Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 ($64.00) is a limited edition makeup palette slated for a September launch. It contains 16 eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each), one Liquid Eyeliner (0.058 fl. oz.), Original Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.), and Supercurl Mascara (0.18 fl. oz.). The palette also contains a mini-speaker along with QR codes so that one can watch video tutorials designed for the palette. The value breakdown goes like this: $163.20 worth of eyeshadow, $18.00 worth of liquid eyeliner, $6.68 worth of Primer Potion, and $12.00 worth of mascara. Though you cannot purchase the items separately even if you wanted to, it amounts to the equivalent of $199.88.

Because of how photo-heavy this review is, and how long it is, the first eight eyeshadows are reviewed in this post, while the second set of eight will follow. The overall review for the palette along with packaging is included in this post.  Because there are differences in quality for each shade, I have listed a pigmentation and texture score for each (both scores are out of 10), which I then averaged across all sixteen shades to give the scores found in The Glossover below.

Blue Bus is a cool-toned, blue-based purple with a soft, frosted finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. The payoff is disappointing–it’s dry, stiff, and applies unevenly. It lacks the density of other Urban Decay eyeshadows along with the smoothness that comes from a softer powder product. The color is very similar to MAC Parfait Amour. Inglot #379 is similar in color but matte, so it has a darker appearance. (7/5)

Gunmetal is a darkened blue-based gray with a silver shimmer and sheen. This is a permanent shade. The color payoff is good, though it feels a touch less soft compared to the pot version of Gunmetal. Inglot #451 is similar but slightly darker–has more of a black base. (9/8.5)

Cobra is a dark, cool-toned brown with a mostly matte finish that’s layered with green-gold shimmer. This shade is a repromote from the Black Palette. It doesn’t reflect very green when I swatched it–more like a brown with gold shimmer. The color payoff is decent but it has a drier texture. If you wanted more of the color in the pan, Laura Mercier’s Pine Bronze is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone has a shade that is similar in the pan but also swatches browner–they are surprisingly similar. Milani Melange is also similar but has a blacker color base. (9/8)

Baked is a bright copper with a high frost finish. The color payoff is excellent, and it has a dense, buttery texture that applies very smoothly. This is a permanent shade. It is similar to Giorgio Armani Gold Blitz, Inglot #405, and MAC Amber Lights. (10/10)

Bender is a dark, forest green with a subtle green-gold sheen. The finish is a softened frost. This is a new and exclusive shade. It is one of the best performing shades in the palette–very buttery and smooth, while the pigmentation is tops. It is more yellow-based compared to Make Up For Ever #310. It has less green and more olive compared to Inglot #418. It is very similar to MAC Humid. (10/10)

Gravity is a plum-tinged medium purple with a frosted finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. It has decent color payoff, but it applies unevenly and splotch in places (see the bottom half of the swatch). Make Up For Ever #142 is similar in color but has a matte finish. theBalm All the Way Annie is a touch plummier. It is more pigmented than Milani Purr-fect Purple. It is not as intense as Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, but it is darker (and plummier) than Urban Decay Ecstasy. (7.5, 7.5)

Lost is a dark bronze brown with subtle red undertones. It has a frosted finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. The color payoff is beautiful here–like Bender, it is one of the better quality shades in the palette. The texture is soft, smooth, and buttery. It is darker and browner compared to MAC Sable. It has slightly cooler tones compared to Inglot #422. There is a darker quality and a more reflective finish compared to Milani Rich Java. (10/10)

Hijack is a bluish-teal with a silvered sheen–a part frost, part metallic finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. The pigmentation in this shade was good, and it applies smoothly overall. The color is very similar to Bare Escentuals Vapor. It is darker and less teal compared to Urban Decay Aquarius. (9/9)

I’m usually really impressed by Urban Decay’s palettes, because the majority of the eyeshadows are high-quality with excellent color payoff, even if a few textures may be more prone to fall out because of the inclusion of glittery shades. I found Blue Bus, Crystal, and Skimp to be difficult to use, while Cobra and Gravity have a few concerns The standout shades were Baked, Bender, Lost, and Zephyr in terms of pigmentation and texture.    If one wants a neutral palette, Urban Decay’s Naked palette does it better.  If one wants pops of color, the 15th Anniversary Palette does it better.  Last year’s Book of Shadows Vol. 3 was much better (and still available at urbandecay.com).

The packaging is extremely bulky–it’s large and heavy. If you thought prior Book of Shadows editions were bulky, then you will loathe the size of this one, as it is 1 3/4″ wider (only marginally taller). I had issues sliding the drawer out, because the mini-speaker tends to get caught against the top. The drawer was not glued in, though, so it did pull out all the way for removal. The top flap opens up with pop-up butterflies, small-sized mirror, and a pocket for your phone along with instructions for using the QR codes. The upside of bulky cardboard packaging is that it will absorb impact better than a hard plastic case would if you were to drop it. I dropped mine a few times on the bathroom tile to no ill effects.

I didn’t play around with the technology too much myself, as I relegated that duty to our resident tech guy (I was busy cropping photographs). I did watch some and saw how it all came together. I think it’s an interesting concept, but in reality, it ends up more gimmicky than useful. The drawer is so large to accomodate a mini-speaker, which does enhance the sound of the videos, but your phone would likely do an adequate job with its own speakers. The QR codes are a bit close together, but it is a minor concern. We have iPhones here, so that is what we tested it out with, and if you have a case around yours, you’ll need to remove it or else the plug will not connect properly.

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

B
This palette lacks the quality level of previous Book of Shadows--it's not the colors but the color payoffs and textures that make this palette less than stellar.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Urban Decay Fun Palette
Fun Palette: Woodstock, Baked, Uzi, Sin, Flipside, Psychedelic Sister

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Fun Palette

Urban Decay Fun Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 0.34 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Woodstock (bright pink with slight shimmer), Baked (rich bronze), Uzi (metallic silver with big iridescent sparkles), Sin (champagne), Flipside (electric teal with blue sheen), and Psychedelic Sister (bright purple). Also included is Oil Slick 24/7 Liner (black with silver sparkle) and the original primer potion (nude).

  • Woodstock is a medium-dark fuchsia pink with a soft shimmer finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range.
  • Baked is a rich copper with a metallic-frost finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in the Baked, Book of Shadows, Vol. 1, and Alice in Wonderland palettes.
  • Uzi is a bright silvered white with silver glitter. Yes, there is fall out. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in the Book of Shadows, Vol.3 and Sustainable palettes.
  • Sin is a pinky champagne with a frost finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in the Alice in Wonderland and Naked palettes.
  • Flipside is a teal-tinged green with a metallic-frost finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in Baked, Book of Shadows, Vol. 2, and Sustainable palettes.
  • Psychedelic Sister is a red-toned medium-dark purple with a shimmer finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it was in the Book of Shadows, Vol. III palette.

my thoughts on the formula: Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are rich in pigment, apply evenly, and feel like butter. Generally speaking, their formula is excellent. I will warn and caution you against their shades with “glitter” or “sparkle” in the finish–some of these can be prone to fall out (for example, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again).

In terms of value, the palette includes 0.18 oz. of eyeshadow ($61.20 value), 0.03 oz. of eyeliner ($12.75 value), and 0.13 fl. oz. of primer potion ($6.88 value). The total value of the palette is $80.83, while the retail price is $34.

I think sometimes we lose sight of what the beauty industry and market are like as a whole — not every person purchases every palette or even much at all. Not everyone enters at the same time, so even though you may find yourself owning many of the shades, it doesn’t make it a terrible product – Urban Decay does some really excellent shades that you can get year round, but these sure make those shades more accessible and affordable to people who don’t have a lot of Urban Decay or have always wanted to try it. It would be great to see new shades, of course, but I recognize what value they may hold to others.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Fun has the most shades that are permanent/available individually, as they are all available whenever your heart desires. Whether it’s a good value/purchase depends on just how many Urban Decay products you have in your arsenal. The palette itself is an excellent value, and if you like more than two shadows, it works out to be the same if you had bought then individually ($17 each). Uzi has a slightly fussy finish/texture, but the other five eyeshadows are really nice, especially Woodstock and Baked.

where to buy: Urban Decay

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011


Dangerous Palette: Haight, Mildew, Virgin, Oil Slick, Rockstar, Gunmetal

Urban Decay Dangerous, Feminine, & Fun Palettes: Sneak Peek

Just launched, Urban Decay has three new palettes for spring.  Each features six shades of eyeshadow and a medium-sized 24/7 Liner, plus a miniature-sized primer potion.  I’ll have full reviews up tomorrow, but I wanted to at least get a quick palette photo and swatches.  Each palette retails for $34.

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Friday, October 10th, 2008

I wasn’t too happy with the way this turned out (especially photography-wise, something was off!), but on the positive side, I did use a color combination I haven’t done in some time (or maybe ever, my memory is pretty faulty!). I was aiming to do something different than my norm when it comes to pairing colors together. I guess that’s one of the great things about makeup: you can apply it, and if it doesn’t work, you can always take it off in thirty seconds!

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Urban Decay Baked eyeshadow (bronzy-gold), Urban Decay Last Call eyeshadow (plum-mauve), Urban Decay Mayhem eyeshadow (dark blue-purple), MAC Femme-fi eyeshadow (highlighter), Urban Decay Lust 24/7 Liner (purple), Plushlash mascara (black)
  • Cheeks: Gentle mineralize blush (soft raspberry)
  • Lips: YSL Lingerie Pink rouge volupte lipstick (cool pastel pink), MAC Tres Cher! lipglass (mauve)
  • Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 129 (dense blush brush)
  • Substitutes: Gentle = Plum Foolery; Lingerie Pink = Snob; Tres Cher! = Nico

Directions: Define brows using a coordinating powder shadow applied with the 266 brush. Apply Urban Decay Primer Potion all over the lid as the base with the 249. On the inner lid, apply Baked eyeshadow using the 239 brush. Apply Last Call to the middle of the lid, overlaying it with Polar Opposites. Darken the outer lid using Mayhem and drag into crease using the 239. Sweep Femme-fi underneath the brow bone to highlight. Finish with Lust 24/7 Liner on lower lash line and smudge it with Mayhem eyeshadow using the 219, and Plushlash mascara on lashes. Sweep apples of cheeks with Gentle using the 129. Apply YSL Lingerie Pink lipstick to lips, and then top with Tres Cher! lipglass for color and shine.

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