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

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Stila In the Light Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches and a FOTD!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 9 - 2012

All-in-one neutral palettes have never been more popular, they’re a quick solution to the eternal morning dilemma of eyeshadow selection when all you really want is an extra five-minutes in bed.  Stepping firmly on the bandwagon with their latest palette release is U.S. brand, Stila in the form of their In the Light eye shadow palette*.

A cardboard palette, lightweight and without a mirror makes this a slightly more portable (if flimsy) choice than the Urban Decay Naked franchise.  The palette contains 10 pans of colour, both a mix of shimmer and matte shades.  Each pan provides 1.4g of product, around the same quantity per pan as the Urban Decay offering, but two less pans in total.  The stock images that you will see online of the palette don’t reflect the true shades within, both bliss and sunset do not swatch pink as described in the official colours and shown in the stock photo.  All shades can be used both wet and dry.

The ten shades vary in pigmentation and texture, some feel quite soft and creamy whilst others are more firmly-textured and require building up to achieve rich colour.  None feel chalky and they all share excellent blendability.  There are four matte shades in total: Bare, Bliss, Sandstone and Ebony allowing you to create a fully matte look with a range of neutral shades if you so wish.

I like this option a lot… it allows me to create a fully matte eye look as my base before adding in a ‘pop’ of something more shimmery without going into disco territory.

 

The shades are mostly warm-toned with the exception of Night Sky and Luster.  Also included in the palette is a 0.28g black, retractable eye pencil (smudge stick) which provides rich colour with a smudgable but long-lasting formula.

A quick FOTD showing Bare, Bliss and Sandstone with a pop of the inimitable Kitten on the inner corner to brighten the eye area.  Kitten has long been one of Stila’s most cult shades, and I can see why, it’s a very pretty champagne highlight that opens up and lifts the eye area when used as a highlight.

The Stila In the Light eyeshadow palette is available to buy instore at SpaceNK, online at BeautyBay and Escentual.  It’s also available at Stila’s freshly-launched website: stila.co.uk – priced at £25.00

* press sample

My Three Favourite Neutral Palettes

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 29 - 2012

Palettes are a busy girl’s best friend.  They require no effort when it comes to colour-matching, you just pull it out and get applying, safe in the knowledge that you’re not gonna look hideously “wrong” afterward.

I thought I’d quickly share my current three favourite neutral palettes.  Well, seeing as I mostly just wear neutrals, they’re probably my three favourite palettes full stop.

1.  Clarins Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood – review and swatches here

2.  Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Eyeshadow Quad in Velvet Plumtones – review and swatches here

3.  Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Trio Eyeshadows in Silent Treatment – review and swatches here

Told you it was a quick one!  Do you have a current favourite neutral palette or are you more of a singles girl?

Clarins Autumn/Fall 2011: Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 21 - 2011

Phew, what a mouthful!

Clarins Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood is a new release from the French brand and comprises one palette from the new 6-piece eye collection for Autumn/Winter.

The packaging includes a face chart displaying some useful positioning tips for makeup newbies.

Four mineral shades that can be used wet or dry.  Two satin shades, a darker eye shadow liner and an iridescent highlighter.  The highlighter is very sheer and provides a sophisticated sparkle rather than any real colour.

Swatched dry without base or primer.  Around two/three swipes each.

The Rosewood palette contains four very wearable, neutral shades that would suit most skintones.  It’s a sheer but buildable palette – something that I’ve come to expect from Clarins.  If you want immediate, intense pigmentation – you’re looking in the wrong place.  If you want something that you can wear to work without fear of overcooking it, this could be just what you need.

You can see from this (rather goofy) FOTD that the palette provides a delicate iridescence.  I think it would really suit anyone who feels they might be a bit too mature for sparkle or metallics but aren’t quite ready to go down the all matte route just yet.  I found the shades to be exceptionally long-lasting though the darkest (and most matte) was not quite as smooth as I would have liked.

Clarins Ombre Minerale 4 Couleurs Eye Quartet in Rosewood is available to buy on counter or online at Clarins.com, priced at £30.00

* press sample

The second piece from this year’s Lancome Fall collection that I wanted to show you was the new eyeshadow palette, Les Oeillades in Blondette Fatale, featuring an array of wearable neutrals and multi-tasking eyeliner/brow shades.

This beautifully designed brown and taupe palette can be used to create a beautiful smoky eye effect.  It can also be used for subtle shading and for softer, more natural definition, you can use the metallic shades to illuminate the lids and the matte shades to define and sculpt the eye area.

Shown top left, is the dark liner/brow shade which is an ash-toned dark brown matte with a firm texture.  Next along is a mid-toned brown matte shade which leans slightly warm and can also be used for filling in fair brows.  The two bottom spaces are taken up by a pair of metallic shadows, one cool and one warm.  The bottom left works beautifully toward the inner corner to inject a hint of light without being ‘highlighter-y’.  The bronzier shade (bottom right) is nice to wear dabbed over the base in the centre of the lid.

Aaron de Mey, Lancome’s Global Make-Up Director suggests…

The eye shadow can also be used wet with a small brush on the eye area if you wish a more intense result or dry with small soft brushes to shade and sculpt, always remembering that darkness makes areas recede and lighter shades bring features ‘forward’.

The pigmentation on these is nicely build-able, with the mattes requiring a couple of swipes to achieve the payoff shown above.  The metallics are, as usual, the most strongly pigmented in the palette.  The colour-combination and texture shows this palette to be a more grown-up version of a neutral work palette.  The build-ability ensures that Les Oeillades in Blondette Fatale can be put to use in both day and night-time situations depending on the intensity required.

I tend to wear these higher-end shadows without primer and these held up very well indeed.  I’m sure using the mattes as a base increases the longevity of the shimmers successfully.  I also want to mention the little ‘tools’ included with the palette which I would usually either ignore (at best) or ridicule.  The ones included with this palette are actually brilliant for travel.  A completely useable angled brush for brows, the usual application sponge (ignore that one) and a pointy, thin sponge that works brilliantly to line the eyes.  Colour me impressed.

Overall, I would describe Les Oeillades in Blondette Fatale as an incredibly versatile palette.  It may well be that you, like me, already have 101 neutrals in your collection in which case, I’d say this is great for travel thanks to the inclusion of genuinely useful brow/liners shades and tools but is otherwise a non-essential.

Lancome’s Les Oeillades in Blondette Fatale is priced at £33.00 and available at Lancome counters nationwide from 1st September 2011

* press sample

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!)

Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Trio Eyeshadow: Silent Treatment

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 28 - 2011

Continuing with my Wet n’ Wild palettes, today’s show is Silent Treatment.  I knew I’d like this one but well, this is just silly beautiful.

The browbone shade is gonna see a lot of use… it’s a lovely match for me to blend out harsh edges.  I applied the crease shade higher than I would normally and left my outer v lighter.

I think I like the effect… I’m not brilliant at applying eyeshadow but this seemed to open my eyes a little more though the overall effect was more dramatic than I’d usually wear during daylight hours!

Weird angles… but it shows the eyeshadow FAR better than my usual attempts!

These palettes are a little dusty with a degree of fall out but boy, am I loving them nonetheless.  We’re missing out on a trick here UK ladies.

Elizabeth Arden – Sueded Browns Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 5 - 2011

I’m already the proud owner of Sueded Brown’s little sister, Velvet Plumtones so I couldn’t help but pick this one up too when I saw it in the ‘sale’ box on counter in John Lewis.  I paid half price for this little palette.  A total snip a £12.50!

I love these Color Intrigue palettes… I mean, OK, they’re not hugely exciting in shade selection but they’re wearable, high quality shadows that are hard to screw up.  They blend beautifully, last forever on my lids and have a beautiful satin sheen without being too metallic.

4 shades ranging from a pale highlight through to a v. dark charcoal brown which I”m addicted to using as a liner.

Aren’t they rich?  The highlight shade *is* there by the way, it’s just pretty damn close to my skin tone as a colour match!

So, that leaves one palette left to collect…. the Neutral Cashmeres.  I know I can get it in the ‘ordinary’ packaging but I’d quite like to complete my set of 100th Anniversary ones!  I will have to keep my eyes peeled!

Do you own any Elizabeth Arden cosmetics?

A Taupe by any other name…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 22 - 2010

What’s in a name?

I’m curious ladies… which of these would you be happy to call taupe?

All of ’em? None of ’em?

Adj. 1. taupe – of something having a dusky brownish grey color

These are a few of my favourite shadows… individually I refer to them as taupes, but seeing them together like this makes me realise just how un taupe-ish some of them are.

Infact, only about three of them qualify for me.

Which ones would you classify as taupe?

And don’t say “does it really matter… they’re all brown” or I’ll insist you burn your makeup collection as penance.

EDIT: You guys sure care about taupe more than I thought you would!

#1 is Fyrinnae Species 8472
#2 is NYX Sparkle Cedar
#3 is NYX Dune
#4 is Fyrinnae Maneki Neko
#5 is a Body Shop shadow (#32 I think)
#6 I think I swatched #10 twice which would explain why I can’t remember it!
#7 is MAC Satin Taupe
#8 can’t remember, sorry!
#9 is MUA (superdrug £1) Eye Dust No5
#10 is BarryM Mushroom

I’m in agreement with most of you. The truest taupe’s (to my eye) are #3, 9 and 5.  The others are far too plummy or bronzey.

Bare Escentuals Eyeshadow – Heart

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 16 - 2010

Mooching around Covent Garden last week (as you do!) I stumbled across the Bare Escentuals boutique (the only one of it’s kind in the UK) and practically squealed at it’s boutiquey cuteness and revolving tester tables!  I wish I had a picture to show you… but if you ever find yourself at a loose end whilst down Neal Street, check it out… I could have spent many, many hours in there swatching all the pretty shadows.  Truly surrounded by pigment…. a swatchers paradise.

It also helped that the MUAs in there were completely approachable and at one point swatching with me and rediscovering shades they liked and disliked themselves in an attempt to find a potential alernative for an OOS shade I wanted to pick up.

Anyway, I was looking for a more summery lid colour… but as a neutral-loving fiend I wanted to be able to combine it with my boring beloved array of taupes and mauves in my collection.

I discovered this…

Bare Escentuals Heart is a wonderfully blended concoction or rose/mauve/pink/bronze… it’s dusky without being flat and colourful whilst still remaining neutral.

Being a ‘glimmer’ it’s pretty darn sparkly but despite this, still works surprisingly well as a crease colour.  I do love these minerals for their blendability and this is no exception.  At £13 for a small pot, they’re not cheap… but a little really goes a very long way.  I barely have to touch my brush to the sifter to pick up enough colour for both eyes.

I also fell in love with two other shades whilst browsing… Queen Phyllis makes the most beautiful highlight and Grace is simply one of the most beautfiful minerals I’ve ever swatched… I was proper “woahhhh… that’s purdy” whilst playing with the testers… so I was gutted to discover that Grace was out of stock when I tried to buy it!

Have you checked out the Bare Escentuals boutique?  What are your favourite BE shades?

Underrated Stuff #1 – BodyShop Eye Shadows

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 29 - 2010

Why don’t these Body Shop Eye Shadows get more love?  I’ve collected a beautiful array of neutral shades over the last few years (yes, years… hygiene freaks – bite me).

I don’t think I’ve ever paid full price (£8) for one though…. I usually pick them up off eBay or when they’re in the sale on the Body Shop website, which… btw…. has some of the best sales and discount codes of any beauty website.

You get 1.4g of product for your money and the shadows come in either matte or shimmer finish.  The shimmer ones are just beautiful…. they remind me of the MAC Veluxe Pearl finish, heavily pigmented and smooth like butter.

Next time you’re passing your local Body Shop, go check out #07 and come back and tell me it’s not gorgeous!

What underrated products would you happily sing the praises of?

Benefit Creaseless Cream in Flatter Me

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 13 - 2010

I found it, I found it!

I thought I’d add a swatch to my collection of Creaseless Cream swatches… you can find the rest here.

Flatter Me is described as a ‘Toasted Mauve’… which basically means it’s a strange mix of mauve, taupe and brown.  It’s quite, quite beautiful.

As with the other Creaseless Creams, this is budgeproof on my eyelids.  More, more.. I must have more!  I think I’m going after Stiletto or Pre Nup next!

Do you like this one or are they all a bit too neutral for you?

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