  The real problem though…

…It just doesn’t emulsify well at all (which DHC does brilliantly), this stuff sticks to my face-cloth and skin like tar no matter how many times I rinse in hot water.  Which means that even after the next step of washing my face with my favourite cleanser/mild soap I can still feel the oil on my skin thanks to it transferring back from my face-cloth. 

I also have to scrub the sink everytime I wash my face as it leaves a ring of make up on the sink – not really a problem (infact it’s quite satisfying looking at all that makeup grime in a gruesome sunburn-peeling kinda way) but worth mentioning.

This ‘problem’ as I see it might not bother you if you’re used to traditional OCM, but if you’re prone to breakouts – you need to be extra vigilant to ensure your skin is free from the product after cleansing.

I bought my Smashbox Cleansing Oil from this seller, it’s available from other sellers and also some of the discount cosmetic websites have it in stock at a good price as it’s now a discontinued Smashbox skincare item.

However, I won’t be buying it again – I just don’t have the patience last thing at night to meticulously go over my skin a 100x to ensure all the oil is removed.  Such a shame, ‘cos everything else about it is truly spot-on.

I can’t bring myself to bin it either seeing as it does work so well in all other aspects.  I shall have to invest in some more face cloths and ensure I only use one for the oil and refill the sink a couple of times inbetween cleansing… makes it all a bit high maintenance though!

Oh, I hate to give it such a low score – but that singular problem is a BIG deal for me.

[starreview tpl=14]

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