I have been using mineral make up for years, so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the brand Smashbox. Ulta was selling the “Beauty Exposed” kit for $39 earlier this year (with a free gift!) but now it has been replaced with the “Beauty in Focus” kit. I was looking for a make up kit that I could use quickly while commuting to work (via train – no driving and putting on make up for me) or at work for mornings where I have a longer work out and need to leave the house ASAP. While I was eyeing Bare Minerals “Ready” pallets, it only included eye color and I wanted more bang for my buck. I looked at other brands like Too Faced and Urban Decay and I still may try them one day, but I finally decided on Smashbox!
Beauty Exposed came with the following:
- Beauty Exposed Palette (Eye color: Bare, Camel, Marble, Oak & Soft Lights: Moonstone)
- Eye Liner in Stone
- Blush in Peony
- Lip Enhancing Gloss in Starfruit
- Photo Finish Foundation Primer
- Tutorial for two looks: Beauty Exposed and Smoky Cat Eye
Palette / Liner: Oak is my favorite eye color of the bunch which is odd because I tend to like more shiny colors like the other three. Oak is the perfect brown and looks sultry and smooth. The application is different than mineral make up, so I tend to end up with some loose powder on the mirror (and sometimes my face) but it wipes off easily. I also love using Moonstone as a highlight color for my cheeks. It makes a huge difference in my overall look. I love feeling like I know a fashion secret. Stone glides on my eyelids and is easy to smudge to create a smokey look. All of the eye products are gentle for my sensitive eyes so I was impressed.
Blush: Peony is a great color that you can layer – a little bit adds a small bit of pink or you can build up the color to really make your cheeks pop!
The palette and blush do have a smell and while it’s not noxious, I’m not used to smelling make up. I have a sensitive sense of smell and the scent doesn’t bother me or make me sneeze so no big deal here.
Gloss: My favorite part of the kit is the lip gloss. I will definitely buy more Smashbox lip gloss in the future as it was not sticky at all and actually feels somewhat moisturizing. I love it! I tend to steer clear of glosses because often they are described as “not sticky” but actually are. I didn’t know what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised!
Primer: I’m not a fan of primers. I honestly don’t notice the difference in foundation wear while using or not using primer. I would have rather seen a different piece included such as an eye brush. But since I got the primer I’ve been using it and no problems with it at least.
The free gift was a mini Smashbox BB Cream which I loved except it was in the medium shade and made me look orange. I did like how it felt on my skin but I didn’t get the full experience of how it worked with my skin tone. Currently I’m indifferent toward BB Cream. It seems like it would be nice if I could use it instead of foundation but several companies are marketing it to use with foundation and I can’t afford that on an ongoing basis. I wish they had given me a light shade so I had more time to decide if I liked it with or without foundation.
By the time I took pictures of these products, they were well-used! It is fun to create my own looks with the palette but for this review I went with the Smokey Cat Eye look. The lighting in the photo made my lips look slightly brighter than the model. Overall I think the colors in this kit are great neutrals, none of them are too loud but they are also noticeable and enhance my features. I love a natural look and these colors are great for going nude which is always in fashion.
Overall I would recommend Smashbox Cosmetics and I do not regret veering from mineral make up to try a different brand. I especially love the lip gloss formula. It is important to note there has been some recent controversy about cosmetic companies (including Smashbox) selling products in China which requires animal testing. Even though they do not test on animals in the US, they are required to do animal testing in order to sell in China and thus are not considered cruelty free. This is upsetting since I liked this kit and want to try more of their products – so I am hoping they will reverse their decision to sell to the Chinese market (at least until we can convince China to end their animal testing laws).
What do you think of Smashbox Cosmetics? Would you try their products even though they aren’t cruelty free? What other brands have similar lip gloss formula? I’d really like to know so I can try it!