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report by Kristen of the Cosmetic Connection Product Panel

Smashbox Beauty Portfolio ($55)
I ordered this set from Sephora the day it went on sale. I've never really tried many things from Smashbox, so I was very happy that this set contained many of their products I'd not tried. I received this on a Friday evening and thank goodness I did because I stayed up until 3 a.m. trying the set and the verdict is? LOVE IT!!! I've never been so happy with a makeup set in my life, not only for the colors it contains, but the reasonable price you pay for so many wonderful goodies. It is only $55 and the set contains a very hip black makeup bag with included makeup instructions (pictures included). It is a fold-over black bag and when you open it up, it has two see-through compartments in which one has a zippered closure. The bag itself is pretty neat and works well for me. It even has "Smashbox Cosmetics" written on the outside. It also has a Velcro™ closure, which doesn't come undone, even when I stuff it full of makeup. Ok, enough about the bag! You want to hear about the makeup! The kit comes with 2 trio eyeshadow sets in Smashing Photo Op and Smashing Film Star, Lipstick in Smashing Sequel, Cream Eyeliner Duo in Putty/Caviar, Blush Duo is Smashing Stylist/Shimmer, a Lipgloss in Fire, Lip Pencil in Smashing Roxy, and a double-ended flat eyeliner brush.

Eyeshadow Trio in Smashing Photo Op
This is a trio of cappuccino colors perfect for creating the smoky eye look. One is a rich burnt brown color, which is designed to go on your lid for the smoky eye. The next color is a lighter, milk chocolate color and it goes in your eye crease. The third color is a light, buttercream color, which is used to highlight the brow bone. This trio set is designed to create the oh-so-hot smoky eye, so the colors are suited to wear all at once, or you can wear them individually for a daytime look. I have blue/green eyes (more green than blue), and it really makes my eyes stand out, but I think it would be great for any eye color. The texture is soft and silky and the color didn't crease at all, even after 12 hours of having it on, which I can't say about most other eyeshadows.

Eyeshadow Trio in Smashing Film Star
This trio is my favorite of the two. It has another burnt brown shade like the other trio, but to me it has a bit of shimmer, whereas the other one doesn't. It also has a dark blue-granite type shade with a hint of shimmer, and a pretty silver shade. This is the neatest trio and I have had so much fun with it. Like the other trio, the texture is great and is easy to apply and blend and the color did NOT budge throughout the workday into the evening.

Lipstick in Smashing Sequel: I usually don't like darker lip shades and this isn't the darkest out there by far, but darker than I care for, but why am I complaining? I love it! It is a dark red/brown color and it glides on easily. It's not the most moisturizing lipstick I've seen but it is nice and it doesn't dry out my lips and it doesn't do the fading act. It stayed put most of the day, even after eating a snack and lunch. I would definitely purchase this lip color or another from this line. It's great!

Cream Eyeliner Duo in Smashing Putty/Caviar: Since I don't use pencils to line my eyes, I was really wanting to try something different from the Laura Mercier Eyeliner I already use (it's a cake liner). I used this cream liner with the Double-ended Liner Brush included in the set, but quickly switched to my Laura Mercier brushes because it was way too stiff and it almost hurt. The brush is not good for smudging, rather for just placing. I had much more success using my own brushes. The Caviar color, which is very black, did stay on without disappearing or fading. It didn't move. The Putty color, which is a basic brown color, was okay. I don't like to use brown to line my eyes, so maybe that's why I don't love it. It did provide a nice depth to my eyes, but since I really like to emphasize my big eyes and make them stand out, I couldn't do that as well with brown, like I can with black. The brush, however, I don't like. It's way too stiff, but I found that if I just use it to place the color instead of trying to smudge it, it is much better. And I only use the brush on my lower lash line. It is too hard to use that brush with this eyeliner because the eyeliner is gooey in texture and it can be a mess if you are not used to lining your eyes with brushes. Like other eyeliners you apply with a wet brush, you don't need to wet the brush to get the color to stick to the brush since it is a cream liner. I probably wouldn't purchase this product again because it is hard to get the color to apply evenly and if you mess up, well, it gets messy. I will use it while I have it, but there are better eyeliners out there.

Blush Duo in Smashing Stylist/Shimmer: This is a compact with 2 shades, one is a blush and the other is a lighter color with shimmer to use for highlighting your cheekbones, or anywhere you want. The colors are pretty. The blush is like a wine/bronze color that really packs a punch if you don't apply it lightly. You must use a light hand to apply it or it goes on way too dark. The highlighter is a lighter pinky shimmer shade in the same color family, which goes on nice. The texture of this product is smooth and it goes on nice, just remember to not use a heavy hand.

LipGloss in Fire and Lip Pencil in Smashing Roxy: I don't use a lip pencil and I am reminded why I don't when I try to use one. I can't seem to get it to look right on my lips and end up looking clownish. This lip pencil is a deep brownish red color and it goes on even with no tugging, but my incompetence is the reason I don't like it. Other than that, it's a great product for those who are lip liner lovers. The lip gloss looked really dark in the tube. It's like a dark burgundy/wine color. I don't usually like my lips to scream "LOOK AT ME!," but I really do like this gloss. It's got the best staying power of any gloss I've used and even after it quits being "gooey" after application, it leaves a nice stain to my lips and it lasted most of the day, even after eating and drinking. I will definitely scope out other lip gloss shades from Smashbox.

All in all, this was a great kit and the colors are complimentary. The colors are best used for nighttime drama instead of daytime use because they are highly pigmented and definitely a lot of fun. I would like to say that anyone with fair skin/hair/eyes will not like this set because it is really geared for those with at least a medium skin tone.

review: 11/02



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