You don’t have to be a beauty junkie to have heard the name Lauren Luke. Her true rags-to-riches story is enough to inspire anyone, but it’s extra inspiring to makeup aficionados, beauty bloggers, YouTube makeup “gurus” and the like.
A quick search on Wikipedia will tell you that Lauren Luke came from humble beginnings and was once a taxi cab dispatcher in her native England. To supplement her income, she started selling cosmetics on eBay, where she featured photos of herself wearing the makeup in her auctions. These photos became so popular that it eventually led to her uploading video makeup tutorials on YouTube, and in the span of just a few years, she now has one of the most popular beauty channels on the site. (How successful? Try 75 million views and over 350,000 subscribers.) Lauren Luke is now a powerhouse of a brand with her own weekly column in the UK’s The Guardian, a best-selling book, her own Nintendo DS video game (Supermodel Makeover by Lauren Luke) and last but certainly not least, her own line of makeup.
If you were given the chance to create your own line of makeup, what would be your criteria? Colors that work for everyone? Textures that blend effortlessly? Quality products that consistently perform? My Smokey Classics Complete Makeup Palette hits the bull’s-eye on all three counts.
The aesthetics of this super sized palette (7.5″ x 5″) are the perfect balance of elegant and adorable. When I hold it in my hands, I feel like it’s a special gift, yet it’s not so intimidating that it makes me want to just sit and stare at it. When I open it up, I’m instantly greeted with a “handwritten note” from Lauren that’s stuck to the mirror. For some reason, this little note puts me at ease and makes me want to dive right in.
The palette itself comes with two shades of eye primer (awesome!), one large pan of eyeshadow and blush, one small pan of cream eyeliner, two small pans each of eyeshadow and lip color. Pretty much everything you need to achieve a gorgeous smokey look without having to think about it.
For me, the standouts are the Antique Pewter and Twilight Ash eyeshadows and the Plumberry lip color. I would happily pay the full retail price of the palette for just ONE of these products, and that’s saying a lot.
Antique Pewter (at left) is a taupe that is so gorgeous and shimmery that it almost looks like foil on your lids. Of course, you could apply it with a lighter hand for a less dramatic look, but why would you do a silly thing like that? (Guilty as charged! And I must say this makes a lovely “little bit of flash” but still neutral enough daily base color ~ Tyna)
Either way you choose to apply this beautiful taupe, you will find the shadow is richly pigmented and finely milled to blend effortlessly.
In this beauty junkie’s opinion, Twilight Ash (at right) is the big showstopper of the palette. It’s a generously sized pan of black, matte eyeshadow that has bits of micro-glitter scattered throughout.
There is silver micro-glitter in this shadow, but there is also holographic blue micro-glitter in this as well. Words can’t quite explain it, but the glitter in this shadow actually looks like it’s glowing.
Next, let’s discuss my second favorite section, a duo of crème lipcolors named Plumberry and Cranberry Stain. Now some might say, “Yeah, but I hate palettes that contain both powder and cream products because the powder always floats into the cream products and gunks them up.” I hate that too, but the powders in this palette are thoughtfully spaced far enough away from the cream products so that there is little to no fallout at all.
As for the two lip colors (at left), I could write an entire review on these hues alone. It was as if Lauren Luke created these shades just for me. Let it be known that I am obsessed with crème lipcolors that make my lips look naturally flushed. Check and check.
I like the Plumberry, a cool pinkish nude lip color with a hint of shine, just a tad more but both shades are the types of lip colors that dance around in my dreams at night.
I could continue gushing about this palette all day (I haven’t even told you about the eye primers or cream liner) but before I end this review, I need to mention the lipgloss. My Glossy Lips (which is packaged adjacent to the palette) has a lovely pinky-peach tint but goes on clear. And the fragrance? Divine! Some say it’s peach, some say it’s mango, but I just call it YUM.
When it comes to making wearable makeup that works, Lauren Luke is living proof that a regular girl can be the best person for the job. She knows what we want (because she truly is, one of us) and she totally delivers it.
If you are already a Lauren fan or can’t wait to see her in action, click to see her in action, giving detailed step by step instruction for working with this very palette:
My Smokey Classics make up tutorial
Please stay tuned! The wht review team also received the My Smokey Classics Palette, and they will weigh in shortly with their thoughts.
Click here to order My Smokey Classics Palette, it’s a Sephora exclusive! $37
And check out these By Lauren Luke palettes – only at Sephora:
• By Lauren Luke My Vintage Glams Complete Makeup Palette $37
• By Lauren Luke My Luscious Greens Complete Makeup Palette $37
• By Lauren Luke My Sultry Blues Complete Makeup Palette $37
• By Lauren Luke My Fierce Violets Complete Makeup Palette $37
Gianna is our expert on drugstore and budget beauty. She is the writer/editor of Nouveau Cheap, a blog that’s devoted to finding quality products that don’t break the bank.
Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.