Whether You’re Standing in Front of a Mirror or in Front of a Camera Lens, the Six Neutral Shades in the Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Just Click

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette

Wearing the new Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette ($39) on my eyes

There I stood, surrounded by piles of jeans, my feet planted shoulder-width apart, as I looked at myself in the three-way mirror of my tiny dressing room doing squats, while the stylist helping me watched from the doorway.

Two, three, four…


I paused, noting 1) the status of my muffin top in the pair of stretchy skinnies I’d just shimmied into, and 2) how the neutrals from new Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette were holding up (I’d already been wearing them for six hours, and still no signs of creasing or fading, yay!).

“I dunno…” I said, thinking about the jeans. “I feel a lot of muffin going on.”

“Keep going,” the stylist replied, referring to the squats. “Trust me. These start really tight, but they’ll stretch. They’ll be perfect in 10 minutes.”

Five, six, seven…

“The squats speed things along.”

Halfway through my eighth rep, I silently thanked the makeup gods for creating the Photo Op Palette.

Looking for a new pair of jeans is not one of my favorite tasks in the world. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s almost as stressful as shopping for a new swimsuit (first world problems, I know), but it’s always easier when I’m wearing eye makeup that helps me feel pretty.

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Softbox II small

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Softbox II

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Softbox II

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Softbox II

Which this palette does. ๐Ÿ™‚

Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette swatches

Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette swatches from the left: Russet, Truffle, Bare, Juniper, Sandstone and Sumatra

Smashbox Softbox II Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Softbox II box

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette Softbox II

I know, I know — not another neutral palette! But this one’s almost foolproof (only takes a few swipes to blend), and it should look great on most skin tones, since the plum, taupe, brown, gold and beige shades aren’t too warm nor cool.

Just be sure to tap off your brush first, as the fluffy powder grains like to fly every which way…

For a daytime look with Photo Op, I like to keep things simple. Maybe a lighter shade on my lids, a mid-toned color in the outer third, and the dark brown matte along my lash lines.

PRICE: $39 for a six-pan palette; total net weight 0.16 ounces
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Smashbox counters and smashbox.com

As for the jeans…

After trying on 15 pairs and getting in quite a good workout on my quads from all the squats (seriously, my thighs are still burning), I finally found the pair — the Legging Ankle Jean in gray by AG.


I knew they were the ones when I slipped ’em on and thought, “Dang! I’m tall!”

Not an easy feat when you’re only 5’1″.

And they’re so, so soft! Almost as soft as sweatpants.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sunny says:

    I totally get giddy about neutral eye palettes, because they seem to be what I reach for most of the time! Love how this one looks, especially Sandstone!

    The jeans you picked out are HOOOOOT! I used to have problems finding jeans that fit (part of the reason why I started wearing skirts/dresses all the time), but after trying Levi’s Curve ID my problem has been solved! No more teary frustration in front of the fitting room mirror ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Sunny recently posted … If Everything Else Is Too Shimmery and Mattes Are Too Matte, Try Burberry Plum Pink Complete Eye Palette!

  2. Alison M says:

    Darn you Smashbox…I’m such a sucker for neutrals!

  3. Chelsea says:

    Ugh, Jeans shopping is awful! I need some new ones.

    The palette is gorgeous, lovely neutral colors.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      It’s not fun AT ALL. I’ve been putting it off for a year now… thank goodness I just went and got it over with.

      How are ya doing? Did you have a nice weekend?

  4. Kuhika says:

    Do you like this better than the NARS ‘And God created the woman’ set? If you had to pick one…

  5. I bought a previous Smashbox Softbox palette and it is so pretty. This one is lovely too – especially Juniper.
    Emi at Project Swatch recently posted … Revlon Baby Sticks Swatches & Initial Thoughts

  6. Katherine G says:

    This is a pretty palette. I think that there is plenty of room for more neutrals – they are all slightly different in their own ways, so you can create different looks with different palettes. Neutrals are also great for work, job interviews, anywhere we want/need a natural look that is also put together for the day.

    On the jeans, I have trouble finding jeans myself. I am fairly tall (5’7″) with an athletic build but yet fine boned. People always think I have no trouble finding clothes. WRONG! I have shoulders like a linebacker’s naturally and from powerlifting, so it’s always fun finding shirts. As for the jeans, I have just enough ass and hip that I need something with some forgiveness of curves but that fits my thin but athletic frame. I also have the short-waisted, long legs syndrome so I need a long inseam. I have found Express and Victoria’s Secret to be the best fit for me in terms of jeans or pants. They aren’t too expensive (thought I pay more than Mom paid for jeans as a kid) and they last a long time.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katherine G,

      Is there a specific type of cut that you like from Express? I haven’t been to Express in ages, but if I can find jeans that aren’t too pricey and fit I’ll go back!

      Happy Monday, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Katherine G says:

        I typically go with a regular cut with long inseam unless they are skinny jeans. I need a 34″ inseam because of my height. I’ve tried some of the curvier fit jeans there and they are a little loose in the hips. Victoria’s Secret has by far the best fit and some of the nicest jeans I’ve ever bought. Nothing is really cheap anymore – VS and Express run at 59.99, with specialty jeans running higher than that. But, I can say that VS and Express jeans have lasted me for years so it’s more or less a one time expense per pair unless they get really beat-up or I change sizes.

  7. Lulle says:

    This is really the kind of shades I’ve been into for a few month! Pretty, flattering and easy to combine. Lovely palette!
    Lulle recently posted … I won’t dance for Nyx Life is a Cha Cha eyeshadow trio!

  8. Teri says:

    Its definitely a very nicely pigmented paletee but I’m distracted by that hot lip clolour you’re wearing! So bright and beautiful! As for jeans shopping, I used to hate it too, I’m petite and everything is just waay too big! But girl, I tried me some Levi’s curve id and no bs, they are amazing!

  9. Anne says:

    Love that neutral color palette. Karen, for jeans I’ve been having the same issue. I’m about your height or maybe just a tad taller if half an inch count and I have a hard time finding skinnies that fit too until I came across Abercrombie super skinny jeans. They are super stretchy very forgiving fit and it also came in ankle sizes which fits perfecty on gal under 5’2

  10. Woohoo! These are exactly the types of neutrals that I like to wear–cool-toned with hints of purple! Love that matte Truffle shade the most! Juniper is pretty too ๐Ÿ™‚
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … 11 Questions Tag

  11. Jennifer says:

    LOVE you in those brights! And I really like the eye shadow too!

  12. Esme says:

    What’s the gorgeous fuchsia lipstick you’re wearing? I MUST KNOW.

  13. Katrina says:

    I’m a sucker for neutrals too! Love this palette ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Liz says:

    I certainly don’t need more neutrals but I sure like the looks of this palette! Maybe it will assuage my disappointment over not getting Nars’ God Created the Woman palette, haha.

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