Who is it for? Smashbox #SHAPEMATTERS palette { Review and Swatches)

Aaaah Smashbox, my love affair with you continues . . . I first fell in love with Smashbox primers and my love for their other products grew. I love that they bring full-sized palettes to South Africa, something I have never seen another international brand in South Africa do.

Well, MAC does a Warm/Cool neutrals palette, but that’s it really. Smashbox brought in the Full Exposure and Double Exposure palette, the Highlight and Contour kit and that amazing Telephoto 3-1 brush. I love how their products sound gimmicky but turn out to be anything but. I mean freshly ground powder, primer water? It’s groundbreaking!

When I heard that the Smashbox #SHAPE MATTERS palette came into the country, I grew my Red Bull wings and got it, well, my husband grew the wings and flew in to get it but you know what I mean.

So Smashbox says this palette will change your contouring, brow and eye make up game and it’s packaged in one sturdy palette. And the mirror stands up and doesn’t flop down, so you can easily set this on any flat surface when traveling and don’t have your usual set up. It is heavy and bulky, but it is a kit after all, no?

Developed in Smashbox Photo Studios in L.A, this palette contains:

9 award-winning Photo Op Eye Shadows (Vanilla, Totally Nude, Champagne, Stripped, Posh, Platinum, Sumatra, Aubergine, Blackout)

3 Contour Powders for most skin tones

1 Highlighter

2 Brow Tech Powders

1 Brow Tech Wax

1 double-ended Shadow/Brow Brush

1 full-size mirror

It also comes with 3 Interactive Get The Look Cards (Brow, Face, Eye)

#SHAPEMATTERS inserts with how-tos. This is seriously awesome. All you do is go to the Smashbox website, scan the card, and viola! You can get a custom how-to guide for all your contouring , brows and eye shadow needs.

I love that the ‘show and tell’ and how-to guides that Smashbox creates for users, because honestly, sometimes, we don’t have a clue.

It comes with a plastic overlay, which, when placed on the palette shows you each part of the palette and corresponding names. I hate this set up. I would rather have the actual names on the palette.


Thank God the layout and names of the palette are on the back of the palette because I will lose that plastic insert by next week, I know it.


Honestly, I don’t have brow issues. My eye brows are decent brows. Sometimes I look very gothic and angry even because they are naturally jet black . But I want them fuller, so I’m growing them out and they do still grow. I don’t have to set my brows in place, and I can do a basic make up look without doing a thing to my brows and go out the door.

However, I love filling them in to create filler, thicker brows. I think that brow powders are great and create a very natural look if you are filling in your brows and the wax is great to set the powder in place. However, if you have very sparse brows, a brow powder and wax won’t do much. I’d say a pencil or pomade would work better. I love the shades even though they are quite light, it somehow works, with the Taupe shade acting as a transition colour and the Soft Brown adding warmth while lightly lightening my brows. If you have really light eyebrows or red hair, this combo will be too light for you or orange for you. Taupe is an excellent shade for blondes and Soft Brown will suit beauties with brown to dark hair. Here the shade selection is pretty good. The wax is encased in a plastic container with a lid that shuts tightly. I appreciate that because nobody wants powder to fall into the wax.

When Smashbox came out with their Highlight and Contour kit, I was disappointed with the shade selection and the fallout.

However, this time around, the bronzer is much deeper and shows up much better on my skin. I know there is a kit for darker skin, having looked at the shades, I do not know who that will suit. However, this combo will suit light to tan skin tones, and I am probably the cut off skin tone. If you are very light, this will not suit you. The bronzer will pull more orange, the contour may look too grey and the highlight shade, while not a true yellow shades leans more banana than beige. If you have a deep skin tone, this may not show up at all and the highlighter may look ashy.

The Glow highlight is a white gold that I didn’t think I would be able to pull off, but I can. It is a muted white golden that when blended out leaves glowing skin. This can be built up to create more of ‘I’m competing with the sun’ kinds highlight. This will definitely look too ashy on very deep skin tones while looking most flattering on light, olive or tan skin tones.

The formula is smooth and not creamy to the point where there is so much fallout you need a vacuum cleaner to clean up after you have done your make up! It’s easy to blend and I think the powders are an all round winner for me.

Onto the eye shadows

I have always loved the Smashbox Photo Op formula, the matte shadows are the best I have ever used on my eyeballs.

The shade selection is gorgeous, a beautiful mix of smokey, neutrals with beautiful accent colours, pops of pink and a bejeweled shade. They are divided into trio, vertically. A neutral, a universally-flattering purple/pink doo daa and a bit of smoke on the third row. Of course you can mix and match like an eccentric fashion blogger and go to town.

The shades are

Vanilla (Matte) White

Stripped (Matte) – Warm Peach

Sumatra (Matte)- Cool-toned chocolate brown

Totally Nude (Matte) – Light Pink

Posh (Shimmer)- Mid tone pink

Aubergine (Matte)- Deep purple

Champagne (Shimmer)- Peachy muted gold

Platinum – Bright gold

Blackout (Matte) –Black. This is not the blackest black I have but it’s black. This applied slightly patchy but was easy to smooth out

The eye shadows are very opaque and the shade selection is beautiful. You can create an everyday look, a sultry purple smokey eye. . The possibilities are endless. Apart from Blackout, all the eye shadows applied smoothly, were easy to blend and didn’t fade. I did use a primer and it lasted for a good 9 hours.

Vanilla may be too ashy on very deep skin, unless you do not mind that look but I love a good white and black in a pallete. You can lighten eye shadows and deepen eye shadows.

There are enough transition, highlight, lid and accent shades in this 9-pan set of shadows. This is the hero of this palette.

The Brush

Usually when companies add a brush to their eye shadow palettes, I find them, more often than not, poor quality . This isn’t the case with Smashbox.

The double-ended brush is angled on one shade and has a shader brush on the other.

The shader brush is dense enough to pack on colour onto the lid and fluffy enough to blend out eye shadow.

The angled brow brush is great for defining and filling in the brows and works well as a liner brush too. It’s also fabulous to contour your nose with the angled side and blend out the contour with the shader side.


It’s a great concept and for the most part this does work for me. However, depending on your skin tone and needs, this may not be the palette for you.

While shape does matter, money matters too, because while you do get value for money considering the price you would pay to buy each set separately, it’s still sssspppppeeensive, which isn’t shocking because Smashbox doesn’t come ssshheeeep but the quality of their products are amazing.

The quality of the products in this palette is of a high standard, it’s premium no doubt. Everything works and I was really surprised to see that the contour and bronzer had a better formula and the bronzer really showed up better than with the original palette. This all-in-one palette is great if you have light/medium skin, olive to tan skin and if you have a fair amount of eyebrows. If you don’t fit that profile, you should skip this and invest in one of their fabulous eye shadow palettes, blushes or their baked highlighters or Hydrating powder, their Brow Tech pencils. Saving money is great, but common sense is better!

Where to buy: Selected Red Square and Smashbox counters, nationwide or online www.redsquare.co.za

Price: R1200 (Valued at R2788)

Will you be picking up this palette? Do you fit the ‘profile’?

Until next time,

Stay blessed and beautiful

that’s what matters, right?



Beauty Bugle

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