Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Urban Decay Theodora Palette
Urban Decay Theodora Palette

Urban Decay & Oz: The Theodora Palette

Urban Decay Theodora Palette ($49.00 for 0.43 oz.) includes Broken (pale cream satin), Beware (warm brown matte), Bewitch (dark charcoal brown satin), West (deep metallic brown shimmer), Spell (black satin with green and gold shimmer/gold metallic with tonal glitter), Jealous (pale green pearl/dark green pearl), Theodora Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color (bright red cream), and Zero 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil (black).

The eyeliner is 0.03 oz. ($14.25 value), while the lip pencil is 0.10 oz. ($19.00 value). There are six eyeshadow pans containing 0.05 oz. each ($108.00 value), though two of the six are split-pans, meaning they contain two eyeshadows in a single pan. The total value is $141.25. The eyeliner and six eyeshadow pans are housed within Urban Decay’s “Build Your Own Palette” interface, so all six pans can be popped out and you can insert another Urban Decay eyeshadow instead. The “empty” 6-pan palettes retail for $18.00 but include a travel-sized shadow brush and Walk of Shame eyeshadow (so it’s a wash, since you are getting an eyeshadow and an eyeliner instead, but I’ve already accounted for the value of those items).

Broken is a soft, pale beige with a satiny finish. It had good color payoff, and it was soft, smooth, and applied well. Urban Decay Illusion is warmer, darker, and has a stronger sheen. Cinderella A Wish is similar. Urban Decay Anonymous is more matte and slightly pink in comparison.Urban Decay Kinky is lighter, less warm-toned, and matte. MAC Dazzlelight is more shimmery. Urban Decay Skimp has a stronger sheen and is more peach-tinted.

Beware is a medium caramel brown with soft, warm undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation was spot-on, and the texture was soft enough to allow for easy blending and application but not so soft it became powdery or prone to fading. theBalm Allegro is browner. MAC One to Watch is slightly shimmery. MAC Moleskin is browner. MAC Tete-a-tint is just a touch lighter.

Bewitch is a dark brown with subtle reddish undertones, but it almost looks cool-toned against my warmer complexion. The texture of this one was slightly powdery, and I thought it wasn’t quite true-to-pan in color initially, but when I applied it to the lid, I had no problem getting color to show. Chanel Variation #3 is a bit darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #8 is richer. Urban Decay Muse is a bit darker, cooler-toned. MAC Buckwheat is a touch warmer.

West is a rich, deep red-toned brown–almost burgundy-brown–with a metallic sheen. It had very intense pigmentation, and it applied very smoothly and evenly. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #8 is browner, less red-toned. theBalm Presto is matte. Urban Decay Barlust is less red-toned and warm-toned. MAC Sable is browner, warmer.

Spell contains two shades. The first half of the pan is a rich, metallic yellow gold with a strong, dirty brown base–it’s not quite antique gold, but it’s not an orange-y gold. The color payoff was fantastic, but there are stray bits of micro-glitter that get lost when swatched as well as when applied on the lid. When I used it, the fall off seemed to occur primarily during application, as next to no glitter transferred onto the lid. Urban Decay Blitz is lighter. MAC Old Gold is warmer. NARS Paramaribo #1 is a bit darker, less metallic. The other half of the pan is a deep bluish-black with multi-colored shimmer. It had fantastic color payoff, and the texture was buttery and smooth. MAC Tall, Dark, & Handsome is less intense. Tarnia Tarantino Diamond Dusk #5 is similar.

Jealous is another duo shade. The first half is a yellowed green with an olive brown base and softly frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, and it applied smoothly. Urban Decay Mildew is very similar to this shade–perhaps a touch warmer. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here #1 is more muted. MAC Sumptuous Olive is slightly browner. The other half is a lightened, not-quite-pastel green with warm, yellow undertones and a golden sheen. It had good pigmentation and applied evenly. bareMinerals Wicked is a touch lighter. MAC Juxt has more of a satiny finish. Inglot #412 is more metallic.

Theodora is a cherry red with ruby red shimmer. I think it leans just a smidgen warm. It’s extremely rich in color and has a glossy shine. I thought Urban Decay F-Bomb was darker/bluer-based, but when I swatched the two side-by-side, they were actually the same! Chanel Coromandel is more orange. MAC Eden Rouge is a touch cooler-toned. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is a bit darker. MAC Ruffian Red is less glossy.  I’ve worn it for four hours so far, and it’s going strong, so I’m expecting six hours or so of wear.

Zero is a black with a mostly matte finish. It’s a classic black; not super, deep dark black, but not too soft that it looks gray. I have no problems with the wear–a solid eight hours without fading, migrating, or smudging.

Again, Urban Decay packs their palette with pigment; there were no weak performers in the pigmentation department within this palette.  Like Glinda, the only problem I really had was with respect to the micro-glitter found in half of Spell, but it contained far less micro-glitter than Oz (from Glinda), so the impact of it was much, much less both during application as well as when worn.  I found the majority of fall out occurred during application, but I only found one or two stray glittery bits beneath my eye (on that side of the face) after wearing it for the past eight hours.  All of the shades I wore (all but West and the black shade in Spell) lasted for a full eight hours without creasing or fading (no primer).  The textures found in this palette were easy to blend and apply, with the exception of dealing with some of the glittery fall out of Spell.

The Glossover

palette

Theodora

A-
All six (well, eight) eyeshadows were nicely pigmented, smooth, and blended out well. I only had trouble with half of one eyeshadow, because it had some micro-glitter that primarily fell out during application (nothing translated to the lid).

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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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, August 2nd, 2010

Dare to Wear Look: Yellow, Coral, Red

If there is one beauty lesson I cannot seem to learn is to remove mascara before doing a look!  Argh!  I always do this — have mascara on for some other purpose, decide to do a look, but don’t want to waste time (aka being lazy) removing mascara and then waiting for the area to dry (don’t want to apply eyeshadow base on top of remover… counterproductive!)… and then the mascara looks all clumpy and yuck at the end.  No more being lazy!

I did upper lash liner because I know some will be disappointed otherwise if they saw this look sans the liner.  I was just playing around with the combo last night anyway, so removing it after ten minutes wasn’t going to break my heart so it worked out :)  Well, except for the minor swelling this AM, lol!

You can easily pair this look with a toned down coral, pink, or even nude lip.  I went for the gusto and used Gimme That! but it’s not necessary.

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply Going Bananas eyeshadow on the lower half of the lid. Lightly blend Free to Be eyeshadow on the middle of the lid, horizontally, with the 239. Apply Louder, Please eyeshadow on the outer half of the crease with the 239 and lightly blend upwards.  Blend Trench eyeshadow with the crease shade and highlight the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Zero liner on the lower lash line and Blacktrack fluidline on the upper lash line with the 208. Finish by sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara. Add false lashes if desired.

For cheeks, apply #15 Natural blush on the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116, then lightly pat Mary Lou-manizer on the cheekbones.

For lips, apply Gimme That! lipglass for a complementing lip.

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Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Video Tutorial: Sunset Eyes with Spring Colour Forecast

For the next few days, I’m experimenting with a new format/way of doing video tutorials that still gives you some live-action footage but doesn’t add much time to my normal routine. (Sometimes I tell myself, “If I didn’t have school, that would free up like 48 hours of my week!”)

What I’m trying to do is record myself doing my makeup that I’d normally do and then just take still photos of and post on the blog–so these looks are not practiced or planned. It’s me going with the flow. I’d like to call these “Quick & Dirty” Tutorials, if you will, because that’s exactly what they are… quick, minimalist, and maybe even a little unpolished.

I’m hoping that there is still value in them–so I would love to hear your feedback.  As much as I would love to do more full-on, ultra detailed video tutorials, my schedule is such that I just can’t keep up, so I am really trying to find a way to meet all of your requests the best I can.

The original look and all of the photos can be found here.

You will need the following… Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Sunset Eyes: Spring Colour Forecast Style

Yet another look from Spring Colour Forecast… I imagine I’ll squeeze in a few more before we’re onto Riveting! Speaking of onto the next thing, I won’t be able to get the new Viva Glam lipsticks up until later today (because I have class most of the day), but I hope to get them up today at some point.  Sorry :(  I completely scheduled my classes around MAC launch days (Thursdays), but Viva Glam got moved up to today… a Wednesday.  Boo!

Anyway, just wanted to pop by with this look before I go back to studying my butt off for my statistics midterm tonight!  :)

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply Manila Paper eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Straw Harvest eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Hot Hot Hot eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend Hot Hot Hot eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Lightly tap and brush Straw Harvest eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Ricepaper eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying El Dorado eyeliner on the lower lash line and Zero eyeliner on the lower waterline. Finish by sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.

For cheeks, apply Ripe Peach blush ombre to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Bronzilla lipstick first, and then layer Kumquat lipglass for a complementing lip.

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