Maybelline "The Smokes" Palette

With the rise in popularity of luxury eyeshadow palettes from brands such as Urban Decay, LORAC, and Too Faced, the drugstore beauty brands are following suit to create their budget-friendly version. Maybelline is no exception. I've been really wanting the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, but I opted for Maybelline's "The Smokes" Palette because I am trying to be smart about my budget. I also wanted to see if it was up to some par.

I bought this for $12 at Walgreens (which also sells their Nudes Palette, while Target sells the Brights and Walmart the Blushed Nudes). It consists of 12 shades, a combination of matte, shimmer and metallic. 

To be honest, I loved the shades in the palette. They all looked so beautiful and unique, and it's not a set of colors I have. I wanted to bowl over it, and I will still use it on the regular. BUT, I am so disappointed with the pigmentation...or lack of. What looks so jeweled on the pan hardly shows up when you swatch. I had to really keep rubbing down on the pan to get it on my arm. Case in point:

The top row. That shimmery champagne shade swatches well, but I want to use it for my brow bone, but it hardly showed up. I absolutely adored the matte plum shade 2nd to the right, but again, it you can see how light it is.

Bottom row. The matte brown shade on the far left is the most pigmented in the palette.

To be fair, the more silver shades show up, especially the middle bottom ones. And they are beautiful on the lids. But as you can see, most of the shades aren't as pigmented as shown on the pan, AND they are very hard to blend. There is a lot of fallout too. I would highly recommend a primer (well, I'd recommend it with any eyeshadow, but this especially) if you want the pop of color. Want extra drama? Spritz some water or MAC Fix+. 

I'm not the only one with reservations about this palette. Musings of the Muse reviews it here, and says even if something is cheap it shouldn't skimp of formula, and while it's a beautiful palette, it's very patchy. Anica Fashionista calls this one a miss. Indian Makeup and Beauty blog calls "The Smokes" palette to be the worst of Maybelline's 12-pan palettes.

Sorry to be negative, but like I said, the silver shades are beautiful and pigmented, and the ones I will be wearing normally. It's also light and easy to travel with, and the packaging is sleek. It's a great option if you're on a budget and you wanna experiment with a smoky eye look. The neutrals and nudes make it wearable for everyday. But you want rich pigmentation, buttery texture and sexy metal packaging? Splurge for the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette. I wish I did, especially because it's my birth month, and I still might get it. This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for.

And here is how it shows up on can hardly see the matte plum or brown as the crease and outer lid.

Do you guys have this palette or any of Maybelline's other palettes? (such as The Nudes, The Blush Nudes, the Brights) What are your thoughts?


  1. I skipped the whole range because of the negative reviews, just not worth it imo. I think the ones from L'oreal has better reviews and I might consider picking up one to try. Great review!

    1. Yeah, my best friend has one of the L'OREAL ones. I just do regret getting this, I should've gotten the Urban Decay Smoky Palette, anyway I just got a job and my birthday is coming up, so what better way to treat myself?

    2. I disliked Naked Smoky! Recently wrote a review about it on my blog too. The pigmentation is severely lacking in comparison to the original Naked palette.