That’s No Mirage: Smashbox Eye Illusion Breathes New Life into Your Makeup

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

smashbox eye illusion review

Every makeup junkie has at least a few of ’em — sad, neglected eyeshadows and liners tossed into a miscellaneous junk drawer or lost at the bottom of a long forgotten makeup bag (aww!).


Smashbox must have felt terrible about all of that wasted potential because they designed their latest Smashbox Eye Illusion ($28, available at Sephora stores and trio to breathe new life into second string colors. When layered on top of other eyeshadows and liners, its sheer, iridescent blue, pink and gold change the hue of existing products and add a metallic finish.

The Eye Illusion products have been around for years, but this latest version, the first one I’ve tried, comes with three colors instead of what had been the usual four.

Each of its three colors instantly morph eyeshadows and liners into something new, and they aren’t particular about the texture of the products they change, be they powders, creams or liquids.

Oh, here’s a plus: I think the colors are even wearable by themselves. Alone, they apply with a soft iridescent glow — almost like the surface of a pearl and how it appears to change colors in the light. Perfect for when I want some sheen but not necessarily tons of color or shimmer.

Seriously, these swatches don’t do the three of them justice.

smashbox eye illusion review
From left: iridescent blue, gold and pink shadows in the Smashbox Eye Illusion trio

smashbox eye illusion review
From left: MAC Post Haste Matte eyeshadow; Post Haste layered beneath iridescent blue, gold and pink

I think the texture could be smoother for the $28 price, but being that they resurrect and restore value to other products, a girl could consider that $28 an investment. The product feels pretty original, and I don’t think I have anything else like it in my makeup kit. Nice job, Smashbox. πŸ™‚ Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

You might like Smashbox Eye Illusion if…

  • You like to mix and match colors
  • You have some existing makeup you’d like to resurrect
  • You’re looking for iridescent shadows with a subtle, sheer glow

I’m hungry for more Hunger Games!

Okay, can I just say how much I enjoyed the first two books in the series (the next one comes out in August)? I finished off the second installment, Catching Fire, last night, and after the last chapter all I could do was sit on the couch with my mouth hanging open in disbelief! They’re like perfect book jacket fare, all that stuff about action packed thrill rides and edge-of-your-seat suspense. If you liked Uglies or — yes, I’m going there — Ender’s Game, I recommend them a lot.


I haven’t read anything as gripping as these in a while…but then I also liked LA Candy, so what do I know? πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. I’m so glad it’s almost Friday. It’s TGIF Eve!


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So far, 55 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Tiffany says:

    Ohh, I may have to check into these books. I was left disappointed by Emily Giffin’s last book πŸ™

    BTW, I just caved on part of my Sephora order… that full cart was driving me crazy! I may order the other stuff I want tomorrow πŸ™‚

    It’s already Friday here! WOOO! What did you do tonight? I saw SATC 2 with a friend at the drive-in. That movie was even more ridiculous than I thought it would be! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      OOOOH share with the class! What did you get?

      • Tiffany says:

        LOL, show and tell time! My goods:

        Philosophy Pineapple Coconut Lip Shine
        SEPHORA COLLECTION/Stain and Shine Lipgloss/Coral/Gold
        MAKE UP FOR EVER/Aqua Cream/5 Peach
        MAKE UP FOR EVER/Aqua Cream/9 Coral
        MAKE UP FOR EVER/Aqua Cream/15 Taupe
        Smashbox/Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss/Boundless
        Stila/It Girl Eye Shadow Trio Palette – Warm

  2. Arthur says:

    Sebastian Trucco used to have a VERY similar product called Angel Face. not sure if it’s still available anywhere.

  3. Natasha says:

    This palette looks a lot like a Trucco set I had way back when (which, by the way, is now in my miscellaneous make up junk drawer) and the effect is really neat when paired with bold colors. They really do bring a new life to anything they are mixed with. Nice find!
    .-= Natasha’s last blog post… e.l.f. Eye Widener =-.

  4. Beth says:

    These look a lot like the Eye Transformer from E.L.F.s Studio line…$3. But that one also has a greenish hue. You should try it out, I love it πŸ™‚

  5. BeautyMaven says:

    Not gonna lie… those seem a little pitiful =\
    Have you read the Shopaholic series?? I know it sounds silly, but seriously one of the best series I have read!!!!!! =D
    Have a great weekend!
    .-= BeautyMaven’s last blog post… Marilyn Monroe! =-.

  6. Rae says:

    Holy shiznat that is AWESOME. I’ve heard raves for this before, and have done sorta-similar things with sheer shadows, but those swatches are just blowing me away! They honestly look like four totally different shadows.

    I wonder if I could dupe this, though… $28 is quite the price tag :/
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… A long review + rant for Misikko and Hana =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Rae,

      There’s supposed to be an ELF version that’s cheaper.

      Re the price, the product is quite big, so at least it feels like you get a good amount for the money.

  7. BeautyMaven says:

    … on second inspection, the iridescent blue is catching my eye, lol.
    .-= BeautyMaven’s last blog post… Marilyn Monroe! =-.

  8. Rachel says:

    sweeeeeeet. that’s pretty. i feel like once i actually had it, it would end up in the junk drawer though. *sigh*
    .-= Rachel’s last blog post… SUMMER ESSENTIALS =-.

  9. The blue-pink effect is absolutely gorgeous! I wish it were a bit cheaper though, but it’s interesting. I think ELF might have made something similar, but I’m not sure how well it works. omg those books are really so hard to put down. The second the third one comes out, I’m going to go to Costco and read it lol. I enjoyed the Uglies series as well, but I thought the first book was by far the best. Did you read the fourth book in that series? It was a spinoff of sorts, pretty good
    .-= makeup morsels’s last blog post… Ellis Faas: The Coolest Makeup on the Block =-.

  10. Anna says:

    I LOVE the hunger games series! The third and final book comes out August 24th, a day before my birthday! I can’t wait! I recommend Battle Royale to tide you over till August. It has similar themes.

  11. Lindsay says:

    That’s pretty awesome! Stop showing me stuff I need lol
    .-= Lindsay’s last blog post… Change of Address =-.

  12. amy says:

    I am very intrigued by the story line in the Hunger Games, so I put it on my book request list from the library. I can’t wait to read it and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… A Touch of Green and Blue = Aquamarine NOTD American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Malibu Green =-.

  13. Agnes says:

    Wow! I love the effects of this πŸ™‚ it turns one eyeshadow into four different gorgeous colours. I guess its worth it since you pay $28 but in return, get like a million more shades if you combine it with your existing eyeshadows πŸ˜› haha but still.. $28 isnt cheap! Ohhh and thank you for sharing your reads πŸ™‚ I am actually looking for something good to read since i find out that reading helps improve my grades at school :O!
    .-= Agnes’s last blog post… ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder… Orgasm dupe? =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agnes,

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the book chat. πŸ™‚ I agree with you in that reading helps, especially with school. It also helps improve writing, too!

  14. Vonvon says:

    I just got myself the older version, the one with 4 shades!

    Thanks for writing about this. Now i know that it’s to be layered on top of a shadow. ‘Cos I was told to apply the Eye Illusion shade 1st, then only apply any eyeshadow on top. Or could it be used either way?

    Also, I think e.l.f. has a similar thing called Eye Transformer or something…..
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Review: Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions(TM) Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50/PA+++ – The Sunscreen Of My Dream! =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hmm…there’s a video on the Smashbox website where Lori Taylor (the lead makeup artist) shows how to use it, and she puts it on top of the product, not beneath.

  15. Kim says:

    Those are great and I actually love them by themselves too. Congrats on getting through the first 2 books so quickly – it seems like you just started Hunger Games. I’ll have to check them out!

    • Karen says:

      LOL, I did…I read really fast. It’s both good and bad. Good because I can get through a lot of material quickly, bad because when the book is good, like this one, it done way too fast.

      Have you had this product for long? What are some shades you like to pair it with?

  16. gio says:

    That’s a very interesting product, I’m intrigued. I love the swatches and how they can change a shade. I only wish it wasn’t so pricey.
    .-= gio’s last blog post… New Collection: Madina Siren Summer 2010 =-.

    • Karen says:

      I know! The good thing is the product itself is pretty big (fits into the palm of my hand). It feels like a good amount for the price.

  17. Camille says:

    I think if they sold them separately I would go for it. I’m pretty sure I would only ever use the gold. And then the other two colors would be lost in the back of my makeup drawer. How ironic. πŸ™‚

    Happy Friday Karen (& Tabs!)

  18. Martha says:

    Those are beautiful! I might wait for the next Lets Do Lunch and get me one πŸ™‚
    .-= Martha’s last blog post… Neutral NOTD =-.

  19. Amber says:

    Ohhhh I want this. My inner rationalizer says that, if for the cost of two MAC shadows I can transform nearly every eyeshadow I own x3, it would be like LOSING money if I didn’t buy this. Yup, I’m going with that.
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Six- and eight-legged farm friends =-.

  20. Nina says:

    I want that trio! Ive been lazy and just doing a sheer wash of shadow on my lid + bright eyeliner for my everyday look. That will be purrfect!

    I checked those books out btw when I was @ Borders. The story kinda reminds me of Battle Royale (a Japanese movie thats super interesting but super gory too) … I have like 5 books lined up after I finish the Dresden book im reading right now but ill put that series on my to-read list for sure! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      You’re right — this trio is perfect for that sort of “bare but still there” eye look. The blue sheen would look banging with some purple liner. πŸ™‚

      I’ve heard comparisons to Battle Royal and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, but truth be told I think you can compare any book out there to other stories since they’re all essentially variations on a core set of themes.

      El Hub is reading Dresden too! Have you seen the a TV show based off the series?

      • Nina says:

        Super sigh at all the tempting goodies I want to buy! But yeah I might totally cave in and get this trio because I can imagine all the easy looks I can do with it …. and i LOVE purple liner. There – I just justified another purchase LOL.

        I agree wiht you on the core set of themes. The first Battle Royale was one of the most gory yet awesome movies ive seen … so I am really curious about the series youre reading. Lemme see – I have 3 more Dresdens, 1 Sookie Stackhouse, and three other books (one of them the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and a comic book (Fables 13) to read. No wonder im always short on sleep!

        Ive seen the like 5 episodes of that show – its good lunch break watching while at work and the dude who plays Dresden is kinda cute! Ive been watching it on Hulu sporadically…

        Gmawnin and enjoy your weekend. Ive rambled on again as usual! πŸ˜›

  21. Ruchita says:

    Those are pretty colors and I like the idea of being able to layer them with other shades.

    I love the Hunger Games series! I can’t wait for the 3rd book to come out. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

  22. Aniela says:

    Ohhh nice!! I think I’ll have to head out this weekend and get my hands on this as I have waaaay too many unused eyeshadows that could use a little sparkle and shine. Oh and thanks for the book recommendations, I’ll have to get my hands on those as well I’ve heard good things. Have you read Eat, Pray, Love? It’s suuuch an amazing book, I highly recommend it!
    .-= Aniela’s last blog post… Heat-Resistant Hairstyles =-.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve been meaning to get to that book for ages. It first came out when I worked for a literary agent, and I remember my boss telling me I had to get it ASAP. Have you seen the trailer for the movie with Julia Roberts? It looks pretty good.

  23. Suji says:

    I’m adding those books to my reading list!

  24. Shannon says:

    This is totally genius. Love the idea. But, I may try with my existing shadows before I purchase.

  25. LostcauseFoundeffect says:

    i loved the hunger games series!
    and definitely had a similar reaction
    i was like you cant just leave it there!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    until august!!

    and yeah i am excited about the movie too

    and i totally <3 peeta

    and gale

  26. Catherine says:

    Les Pastels from Clarins is basically the same thing except you have 4 colors. I believe they are pink, purple, yellow and green. I love layering these colors on top of black eyeliner.

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