Smashbox Full Exposure was probably one of the eye palettes I had my eye on (no pun intended) for a really long time. The palette looks promising, with a good mix of shimmery and matte shades all in one handy box. And man, the packaging is nice too with the sturdy black casing and holographic font across.
The Full Exposure palette comes with 7 shimmers and 7 mattes, totaling to what they call “14 universally awesome neutrals”. The names are relatively easy to remember because rather than naming them, they numbered them either with S (for shimmer) or M (for matte). So the shades just work out from left to right as S1 to S7 and M1 to M7. Smashbox included a how-to chart for six different eye shapes to help you decide where to place the colours if you need that extra help. The palette also comes with a usable double-ended brush. The fibers are not scratchy and the blender side does a really good job at blending.
I tried to capture the shimmery goodness of the swatches on camera but it didn’t translate well because I think the lighting was really off that day. The shimmer shades are definitely more shimmery in person. But they don’t apply that well on the lids if you use the brush that came with the palette. I was trying to lay down S5 with the paddle side and hardly any colour or shimmer transferred. When I used a MAC 239, the colour was much more vibrant. I experienced similar problems with the other shimmery shades too. I think you need a denser paddle brush (such as the MAC one) if you want the actual shade to show.
The matte shades however, are absolutely wonderful. They feel creamy and smooth and blend really well. The darkest matte is almost black (M7) and applies a tad bit patchy. But it works fine as a smudged out liner. I find the Smashbox brush lays on and blends the mattes without issues, probably because the consistency is more buttery. So yes, I do like the lower half of the palette very much.
I got a full work day’s worth of wear with a primer underneath. The shadows held up really well in the hot and humid weather and you need to ensure that the shimmer or glitter has something to adhere to, so use a good eye primer. I’ve been testing out theBalm’s Put A Lid On It and it does the job.
Overall, I think this is a good palette especially if you are just starting out with eye makeup and want a bit of everything in one box. There are no exceedingly bright or dramatic colours in Full Exposure and it is a well-constructed neutral palette. The shades are generally office-friendly and don’t require much effort to pull a look together. You may need to work the shimmers a bit more because they may not apply as intensely.
Do I think it is a must-have if you have a whole collection of neutral palettes? Well, no… unless you really want the matte shades. If Smashbox ever releases a matte eye palette, I’d be all over it! You can find the Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Palette at Sephora for RM169. Do bear in mind that this doesn’t come with a bonus mini mascara (like the US sets) but is still value for money as each shadow is almost full-sized (1g each).
Tell me if you have the Full Exposure palette and what you like about it. If you don’t, do you plan on getting one? I think quantities may be limited in Sephora locally and I saw a couple of boxes left in the Paradigm Mall branch last week. The palette is not limited edition though, so I think Sephora will restock soon.