I can't believe I'm only getting around to blogging about this little beauty now because I've seriously had it in my collection for well over a month. I received this Full Exposure Palette as a gift from David's sister, who is so kind & generous to have picked it up for me on her last visit to London, thank again if you're reading this. I've seen this Smashbox palette on the blogosphere before, it's definitely not the newest kid on the block but considering I have so many neutral shades as it is, I never even planned on picking it up. Now that I have it though I kinda love it and the shades within are pretty much all I've used in the past couple of weeks. This is also my first proper introduction with the brand and it's safe to say I have already created quite the wish list of what I would like to pick up next, but for now let's get on with the review…
On first impressions I love the sturdy black packaging, it's made of thick cardboard but it's quite lightweight and practical. I'm also super happy with the fact that there's a brush included because it's actually really good quality and in my opinion you can never have too many brushes (especially eye ones). Straight away you're greeted by a variety of neutral shades, most of them are warm toned but there's also some cool toned shades with the last two shimmering greys & the matte black. I love the mix of shades in here and I think any kind of skin tone would get good use out of the selection available. It's also true what they say, you can never have too many neutral shades as there's always room for more. However I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this palette in the past with people saying the pigment is terrible and whilst I don't think it's the worst out there, I can see where they are coming from.
So of course this palette has its faults, it's by no means perfect and the problem mostly lies within the shimmery shades. Oddly enough they are the ones that lack pigment as they tend to look more glittery rather than the gorgeous sheen I would expect. To get good pigment from them you do need to pack on the colour of course leading to some fallout, so for the price it's definitely a factor worth mentioning as I do think they could be improved. However I've found a way to make them work for me, using a little bit of MAC Fix+ applied on the brush gives you the best results in terms of pigment. So extra, added effort is needed to make the shimmery top row work, but for the matte shades within I'd say it's kinda worth it, because they are some of the best matte shades I've tried in a while. They feel super creamy & smooth, a complete dream to blend. Not only that but they are the best mix of crease shades, so you've really got a great selection to build up depth in the crease when creating a smokey eye. I really don't know how the quality of these matte ones can differ so much from the shimmery ones, it's a bit of a puzzle but I am enjoying getting daily use out of them all the same.
Overall I personally love the palette even if the shimmery shades can do with a good improvement, because the matte ones truly stand out & I can still make the shimmery ones work for me with a bit more effort. For the price though I would say there's better quality out there such as Urban Decay but you're less likely to get the even mix of mattes & shimmers. So at the end of the day it's all about preference, are you willing to go the extra effort to make the shimmery ones work for you as long as you get the fantastic matte shades? Or would you prefer something fuss free even if you're getting less matte shades?
In terms of longevity these don't last longer then 6 hours before fading & creasing on my eyelids, so a primer is definitely needed & also recommend by Smashbox themselves. I usually use a primer regardless so it's not something that bothers me. In conclusion it's definitely not a must-have palette, for me no palette is at the point as I have way too many, but it's been a great addition to my collection with some really gorgeous shades within & I've genuinely enjoyed using it… I'll have a makeup look on Saturday using this palette & the Esqido Mink Lashes I raved about last week, so do keep an eye out for that if you want to see the palette in action! Until then I'd love to know if you've tried the palette yet & if so what are your thoughts on it?