The Body Shop's Down To Earth Eyeshadow quads are great value for money – just £15 each, which works out less than a fiver for each decent sized pan. I've coveted the Smoky Plum quad for ages, and maybe now September has rolled around again (um… what?) I'll take the plunge and get a(nother) new autumnal palette. The new smoky kid on the Down To Earth block is Smoky Black, which is surely the daddy of all the smokies? This take on a black eye of the beautiful kind is absolutely stunning – a true black, two dark shades with a pop of colour, and a grey-toned silver. If pastels are spring colours and reds and browns are for autumn, these dark steely tones are winter through and through.
The Down To Earth eye palettes are housed in lightweight, portable wee plastic cases, with a handy full size mirror inside. The cardboard sleeve they come in has instructions for creating three different looks with the palette (nice touch), and the pans easily click out if you want to swap shades around or transfer them to a Z-palette. Each quad is a mixture of textures; the Smoky Black has a silky black matte (one of the smoothest I've tried in a long time) a silver shimmer, and two eye-catching sparkles.
I've really tried to capture the beauty of the sparkle shades (the middle two), both slightly black – one with a deep blue tone and fine royal blue glitter, and the other one is a sexy slate grey with silver glitter. They're both gorgeous, ideal for creating a pop in the middle of a smoky black eye. I've been trying lots of high end palettes recently, and I honestly think this one holds its own against them, especially in the blendability and crease-proof stakes (make sure you wear an eye primer to keep that glitter in check). These are all swatched dry, but you can make them even more striking by applying them with a damp brush. Sorry I didn't have time for that, but I don't want to blind you with sparkles, especially first thing in the morning if you're reading this on your commute to work and trying to make it there with your vision intact. I can assure you that the blue is out of the WORLD when applied wet. Yay to autumn, or indeed winter palettes, and of course to vamping it up and smoking it out all year round.