Urban Decay New Eyeshadows (Reformulation) Review, Photos, Swatches
Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.05 oz.) has recently undergone a reformulation so that they’re “richer and smoother” with better color payoff. I compared the original and new formulas for the four shades I have, which were Last Call, Loaded, Mushroom, and Rockstar. Chase has only been released in the new formula, I believe. I could not find Shattered (and I tried to see if I reviewed it previously but only found the Loose pigment version).
Last Call is a plummy burgundy with a hint of pink sheen. Inglot #450 is redder, less purple. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–everything is either too red or too purple!
Loaded is a blackened green-teal. It goes on very, very dark–you will lose some of the strength of the overall green/teal if you blend it out, but it doesn’t look full-on black. Bare Escentuals Max Volume is a bit lighter and greener. OCC Poison is greener. theBalm Jealous Jordana is less intense, slightly greener.
Walk of Shame is a pink-tinted light beige nude with a matte finish. I imagine it will work as a nice highlighter on lighter, cooler complexions. When I tried to use this, it looked a little chalky. It reminded me of a matte version of MAC Phloof!.
Consistently, all four reformulated versions were better than the original versions, but the difference is minor. They’re better, but not so much better (because they were already rather good) that I’d rush out to replace them. Primarily, the difference is a softer texture that has a little more give, so it almost feels creamy to the touch. The softness can result in a little more powderiness, but it is such a small amount that it is a minor concern. With Walk of Shame, there was more powderiness than with the more shimmery shades–if you’re familiar with the softer matte textures, it’s as much as expected.
I tested the wear, specifically, of these shades: Chase, Last Call, Shattered, and Loaded. None of the shades I did in recent testing (in actually comparing the formulas) had Urban Decay’s famous (or, perhaps, infamous) micro-glitter, so I’m not yet ready to do a full review on that finish. The original launch date for this was supposed to be a week out yet, which was when I was going to do the bulk of my testing, so I’m really sorry for having to scramble a bit! With a primer, I didn’t have any wear issues, and I didn’t have wear issues with the originals previously. Without a primer, these did seem to adhere better to bare skin than the original formula, and after eight hours of wear, there was only minor fading (it wasn’t particularly noticeable except at a very close distance).
I’ll be testing additional shades in the next few weeks and will keep you informed on how the wear goes with those! These particular shades are some of Urban Decay’s best, so they may represent that end of the spectrum, while other shades more prone to being troublemakers may not do so well in a wear test.
I really appreciate the color accuracy between the original formula and the new formula--I couldn't detect any differences between the four I was able to compare side-by-side. The new formula does wear a bit better without primer, though the results were the same when used with a primer. These are softer, smoother, and as a result, more pigmented in a single pass.
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Earlier this year, I was invited (along with four other bloggers/YouTubers) down to Urban Decay’s headquarters in Newport Beach, CA for a top secret launch–lo and behold it was a complete redo of their existing eyeshadow formula, core range, and packaging, including an additional component: a six-pan eyeshadow palette. We were each asked to choose six shades from the sixty-eight available to put into our own palettes.
Full Disclosure: Urban Decay paid for travel, food, and hotel expenses. No other compensation was provided. I received the six shades I selected along with the palette at the time of the event.
Each eyeshadow now comes in metallic purple (plastic) packaging and still gets inspiration from NYC subway tokens. Instead of selling individuals pans, Urban Decay has opted for a full pot with the ability to pop out the actual eyeshadow and the accompanying plastic insert. In the first image in this post, you’ll notice the middle row showcases the full packaging, while there are several rows of eyeshadows surrounded by purple–that’s the plastic insert.
These eyeshadows then fit inside six-pan eyeshadow palettes. They are held in by a plastic insert within the palette itself, so it’s not magnetic (like many other palettes). Inside each palette comes with a “Walk of Shame” eyeshadow (described as the “perfect neutral shade”). There is a travel-sized Good Karma brush that fits inside the middle of the palette, and you should be able to fit a travel-sized eyeliner in there instead if you so desired. There is also a full-sized mirror on the inner lid.
I can appreciate Urban Decay’s aspirations with this palette, and they stressed how it took them eighteen different tries to perfect the eyeshadow pot packaging. It looks and seems really cool initially. The more I used it, the less I enjoyed it in practice, though. I will say that it pops out fairly easily but you need a few tries to practice I also recommend slowly pushing the eyeshadow out and onto your hand or over a soft surface.
The palette itself is a little bulkier than ideal for something you’d travel with, because it’s holding not just the eyeshadow pan but all of the plastic surrounding it. It’s like when you got to depot an eyeshadow (including Urban Decay’s old eyeshadows) and pop the plastic insert out, then finagle the pan out of that–you’re carrying around that plastic insert. They could have just made the pan magnetic, so it could be removed by grabbing the edge or pushing through a small hole underneath with a push pin. You can still have the whole palette-and-pot concept with a slimmer palette option.
It closes really well, which is a good thing when you’re traveling with a palette! It’s also much shorter compared to their Naked 1 and 2 palettes. If you have the Naked 2 palette, the packaging is very similar. While the pots show fingerprints like crazy, the palette component doesn’t. I think the pots look really sleek otherwise.
I also confessed to Urban Decay that I’d really like to see a palette without all the extras, like the brush and the Walk of Shame eyeshadow–if you buy more than one palette, you’ll end up with multiples of Walk of Shame, and I just don’t think that’s necessary. I know that when I opt for a palette from a brand, it tends to be in hopes of some kind of discount, so I did make sure to mention that while I was down there. It was worth a shot! Can I also say that I’m bummed about so many awesome shades being discontinued?
Urban Decay’s new eyeshadow formula is only semi-new, actually! If you’ve picked up any of Urban Decay’s recent palettes–beginning with the 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette–you already have the new formula. We just didn’t know it! I asked Wende Zomnir, co-founder of Urban Decay, if all of the shades are the same, despite the formula change, and she said everything is, with the exception of Midnight Cowgirl, which is slightly different because they wanted to improve. She described the new formula (overall) as “more suede-like, more cashmere-like” with a “new carrier agent for better blending and color payoff.”
When I was selecting six shades to put into a palette, I wanted to create a combination of colors that could be used together but less typically. I also wanted it to look good as a set of six. Sometimes you see lovely shades, but when you put them next to each other, they’re not as pleasing to the eye. But first and foremost, I wanted six shades with excellent color payoff and buttery textures (the two things I could easily test right then and there). It ended up being kind of a sultry, sexy, smoky, smoldering color combination. Very fall–oops! I chose:
Mushroom — smoky taupe brown
Shattered — greenish-teal with a duochrome (who doesn’t love a duochrome?)
Loaded — deep, dark blackened teal-green
Rockstar — smoky medium-dark purple
Chase — metallic medium bronze with insane color payoff and a texture that’s to-die-for
Last Call — plum burgundy
You can purchase the palette with the shades I picked out, but honestly, it is the exact same price whether you bought your own empty palette and filled it with six shades YOU loved as well. This is really to say that you don’t have to buy it as a set, maybe you’d like to swap out one shade for something else Or you could fill it as you go or just buy singles as $126 is quite a bit to lay down all it at once ($18 for palette + $18×6 eyeshadows).
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Relaunch & Build Your Own Palette
You wouldn’t think we could improve upon one of the best Eyeshadows in the industry. But, thanks to new innovations in formulation technology, our TOTALLY NEW formula features:
Even softer, amazingly velvety texture – it’s cushy-soft!
Richer, more dense and decadent color
Smoother, more uniform pigment distribution and blendability
Longer-lasting, more crease-free wear
It’s the product we were born to make, and we think you’ll agree – we now make the undisputed, BEST shadow in the industry. The Pigment Infusion System is a vehicle for color. It’s what holds tightly onto pigment, AND what gives the formula its glide and insane color payout. Our proprietary blend of ingredients allows color to weave itself through the Eyeshadow formula, so color stays on your lids, and sparkle doesn’t fall. It’s what gives our formula its velvety, suede-like smoothness and blendability. And it works with EVERY shade and finish.
The coolest feature: two-part platform/shell system allows you to pop the shadow out of its shell and insert it into our Build Your Own Palette. Changed your mind? Pop it back into the shell. Makeup junkies, jet setters and makeup artists rejoice!
ABC Gum Pale peach (Matte)
AC/DC Smoky grey/purple (Shimmer)
Asphyxia Lavender with blue shift (Duotone, Shimmer)
Baked Rich bronze (Shimmer)
Bender Shimmering dark mossy green (Shimmer)
Blackout Blackest black with matte finish (Matte)
Blunt Subtle golden beige (Shimmer)
Bordello Purpley-pink with gold shift (Duotone, Shimmer)
Buck Matte nutmeg (Matte)
Bust Taupe brown with subtle gray shimmer (Shimmer)
Busted Deep brown (Shimmer)
Chase Bright bronze (Metallic)
Chopper Coppery fawn with silver microglitter (Glitter)
Cobra Sooty black with golden shimmer (Shimmer)
Darkhorse Smoldering brown (Shimmer)
Evidence Deep metallic blue (Metallic)
Fishnet Iridescent purple (Shimmer)
Flash Bright iridescent purple (Shimmer)
Foxy Cream bisque (Matte)
Freelove Peach shimmer (Shimmer)
Gravity Deep vibrant purple with multi-dimensional glitter (Glitter)
Grifter Sheer lavender with lots of silver microglitter (Glitter)
Gunmetal Gunmetal gray with silver glitter (Glitter)
Haight Dark teal with shimmer (Shimmer)
Half Baked Subtle lustrous bronze (Shimmer)
Hijack Greyish green with blue and green shimmer (Shimmer)
Kush Bright green (Shimmer)
Last Call Plum punch (Shimmer)
Loaded Deep emerald/black (Shimmer)
Lost Shimmering dark brown (Shimmer)
Maui Wowie Medium gold with silver glitter (Metallic, Glitter)
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again Golden beige with bronze, gold, and silver glitter (Glitter)
Midnight Cowboy Pink champagne with lots of silver glitter (Glitter)
Midnight Cowgirl Subtle golden-beige with gold glitter (Glitter)
Midnight Rodeo Brown pearl with silver (Shimmer)
Mildew Deep green (Shimmer, Metallic)
Mushroom Shimmering fawn (Shimmer)
Naked Matte buff nude (Matte)
Oil Slick Black with silver glitter (Glitter)
Peace Shimmering turquoise (Shimmer)
Pistol Light greyish brown (Shimmer)
Polyester Bride White with silver glitter (Glitter)
Psychedelic Sister Bright purple (Shimmer)
Radium Bright blue (Shimmer)
Roach Deep brown with reddish sheen (Shimmer)
Rockstar Deep eggplant with metallic base (Metallic)
Suspect Oyster with dimensional shift (Duotone, Shimmer)
SWF Light cotton candy pink with silver microglitter (Glitter)
Tease Creamy pale brown (Matte)
Toasted Rich copper (Shimmer, Metallic)
Twice Baked Brownie brown with gold glitter (Shimmer, Glitter)
Vanilla Creamy white gold (Shimmer)
Verve Pale oyster shimmer (Shimmer)
Virgin Satin chamois (Shimmer)
Woodstock Bright pink with slight shimmer (Shimmer)
X Gold with sheer peach tint (Duotone, Shimmer)
YDK Bronzed mocha with golden microglitter (Shimmer, Glitter)
Zephyr Shimmering off-white (Shimmer)
Leave the fashion styling to Rachel Zoe and style your own beauty wardrobe one shadow at a time with the Build Your Own Palette by Urban Decay. Complete with a custom Good Karma Shadow Brush and the perfect nude shadow (exclusive to this palette), this mirrored palette includes five empty places for you to pop-in your eyeshadow favorites and create your own collection!
Build Your Own Palette ($18.00)
Put your Urban Decay Eyeshadow must-haves in one place with Build Your Own Palette. Color coordinate your way to beauty bliss with the ability to create unlimited palettes that fit your beauty need of the moment. Swap out shades with like you do your men: with reckless abandon! Pick your color, pop-out the shadow platform, and insert it into your Build Your Own Palette. The perfectly purse-sized Rorschach-inspired tin houses six shadow wells designed exclusively for Urban Decay shadow platforms, a large mirror, and a travel-sized Good Karma Shadow Brush. We’ve started you off with Walk of Shame, the perfect neutral shade for any palette, but exclusive to this one! We’ve shown you what we can do with our palettes…now it’s your turn to show off your creativity and build your own!
availability: Sephora, ULTA, select Macy’s; online at sephora.com, macys.com, beauty.com, and urbandecay.com, April 2012
What was the first Urban Decayproduct you ever tried? Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely? What was the first Urban Decayproduct you purchased? Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?
my answer: The first products I tried by Urban Decay were back in fall 2008. It was when they debuted their dagger-adorned lipstick range, which were really fun to look at, though less practical to store! I also tried out some of their matte eyeshadows, like Electric, and they have a really soft, buttery matte formula that makes mattes easier to work with. Some of my long-time favorite Urban Decay products are their eyeshadows and their eyeliners!
Share your first time experiences with Urban Decay in the comments!