Monday, December 12, 2016

What I'm Not Buying: Smashbox Bold Cover Shot Eye Palette

Photo: Temptalia 

The Bold palette is another Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette that really caught my attention. I really like the color scheme and like that this is a slightly sized-down bright palette.  

But I won't be buying. 

My thoughts on the concept, size, and pice of the Cover Shot Eye Palettes can be found here

I've mentioned many times that I had never really been a color person until recently. And even now, I apply color with caution (I use a lot of brown). Still, using color at all is an improvement for me.  Because of my previous aversion to color, I was never even a little tempted by a bright, colorful palette. But then I started experimenting with color, bought the Juvia's Place Masquerade Mini palette, loved it, and have grown increasingly more interested in color. 

So when I saw the Bold palette, for $29 and not an overwhelming amount of product, I was interested. And honestly, I don't have anything in my collection that duplicates or is close to the colors in this palette. The closest I have is the Masquerade Mini:

And the Viseart Dark Matte:

And while there are certainly bold colors in these palettes, both are still quite neutral. 

So, if I don't have any palettes or shadows that duplicate the Bold palette, why am I not buying? 
  • I don't need or want any more eyeshadows 
  • I likely wouldn't wear bright matte eyeshadows often 
  • I am completely satisfied with the colorful eyeshadows I currently own
  • I don't think the Bold palette has the best quality 

While the first three reasons are the most important, I would like to touch upon the last reason, which is still a big one: quality. Of the few reviews I've seen, people who were sent these palettes have all raved about them. And that's not surprising. But when I've seen swatches of the Bold palette, they don't look that smooth to me. They look patchy and like they would be difficult to blend. 

Let's look at palettes with similar color schemes. 

There's the Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix (no longer available):

Urban Decay Alice Through the Looking Glass (no longer available):

Urban Decay Electric (currently $24 at Sephora, but may be discontinued soon):

Photo: Temptalia

Urban Decay Full Spectrum (limited edition, $55):

Melt Cosmetics Radioactive Stack ($48):

Viseart Editorial Brights ($80):

Viseart Boheme Dream ($80):

Makeup Revolution Color Chaos (£4):

Photo: Thou Shalt Not Covet

Wet N Wild Poster Child ($5):

Personally, out of all of the above palettes, if I were to buy one it would either be Viseart Editorial Brights, Viseart Boheme Dream, Wet N Wild Poster Child, or Makeup Revolution Color Chaos. And I know that might sound crazy since they are at the highest and lowest ends of the price spectrum, but if I am going to buy a specific kind of palette, I want it to either be of the highest possible quality or at the lowest price. 

In researching for this post and looking at swatches of palettes that I previously passed over as too bright and colorful and nothing I would ever want, I could really see a difference in quality between the Smashbox swatches and most everything else. I would say the Bold swatches are in similar quality ballparks as Urban Decay Alice Through the Looking Glass, Melt Cosmetics Radioactive Stack, and Makeup Revolution Color Chaos. Alice Through the Looking Glass received generally "meh" reviews, the Radioactive Stack was said to be the most patchy of all the Melt stacks (but was generally given a pass for how neon the shades are), and from what I can tell, the Makeup Revolution palette is hit or miss with the shades (but is again given a pass for the price). 

What the Bold palette has that most of the other bight palettes do not is a shimmery pink and a shade that looks like a shimmery reddish purple blue duo (trio?) chrome. I assume (though I could be totally wrong) that the shimmery pink shade is potentially a transforming shadow to place atop the matte shadows. Or the shimmers are in the palette to offset all the matte shades to create more diverse looks. Even though these shadows seem to be an addition to most existing bright palettes, I don't think they are special enough to make this a selling point for the palette. The shimmery pink looks like a sheer pink that is offered from nearly every brand, and the duochrome looks like a cool, purple-toned take on the classic blue-brown shadow that can be found in:
  • Wet N Wild Comfort Zone
  • Makeup Geek MannyMUA palette
  • Tarte Tartiest Pro palette
  • MAC Club eyeshadow 
  • MAC Blue-Brown pigment
  • Makeup Geek Insomnia Pigment
  • Ardency Inn Peacock eyeshadow
  • Buxom No Faux eyeshadow 

Overall, I'm glad that Smashbox included a "Bold" palette within their Cover Shot line. Like I mentioned in another Cover Shot review, however, this palette is just another example of Smashbox recreating already popular color schemes. The Urban Decay Electric palette has been out for several years at this point, and now that there are so many colorful palette options, I feel like a palette has to do something to really stand out from the rest. But for me, all of the Cover Shot palettes just miss the mark and fall short of the original palette they are based on. 

Personally, I could not be happier with my Masquerade Mini palette as I feel it is the perfect "bold" palette for me. There are ample gorgeous colorful shades (most with a shimmer finish like I prefer) and plenty of neutrals to help me build a colorful look while still in my comfort zone. And yes, I could decide to branch out and try more electric and matte shadows, but why should I spend the money and add yet another palette to my collection when I am entirely satisfied with what I have? 

For people who want to experiment with bold colors, I think the $29 price point of the Bold palette is good, especially if the Electric palette is being discontinued and won't stay at its sale price. If someone doesn't have access to the Makeup Revolution or Wet N Wild palettes, I can see the Smashbox palette being a good option without having to shell out a lot of money. I just don't personally have a need for this palette, so I won't be buying. 


  1. Ellie, do you follow any makeup artists (or others who like makeup) on Instagram? I just downloaded it for the first time yesterday - I know, how is that even possible? I'm trying to come up with makeup channels for both Instagram and Youtube that I can start following for tutorials rather than just hauls and such. I currently follow PixieWoo and Lisa Eldridge on Youtube, and on Instagram I've found a few people who do eye looks with some of the indie eyeshadows I've bought. I want to follow your lead and start getting more actual use out of my collection.

    1. I follow many people on YouTube (and most have Instagram accounts), but I tend to watch people whose content I can generally trust (so they are typically not the most popular), and I don't watch too many tutorials.

      Of the people I watch, these do tutorials: KathleenLights, Coffee Break with Dani, Vintage or Tacky, EmilyNoel83, and Karima McKimmie. I know a lot of people really love to watch Jaclyn Hill for tutorials, but I'm not interested in her general content.

      For people who like to use up their products, I suggest Amber F (she created a challenge where people use up entire eyeshadow palettes), Elle S, Jacquelyn Lovene, Lauren Mae Beauty, Prettypistol86, and Glamour with Grace.

      For more anti-hauls, everyone loves Kimberly Clark. And for tough, honest reviews, a lot of people like Stephanie Nicole.

      But I would mainly recommend just typing a palette or eyeshadow that you already have into YouTube (for example, type "Juvia's Place Masquerade tutorial") and look for tutorials on products you already own. You might find some people you like that way!

      Hope that helps!

    2. Thank you so much, Ellie! This will go a long way toward helping me "curate" my youtube playlists. Have you ever checked out r/Makeuprehab? I haven't been on in a while, but they have great "panning" challenges. I've also gone on a few times to make a "Talk Me Out" of buying something post. The people there are a lot like you!

      Seriously, I love what you're doing here! I'm thinking about participating in the One Palette, One Week challenge because it really seems like you are both learning about your collection as well as kind of forcing yourself to learn new skills/push your comfort zone. Keep up the great work!

    3. I have recently been to Makeuprehab and I love it! I really like the general approach people have in resisting hype, but I don't like the few times I see people really beat themselves up or punish themselves for buying something and slipping up. I still buy things, but I am incredibly selective about what I bring in now. On the whole I really like it though!

      And thank you so much! I would really recommend the one week, one palette project. While sometimes I wish I could use different shadows one day, I generally love spending time with each palette and really getting to know it. I've learned a lot and love how my skills are growing, so I definitely think it's a great idea!

      If you start one, let me know how you're doing!

  2. Thank you for all mentioned chanels and names. I will add them to my list. Those kind of content (anti-hauls, project pans, no buy projects, low buys etc) really help me with focusing ob my collection and shopping my stash. I really don't need more products but I sure do need inspiration how to play with what I already got. I'm not saying I won't ever buy again. I love makeup (especially eyeshadows!) too much. But I'm def moving towards smarter consumerism ­čśŐ