As a longtime fan of the bareMinerals READY pressed eye shadow formula, of course my interest was piqued when I first heard that bareMinerals was coming out with a new 8-pan palette. However, I held off from buying it right away because the initial promo pic for the palette really distorted the colors and made it look very unappealing. If you’re interested in getting the palette, definitely don’t go by the stock photos.
As far as know, the bareMinerals READY 8.0 The Soft & The Smoky eye shadow palette is currently a QVC-exclusive item. That’s where I bought mine.
Besides The Regal Wardrobe, which I reviewed earlier, The Soft & The Smoky is the other palette offering from bareMinerals this Holiday 2015 season. I’m not sure if it’s permanent or not, but the special packaging leads me to believe that it’s limited edition. The regular 8.0 palettes in bareMinerals’ core collection normally come in black/silver cardboard boxes and shiny gold (or matte black) compacts but The Soft & The Smoky comes in a red/gold cardboard box and a matte gold compact with silver detailing. Perhaps the special packaging is just for the holidays and they’ll eventually repackage The Soft & The Smoky in the standard packaging and add it to the permanent lineup. I really don’t know.
The Soft & The Smoky contains the following eight 0.24 oz shadows:
- Celebrate (yellow cream satin)
- In the Buff (light golden peach frost)
- Heavenly Halo (silver whisper frost)
- Midnight Luminance (gunsmoke duochrome)
- A-ha (brown sugar metallic)
- True Chocolate (soft matte brown)
- Eureka (metallic moss)
- Mysterious Sky (midnight smoke satin)
When I first laid eyes on the palette I have to admit I was a bit confused by the color selection which seemed a bit random. But I watched the QVC presentation and when they explained it’s basically two quads put together — a quad of basic neutrals on the left and a quad of more colorful smoky shades on the right — the palette made much more sense. Of course, as with any eye shadow palette you can mix and match whichever shades you want but it’s nice to know the reason why these particular colors were put together. And if you’re new to the makeup game and at a loss as to what to do with a palette like this, it’s helpful to know that you can get at least two eye shadow looks (a neutral and a smoky) with this palette. It gives you a starting point and from there you can play and experiment with all sorts of different color combinations.
It’s no secret that I gravitate towards neutral shadows and shy away from anything bold, colorful or smoky but I wanted to challenge myself. The left half of the palette really spoke to me so, even if I ended up not reaching for the right half of the palette very often, I thought I’d get a lot of use out of the neutral shades and that might make the palette worth buying.
As far as quality goes, I have to say that this is one of the best and most consistent palettes bareMinerals has put out in awhile. Oftentimes in bareMinerals palettes, there’s usually one or two shades that underperform but almost every single shadow in the The Soft & The Smoky is buttery soft and pigmented. The only exception is True Chocolate which feels a bit stiffer in the pan than the rest but its pigmentation and blendability are still great.
My favorite shade from the palette is A-ha. The color payoff is excellent and the texture is super smooth and buttery. It’s actually a permanent shade from the bareMinerals duo The Epiphany and it was also included in last year’s holiday palette, The Magic Act. Celebrate, In the Buff and Eureka are three other noteworthy shades. They’re gorgeous. However, the most interesting shade for me is Midnight Luminance which is a teal duochrome with a brown shift.
Although the quality of the palette is impressive and the colors are beautiful, as I suspected, the palette ended up being too much out of my comfort zone. Green, teal and blue simply aren’t colors that I reach for that often. Speaking of comfort zone, after staring at the palette for awhile, I realized that it reminded me of a cult favorite, Wet n Wild’s Comfort Zone. If I had to compare, I would say that The Soft & The Smoky is the grown up sister of Comfort Zone. With Comfort Zone, all you got were super frosty shades but with the bareMinerals palette you actually get a a few satin shades to round things out. The colors in The Soft & The Smoky are also more subdued. For example, in Comfort Zone you get a bright peridot green whereas in The Soft & The Smoky you get a deeper olive green.
I ended up selling off The Soft & The Smoky on my blog sale page. As much as I wanted to, I knew that I wouldn’t reach for the darker, more colorful shades. True Chocolate, which I’d hoped would be a good transition shade, was a lot warmer than I expected. And two of the shades I really enjoyed using, Celebrate and A-ha, are in another palette that I own (The Magic Act). The Soft & The Smoky is a great palette but it simply wasn’t a good fit for me.