Tag: palette

Posted by Beauty Bugle / in BLOG, Product Reviews / 2

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour kit, not for everyone

The Smashbox Step-by-Step contour kit was one of the products I was really looking forward to this year.


So, when I saw it at Red Square in Sandton City, I grabbed it.



The palette was much smaller than I thought it would be, using promo pictures as my reference. But this would be great if you are travelling or trying to streamline your make up storage.

The case itself is sleek in typical minimalist Smashbox style with the Smashbox logo on the top of the palette and a diagram of what’s inside on the back. The palette itself is hard plastic. It’s sturdy and has a full side mirror on the inside with another diagram. (You can remove this) It comes with a free contour brush; a mini sized one, great for placing the contour powder on your face and running the product down the sides of the nose.

All the goodies you get!
All the goodies you get!

It is very small and while the Smashbox instructions does say that you can use this one brush for bronzing, highlighting and contouring. No . . . you can’t. I used my regular brushes to apply and blend out the rest.


The box opens up into a step-by-step diagram on how to use the contour kit and where to place each color. I’ve always loved the thought Smashbox puts into it’s packaging, with the inserts and leaflets, which are really handy if you’re a beginner.

The box opens up into a guide on how to use the product.
The box opens up into a guide on how to use the product.

Powder contouring and highlighting is meant to be subtle so get the thoughts outta your mind that this is going to make you look like a Kardashian.

There are three pressed matte powders in the palette called Contour, Bronze and Highlight. (Yes, that’s what they are called.)

Contour, Bronze, Hightlight, those are the shade names.  If you bungle this up them I have no words.
Contour, Bronze, Hightlight, those are the shade names. If you bungle this up them I have no words.

The contour colour is a cool mid-tone brown. This is a true contour shade. While I usually get away with using bronzer on a day-to-day basis to contour with, a true contouring shade needs to be cool-toned to create a shadow on your face and the last time I checked, shadows were not brown, orange or gold.

The matte bronzer is a warm brown, I was afraid it would not show up on my dark skin.

The highlight shade is a yellow-toned beige, not banana yellow or stark white, it’s a happy medium

The colours in the pan.
The colours in the pan.

The shades in this kit are more on the ‘’one size fits all’ side because there is only ONE contour kit and it’s meant to work on all skin tones. Does it? Not really. It will look different depending on your skin tone. From super pale to super dark, it may be a total hit or a massive fail.


The colours of the Smashbox contour kit swatched.
The colours of the Smashbox contour kit swatched.

The texture of all the powders is very soft and they are pigmented, with the highlight powder having slightly satin finish, note I said satin not shiny.

So how does it fare on my brown skin?

The contour colour created a very subtle shadow, which looked pretty good. I was surprised that it showed up at all because I have dark skin.

I doubt this will show up on anyone with really deep skin tones.

The bronzer was did warm up my skin slightly, but I didn’t like the look of it on my skin. It’s not muddy or orange, it’s just that the shade doesn’t show up like a bronzer would.

The highlight powder is a beautiful shade, with a beautiful texture. It worked for me but it may not flatter really pale or really deep skin tones may find this overwhelming or a bit ashy overwhelming or look ashy.


However, there was one nasty that shocked me . . . and that was the fallout.

The fallout broke my heart. This shot was  taken immediately  after using it . You can even see a droplet of water on the palette.
The fallout broke my heart. This shot was taken immediately after using it . You can even see a droplet of water on the palette.

I have never tried a Smashbox eye shadow or powder that has as much fallout as this. A light touch of the tiny brush into the pan and it’s all over the place! It get’s better . . . because this is a palette where the pans are so close to each other, the powder spilled over into one another.

I don’t mind the contour powder and bronzer mixing a bit, but the bronzer spilled right into the highlight powder.

Now, I get soooo frustrated when a dark eye shadow spills into a light shadow, you know how difficult it is to clean that up, if at all.

Thankfully, because of the fallout, I was able to dust it off, losing quite a bit of the highlight powder in the process.

I will not buy this again because of that.

However, this Smashbox contour kit is great to create an everyday contour and highlight because of the subtly of the finish and is also great for beginners. I mean with all the step-by-step leaflets and diagrams, they weren’t joking when they said ‘step by step’

Bar, the bronzer, it looked good on my skin and created a barely there effect, I would have liked it to be a little more ‘there’. I suggest you try it out before buying. If you have a very deep skin tone, I would skip this and buy try something else.

I saw that www.hashtagawesome.co.za stocks the Anastasia Beverly Hills contour palette, which is currently out of stock, but I’m sure, they’ll be in stock soon. Excited to try that . . .


While I can say that it can be forgiven that getting a universally flattering highlight and contour palette is a big ask in our milky way, the fallout was a massive fail.

This is the FIRST Smashbox product that has failed me in this way . . . and if you follow me, you know I’m a Smashbox addict. I’d like to think I bought a faulty kit, but I know I’m wrong . . .

Beauties, in my opinion, test this and if one if the shades do not suit you, save your cash.

Have you tried the Smashbox Step-by-step contour kit? Let me know how you found it ?

I am going to do a review and demo soon, so you can see how I use it.


Where to buy: Smashbox counters, I got mine from Edgars Red Square in Sandton City. I’m certain it will be available online at www.redsquare.co.za

Will keep you posted.

Price: R550



Posted by Beauty Bugle / in BLOG, Product Reviews

In the Nude! Urban Decay Naked palette


The Urban Decay Naked palettes are cult classics. It has such a following that it is one of the best-selling eye shadow palettes of all time! If that’s any thing to go by, you know you need this in your life.


I recently bought a few UD products from beautybay.com and just holding these palettes in my hands go my pulse racing.

The Naked palette he has 12 shades that come in various textures from matte to shimmer and everything in between.

The palette has 12 gorgeous shades
The palette has 12 gorgeous shades


The packaging is as equally beautiful as the eye shadows. The back of the box shows you what you will find inside, the names of the shades and corresponding illustration) shades, a UD Good Karma brush (a double ended crease and shadow brush) and sample primer potions in Original, Eden, Sin, Anti-aging.

The sample size primer potions
The sample size primer potions


At the back of the box is a very interesting detail and cool detail. The picture of the shadow brush is raised creating a 3D effect; I thought it would jump into my hands.

The brush image on the back of the box has a
The brush image on the back of the box has a

Open the box and you’re greeted with a chocolate brown velvety case with the letters NAKED etched onto it in gold lettering streamed across the top.


The mirrored compact is as slim as a supermodel and as elegant as Grace Kelly.



Virgin: shimmery nude beige

Sin: A pinky champagne with a frost finish

Naked – Light almond brown

Sidecar: shimmered, medium bronze brown

Buck: matte darkened beige-brown.

Half-baked: coppery bronze with a frost-metallic finish


Left to right: Virgin, in, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked
Left to right: Virgin, in, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked

Smog: a medium dark bronze with a gilded bronze sheen

Dark Horse: Deep chocolate brown with flecks of bronze

Toasted: medium dark pinky brown with a shimmery finish

Creep: Darkened blue-black base with silver and teal shimmer.

Hustle: A dark plum/chocolate brown with a soft shimmer.

Creep: A darkened blue-black base with silver and teal shimmer.

Gunmetal: A blue-gray metallic.


Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal
Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal

The eye shadows are soft and smooth and the colour pay-off is insane! Even the matte shades have the same texture and pigment, which is rare because matte shades tend to be chalky.

The shades are on the warmer side and my only gripe is that there isn’t a matte black shade, which I think would have made this palette perfect!


Create a feminine day look with Virgin (a great highlight colour), Sin on the lid and Buck as a crease colour. Look like a bronze goddess with by blending shades of Half Baked and Smog, smoke up your look with Creep and Gunmetal. You’ll be spoilt for choice here and this is a palette can take your peepers to the rooftop! The possibilities are endless.


Where to buy: Urban Decay Store Sandton City (Cape Town store to open soon. No word yet about online store)


Price: R850






Posted by Beauty Bugle / in BLOG, Product Reviews

Get it right with MAC Pro conceal and correct palette

This MAC palette has both concealers and correctors and are limited edition. But don’t despair if you want them, the palettes are still available online at maccosmetics.co.za when I checked this morning.

The palettes come in two shades, Light and Dark.

The palette in Dark has six shades.  Four concealers: NC45, NW45, NC50, NW55 and two colour correctors: Ochre and Pure Orange.

The pallet in Light also has six shades. Four concealers: NC15, W10, NC20 and two colour correctors: Pale Yellow and Pale Pink.I have dark skin, but I found the orange colour corrector a bit harsh for my under eye circles, the ochre created a much better effect.

The colours maybe intimidating, but never fear, playing around with the colours will allow you to customize what you need the product to do for you.

The texture of these correctors and concealers are very creamy, very blend able, full coverage and won’t settle into fine lines if applied correctly. To apply, gently pull the eye taut and using a swiping motion, apply with your ring finger. This will prevent the concealer from settling into fine lines. This is the method I use  when applying cream concealer. A client of mine, who had come in for a bridal make up trial said it had a drying effect on her skin and this may be the case with certain skin types. It you have super dry skin and lots of fine lines; you can skip this product or simply apply the product with a damp sponge or concealer brush to sheer it out.

The packaging is sleek with a clear plastic cover showing the colours inside. These are super-pigmented. I did find the black plastic palette case a bit cheap and flimsy, for R450, I expected a bit more.

Overall, make up artists will benefit most from these to use in a starter kit or travel kit.

This will work great in a  starter pack because you’ll need to use a tiny amount of product to see the effect so it will probably last you a while. The darker and lighter shades could also work as highlight and contour creams.

Having said that, the shade selection could have been wider.

Internationally, 4 palettes were launched, which included a Medium and a Deep palette. So for those ladies with medium skin tones, I’d advise to skip this.

There are definitely cheaper alternatives. The NYX range is super affordable and has a wide selection of colours to choose from.


Beauty BugleMAC PAL



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