Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review! Smash Cosmetics - The Neutrals!

I came across Smash Cosmetics on Etsy recently.  I first tried out an assortment of mostly bright colors (see the review here).  I also mentioned that if she put together a neutral collection, I would be first in line to sample it.  I sent her a message through Etsy relaying the same idea, and she kindly consented to my request!  You can try out 39 colors for only $28, and the sample sizes are generous!  I have so much eyeshadow now that I hardly know what to do with myself!

Here are the colors you will receive:

I love this collection!  I think they apply best either over primer, or foiled (used wet).  Over primer, they still look more matte, and you will lose a lot of the glitter.  There is a bit of sheen to most of them, but really, I think you end up with more of the color you see on the screen.

Putting them on wet is a completely different ball game.  You have to build the color with some of the shades, but the glitter stays in place.

I used Diamond on my browbone, Pulchritudinous on my lid, and Erratic in the outer V, all wet, last week.  I used a sheer layer, and then smoked it out with Jester, dry.  The glitter nearly all dropped out of Jester, but the color was wonderfully soft and subtle (which I was going for).  It's really easy to build the color, and it wore well for most of the day.  There was noticeable fading by evening, but I thought that it held up well for a day of travel and airports, especially because I didn't use primer.  Here, I've re-created the look, but this time over primer.

You get a lot of blacks with this collection, which is rare for a neutral set.  It seems like some of the blacks have a slightly different shade to them, and certainly they all have different glitter mixes.  I really like how there are different ratios of glitter, and they aren't all super-duper-sparkley.  I've been having a bit of difficulty with the black glitters.  I have some Pixie Epoxy on its way, and it is made specifically to hold glitter eyeshadows in place.  I am still experimenting with some of the color-shifters, like Komodo.  Speaking of Komodo, it looks much darker in the online photo than my sample looks in real life.  In real life it looks like a dusty, dark grey.  Once applied, it does deepen to a darker black, but still isn't that "void of space" black that it looks like online.

The browns are very pretty.  I think there is a nice range of tones which is nice to see.  I've bought many eyeshadow palettes lately, and palettes are designed to work with itself.  That's cool, but it is also encourages a user to limit themselves to just using the ideas that palette gives them.  Many of the colors in this collection do "go together", but some just... don't.  And I think that's great!  It makes me think of other eyeshadows I have that would work great with that color.

The gold colors, Guilded, Dijon, Vegas, and Fools Gold, are up next.  Fools Gold is my favorite.  It really has the color of pyrite.  It looks beautiful foiled, and acts like a brightener and highlighter when used dry at the outer V.  Dijon is one of those colors that I just haven't figured out how to use.  It's very dusty looking, and when used wet it pulls brown hard-core.  This is a color that is going to end up paired with another palette.  I think it needs to go with a vivid plum, and a brown smoked eyeliner.

Here is a look using Umber, Vegas, and Vanilla:

The whites don't look good in their sample photos.  In person, they are brighter, and creamier.  I think the photos look dingy and chalky.  They apply very nicely, without any chalkiness.  I've used them wet and dry, and both ways work well.  Dry will give a very subtle highlight, but either directly over primer or wet, the color will be vivid and much more opaque.

Finally, the unexpected, the purple/grays.  Grape, Erratic, XXX and Pulchritudinous are all lovely purple and purple-pink shades, although they are described as grey on the Smash Cosmetic's website, they look purple on my skin..  These are purples that you are likely to actually see in a person's skintone.   Tea Time looks purple-ish in the photo, but in real life it is a dusty taupe, and it leans grey if you apply it dry.  I like this one wet.  All of these shades closely match my eyelid's natural color.

I've been wearing these by randomly pulling colors out of the bag and then playing with the application.  I recommend swatching them all yourself, and seeing what application method creates the color, shading, and tone that you prefer.  Most eyeshadows merely intensify when wet, but these can actually change color, like Dijon does.  Here is one of Smash Cosmetic's swatches, showing Dijon dry and wet:
Here is another look, I used Nude, Taupe, and Blackest Black.  I was trying out a pin-up look.  I used Nude all over the lid, up to the browbone, at the inside corner, and over my entire lower lid.  I used Taupe in the outer crease, and a bit into the outer V, just to give a bit of contour.  Finally, I lined my upper lashline with Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner in Zero, and topped it with Blackest Black.  I smudged out the black just a bit, and kept the lower lashline clean.
There are three very different looks, using only 10 of the 39 shades!

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