March 2, 2015

Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette

Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette is a new Expert Wear Eyeshadow Palette featuring twelve shades of eyeshadow. We saw the Maybelline the Nudes Eyeshadow Palette earlier last year and there were plenty of rumors on the horizon that more of these Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Palettes would be popping up!

And it’s true! Not only do we have the Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette (Exclusively at Walgreens) available but also a Maybelline the Brights Eyeshadow Palette which is exclusive to Target as well as a The Blushes Nudes Palette available at Walmart.

So that’s four different palettes to look forward.

But I digress, let’s concentrate on the Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette for now.

Here are some thoughts!

Maybelline the Smokes

I’ve read a lot of different thoughts on the Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette and most are satisfied with its performance. Many hail is for being so cheap ($11.99) but I’m of the mentality that even if something is cheap it shouldn’t skimp on the formula and unfortunately this skimps on the formula big time.

The palette is arranged in the same way as the original Maybelline the Nudes Eyesahdow Palette and comes housed in a black compact featuring a diagram on the back that give eye shade combinations. The palette is either split into four quads up and down, three trios across, or six duos across and up and down. They suggest using creating looks using these groupings of either four colors per look, three, or two. I like the variety, I like the way they easily set up shades together to create looks so it takes a bit of the guess work out of pairing colors (you can see what I mean in the photo below).

Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette10

I don’t however, like the way these perform.

The funny little thing about these new 12 pan eyeshadow palettes is that they are fact newly designed. So visually you’re getting something that Maybelline has never done before! I’ve never personally seen a 12 pan palette from Maybelline and it’s kinda rare for mainstream brands such as Maybelline to do one. Unfortunately it’s the visible aspect that’s the only new thing because the formula has not changed. What you get here is the same formula of the regular line of Expert Wear Eyeshadow Palettes and in my experience those are formulated with a dry, dense texture and thus the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette suffers much of the same.

Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette12

Maybelline the Smokes Palette

Maybelline the Smokes Palette swatches

Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette swatches

Maybelline the Smokes swatches

This palette is filled with traditional smoky shades such as gray and black as well as a few tans, navy blue, plums, and taupes. For me it was a little bit of an odd collection of colors that don’t really pair up well together. I mean in one spot you’ll have a silvery gray taupe and in the same palette a really dark matte navy. It’s slightly confusing! The palette has several finishes but matte does seem to dominate with some satins and semi-matte shades. Out of the 12 shades I only thought one was decent which was a blackened gray that had a velvet-like texture. All the other shades particularly the mattes had a dense very dry texture that made for patchy blending. I experienced the same with the Nudes Palette so this doesn’t surprise me.

I think the palette is exciting. It’s something we don’t commonly see from brands like Maybelline. It would have been great if they took the time out to reformulate the shades though because as of now you’re getting what you’d get from the normal Expert Wear Eyeshadow range. If you like that range of shadow you might just think the Smokes is great. Personally, I think the shadow formula needs a lot of improvement. It’s dry, dense, patchy, and just not very pleasant to use.

I’d recommend skipping the Maybelline the Smokes Eyeshadow Palette especially if you disliked the Nudes as nothing as improved.


Tried it?

Do share!

I purchased this item.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Staci

    I think drugstore brands have stepped up their game in a lot of aspects. Generally, eyeshadows aren’t one of them. I don’t buy drugstore eyeshadow. Dry and patchy covers it.

    • Isabella Muse

      i agree! Drugstore has stepped up considerably but eyeshadows are hit and miss!

  • Christina D.

    I am THE eyeshadow palette junkie and even I passed on these palettes because I know that Maybelline eyeshadows are awful. They couldn’t be bothered reformulating, just repackaging the same old same old? If they were at least OK, I’d be running from store to store trying to get each of the variations. So thanks, Maybelline, for saving me the time, energy and of course, money. In fact, with the exception of Color Tattoos, there is nothing from the line I buy anymore.

    And thank you, too, Muse for sparing me the disappointment because if there was one palette that might weaken my resolve it would be the smokey one.

    • Isabella Muse

      yeah this was def a no go. it’s simply the old expert wear shadow palette formula, nada new about it!

  • Fancie

    The swatches even look dry. No bueno. I do think it’s nice that drugstore companies are taking on larger palettes but it looks like they still have some ways to go. Thank goodness I didn’t pick up the nude one earlier today!

  • Genevieve

    I really like the colours in this palette – much more cool toned. BUT it is very poor to put out a product that does not work regardless of the money. If Colour Pop can do it so can every other brand.