Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eye Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

Dude, I got lost this morning.

Not the kinda lost that requires map quest but the kind that requires a face chart, ASAP, pronto. The Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eye Palette is rock-a-locking like nobody’s beeswax but I was so clueless how to use it. The palette is made up of four decadent shades of color and looks so amazing but damn I was really lost for a while trying to figure out a look using it.

Check it!

A smoldering eye palette made up of rich shades!

I imagine the most talked about item in the palette will be the new Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Paint. These are a highly pigmented metallic eyeshadow that can be worn wet or dry. Kinda reminds me of the Metallic Eyeshadows from Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Collection in some aspects as they apply a tad matte-like, patchy, and blend difficultly when dry. However, wet them and you get WOW! Very intense color pay off.

The Long Wear Eye Paint has what appears to be a baked formula and applies best wet in my opinion. You can use all over eye or you can use as a liner.

Also included in the palette are Ivory and Charcoal Eyeshadow (both matte) and Heather Metallic Eye Shadow (soft taupe lilac). See where I am running into a problem here?

All the shades are pigmented however Heather blends the best of the three. The palette also includes a dual sided brush.

Ahhh so lost in translation.

The Port Long Wear Eye Paint I guess should come across as a dark, deep plummy wine but it reminds me more of a brown splashed with a bit of golden shimmer. When I wet it and swatched it was an excellent dupe for Black Cocoa from Black Velvet. Now I understood Port and Heather pairing up well together. I guess the best way to use them would be applying Ivory as an all over cover wash, Heather on the lid, and Port as a liner of some sort but that leaves Charcoal out right? Plus I was all about a bit more drama so I wanted to wet Port and do all sorts of fancy stuff with it, which I overly did as you can see below, but that prevented me from using Heather or Charcoal. Dilemma!

I’m so over thinking this right?

Needless to say I lack the skill and imagination to use this palette for some reason and I was a bit lost and was hopeful a face chart would magically appear so it could guide me to the right eye look. In the end I highlighted with Ivory and applied Port, wet, all over my lid and blended up.

My main beef with the palette is the shades just don’t see to go well together?! What do you think?

  • Anyone who loves Bobbi Brown (you’ll have an unbiased love for Smoldering as soon as you see it).
  • Those with skill and imagination who can create intricate eye looks (anyone who has super skills can easily work this palette into a killer elegant look).

  • New makeup users or clumsy ones (this might prove a bit advanced for new users or anyone that’s clumsy or lacks skill like, hey, me!)

I admit I was slightly disappointed but I’m taking the fall out this one. I just lack the skill to make this gorgeous piece work. Someone call map quest, see if they can scrunch up a face chart for me!

Anyone haul any of the Smoldering, Sultry, Smoky Collection?

What did you think of the palettes?

Need some help?

Share it!


This review contains a sample product sent for consideration by PR.
Read my full disclosure statement here.

  • 11/3/10 13:40 Rosie:

    I’m really glad you posted this review. I just bought this palette because I had such high hopes for it. I thought it would be perfect for a wedding I have coming up. But, like you, I’m a bit unsure how everything goes together. And, frankly, the lady I spoke with at the counter had NO clue. I wanted the Port to be much more purple. I HATE returning makeup I’ve tried to Nordstrom, but I think this is going back. I feel that, like you, I am no novice when it comes to makeup, and this palette should have much more potential and function.

    I also bought the Modern palette and I’m a bit unsure about it, too. Have you tried it?


    • 11/3/10 13:45 the Muse:

      Hey Rosie!

      Bless relief. I thought I was nuts. I’m not expert at application but I think do ok and this was REALLY difficult for me. It’s gorgeous in theory but when you actually work with it, well, it’s mystifying. I guess someone with more talent might be able to whip up an elegant look!? but I seem to lack the skill and imagination to do so. i hate MA’s that are a clueless that’s the worst and it seems like that’s about the gist of it at counters nowadays :( I thought the port would run towards being plummy but it comes across brown did you feel that way!????? I’d honestly return it if you’re struggling because it’ll only end up in the makeup graveyard if you keep it. I haven’t tried my Modern Palette yet but that is a bit more user friendly to me as the shades aren’t intended for use together and will work well alone….but I have to play with it to be sure ;-D I’ll review it soon!!!!!!!


      • 11/3/10 13:56 Rosie:

        You’re not nuts at all! I can see it looking elegant, but I agree that port is much more brown than plummy. If it were the color we wanted it to be, I’d keep it!

        Yes, the modern palette is much more generally useful and the colors are pretty. I’m curious to see whether you think they apply well or not!

        Anyway, I thought I was perhaps alone in being disappointed in the Smouldering palette. Good to know I’m not! I shall take your advice and return!


        • 11/4/10 12:04 the Muse:

          totally Rosie. I don’t mind that it’s brown as I love browns however it doesn’t go with the other shades in this palette 😛 blah! Ooooo is Modern causing woe?! It’s weird as I never had probs with BB until recently. First Black Velvet now this I hope not Modern as well! I think you’re making a wise choice considering how pricey the palette is. Get something else from the Holiday Collection with the $$ 😀


  • 11/3/10 14:25 Nia:

    I was not interested until I saw your FOTD. You should wear dark smokey eyes more often, they bring out your eyes! Love it a lot on you :)

    Love the colour of the Port Eye Paint, but the rest is just meh. Maybe if they used another colour instead of the rosey one, a purple maybe?
    I agree with you, looks with this are really limited.


    • 11/4/10 12:02 the Muse:

      thanks Nia you’re way too kind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to try a look someone suggested an MA did ;-D


  • 11/3/10 15:52 Promise:

    I haven’t tried any Bobbi Brown yet, and I see a lot of people commenting on makeup blogs about how they won’t buy her products because they don’t like HER. Anyway, I would be sick if I spent that much money on a palette that I couldn’t even use right. I could always use more makeup experience, so I know this is not for me. I’m saving to head to my MAC counter anyway to buy the last tubes of Wicked Ways and Wrong Spell. lol 😛


  • 11/3/10 17:18 coco:

    you look great! That color is nice on you… So not a novice.


    • 11/4/10 10:45 the Muse:

      coco you’re WAY too kind thanks xoxo!


  • 11/3/10 20:42 Ally:

    Could you use Heather on the lid, Ivory as a highlight, the paint one in the outer v/ crease area and then use the charcoal one as a liner or to set liner? I’m not familiar with the long wear paint so I’m not sure if it is just an eyeshadow or can be used that way. Just an idea! :)


    • 11/4/10 12:39 the Muse:

      sounds about right to me ally ;-D I think i need to play a bit more ;D!


  • 11/3/10 21:12 Maple:

    I would use ivory as a highlighter, heather for the lid color, port for the outer corners, and charcoal as a smoky liner.


    • 11/4/10 9:41 the Muse:

      thanks maple ;-D


  • 11/3/10 23:57 Liz:

    I bought this palette at a BB event where a MA used it on me. She put Ivory all over as a base, Heather on the lid, Port dry as a wide liner and again wet as a thinner liner. She didn’t use Charcoal at all but said it could be used instead of Port as a liner if I wanted to change things up. It looked amazing!


    • 11/4/10 9:38 the Muse:

      Liz thanks! great tips ;-D will try it this way!


    • 11/4/10 12:09 Rosie:

      I will try it like this before I return it. I just want to see the purple in the port more!

      I’m thinking you could also do the Port as the wide liner and Charcoal as a thin one. I do have to say that I really liked the look of the Charcoal as a liner.


      • 11/4/10 12:17 the Muse:

        Rosie I’m taking Liz’s advice as well ;-D maybe we can get it right!


        • 11/5/10 14:38 Rosie:

          I played around with it last night and I think it ended up looking quite “smouldering” in a good way. Even though the Port doesn’t seem so plummy, it seemed to really bring out my green eyes in a good way. Since it was nighttime I didn’t put primer on and found myself actually underwhelmed by the Heather! More playing required…but, I’m becoming happier with it.


          • 11/11/10 16:09 the Muse:

            hi rosie awesome!!!! ;-D I still have to play again ;-D happier is GOOD!

    • 11/9/10 2:43 tigrlilyem:

      Hey Liz and Muse, thanks for the tips. I just got mine today and I love it! It reminds me of the velvet plum palette a little while back. I tried a variation of your look, ivory all over, heather lilac on top lid and port as thick liner smudged with finger and charcoal wet as liner close to the lashes. I smudged the port and smoothed out the edges with heather lilac. I also lined the bottom with wet charcoal and added a little wet heather lilac on top of the charcoal, it is stunning. I have brown eyes and this really made the green in them pop (I didn’t even notice the green before). I also like the packaging. I could go without the emblem, but it feels more sturdy then her palettes from the past. The eye shadow/cream shadow brush is superior quality, but I would have liked some kind of liner brush included. Ciao beauties!


      • 11/9/10 16:21 the Muse:

        hi tiger ;-D trying your technique out! sounds a little diff from what Liz said ;-D I really like it but I’m def at a lost the best way to use ;-D can use all the tips I can get ;-D

        I’m liking the emblem for some reason, kinda prep school vibe 😀


  • 11/4/10 9:16 jonnie:

    Ooh, you did well! You look beautiful. :)


    • 11/4/10 9:24 the Muse:

      you’re way too kind jonnie ;D


  • 11/4/10 12:39 anita:

    thanks for sharing your review. i really wanted to get this palette but i have to admit i wouldn’t know how to use it so you just saved me a bunch of $$$.

    it looks great on you though! :)


    • 11/4/10 12:44 the Muse:

      anita aw thanks you’re too kind. If I were you I’d go with something from the Holiday Collection, LOTS of great options ;-D!


  • 11/4/10 13:01 telle:

    i *love* the heather metallic shadow, but the rest of the palette is kind of a bust for me….esp since i got a couple of her other palettes instead. too bad though because i *really* love that color. *pout*


    • 11/4/10 13:33 the Muse:

      same here telle, looking at it, I adore it but I’m kinda meh on the ivory and charcoal shades.


  • 11/4/10 20:04 jonnie:

    Ooh, is the modern palette iffy too? I keep eyeballing it… I want it but I’ve been resisting. I can’t wait for your review!


    • 11/5/10 13:44 the Muse:

      hi jonnie not sure yet dear ;-D haven’t played but promise to do so soon!


      • 11/5/10 14:39 Rosie:

        jonnie, I don’t love it, and I thought I would. The colors just don’t seem to do too much for me and they are all somewhat similar. I think I will be returning it, which is so sad.


        • 11/5/10 15:30 jonnie:

          No? What a bummer… it’s good to know though, and save me the $75… I love the look of that dusty pink though. Is that available on its own?


  • 11/5/10 0:37 Gisele:

    I think the look is stunning on you! The idea of this palette is to use 3 shadows one way, and then another time, use the 4th as part of another 3-shadow combo. It’s a bit like the Dior quint where you can achieve all sorts of looks with different combinations..

    Tomorrow I’m planning on buying the Smoky for dear daughter . I’d wanted Smoldering (your baby) for myself, but I’ve swatched in person, and looked at your site (too many times), and reviewed my BB stash and the conclusion is that there is nothing new for me! I’ve got Black Plum, Black Cocoa, Velvet Plum. And the Port turns muddy on me.

    What a bust! It’s getting to be that every palette lately from Bobbi just doesn’t call to me. It does for a while, and then I have to answer back, “Not this time.”

    But continue to play and blend those shadows because they give you absolute glam!


  • 11/5/10 14:01 Mary the Muse Militant:

    I have to say that the dark smoky look on you is nothing short of fabulous fabulous !
    Although you have very pale skin, your features are dark, so a dark smoky look never overpowers you – it compliments your features.
    I’ve cool toned freckley skin with dark features and black hair and I love dark eyeshadows.


    • 11/11/10 16:10 the Muse:

      you’re TOO kind mary ;-D xoxoxox! I hate my brows, you can have ’em ;D


  • 11/13/10 11:21 Helen Hoagland:

    Bobbi Brown says to brush the Heather OVER the Port.
    Check it out… works! It brings the plum right out of the Port shade.


    • 11/15/10 11:54 the Muse:

      thanks helen will try ;D!


  • 12/7/10 8:26 jaclyn:

    Hey! I love this palette….I own it and have been very happy.
    1. I use Port wet all over my lower lid….and then apply it dry on top and slightly past the crease.
    2. I use an eyeshadow brush and apply the Heather in a swirling/ blending motion over everywhere i put the Port.
    3. Highlight the browbone w/ Ivory.
    4. Line top w/ Black Gel Eye Liner.
    5 Smudge Charcoal over Gel Liner.
    6. Smudge Port on lower lash line. =) Love this Eye!


    • 12/7/10 10:16 the Muse:

      thanks jaclyn ;-D must try your rec ;-D I haven’t fiddled with it since my review been meaning too!


  • 12/31/10 5:16 Anna:

    Does anyone know if there’s anywhere you can purchase *JUST* the “Port” eyecolor (without having to purchase the whole palette)???


Comments are moderated and won't show up immediately