Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smashbox x Curtis Kulig Love Me Eye Shadow Palette

I was really excited when the Smashbox x Curtis Kulig Love Me Eye Shadow Palettes came out last spring. There were two palettes available, a warm Admire Me palette and a cool Entice Me palette. I was especially keen on the cool latter and was about the skip the warm former, but later decided to get both.

Smashbox x Curtis Kulig Love Me Eye Shadow Palette Admire Me and Entice Me. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

So, the packaging. As usual, I didn't expect much for the packaging and it proved me correct in being both silly and bulky. Basically, the compact is twice as thick as it should be, to make space for that black useless plastic frame that spells "love me". Couldn't they have just printed that on the clear lid and make the compact half the thickness it is?

In the left picture, see how the clear top half shows nothing but that black plastic frame? The right picture shows the eye shadow pan settling neatly in the bottom half of the compact, which makes its top half, well, completely empty save for the plastic frame.

- Admire Me: I wanted to skip this palette in the beginning because it was really way too warm. Yes, I'm really warm toned too, but that doesn't mean I can wear any warm palette. In fact, the same pinky yellow in my skin tone turns most oranges coral also turns some warm colors really red, much the same way it turns most greens yellowy and makes me look sickly. So I was really wary of this palette because out of 5 colors 3 are variations of brown, and I didn't want them all to turn muddy reddish brown. As soon as I swatched the leftmost color though, I was totally floored and was so so glad I gave this palette a chance and didn't skip it after all. The pressed powder shadow was buttery soft and silky smooth, and super pigmented! And none of the colors turned red on me as I thought they would!

From left to right:
- Burnt copper: metallic, high intensity. A gorgeous burnt copper with a metallic gold sheen. And look how pigmented it is!
- Peach: semi metallic pearl, high intensity. A beautiful peach with a semi metallic pearly sheen. Sure it's only semi metallic, but is the sheen gives a glistening wet look, very pretty! This color makes an awesome color for a wash all over the lids.
- Champagne: semi metallic pearl, high intensity. Like the peach above, this champagne isn't super duper metallic but its sheen gives a glistening wet finish. Makes another awesome wash for the lids.
- Caramel: satin, medium intensity. This is the only color in the palette I'm not too thrilled about. It gains a slight pink tinge on my skin and is slightly translucent if looked at from an angle. I haven't figured out how to wear this color because honestly, it just looks really dull and kind of smudgy. 
- Chocolate: satin, high intensity. This color has some shimmers that don't really show, and I only use it as a liner shade anyway.

- Entice Me: after the Admire Me palette won me over with its texture and swatches, I was holding my breath for this one. After all it was the one palette that got my attention to begin with! I mean, just look at that deep taupey purple at left and the gorgeous silvery taupe at top! They both look so beautifully metallic and I was practically drooling just staring at them!

But boy oh boy was I disappointed swatching this palette. Let's just say out of all 5 colors, the only color that has the same buttery texture as the Admire Me palette is the pale sky blue. All other colors are dry and gritty. Dry and gritty! What happened there?! Not only the texture completely changed, the pigmentation does too, and this palette is not as pigmented as Admire Me (the swatches were done with two layers). I felt like this palette tricked me with all its pretty colors!

From left to right:
- Deep taupey purple: semi metallic pearl, medium intensity. This is a gorgeous color if it weren't so dry and gritty! The taupey purple has a bluish semi metallic pearly sheen with the same glistening wet finish as the peach and champagne in the Admire Me palette, and topping all that off is a layer of pinkish white sparkles. Bring this color under any artificial lighting and it'll come to live! It's also slightly translucent when looked at directly, and turns more opaque from an angle. It's beautiful to look at in the pan and on, but it just feel so...urgh.
- Taupe: metallic, high intensity. A beautiful metallic taupe, but again so dry and gritty to the touch!
- Pale pink: pearl, low intensity. The semi metallic is gone and only a pearly sheen is left, and although it's not gritty and is much softer and smoother, it's still dry to the touch :( In addition to being slightly translucent, it's also not as pigmented. It's pretty, but it could have been so so much better!
- Sky blue: pearl, low intensity. Same with the pale pink, this color is only pearly and loses its semi metallicity. This is the only color in the whole palette with the buttery soft and silky texture as the colors in the Admire Me palette. 
- Navy: matte with floating shimmers, high intensity. Again, a pretty color in theory, a navy with bright royal blue sparkles. In fact, it's these royal blue shimmers you see in the picture below as the actual color swatched a much darker navy. Unfortunately, but both its texture and finish suck ballz! It's a matte base with floating shimmers that looks so good in the pan but so icky on T.T

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