I was super lucky to have been in the States when this Smashbox collaboration launched, because the promotional videos got me so hard that I really didn’t want to wait for it to come to Australia (which usually takes a while). Luckily, this one wad actually pretty fast and it’s now available at Mecca if you’re in Australia or, of course, you can check out the official Smashbox website or Sephora.
The product that I’m talking about is, in my opinion, the best collaboration to have been released this year – it is the collaboration between Smashbox and artist Vlada! I follow the latter on Instagram and I love her work, so I was naturally really excited when I heard about this. The range includes liquid lipsticks and a eyeshadow palette (which I also grabbed) but the star of the show is definitely the Petal Metal Highlighter. This was released in three shades and I got Gilded Rose, which is probably the most standard champagne colour but is the most flattering on my paler skin tone. Rosemantic is a stunning pink shade that would be well suited for darker skin tones or as a blush topper. There is also an exclusive Sephora shade (which is also available at Mecca) called Prismatic Petal; it has a different packaging, which is mainly why I didn’t get it, but it also has a more glittery finish and is quick different to these main two.
So, I’ve taken a lot of photos because I think the packaging is the main selling point of this product. Still, I’m here to give you an in depth review of the product and share my experiences of it, so you can hopefully get this before it’s gone (but hey, I’m crossing my fingers for more Vlada collaborations in the future because she is a talent!)
The description of the product, as well as the two main shades, is as below:
A collection of gel-powder highlighters that wrap skin in ultra-flattering, rose-gold radiance. Each features a clear base formula that allows for the purest possible reflection of light with a super-smooth feel that won’t emphasize uneven skin texture. They’re available in 2 brilliant finishes that can be used on face and eyes.
Rosemantic: Highly reflective rose-gold pearls give your skin a warm, radiant sophisticated glow.
Gilded Rose: Highly reflective champagne-gold pearls melt into your skin to create a smooth, petal-soft radiance.
As you can read from the above, the product is considered a ‘gel-powder’ and you can actually feel when you swatch it that it’s very creamy and smooth, but applies like a powder. Because of the shape of the pan (which you will see below), it is also a baked product and so works better with a swirled brush rather than tapped. In fact, the product instructions say that a brush is to be swirled to activate the pigment. I like to apply this with an angled blush brush, which I find gives me better control and intensity with highlighters as opposed to fan brushes.
Although this product only has three shades (a rose gold, a champagne-gold and a more glittery pink one), I like that all three of them are quite different. With the limited variations, they seem to be able to suit a good range of skin tones so that no one is really left out.
The most exciting part of this collaboration though, naturally, is the packaging! It comes in a metallic pink box, which has the trademark Vlada lip design on it – super beautiful and editorial, with a rose for this rose gold themed collection. It looks quite different to the rest of the Smashbox range and I like that they’ve really gone full out with this – they’ve really let Vlada’s artistic flair come through and the result is so stunningly beautiful and exciting too! This is definitely something that I would want to gift, because I feel like it’s a really wonderful addition to my collection, even if it isn’t exactly cheap (this sells for AUD$61 at Mecca) – the packaging and design of it is so different and also well executed.
Of course, it’s when this box is opened up that the real excitement is shown! The moment that I saw this highlighter case on Instagram, I knew that I was going to buy it regardless of how the product performed (luckily for me, it’s actually pretty good). The case is also metallic pink and has a thick, squared shape – however, the top of it has a very intricate three dimensional design of a rose with some small dripping details. It’s easily the most impressive packaging that I’ve seen in a long time, and I find that a lot of people are interested when ever I pull it out. Hey, I’m not complaining.
Quality wise, the case is made of a smooth, mirror-ed glossy plastic and it has a slight weight to it that feels substantial but isn’t too heavy. It also has a magnetic closure which feels very luxurious. It’s also good enough quality that the magnet locks shut quite tightly.
Perhaps the only downside to this is that it is rather bulky and, if you were to collect the whole range, it would be annoying to store. I only have one and, even though it’s easy to stack, it still takes up twice as much space as my other compacts because of the thickness.
The compact opens up for a full size mirror with the Smashbox + Vlada name printed on it. It’s nice that they’ve branded the inside of it, but I especially appreciate that it hasn’t compromised on the functionality of it. When ever I carry this out (though that isn’t often as I don’t usually touch up my highlighter), it’s really easy to use the mirror for touch ups.
The pan of the product is in a round shape but it also has that same dripping rose design, which reflects the outside of the compact and really looks so beautiful. It reminds me a little bit of the rose Milani blushers, but I like the dripping design on this – it’s really reflective of Vlada’s designs.
To use the product, as I mentioned, you have to swirl the brush into the product to ‘activate the pigment’. When I first went to use it, I was pretty hesitant because I was scared to ruin the design. However, maybe it’s because the baked design is quite strong, I’ve yet to make much of a dent in it. After repeated use, the rose doesn’t look as smooth but it’s still there and still impressive.
Formula & Application
The highlighter has a really creamy and smooth texture! The moment that you touch it to swatch, the product glides over your fingertips and skin, giving you a very luminous and almost metallic, pearlescent look. It isn’t too glittery either so, even though you can build it up to a good intensity on the skin, it still looks very natural and beautiful on the complexion. On my own face, I find that it doesn’t emphasise my pores and looks quite seamless but, since I don’t have too much texture on my skin, I’m not the best judge of that.
Application wise, I will using use a dry brush swirled into the product and then layered two or three times – as I prefer a brighter and more blinding highlight. This shade, which is very natural on my skin tone, also makes it easy to make wearable.
The Smashbox website also suggests that you can use your fingertips for a more blinding application. Since this product is very creamy but with a powder finish, it can apply with fingertips without causing your foundation to split or shift. However, I personally like to avoid using my fingers (although I have been doing it recently with shimmer shadows) so I would usually spray my brush wit some MAC Fix+ instead which is essentially a magic step and gives me the most intense and blinding look! This is what I would usually do for nights out or more dramatic looks.
The product looks really great when first applied but it also wears well throughout the day. Maybe it’s because I have any natural oils that develop in the afternoon, but I find that the highlight still looks super bright and natural. I don’t often retouch it at all, and I also don’t find it transferring on my face (i.e. I don’t end up with glitter everywhere even if the highlight has a hint of shimmer in it).
Overall, this is a product that I really don’t regret buying! This champagne shade isn’t very different to what I already own (so I think that the other two might have been more unique to my collection) but the packaging really makes it a perfect collectors item. That being said, the formula is also pretty nice and I love it as both a natural and bright highlight. For those who are having trouble with the pigmentation, I would highly recommend swirling the brush instead of dipping it in (which is what I usually do for normal highlighters), as I have had zero pigmentation issues from it like this. The colour is also very buildable, so going in with a second layer will really make you glow. My only complaint would be the bulkiness of the packaging – even though it’s really beautiful.
If you’re wanting to get this highlighter, or anything from this collection for that matter, I would recommend getting onto it right away. It’s currently sold out on the Mecca website, so you might have to go online but – personally – I think that it’s worth it. It’s limited edition so it won’t be around for long, but I definitely want to support this collaboration in hopes that we will be seeing more in the future!
And here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A gel-powder highlight compact with a rose gold themed design
- Absolutely stunning packaging and pan design
- Looks very luxurious and exciting
- Good quality packaging with a firm magnetic closure
- Soft and creamy, blendable formula that doesn’t visibly emphasise pores
- Range of three shades (something suitable for light or darker skin tones, and am ore glittery one)
- Product is buildable from a natural to blinding glow
- Wears well through the day and doesn’t need touching up
- Bulky, thick compact packaging
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- PRICE POINT | 3/5
- PIGMENTATION | 5/5
- BLENDABILITY | 5/5
- LONGEVITY | 4/5
- SHADE RANGE | 5/5
OVERALL RATING? 9/10
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
This comes really highly rated from me! The actual shade and even the formula, though good, isn’t super unique but the quality is there and the design is just so beautiful. It’s going to be staying in my collection for a long time and I don’t think that I will ever be getting rid of it.
I would recommend this for all skin tones and make up preferences, since the product is quite flexible, but do go into store if you can to swatch the product on your skin. I originally liked Rosemantic but realised that it’s more like a blush for me, and so changed my mind in store.
WHERE TO GET IT FROM
These are available at Mecca for AUD$61 or you can go to the official Smashbox website where it is selling for USD$39. Depending on where you live, this may also be stocked in your local Sephora or department store, but it is best to search up a local stockist so you can go in and have a swatch!