A good day-to-night neutral palette sure is hard to find. However, once I set eyes on the Smoke and Mirrors eyeshadow palette from this year's Holiday Collection, I knew that it was going to be one of my most highly-recommended eyeshadow palettes for those willing to invest and would want to start off with a good day-to-night makeup. So, when Mike was out shopping for the studio at the MAC Rockwell counter, he asked me what would be a good neutral eyeshadow palette. Well, you all know now what I recommended. :)
So I borrowed the palette for the weekend so I could review it finally. And so, here it is.
Check out the neutral colors without the shimmer and glitter overload:
And swatches of the shadows too:Clockwise from top left: Fire In Her Eyes (Frost), Wide-Eyed Wonder (Frost), Black Magique (Veluxe), Spell No. 9 (Satin), Deception (Frost), and Smoke and Mirrors (Satin)
I like how the finishes are not that overpowering with shine but they still have a bit of shimmer with the frost and satin finishes. Colors are quite muted and conservative, which are perfect for first-time eyeshadow users. In fact, this was the eyeshadow palette I used during my neutral look demo when I spoke at Atelier De Maquillage. It's also a perfect day-to-night palette.
However, the color payoff isn't that intense as you could see in the swatches and they come out quite sheer considering I swatched this with a dense 239 brush. is that if you want color intensity, using this alone isn't recommended. No, I do not recommend and never will recommend the wet application technique. What do I recommend for intense color? A good eyeshadow primer like MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or Fresco Rose (I use Fresco Rose curently), MAC Prep+Prime, MAC Cream Color Base in Shell, Shu Uemura cream eyeshadow, Laura Mercier Eye Basics, and the infamous UDPP. I prefer the Paint Pots though because they're waterproof yet glide on smoothly and really, the colors are crease and practically everything proof. The palette comes with a 213 SE brush, but of course, I highly recommend getting 239 and 242 for packing the pigments in and a 224 brush to blend the colors to a seamless finish.
Fire In her Eyes happens to be a matte and universal highlighter. I consider Smoke and Mirrors to be a double-purpose color, since I also use this as eyebrow powder makeup, since it's relatively matte and the color still remains subtle. I use little amount though, and I top this to my eyebrow pencil or cream, if I want my eyebrow makeup to be insured. Black Magique doesn't come out as intense black as Carbon or Kryolan Black (two of my absolute favorite intense matte black colors) but for a subtle smokey eye, or for those afraid of going all out black, this could be a best "beginner" black.
Here's a quick tutorial for a good daytime look:
For a five-minute glam, after prepping eyes with eyeshadow base, apply Spell No. 9 on the lids with a 239 brush and highlight the browbone with Fire In Her Eyes. Contour the crease with Smoke and Mirrors mixed with Deception (Deception mutes Smoke and Mirrors a bit so the brown isn't too dark) using a 217 or 224 brush. Blend, blend, and blend so it doesn't look clownish. Tightline the top and bottom lashlines with a waterproof brown eyeliner like Technakohl in Brownborder and for 100% sure staying power, set the liner with Smoke and Mirrors. Define brows and then curl lashes and apply 3 coats of lengthening mascara.
This looks subtle but the eyes are defined and awakened without looking too overly made up. It goes well with any lippie color since it's quite neutral. I used this tutorial yesterday with my MAC Viva Glam V and I like how subtle it looked since I went out looking casual that day.
Retail price for this is Php 2,800. This is a limited edition palette available only for the Holidays and only when supplies last.