Smashbox + Vlada ‘Petal Metal’ Highlighters: Review and Swatches

So as I’m sure you guys well know, Smashbox Cosmetics recently released a rose gold themed collection in collaboration with makeup artist, Vlada Haggerty. For me the stand out items were, without a doubt, the highlighters so naturally I grabbed all three. The collection is available now at Ulta and Smashbox with the exception of the Prismatic Petal highlighter which is Sephora exclusive. Prismatic Petal was available on the Sephora app for one day this week but should be on the website for regular purchase next week.

Okay so let’s start with the good… the packaging and presentation is perfection. 10/10. However I was a little disappointed that the outer packaging of the Sephora compact didn’t have the metal rose pattern like the other two.

Sooooooo…. the actual highlighters… ugh! Idk. I want to love them so bad.

Gilded Rose is subtle. I had to layer it AT LEAST 3x to get the level of glow that I aspire to on a daily basis.

And Rosemantic is def a blush on me. Which is fine. Who would be mad about a beautiful, rusty rose blush?

Unfortunately I had my heart set on a highlighter not a blush. It’s not even that it’s too dark for me (which of course it is), the problem is that it’s not even shimmery. It’s more like a satin finish.

Gilded and Rosemantic are both very hard pressed with an almost dry texture. If I were to attempt to apply Gilded Rose with a soft brush, like the Wayne Goss fan brush, I’d probably have to layer it 10 times. I’m not even exaggerating. It’s that subtle. It applies better with a more stiff brush like the ABH highlighter brush but it still requires a lot of building to get saturated color pay off. I realize that many men and women appreciate a natural highlight. I just don’t happen to be one of those people. And for 40 bucks a pop, I expected those mothereffers to blind unsuspecting bystanders.

On it’s own Prismatic is really pink and really sparkly. For me personally it doesn’t work as a highlighter by itself. It also has large, sparkly pigment particles that get all over your face (and your vanity, clothes etc) unless you apply it wet. Unfortunately it just doesn’t suit my complexion, however I can picture it looking lovely on tan or brown skin.

I’ve got to say though… Gilded Rose and Prismatic Petal mixed together is REALLY pretty. When I put on Prismatic first and then Gilded on top, it’s gorgeous. The light gold softens the pink, cuts down the sparkle factor and makes a perfect light pinky gold.

Prismatic Petal and Gilded Rose mixed

To be fair Vlada did say that these products are all designed to complement each other and to be worn together. But let’s be serious here, they’re $40 each. $80 for a highlight is crazy town.

Overall I’m underwhelmed. I had such high hopes for this collection and it’s some of the most beautiful packaging that I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately pretty packaging isn’t enough for me to justify spending $40 on a highlighter that I find to be subpar. It truly pains me to say it but these babies are getting returned.

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