When I saw the Smashbox Cali Kissed Highlight + Blush Palette on Trendmood’s Instagram, I stopped in my tracks. Not knowing when it would release, I waited for a launch date but didn’t hear any additional details. A little while after seeing the post I decided to swing by the closest Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique and search for it in the Smashbox section.
The Smashbox Cali Kissed Highlight + Blush Palette is the follow up to the Smashbox Cali Contour Palette. It comes in an ombré pink cardboard palette with a California sunset pictured.
Inside the palette is six pans, adding up to 24 g of product. It has 4 highlights (3 are powders and 1 is a cream) and 2 blushes.
I’ll start off with the downsides to get those out of the way. I wanted to do a full-face look using this palette, so I used Crank It Up – Bronze as the bronzer. It is technically a highlight, so of course, it didn’t perform as well as a regular matte bronzer that I would typically reach for. But I found that it was very red-toned, to the point where I wasn’t sure if I accidentally dipped my brush into a blush. It’s by no means a bad formula, I’m just saying that I wouldn’t recommend using it as a bronzer (and again, it is marketed as a highlight, so it’s on me for using it as a bronzer). Crank It Up – Rosé isn’t your typical metallic highlight, it’s more of a glitter shadow, with 2 sixes of magenta glitter flecks that shift to copper. I don’t reach for glitter powders, so I wasn’t sure how to use this shade.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. Those 2 blushes are powerful! Very pigmented, so you really need to start light and build up, but man do I appreciate these punchy shades. I used Dragon Fruit on my eyes as an outer v shadow (this palette can also be used on the eyes, according to the notes on the box!) and Persimmon on my cheeks and was really impressed by the performance. Blendable, pigmented and summer-ready. Crank It Up – Champs looks a bit deeper when swatched, but when blended out on the cheeks it gives a really impactful highlight. The glow stood out under bright lighting, so much so that I told myself I should wear less next time (who is she?!?!).
A shade that I feel so-so about is Pink Nightie. It has a cool shift between white gold and iridescent pink, but I wouldn’t recommend using it on the eyes like I did because the cream formula creases and disappears throughout the day. I do think it would make a good highlight to apply to the tops of cheeks or anywhere else that doesn’t get oily.
This is an interesting palette because even though 2 or 3 of the shades weren’t home runs to me, I would still recommend this palette. Although all 6 shades didn’t work for my fair skin tone, I think they would work better for those with a medium skin tone. But the impact of the two blushes as well as the highlight in Crank It Up – Champs make this palette worth it. Just remember to start with a light hand.