Smashbox’s Studio Pop Ultimate Palette is a trifold palette that opens up to give you 45 eyeshadows, 3 blushes, 2 highlights, 1 bronzer, 9 cream eyeliners, 6 lip glosses, two brushes, a mirror and six “get the look” cards. It’s a limited edition Ulta exclusive priced at $59. They say it’s a $300 value. It’s hard to do the math to check that since some of these products are not from the permanent collection. However, the value of the shadows alone comes out to about $260, and a similar collection of cream liners costs $32, etc., so I think it’s very safe to say this is a $300 value.
I’m going to break this review into several posts (see links at the bottom) because there’s just so much to cover! This first post will be about the palette in general.
The quality in this palette is superb – especially for a holiday palette, where often brands are less careful. The powder products are rich and pigmented, and they apply smoothly. The cream products are also highly pigmented with good staying power.
When you open up the palette all the way, on your left is a nice size mirror and a pocket that holds six “get the look” cards that give you instructions on eye looks. The next fold is the eyeshadows – a whopping 45 of them. These are small pans, but a decent amount (0.02 ounces) that will last a while, and they’re plenty big enough to dip any eyeshadow brush into. Over this fold is a plastic sheet to protect it from contaminating the cream products on the next fold – the sheet also puts the name of each shadow over it. The third fold has the cheek powder products and the cream eyeliners and lip glosses. It also has a plastic sheet over it with the shade names. In between the folds you have two brushes: a double-ended eyeshadow and flat “push” liner brush, and a lip brush. The brushes are adequate – nothing special, but you can certainly use them to get the job done.
The black material the products sit in is that spongy foam you see in many palettes. It’s hard to keep it looking super clean when powder products get on it. The plastic sheets can also pick up some of the cream products, especially if you carry the palette around with you. I don’t consider this a deal-breaker – especially given how good the palette is overall – but I wouldn’t mind if next time Smashbox put the mirror and cards fold in the middle, letting it act as the barrier between the powder and cream products so you didn’t have to raise the plastic sheets out of your way to use the palette. Again, I’m not holding any of this against the product, it’s just some notes to be aware of.
Here’s a look I did using nothing but this palette, except for my foundation, powder, concealer and mascara.