November 2, 2011

Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette: lots of swatches, pics and my review

Hello, Beautiful!

During a recent Today's Special Value on QVC they featured a beautiful palette from Smashbox, the Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette. This palette is amazing and truly up to Smashbox standards. You can read my full review at the bottom of this post.

Check out my pics, swatches, stats and review... don't forget to click on pics to view them larger!

Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette
Details: Contains an assortment of eyeshadows, cream liners, blushes, soft lights, brow tech and lip glosses!

The First Section (left) of the Palette:

The Second Section (center) of the Palette:

The Third Section (right) of the Palette:

Included Look Book:

Let's Go Into Swatches...

Cream Eye Liners:


Brow Tech:




Soft Lights:

Lip Glosses:



All Swatches From Kit (on white paper):

Basic stats for Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette:
Formula: mix of pressed-powder eyeshadows, cream liners, pressed-powder blushes and soft lights, powder brow products, brow wax, lip glosses
Coverage: overall a very nicely pigmented palette!
Wear: above average
Shade Info: A wide range of shades!
Cost/Availability: $103 for the palette at regular QVC price ($93.48 at the featured price; I paid $83 during the Today's Special Value). Available only on QVC's website.
Packaging: red fold-out/fold-up palette, leather-feel to the outside, magnetic closure, plastic attached cover to each section - which lists the names of each product and protects them from the rest of the palette.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses!

This is an amazing palette full of products in various formulas. From Photo Op Eyeshadows to Soft Lights to Brow Tech and more!

This palette is very nicely pigmented.

Above average. This is one high-quality palette!

Shade Info:
A total of 56 eyeshadows (some duplicates: you get two Vanilla and two Vapor), 8 cream liners, 4 brow tech colors & 1 brow tech wax, 2 blushes, 3 soft lights and 4 lip glosses.

$103 for the palette at regular QVC price ($93.48 at the featured price; I paid $83 during the Today's Special Value). Available only on QVC's website.

Value Breakdown:
The value of this palette is insane! I know my math isn't going to give an exact value, especially because so many of the items are larger in the palette than they would be in regular full sized options, but you'll get an idea of how great of value this palette is. Like I said, it's insane!
Total Approximate Value of This Palette: $780.20!!!
Here's how I came up with that value...

Eyeshadow Trios:
  • Each eyeshadow in this palette is 0.044 oz
  • A full-sized Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio is $28 for 0.097 oz
  • If you divide the size by 3, each shade in the trio is 0.032
  • You're getting MORE in this palette! To be exact, you're getting 0.012 oz more of each shade!
  • Each shadow trio is worth more than $28, but to keep it simple we'll say $28 each.
  • You receive a total of 16 shadow trios
  • Total value of shadow trios: $448.00!

Eyeshadow Quads:
  • Each eyeshadow in this palette is 0.044 oz
  • I can't find accurate info on these quads, so just to keep it simple, we'll go by the same pricing as the Photo op Trios... making each shadow itself worth $9.33
  • Each shadow quad is worth about: $37.32
  • Total value of shadow quads: $74.64

Lip Glosses:
  • Each lip gloss in this palette is 0.024 oz
  • I'm not sure what formula of lip gloss is included in this palette, so just out of assumption because they are one of the only glosses Smashbox makes now, I'll say these are the Lip Enhancing Glosses.
  • Each full sized Lip Enhancing Gloss is $19 for 0.20 oz
  • Making the value of each gloss in this set: $2.28
  • Total value of lip glosses: $9.12

Brow Tech:
  • Each Brow Tech Powder in this palette  is 0.032 oz
  • The Brow Wax in this palette is 0.024 oz
  • A full sized Brow Tech Trio (2 powders & 1 wax) is $24 for 0.059 oz
  • This is a little difficult to break down a value on this because of the way the full sized version is sold. To make it easier, instead of figuring out exact ounces and such, I'm just going to divide the full sized price by three and say that's what each one is worth in this kit -- even though they are larger sizes in the kit than in the Brow Tech Trio. The value is higher than what I list!
  • So let's just assume the Brow Tech Wax and each Brow Tech Powder in this kit is worth $8
  • Total value of Brow Tech: $40.00

  • Each blush in this palette is 0.298 oz
  • I'm not sure what formula of blush is included in this palette, so just out of assumption, I'm going to say these are the Blush Rush blushes.
  • A full sized Blush Rush is $24 for 0.13 oz
  • You're getting over twice that size in this palette!
  • If I double the full sized Blush Rush cost, that would make each blush in this palette $48 value.
  • Total value of the blushes: $96.00

Soft Lights:
  • Each Soft Lights in this palette is 0.132oz
  • A full sized Soft Lights is $29 for 0.352 oz
  • That makes each Soft Lights in this palette worth about $10.86
  • Total value of Soft Lights: $21.72

Cream Eye Liners:
  • Each Cream Eye Liner in this palette is 0.031 oz
  • A full sized Cream Eye Liner is $22 for 0.06 oz
  • That makes each Cream Eye Liner in this palette worth about $11.34
  • Total value of Cream Eye Liners: $90.72

This pretty holiday palette comes in a red fold-out/fold-up palette form (reminds me of a clutch). It has a leather-feel to the outside and a magnetic closure. There is an attached plastic cover to each section - which lists the names of each product and protects them from the rest of the palette.

Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette Review:
Wow, oh wow! This is one palette I am in LOVE with and have been using non-stop since swatching it. It is well worth the price. When I initially received the preview email for this palette I passed up on ordering it early. I had purchased the one from last year and it arrived damaged and the quality really wasn't Smashbox; It seemed more like a cheap palette with Smashbox's name on it. However, after seeing the on-air presentation for not even 30 seconds I ordered this palette and I'm so glad I did!

The shadows are silky smooth and richly pigmented (although some are a bit more sheer/lacking pigmentation, but overall really nicely pigmented). There are two shades that are duplicated in this palette, but the shades that are repeated (Vanilla and Vapor) are staple shades you'd use a lot of anyway. With so many shadow options you'll have endless looks to create!

The cream liners are very richly pigmented. You can even use them as a cream shadow and top with a powder shadow. I really like Smashbox's cream liners and they've included a very pretty mix of shades.

Smashbox Brow Tech is the first brow product I ever used, and for awhile was the only brow product I would use. I've since moved on to other products but I just may start using it again; I use the Brunette shade.

The blushes are very generous in size and also richly pigmented. You can see in my swatch photos how pigmented/bright they are, but how nicely they will blend out.

The Soft Lights are pretty and can be used as eyeshadow shades as well. I don't use Soft Lights as often as I probably should.

The glosses, I have to admit, looked like stiff gross palette glosses; you  know, the kind that are terrible to work with and apply really dry. However, these glosses are nice for a palette gloss! They are creamy and much prettier swatched than they are in the palette. The shades Guava and Mulberry are jelly/popsicle/juicy shades... sheer but colorful and shiny! Bitten is beautiful and Buff is a great neutral or layering gloss.

The actual palette it great too in the way it folds up. When closed, this palette is approx. 5 & 1/8" x 8 & 1/4" x 1". When opened, this palette measures approx. 16 & 1/2" x 8 & 1/4" x 3/8". Very easy to take with you on trips or just in a purse... although it's rather large for a purse; I guess it just depends on your purse size. Besides mascara, concealer and foundation, this palette is all you need for a beautiful full face of makeup.

Included with this palette is a pamphlet with six makeup looks you can create using this palette, but the looks are really endless and go far beyond the six example looks.

There isn't anything I can complain about with this palette. I'm really happy with this purchase and I really hope you can get your hands on it! I highly recommend this.

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this palette? Do you own this already, or is this on your wish list? Discuss in the comments below.


  1. i picked this palette up to, I love love love your reviews, so detailed! The shadows don't seem that large at first. it surprises me that this palette has more product than the trios! I can't wait to start using this one! plus i love the size it's hard to believe they packed so much goodness into a small package!

  2. that palette looks amazing! I don´t own it but this is definitely in my wish list.

  3. @ Manicure Addict: Thank you! I work very hard on each and every post and it's always nice to know it's appreciated! I agree, I was surprised to learn that the shadows in the palette were large than what you'd get in the full sized versions. Crazy value... really crazy insane value!

  4. This is such a complete palette! It has everything you possibly need in there! And this review is awesome, as always ;)

  5. Oh, wow! I admire you - great photos, such detailed rewievs!

  6. Gosh, its seems carrying all beauty needs... super

    love your detail review...

  7. WOW!
    I think I know what I want for Xmas now~!

  8. I just got this palette. My mom got for me as a gift with the special value deal they had. As soon as I opened it up, I was beyond excited. I can't even describe it. Ever since getting it, I haven't used anything else. The quality and value is amazing! Its really hard to believe. If I hadn't gotten it as a gift, I definitely would of paid full price for it.

  9. @ Maegan: I'm so glad you are enjoying the palette as well! Like you, this palette seems to be all I'm using! All my eye looks have been from this palette. I even really started to like using the Posy Pink blush... but just a little for a brightening pop of color. And yes, the value is really hard to believe. I wonder what kind of drugs the person was on who priced this... it's like they had no concept of value and just said "sure... we'll give them over $600 worth of makeup for free, why not!" lol. Whatever happened to get the price the way it is, it is so well worth it. I love this palette so much I almost want a back-up of it... but I know I won't use it all completely and a new palette will be out before I run out of this one. But yes... I'm totally geeking out over it! :)

  10. Is it true that they products don't last all day?

  11. @ Anonymous: I'm not sure what product in particular you're talking about, but Smashbox is a quality brand with really great products that are long-lasting.

  12. I am SOO sad, because I live in Denmark and I can't get QVC to ship this palette for me - not without paying the double in the toll!

    I wish I knew someone in the US who could ship this to me, I was so excited when I discovered it!!

    It looks so beautiful, and after your review, I just want it even more! You are so lucky :´(

  13. @ Josephine: I know QVC is in other countries, but I'm not sure if Smashbox makes a similar palette for those outlets or not. I know that on Smashbox's website they came out with a great palette, which is very similar to the contents in this one. Here is a link to that:

    Although I have no idea of the quality -- such as if they are the Photo Op shadows or not.

  14. Thank you SO much for posting your review with all the beautiful swatches!

  15. Great in depth review with wonderful pictures! You have convinced me that I "need" it! LOL

  16. cannot believe how painstakingly you did the review . the colours are a true represenataion and i have the palette so i know now. your review helped me buy the item as you cannot sample it or see it . the viewers may not notice but I thank you for the amount of time you put into this and the effport taking pictures, retaking pictures maybe to check for lighting etc. you swatched them and made sure it looked exactly what it would if you really swatch the shades. also a swatch on paper helps to understand the true nature or tone of the colour as colours stand out diff on diff skin tones. the swatches even show if a particular shade when applied , is a bit flaky or a bit chalky or applies smooth ( some are the photo op formula) . i bought mine off ebay and was concerned that it might be a fake one but it was only your review that helped me compare the shadows with your swatches and decide that it was genuine . i compared it with the textures ofn shadows on your blog . I cannot thank you enough for helping me get a great product at a decent price ( and keep it since I now know its genuine and i got it for 76 dollars including shiopping nas i won a bid on ebay )

  17. @ bishakhasen: Thank you so much for your kind words! They are truly appreciated! You got a great deal on this palette! It's always hard buying brand cosmetics on eBay because you never know if they are real (I've purchased fakes before and was really angry because they were listed as authentic). Sounds like you have the real deal! Enjoy your palette! :)

  18. I agree with the comment above. The only thing I kept thinking was WOW-- how much work you did to put this post together. Incredible! I just got this palette in the mail today and I am thrilled, over the moon, ecstatic-- you name a happy emotion, I gots it. I was feeling overwhelmed about how to start using all of these, and then I realized the shadows were easily grouped in highlight, contour, lid shade. Unreal! I have to fly out of state in a couple of days and this is all I am going to take with me because, why would I take anything else? I do have a question-- how long lasting do you find the shades? Are they six hours on your lids, or 8-10 hours on your lids? Thanks again for the review. xo Christine

  19. @ brigidbeautyblog: aww, thank you for your kind comments! This is a perfect palette for travel! I find the shadows last very long on their own, even without shadow primer. I normally use shadow primer so they will last all day (over 12 hours); without shadow primer they still last just as long on me but fade by the end of the day.

  20. your review= complete awesomeness! I wanted to ask if the cream eyeliners are still holding up pretty well. It seems without a lid it could dry out?

  21. @ Anonymous: Thank you! So far, the liners are still great. Even without a lid they stay good because of the protective film over each section and the whole palette does fold up nicely (thats my guess anyhow as to why they are still okay). I was surprised they are still good too!

  22. Thank you for taking the time to review this product with great detail. QVC has their 5 easy pymts on every item deal going on today and well I wasn't sure if I wanted to add this palette to my cart. After reading your review and checking out all the pictures you posted I quickly went back to QVC and ordered a Smashbox palette. Once again, thanks! :-)


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