How are you spending your mid-week Independence Day holiday? ^_^ Mine shall be terribly busy because I have to finish my work for tomorrow. I'll be out all day attending meetings and events so, whew, I need to get a lot of stuff out of the way first. Anyway! Today I'll be talking about an interesting palette from Beauty Bar.
The Smashbox Heat Wave Palette (price to be updated) was designed to create smoldering summer looks, but in my opinion these colors would look good in any season. The top row has five warm shades while the bottom row has cool, smoky shades, just perfect for matching and blending with each other! You can go as light or as sultry as you want. I love that the colors are not overly common; they're not the sort you'd find easily in more affordable palettes.
My first Smashbox palette (bought about four years ago) was a disappointment. It was expensive and pretty to look at but it was also practically useless due to the pathetic pigmentation. However, the brand's eyeshadows have come a long way since then. This new palette in particular is so pigmented that you won't even need to use an eyeshadow base to make them opaque!
The texture is smooth and creamy to the touch, which makes it easy to blend on the lids - bare or primed. The catch is that the powder comes a bit loose when you swipe a brush over the surface, so eyeshadow fallout is inevitable. I just make sure to rid my brush of excess powder before I apply the color onto my lids.
And oh, that brush. I love it! Don't you just hate how eyeshadow palettes come with brushes that are useless or barely usable? Even high-end brands are guilty of this! But this Smashbox brush is a shining exception. It's soft and dense and just the right size for me. One end has a medium fluffy eyeshadow brush with a rounded edge, which I find makes it ideal for applying and blending lid, crease, and brow bone makeup. The other end has a smaller, stiffer tip for detail work.
Left to right: 1 (warm, yellow-based mid-beige, matte), 2 (light shimmery copper), 3 (matte tan, great for crease blending or contouring), 4 (light orange with a golden peach duochrome), 5 (yellow gold)
6 (cool shimmery beige), 7 (silvery sage), 8 (blue gray), 9 (soft dusky violet), 10 (dark taupe with a strong charcoal base)
My favorite shades are 3, 4, 7, and 9. Number 3 is similar to MAC Wedge - a must-have shade, IMHO! - while 4, 7, and 9 are shades I don't have exact copies of yet.
9 on the lid, 10 on crease, 3 to blend the crease shade, and 1 on the browbone
Last but not the least - the case. It's sleek, hefty but not heavy, and has a huge mirror. It looks expensive and professional to me, which makes it more of a joy to use. I only wish that Smashbox bothered to give individual names to the eyeshadows. It would have added more to the luxe experience, I think.
Overall, the Smashbox Heat Wave Eye Shadow Palette is a great buy if you're looking for smoky eyeshadows that are not too common. It's not something I would recommend for beginners, since these colors aren't exactly what you'd call basic or must-have, although the pigmentation and texture are ace. This would be more appreciated by a makeup enthusiast or a professional artist who wants to improve the variety of her collection.
But hey, if you like the colors, then go for it. ;) The top row has nice everyday shades that you'll most likely finish off, while the bottom row can help you create a more subtle, sophisticated smoky eye.
You can purchase Smashbox from Beauty Bar.