Smashbox Softbox Eye Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

It’s probably to early to say this but I’m leaning towards saying that the Smashbox Softbox Eye Palette is my favorite Summer palette. I’m really loving softer more nude shades of shadow lately. I can’t quite go the bolder, crazy look for Summer anymore. Heck, I really loved aqua at one time as a primary shade for the warm weather but now I’m more about delicate shades of shimmering brown, gold, and bronze and the Softbox Eye Palette brings just that.

Photographers love shooting in natural light to create a diffused, softer look and that’s exactly what this palette does. The shades give a soft focused look that’s romantic and ethereal but still have the fun Summer vibe as well!

You NEED this palette.

A palette of soft shades inspired by Smashbox SoftBox Studio to give eyes a diffused, softly focused eye look!

The palette is made up of nine shades of shadow, two liners, a double ended brush, a mini Photo Finish Lid Primer, and a get the look guide.

This is a flip top compact that features a nice size mirror. The palette isn’t bulky but it won’t travel well as it is a tad big and the flip top might open during transit so if you do want to travel with it you might wish to wrap a rubber band around it to prevent it from accidentally flipping open. I know I personally have plans to take this on vacation with me so this seems a good way to keep things travel safe.

The brush included a fluffy affair that does an excellent job buffing color on the lid and works particularly well with the matte shades in the palette as it does a nice job of color washing onto the lid without causing kick up. The opposite side of the brush features one of my favorite brushes from Smashbox, the #9, which is a flat line brush that makes walking liner across your lash line super easy for a straight line every single time.

Now the shades…this is where the magic happens!

Most of the shades are very delicate, neutral colors but there are a few popping colors as well which takes the palette from simplicity into the realms of fun.

You get:

  • Nectar (soft peach matte)
  • Vanilla (creamy matte)
  • Flirt (light shimmering taupe)
  • Lucky Penny (copper penny shimmer)
  • Sugar (iridescent pink)
  • Stone (matte pewter)
  • Sienna (deep shimmering chocolate)
  • Nude (nude matte)
  • Truffle (darker shimmering taupe)


  • Bronzer (bronze)
  • Taupe (taupe gray)

Although it’s made up of 50% matte finishes I was still very pleased with the formula. You know me, I’m terribly scared of mattes and avoid them like the plague but Smashbox makes a very nice, loosely packed matte that glides on evenly without appearing dry or patchy on my lids. I was very pleased with both Nectar and Vanilla which brightened my eyes up beautifully!

The shimmering shades, needless to say, are just as wonderful and each sports a pigmented formula that blends beautifully.

The matte contrasting with the shimmer finishes creates a very interesting effect. For my first look I combined Vanilla on my brow bone, Sugar on my lid and within my crease, and Nude into the crease. The effect is a super light, softly focused eye look that wakes up my tired, aging eyes beautifully.

For my second look, I learned a rather fun little trick thanks to the video how to on Smashbox’s site. I started off by applying Nectar on my brown bone, and swept the Bronzer liner onto my lash line and topped it with Lucky Penny blending upward. I used a tiny bit of Sienna over the crease and blended gently to create a fusion of the two colors. The technique of applying the liner and topping it with Lucky Penny created a rather fantastic smudged effect. Rather brilliant as you can see from my photos as even though my line wasn’t super straight, the smudged effect still gives a sexy finish.

I really enjoyed using the palette, the possibilities and looks just seem endless here and you can even use use a single shadow to brighten tired eyes up or for a really simple, lightweight Summer look you can go with a bit of gloss, a cheek stain, and sweep on a little bit of Sugar.

Summer eye makeup that’s lightweight and barely there is truly a great one to indulge in this year and Softbox Eye Palette offers endless options to embrace the trend!

Bit worried that the flap closure won’t keep the liners fresh. These may harden out after a few months as they are exposed without any cover but maybe the formula will keep fresh, but that remains to be seen!

  • Anyone looking for a soft focused eye look for Summer.
  • Those wanting a fresh yet flawless Summer look!
  • Those with mature or aging eyes that want a fresh, flirty eye look for Summer (the shades are delicate enough not to age but merely freshen up mature eyes).

  • Those who do not like creams and powders in the same palette (the cream liners have no protection against the powders in the palette).

I absolutely loved this palette and thought it was a real winner. The combination of matte and shimmer shades somehow created the perfect contradiction for a fresh, feminine Summer look! The colors aren’t overly bold or vibrant but that doesn’t take away from the palette in the least or make it boring, the colors all work well together to create a perfectly flawless look for the warm weather ahead.

Not so fab with creating a look with eyeshadow? No problem Smashbox includes video how to’s on their site, as well as a step by step guide for creating looks using this palette, plus you can access the how to videos on your cell phone by scanning the tag on the back of the palette box using the Tagreader app.

I really enjoyed this one and thought it was a must have!

You NEED it!

Quite Muse Approved for purchase!

Did you pick it up?

Planning to?

Share it!

Available now at


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

  • 4/4/11 14:54 Wendy:

    Ooooh this is lovely! *puts on wishlist* lol


    • 4/4/11 14:56 the Muse:

      wendy def get it, was a rather brilliant palette ;-D I can see myself reaching for this daily ;-D!


  • 4/4/11 15:04 Lindz:

    I love how there are video tutorials on their site. Just getting into eyeshadow at age 31. I always look like I’ve been punched in the face when I wear it.


    • 4/4/11 15:19 the Muse:

      the how to def helps lindz ;-D


  • 4/4/11 15:15 lara / the glossarie.:

    the shades are really pretty! i’m loving the girly neutrals.


    • 4/4/11 15:19 the Muse:

      me too lara really feel nudes lately!


  • 4/4/11 15:18 Laura:

    What’s the price on this?


    • 4/4/11 15:20 the Muse:

      $48 laura


  • 4/4/11 15:31 Colleen:

    You look gorgeous in those shadows. Loving that nectar color.


    • 4/4/11 15:35 the Muse:

      aw shucks thanks colleen you’re too kind ;-D!


  • 4/4/11 15:39 lexi:

    so glad you got it. i love mine. Must have for summer IMO


    • 4/4/11 15:56 the Muse:

      agreed lexi!


  • 4/4/11 15:51 Aimee Pan:

    I really want this but honestly I feel like I must already have all these colors already! It is really pretty to see them all packaged together in one attractive palette though… so tempting…


    • 4/4/11 15:59 the Muse:

      aimee some yes but not all, or at least for me ;-D


  • 4/4/11 16:50 Christina:

    Ooooh, that looks lovely!!! So, are the colors pigmented pretty well?


    • 4/4/11 16:55 the Muse:

      yes christina, mentioned it in the review hun.


      • 4/4/11 18:54 Christina:

        I know, I know, it’s just that I have been burned before, and that is my worry all the time. 😉 That, and fall out…:/


  • 4/4/11 17:19 Tigress:

    It looks very similar to the Too Faced Romantic Eye palette.


  • 4/4/11 20:00 Mina:

    Would you choose this or the new urban decay naked palette with the brush and not full size eyeshadows?


    • 4/5/11 12:08 the Muse:

      mina urban decay has four new palettes out, three for spring and one for Summer one the naked palette which new palette did you mean?


      • 4/5/11 19:47 Mina:

        The limited edition naked palette? It was rereleased with the shadows reduced in size and the dual eyeliner changed into the brush. It also costs 48 dollars.


        • 4/6/11 9:43 the Muse:

          i didn’t know they reduced the size of the shadows in the naked palette. Not really sure mina comparing smashbox softbox to urban decay’s naked palette is kinda like comparing apples and oranges :) they palettes are going for two very different looks so it’s not easily comparable in my opinion.


        • 5/3/11 17:31 pinkdia:

          @Mina: I got the palette recently (fyi, it’s not a limited edition) and the shadows were not reduced in size. They are still 0.05 oz. per shadow, which is UD’s full-size eyeshadow size. Hope that clarifies.


  • 4/4/11 20:46 eight:

    I love the palette I have from the Smashbox Ultimate Eyes – Blue collection, so I am really eager to pick this one up!


  • 4/5/11 3:17 Quinctia:

    I think it’s rather gorgeous for neutrals, but between UD’s Naked and Feminine palettes, I’m all neutral-ed out!


  • 4/5/11 8:37 JenJ:

    Aww man! Love me some Smashbox! Love the colors but seems like a lot of what I already have :( Need to think on it. I said I was going on a buying hiatus. Need to make an attempt to use up what I have. :( Being a “responsible” adult bites lol!


    • 4/5/11 12:03 the Muse:

      responsible adult jen? what is that all about? Do share? ;-D


      • 4/5/11 14:40 JenJ:

        HA! If I figure it out I’ll let you know.


        • 4/5/11 14:55 the Muse:

          ;D Jen!


  • 4/6/11 10:08 Girl Hearts Makeup:

    PERFECT! You are assuring me that splurging $99 on this palette will be worth it. :) I fell in love the moment I saw this compared to any other palettes. Not even UD’s Naked caught my eye! This is the perfect palette for me!! Time to save up!


    • 4/6/11 10:09 the Muse:

      99? girlheartsmakeup? it’s not $99 hun :)


      • 4/6/11 22:27 Girl Hearts Makeup:

        It’s $99 here! The In The Bloom palette costs $99 here in Singapore!


        • 4/7/11 12:01 the Muse:

          OOO duh why did I not know you’re in ‘pore girlheartsmakeup!


  • 4/12/11 19:43 Jane:

    Hi Muse – are the cream liners in this palette waterproof? By sheer luck I got a chance to grab this palette (thanks online shopping lol) even though it hasn’t landed in our country yet 😀


    • 4/13/11 10:59 the Muse:

      Jane mmmm the ones they normally sell in pot form are but these not so much, had a bit of running action under my eyes :-/


      • 4/16/11 16:31 Heather:

        scan ebay for for “smashbox off-set shadow converter” use a little over liner and it makes waterproof / smudge proof (BE, pixi, laura geller have similar)

        Trick I learned to keeping their liners fresh longer when not in separate seal compacts? When your not using it and no one but you knows it….throw it in a ziploc freezer bag that you squeeze air out of before throwing back into your makeup drawer….the eyeshadow quads that have a liner in them? last incredibly long for me because of this…my friends didn’t do this and theirs dried out long before mine do :)

        I keep all my eyeliners (pencils / jet sets / cream waterproof in freezer bags and have some that are almost as fresh as when I bought 3-4 years ago! (clean brushes / applicators often or use disposable assists in extending life also)


  • 9/30/11 19:29 Savanna:

    I know it’s a little late in the year to be asking, but I have been trying like you would not believe to find a dupe for Sugar in this palette and cannot find it. All the close colors I have found are typically have silver and cool undertones. Even NARS comes close, but alas nothing. Any suggestions?


  • 9/30/11 19:31 Savanna:

    **typically have-hah, love it when my head gets away from me.


  • 11/7/11 0:46 SmashingGlitter:

    Hi Muse! I came across your blog today, and I had to let you know I enjoyed your site! After having this palette for months now, I reviewed it on my blog a few days ago too, and I love it! It was neat to read another makeup lovers in-depth review as well. :]

    Have a great week!



    • 11/7/11 13:43 the Muse:

      aw thanks kage thanks so much for the lovely comment ;-D you as well!


  • 12/15/11 8:12 Mandy:

    i cannot live without neutrals!


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