The Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Palette Helped Me Face My Neighbors (and the Day)

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Makeup

Okay, methinks it’s time to stop scaring the neighbors. With last week’s beehive and that other blast to beauty’s past, I got more than a few sideways glances every time I went outside.


I don’t really know my neighbors very well, but I’m sure they know me — as the crazy lady who walks her cat on a leash while wearing lots of eye makeup and bathrobes, ha! I love it. πŸ™‚

I kept getting that look. You know the one, where they’re afraid to make eye contact, but their glassy, straight-ahead stares betray what they’re really doing, which is watching you from the side with their peripheral vision… I do it a lot at restaurants to see what everyone else is eating, haha.

This morning I decided to give ’em a break and go back to wearing something a little less shocking in public. Out came the new Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Palette ($45).

bobbi brown smokey eye palette
The Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Palette from left: Eye Shadow in White, Metallic Eye Shadow in Tin, Eye Shadow in Storm, Long-Wear Eye Paint in Onyx

Have you seen it yet? One of three new kits in the just-released Choose Your Glam collection, it comes with four powder eyeshadows perfect for black/gray smokey eyes.

I’ve been chomping at the bit for this one, specifically for the sparkly black Long-Wear Eye Paint in Onyx.

Bobbi makes a pretty big deal about how it can be worn either wet or dry, but isn’t that true of most powder shadows?

Eh, with glitter like this, who the hell cares!? They can say whatever they want as long as they catch me when I swoon. πŸ™‚

bobbi brown choose your glam smokey eye palette swatches review fotd k1

When Bobbi does glam, it’s generally more understated than the artistry lines like MAC and NARS; not surprisingly, all four of this palette’s shadows apply super sheer. Pigment purists might protest the low level of intensity, but busy schedules and smokey eyes should like them a lot.

A thoroughly blended black/gray smokey eye heavy on pigmented shadows and layering can take me upwards of 30 minutes or longer to do, but I banged these out with the Smokey Eye Palette in 10. For me that’s frickin’ grease lightning, woo hoo!

Pigment purists might protest the low level of intensity, but busy schedules and smokey eyes should like them a lot.

For this look, I applied Onyx with a wet brush on my lids, mixed metallic gray Tin and matte gray Storm in my crease, added matte White shadow along my brow bone (all from the Smokey Eye Palette) and Creamy Eye Pencil in Jet from Bobbi’s Beauty Rules Palette along the waterlines.

For the record, Jet doesn’t last long on my waterlines, boo! If you want something longer lasting, check out Bobbi’s Kohl Eyeliner in Black.

The rest of the look’s pretty simple and doesn’t require any detailed work. That’s Pot Rouge in Homecoming Pink from the Beauty Rules Palette patted on my cheeks and Hourglass Extreme Sheen Gloss in Ignite on my lips.

bobbi brown choose your glam smokey eye palette swatches review fotd swatches on nc35 skin 1
Swatches on NC35 skin: Eye Shadow in White, Metallic Eye Shadow in Tin, Eye Shadow in Storm, Long-Wear Eye Paint in Onyx

bobbi brown choose your glam smokey eye palette swatches review fotd swatches on nc35 skin 2
Onyx applied dry (left) and wet (right)

bobbi brown choose your glam smokey eye palette swatches review fotd swatches on nc35 skin 3
Creamy Eye Pencil in Jet, Pot Rouge in Homecoming Pink, Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite

bobbi brown choose your glam smokey eye palette swatches review fotd eye


Onyx and the other sheer shades in the palette make peepers pop but stop short of going over the top. Now I think if I can just play it straight for a week my neighbors might think I’ve regained most of my marbles. πŸ™‚

Products mentioned in this post

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So tell me, what do you think about sheer smokey eye looks like this one? Are you into it, or do you prefer more drama?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Kelley says:

    Thanks for reviewing this! This looks like a great option for daytime smoky eye – pretty without being too over-the-top. I am thinking of pairing it with my Lorac Plum blush. What do you think?

  2. Saffron says:

    At least you’re walking just 1 cat on a leash, not 3. Not that I would know That Lady.

    This palette looks awesome on you. I have the worst time with smokey eyes, I always thought it was cause I have the most unglamorous features ever, but maybe I’d have some luck with sheerer shadows? Worth a shot anyways…

    btw am I alone on being creeped out by the makeup industry phrase of things that make your eyes “pop”? Intellectually I know what they’re getting at, but on a lingo-instinctive level I’m all like, no, thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Saffron,

      I kinda wish I was That Lady. Tabs wouldn’t have it, though.

      When I first started doing smokey eyes I swear to you those first attempts looked BEYOND AWFUL. I still feel like I have a lot to learn, but practicing really helps a lot. And yes, I think the sheerer shades will make it easier for you. They offer a lot of color control and forgiveness when it comes to layering and blending.

      “Pop” doesn’t bother as much as the nonsense words like “Millionize.” Blech!!

  3. Emma says:

    I always thought that putting a dark shadow on the lids made the eyes look smaller, but you’ve proved me wrong, Karen πŸ™‚

    I agree with you Saffron – but I think that’s just because I’m pedantic about ‘proper’ English and find it really annoying with words get Americanised (sorry Americans). My pet hate is pressurized, which is almost always used incorrectly because apparently the word pressured has gone out of fashion.

    I really like that palette and the price seems pretty reasonable for BB.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Emma,

      You should totally try a little bit of gray/black shadow layered on top of a creamy black pencil on your lids sometime. It’s a nice way to add smokiness fast!

      Are you are big time Bobbi Brown fan? Because if you, then you have to get your hands on some Pot Rouge blushes. They’re kind of amazing.

  4. Tracy says:

    You look beautiful with that smokey eye! I love it! Looks like a great palette for a daytime smokey eye. Must get!
    Tracy recently posted … Hourglass Film Noir Mascara

  5. Nina says:

    thats a pretty look – sultry but soft all at the same time! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      Aww, thanks. I keep tryin’ for the perfect smokey eye but Tabs has me totally beat in that department! πŸ˜‰

      What are you and the kitties up to tonight?

      • Nina says:

        packing stuff! πŸ™‚ LOL its like a neverending game!

        theyre kinda miffed that were moving but … its all good.

        yep Tabs has the purrrfecttt smokey eye goin on … πŸ˜€

        • Karen says:

          Hi Nina,

          I’d rather get a bikini wax than pack! It is NOT fun. You’re dirty, can’t find anything, have to go up and down the stairs about a million times… LOL, as you can see I don’t like moving.

          Tabs was so suspicious when we were getting ready to move last year. He didn’t appreciate that we kept disturbing his beauty sleep during the day with all our noise.

  6. Jasmine says:

    Beautiful make up, this palette is definitly pretty !

  7. Nora says:

    Looks great on you! I eyed the Smoldering palette the other day. I think it’s going on my Christmas list. It’s nice, but not something I *have* to have. Instead, I got a backup of the LE Black Velvet Sparkle shadow. Just in case. LOL. I’ve never really gotten a backup of anything before.

  8. I actually am a big fan of the sheer smokey eye for rushed days. I like to do a similar look to the one you did here, with a light gray in the inner corner, and a sheer black blended into the outer corner/crease. Loving the glitter!
    makeup morsels recently posted … Yes or No to Dr Ci-Labo

  9. Liz! says:

    Beauuuuuutiful smokey eye! That palette is giving me the makeup lusts. Also, your bangs look nice πŸ˜€

  10. Kim says:

    I think this is a great look, and very wearable (at least on you) in the daytime. And you’ve also taught me why my smokey eye attempts have turned out so disastrous – apparently I need to take more than 2 minutes on each eye. Oops. πŸ™‚

    Btw, when I read the headline for this post, I immediately thought, OMG, Karen had an altercation over the garbage! I say keep them on their toes with the crazy hair/ make-up. Maybe they’ll think twice about using your bin. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Haha!! It’s been a while since I’d had any beef with them regarding the garbage/recycling. All I have to say is I wrote a note in a heated state first thing in the morning when I was grumpy/sleep deprived/pre-coffee. Now they stay out of my cans (knock on wood).

      Ooh! So I have an idea for you. You could always practice doing a smokey eye before you wash your face at night. Since you’re gonna wash your face anyway, it might be a good way to get some practice in.

  11. Ruchita says:

    Gorgeous! I have not yet mastered the smokey eye, but this is a nice look that would be good to try.

    I think it’s adorable that you walk Tabs on a leash. He gets his outside time, while still being safe. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruchita,

      You should try it! Be sure to have a good blending brush on hand and dilute, dilute, dilute the shadow before applying it on your eye. That way you can go nice and slow.

      At first Tabs *hated* his leash, but now he looks forward to it. I think he thinks of it as his “me” time. πŸ™‚

      How’s your day going so far?

  12. mkdallas says:

    Ditto what everyone else is saying; this is a perfect smokey eye for daytime (who knew there was such a thing, lol?). I’m a hot mess trying to do this type of thing and typically end up with waaaay too much shadow, but you’ve inspired me to keep trying. I’ve got brown eyes and need something lighter so I don’t look harsh, so I’ve been using bronze & khaki colors to try for a more sheer look…still not working, though. You look GREAT in that makeup, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi MKDallas,

      When I first started trying to do smokey eyes I was a hot mess, PERIOD. It took forever and I always ended up looking like a rodeo clown. Four years later it still takes forever, haha! But I guess I now look less scary. Some people are really gifted with the look, but for me it took a lot of practice and patience. And I still have TONS to learn.

      Anywho, bronze and khaki is a good way to start! How about trowing a sheer dark brown shadow into the mix to add some more smokiness? Or layer a cream, dark brown pencil beneath your bronzes and khakis to for depth?

  13. Trisha says:

    You look lovely. Also I’m really liking your hair lately. Are you doing something different with it?
    Trisha recently posted … Face of the Day- The Jury Duty That Never Was

  14. Natalia says:

    Hi Karen,
    you look sooooo gorgeous in the first picture!!

  15. Trude says:

    I love it! Being so fair skinned, I need shadows to be a bit sheer-er/more buildable so that I don’t have a freakout moment when a shadow goes on looking like tar! πŸ™‚ Bobbi can do no wrong in my eyes.
    Trude recently posted … The Tedster

  16. justjillian says:

    i LOVE this!!! you apply everything so perfectly! i might be picking this one up!

    jillian xoxo

  17. Katie Coleman says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I can totally picture the cat walking, heavy eye-makeup bathrobe wearing sessions!!

  18. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:


    There is NOTHING wrong with walking Tabs in a bathrobe. They’re just jealous. They wish they had your makeup skills and your cat! Also, they might be envious of your bathrobe.

    Also, the little bit of your top that I can see is super cute πŸ˜€

  19. Jess Lee says:

    OMG! U look heaps awesome in this this! *heart*

  20. Jess Lee says:

    Yep, sure do! I’ve got a few NYX items on me πŸ˜€ But I guess am more of a make-up fan overall, no particular brand per se. Most of my NYX stuff come mainly from online-ordering, being based in Australia, its hard to get many of the really awesome US-based cosmetics :<

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