Smashbox Photo Session at West Edmonton Mall | A morning makeover with Smashbox Cosmetics

Smashbox Photo Event West Edmonton

Not a lot happens in the beauty world in Edmonton, but this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Smashbox Photo Event at West Edmonton Mall. I’ve never actually taken the time to go for a makeover before, so it was a really eye-opening experience for me!

Here’s a little recap of the event.

Smashbox Photo Session Edmonton

I had my makeup done by Toronto-based Smashbox makeup artist Kristi Dukovic, who was a pleasure to work with — she really took the time to try to customize my makeup to my own preferences, and she had a lot of behind-the-scenes knowledge about the brand that she was eager to share.

We started out with the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water ($37 CAD), which is silicone-, oil-, and alcohol-free, and can be used to both prep and set makeup.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

Kristi then primed my lids with some Smashbox 24Hrs Eyeshadow Primer ($23 CAD), which the brand tested in-studio for a full 24 hours, and did my eye makeup using the wet/dry Smashbox Double Exposure Eyeshadow Palette ($60 CAD).

The palette itself was great, but I wasn’t crazy about the way that the pull-out recommends you do makeup for monolids — I couldn’t figure out why at the time, but the idea that Asian women need to fake an eyelid crease in order to look their best really bugs me. It really perpetuates the idea that there is only one kind of beautiful (and that that’s to be Caucasian), and I think that as an industry, we can do better than that.

Smashbox Makeup Artist Kristi Dukovic

Smashbox Makeup Artist Kristi Dukovic

But, I digress. Kristi then followed up with a little bit of the Smashbox + Donald Robertson: Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liners ($29 CAD) in Plum and Lilac, which wore crazy well — Lilac in particular is a total must-have. Then, she brightened up my undereye area with Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29 CAD), which broke me out (‘cones) but was fantastic while it lasted.

(I’m also wearing some Smashbox mascara on my lashes & a little bit of Brow Tech to Go ($30 CAD) through my brows.)

Smashbox xo contouring technique

The Xs and Os Smashbox contouring technique

Finally, Kristi finished off the look with some “xs and os” contouring (a Smashbox technique that helps keep you from applying too much product) and the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio ($52 CAD), which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t love. The contouring shade in the pencils is for some reason a lot more orange than the contouring shade in the powder Step-By-Step Contour Kit ($52 CAD), but I did really like the highlighter in the pencil trio.

I also got a chance to try out two of the L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colors ($36 CAD) for this look, which have a really pretty, very Hollywood sheen to them — I’m wearing Silver Lake Sunset on my cheeks and Hollywood & Highlight on the tops of my cheekbones, chin, forehead, and brow bone. (I’m not 100% sure what’s on my lips, but I think it’s Be Legendary Lip Lacquer in Lilac overtop their Always Sharp Lip Liner in Nude Medium.)

Smashbox Photo Op pictures

The Smashbox Photo Event ended with a few snaps by fashion and portrait photographer Kyriakos, who was super friendly and efficient.

All in all, my makeover and photo session were a really interesting experience, and I’m really glad that I got the chance to cover it for you guys — but while I loved the way that the makeup captured on film, it was a little too Instagram for my everyday life. My boyfriend kept cracking up at how much makeup I came home wearing, and I literally had so much gel liner on my left eye that I couldn’t quite open my lid all the way.

Would I go for another Smashbox makeover anytime soon? Probably not for a party or event, but if I wanted portrait-ready makeup, then absolutely.

Smashbox makeover event recap

What are your best and worst makeover stories? Have you ever had professional headshots taken?

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  • glittergeek

    You're so cute!!! I do like how this photographed here but I can tell it's a lot of makeup for everyday life. Those cheekbones are popping like crazy though!
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    • Heh. Thanks, girl!! I was actually really surprised by how well these pictures turned out — it really was a LOT of makeup in person! O.o

  • You look absolutely beautiful in the final shots (that cobalt top goes so well with your skintone, too), but I can see how the heavy contouring could look excessive in real life. The more I think about contouring, the more I wish it weren't so pervasive these days–why does absolutely everyone need to have high, prominent cheekbones?
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    • Thank you! <3 Kristi did a great job with the contouring, but yeah — it was a lot more than I'm used to. I don't get why people wear so much contour on a day to day basis, either! Like, yes, I <em>love a sharp cheekbone, but… it's just so much, you know?

  • beautyreflections2013

    You look gorgeous Rae!! I wish I could have gone with you!
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    • Thanks, Tracy! Wish you could have been there too :( Next time!!

  • I've only had my makeup done professionally once and this was for my high school prom at Bobbi Brown! It was a very strange experience to have someone else doing my makeup for me and I didn't pay any attention to what they used since I knew nothing about makeup at the time.
    I did come away wearing a lot more than I thought I would, but I guess it was prom so all's good?

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    • I guess so? I mean, I'll hand it to makeup artists everywhere: this much makeup does look great in photos, and it was a really interesting experience. But in real life, it's just so much! I went to the restroom after this makeover to look at my makeup, touched my cheekbones, and actually left fingerprints behind — I had that much cream contour piled on there. It was really, really surreal!

      • Ah the dangers of makeup transfer :'(
        The number of times I've accidentally smeared foundation across my work because I haven't set it properly is embarrassingly high…
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  • Vanessa

    Lady, you look stunning. Nice portraits!

  • Lulle

    How fun! I've been really into Smashbox lately, I bought the L.A. Lights in Silver Lake Sunset and the Double Exposure palette, I'm loving both. The portraits you got are really beautiful.
    I've hade one makeover with a Nars makeup artist ages ago, he did half my face and a more junior MUA did the other half, and she forgot to do my waterlines. Of course I only noticed several hours later, lol! It was beautiful though.
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    • Hah! That must have been quite the surprise for you, Lulle! :p I would loooove to go for a NARS makeover — their colour line is so much fun.

      Glad to hear you've been loving the Smashbox line recently, too! Isn't Silver Lake Sunset just gorgeous? :)

  • Vesna

    You look amazing! So fresh! :)
    I had one makeover ages ago and I was so amazed! Even my friend that went with me there kept staring at me ha ha! :D Sad to say, that was my only makeover, I wished I had more of those :)
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    • Thanks, Vesna! <3

      They're a really interesting experience, and I think they can be a great way to inspire you into shaking up your makeup routines a little! I hope you get the chance to go for another one sometime soon :)

  • Agree with you on the narrow definition of beauty and no need of a fake contoured crease part. Seriously, not needed at all. However, sometimes a lot of makeup does look nice and you look great with it ;) What do you think of the primer water? I have been seriously eyeing it, though I certainly don't need it but damn, I love me some off beat, not your standard products!
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    • Thanks, Shivani! I felt really uncomfortable with the whole "fake a crease" thing, but the products themselves seemed really cool.

      I liked the primer water (smells great!) but I've heard that it's an exact dupe for one of the MAC waters (based on identical ingredients lists). It's a very cool idea, but I don't think I got a good enough feel for it to tell you whether it's a must-have or a skip. Sorry dude!

  • rocaillewrites

    Eeee, Rae, YOU SO PRETTY. But I don't really know why anyone would feel the need to contour your already fabulously pronounced cheekbones. Just sayin'.
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    • Hahaha. BUT I LOVE CONTOUR, Monika. I LOVES IT. (Not this contour, but.)


  • GORGEOUS, GIRL. Those photos! I have had my makeup done for two proms & my wedding, and I think there was actually less makeup at my wedding than prom, LOL. Although I had great artists both times, the prom photos are like FLASH FLASH FLASH and the artists cater to that, whereas my wedding artist (and photographer!) were really great about less intense lighting.

    But can we all be done with the contouring fad already???
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    • Ahhh thanks Larie! <3 <3 <3

      Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Plus high school girls have this awful tendency to still think that more automatically = prettier, which I think prom artists would also cater to. (I bet you still looked awesome at your prom, though. Unlike me. I wasn't even there; I skipped mine. >.<)

      YES to being done with the contouring fad. If all anyone is going to do is hand is more & more creamy orange messss, LET IT BE OVER. Pleeeeease.