The Smashbox Studio Pop Ultimate Palette features 45 eyeshadows which I reviewed in Part 2 and Part 3. This part covers the blushes, highlights, bronzer and cream eyeliners. Side note: I found all the powder products in this grouping (blush, highlighter, bronzer) are deeper on skin than they appear in the pan – which is good, since they all look pale in the pan and they’re actually more varied than you’d think.
Blushes, bronzer, highlights
Lens Soft Lights is a pale apricot with a light shimmer. You can use this as a highlight or blush. It’s very finely milled, and does not call attention to any flaws in my skin. The pigmentation is high, but the texture is extremely blendable, which is a great combination in a highlight product. It can be very subtle if you apply it lightly – you’ll be able to see the difference it makes, but others won’t quite know why they think you look great. This one should look good on just about any skin tone, including very dark and warm ones.
Warm Apricot is a soft orange blush that tends toward coral the more you diffuse it. It’s got a very fine gold shimmer that’s subtle yet noticeable. It doesn’t highlight any flaws in my skin. It will work for warm skin tones and any cooler skin tones that can take any degree of peach. It’s deep and pigmented enough to work for many deeper skin tones.
Prism Soft Lights is the second and final highlighter in this collection. It’s a cool toned lilac pink that could perhaps also be used as a blush on some skin tones, but not mine – I’m light and slightly warm toned, and it looked an odd bluish pink on my as a blush. But as a highlighter, it’s something else entirely – it’s got a lot of shimmer, but it sheers out as much or as a little as you like, making it very easy to achieve just the effect you want. And as a highlight, it worked well with my warm undertones – it should work well with cool skin tones and most warm ones, but on some it may turn ashy.
Passion Blush is a medium deep rosy matte – which I wasn’t expecting, given how light it looks in the pan. It’s finely milled, so it’s both blendable and buildable. This is highly pigmented, so start with just a tap of your brush and add more if you want the color deeper. Sheered out, this one is great on lighter skin tones. Not sheered out, it should work for many deeper skin tones.
Petunia Blush is a light coral matte. It’s got more pink than Warm Apricot, and no shimmer. This one is a good neutral that can work for both cool and warm skin tones and should be almost universally flattering.
Sunkissed Matte Bronzer is a peachy matte bronzer. At first I thought it would be Oompah Loompah city, but it’s more yellow than orange based, and that keeps it from looking peculiar. That said, no bronzer is the right shade for everybody, and I think this will be best on fair skin. I’m light skinned with a lot of redness, and find cool-toned bronzers more flattering than warm. However, I can wear this as a matte blush, and a lot of deeper skin tones will find it flattering in that capacity too. I was also able to use it as a contour for my cheekbones.
Ivy Cream Eyeliner is a shimmery aqua green. It’s got plenty of pigment and color payoff, but it’s a rather light color (as eyeliners go) that reflects a lot of light. It applies very smoothly and didn’t migrate, smudge or fade on me during the course of the day.
Caviar Cream eyeliner is a soft matte black. It’s rich in pigment and opaque, but it’s not a super-dark black so it looks more natural but still vibrant. It glides on easily so you can apply it more softly or more heavily, as you prefer. It wears surprisingly well in the waterline, lasting as long as many pencil eyeliners I’ve tried (though not as long as some – but you can set it with a powder eyeshadow and the combination will last very well).
Fortune Cream Eyeliner is a deep golden bronze shimmer. This one has a tendency to squish out from beneath your brush and end up a little bit sheer. With a little patience, you can still pack it on. It’s really beautiful as a tightline overtop of Caviar for your main liner.
Picasso Cream Eyeliner is a navy blue matte. It’s got plenty of pigment and applies very smoothly, like Caviar. It also wears well through the day without migrating or fading.
Midnight Brown Cream Eyeliner is a deep matte brown. It glides on nicely and wears well, like the other mattes in this collection. This one has plenty of pigment, but can also be smudged or applied lightly for a soft look.
Taupe Cream Eyeliner is a shimmery gray brown. This one performs every bit as well as the mattes, gliding on smoothly with plenty of pigment. It wears well through the day.
Deep Purple Cream Eyeliner is a deep shimmery purple with blue and burgundy undertones. The more sheer the application, the more burgundy you see, and the more heavily it’s applied, the more blue you see. This one can be a little fussy – the pigment is there, but applying it over powder (as on the upper lashline) seems to make it sheer out.
Gilt Cream Eyeliner is a shimmery golden yellow. It’s got pigment, and it applies and wears well. This is a nice color for an inner corner highlight.
Smoke Cream Eyeliner is a charcoal gray with silver shimmer. It glides on as well as the mattes and stays all day. You can pack it on to get more shimmer effect or sheer it out a little to get a soft gray with just a hint of shimmer.