Review- Smashbox Instant Eyes palette

Sephora had this as a Sweet Steal, for $15.  It MIGHT be worth that, for the liners.  But I’m very underwhelmed by the palette, as a whole.  The liners are sheer, shimmery, and pretty.  The included brush is somewhat useful, but not the best.  The shadows however, were the disappointing part.

The shadows have a HORRIBLE texture that won’t adhere properly to the lid, and they appear very sheer because of it.  Only the velvet Bone highlight color will blend at all evenly.  The others have to be packed on, sheered out to avoid streaking…. and it is still BARELY visible.  The shimery shades have a similar finish to MAC’s luster eyeshadows(Honeylust and Tempting, for instance, would fit right in with this palette, although they perform better.)  I tried seeing if maybe I’d just overestimated the included brush, and it was a problem with THAT…. but even with my favorite all-over shadow brush, I had to build, and build, and build, to get ANY depth of color.

There are four shadow colors-
Bone-velvety off-white highlight color.  Slight sheen, no real shimmer or frost
Gold-yellowy pale gold, with heavy shimmer
Taupe-rich brown-gray with a hint of pink, with heavy shimmer
Pink Copper- a bronzey-rose, with heavy shimmer

And three liner colors
Rich brown
dark taupe-slightly more gray
richcopper-slightly more red

The shadows seemed to me to have more yellow tones in them.  I think you COULD make them work if you have pink undertones, but it would take a bit more effort.  The liners weren’t quite as warm as the shadows. Still, the Taupe is the only shadow I’d say TRULY had neutral undertones.

The liners aren’t very useful for the waterline, due to their sheerness, and dryness, but CAN work credibly on the lashline.  They’re not the easiest to apply, and they never get particularly opaque without a lot of layering, but they’re pretty for subtle contours.  The small straight liner brush tip is decent for applying them.  I do wish they were a touch creamier though-they feel very dry on the brush and the lid, and it can be hard getting them to adhere to the skin.

Overall, if you’re looking for a nice, neutral palette, there’s better options.  The Urban Decay  Naked palette, while frostier, and harder to find(due to low quantities) is MUCH better quality, and easier to work with. Eve Pearls Au Naturale palette is similar in color and finish, but has a better texture.  If I recall, Too Faced has a couple of neutral or smoky eye palettes with similar colors, and similar finish to the Naked palette.  And of course, there’s the other high end standby’s-MAC, Clinique, Bobby Brown, etc.  that all do creditable nude shades.

Top row-shadows with no primer.  Middle row-eyeliners.  Bottom row-shadows over Urban decay Primer Potion

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