Smashbox's Brow Tech Shaping Powder is a loose, highly pigmented brow powder. Its formula is nearly identical to the less expensive Bombshell Pow-der Brow + Liner from CoverGirl—but the difference in performance and applicator earns Smashbox's version a better rating. This is a brow powder worth strong consideration if you're in the mood to splurge.
Both the CoverGirl and Smashbox products are housed in small, inkwell-style containers whose screw-on cap is outfitted with an applicator. The applicator was an issue with the CoverGirl product, but Smashbox has refined it. With this product you get a flexible, pointed tip sponge-like applicator instead of a rectangular, spatula-like applicator—the latter of which led to the CoverGirl product being trickier to apply without powder fallout. Being a loose powder, the applicator's ability to hold and control the powder is a key part of its success or failure.
The pointed yet flexible applicator is surprisingly easy to maneuver through brows, adding depth, consistent color, and enhancing shape without looking "drawn on." Because each shade has a strong color payoff, a light touch is strongly advised during application to avoid a harsh look—plus you can always go back and layer for more intensity, as the formula builds beautifully and doesn't flake.
Speaking of not flaking, what really impressed us was how well this powder lasts. It won't smudge or smear, and the color intensity doesn't fade as the day wears on.
The shades are excellent across the board, specifically for those with light to dark brown brows. The Blonde shade is suitable for medium to dark blonde brows, and of course can be used to darken light blonde brows. As is the case with most brow products, there aren't any options for those with red to auburn brows. (The issue there is that such shades often won't sell well.)
As you can tell, we're fans of Smashbox's Brow Tech Shaping Powder. This fragrance free loose powder brow product is easier than you might think to apply, the applicator is very good (as are the shades) and the formula makes it easy to create dramatic or softly filled-in brows that go the distance. It's not for those who want a subtly-defined brow, but there are plenty of products for that result—Brow Tech is for those who want to visibly shape and define their brows.
Two interesting things about Smashbox are that its name refers to the early, accordion-style cameras and that Smashbox is first and foremost a Hollywood-based photography studio. The company's creators, Dean and Davis Factor, have their heritage in makeup—their great-grandfather was the legendary makeup artist Max Factor. The makeup, which debuted in 1996, began as a collection of trendy and fashion-forward colors coupled with a pleasingly neutral palette of foundations, concealers, and powders. Nowadays, there are exceptional options to choose from, but also some color products that fall short due to too sheer formulas or other issues noted in their respective reviews.
Where Smashbox has lived up to their Hollywood makeup pedigree is with a few standout formulas, including impressive lip products as well as excellent foundations, BB and CC cream options. Of course, the brand is also well-known for their range of makeup primers—whether that’s a necessary step is up for debate—but nevertheless they do offer a few products in this category that are worth considering.
For more information about Smashbox, now owned by Estee Lauder visit www.smashbox.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!