Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac review, swatches, photos

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Eyeliner review

The product: Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Earlier this year, I attended a Smashbox Photo Session in Edmonton that (as some of you may remember) I wasn’t particularly thrilled with. While there, however, I fell in love with a couple of their products — the Photo Angle Gel Liner pens in particular.

I’ve had the chance to test the liner more than a few times since then, so read on for my full thoughts!

Smashbox photo angle gel liner review

Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Smashbox Photo Angle Gel Eyeliner review packaging

This clever twist-on cap keeps the product from drying out!

The packaging: The Photo Angle gel liners come in pen form with a soft silicone-slant tip, much like the Benefit Get Real! Push-Up Liners. After reading a lot of reviews for the Push-Up liners, I can definitely see what people don’t like about this kind of packaging, but I don’t know… I mean, I didn’t mind it.

If you’re really good at gel liner on your own, I think this kind of packaging is going to be frustrating for you. The pen tends to put a lot of product on the lashes themselves and makes it hard to get a super fine line right off the bat (as you have to push the product up by a full click each time), but on the flip side, it’s a one-handed application paired with a formula that wears really well.

For those who aren’t super good at gel liner to begin with, though, I think something like this could actually be quite helpful — just remember to wipe off any excess product first, and apply with a light hand so that the soft tip doesn’t turn into a thick brush.

Smashbox Lilac gel eyeliner pen review

The formula: I was able to wear this from 3:00 to 11:00 during testing with zero wear (I kept going to bed early the week I was wear testing this? I don’t even know), which for my un-primed lids is very impressive — but the product itself does feel a little thick and ungainly on the lids.

I think a lot of my love for this product comes from the excellent wear time (most gel liners only last about an hour on my lids before creasing), so if you really struggle with keeping your liner on all day long, take note of this one!

Smashbox Lilac Photo Angle gel liner swatches review

The shade: Okay, but like, let’s be honest: I really only like this product for the shade. For all of the Photo Angled liner’s faults, Lilac is both beautiful and unique; matte and vibrant with lots of cool blue overtones and vibrant red undertones.

I’ve never come across another liner quite like this one, and for that alone, I think this liner is worth taking note of. It looks a little weird along my lashline, honestly, but it is as of yet unparalleled in my stash!

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac swatches review

The verdict?

This liner format is a rather polarizing one, and if you know already that it doesn’t work well for you, I don’t think this formula will change your mind.

That said, for all of its faults, I really do like the Lilac Pure Pigment Gel Liner. It’s a very unique matte lilac shade, and unlike most non-liquid liners, it wears very well on me. I’d recommend getting it only if this is a colour that you just have to have — it’s a fantastic rendition of the shade, but I don’t think I’d have been as impressed had this liner been black or standard violet.

Availability: $24 USD/$29 CAD at Sephora and ULTA.

Keep reading! »

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

Monday, May 11, 2015

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?

ALL EYES ON | North American BB creams

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For those of you that can’t wait until the 16th (online exclusively at for the new Marcelle BB Cream ($22.50 CAD, in stores Feb 6th), here are a few others…

What makes up a BB cream?

The blemish balms that have been sweeping through Asia over the past few years are finally making waves in North American brands, too. These all-in-one bases are lightly tinted to even out the skin, creating a smooth, even base under foundation (or, depending on the brand and shade, replace foundation altogether.)

I’ve also seen “BB” cited as “beauty base,” “beauty balm,” and “blemish base,” but they’ve always been blemish balms in my head. You may recognize them from brands like Skin Food, Dr. Jart, Etude House, Missha, and The Face Shop – and those are just the big ones. BB creams are, more or less, the tinted moisturizers of the other side of the world; sheer foundation with an extra marketing punch. (And, hopefully, an extra-punchy formula, too.)

There are a number of multinationals that do Asia-exclusive BB creams, so perhaps they’ll show up here sometime, too. I know Maybelline, L’Oreal, and Garnier do them, as well as department/boutique brands like La Roche Posay, Dior, Estee Lauder, and Bobbi Brown, so perhaps it’s not too much to hope for! (Note, the Estee one sold here is different from the one sold in Asia; theirs launched earlier and is part of the Cyber White line, not the DayWear range.)

The not-quite-Chanel FOTD | Gold and black smokey eyes

Monday, August 1, 2011

When I set about to do a look this past Saturday, I had intended to re-create the recent Chanel Fall 2011 couture look – a sexy, glossy, all-black eye.

Needless to say, I was waylaid by a pigment stack I (inadvisably) had sitting out on my desk, and we didn’t really make it to our originally planned destination.

In the end, I put together a basic, black smokey eye with a gold highlight in the center, a look I’ve been quite fond of recently. (Er, having the main highlight being in the center of the lid rather than the inner corner, that is. But to be honest, I don’t wear a lot of black in terms of eyeshadow!)

Even more importantly, though, I’m super excited to get reviewing some of the products I tried out in this look. A few of them were in this bowl, and a few of them weren’t, but there were a couple of new textures that I’ve really been enjoying. We should have a review of the Clinique Lid Smoothie line within the next forty-eight hours, but consider this your “sneak preview” into some of our upcoming reviews!

Keep reading; you know you want to »

My current go-to brow-and-contour product | Smashbox Single Eye Shadow (Matte) in Smoke

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I’ve mentioned this a ton of times, but (while responding to comments in last week’s All About Brows post), I realized that I’ve never actually posted a photo of this little gem!

Smashbox Smoke, a discontinued matte grey eyeshadow, has been my brow product of choice for ages. The shadow itself is really lovely (smooth, soft without being crumbly, and very blendable), and the shade works well as a brow filler in combination with almost-black hair and cool undertones. I tried it for the first time out of frustration more than anything else – everything I had tested prior to this one just looked so burnt-red in EOTD shots – and haven’t looked back since!

swatched dry on unprimed skin (light/heavy)

As far as finding a dupe goes, I haven’t really looked for one yet. I can’t imagine it would be difficult to find one, though; it really is just a basic grey! Something like NYX Dark Grey or Bobbi Brown Steel should do the trick, or (if you’d rather use a product specifically designed for brows), NYX’s Black/Grey brow duo or Clinique’s Charcoaled brow powder would work, too.

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