Friday, September 25th, 2009

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II ($48.00) is the second installation in the Book of Shadows eyeshadow palette series. It is also part of Urban Decay’s holiday offerings. You can view my review on last year’s Book of Shadows for comparison, as well.

First, the palette includes sixteen eyeshadows. The new and exclusive shades are AC/DC, Nylon, Mushroom, Sphynx, Jinx, Homegrown, Misdemeanor, and Perversion. The existing shades are Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, and YDK. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz., compared to single eyeshadows that are 0.05 oz. and retail for $16.00 and the deluxe eyeshadows that are 0.09 oz. for $18.00. All of the existing shades are single eyeshadows (not deluxe), so it’s best to compare to that.  Just to put it in perspective, by the ounce, these are about half the price (by ounce!) as the full-sized versions.

Shade Breakdown

  • Perversion is a nearly matte charcoal black with just a tiny dust of silver sparkle. (I know Urban Decay says it’s matte, but it seemed like it had some sparkle to it every time I looked at it.) This shade was also included in last year’s palette.
  • Gunmetal is a frosty, silvery-gray with lighter silver sparkle.
  • Ecstasy is a shimmery cool-toned medium purple with lighter pinky-purple shimmer.
  • AC/DC is a burgundyish-plum with a dirty silver sheen.
  • Nylon is a medium bronzy-brown with softer bronze shimmer and has a frosty finish.
  • Sellout is a frosty, intensely pigmented champagne-nude. I really liked the color pigmentation of this shade in particular, and it felt very, very smooth.
  • Mushroom is a dark, cool-toned taupe-y brown with cool bronze shimmer. This is sort of similar to the cream eyeshadow of the same name.
  • Sphynx is a lightly brightened cotton candy pink with an icier pink sheen.
  • Half Baked is a coppery bronze with a golden bronze metallic sheen and shimmer.
  • Twice Baked is a dark, semi-matte chocolate brown with just a light dusting of bronze.
  • Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is a glittery confection of light taupe brown and champagne. This eyeshadow had the worst texture of the bunch — very gritty, very glittery.
  • YDK is a medium-toned cool-toned brown with a reddish tone and a frost finish.
  • Jinx is a bright, medium freshwater blue that goes on very pigmented and smooth.
  • Flipside is a green-teal, mermaid-esque shade with a frost finish.
  • Homegrown is a bright, grassy green with a golden-green sheen.
  • Misdemeanor is a dark, blue-green shade that is reminiscent of peacock feathers with a soft, green micro-shimmer.

At first glance, I thought the two palettes were too similar for my liking, but after comparing them side-by-side, that was definitely not the case. The only repeated shade is Perversion, but otherwise, the shades are different. Some of the shades themselves are similar, but there are no obvious repeats. I always like Urban Decay’s palettes, because they are always high on value and variety. I like being able to try out a bunch of shades without having to actually purchase all of those individual shades (particularly since it’s very hard for me to finish an eyeshadow, so I don’t actually need a whole pot of it!).

I also like that Urban Decay mixes about half in new shades and half in existing shades. With sixteen shades in total, there are many different eyeshadow combinations one could come up with within this palette. I will say I wish Urban Decay had a better highlighter shade included in this palette or found elsewhere in this, because the closest we come is Sellout, which has a very high metallic/frost finish so it can be garish on the brow bone at times. I could also go with seeing a few matte or semi-matte shades for more texture variety.

These are all minor complaints, mind you, because for the price, it’s a great deal whether you want to travel with it or just use it at home. (If you’re using it at home, the highlight and matte complaints are worthless — just mix it with products you already have.)

The shades are well-pigmented, smooth, and nearly all of them have a frost/shimmer finish. (If you don’t dig that, you won’t dig this.) The only shade I had any real issue with was Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, because it is extremely glittery, so it has fall out issues. Otherwise, the shades were impressive, and clearly there is a lot of color to play around with in this palette. This makes a great gift for yourself or a friend, too.

The packaging is just so-so; I found last year’s packaging prettier and more cohesive. I found both palettes to be a little bulky, and I wouldn’t mind something that just open and shut, rather than pulling out a drawer of eyeshadows. The inclusion of a miniature sized UDPP as well as Zero and Bourbon eyeliners is just icing on the cake–all three are handy in application and for travel.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’ve always wanted to try Urban Decay eyeshadows, their palettes are always a choice way to do so. You get great value and good variety!

Availability: Urban Decay

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Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A smattering of Urban Decay Pocket Rockets…

From left to right: James, Eric, Doug, Jesse, Julio, Kirk, Timothy

(In case you’re wondering, there is one missing — David, which is a “milky mauve.”)

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Urban Decay Holiday 2009 Collection/Offerings

As per usual, Urban Decay doesn’t disappoint with an early release of some very delectable holiday offerings!

24/7 Super Stash ($36.00)

  • Five Existing Shades: Zero, Graffiti, Ransom, Rockstar, Stash
  • Four New Shades: Corrupt (chocolate-brown with sparkle), Binge (navy), Eldorado (golden), and Oil Slick (black with glitter)

Book of Shadows Vol. 2 ($48.00)

  • Seven New Shades: AC/DC (dark purple), Nylon (brown sparkle), Mushroom (gunmetal with taupe shift), Sphynx (pink w/glitter), Jinx (bright blue), Homegrown (bright green), Misdemeanor (dark teal)
  • Nine Existing Shades: Perversion, Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, YDK
  • Also included are must-have travel size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in best-sellers Zero and Bourbon, AND a travel size Eyeshadow Primer Potion in a new curvy bottle!

Apocalyptic Nail Kit ($26.00)

  • White Widow (white sparkle)
  • Gunmetal (gunmetal sparkle)
  • Apocalypse (black-purple)
  • Grunge (metallic peacock)
  • Meltdown (royal purple)
  • Big Bang (sparkling hot pink)
  • Fbomb (true red)

Show Pony Shadow Box ($30.00)

  • Snatch (peachy-pink with glitter) (NEW)
  • Mildew (deep green)
  • Flash (electric purple)
  • Painkiller (turquoise shimmer) (NEW)
  • Smog (deep bronze)
  • Toasted (copper)
  • 24/7 Eye Pencil Zero (black)
  • Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Smoke Out Kit ($34.00)

  • Sweet Lucy Blacks/greys
    Ju-Ju Browns/neutrals
    Yerba Deep greens

Urban Decay Rocks ($18.00)

More sophisticated than “body bling”, these resplendent crystals come in a variety of 24 silver, gold, and iridescent stones. Use just one in the inner or outer corner of your eyes, try a smattering of different stones on one cheek, or ghetto-fabu-lize your nails. Get creative!

Availability: Secret Stash, Book of Shadows Vol. 2, Show Pony Shadow Box can be purchased at Sephora, ULTA and select Macy’s West locations. Or, online at sephora.com, ulta.com, macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com. Apocalyptic Nail Kit can be purchased at Sephora and select Macy’s. Or, online at sephora.com, macys.com and urbandecay.com. Urban Decay Rocks! Available for $18 at select Macy’s West locations. Or, online at macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com.

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Introducing… Urban Decay Minx & Ecstasy Eyeshadows!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($16.00) recently had two new additions added to the line-up: Minx, described as a blue-green shift with glitter; and Ecstasy, described as a bright purple with slight pink tint.

Minx is a beautiful shade of aqua-green with a little taste of mint and lots of silvery sheen and shimmer. It has decent pigmentation, though it could have a bit more color pay off for my taste. I’d love to see it go on a little richer and deeper. It does, however, go on smoothly and blends easily with other shadows. Ecstasy is a vibrant shade of cool-toned medium purple with soft silver sheen. It doesn’t have a lot of shimmer/glitter either. I found the pigmentation on this shade to be better than Minx, which made me happy. It has the same smooth, blendable texture as Minx (as well as the rest Urban Decay’s eyeshadow range overall).

Each shadow is packaged in a silver, flip-top container. The shadows are the same size as MAC from what I know, so yes, you could depot these if you desired. (I also believe the depotting methodology is about the same with these.)

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10
  • Overall: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like smooth, easy-to-use eyeshadows and like color, these two shadows are for you. Ecstasy earns slightly more of a recommendation over Minx, just because Minx lacks the intensity of pigmentation I prefer. Both are soft, shimmery/frosty shades that are easy to work with. I prefer all my eyeshadows in pan/palette form, so the packaging is functional, but it doesn’t inspire me to purchase solely on that criterion.

Availability: UrbanDecay.com, Sephora.com

Have you picked up these two new shades yet?

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Friday, July 17th, 2009


Ruthless

Deluxe Eyeshadows for the Luxe Lovin’

Urban Decay really outdid themselves this season with the sheer amount of new products they launched! With the fall comes three new shades of their deluxe eyeshadow ($18.00 each) in Freakshow, Ruthless, and Frigid. These are actually some of the first single eyeshadows for me — I’ve mostly just experienced their extremely high-in-value palettes they’ve put out All three shades are smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend.

  • Ruthless is a champagne shade with just a touch of silver sheen.
  • Freakshow is a deep, rich purple with a little bit of red tones to it. It has a cool violet-blue sheen.
  • Frigid is a dark blue with purple mixed in and a soft, silvery-blue sheen.

Anyone else snatch these up yet?

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Wednesday, July 15th, 2009


Oil Slick

Urban Decay: Oil Slick, Naked, Confession Lipsticks

New for fall from Urban Decay are three new shades of lipstick ($22.00 each). All three have a satiny, slightly glossy finish, and they feel very moisturizing on the lips. They smell sweetly scented — I think I detected a bit of caramel-ness to it, too. Ever since Urban Decay launched their lipstick line, I’ve always been a huge admirer of the creative packaging. I still love it, but it has to be some of the more impractical packaging I’ve come across, just because the label is on the “top” but the daggers are out of the bottom (which don’t stand very nicely). But I really do love it anyway. It’s just so beautiful to look at.

Both Oil Slick and Confession should be worn with a lip liner (clear or otherwise), or you could wear this with Urban Decay’s new Lip Primer Potion ($20.00). I haven’t yet tried it, but I’m planning to see how the two work together later on (and will definitely post some comparisons for you all, too). These two shades tend to settle into natural lip lines and may bleed, too, without the proper base!

  • Oil Slick is a sheer, glossy black with small, silver sparkles. It’s extremely wearable–not necessarily on its own–when you layer it with other shades. Try topping it with a really rich red or pink!
  • Naked is creamy, pinky shade with a little bit of beige to tone it down and gold shimmer to warm it up. Love it. LOVE.
  • Confession is a sheer, glossy burgundy-wine shade. It goes on much brighter/lighter than it looks in the tube–so don’t be afraid of the near blackberry color it appears to be. (Actually, the transformation reminded me a bit of how Clinique’s Black Honey is!)

Naked is my new obsession, though. It’s absolutely stunning on lips. It’s totally my-lips-but-better (MLBB) and yet way more complex and interesting than just MLBB. It’s this glossy pinky color with gold shimmer/sparkle. I feel like I’m wearing a lip color that brightens my whole face without anyone really having a clue I’m wearing any. This shade really grabbed me from the get-go, even if it’s not necessarily a unique or eye-catching (hey, it’s no hot pink!).

Anyone else check these out yet?

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