Hi everyone! When I first saw this palette mentioned on Makeup and Beauty Blog I thought this is definitely a palette I cannot pass up. Nordstrom had the tester out two weeks ago, but didn't have any in stock so I ordered one online. It retails for $48 and is currently available on the Smashbox website, as well as Nordstrom.com, Ulta and QVC. This is a nice value as the cost of each eyeshadow breaks down to less than $5 per shade when you factor in the value of the primer and brush. This is a lighter, softer-toned palette along the lines of Urban Decay's Naked palette. There are nine shadows (versus Naked's whopping twelve shades), including seven new colors: Nectar, Lucky Penny, Sugar, Stone, Truffle, Bronze, and Taupe, along with two cream liners, a double-ended brush, and a mini Photo Finish primer. I haven't had a chance to test this on my eyes yet, but the shadows are incredibly soft and the metallic shades are well pigmented, with the exception of Flirt, which is a little more sheer and sparkly, like a smoother MAC lustre texture. Keep in mind that if you're after a very defined or dramatic look you may need to supplement with a black shadow or your favorite black liner, but this is a great everyday palette and has a nice ratio of matte to shimmer.
Pictured below in low sunlight:
The double-ended brush is not bad--one end is for lining and the other is a general purpose shader, which is a bit large for small eyelids, but works OK for overall application and blending.
Included is a guide with instructions on how to achieve three different looks: "Sultry Smolder," "Naturally Nude," and "Soft Smoke."
List of ingredients (click to make it larger). Printed on the back is a video tag you can scan to your phone to view a tutorial by artist Lori Taylor on how to achieve three different soft "summer" looks. The video is also posted online for those of us whose phones don't have the latest tech...(that would be me!) :)
Below are close-ups of the individual shades--click to make them larger. (I'm working with an unfamiliar camera lens so apologies for some blurriness and not-so-good lighting):
Swatches from left to right: Truffle, Stone, Flirt, Nude, Sugar, Vanilla, Sienna, Lucky Penny, and Nectar.
On the end are the cream liners: Taupe and Bronze:
|Left to right: Truffle, Stone, and Flirt|
|Left to right: Nude, Sugar, Vanilla|
|Cream liners: Taupe and Bronze|
*update 4/13/11* I tried a few of the colors while getting ready for work early this morning -- please forgive any sloppy application as I was still half asleep while getting ready ;-). This is Truffle on the lid, Stone in the crease with a small amount of Flirt as highlight and Taupe liner on top and bottom lashline. I used these over the Smashbox primer. Sorry these pictures really aren't the best, but the colors did look nice, although very soft (I felt like I may have needed a darker liner on top?) Taupe liner is such a gorgeous pewter shade though, and is not overwhelming, so is ideal for the lower lashline.
In low natural light:
To give you a better idea of the size of the palette and tones of these shades, below are some photos of Softbox next to Urban Decay's Naked palette:
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