It’s unusual for me doing two reviews in a row from the same company but I’ve been trying out the Smashbox Cover Shot Eyeshadow Palette in Ablaze and I wanted to share what I thought as I’m really enjoying it. I recently got a set from Boots that had this in but this costs £24 individually and contains eight eyeshadows. In the Ablaze palette these are all reds and oranges with a couple of more everyday colours mixed in to make it more usable on its own.
It’s on the small side for a palette, it fits perfectly in the palm of my hand, which makes it great for travel, and I’ve always found the lenticular print on the front of the Cover Shots nice looking. I think I’ve just loved this style of graphic since I was little. It has two larger pans, one matte and one shimmer, and six smaller pans, two matte and four shimmer though one of the shimmers is more a matte base with shimmer in it, and they’re definitely all warm colours.
As I said I love this packaging, the exploding powder look is so eye catching for me, especially in the red colour, and it matches the colours inside so well. I also like the fact that it’s made of plastic and is very easy to clean, plus it’s not a fingerprint magnet so it stays looking nice on the outside even after being thrown in a bag and held. I think the lid is part of the same piece of plastic as the unset that holds the pans and it’s a simple hinge that means it doesn’t stay open at a set point unless you hold it at the angle you want. The mirror is nice and clear (I left the plastic on in the photos which is why it looks a bit frosted) and the magnetic closure does hold it well, you can feel a real pull when you open it.
It has the names of the colours printed on the back in a picture to show which is which, which does save space inside and means it can be a more compact design than having the names printed next to the colours. It could be annoying if you wanted to refer to the colour when you’re looking at it but I don’t think I’ve ever actually done that so it doesn’t bother me.
Inside I really like how they’ve gone for two of the more everyday colours and put them in the big pans, these are definitely the two that I’d expect to hit pan on first if this were a palette with all one size. The pans are small but large enough for any of my eyeshadow brushes to not accidentally pick up another colour (with a few exceptions for those giant real techniques ones). It isn’t the easiest to wipe clean as the plastic is so thin between each but you can if you use a cotton bud.
The eyeshadows themselves all feel finely milled and blend so well, especially with each other. A couple of them do seem to create a bit of powder when I use my brush in them, and surprisingly it isn’t the mattes, but it’s nothing major and not a problem as long as you tap your brush off before applying the colours.
I did find that the shimmers are great with or without a primer or base. They are very pigmented and creamy and apply evenly, though Torch and Siesta are the two that caused the excess powder. The true shimmers are so pigmented and one swipe is enough to be opaque and they’re so soft that they do blend well with any other eyeshadows I’ve tried. They also work well for lining my eyes, with a primer underneath they don’t go anywhere. To me the shimmers are Moccasin (on the gold side of bronze), Siesta (a pinky copper) and Delirious (reddy chestnut brown) though they do almost give a metallic look as the base is so shimmery and reflective along with the same colour shimmer particles in the eyeshadow.
I’m going to include Torch (bright orange) as a shimmer as well, even though it has a different formula that makes it less creamy and a bit more powdery, as it does have a bit more of a shimmer to it. The base isn’t as shimmery as the others and they almost look metallic, whereas Torch is maybe a satin base with orange shimmer in it and the shimmer is more sparse.
The one that I think of as the matte base with shimmer in it is Nirvana (deep plummy red) and is probably the weakest eyeshadow to me. It needs a primer base to stay and is one of those that sticks to the primer and doesn’t budge. It means it had great staying power but it’s a bit harder to blend out than the others unless you’re blending it with another colour. One a primer this is very pigmented and the shimmer is so fine I love the look you get. It does actually work well as a thin layer if your very careful with it and then you get a sort of cranberry sheen with the shimmer that shines in the light. It can apply a bit patchy if you want it sheer with a primer underneath.
The final colours are Relaxed (pale beige nude colour), Throwback (an orangey mid brown) and Dark Horse (neutral dark brown) and these are the three true mattes in the palette. If you’re fair like me then Relaxed is an amazing colour for blending out the edges of a look. I also found it worked great for setting under my eyes if I used it lightly. The mattes feel dry and powdery in the pan but I loved working with them on my eyes, they’re so fine that they blend well with other colours and Relaxed and Throwback apply very evenly. Dark Horse can be a bit patchy on a primer, which I found they all needed to stick in place, but works really well as a liner and blends well with other colours. It’s another that kind of sticks in place if you put it on a primer though.
Some of these colours are ones you will probably already own, ones like Relaxed or Moccasin aren’t anything new, but I think having them in the palette means that it’s a palette that can do a range of looks for everyday wear that can be brightened up for the evening, or just go all out bright from the beginning. It makes it the kind of palette that I could take away with me for a weekend as my only palette as you don’t have to dip into another for a light neutral colour or the matte dark brown. I always like it when palettes do that, though I do end up with about twenty nice light nude shades!
Overall I am loving this palette and it’s actually made me look into some of their other Cover Shots. The matte one and a couple that claim to be new (at least here in the UK) like the Punked one have caught my eye so I’ll just have to keep an eye out and see if there are any colour combinations I really want. Are there any that you guys know of that are great, or ones that I should be avoiding?