Monday, July 4, 2011

Benefit Smokin' Eyes Palette

From what I have been reading about this fall, it seems that palettes that help to create smoky eyes are going to be big sellers.  This is a traditional look for the nightime every single fall and winter and yet it still remains one of the hardest looks to create and one of the easiest to overdo and create the very attractive "punched in the face look".  I am interested in looking at palettes that promise easy smoky eyes and comparing them to see their similarities and differences.  There are so many ways to create smoky eyes at this point, ranging from traditional grays and blacks to adding a pop of color to enhance your eye shade.  Today we are looking at the Benefit version of the smoky eye palette.  This one has been out for several years and appeared in Allure a time ago when they were giving tips to help perfect the look.  Personally, I have found that the easiest way to get this look to work is to buy a kit with instructions or to go the makeup counter and get a full lesson and purchasing the suggested products.  When I did that at MAC, I walked out with a pile of eye shadows and brushes.  It might be easier to purchase a palette then to go through the whole makeover experience...

I found this product on the Sephora website and used it to find out the information that I needed on it.  "A kit that delivers a sexy eye and brow makeover.  Benefit Smokin' Eyes...has everything a gal needs to create sexy, smoky "after hours" eyes and perfectly groomed brows in no time.  With the blendable shades and a step-by-step lesson, even makeup phobes can smoke it out like pros.  When the sun goes down, this smoldering eye kit comes out to play!"  This kit contains the following products...

- 3 Eye Shadows: a pink highlighter, medium pewter, deep charocoal
- Smokin' Liner - line created esepcially for this palette to be blendable and help to create the base of the smoky look; the shade is a deep black
- Eye Bright - a pink-based eye concealer/highlighter to hide any flaws around the eye area
- Brow Zings - a shaping wax used to help clean up small strays hair in the eye brow area
- Double Sided Brush - one side that is fluffy to apply and blend eye shadow and the other side is a hard angle to play the deep shadows shades right where needed
- small tweezers - to help keep brows in line
- a step-by step lesson book to help everyone create the same look

I played with this product at Sephora and came to a few conclusions.  This set will only help to create the traditional smoky eye look, pewter and black are the dominant shades.  I found that the pink highlighter to be the weakest part of the palette, it would work on pale skintones but might be too much on deeper skintones and just flat out won'y work if your skintone doesn't allow you to wear pinks; I would have preferred to see a sheer silver or white as the highlighter shade.  The eye liner was soft and easy to smudge and I wish that this product was available on it's own in the full size.  I don't really see the point in the eye brow wax and the tweezer in the palette, I would rather just have the tweezer since I don't even try to wax my own brows.  The lesson book was very easy to work with and I doubt that anyone could really screw it up.

This palette is best for those who have never tried a smoky look before or don't have a very large makeup collection.  I already owned every single one of these shades from different lines and MAC's Eye Kohl (pretty much works the exact same way).  The guide is great for someone who is doing this for the first time but again not for someone who is more experienced with makeup.  The major drawback of this palette is still the eye brow wax, the palette is aimed at someone with little makeup experience, however this is not the type of person who is going to feel comfortable waxing her own eyebrows!  This palette is good starter set and the directions can easily be adapted to other shades in a smoky look once you feel more comfortable with the application technique.  It isn't very unqiue and really wouldn't be of much use unless you really need help with the application and don't own any shades like these.

photo courtesy of Sephora

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