Review: Smashbox Iconic Eyes Kit

By Voxy  

Dammit.

Dear Smashbox, I was *so* not going to get this kit. Really. Wasn’t gonna do it. Then you sucked me in with that gorgeous, gorgeous picture of the blue-and-brown smoky eye. And I admit it, I was tempted. Mostly because of the blue. That’s a really nice shade of blue. And then unfortunately I happened to stop by ULTA to pick up some facial cleanser (my brand of which they no longer appear to carry, WTF?) and there was the display/tester setup of the products in this kit. And because I was annoyed about not being able to get my facial cleanser, I decided that I would just test out that blue shadow, you know, just to see. Because the trip shouldn’t have been for nothing, right? And dammit AGAIN, that blue was a really nice shade on my hand. And the other colors in that palette were nice too. Crap. Smashbox, you suck.

Of course I bought it. What do you think I am made of, stone?

So. This little wonder-in-a-box contains the following: a mirrored eyeshadow quad (the shades seem, oddly, to be unnamed, but there’s a blue, a chocolate brown, and two highlighter shades, one peachy, one pinkish), a dual cream liner pot in “Infamous” (blue/brown), a deluxe sample size of Smashbox’s Photo Finish eyelid primer, a full-size Bionic Mascara, and two brushes (one shadow, one flat liner). Really, it’s quite a lot of product for $47, and it comes with instructions on how to create the various looks shown on the front of the box.

The four shades in the shadow quad are all quite nice; the darker shades are well-pigmented and the blue maintains its blue color and doesn’t go grey on skin (a pet peeve of mine about blue shadows). The highlighter colors are very light; it’s possible to blend the shadows to get a nice gradient from light to dark but you will need a bit of patience since they’re so far apart to start with.

I was excited to try the Photo Finish lid primer, and I used it instead of my regular TFSI. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a win for me, since I had some creasing and some color loss in the shadow as the day went on.

I haven’t had a huge amount of luck with Smashbox creme eyeliners; on me they have tended to smudge and fade. But, as with another recent review product, I haven’t tried them since I started wearing MAC paint pots as eyeshadow bases. So I’ll be trying them again, hopefully with better results. The brown half of the liner is a nice rich color; the blue half looks great in the pot but does that thing that I hate and turns to blue-grey on my skin. (I’ll be sticking with my MAC Petrol Blue Pearlglide eyeliner pencil for a blue liner.)

I haven’t broken out the mascara yet, only because I already have a mascara open and since they go bad more quickly than other cosmetics I like to only have one going at a time. In case you are curious, the “Bionic”-ness of it is explained by Smashbox as follows: “BIONIC is the first-ever ionic formula mascara. The primary ingredient in BIONIC is a chain molecule with a positive charge. The friction caused by sweeping the mascara brush across lashes causes a negative charge. Since opposites attract, the positively charged formula adheres to the negatively charged lashes for a dramatic effect that lasts all day.” (We will ignore the fact that the first listed ingredient in the mascara is, er, water.) Since the Bionic mascara is also sold on its own, I may review it when I get around to changing mascaras.

I like Smashbox brushes a lot, though I’d have preferred a slanted liner brush to a squared-off one, since I find these easier to use in applying cream liners. The shadow brush is nice: not too large, grabs product well, blends well, no prickly bristles on sensitive eyelid skin.

Products and swatches:

Liner shades on left, shadow on right. You can hardly even see the two highlighter shades on my skin; that’s how light they are.

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Smashbox Iconic Eyes Kit: $47

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. If all of the products were as good as the shadow, it’d be Excellent.

Purchase again? Yes; in general I like their kits though I rarely have 100% success with all the products in them.

(Have you used these products? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Want ’em? Give a holler in the comments!)

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11 Comments

  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “…I am espoused to Mr. Francie, a mechanical engineer whose research specialty is tribology, the study of friction, lubrication, and wear!

    So, this is probably inappropriate, but is the root of the word “tribology” the same word that the term for the sexual practice “tribade” (colloquially known as “tribbing” or “trib”) comes from? I had no idea! Those Victorians were so precise in their euphemistic naming of naughty acts!

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    • avatar chaosbydesign
      Posted July 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      A quick search suggests that these terms are both derived from the same word (the Latin ‘tribas’, meaning ‘to rub’).

        (Quote)

      • avatar Voxy
        Posted July 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Well, that rather explains another word associated with rubbing…

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  2. avatar a biologist
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is so tempting as those colors would be great for my blue eyes. But I already have two shadow primers (LORAC and TFSI) and 12 mascara samples to finish testing. Curses!

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted June 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “those colors would be great for my blue eyes.”

      Yes. Yes, they would. They would look stunning on you.

      Come to the dark side, A Biologist.

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  3. avatar Francie
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    “I could go into more detail about the multiple things that are wrong with the description of this ‘Bionic’ mascara, but I doubt readers of this blog really want to read six pages of irritated ranting about friction, electron transfer and static electricity.

    Oh, don’t be too sure about that, ChaosBD! Although a humanist, my tolerance for geek talk is high. You should know that I am espoused to Mr. Francie, a mechanical engineer whose research specialty is tribology, the study of friction, lubrication, and wear! Part of reason I found him attactive, SayNoMore!

    Anwyay, I for one welcome scientific insights about the products I consume. I’d like more information based on Actual Research and also testing under Real World Conditions before I plunk down a wad of cash (okay, plastic) for beauty products.

    And Voxy, that is a wonderfully subtle shade of blue, says Francie, who remembers and possibly used the blue eyeshadow of yore, gah!. If it needs a name, I am thinking “Wedgewood”.

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    • avatar chaosbydesign
      Posted June 27, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      “You should know that I am espoused to Mr. Francie, a mechanical engineer whose research specialty is tribology, the study of friction, lubrication, and wear!”

      Now I couldn’t possibly do it–my knowledge of friction in comparison to that of a person who specialises in that area is next to nothing, and if Mr. Francie talks to you about his work anywhere near as much as I talk to non-work people about mine, your knowledge of friction is also probably at a high enough level to make my assessment look extremely unscientific and basic. Commenting on subject about which I know relatively little to an expert in the area makes me nervous ;)

      I will say, though, that friction does not *cause* a negative charge, neither is an initial positive charge on either surface necessary for the generation of static electricity through friction.

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      • avatar Francie
        Posted June 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

        “I will say, though, that friction does not *cause* a negative charge, neither is an initial positive charge on either surface necessary for the generation of static electricity through friction.”

        Makes you wonder who staffs the research labs of these companies, doesn’t it?

        Re first post, erratum, “attactive” should be “attractive”. Although. . .

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  4. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted June 27, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    “The primary ingredient in BIONIC is a chain molecule with a positive charge. The friction caused by sweeping the mascara brush across lashes causes a negative charge. Since opposites attract, the positively charged formula adheres to the negatively charged lashes for a dramatic effect that lasts all day.”

    Oh, really. Really? Someone *please* tell cosmetics companies to stay away from ‘scientific’ explanations of what their product does.

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted June 27, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      Won’t work. Companies rely on pseudoscience to make the uninformed and too-lazy-to-look-it-up consumer think that their product is somehow cutting-edge. (See my other rants on the overuse of the word “technology” in cosmetics.) And then they give just enough information to encourage consumers to connect the dots and think things about the products that aren’t actually backed up by data.

      But the whole cosmetics industry is about illusion and perception anyway, so I think they think this is OK.

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      • avatar chaosbydesign
        Posted June 27, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

        I don’t doubt that it is a useful marketing strategy for the companies—too many people will believe anything they read, and to someone who is not all that concerned about what is actually in their cosmetics and how the ingredients correspond to what the company claims the product can do, the above explanation would easily be enough to convince them to go out and buy it. It is verging on false advertising, yet I think they get around it by not actually being very specific in their descriptions.

        I could go into more detail about the multiple things that are wrong with the description of this ‘Bionic’ mascara, but I doubt readers of this blog really want to read six pages of irritated ranting about friction, electron transfer and static electricity.

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