Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)
Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

Everything Old is New Again

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition) ($34.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) includes ten of Urban Decay’s bestselling eyeshadows, which are: Smog (deep coppery bronze shimmer), Mildew (mossy green shimmer with gold shift), Oil Slick (black matte with silver micro-glitter), Last Call (metallic plum shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro-glitter), Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige shimmer with silver glitter), Shattered (turquoise shimmer with a gold shift), Polyester Bride (white snow shimmer with silver micro-glitter), Grifter (sheer lavender shimmer with silver micro-glitter), and Sin (champagne shimmer).

Smog is a warm, medium-dark bronze with orange undertones and a frosted finish. It had excellent color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. bareMinerals Ritzy is slightly darker. MAC Mulch is redder. MAC Bronze is more metallic.

Mildew is a mossy green with an olive undertone and subtle forest green shimmer over a frost finish. It seemed a little less pigmented here than I remember the full-size pot, but when I applied it to the lid, I didn’t notice any pigmentation level differences. L’Oreal Golden Emerald is darker, greener, less yellow-toned. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is yellower. theBalm Makeout Mary is very similar. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #2 is a cream version but similar in color.

Oil Slick is a dark black with a teal micro-shimmer–it looks mostly gray-black on the lid and blended out; the shimmer so fine and sparse that it isn’t visible. The color payoff was good, though, and the texture was soft though a little drier than the other shades. bareMinerals Penthouse is a touch darker and more matte. Buxom Black Lab is similar in color but a cream product. MAC Cinderfella has more shimmer. Bobbi Brown Lava is more matte and has larger sparkle.

Last Call is a pinky-plum with red undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It had great pigmentation and applied smoothly. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #3 is more muted, less pink. L’Oreal Glistening Garnet is lighter, redder, less plum. MAC Stylishly Merry is much pinker.

Chopper is an orange-copper with a frosted, metallic finish. It is supposed to have micro-glitter, which is visible in the pan, but when I swatched it, all of the glitter was swept away. The color payoff of the underlying shade was full and opaque, and it had a smooth texture. bareMinerals Louder is a touch browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #6 is a bit more orange, less metallic. Urban Decay Penny Lane is a touch more orange.

Maui Wowie is a pale, not-quite-dirty gold with dark gold micro-glitter and a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation, and it was soft and smooth to the touch, but like Chopper, the majority of the micro-glitter disappears. bareMinerals First Class is darker, browner. Chanel Apparence is a cream product, and it is darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is more muted.

Shattered is a bluish-teal with a green-teal sheen. It has a frosted, somewhat metallic finish. The payoff felt a little weaker here than I remember it being in the past. L’Oreal Endless Sea is similar. Guerlain Les Aquas #2 is lighter.

Polyester Bride is a brightened, creamy white with a frosted, metallic finish and silver micro-glitter. Again, the micro-glitter disappears as you smooth out the color. This shade was less pigmented than the others. bareMinerals Silhouette is very similar, slightly less metallic. Cinderella Midnight Hour is very close in color. Cinderella Ball Gown is also similar.

Grifter is a pink lavender with a frosted, metallic finish and silver micro-glitter. The micro-glitter tends to move around and disappear as you blend out the color. The pigmentation was decent, though Urban Decay did describe it as “sheer,” so it was as expected. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur #4 is less metallic. NARS Marie-Galante #1 is more iridescent.

Sin is a warmed-up champagne beige with a high-shine, metallic finish. It had great pigmentation, and it applied very smoothly and evenly. This color is the closest to a highlight shade in the palette, but it is very, very metallic/frosted on the brow bone. bareMinerals Libation is warmer. Giorgio Armani #8 is pinker. Inglot #397 is comparable.

If you have the original Ammo palette, you’ll have the exact same shades; this palette has a new design and includes all of the same shades but in Urban Decay’s revamped eyeshadow formula. Also, all ten shades are part of the permanent range, so they can be purchased individually if desired. You are almost never better off purchasing singles, because the palette is less than the cost of two individual shades. Chances are low that you’ll actually finish an entire pot of eyeshadow, though the individual eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. and each shade within the palette is 0.03 oz.

If you don’t want to deal with glitter and its fall out, you may want to skip this palette, as five of the ten shades have Urban Decay’s signature micro-glitter. What I will say in regards to the fall out is that 90% of it occurs while you apply it, so after you’ve finished the look, you can remove it and while you will see some stray glitter particles throughout the day (I found some on my nose, below it, and elsewhere on my under eye/upper cheek area), it’s not much.

Now, the reason there actually isn’t much fall out during wear is simple: hardly any gets transferred to the lid! Ahh, the secret! The reality is that if you like the idea of glittery bits on the lid, you’re just not going to get the effect–they end up looking like the base color sans the glitter applied. The sparkle just doesn’t bind with the eyeshadow, so it sits on top and easily gets brushed elsewhere.  If you want the glitter, your best bet is to use a firm, flat brush and pat it over a sticky base.

Overall, the pigmentation of the shades was good to great, with only Polyester Bride coming in a bit short (Grifter isn’t opaque, but it is supposed to be sheer).  The textures are soft, buttery, and dense, with Oil Slick being a bit drier but seemingly softer/denser than previous iterations of it.  When I wore these shades for eight hours, I had a few sparkles of fall out, but I didn’t have any problems with fading or creasing.

The Glossover

palette

Ammo

B+
Overall, the pigmentation of the shades was good to great, with only Polyester Bride coming in a bit short (Grifter isn't opaque, but it is supposed to be sheer).  The textures are soft, buttery, and dense, with Oil Slick being a bit drier but seemingly softer/denser than previous iterations of it.  When I wore these shades for eight hours, I had a few sparkles of fall out, but I didn't have any problems with fading or creasing.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. III
Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. III

Exclusive: First Look @ Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Vol. III

For the holidays, Urban Decay will be launching the third installation in their Book of Shadows palette series. The palette will retail for $54, and while I don’t have an exact date yet, based on past releases, mid to late September is a good bet. If you’re in the NYC area on August 28th, you can snag one of 1,000 pieces available for sale at the Times Square Sephora (details here).  It’s expected to launch online at urbandecay.com after Labor Day and at other retailers on October 1st.

The palette includes 16 eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each, total of 0.48 oz.), 2 miniature-sized eyeliners (0.03 oz. each, total of 0.06 oz.), and 1 minature-sized Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.). To break down the value for you, this represents $163.20 worth of eyeshadow ($340/oz.), $25.50 worth of eyeliner ($425/oz.), $6.88 of Primer Potion ($52.94/fl. oz.). In sum, it’s the equivalent of $195.58 worth of Urban Decay products. You will, of course, have to spend much more as individual products are all slightly bigger (e.g. each full-size eyeshadow retails for $17).

Anyway, the point is that no matter how you slice it, Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows palettes have a lot of value. The quality of the shadows is exactly what their full-size and permanent shades represent; there is no skimping here.

Eyeshadows

  • Perversion is a matte charcoal black. It’ll darken anything you want to, and it’s a good black, but it’s not an ultra deep black. Not at all chalky! This is a permanent shade, and it has been featured in BoS I and II.
  • Uzi is a whitish-silver with flecks of silver glitter. I’ve found this shade has some fall out, but it’s not too bad. This is a permanent shade, and it has been featured in the Sustainable palette.
  • Loaded is a deep forest green with a metallic shimmer sheen. It is hands down my favorite shade in the palette — it’s like a greener version of NARS’ Rajasthan! This is new and exclusive to this palette.
  • Kush is a medium grassy green with a subtle cool undertone. This is a nice shade with excellent color payoff, and it is new and exclusive to this palette–but it does have some cousins. It’s a darker version of Graffiti (permanent) and Absinthe (BoS I), and it’s a greener, darker version of Homegrown (BoS II).
  • Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is a pink-tinged champagne with champagne flecks of glitter. It may be one of my least favorite eyeshadows of all time, because it has so much fall out, even though it feels very smooth. I recommend using it with a stickier base and make sure you have Q-tips and makeup remover to control the fall out. This shade is permanent, and it has been in BoS II and BoS Alice in Wonderland, as well as the Sustainable palette.
  • Last Call is a medium plum with strong red undertones and shimmer finish. This is a permanent shade that’s also a popular palette shade–it’s been featured in BoS I, BoS AiW, and Ammo.
  • Rockstar is a deep shade of eggplant purple with burgundy-red undertones and a shimmer-sheen. This is a new and exclusive shade to the palette–but the color is like Rockstar 24/7 Eye Pencil (duh!).
  • Money is a silvered blue with a metallic blue-green sheen. Very pretty and will be a great shade to layer over colored bases to bring out different undertones. This shade is new and exclusive to the palette.
  • Haight is a brightened medium blue with a frost finish that pulls just an itsy bit teal. This is shade is permanent, but it’s a Sephora exclusive. It hasn’t been in any other palettes.
  • Maui Wowie is an antique gold with a nearly metallic gold sheen. It also has flecks of dark gold glitter, so it can have some fall out issues. This is a permanent shade, and it’s also been in BoS AiW and Ammo.
  • Smog is a medium-dark bronze with a shimmer-frost finish. This is a shade that’s been in a ton of palettes! It’s permanent, but it has also been released in BoS I, Ammo, Naked, and Vegan.
  • Bordello is a mauve-tinged pink with soft flecks of dark pink shimmer-glitter. It’s smooth, pigmented, and has an almost metallic sheen. The glitter is similar to Uzi’s, but it feels a little finer. This is a new and exclusive shade.
  • Radium is a true medium blue with a cooler undertone and a softer frost finish. Great pigmentation! It is new and exclusive to this palette, and I imagine its color gets inspiration from Radium Cream Eyeshadow.
  • Snatch is a peachy-pink with a frosty finish. It’s very smooth and has nice pigmentation. This was originally in the Show Pony palette.
  • Suspect is a medium bronze that pulls a smidgen taupe and has a rather cooler undertone. I thought it was similar to some of the browns in previous BoS palettes (like Sidecar, Nylon, Gridlock, etc.), but those all have obvious red undertones in comparison. This is a new and exclusive shade.
  • Psychedelic Sister is a brightened medium purple with red undertones. It’s a nice shade of purple that’s pigmented and has a soft frost sheen. It’s a permanent, but it is a Sephora exclusive. This is the first time it’s been in a palette.

Eyeliners

  • Zero is a deep black. Very pigmented, definitely a handy shade to have. Even if I do have five of them at this point. But really, black eyeliner in a palette makes sense.
  • Ransom is an iridescent violet purple with more of a violet flash/sheen and some red undertones. This is available in full-size, but it’s one of my favorite liners. (Try patting Fishnet over it for some real va-voom!)

New vs. Old vs. Repromoted

There are seven new and exclusive shades to the palette (Bordello, Kush, Loaded, Money, Radium, Rockstar, and Suspect). There are two Sephora exclusive shades (Haight and Psychedelic Sister) that were released a few months ago but have never been sold in any of the previous palettes. There are seven permanent shades (Snatch, Last Call, Maui Wowie, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Smog, Perversion, and Uzi), with Perversion, Snatch, and Uzi being in just one or two previous palettes and the others being in three or more. The worst case scenario? You’ll get seven brand new eyeshadows.

Overall, it’s another solid eyeshadow palette. I didn’t have any pigmentation issues with these eyeshadows, and I like the addition of seven new and two of the Sephora exclusives (which I really liked, but know some readers were hesitant to pay $17 a pop). There are two shades that do run on the glittery side (Midnight Cowboy Rides Again and Maui Wowi) and two on the slightly glittery side (Uzi and Snatch).

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you like Urban Decay eyeshadows, the Book of Shadows is always a good buy. If you’re not into shimmery/frosty shades and prefer more matte or satin finishes, then this might not be your thing.

AVAILABILITY: Holiday 2010

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Monday, July 12th, 2010

Urban Decay Vegan Palette

Can You Resist Cute Packaging?

Urban Decay Vegan Palette ($34.00) is a new and limited edition eyeshadow palette for fall, and it features six eyeshadows, one eyeliner, and a miniature-sized eyeshadow primer.  It features only products that are vegan-friendly.

The packaging is my favorite part about this product, which is creative, pretty, and functional. Otherwise, the eyeshadows are every bit of quality you’d expect from Urban Decay, but with the Naked Palette released simultaneously and featuring three of these shades (Smog, Gunmetal, Half Baked), it makes getting both of them rather redundant.

These are pitfalls of Urban Decay’s limited edition palettes, because long-time collectors often end up with multiples of several shades, since the brand reuses certain shades with great frequency. (I am personally tired of seeing Twice Baked and Baked in their palettes!) On the other hand, for newer Urban Decay fans, the palette is a cute palette with six great shades from the brand’s range. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz. in weight, along with a 0.03 oz. Zero 24/7 Eye Pencil and 0.13 oz. Sin Primer Potion. It’s a decent amount for the price tag, but…

The Naked Palette gives you so much for–double the eyeshadow shades (12 in total)–but every single shade in it is full sized at 0.05 oz. For $10 more, you’re getting 0.6 oz. of eyeshadow, instead of 0.18 oz. Pretty awesome, right? All six of the Vegan palette shades can be purchased individually, in case you’re dead-set on one of them. I guess what I’m really saying is if you were waffling between the Vegan and the Naked palette, I would recommend the Naked palette and not even think twice about it.

  • Minx is shimmering aqua green with tiny flecks of teal glitter.
  • Urb is a softly shimmered olive green with a golden sheen. It was the least pigmented shade of the six, though I wouldn’t call it sheer or lacking in pigmentation overall.
  • Gunmetal is a blue-toned gray-black with silver sheen. Very pigmented!
  • Twice Baked is a satin-y medium-dark chocolate brown.
  • Smog is a shimmering bronze with a copper-gold sheen.
  • Half Baked is a lightened copper with a near metallic finish.

The palette also includes a miniature-sized Zero 24/7 Liner (true black) and Sin Eyeshadow Primer Potion (a shimmery burnt champagne base). I need another Zero like I need another eyeliner, period, but it’s a solid black eyeliner which will work well with any of the six shadows and any combinations thereof. I find Sin very, very shimmery–so frosty that it’s hard to use as a base, particularly with frost finished shades like these. I think Eden would have been a better choice here to make it more versatile.

Minx and Urb are the only shades that are on the glittery side, though neither is a glitter bomb. The other four shades are smoother and don’t feel glittery–just shimmery. All six shades are very true-to-color with nice pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. I really do like and enjoy the palette, and there is nothing wrong with it. It just depends on what Urban Decay palettes you already own and how much overlap you have between them all.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t plan on getting the Naked eyeshadow palette (how could you not?!) and you don’t have too much overlap with previously released palettes, it’s an adorably packaged palette with quality in mind.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora, Urban Decay

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Urban Decay Summer of Love Eyeshadow Palette

Travel with Urban Decay This Summer

Urban Decay Summer of Love Shadow Palette ($29.00) is a new-for-summer eyeshadow palette that features four eyeshadows (0.04 oz. each), a miniature Sin Primer Potion (0.09 fl. oz.), and miniature Bourbon 24/7 Eye Pencil (0.03 oz.). The eyeshadows included in the palette are Flash (bright iridescent purple), Maui Wowie (medium gold with silver glitter), Chopper (coppery fawn with silver microglitter), and Smog (deep coppery bronze).

Everything in the palette is available individually, should you only fall in love with one of the shades! As such, everything included is also permanent. However, for those who do not already have the majority of these eyeshadows either individually or in various past-released palettes, you get a good amount of product in the palette itself.

Normal eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. (and retail for $17) while the palette versions are 0.03 oz. — still plenty to use. The eyeliner is typically 0.04 oz. (and retails for $17) but 0.03 oz. in the palette. Plus, you do get the mini-sized Sin Primer Potion (my least favorite of the primers, though–so metallic!). All in all, the palette is a good deal with lots of value–if you don’t already own the shades in it.

  • Flash is a cool-toned violet purple with a slight iridescence. It’s very smooth, pigmented, and vibrant.
  • Maui Wowie is an antique gold with silver glitter. It has great color pay off, and I swear this version felt so much smoother than the one included in the Alice in Wonderland palette, which felt much grittier. You may encounter some fall out with this shade from the glitter.
  • Chopper is a muted copper with a gilded-bronze sheen/shimmer. It has nice pigmentation and applies smoothly.
  • Smog is a deepened chocolate brown with a warm bronze sheen. It, too, is a vibrant shade that has rich pigmentation.

Urban Decay seems to really love releasing summer palettes with a series of browns and then a pop of color. (Remember Get Baked from last year?) I do like this color variation a lot better than last year’s, because I feel like there is a good amount of differentiation between each shade.

The packaging fits with their theme–definitely groovy and all that–but I’m not digging the vintage photographs on the back. I would have personally loved to have seen the floral pattern continue around the mirror, like it did in Get Baked. It’s cool that the graphic designer’s parents are now immortalized in a makeup palette, but for me, it’s just, “Who are these random people?” Like the majority of Urban Decay products, it is made out of sturdy cardboard. I like these flip-open palettes, because they’re slim, streamlined, and easy to travel with and store.

It’s a nice option for a summer palette, but as always, I wish Urban Decay would release new shades of eyeshadows rather than using their permanent shadows. It makes it hard to purchase as a fan, just because you probably own all of them with the palettes you already have! Maybe Urban Decay should make palette forms available of all their eyehadows so we can just mix and match throughout the year! :)

P.S. – I think I have enough mini-sized Bourbon liners to get me through year 3000.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t own a lot of Urban Decay eyeshadows, this palette makes a fun option for some summery shades. It’s a great value if you don’t have any of the shades, and the quality of the products within the palette are tops.  It’s easily skipped if you own half or more of the shades/products in it.

Availability: Urban Decay

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