This past Spring 2016, Smashbox jumped on the matte bandwaggon and released their own all matte and all matte mini palettes. At first, I had every intention to boycott Smashbox and their shadows after my experience with their Full Exposure Travel Palette, buttttt they’re matte which is my middle name (lies) so I just had to give it a chance.
The same length and width of a credit card, it’s easy to see why my favorite thing about this palette is its compact size. But with 0.17 oz of eyeshadow, you are getting more product than you’d think!
For the sake of comparison, the Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes contain 0.30 oz split between 6 shades and retail for $29 which = $3.41 per gram. The Lorac Matte Pro palette contains 0.14 oz split between 8 shades and retails for $28 which = $7.05 per gram. And the Smashbox Matte Eyes Mini contains 0.17 oz split between 8 shades and retails $24 which = $4.98 per gram.
So it’s not the best value, and it’s not the worst. But it is the smallest! And it is the cheapest all matte highend palette on the market.
But what really makes this pocket ready eyeshadow palette special? And why should you consider it above the many other matte plaettes on the market?
Well, for one, you’re getting strudy acrylic packaging which is not magnitized and actually snaps closed. And for two, you’re also getting the largest mirror the size of the palette will allow (a real mirror, mind you… not a funhouse mirror many manufacturers like to include to save money).
Bonus: the mirror stays propped up!
Furthermore, you’re getting such an eclectic variety of warm and cool browns that this palette could also service just about any brow color. I also love that unlike leading matte palettes of this size and price, you’re getting both warm and cool transition shades in addition to shades you can use to set your primer, highlight, transition, deepen your outer V and/or create a little smokieness. And thank sweet baby Jesus this palette is without a black!
As for the pigmentation, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you these are the most pigmented eyeshadows I’ve ever dipped a brush into. But I actually like that. These shadows are soft, but they kick up hardly any product at all, are easy to build, easy to blend and have pretty good lasting power. The only thing they don’t do is apply themselves to your lid.
So what does this all tell you?
Well, if it’s drama you’re looking for, the Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Mini is not for you. But if you’re into simple (boarder-line natural) looks and need something compact and/or that can double as a brow powder cause you got things to do and places to be, you might not wanna pass this one up.
Side note, Smashbox boasts that these shadows can also be used wet for a more “intense” look, but I for one am not brave enough to dip a wet brush into anything that costs more than $5 to test that claim out. So saturate at your own risk.