I guess i am a victom of the packaging/marketing for Smashbox products...I keep trying them even though I am less than please with their quality and find everything average and really no better than drugstore products.
Eyeshadow Palette: It is just average eye shadow...it is not particularly creamy or pigmented and the shades are wearable but nothing special and don't make my green eyes stand out at all. I was hoping these would be shadows i would rely on daily for work time wear but i have to go back to my Cargo Warm Neutral palette for that!
Blush: Again average..nothign special...doesnt last well
Lip Gloss: Average...nothing special ...wearable summer color but doesnt last long
Primer: not a fan...i use Too Faced Sensitive skin instead as this one breaks me out
Overall I thought this was a great gift. I picked this up for myself at Pharmaprix (for you non-QCer's that's Shopper's Drug Mart for you) because I wanted to treat myself to some work-friendly colors, and they were giving away 8,000 free Optimum points plus a $10 gift card for purchases over $50 (basically I got suckered into justifying the purchase - I enabled myself). I would suggest this as a gift for someone who would like to give a more comprehensive set but doesn't want to break the bank for it, as the shades are pretty versatile (may not work on VERY dark or cool tones though, as the shades are neutral-warm and light-to-medium toned). It would look pretty and youthful for a range of ethnicities and age groups, and the included lookbook is quite useful for makeup newbies.
I will add a picture later, but for now, here are my thoughts on what is included in the kit.
PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER - ORIGINAL FORMULA/MINI SIZE: This is just an okay silicone-based primer. I don't have much of an opinion on this because I'm not a very heavy primer or foundation user (I would probably save it for an event where I will be photographed). Since it is silicone-y it may break some people out. OVERALL: MEH. No strong feelings about it, could have done without this and included another lipgloss or lip stick, but that's just my opinion. I found the inclusion of this quite odd, as all the other products are color products and not complexion products.
NEUTRAL EYE PALETTE: Contains 4 powder eyeshadow shades (mainly satiny/shimmery) and 1 larger pan of their highlighting powder. Individual shades: Marble (champagne-ivory), Camel (warm pinkish tan shimmer), Bare (taupey-greige shimmer), Oak (medium-dark taupey brown satin) and Moonstone (champagne-beige-peach shimmery highlighter shade). PROS: Soft, blendable, wearable colors. Very silky and finely milled. The only shade I did not like was Camel, which was a bit too red-toned to look good on my skin (although it would look gorgeous on warmer skin tones). Moonstone is a great, subtle highlighter (glowy and not frosty). This palette reminded me of one of those Bobbi Brown nude palettes that are released frequently - useful, wearable, easy but not necessarily dramatic. CONS: May not show up on darker skin tones, and may look too warm for very cool skin tones. Soft powders, but very loosely pressed (lots of "dust" when you dip your brush in). OVERALL: Solid palette. Easily wearable and looks great on most people. Work friendly and useful.
BLUSH RUSH: 1 coral-pink blush. Shade name: Peony. PROS: Blendable color, warm pink shade flatters many skin tones and looks natural. Pigmented. CONS: Nothing bad to say about this really, just that the shade is not very unique. MAC Fleur Power and Bobbi Brown Nectar are just 2 of the shades that look INCREDIBLY similar. Might be too warm for some skin tones, once again. OVERALL: Recommend. Good natural shade for lots of people. Use a light hand as if you use too much, the pigment is strong and it will make you look clownish.
LIP GLOSS: 1 reddish coral with golden shimmer. Shade Name: Starfruit. PROS: Mild scent (vanilla? sugar cookie?) that is not overpowering, gel-like (think Chanel Glossimer), non-sticky. Fairly long lasting. Sheer (think popsicle) color that looks natural and juicy. CONS: Wearable, but not unique. Potential dupes I could think of - Dior Addict Gloss Coral Fantasy (less shimmer, more pink), Buxom Lip Polish (shame tone, no gold shimmer), MAC Lipglass in Lychee Luxe (more orange). OVERALL: Nice gloss, a good choice to include in the kit. Would have appreciated a non-glittery one too - a lot of the stuff in this kit is shimmery. Seeing as it is much cheaper than glossimers I may look into picking up full sized ones in the future.
Overall, this is a solid kit and a good way to put together a coherent look, without breaking the bank. I would appreciate a cool toned version of this kit also, or maybe one with more matte shades. For $50 CDN, I think it's a steal for something that is priced at the Smashbox tier (to put things into perspective, 1 Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter is priced at ~$9 CDN when not on sale, and 1 Guerlain Rouge G is priced at ~$56 CDN). Good value and I'm not disappointed. continued >>
My sister and I both bought this set at Ulta's. It features a box of shadows with a face highlighter, a coral red sheer gloss, an eye pencil in a matte taupe brown, a blush in Peony, and a small size of their face primer.
First, we both noticed when we got home that the blush and eyeshadows were not nearly as pigment rich as the tester! In fact, the blush looked so much paler and insignificant compared to the color and density of pigment we tested, I thought maybe someone had put the wrong blush in my kit, but no, there was the name on the bottom, Peony. The blush in the tester, a powder, was brighter pink peach that took very little to lay on color. IN fact you had to be very careful and my sister got an overdone cheek full without trying. The one in the kit is a much paler, sort of a nothing special pink peach that you really have to swirl your brush in to get any color payoff. The shadows weren't as bad and seemed as color true, just not as densely pigmented. - my sister really likes the eye palette portion - the eye pencil is a bit dry and not as pigment rich as I'd like - the all over highlighter is a pale warm gold, it is an okay result. The gloss though, in Starfruit, is a sheer, very pretty coral popsicle like color. It's my favorite item of all. I just wonder if anyone else has had this same disappointing experience.