It's been a while since I was fully enamored with a Smashbox product in general and an eye shadow palette in particular. The fall 2011Girls On Film collection includes several Photo Op palettes. I played with a few at the stores, but the one I was sent, Smokebox, is my favorite. Sophie seems to approve, too.
Despite its name and the inclusion of a few classic heavily smoky eye shadows, Smashbox managed to put together a set that can be worn lightly on a work day, and the inclusion of a fabulous taupe makes it a very easy to wear palette, as mixing and blending with taupe makes everything prettier.
Smashbox Smokebox Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette includes: Bliss (matte beige), Putty (shimmery taupe), Blacktop (sparkle-infused black), Mist (shimmery silvery lilac gray) , Royal (almost matte dark purple with brown leanings) and Nocturnal (very shimmery royal blue). I have to tell you that the unassuming Bliss on all its yawn-inducing beigeness is a great color. It's a perfect base/matte brow bone enhancing color, not too warm, not chalky-- everything I never found in Bobbi Brown's similar powder eye shadows. The rest of the colors speak for themselves- the taupe is, of course, wonderful. I mix the darker color into it for a wearable smoky effect and use it to adjust the look if I happen to go overboard. Royal and Nocturnal are very intense and need to be applied with a soft but firm brush. The purple Royal is easier to wear than many colors in this family thanks to its brown base. Nocturnal looks far less sparkly on the eye lid than it's in the pan, which is perfectly fine with me.
The weakest link in Smashbox Smokebox Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette is Blacktop. It has the least smooth texture in the set and I can't help feeling most of us will find it redundant. How many black eye shadows, with or without sparkly particles do we need? And speaking of the level of shimmer and glitter, the ultimate black eye shadow in this category comes from Hourglass (review soon). Anything else is a huge disappointment next to it. However, I have to give Smashbox's Blacktop this: applied with a damp pencil/smoky eye brush, the results are pretty and resilient.
Bottom Line: a very pretty workhorse.
Smashbox Smokebox Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette ($42) is available at Nordstrom, in-store and online. This item was sent to me by the company free of charge for consideration and review.