You know the feeling when entering a TJ Maxx store and see the wondrous makeup isle. The one that intrigues slow, old ladies and teenagers alike. Just the opportunity to squeeze your mini-buggy in between them to mark your territory is a victory. I often times want to put my hands out to block their view. Sort of like a guard in basketball. Elbows, knees, and buggies are a mandatory secret weapon if worst comes to worst. To be the FIRST to see (and hold) that hidden makeup gem that you know is 50% off of retail Sephora prices…simply magical. That is called, winning at life.

From all the way across the store, I could see a subtle glimpse. The trademark, black-matte Smashbox packaging was sitting there waiting patiently for me. I immediately knew I would be taking this palette home with me. I pick it up, open it slowly, and realize it is shattered to pieces. Poor baby! I must find your long lost twin.

I begin sifting through piles of Profusion palettes, contour palettes, and cheap China imitations of Anastasia Beverly Hills, then finally find my prize. A pristine Smashbox Matte Exposure palette. Unopened. Untampered. Unwavering.

Is this the palette that I’ve been waiting for? The one that will make me look like a sultry sex-kitten? The palette that I will travel with and – dare I say – hit pan? Let’s get into the full review.

Smashbox Matte Exposure Palette Review Plus Demo

I purchased the palette for $24.99. That’s $1.78 per shadow. On the Sephora website, I found it for $49 with a 4 star review. I also found it available on Amazon for around $35. The shade range was exactly what I was looking for. 6 warm shades with a perfect “eye-appealing” gradient from burnt sienna (that’s a Bob Ross reference) to rich, medium browns, and dark blackberries. Very earthy – Raquel Welch shades. The 6 cool shades are a mix of dusty lilacs, mauve grey, and suede. They’re also very earthy shades but ones that would be found in rocks and mountainous terrain. It has 2 middle shades that can be dual usage for a face bronzer/contour and a yellow-toned highlight. All matte – all fabulous.

The packaging is exactly what you would expect from Smashbox. Sleek, portable, and overall fabulous. They added the 14 shade names to the back of the palette for easy reference, as well as a nice mirror for applying makeup on-the-go. In other words, it’s travel friendly.

It comes with a handy pamphlet with recommendations and guidelines for ALL eye shapes. Whether you have down-tuned, hooded, almond, and more – there is 3 separate looks that are customized for you. This is great for people who are not aware of their eye shape or beginners just starting out in the makeup world.

They also include a dual-ended brush in their signature, bright-red color. One side is a densely packed angle brush for liner and/or brows. The other is a shader/blender brush similar to the MAC 217 or the Sephora 234 – medium shader brush. It is synthetic for use with creams or powders and I find works fairly well with this palette. As best as it can, that is…

With all that said, pigmentation, blend ability, and overall performance leave MUCH to be desired in this palette. This is definitely not a norm for Smashbox. They’re sold on QVC for goodness sake. They have a cult-like following and understandably so. This palette, however, misses the mark. All marks. She clocked out early. Her phone is on DND.

Many (if not nearly all) the shadows are powdery, thin, and chalky. There are a few shades that are unique in color, particularly Trouffle and Sumatra, but all the others are easily “dupable.” Watch the video below for reference, swatches, and dupes.

I hate continuously railing on makeup brands (cause believe me, I’m not making any friends and colleagues) but I have to be up front and honest with y’all. I tell you the good and the bad because at the end of the day – it’s YOUR hard earned money paying these brands. You are the steam engine in this beauty train. Without you, there is no “them” – or me for that matter.

I hope you found this Smashbox Matte Exposure Review Plus Demo helpful and informative. If you have any questions, comments, praise, let me know. I’m always down for conversation with my readers.

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Daily Nuggets:

  • As I write this, I have a dog and cat on my lap – and a 300 pound pig at my feet begging for my cheese crackers.
  • Since my TJ Maxx is still under renovations (it’s been over a month and I’m dying) I’ve been forced to shop at Ross. Not the same and do not like it, but I did find a few cute tops though.
  • I have my garden just about done. It’s 1500 square feet full of tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, corn, peas, snap beans, squash, zucchini, and eggplant. I’ll soon have watermelon and bell pepper…when they decide to finally sprout. Hard work, sunburns, and plenty of blisters.

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