There's some major beauty news today about Smashbox being bought by Estee Lauder. Acquisitions of this sort are usually only good for the ones pocketing the money (the Factor brothers, in this case). But since Lauder isn't necessarily known for cheapening products or artistically assimilating the companies it purchases, I'm not freaking out yet. Though I would most certainly will if I see signs of MACification.
Smashbox is well-known for creating kits and sets that are not only good value, but also carefully edited. That makes them a very appealing gift, because it's not just a bunch of random items. These kits also simplify things for travel, unless you're me and go nuts when packing.
The Iconic Eyes Kit is exclusive to Ulta and Smashbox.com. I was so keen on getting it because of the eyeliner duo, the two full size brushes and the beautiful indigo eye shadow. The opportunity to test a new (to me) eye lid primer also didn't hurt. The set also includes a full size Bionic Mascara, and the eye shadow is actually part of a four color palette. And there's an insert with a step by step instruction for two different looks.
I absolutely love the cream eye liner duo. I have several blue eyeliners, but this navy with a touch of violet is quite unique. The texture is softer and more smudgeable than similar Bobbi Brown or Lancome products, so take this into account. It's perfect for creating a smoky eye, not so perfect when you need an eyeliner that would stay put under any and every condition. Setting it with a powder eye shadow helps, but it still can't make it utterly firm.
The primer is thicker than the Urban Decay but not quite as creamy as the top product in this category, the Sensai by Kanebo Eye Base. Still, it does the job quite well. I haven't had the chance to test the performance on a rainy day, but I don't foresee any issues.
Smashbox eye shadows are not all equally created. I've had better success with the ones that come in the trio pan than with last season's Heartbreaker palette. I'm happy to report that I really like the quality of the four shadows here. They are all silky smooth, blendable and reasonably pigmented- even the lightest ones in the bunch.There is some fine crumbling, but not the at the chunk level of the previous palette.
Bottom line: Irresistible.
I bought this Smashbox Iconic Eyes Kit ($47) at my local Ulta. It's also available online.
Photos by me with the help of Giselle. In our house the cat with the most iconic eyes is actually Betty (named after Bette Davis and her eyes):