Smashbox quietly released this medium-dark version of their popular Cali Contour palette sometime back in 2020 (?). I say quietly because I don’t think there was any sort of marketing letting people know they had created this new shade variation. I was searching for a review of this palette for the longest time with no luck. I was surprised that they didn’t try to hype this up more considering all of the valid complaints companies have been getting about shade ranges lacking inclusive options. Anyway, I broke down and got it because I continued to hear lighter skin tones rave about the original light medium shade and finally had to see for myself if it was good.
Top row, left to right: warm contour, shimmer gold, cinnamon matte
Bottom row, left to right: banana matte, apricot shimmer, coco rojo
The wanderlust list is my way of enjoying and using items I already own. I hope to encourage myself and others to use some of the products we have rather than being so quick to buy something new. If this concept interests you, you can check out the previous versions of the Wanderlust List below.
I put off writing this post for a while because I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to be strong enough to pass on this purchase. I didn’t want to say I was passing on a purchase and end up buying it anyway. Fortunately for me, I did resist and instead of buying the Sonia G Cheek Pro Brush, I decided to revisit my severely neglected Bobbi Brown blush brush.
I’ve been pushing this brush around my collection for years now. It is a beautiful brush and it works well, I just don’t like using it as much as my other brushes. It is somewhat of a paddle style, but it manages to simultaneously be fluffier and more dense than other brushes. I do find it useful for hard to blend blushes, it can somehow really push the pigment around and blend it out without disturbing my foundation. Although that is impressive, I would just rather get rid of hard to blend blushes.
I have wanted to do a review on these brushes for a long time, but I always felt like I didn’t have enough to say about them. Then I decided to review them anyway, however concise so more people will know about these underrated brushes. Long story short: I feel like they give me the results of my natural hair brushes, but their synthetic fibers make caring for them a breeze. They are high quality with a price to match, but they are not prone to breaking, shedding, or becoming misshapen.
Unlike natural hair brushes, you can wash them as often as you want without causing damage. I have found that they come clean easily (slight staining on the white-tipped style) and bounce back to their original shapes after washing. Smashbox runs sales often, so if you are interested in any of these, I’d suggest signing up for their loyalty program. I believe joining the loyalty program gives you a 15% off code, but if you are patient, the brand definitely runs better sales than that.
Again, although they are pricey for synthetic bristles, I have found them to be workhorse products. I’ve been using the blurring foundation, precise cheek, and buildable cheek brushes for about two and a half years without any issues. As I share the brushes, I will let you know if I have an affordable favorite that I use as an alternative.
What can I say? In my opinion, these brushes just work. Maybe you are someone that has been intimidated by blush. Or you’ve given up on blush because you always apply too much. You may also just like more subtle makeup. No matter the reason, you may want to give one of these two brushes a try for achieving a light application of blush.