Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe Review

Self-Purchased

A little while back when I posted the review of the Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op palette I promised a review of its big sister the Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe palette. Sorry it took me so long to get around to it! This palette originally retailed for $42 as part of the Smashbox holiday 2014 collection. It’s now on sale on the Smashbox site and at Ulta for $29. As of this posting it’s still in stock on both sites, though my local Ulta was out of it the last time I was there. I bought it shortly after it was released at the full price but never got around to getting a review up with the ridiculous amounts of cosmetics shopping I did this holiday.

Without further ado here is this beauty! As always, click on the images to see them full sized.

Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Luxe palette and front of box

Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Luxe palette and front of box

Unlike the smaller version, this palette comes in a soft cardboard case that’s padded on the outside. This provides much more cushion should you drop the palette. The top is one large mirror. It has a plastic overlay with the names for each shade which I personally really hate on a palette.

Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Luxe palette with color name overlay and back of box

Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Luxe palette with color name overlay and back of box

This palette comes with 28 shades that are 0.04 oz. each. Smashbox usually doesn’t offer single shadows so to try to calculate value, there’s 1.12 oz. worth of shadow in the whole palette. Their eyeshadow trios are .097 oz for $28. Going by this, this palette is worth roughly $323.30 but the Ulta site claims it’s a $250 value. I find this quite odd as Ulta valued the smaller palette very close to my calculation based on their trio price (I was about $3 over their valuation) but I’m off by nearly $75 here. Honestly, just like the smaller palette, I don’t really feel like I have a $250 worth of eyeshadow in this palette. Unlike the smaller one, I don’t mind having paid the full price for this baby.

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This palette also contains a booklet with a color guide and instructions for creating 3 different looks. The booklet is in both English and French, but I only photographed the English side. I find the shade guide rather odd in this one. It goes from bottom to top, left to right in the photo on the booklet and left to right, top to bottom based on the way you’d hold the palette open. I did a set of truly terrible swatch photos back when I first got the palette and followed the numbering in the booklet. Better swatches follow below.

Left to right: Marzipan, Midas, Purple Mist, Snow, Gypsy, Ambient, Zoom, Lavender, Pastel, Royal, Asteroid, Totally Nude, Cream, and Juniper.

Left to right: Marzipan, Midas, Purple Mist, Snow, Gypsy, Ambient, Zoom, Lavender, Pastel, Royal, Asteroid, Totally Nude, Cream, and Juniper.

Left to right: Lilac, Moonlight, Smoke, Fizz, Roast, Peacock, Navy, Babycakes, Framboise, Sumatra, Sable, Sapphires, Mink, and Cabernet.

Left to right: Lilac, Moonlight, Smoke, Fizz, Roast, Peacock, Navy, Babycakes, Framboise, Sumatra, Sable, Sapphires, Mink, and Cabernet.

Those photos were all taken with my phone camera and are horrid.  Since I wasn’t happy with these photos I decided to do new swatches. After trying to figure out the best groupings to swatch together, I decided to group them by color family rather than by booklet order; it just made more sense to me so you can see the differences between some similar shades side by side. For convenience I’ll give the shade number from the booklet as well.

Matte Neutrals. Left to right: 1 - Marzipan, 12 - Totally Nude, 24 - Sumatra, 25 - Sable

Matte Neutrals. Left to right: 1 – Marzipan, 12 – Totally Nude, 24 – Sumatra, 25 – Sable

1 – Marzipan is a matte light creamy tan shade. It’s very smooth and a bit powdery. It’s hard to tell how pigmented it is given that it’s pretty much the same color as my skin, but when swatched over a freckle it is a bit on the thin side. It blends nicely.

12 – Totally Nude is a matte pinky nude. This eyeshadow is much harder in the pan so it doesn’t kick up as much powder when you dip your brush in, but it’s harder to get enough of it on your brush. As matte nude shades go I really like this color but I wish the texture and consistency was a bit better.

24 – Sumatra is a matte chocolatey brown. It’s also a bit on the harder side and applied rather patchy. It takes a bit of smoothing out to get even color, but it can be worked with.

25 – Sable, also matte, is a lighter brown, more of a milk chocolate color. It’s much smoother than Sumatra, more along the lines of Marzipan and blends very nicely.

Shimmer Neutrals. Left to right: 6 - Ambient, 18 - Fizz, 2 - Midas, 13 - Cream, 19 - Roast.

Shimmer Neutrals. Left to right: 6 – Ambient, 18 – Fizz, 2 – Midas, 13 – Cream, 19 – Roast.

6 – Ambient is a very warm bronzey gold shimmer. It’s very smooth and highly pigmented. It performs incredibly well!

18 – Fizz is a pearly cream seashelleque shimmer that is also a top performer in the palette. It’s got a great consistency and is a dream to work with.

2 – Midas is a pale gold shimmer with a little bit of tonal micro-glitter. This is the under-performer of the shimmery metallic type shades for me. It’s a little hard like Sumatra so it’s hard to get enough on your brush and needs to be built up. I used this on Christmas and actually resorted to scratching the surface with my nail to kick up enough product to apply. That said, once you do get it built up it’s a very pretty color.

13 – Cream is true to it’s name. It’s a creamy shimmer with a very tiny slight warm gold undertone. Like Fizz it’s very nicely pigmented, smooth, and nice to work with.

19 – Roast is a shimmery chocolate brown with copper micro-glitter. The base shade is similar to Sumatra only shimmery. It’s pretty smooth for a glitter shade and highly pigmented. This color would make a really beautiful smokey eye!

Green and Blues. Left to right: 7 - Zoom, 20 - Peacock, 26 - Sapphires, 21 - Navy.

Green and Blues. Left to right: 7 – Zoom, 20 – Peacock, 26 – Sapphires, 21 – Navy.

7 – Zoom is the only green in the palette. It’s a shimmery light lime shade with golden shift. I wasn’t expecting to like this color much but the more I swatch it the more I like it. It’s smooth and nicely pigmented. I don’t wear a ton of greens as they don’t help bring out my green eyes much but I definitely need to do something with this color!

20 – Peacock is a gorgeous light blue aqua blue with light golden shift that I’m also loving more than I expected. It’s pretty much the blue version of zoom and is lovely to work with.

26 – Sapphires is a deep blue shimmer with a little bit of tonal micro-glitter. I’ve got a number of palettes from other brands with dark shimmery blue shades like this. I find that usually these shades lose their color and look muddy and gray when blended out. This shadow does the same, but it holds up just a bit better and retains its bright blue a little further before muddying.

21 – Navy is a matte navy blue. It’s buttery and smooth but thin on pigmentation and a bit patchy. It needs to be built up and ends up looking a muddy bluish dark gray on me. Definitely one of the under performers of the palette.

Purples. Left to right: 8 - Lavender, 3 - Purple Mist, 15 - Lilac, 27 - Mink, 10 - Royal.

Purples. Left to right: 8 – Lavender, 3 – Purple Mist, 15 – Lilac, 27 – Mink, 10 – Royal.

8 – Lavender is a light purple shimmer with a pinky shift. It’s a little lacking in pigmentation but it can be built up. It’s got a nice texture and isn’t very powdery which is nice.

3 – Purple Mist is a darker purple shimmer with a darker pink shift. It’s more pigmented than Lavender but also more powdery. It does look a little gray when blended out in lighting that doesn’t bring out the pink shift; the shift can be seen when blended out.

15 – Lilac is pretty true to its name. It’s a lilac purple shimmer with bluish purple shift. It’s a little more on the hard side compared to Lavender and Purple Mist, but it doesn’t interfere with the ability to pick up the shade at all. It’s a quite lovely color.

27 – Mink is a shimmery taupey gray with purplish undertones which is why I included it here. It’s the consistency of Lilac – a little hard but still able to be picked up and built up.

10 – Royal is a matte dark purple. Like Navy it’s a pretty big disappointment being very thin and patchy. It’s hard to build and when you do it just looks muddy.

Pinks. Left to right: 14 - Juniper, 9 - Pastel, 22 - Babycakes, 23 - Framboise, 28 - Cabernet.

Pinks. Left to right: 14 – Juniper, 9 – Pastel, 22 – Babycakes, 23 – Framboise, 28 – Cabernet.

14 – Juniper is a pinky taupe shimmer with a teensy bit of micro-glitter. These photos make it look a little more brown than it feels to me, but it’s a really pretty shade. It’s a bit on the dry side but fairly smooth. It is a little thin on the pigmentation and needs to be built up a bit.

9 – Pastel is a pale matte pink. It aligns pretty well with the quality of the neutral mattes being very smooth but a little thin. Like most light shades it blends into my skin so much that it’s hard to swatch well.

22 – Babycakes is a pale pink shimmer. It’s very similar in texture and color to Fizz, being just a bit more pink. It performs very well.

23 – Framboise is a bright fuchsia shimmer with a hint of tonal sparkle. This is one of the shades I was most excited about in the palette. It’s very smooth but a bit on the powdery side. It’s fairly pigmented though not as much as, say Ambient or Peacock. It did stain my fingertips just a little so I’d definitely recommend a primer.

28 – Cabernet is a wine colored satin with fine burgundy micro-glitter. This is the other shade I was super excited about in the palette. It’s similar in quality to Framboise being fairly smooth and pigmented. It does look a little muddy around the edges when blended out.

Grayscales. Left to right: 4 - Snow, 16 - Moonlight, 11 - Asteroid, 17 - Smoke, 5 - Gypsy.

Grayscales. Left to right: 4 – Snow, 16 – Moonlight, 11 – Asteroid, 17 – Smoke, 5 – Gypsy.

4 – Snow is a snow white matte. It’s actually so white that you can see the swatch! Finally something lighter than my skin! It’s buttery smooth and incredibly pigmented for a matte white.

16 – Moonlight is a crystalline glitter. There’s practically no pigment to the base shadow; the only think you get from it is glitter and it’s quite a hard shadow so it takes some work to get much on your brush. I really had to work to build up the swatch you see. I’d  say this shadow is better than Navy or Royal but it’s definitely on the list of underperformers.

11 – Asteroid is a medium silver with just a touch of lighter silver sparkle. It’s incredibly pigmented and smooth; probably one of the better quality shadows in the palette.

17 – Smoke is a matte smokey dark gray. It performs much better than Navy or Royal and isn’t patchy at all but it is a bit on the thin side and needs to be built up.

5 – Gypsy is like the shimmery version of Smoke. It’s a shimmery dark gray; darker than Asteroid but not quite black. It’s not as buttery and pigmented as Asteroid but it is smooth and nice.

Overall, the mattes range from hard and patchy to smooth and a little thin on pigmentation, the shimmer/metallics run from buttery smooth and highly pigmented to fairly smooth/pigmented, and the glitters are powdery and a bit fall out prone. I feel like I say that about every palette though regardless of brand. Maybe I just haven’t met the right buttery thick mattes…

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