Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

Here is the review for the second half of the Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 ($64.00) limited edition makeup palette. For an overall review of the product, along with packaging, please see part one. 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.

Midnight Cowgirl is a warm, pale, peach-gold with a frosted finish. The color payoff is really lovely, as it is rich and buttery, though it does have flecks of gold micro-glitter. This shade is part of the permanent range. I find the majority disappears before you even apply it, but you may find that some fall out underneath the eye. It is a bit lighter than Bobbi Brown Desert Sand. It’s similar in color but lighter compared to Urban Decay Blunt. It’s also a lighter, less brown version of MAC Retrospeck. (9, 8.5)

Sin is a pink-tinged champagne with a frosted finish and rather metallic sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Scratch is much pinker. Giorgio Armani #8 is similar but more metallic in finish. Inglot #397 is similar in color, less pink-tinged. (9.5, 9)

Midnight Rodeo is a sparkly taupe brown. It does have glitter, but it’s subtle and doesn’t seem as large as Urban Decay’s other glitter-finished eyeshadows but may still have some fall out. The color payoff is good, and the texture is fairly smooth. I thought Urban Decay Toasted might be similar, but it’s not–much browner, less of a taupe. theBalm Insane Jane is grayer (more cool-toned), while Inglot #402 is nearly indistinguishable from Midnight Rodeo. This shade is a repromote from the 15th Anniversary Palette. (9, 8.5)

Crystal is a bluish-purple gray with a silvered sheen. It lacks pigmentation, and the texture is dry and stiff to work with–you’ll have to pack it on to achieve the color you see in the pan. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. Inglot #420 is similar but darker and lacks the bluish tones. Urban Decay Stripped has less purple and is much, much darker. (5, 7)

Bust is a softened, gray-tinged taupe brown with a soft, frosted finish. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. It has a really smooth application with a buttery texture, while the shade itself has excellent color payoff. NARS Grand Palais is slightly browner, MAC Street Cool is darker and browner, MAC Satin Taupe is much, much darker, and Inglot #402 is warmer and less gray. It’s like a frosted version of Urban Decay Shakedown. (9.5, 9)

Missionary is a soft, beige-taupe with a frosted finish. It’s like a lighter version of Sin. It has good color payoff, but it’s not fully opaque. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. It is pinker than MAC Butternutty. It’s a little lighter and has more of a sheen compared to Urban Decay Virgin. (9, 9)

Skimp is a beige-peach with a pearled sheen. The color payoff here was a bit sheer, and the texture surprisingly dry. This shade is a repromote. It is similar to Bare Escentuals Serendipitous. It is a little lighter than MAC Brule. (8, 8.5)

Zephyr is a warm white with a golden sheen. It has good color payoff, but it is a bit powdery. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. It less yellow compared to Urban Decay Vanilla and MAC Nylon, but it is comparable to Bare Escentuals Breathtaking. (9, 8.5)

The Glossover

palette

Book of Shadows Vol. 4

B
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. 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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See photos & swatches! 


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4


Urban Decay Midnight Cowgirl Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Midnight Cowgirl Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Crystal Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Crystal Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Bust Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Bust Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Missionary Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Missionary Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Skimp Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Skimp Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Zephyr Eyeshadow


Urban Decay Zephyr Eyeshadow

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

September 2011, $64.

Is it limited edition?

Yes.

Any dupes?

See individual shade description.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

54 thoughts on “Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

  1. rowan

    most of these new shades do look a bit blah :/ odd that the quality dropped so much from the 15th anniversary palette?
    midnight cowgirl is so underrated, it’s one of my favourite eyeshadows.

  2. Carrie Ann

    I didn’t realize how pretty Midnight Cowgirl is. I’m also loving Bust and Zephyr.

  3. Kira

    i just got the 15th anni one and the naked palette, and since they both do it better :)i dont think ill get this one. i have to save money for the mac collections in september.

  4. Julia

    I love bust, skimp, and missionary, but no way I’d buy a palette for only 3 colors. I hope to see these in other palettes in the future!

  5. Amalia

    how disappointing! i really wanted to get this palette because of the color shades, but they’re really not worth it. oh well!

  6. Meh. Too many neutrals. What a shame.

  7. Alicia

    so, i have a single pot of Skimp. UD was giving them away to emailers last year i think. i really like the color, and i have no problems with it. not sure why the formula in the palette is not as good. i’m disappointed by this palette, but seeing how i got the 15 anniversary one, i suppose this saves me money!

  8. Alyssa

    The shadows look alright to me, it’s the packaging that is way too gimmicky.

  9. I’m not sure that I’ll buy it, but I may suggest it for Christmas. Does anyone know why they didn’t just roll the anniversary concept into their Book of Shadows concept? This one seems forced – kind of like putting frosting on an already-frosted cake.

  10. Carrie

    I was debating between getting the UD 15 or waiting for BOS IV and after seeing the last two posts finally ordered UD 15 off of Ulta – the shades are much more wearable (for me at least) and the quality issues aren’t there.

    The speaker/USB cord seems gimmicky and why did they think anyone wanted a bigger palette box?

    I almost feel like that all the attention at UD went to the 15th anniversary collections (which, to be fair have been pretty amazing) and this was almost an after thought that didn’t get as much time in development as it should have.

  11. Lisa

    Skimp is actually not new and exclusive to the palette because it has been out before in Sephora’s Beauty in a Box for Urban Decay :)

    • Jill

      I totally agree, Julia! I looove Skimp but it’s not worth the palette for one shade :( Skimp also looks very similar to Virgin from the Naked palette. I am underwhelmed. The packaging looks more colorful than the shadows!!

  12. Giselle E

    The colors aren’t too exciting for me but i’m really digging Midnight Rodeo

  13. Jackie

    So SICK TO DEATH of urban decay neutrals, wasn’t the neutral palette enough!?!? Now you have to shove a bajillion of them in EVERY SET!?!? STOPPIT! BRING ON THE BRIGHTS!!!!! *and maybe a highlight or two, but THAT’S IT!!!*

  14. LM

    urban decay kinda… *gag* lately. and their attitude to customers is “unpleasant”

    rather have theBalm, MUFE, Tarte, BE

  15. Janet

    Aweful, terrible, horrible!!! I have 3 BOS and the Naked Palette and was looking forward to adding this to my collection. Good news is that I just saved myself from spending $64.

  16. I was excited when UD posted the promo images on facebook, but now I’m disappointed. This looks like a much worse version of the 15 Year palette. I do love the butterfly packaging, but the speaker is such a gimmick. The full size liquid liner is definitely a plus and way better than another pencil liner in zero. But shade wise… not impressed.

  17. Chelle

    Nope, so not buying this. Really glad I got the 15th palette.

  18. LM

    hee! I kinda think when they named a shadow BUST, it could be considered foreshadowing!!!

    (oh man, Crystal is a total wash!)

    Great job Christine!

  19. adylla

    omg its just so beautifull :)

  20. Hahaha, I’m sort of relieved you aren’t totally pleased with it–I’ve got more than enough UD to last me a lifetime, I think. Can gladly skip this, and my wallet will be much happier!

  21. Lisa

    Honestly I like the colors, and the neutrals… however I think it is extremely presumptuous of Urban Decay to assume everyone would be willing to shell out extra money for something that hooks up to an apple product. Not everyone has an iSomething!

  22. Lindsey

    Me: what a disappointment :(
    My wallet: THANK GOD

  23. Tigress

    Ouch, the numbers don’t lie! Thank you so much Christine (and your bf!) for all the time you put into reviews, swatches, photos, etc. People seriously base their purchases off of your blog and I think I can speak for most people when I say how much it’s appreciated.

  24. Thank goodness UD has a product that I am not going to buy this time….UD’s shadows are a fairly new to me and have since have acquired a taste for…even after wearing makeup for over 25 years….these colors are not bad…..they are just not colors that stand out…or stand out from the rest of other cosmetic companies….I think we all have been too spoiled by the UD Naked Palette and the 15th anniversary palette…..had this palette came next year, it may have been more impressing…even with the off textures.

  25. I love the outer packaging, but my, isn’t it bulky?

    I disagree on Midnight Rodeo with you Christine, I’m gueeing you haven’t actually worn it, because it does have pretty bad glitter fallout just like MC and MCRA. I wish they hadn’t included it in this as well as the 15 anniversary palette. :( And the rest of the shadows look a bit blah to me. I will probably get it, but will try to pick it up when there’s a 10% off discount going at Debenhams, because I’m not too sure this time about it being such a great value.

  26. Bevi

    I’ve been a MAHOOSIVE UD fan for 10 years. I have all the BoS and was sure I would be buying this, but no. There’s nothing there I don’t already have (the exclusive shades are not that special), and the packaging concept is bizarre. It seems to be aimed at teens. I have an iPhone but would never use the speaker or QR codes. Should imagine that is going to cost over £50 in the UK, so I feel relieved! I did purchase the anniversary palette and I’m getting more use out of that than anything else I own.

    Starting to feel like UD are taking my loyalty for a ride. I’m sick of the words ‘limited edition’. Thanks for the review Christine, very helpful. X

  27. crazedstargazer

    Which would people here recommend? This or the 15th anniversary palette?

  28. Mariella

    If I could get some of these colours on their own – Cobra, Bust, Bender and Lost – I could buy them over time but as I said in my Part 1 comment, I think I’ve reached my “palette tolerance” and I really don’t find this packaging all that convenient.

  29. I really like the shades in this palette! I love Sin.

  30. Thanks for the review and swatches Christine! I find the packaging annoying. And the colors are mostly dupable. Thanks for helping me not spend 64 bucks on this! :-)

  31. Nadia

    Urban Decay’s packaging is a complete.utter.turnoff. It’s no coincidence that the only thing I own from them is the Naked palette.

  32. I love the butterflies on the packaging, but like others have said – it’s far to full of shimmery nudes. I just can’t decide whether to get it or not.

  33. Becca

    the only shade from this whole entire palette that I feel I NEED is Bust, and I am NOT spending close to 80 bucks (that’s probably what the canadian price will be) for on shadow…. oh well that’s a good thing I guess, now I just need to get my hands on the 15th anniversary palette!!!

  34. Ami

    Thank you so much for this! I was waffling between Naked and 15, but then I heard this was comming, so I thought I might just hold off. But you get them early, review them well, and now I can go and buy with confidence! Seriously, I’m new(ish) to the site but it’s already an addiction for me.

  35. Vanilla

    All the colors I don’t have, want, and find interesting, are also the colors with the least pigmentation and color payoff. Thank goodness, I guess this saves me the money to spend on MAC Me Over and finding the space to store this monster of a box. I just purchased TARTE for TrueBlood and UD’s 15th Anniversary palettes this month, so I’m sure I’ll live without this BOS. Sorry UD! First BOS I’m passing on :(

  36. From a collector’s stand point I will be picking this palette up. I am a bit disappointed that some of the shades are a let down but considering the price and estimated cost of all those items bought seperately I think it’s still a good value.

  37. Bean

    I love that you put so much effort into reviewing this Thank you so much.
    You most likely saved me from buying this and being really bummed by the set. I love that there’s one of the new liquid liners in the set instead of the usual zero pencil which I’m not a fan of. None of the colors really thrilled me. Maybe i can track down one of the 15th pallete

  38. LuLu

    Great swatches (as always)! I’m getting this mainly because I skipped out on all the other Urban Decay Book of Shadows. How does “Bust” compare to “Stray Dog”?

  39. Emma RZ

    I love the look of this online, but after reading various reviews I will definitely be waiting till it arrives at Sephora to judge for myself whether it is worth spending the money. I have no use for the gimmicks in it but I do love the colours. As someone said not everyone has an Isomething and not everyone can hear video. Captions please UD.

  40. Christa

    Just wanted to echo the general sentiment and say that, regardless of my disappointment w/ this BOS, I really appreciate your honesty and candor in these reviews. It’s particularly refreshing to see because I can imagine how there might be some pressure (however subtle) to give a hyped product from a popular brand a positive review, especially when the company generously provides it gratuis as a PR sample.

    It means so much to readers like me that–true to its disclosure statement–Temptalia does make us, the consumers, its top priority.

    I noticed that UD didn’t link to this review, as they usually link to all your reviews of their products, on their FB/Twitter–probably part of an (unsuccessful) attempt to avoid negative publicity. But marketing tactics like this on their part make me lose respect for them as a company, and gain respect for you, because no matter what they do in terms of their marketing/advertising strategy, I think the single most important thing a company in the MU industry should do is to make high-quality products and stand behind them. Thank you for continuing to hold all companies to that standard.

    • Hi Christa!

      Thank you for your comments! I don’t know if it is realistic to expect brands to actively promote reviews that are negative or neutral – I can’t think of any who go out of their way to link back, retweet, post, etc. when a product gets a C or something, you know? I’ve had one brand do so but also attempted to get their fans to convince me otherwise via email. It’s more important to me that a brand doesn’t change our relationship post-negative review, and so far, our relationship with Urban Decay has been the same over time, and I have given UD other unfavorable reviews. So at least from that perspective, they accept the nature of reviews and blogging without punishing for it! :)

      At the end of the day, it’s very easy to say a product is great, but readers are smart and savvy–if they get the product and it doesn’t do what you said it does, they lose faith and trust in you. Integrity and credibility are so important – once you lose one or both, it is so difficult to rebuild. I’d rather buy a $14 lipstick than sell my soul over one of them–or lose readers because of it! And let’s be honest – exposure on a blog usually outweighs the cost of supplying the product, so if it’s a great review, brands can really benefit. Illamasqua’s junior brand manager did an interview recently about how impactful sending samples were to bloggers, because it was a critical step in Sephora approaching them for distribution in the U.S. (http://yourbeautyindustry.blogspot.com/2011/08/interview-with-beauty-brand-illamasqua.html).

      Thank you again! As a review-based blogger, readers telling you how honest you are and how appreciative they are of that is very high praise!

      • Christa

        Hi Christine,

        Yes, that’s a very good point about the important thing being that brands like UD not change their relationship to bloggers post-negative/neutral review. And, on second thought, I guess it makes sense for them not to spread less than stellar reviews because it’s their job to increase sales by promoting the most positive image of their products that they can, and when it’s a genuinely good product beauty blogs can certainly help them achieve that. (Thanks for the link to the Illamasqua interview by the way. It’s a fascinating read and definitely a great example of how brands–esp good but relatively unknown/up-and-coming ones–and bloggers can work together to their mutual benefit. And hey, a shot-out to Temptalia!) Just like it’s Temptalia’s “job” to give honest reviews rather than simply catering to the positive image they would like to promote.

        With the rapid rise of the beauty blogosphere over the last few years, I think there’s an important distinction–a distinction bloggers should strive to maintain and MU brands should respect–between blogging and advertising, precisely because, as you write, integrity and credibility are so important and readers trust (or at least are less suspicious of) bloggers’ opinions in a way they don’t with paid ads and photoshopped images. So, on one hand, it is a new and exciting opportunity for brands to gain a lot of exposure (because, let’s face it, how else am I–an average consumer not inside the beauty industry–going to get all the details on a MAC launch three months in advance were it not for Temptalia ;) ). On the other, it’s also a valuable source for readers to consult intelligently and discriminatingly in making their own purchasing choices. I think those dual functions are what makes this medium so powerful, for both the brands and the readers, and what makes the work you do so valuable.

        So kudos to Temptalia for fulfilling both roles so well and maintaining the site’s sense of integrity and identity rather than “selling out” or allowing itself to be exploited by those who may simply view blogs as a means of free advertising. Your readers do really appreciate it!

  41. Maddy

    I think I’m going to pick this up, because in all honesty, I don’t have ANY of these shades, and it looks like a lot of these shades don’t have UD’s signature chunky glitter! Also, I have learned through years of not being able to afford high end makeup how to deal with dry textures with OK color payoff. Also, by just seeing this palette, I can tell I will wear a lot of these colors. The reason I didn’t buy the NAKED palette is because it’s just all neutrals and smokey colors (which I have), with a shader brush (which I have a million of) and the reason I didn’t buy the last BOS was it was soooo glittery. I also am going to pass on the 15th anniversary palette because IDK I was just not ASTOUNDED by the neutrals because they’re ultra dupeable (I tested it at Sephora, and I had versions of all those shades) and I don’t really have a lot of these neutrals. I personally think the packaging itself is not gimmicky (the butterflies) but the speakers and the USB cord is so unnecessary. Who puts their phone in their makeup? But, alas, I will buy it for the beautiful shadow colors (Although I’m sad perversion isn’t in there :( I wanted to try it) the UDPP in the sqeeze tube (YES!), the supercurl mascara, and the liner (FINALLY, NOT ANOTHER ZERO!)

  42. I want this only because I like the packaging. The colours aren’t anywhere near as bright and fancy as I would expect from them. I think I’m going to have to pass as well, I know I won’t use it much and pretty packaging just can’t be my driving force behind this purchase:(

  43. Nicole

    Thanks for the review! I am a new(er) UD fan and have the Naked, 15th, Foreshadow, Show Pony, and Wallpaper palettes from UD but will probably pass on this one. I actually don’t mind the packaging and am fine with the technologically advanced idea of this, but the colors are pretty similar to ones in the Naked and 15th palettes.

    For me Midnight Rodeo has pretty bad fallout but not as bad as with Midnight Cowboy or Uzi, but it’s still enough to annoy the heck out of me as the base shade is so pretty and perfect for my eye color (blue). I wore it today and used primer, tapped my brush before applying to get as much glitter as possible off, patted it on instead of swiped, used a tissue under my eyes while applying and finally used tape under my eyes and STILL had glitter on my face!! I have no idea why UD makes their most wearable shades packed with glitter and it makes me sad I have to go through so much hassle to use it. Any ideas on how to avoid the glitter fallout that I haven’t already tried?

    Anyway, I am very intrigued by Hijack, Missionary and Bust so I’ll probably swatch it in the store to check it out. Shakedown is my very favorite UD shade so a shimmer version of that sounds lovely!

  44. KayPoshed

    I just received my BOS4 from Sephora last night, and I have to say that the online swatches of these colors do not do them any justice (and I am not directing this towards Christine in any way), I think that the colors just have some depth that does not come across in photos.
    The specific shades that have added depth are Crystal (has an almost teal micro shimmer to it), Gravity (has multi colored sparkle (not glitter)), and Hijack (has so much more depth of color than can be captured on a swatch, the color changes depending on what angle it is looked at).
    I also thought that Blue Bus was really pretty… yes, it is dryer and stiffer than typical UD shadows, but the color that you get when applied is still pretty. I almost think that this shade was meant to be sheer (it is described on Sephora as “periwinkle blue sheen”).
    Anyway, I am happy I decided to get this palette, and I really do think the colors are so much less “boring” in person :)

  45. mumtaza

    i collect UD. to the point where i have a sort of diagram going on which palettes and singles i already own. amusingly, before they came out with mariposa, this BOS (or might I say BS) and the 15th anniversary palette, i found myself ruling out newer palettes by simply crossing off the shades i already had from the shadow names in the palettes. usually a new palette would be left with one shadow i didn’t already own, like the FUN palette had Baked, i think, but I owned everything else and so on with the others.
    As a UD collector you can imagine how excited I was that this was coming out! I think the addition of the new liner formula, a mascara and a tube-format primer potion are super great! But these shadows are not there. Honestly if they were I prolly would’ve paid like $70 if I’d had to. The technology doesn’t turn me off, but seeing this as a collector’s item (don’t read that wrong: i will use the makeup.), i wonder how durable it is? does it run on batteries? are they easily replaced? or when it runs out of energy is it just an ugly anachronism? i enjoy collecting vintage compacts and palettes so i think about these things.
    At the end of the day, it’s ALL about the MAKEUP! I do actually feel a little sad about it, but I am not going to buy this. Thanks for the review Christine.

  46. hmm

    do you think it’s worth it for 30 or 40 dollars though???????