Much like how Bilbo Baggins' described going out the front door, trying a new brand of makeup can be risky business. I don't think it's too far out of line to say that, for most ladies, once we find a product that works for us, we stick with it. The possible combinations of problems are as wide-ranging as the issues attached with having combination skin. That's my excuse for having waited this long to try Smashbox products. While I've heard great things, I've never been enticed to purchase them over my go-to products. However, I'm a sucker for a cosmetic kit. I came across their Try It - Besteller kit, which includes five of their most popular products in traveler sizes. Literally compelled by the name to *try it,* I picked it up.
What's Included in the Cosmetic Kit
As mentioned, there were five samples within the kit:
- Photo Finish Foundation Primer
- Full Exposure Mascara
- Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Filter
- Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Raven
- Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Disco Rose
My initial impressions weren't fantastic. Packaging is important, and this corrugated cardboard feel didn't feel the way a $50+ cosmetic kit should. The inside was also anticlimactic - no custom printing, only a slide-in accompanying piece of paper describing the cosmetics - which felt like a major missed opportunity for presentation packaging. Purchasing a luxury brand should feel like luxury, not like opening a cereal box.
But, that said, I'm happy to report that the makeup items themselves left a better impression. My favorite was the Kohl eyeliner. All-day wear, with no touch-ups, and it looked fantastic from breakfast to happy hour. Even after a few weeks of use, it's still sharp (as the name suggests). Paired with the mascara (people literally asked if I was wearing fake eyelashes), these two items created a stunning effect. I also have to give a shout-out to the lip gloss. It's hard to find a gloss that isn't sticky (is there anything worse than pulling stray strands out of your lips all day?) yet retains a sheen, and this does the trick.
The primer and the eye shadow were...fine. For my money, nothing beats Urban Decay's primer potion and setting spray. Smashbox eye shadow was pigmented and light, which is about the minimum of what I expect for eye shadow. The included shades were fairly standard on any nude palette, and I didn't really see any reason to switch from my normal brands.
Overall, I would purchase the eyeliner and the mascara again, maybe on the lip gloss, but no to the eye shadow and primer. I'm also not quite over the cheapness of the packaging. Like I said, when I'm shelling out for an upscale cosmetic kit, I want something that *feels* opulent. Like Dior or Urban Decay. Let that be a lesson, manufacturers: custom cosmetic kit packaging should reflect the quality of the product.