Urban Decay: Build Your Own Palette
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).