Smashbox Girls on Film Collection review

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photos: we heart this

The latest collection from the trend setters at Smashbox immediately took me back to my high school days. While the color selection is far from the neon colors of the 80’s, it’s impossible to hear the collection’s name, Girls on Film, without thinking of Duran Duran and their iconic single of the same name.

I can draw a straight line from my love for Duran Duran to my love of makeup. It was impossible to watch their innovative, model filled videos, obsess over their album covers and stare at their glossy photos without picking up some ideas on style and discovering the wonders of makeup. As my Duran Duran album collection grew, so did my makeup stash.

the product boxes even look like video stills!

Sadly, the unflattering 80’s color palette was not the best place to start for this heavy handed teen, but you’ll have no such problems with any product from the Girls on Film makeup collection. Named as an homage to the photography studio roots of Smashbox cosmetics, this collection is filled with flattering hues and updated classics to get you camera ready and close up worthy.

There are two eye shadow palettes in this line offering a variety of shades to have you ready for anything, from an exotic filming locale in Sri Lanka to a London night club – or maybe just a trip to the grocery store (and you’ll sure look good strutting down the produce aisle).

The Smokebox Palette ($42) is loaded with rich, deep shades for getting the perfect smoky eye or high impact drama. With a variety of mix and match but distinct shades in midnight blue, gray, purple and taupe you have the options to create a number of looks. Plus, the dark shadows, like Obsidian, the glittery black, can easily double as an eye liner

If you love the colors, but need some guidance, just check the back of the palette. You can scan a code onto a smart phone, or peel back the label, for information and diagrams on using the palette. How cool is that?

I tested out the other shadow set in this collection, the Softbox Palette ($42). As the name suggest, this palette offers softer, more casual hues in warm browns and taupes for every day wear.

Softbox Palette – Fizz, Pebble, Minx

I’ve been reaching for this slim palette on a daily basis for getting an easy, polished look. The colors all easily work and blend together and the shadows are rich and smooth. I actually use all six shadows – there’s not a klunker in the bunch. My favorite color is Minx is a rich plummy brown with a hint of shimmer -it’s become my go to shadow base.

Softbox Palette – Vanilla, Ignite, Sienna

Meanwhile, this palette has taught me to that orange on the eyes can be pretty. I’ve been amazed with Ignite, an orange-ish, semi nude that when used in the crease of the eye makes my blue eyes really pop. It’s my new hue to grab when I want my eyes to really stand out.

For you cheeky lasses, there are two sweet shades of Girls on Film Blush Rush ($24) offering finely milled, super layerable color.

Girls on Film Blush Rush in Pose, Silhouette

Choose between Pose (a rosy pink) and Silhouette (soft nude) and get a natural flush of color that can be built upon and blended as needed. I’m swooning over Pose – it has an amped up, naturally flushed tinge of pink for a healthy glow without looking overly made up. I’m looking forward to hearing our testers thoughts on these beauties.

Don’t worry gloss lovers, this collection has two new shade offerings for you too. The Girls on Film Lip Enhancing Glosses ($18) in Underexposed (rustic pink) and Overexposed (soft milky pink) housed in Smashbox’s signature squared off tubes – these gems will never roll away from you as you’re prepping.

Lip Enhancing Gloss in Overexposed, Underexposed

I tested Underexposed a super shiny, sweet brownish pink in a long lasting, slightly sticky formula that lasts for hours and hours. I love that I can apply this hue sans mirror and go, without worrying about the color spreading or fading. I also noticed a new spicy (cinnamon maybe?) note mixed into the soft, sugary scent.

Finally, for the gal on the go, the Girls on Film collection includes the Cream Eye Liner and Travel Brush Set ($28). Available in two shades, Sepia (midnight brown with gold pearl) and Blackout (black with blue pearl) these pots may surprise you.

In the pan, they look demure but once applied on the eye lid, the true colors and pearly highlights shine. Sepia, as it’s name suggests, has a color that’s hard to define, sometimes looking more plum, sometimes more brown – but always gorgeous and with just a touch of golden glimmer.

With the holiday season (and all those camera happy people) right around the corner, the Girls on Film collection is perfect for achieving that polished, pretty, low maintenance look we all strive to achieve. If you anticipate lots of family photos coming your way – or just feel like reliving a little 80’s nostalgia and dancing to some Duran Duran – I highly recommend this tidy collection.

we heartsters – Get ready to strike a pose and smile for your close up with the help of Girls on Film from Smashbox.

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.


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms

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  1. The Cream Eye Liner and Travel Brush Set together are only $28? Wow, that’s a great price.. I actually like both shades, Sepia sounds more up my ally, with the midnight brown and gold pearl in it. But for the drama of a hot night out, the Blackout with the blue pearl in it also sounds awesome! As I look at the post.. I’m impressed with the lips and cheeks too! The Girls on Film Lip Enhancing Glosses look great – i like both.. rare to love all of this, but i do! I love the shadow sets also..I’m just a loving fool for Smashbox this round!

  2. I am really loving this collection, it just looks to easy to wear and enjoy. The softbox palette is all you need for travel, and I’m thinking of picking it up before the holidays… And knowing me I’ll have to give Sepia a try too. Actually, I’m finding myself in love with the blushes and lip glosses as well. Maybe I can convince my fiance to get me a few of these pieces since the collection is named for Duran Duran (as far as he knows).

  3. The softbox palette looks gorgeous!! I die for gorgeous taupe shadows! This really does look like the kind of palette that you would reach for on a daily basis!

  4. What a great collection. I love both palettes! And I’m singing “Girls On Film” thanks to you, @tyna . You’re right, these colors are a lot more subtle than the ones I wore in high school!

  5. I got to test the gloss in Overexposed and am loving it! I also think that the squared sides is an excellent design. It rolls nowhere on the countertop and that’s a major plus. The formula feels great – thick, yet smooth – almost zero tackiness and quite moisturizing. It lasts quite awhile. It’s quite glossy but not high shimmer – just a subtle, pretty glow. It’s a very sheer slightly pinky nude, so perfect for a bold eye, or just when you want a bit of glow. I love the smell too – maybe it is cinnamon – or brown sugar? Reminiscent of the UD ultraglide glosses. A definite five stars from me!

  6. @tyna – upon reading this post I immediately starting singing Duran Duran’s song ”Girls on Film.” (I still love that song after all of this time.) This is amazing collection!

    The cream liner and travel brush set is right up my alley. I also really zeroed in on the softbox palette because of the beautiful colors. (I think they would be complimentary to my hazel eyes.) I have a palette obsession and love have great colors in one central location. Both of these items would be great for my travel bag—I am going to have to drop a few hints and see if maybe they might end up in my stocking.

  7. This is a really nice collection, and the price is really good. I’m really liking the blue eyeshadow…drooling over it now :)

  8. Ooo, Softbox palette, you are so lovely! Smashbox seems to do a really great job of having good palettes, not just a few great colors and some funky ones thrown in to make 6 and to charge you more. I likes it! :-)

  9. I am completely sold on the Softbox Palatte and Pose, those colors are beautiful! Looks like I need to add them to my Xmas list…

  10. Smashbox is so great at producing really wearable collections. Underexposed is beautiful, and Sepia sounds like the perfect every day eyeliner. Totally added to the lemming list!

  11. Those palettes both look great, and so pigmented! Unfortunately, I’ve found past Smashbox products to be a little disappointing–I really WANT to like their cream eyeliner, but it just didn’t have any lasting power on me.

  12. I was so stoked to test out the Blush Rush in Silhouette (I LOVE blush). I usually gravitate towards pinks or coral blushes–something “face brightening”, but this blush that looks like a “blah nude” in the pan applies really beautifully. I was kind of surprised at how much I liked it because it’s so different from the shades I usually use. This powder goes on so smoothly and evenly and manages to look so natural. It’s quickly become a favorite of mine. I pair it with Clinique’s Different Lipstick in Double Fudge, a sheer chocolate with a hint of red. Paired with this blush, I am good to go. I really like the looks of Pose, too, so I’m going to make a point of checking that out in person. 5 stars!

  13. I got to try out Sepia and it’s an awesome eye liner. I actually prefer cream liners in general, and this is definitely on the top of my list. It seems a bit dry at first but as I used it more often, I realized it was in a good way. It’s dry *enough*, and I’ve been able to get a decent amount of wear time from it. I love the brush too. 5 stars from me! I want to check out the blushes, too.

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