[REVIEW] Maybelline – The SMOKES Palette

You guys have no idea the trouble I went through to get my hands on this baby, but I finally found it at one of my local Walgreens. It was about $1-$2 more expensive than what I would’ve bought it for at Walmart, but I just needed to get my hands on it. Now, if you guys have read my reviews/first impressions on the other 3 palettes Maybelline came out with, you’ll know that I wasn’t too impressed. What made me give this palette a chance was the fact that I love smokey looks and I thought that this would be a great palette to use everyday. Yes, I do smokey eyes on a pretty regular basis. Let’s get into the review.

The Claim:

The Smokes - 1

So unfortunately Maybelline doesn’t have their website updated with this particular palette, but I think it’s pretty self-explainable what this palette was created to do, so I’m gonna give a shot at creating a claim for this palette. Create 13 stunning smokey looks with our new 12 pan palette – New Maybelline The SMOKES.

The Smokes - 7_Fotor

The Results:

  • Pigmentation: I was pleasantly surprised to see how pigmented this palette is compared to its sister palettes (The NUDES, BLUSHED nudes, and The BRIGHTS). Looking at the palette, you would think that the darker colors would be the most pigmented, but it’s actually the lighter colors that are the most pigmented. The least pigmented are the navy blue (Row 1 – Pan 1), the black (Row 1 – Pan 3), the maroon (Row 1 – Pan 5), and the matte purple (Row 2 – Pan 5). Though these are the main colors that are supposed to give a smokey look, it doesn’t take away from the actual palette because you can easily put a dark base underneath and have a great look.

The Smokes - 2

  • Finish Variety: The one thing that I do love about this particular palette is the fact that it has a great variety of  finishes it has. There are 6 mattes, 4 shimmery, and 2 pearlescent colors. The muted glittery gray (Row 1 – Pan 2) and the glittery black (Row 1 – Pan 3) look like they would be overly glittery, but the glitter doesn’t actually stick and they end up giving off a pearlescent/matte finish (respectively). My favorite part about this palette are the colors that they chose to have a bunch of mattes. The navy blue/gray (Row 1 – Pan 1), the maroon (Row 1 – Pan 5), and the deep purple (Row 2 – Pan 5) – these colors are the ones that make the palette and makes it easy to create a smokey look, and in my opinion, for a true smokey eye there needs to be a rich matte.
  • Colors: 
    • ROW 1:
      • Pan 1: Matte navy mixed with gray tones
      • Pan 2: Glittery muted gray – the glitter really doesn’t stick, so you’re left with more of a pearlescent finish
      • Pan 3: Glittery black – again, the glitter doesn’t really stick, so you’re left with more of a matte finish
      • Pan 4: Pearlescent beige/cream
      • Pan 5: Matte maroon
      • Pan 6: Shimmery dark silver – lighter than a gunmetal color
    • ROW 2:
      • Pan 1: Matte milk chocolate brown
      • Pan 2: Shimmery light taupe
      • Pan 3: Shimmery taupe/gunmetal – depending on what colored base you’re using, it’ll affect the actual color
      • Pan 4: Shimmery light silver
      • Pan 5: Matte deep purple
      • Pan 6: Matte pink-tone cream

The Smokes - 3

  • Look Variety: So playing around with the looks, I find that I can create semi-different looks. To be honest, the navy blue/gray and the purple look pretty similar on the lids – if you use a colored base, then it’ll be different. The most wearable, would be the middle “quad” which incorporates the “glittery” black (Row 1 – Pan 3), shimmery beige (Row 1 – Pan 4), shimmery taupe/gunmetal (Row 2 – Pan 3), and the shimmery silver (Row 2 – Pan 4). For a wearable day-time look, I take a dark brown base and apply it on my lids and place the taupe/gunmetal color on top of it. I then take the the shimmery beige and blend it into my crease near my brow bone and I actually go into the muted gray (Row 1 – Pan 2) and concentrate that in my crease. I then take the black and put that in my outer corners and use the silver to highlight the inner corners and open up my eyes a little bit. The smokiest look incorporates the last “quad.” I first take an eggplant colored eyeliner and smudge that all over my lids and place the deep purple (Row 2 – Pan 5) on top. I take the darker silver (Row 1 – Pan 6) and place that in my crease, and I incorporate some of the purple as well to make sure it’s blended. I then take the maroon (Row 1 – Pan 5) and place that into my outer V, and I use the pink-toned cream color (Row 2 – Pan 6) to highlight my brow bone.

The Smokes - 4 The Smokes - 5 The Smokes - 6

  • Blend-ability: Surprisingly, the matte shades blend out pretty easily. I did have some trouble with the deep purple, but it just takes a little elbow grease. All of the colors can be blended, but like most palettes, you’ll have a more difficult time blending out the matte colors.
  • Longevity: I rarely hear about anybody not using a primer/base now-a-days. With that being said, you can get a good 12 hour wear time with these colors. Even if you just use a skin-tone colored base and place the matte colors on top, it’ll look patchy up close, once you hit the 7-8 hours mark, but from a couple of feet away it looks decent (not as pigmented). With a colored base under the matte colors you’ll definitely be able to milk the longevity without having to worry about looking like a raccoon.

The Smokes - 8


I definitely say this is a lot better than the other palettes that Maybelline has come out with. I think the colors are a lot more pigmented than the others and the finish variety allows you to create a bunch of different looks. The sleek packaging definitely makes this a travel-friendly product. If you don’t do smokey eyes or even wear darker colors a lot it may be a palette that you rarely touch, but I must say that the shimmery taupe/gunmetal is the most unique color to me. I don’t have anything like it in my makeup collection and I think it’s extremely versatile since the color will shift depending on what color base is underneath. I definitely see myself using this palette a lot, and the thing is, if you’re new to smokey eyes and are afraid of having to deal with a lot of blending/pigmentation, then this could be an option for you. The matte colors aren’t so overly pigmented that it takes a lot to blend out, and the matte colors apply more concentrated when using your ring finger. I have to admit, I was ready to be disappointed with the overall performance of this palette, but I’m actually surprised with how well it performed.

Have you been able to get your hands on this palette? What do you think so far? Do you think this could be a more affordable option of the Urban Decay Smokey Palette that comes out in July? Let me know in the comments below!!


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