Eye Lied

I could put an "eye" in the 2nd word of this post title as well, but I'll spare you all.

So I lied. Remind me never to post product reviews so soon after making a purchase, although that is exactly what I'm doing because I'm so taken by Smashbox's eyeshadow. I'm a novice. Lately, when I find great products, I get so excited and forget that it will actually take a few weeks to judge true quality and usefulness. Or, in my case, before something better comes along.

Like a good girl, I went to Sephora yesterday (no, I do not have too much time on my hands - I squeeze in trips while waiting...yesterday it was for friends before dinner) to return a lipstick I had bought to replace one I thought was lost. I don' t know how I ended up at the Smashbox display. Really don't know how. I was browsing generally because I knew they wouldn't take it as a return and that I would end up with credit. First I tried the Laura Mercier Kohl Liner in Black Violet for the umpteenth time. Sigh. So beautiful. Then somehow I found myself in front of Smashbox and before I knew it, I was testing eyeshadow on my hand. I magically found 3 that were so beautiful that they have completely made me recant my original statements on the Calvin Klein eye shadow I reviewed here.

This is not to say that the Calvin Klein isn't good. It definitely is, but perhaps my color choice was off, and there aren't many options in the collection. The Smashbox Eye Shadows in Cinnamon Toast, Shell, and Ambient (shimmer finish) are both in terms of formula and shade much more flattering on my skin and suitable for my purposes.

The formula for these shadows is some perfect combination of "lustre," "pearl," and "frost," but they are extremely fine-milled - no sparkles or metallics here. They highlight and brighten with just enough shimmer for day, but can definitely be layered on for a more dramatic effect (which is not the look I usually go for). For some reason, the CK one seems much more matte and chalky compared to these, which I realized did not make for the best look on my skin, especially in that Copper Sun color. These remind me of the very popular Stila eyeshadows in look, feel, and formula, but I have never found a good color for myself with Stila.

That brings me to the most important part of why these eyeshadows are so great - the fantastic shades (these pictures do not do them justice). Ambient (described as shimmering golden copper) is a seemingly bolder version of the CK Copper Sun and M.A.C's Woodwinked, and looks much more dramatic in the pot than on the skin. Once applied though, it gives a warm, shimmery glow that doesn't look too bold or dramatic. Its far warmer than Woodwinked (which I returned a few weeks ago), and kind of glowing-Greek-goddess (and I don't mean orange spray-painted celebrities a la JLO).

Cinnamon Toast (described as copper brown shimmer) is already my favorite neutral color for day that still makes eyes pop - bronze/mushroomy/taupy shade that must look good on everyone from what I can tell so far. In fact, it actually does remind me of a mushroom. A pretty one though. A sparkly, brown mushroom lost and unnoticed in a field somewhere. Perhaps we can name her Shrooms (multiple reasons for that nickname, and naturally it comes up even in eye shadow of all things). Most shades called "cinnamon" or "toast" tend to be rather muddy and brown on application, but this one is not, which is why it manages to give a pretty, neutral sheen. And although it is described as copper brown, it's really neither copper nor brown. Go color specialists. If you have one of those in between dark tannish/olivish/yellowish skin tones that is at once "wheatish" and "fair," with ruddy/peachy undertones, than this color should work for you.

Last but not least is Shell (described as a soft nude pink shimmer). Shell is one of those icey white futuristic shades that looks rather awesome in the pot but always terrible when applied (in my opinion). The shade is similar to Stila's best-selling Kitten, but Kitten always washes me out and makes me look like a - futuristic ghost. Shell has warmer hints of pink and peach that make it super blendable - which makes it a great highlighter. Conceptually, highlighters are sound, but I have never found a shade that truly works well on my skin. This one does. When I put in on my brow bone, I actually thought, wow, it is highlighting my brow bone - how spectacular!

I pulled the CK shadow out of my makeup bag and returned it on the spot in order to use the credit to get these :) I will say, however, that CK's packaging was much better, mostly because it it included a good-sized mirror. The Smashbox ones come in the standard little round black pot with a twist-off instead of snap lid. As I always say, you win some, you lose some...
$16.00 @ Sephora


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