Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Urban Decay Feminine Palette
Feminine Palette: Stray Dog, SWF, Midnight Cowboy, Aquarius, Darkhorse, Ecstacy

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Feminine Palette

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 0.34 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Stray Dog (cool medium brown), SWF (light cotton candy pink with silver micro-glitter), Midnight Cowboy (pink champagne with lots of silver glitter), Aquarius (aqua green with shimmer), Darkhorse (bronze patina), and Ecstacy (bright purple with slight pink tint). Also included is Zero 24/7 Liner (black) and Eden primer potion (nude).

  • Stray Dog is a cool-toned, taupe-tinged dark brown with a frost finish. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually; it has also been in the Foreshadow palette.
  • SWF is a pale cotton candy pink with a bright metallic-frost sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a gilded champagne bronze with flecks of champagne glitter. It has less fall out than Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, but it still has plenty of it to make one frustrated. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually; it was also in the Cowboy Junkie set.
  • Aquarius is a pale aqua green teal with a silver metallic sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually.
  • Darkhorse is a darkened deep chocolate brown with flecks of bronze. This shade was in the Naked palette and is not available individually.
  • Ecstacy is a brightened, medium cool-toned violet purple with a soft frost finish. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually; it was also in the Book of Shadows, Vol. 2. By the by, marginally annoyed that ecstasy is misspelled–imagine it was deliberate but find it annoying nonetheless! It is spelled correctly in the actual BoS Vol. 2, though…

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: In this palette, only Midnight Cowboy is the finicky shade, while five of the six are lovely.  Only Darkhorse is not available individually, but at least a couple shades here haven’t been in half a dozen palettes previously.  As long as you love at least two shades (and like one or two others), then it works out to be a deal, since two eyeshadows will run you $34 if purchased individually.

where to buy: Urban Decay

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Urban Decay Black Palette
Urban Decay Black Palette

Getting Heavy with Urban Decay

Urban Decay The Black Palette ($36.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains six eyeshadows (0.04 oz. each), along with a miniature-sized Zero 24/7 Eye Pencil (0.03 oz.) and Eden Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.). As far as I know, this palette is limited edition and a Sephora exclusive (and Sephora lists it as “online only”).

  • Black Dog is an intense, deep dark black with a matte finish. It’s about as intense and deep as Sugarpill Bulletproof, but it’s not quite as smooth or as blendable. It is not at all unworkable, though. I just point this out because it seemed like Black Dog was one of the shadows readers were most looking forward to, and Bulletproof is an alternative to buying the entire palette.
  • Barracuda is a darkened gray with silver flecks; it is a very steely, cool-toned gray. I thought it was similar to Urban Decay’s Gunmetal, but it seems a little darker and less frosty.
  • Jet is a cool-toned plummy purple with very subtle red undertones. It has a semi-matte color base with flecks of blue glitter.
  • Sabbath is a darkened, smoky noir blue with flecks of blue glitter.
  • Cobra is a muddied blackened base with flecks of antique-gold and green-gold shimmer/glitter.
  • Libertine is a blackened green color base with flecks of gold and emerald green micro-glitter.

The Black Palette is housed in a sleek, slim rectangular palette with a mirror on the inside cover; it’s made out of cardboard/paper as Urban Decay palettes often are, but it’s very compact.  The miniature Zero eyeliner is stowed away inside along the eyeshadows, while the miniature Eden primer potion is loose (which does ensure that this palette is thin).  It’s definitely a more travel-friendly palette than the Book of Shadows.

Quality-wise, these eyeshadows feel like most of Urban Decay’s regular eyeshadow line (not to be confused with their deluxe eyeshadow line, which has a slightly differing texture); they’re pretty smooth and pigmented.  These do feel a touch more powdery and kick up some eyeshadow if you’re not careful, so I do recommend tapping your brush against your wrist to get any excess shadow out–that way it doesn’t just poof and land on your under eye instead!  I don’t think they’re the best of the brand’s eyeshadows, but they’re solid overall.

I find this palette too redundant to be a must-have for most makeup mavens.  When applied to eyes as part of look, they really don’t standout; they all look black with a touch of varying glitter (but it is so subtle, it’s hard to notice until you look for it specifically).  I did a quick look using Cobra, Libertine, and Black Dog, and if I saw that, I’d say I used two eyeshadows (a shimmery black, nude highlighter); the difference is nearly imperceptible.

You can really get the same effect by using a black eyeshadow/base and layering a shimmery color shade on top– in fact, a ton of people do this with MAC Blacktrack as a base and you can get some really cool effects (try using a duochrome shade on top!).   You might even find that the color pops even more.  These are just too black, too flat.  The inclusion of Eden with this palette is interesting, because it makes these eyeshadows look flatter and even more similar to each other than other bases.  I did some experimenting using Eden, a shimmery white gold base, and colored bases; these eyeshadows look best over colored bases–you can get that blackened look without losing the color entirely.

I feel like I do get the concept of blackened, smoldering colors that don’t scream color but at the same time, I want some differentiation between one shade from the next.  I don’t want to squint my eyes to detect slight differences in the flecks of glitter.  I also think the inclusion of Gunmetal or Dime 24/7 Liner (instead of Zero) would have helped these shades pop.  I recommend experimenting with cream eyeshadow in black and layering shimmery colors on top to see what look you prefer!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s worth trying to recreate on your own at home — unless you wear a ton of black eyeshadow, you should be able to get something comparable–if not better–as you need it.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Look:  Urban Decay Black Palette

Can you tell that I used four eyeshadows in this look?  If you can, you earn a merit badge for excellent, discerning sight!  Despite looking and even swatching relatively distinctively, when used, the eyeshadows look rather similar.  Just kind of looks like an all-black smoky eye to me!  Review to follow shortly.  This was a really quick look really just done to test out just how much color would show through when used in practice.

I added all that glitter to give this look more va-voom… it was just rather one-note beforehand.  I will say that Distortion over Deviant is stunning–more so in person as the glitter flashes.

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Eden as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply Cobra eyeshadow on the lower half of the lid and pat on horizontally.  Lightly blend Libertine eyeshadow on upper half of the lid, patting lightly, all the way across with the 239. Next, apply Black Dog eyeshadow into the crease with the 226, lightly blending onto the outer lid. Blend Trench eyeshadow with the crease shade and highlight the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Deviant liner on the lower lash line, then lightly pat on Distortion glitter liner on top. Finish by sweeping lashes with Inimitable Intense mascara, and then use Distortion glitter liner brushed onto lashes.

For cheeks, apply Desert Rose blush on the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Liquid Lurex lipstick first, and then layer Pink Poodle lipglass for a complementing lip.

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Thursday, May 20th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Look: Gold & Green

I had ten minutes to do my makeup from start to finish, and this is what I ended up with! I’m pretty satisfied with the results — I went with a combo that I’m sure I’ve done before, but I used some of the newer MAC To the Beach shades.  As suspected, though, Get-Away Bronze looks better in person than in photographs!  Also, a note to those who own Going Bananas eyeshadow–use that instead of the Nylon/Bright Sunshine combo I did–’cause that’s really all I was trying to dupe!

The whole look felt so summery, despite the weather being all gloom and doom this afternoon, but I always seem to enjoy more summer-inspired looks myself.  Maybe ’cause they’re warmer!  (By the way, what’s up Bay Area weather?  It was beautiful this morning… rainy this afternoon!)

P.S. — Thanks for all the Mellan love! He’s been strutting around the house all day saying what a stud he is.  Anyway, it’s nice to know that I can share some of the bajillion photos I take of him with all of you from time to time :)

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Eden primer potion as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply Nylon eyeshadow on the inner third of the lid, and then overlay with Bright Sunshine eyeshadow to give a pale yellow effect. Next, apply Sweet & Punchy eyeshadow with the 239 to the outer two-thirds of the lid. With the 226, apply Humid eyeshadow into the crease with the 226, lightly blending outwards and upwards to fade to the brow bone. Blend Nylon eyeshadow with the crease shade and highlight the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Rosemary & Thyme eye kohl on the lower lash line. Finish by sweeping lashes with Supernova mascara.

For cheeks, apply Get-Away Bronze blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Thrills lipstick first, and then layer Flurry of Fun lipglass for a complementing lip.

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Monday, April 5th, 2010

Spring to Summer with Dior Crush Glow

I promised I would do a look using Dior’s Crush Glow Eyeshadow Palette, and I used it on Friday for a quick and easy look. It’s funny — I loved this look in person, but I felt like a lot of the subtlies of the shades didn’t pick-up so much on camera. It’s a great warm-toned palette for soft and subtle looks, though. I can definitely see it working as a travel palette for many.

P.S. Normally, I’d opt for a more neutral highlighter, particularly since I am warmer toned, an icy pink is not-so-neutral on me, but per my usual routine, I like to try and stay within a palette as much as possible. So just between you and me, you may want to go for a warmer highlighter (or one with less frost in its finish to tone it down, too). :)

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Eden Primer Potion as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply the icy pink eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply the gold eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with the coral eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend the plummy-mauve eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Lightly tap and brush the gold eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep the icy pink eyeshadowas a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Bourbon eyeliner on the lower lash line and the gold eyeshadow lightly patted below the lower lash line with the 219 brush. Finish by sweeping lashes with Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Sugarbomb blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight cheekbones with Beige Tint meteorites with the 165.

For lips, apply Emotion lipstick first, and then layer Prep for Colour lipglass for a complementing lip.

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Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Easy Makeup: Soft & Sweet for Spring

I wanted to wear Stylesetter, so I figured a softer eye would be best, because Stylesetter is pretty bright on its own. I don’t know if I’ve done a combination with these kinds of colors before, but I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out.

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Eden primer potion as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply Nylon eyeshadow on the inner half of the eyelid. Next, apply Bright Sunshine eyeshadow on the outer half of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer crease with Expensive Pink eyeshadow with the 226, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Add depth to the crease by lightly applying Satin Taupe eyeshadow into the outer, lower crease with the 219. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Femme-fi eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Bourbon eyeliner on the lower lash line. Finish by sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.

For cheeks, apply Coral Riviera blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight cheekbones by applying Rose Diamond skinshimmer with the 165 onto the tops of cheeks.

For lips, apply Stylesetter lipstain marker for a brightened pink stain.

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