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Smashbox holiday sets by Yago Hortal

Months ago I spied a holiday collaboration between Smashbox and Barcelona-based artist Yago Hortal and knew I needed to get my hands on some of the items.  "Art. Love. Color." is a huge collection that includes 12 (!) individual makeup sets, all adorned with Hortal's gloriously bold abstract paintings.  I of course the chose the palette that most prominently featured his work.  There's a veritable rainbow of thick stripes of color that seem to pop off the surface.

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. holiday 2015 palette

Naturally I loved the little insert that was included.  One side featured another one of Hortal's paintings while the other provided a brief bio of the artist.

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. palette insert

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. palette insert

The palette shades look just as vibrant as the artwork.

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. palette

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. palette

The way the outer case was printed mimics Hortal's thick brushwork - it's not totally smooth but rather has a textural finish.

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. palette

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. palette

Here is the original 2013 painting used on the palette, along with some of the other sets.

Yago Hortal, SP 37, 2013

Smashbox Yago Hortal palettes and brush set

Yago Hortal (b. 1983) graduated with a BFA from the University of Barcelona.  Even at such a young age his work has already been shown at galleries across Europe and New York City.  As for his use of bold color, he says, "I think people cannot live without color...imagine a life in white and black, it would be boring.  We need color, I think, to feel ourselves alive."  I couldn't agree more!  I loved this video Smashbox made since you can see how he created these colorful masterpieces.  The packaging is gorgeous, but seeing the actual paintings on the larger, monumental scale they were intended to be is pretty amazing.


In an interview with Allure, he elaborates on his exploration of color:  "My color palette is derived from pigments that make me feel strong emotions. Mostly, I use pure colors, as they have the best intensity and vibration. I mix it by instinct...I lived in a multicolored house my entire life. My parents made it a point to always repaint, again and again, up until now, actually! Living while constantly surrounded by ever-changing colors was significant to me, and it is still an essential part of my life as an artist."  He also cites Kandinsky, Miró, and de Kooning as influences, all of whom I can see in his work.

Let's take a look at some of his other paintings that were used in the Smashbox collab.  Here's the one used on the palette insert.

Yago Hortal, KL32, 2011

These four sets all feature a painting from 2011, which is fairly similar to the one used on the palette.

Smashbox Yago Hortal sets

Smashbox Yago Hortal sets


Yago Hortal, KL46, 2011

The painting for two sets was tricky to match up, as it's been rotated and enlarged so you're only seeing a small portion of it on the packaging.

Smashbox Yago Hortal sets

Yago Hortal, KL49, 2011

Same with these two primer sets, but I was determined to find it and I did!

  Smashbox Yago Hortal sets

Yago Hortal, SP18, 2012
(images from and

I have seen many a colorful abstract painting, but none quite like Hortal's.  I'm not sure whether it's the thickness of the paint (I kind of want to stick my hands in it), the particular colors he chooses or the way he deftly swirls and pours them, but something about these paintings ignites something deep in my brain.  Obviously, all humans react to color but I've always seemed to be more sensitive to it than most, and Hortal's work heightens this response even more - his paintings have a rather stimulating effect on me. Whereas taking in a Rothko or Morris Louis makes me feel more contemplative and peaceful, I feel energized looking at something by Hortal.  As an extension of this, I think his work was a great match for a makeup collaboration as I also feel the need to go play with my makeup stash when I look at his paintings.  The artist was equally enthusiastic about teaming up with a cosmetics line.  "I love a wonderful pop of color on the face! I had the pleasure to meet the Smashbox makeup team at the shoot for the campaign, and I was amazed with their work. It is truly wonderful to see how makeup is such an art form, how it mimics the tones and mood of paintings and translates it to real life... [Smashbox has] a wonderful appreciation for artists and a great eye. It was very exciting for me to chat with them about the possibility of a collaboration. After some initial conversations, we decided to move forward, and now it's a reality. I am truly very happy with the result, and I am proud to have collaborated with such an awesome team. I have to say that I am very picky with the collaborations I do, as they should ultimately be a wonderful marriage between the artist’s vision and the company itself."

Overall, I'm pleased with the palette and collab in general, but I also wish I could own one of Hortal's paintings for my office to gaze upon whenever I'm feeling uninspired/bored/tired, which is basically all the time at work. 

What do you think?

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