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Smashbox Image Factory Collection — A Sharper Image?

Taking control of your image, of the self that you project to the universe, is a concept that Smashbox founder Davis Factor takes into account both while behind the camera, shooting unforgettable images of A-list actors and fashion tastemakers, and while developing new makeup products to share with Smashbox consumers everywhere. The Smashbox Image Factory collection, then, was inspired by the concept of Smashbox Studios as precisely a modern-day Silver Factory (sans the debauchery, the drugs and the S&M fare, of course), where artistic minds can converge and feed off each other’s creativity. Even the packaging of the various pieces in the collection, then, speaks to its Warhol-ian roots, with boxes and palettes bearing collage-like graphics incorporating mixed media elements — among them black-and-white photo snippets, painterly brush strokes, and reel-like frames.

The collection consists of two Photo Op Eye Shadow Palettes  ($39 each at Sephora.com) — Icon, which features six moody shades, and Muse, which incorporates wispier, softer, more earthy tones; two Airbrush Whipped Cheek Colors ($29 each at Sephora.com) — Berry Bliss, a cool pink shade reminiscent of a raspberry sorbet, and Dusty Rose, a peachy pink color with a slightly antique feel; two Waterproof Shadow Liners ($22 each at Sephora.com) — Bronze and Charcoal — each designed as a double-ended tube featuring a thick crayon-like pencil on one end and a sponge tip on the other; and two Lip Enhancing Gloss Duos ($24 each at Sephora.com)Fab/Snappy, a sheer caramel and shimmering honeysuckle pink set, and Luxe/Chic, a nude and mulberry gloss set.

I had the chance to try two products from the collection: the Image Factory Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette in Icon and the Image Factory Airblush Whipped Cheek Color in Berry Bliss. Below, you’ll find close-up images of these products, along with swatches and more details on their texture, color, consistency, and overall performance.


As a fan of smoky eye looks, I was intrigued by the Smashbox Image Factory Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette in Icon ($39 at Sephora.com), which seemed to incorporate a range of mysterious, smoldering, seductive, Femme Fatale-worthy shades without resorting to a monochromatic scheme. I was particularly curious about the purple, espresso brown, and stormy gray hues, thinking they’d work together rather nicely. As you can see from the photo above, the palette contains six eye shadow shades: Alabaster, a slightly yellow-ish cream hue with a velvety texture and a matte finish; Thunder, a  charcoal powder color that feels slightly ominous and which has a magical quality due to the addition of fine silver micro pearls; Blackout, a matte carbon black with an ultra-soft texture; Roast, a golden espresso brown with gold and copper shimmer; Black Currant, a blackened aubergine shade with a matte finish and a dusky appearance; and Seafoam, a light silvery hue with greenish undertones and fine aqua and silver shimmer.

Below, you’ll find swatches of all the eye shadows in the palette.

Now, here’s the good and bad news. On  the positive front, the shades themselves are lovely and the palette strikes a nice balance in terms of the amount of light versus dark hues and, also, in terms of the matte to shimmery finishes. On the negative side, many of the shadows are needlessly messy — particularly the matte shades. They feel nice and moist on the skin but, when you try spreading them across the lid, they tend to fly everywhere, making the application process incredibly frustrating. These matte shades are also surprisingly difficult to manipulate when compared to previous Smashbox eye shadow offerings — they don’t glide on the eye as easily, nor do are they easy to layer for added intensity.

If you look at the swatches above, you’ll notice the Black Currant and Blackout shadows look a bit sparse so that you can see the skin underneath through those swipes of color. Well, the same thing happens when you apply these shades to you eye lids which, of course, means you need to add more layers to attain the desired coverage but, as previously stated, it’s not as easily accomplished as one might think.

Below, you’ll find photos of a look I created. Again, it’s an acceptable makeup look, but I wasn’t too pleased with the final result since buffing and blending proved to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated — especially given how much I’ve liked Smashbox shadows in the past.


Next, we have the Smashbox Image Factory Airblush Whipped Cheek Color in Berry Bliss ($29 at Sephora.com), a  limited-edition blush with a mousse-like finish. Now this product I absolutely adored. The cheek color feels so moist on the skin that you almost question whether it’s a cream color but it’s not, which is what makes it all the more remarkable and unique. The Airblush Whipped Cheek Color features a unique formula consisting of ultra-fine pigments that feel weightless on the skin and which can be blended and diffuse with incredible ease, along with silicone elastomers that essentially moisturize and firm the skin so as to reduce the appearance of any lines and wrinkles along the cheeks.

This particular shade is nice and youthful — rosy without being too juvenile in its shading and plum-tinged without being too severe. Plus, it’s not packed with shimmer, which makes it a nice alternative when you want to add a flush to your cheeks but don’t desire too mush sparkle. If, for example, you’re going in front of a camera and you don’t want to shine like a disco ball, this cheek color will come in rather handy. And thanks to the near-sheer finish, you can wear it on a bare face or atop foundation and/or powder.

Check out a swatch below:

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