Anastasia Subculture Eyeshadow Palette Dupes with MAC, Makeup Geek, ColourPop, Make Up For Ever

There’s something afoot when it comes to Anastasia’s Subculture Palette.  The reviews range from “I don’t have any issues” to “worst palette” and unusable, and many of the people who are finding it unusable are by no means novices.  These reviews come from consumers, readers here, and influencers across platforms.  Mine fell somewhere in-between–it was workable with lighter pressure and using smaller brushes but I have swirled and swirled with the powderiness getting nowhere near the levels of those who have had extreme problems with theirs.

I was messaging with a YouTube friend, Leesha/xSparkage, because I saw how bad her palette was and couldn’t believe it.  She showed me a short video of her just tapping the shade Dawn a few times and it looked like the eyeshadow was disintegrating.  I used a similar brush, tapped a few times, and showed her the level of powderiness I had–a little in the pan but it wasn’t snowing peach.  She sent me a photo of her attempt to apply Axis on the outer lid/crease where it wouldn’t stick (it looked like 10% stayed on), and then I hurriedly applied Axis all over my lid using a fluffy brush and had a whole lid full of it.  She couldn’t believe it–she asked if it stayed on if/when I blended it, so I sent her a video of me furiously blending (far more vigorous than I’d ever normally do) and how it stayed there with no fallout.  We don’t review products the same way and sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t, but I don’t think she and I have ever had such different experience–and it’s so clear that the starting point (actual, physical eyeshadows) alone is night and day so it’s no wonder that experiences are just as opposite.

Perhaps more disappointing is the brand’s attitude of it just being user error due to a softer press.  That might feasibly explain some powderiness or fallout but when people have loved your eyeshadows previously, have worked with them before, and then all of a sudden can’t get it apply to the lid or touch their brush to a pan few times and the entire eyeshadow dissolves into dust, that’s not just a softer press. It doesn’t explain highly-skilled people who certainly know how to apply eyeshadow finding the palette unusable. As in my review, the formula itself has a completely different ingredient deck than past Anastasia mattes, and I’m sure there’s blame within the formula composition but what could explain the drastic differences in the physical composition, firmness, and quality of palettes to the degree that we’re seeing? It doesn’t make sense. As of around 9:30AM PST this morning, Norvina from Anastasia tweeted out that they are working on a response, and I’ll update if/when there’s more clarity on that. I also purchased two from Sephora this morning and have one from Beautylish on the way.

Updated @ 8/1/2017 at 4:00PM PST:  Regardless of whether the brand is ultimately going to press eyeshadows harder, reformulate, or whatever they might do, they are still selling through existing stock and certainly seem to have no plans to halt the launch until they’ve finished figuring it out.

Updated @ 8/5/2017 at 12:00PM PST:  I received and worked through testing the three other Subculture, and you’ll find my process, my thoughts, and the like on the original review post here. I do not expect to write about Subculture again unless the brand makes an official change/announcement that is newsworthy.

I went through some of the more mainstream brands who offer a wider range of permanent singles and lined them up the best I could (some are very similar, some are more “functionally” similar). You can also see the all dupes for Subculture here, along with a refined version of the results for dupes under $15 that are listed as permanent, which list actual dupes that I’ve pulled and compared from when I wrote the original review. These are, again, the closest shades within the brands and may not always be actual dupes.  For the official list of dupes (all shades that I pulled when I published the original review that are closest, regardless of brand, price, or availability), please click any of the links to see that shade’s full list:


Anastasia Subculture Dupes

MAC Eyeshadow

Below, you’ll find the closest MAC dupes I could find (permanent, pan refills) — any major differences noted below.  View swatches here.

Anastasia Subculture Dupes

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow

Below, you’ll find the closest Makeup Geek dupes I could find (permanent, pan refills) — any major differences noted below. View swatches here.

Anastasia Subculture Dupes

ColourPop Eyeshadow

Below, you’ll find the closest ColourPop dupes I could find (that were still available) — any major differences noted below. View swatches here.

Anastasia Subculture Dupes

Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow

Below, you’ll find the closest Make Up For Ever dupes I could find (permanent, pan refills) — any major differences noted below. View swatches here.


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Gunjeet Avatar

I think your comment about it being an average palette with extremely high expectations hit the nail on the head, Christine.

I think the powderiness should definitely be dealt with, and they are! They’re taking their time to investigate the issue, I suppose.

I guess it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver. Here’s hoping that they can turnaround the whole mess it’s slowly descending into!

Christine Avatar

I don’t mind if they want to take their time, but I also think that the issues seem widespread and extreme enough that something more reactive (and less defensive) would have been better — “This is not the experience we want you to have. We are looking into this immediately and as soon as we figure out what’s going on, we’ll have a response!”

Cory Avatar

Yas! I’m so disappointed in Norvina’s initial response. The response you just proposed is a standard industry response but they could have made it their own if that was a concern.

I also ordered one from Sephora (idk Beautylish had it, I didn’t receive an email from them about it, just Wayne Goss brushes & Bumble & Bumble) bc I really just want to see what’s up. Apparently I’m getting a palette from a batch #7? Idk what that means.

I do know that this is the first eyeshadow palette they’ve put out in a while that wasn’t made in China, & the formula is different, so maybe they can be taken into account? Idk… Def sad…

Christine Avatar

All that really needed to be done was to issue a “We are looking into it, and as soon as we can figure out what’s going on, we will figure out what needs to happen. We will keep you posted!”

From a few people I know, some who have chosen to manufacture in China vs. US in particular, “Made in USA” can be misleading since the eyeshadow can be manufactured here but utilize all the same ingredients it would if it was made in China (and that China seems to have about every ingredient one could want).

Christine Avatar

There you go 🙂 I think that only a few shades are really key for replicating the effect of the palette, especially if you already have some neutrals (like Fudge/Adorn seem common enough across palettes and products that many likely have close-enough shades).

Cory Avatar

I’m in love w/Roxy! The closest shade I’ve seen to it seems to be Clementine from Pastel Goth. There’s no color out there quite like it..

Vera Avatar

Awww man :(. I was really looking forward to Subculture. I love the color scheme! Thank you for being so thorough with your review and the blending issues with the palette. I might just put together a couple MUFE shadows instead!

Ester Avatar

Wow! Thank you so much for doing this. I was so excited for the Subculture palette but (thankfully) waited for reviews to come out before seeing if I wanted to purchase. I was also going to wait until it came out at Sephora to get points on my purchase. I am on a no-buy/makeup use up but knew I was going to make an exception for this palette, until I saw/heard the reviews. With all of the (true) hype regarding the ABH MR palette, you’d think they would have stuck to the same formula for the shadows, but that obviously isn’t the case (both in ingredients listed and performance of shadows). I’m glad to have saved money on this palette, but am sad it turned out so poorly for so many people who were excited for it. I loved the interesting range of colors, but now have a great dupes list to refer to. Thanks!

Chris Avatar

Same here.. I was so sure I was going to get this fall themed palette with its gorgeous colours, and given past experience with the brand’s eyeshadows including singles and Modern renaissance, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

Glad I waited.

Hope they can fix the issue. I might buy if I really can trust I’ll get a palette of the expected quality.

Julia Avatar

Wow, I’ve never been so interested to hear about a palette I have no desire to own- this is absolutely fascinating! Good on you for buying a more units from multiple outlets to compare quality level. So curious to see what ABH comes up with an a response to the uproar, what a mess.

KatyCT Avatar

LOL. I was thinking the exact same thing. I wasn’t going to buy it and for once I haven’t spent money on a product that seems to have issues.

Anne Avatar

Julia, me too! I’d never buy it, but this sure is incredibly interesting. Was it made in China? If so, where? What plant? Had in been a reliable plant in the past? Or was it a new location? And where in the world was the ABH QC? (Was it tested in China? If not, why not?) This sure seems like a manufacturing defect (how it was made in China — cheaper products? method of combining products? etc.) instead of a design defect (ABH formula problem). But who knows? Anyway, it’s fascinating. It sounds like ABH should just bite the bullet and recall it. This is terrible publicity for the company as described by Christine. People won’t tolerate all that excessive powder. No way. Soft pack — please!

lee Avatar

I hate this cop-out some brand representatives do with blaming their customers for a poor product experience or excusing clear quality issues as flukes or even ignoring that it even exists then immediately defending themselves “as just one person trying to make it”.

I thought of ABH as a professional brand in so many ways but this made me realize I don’t really know enough about it to make that conclusion, I hope they’re able to clear this up or at least address it in a way that doesn’t skip over rightful issues or push blame onto the people supporting their brand!

Seraphine Avatar

I am interested in seeing how/if this will be resolved. Hopefully, they’ll figure out what went wrong, fix it, and replace the defective palettes that people already bought (wishful thinking?). It’s weird that a palette that comes from the same company that made MR could go so terribly wrong.

Christine Avatar

Hi Maria,

If you read the paragraph above about the dupes, I picked the closest shades offered by the brand permanently – they are not always exact dupes but the closest similar within that brand’s range. For actual dupes, I provided the links to the Dupe List, as I already pulled dupes as I normally do above.

“I went through some of the more mainstream brands who offer a wider range of permanent singles and lined them up the best I could (some are very similar, some are more “functionally” similar).”

For example, here are actual dupes for Cube based on any and every shade available:

Maria Avatar

Thanks for the response Christine! I apologize I jumped way ahead before reading the entirety of the post. You replied so fast I felt bad I was actually mid-review. I was unaware of the other controversies. I bought it on launch day and have enjoyed the mattes so far, but really annoyed with Cube and Electric. They are super sensitive to emollients and glaze over super quick. Again, sorry for jumping the gun! Will make sure to read everything first before going gusto! Thanks for all your wonderful blogging. My favorite site. <3

Christine Avatar

I already pull dupes every single review, and I already feature a list of dupes each week! This is was designed to be a partial update due to substantial issues with Subculture from across the community along with trying to provide some alternatives from accessible brands so it had a little more usefulness to it.

Mariella Avatar

I check out your Dupes more often than I check the weather! I just have never seen you lay out possible dupes to whole palettes before today. I guess this is a reaction to the awfulness of the Anastasia palette. What you wrote about the inconsistent quality is alarming and the other day, when you commented on your own challenges with getting these shadows to blend and work, I commented then that if you were struggling, there was little hope for most of the rest of us (and you appear to have got a better palette than xSparkage did.

Mariella Avatar

Okay – Just read all of your post, Christine and it is so illuminating. Interesting that the company is “working on a response”. Hopefully, it’s not another phrase for “doing nothing” or “blaming users” and they might actually issue an abject and genuine apology and take these back at their own expense, replacing them with better quality palettes if purchasers want them. I fear, however (skeptic that I am) that “working on a response” is just a euphemism for “hiding behind a big cactus until the furor dies down”.

Christine Avatar

Big cactus you say? Is that a turn of phrase that you’ve heard before or did you come up with it just now? It made me giggle either way, LOL!

It sounds like they will press the product harder going forward but I’m more concerned and interested in what they’re doing now, today, about all the palettes sold to date AND why there is powderiness and then disintegration.

Mariella Avatar

Glad to have made you chuckle, Christine. And – yup – that’s all my own (pretty good for a Janie Canuck from The Great White North, where cacti don’t grow naturally). And, yes, it will interesting to see if they act with integrity regard all those who have already purchased sub-standard palettes.

Megan H Avatar

Thank you for your comments on this palette Christine. I had considered getting it but I knew I probably had some dupes and seeing this post confirmed it. Also the reviews are so mixed so I definitely don’t need this palette and I won’t be talking myself into buying it either.

Nancy T Avatar

We’re it not for your in-depth review in addition to your teaming up with Leesha/ xSparkage in order to compare your very different experiences with this exasperating palette, I seriously doubt that Norvina would have now felt compelled to get real about this palette ‘s extreme inconsistencies and, at times, utter and complete failings. Sorry for my uber long running sentence, but I’m just as passionate as you are about not only how terribly this palette varied and/or failed, but Norvina and co. behaving as if nothing is wrong with the palette, and then attempting some bizarre “gaslighting” of those who’ve shown up this palette’s failings! Stuff like that makes my blood boil!

fuji Avatar

I now truly understand what it means to have a community for beauty lovers. It’s more than just sharing fun info and reviews, but it’s also about standing up for ourselves when things like this happen. Not that I’m mad at the brand or anything, I’m actually seeing this as a serious (maybe also expensive) pushback and great chance to look back at the brand’s R&D process. Also great chance to see if and how the brand’s gonna handle this.
Thank you Christine, for putting out research, exchanging notes with other influencers, and writing a very fair report of the experience.

A Avatar

Stories like this are the reason why I have begun to stick with buying from permanent lines and why I have begun to really consider my beauty purchases. I speak for myself only, but I want better, not more. When I keep seeing issues of big brands (ABH, Becca, MAC) selling lackluster or poor-quality LE products, it’s really disheartening. Any company that has made it so big has the ability to create truly stellar products, but they choose to use quicker and cheaper production methods for LE collection after LE collection. Gone are the days where I used to stay up late for LE releases. The beauty market is so saturated these days, anyways, that I know I’ll most likely be able to find a dupe for anything I really want.

Nichole Avatar

Nice of you to post this.

This palette was sold out when I went to purchase it last Thursday. Man I’m glad I missed out on this one! What a train wreck.

It’s sad because it’s tarnishing the reputation of the brand, which had been pretty good in my opinion. I loved their eye shadow singles.

Mags Avatar

Christine, thank you so much for collecting all of this information! Not only have I dodged a bullet in picking up this palette (at least in its inconsistent state), but now I can single out the few shades that I wanted in these dupes. Your hard work is much appreciated!

Melissa Avatar

You are the absolute best. My Subculture palette is due to arrive today. The reviews have been all over the place. I agree attributing it to just user inexperience or user error is wrong and ignores the fact that very experienced makeup artists are having problems. I hope that my palette isn’t one that is really bad. We’ll see! I want to return it and make my own similar palette with Makeup Geek shadows.

Melissa Avatar

Okay, I just used the Subculture palette. I refuse to believe that is what ABH intended with this palette.

The kickback is just silly. My desk is covered in blue powder and I barely used the blue colors. The shimmer/metallic colors are really soft. You can push them and make a dent really easily. I noticed this when I used a firm brush in the shade Electric. The shimmers don’t work over the mattes, you must either carve out an area with concealer or put the shimmer on first. If the matte colors touch the concealer, they’ll darken. The yellow shade Edge applies much darker than in the pan. My take, the matte colors are TOO pigmented and too soft. Cube is nowhere near as pigmented as shown on the ABH website. Electric and Adorn are nice when applied with a wet brush. I have huge dents in the palette after swatching and using it one time.

As far as blending goes, on my arm I saw problems with blending All Star and Rowdy. I didn’t use those shades on my lid today as I need to go out in the world. I used Dawn and Roxy in my crease with no problems (other than a stupid amount of kickback with Roxy). I applied Electric on the center of my lid with a dampened brush. It was still hard to get good color payoff. I used Edge on my inner corner and New Wave on my outer corner but they both darkened. I used Axis on my lower lash line. That said, they didn’t look patchy at least. So there’s that.

Bottom line, I do not think this palette is worthy of ABH. I don’t think it’s worth the mess and hassle. This definitely seems like an error in manufacturing.

Lee Avatar

I’m right there with you on the insatiable curiosity, I don’t think I’ve ever watched/ read so many reviews for one product, and I haven’t even purchased it, although I very nearly did the day it launched.

I think its the fact that the quality is so inconsistent, at the start of every review I’m wondering if they received a ‘good one’ or a ‘bad one’.

Thank you for your amazing in depth review as always.

Joan Avatar

Soo I have been playing with it for an hour or so and I think I have an okay one. I watched so many reviews and performed so many weird tests that many reviewers used to point to poor quality (ones shopper Mandy and raw beauty Kristi did specifically). I used it a bit on my eye and think it will be what I want. Though I am interested in seeing/ finding any tips I can to help me in the future. ?

Christine Avatar

Yeah, I saw Kristi’s video, and I typically watch her videos as I am a fan. I repeated what she with Fudge (though I used Fudge single, not from the same palette she did, against the Fudge in Subculture), and I wasn’t seeing or getting the darker ring/circle. It is odd but some people’s issues is the color blends away and leaves an area of less or no product – when it came to blending, it was more that the edge wouldn’t diffuse and it was just solid where I had put it (especially the first failed look was too much, too fast!).

Joan Avatar

Yep, I took each matte shade and blended in a circle on my arm and did not have the patchiness she had. Shopper mandy layered the duo chromes over the mattes on her arm and it pushed the matte aside. So I tried that on my arm and my eye and didn’t have a problem. I haven’t compared my other fudge (from self-made), but I probably will. Either way I think I have a similar quality to what Samantha Ravndahl does. Definitely going to try some of her looks when I get to use it on my eye for real (curse my palette rotating schedule).

MissJae1908 Avatar

Thank you sooo much for this post! I love that fact that you followed up and are so thorough with your reviews. The dupes were a great touch.

Daniel Avatar

Thanks for this post! I was actually making my own “Dupeculture” palette after your review, and this dupe lists help me very much. Also, your review helped me realise I have many of the eyeshadows in the palette, so buying all the dupes for the colours I don’t have will even be cheaper in the end.

Also, your AMA was wonderful, thanks!

kjh Avatar

Wow. Just wow. Typed woe. Maybe I meant that. Whatta SM gaffe to blame the user! Although I, too, felt I didn’t have the skill level to make this work. Maybe it’s not me! Leesha getting an even worse palette is remarkable. I think it’s likely a combo of change in formula and mfg issues. Spectacular fails like this are usually multifactorial. You did a muted post a few years ago, which generated a wishlist with many of the mufe dupes here. Tres cher to amass those… Certainly hope this does not become the standard formula/factories for this brand. The future would be quite dim for abh. This furor is certainly eclipsing how abysmal the liquid highlighters are! As I said before, these guys flew too close to the sun. The comments are very insightful. This one will play out for a long time, and I see abh as the loser. You would think they’d be more savvy, own up, and take the hit. As currently played, just coming off as dishonest. As usual, we can depend on you to dig us out of a hole.

Christine Avatar

It seems like Subculture is just a lose-lose-lose situation – the only “winners” are some of who seem to like their palettes (and it does seem to be the minority – equally possible that there’s a more vocal minority but hard to know unless you’re the brand) and maybe the brand, if they can weather the storm and pull in the money.

Katherine T. Avatar

I highly recommend checking out the Jeffree Star Androgyny palette —that one has 6-8 shades that are similar, the quality is 10x better, shimmers are awesome, and the mattes are top notch, right up there with the best from KVD MetalMatte, and I’m very picky about shadows, because they have to hold up on my super oily lids. Christine, thanks for going above and beyond to give people alternates for SubPar. ABH’s explanation about user error doesn’t fly with me, but not surprising, as I’ve heard horrible things about their customer service. About 6 months ago, I returned about $20 worth of dud singles to ABH, never heard back from them, so will never buy from them directly again. And I’m sure they will be flooded with complaints and requests for returns of SubPar. If you want to buy, recommend buying from other retailers that you can easily return to in case you get a dud batch

kjh Avatar

I thought about the MUG dupes, but when I returned some that they duped accidentally, unopened, they never responded either. Much as one likes a product, no response when you send something back and follow up with emails is not acceptable. I lost far less money than they did by losing me as a customer. Eff ’em. In your case, would not buy abh at all from anywhere. Clearly the vast success in SM, the public, and imitators makes MR one of the most influential palettes in a decade. I think most of us agree it went to their head.

Indya Avatar

I just ordered mine today and it should be here soon with that 2 day free flash shipping for rouge! This post is a good reason to have eyeshadow singles laying about. The only singles I own are from ColourPop and I only have one of the ones you mentioned. Fingers crossed that mine is one of the workable palettes!

Ariane Avatar

I’m so angry at myself for ordening this palette on release date before Reading your review. I had problems with this palette, mostly that they oxidize (all star turned almost black when blending with other colors ) and dont blend like axis and destiny, untamed. When I used electric with a wet brush iT moved on my lid and got sticky. I have made 6 looks and they all were very ugly and I consider myself rather good at make-up. On instagram Anastasia explained how to use them and I have tried to do The same but No. The nummer is I live in The Netherlands and have to pay at least 10 euro to return it. I hope that Anastasia comed with a solution for returning.

Ariane Avatar

I’m trying to sell the palette on the Dutch Ebay because of the returning fee and since it’s very exclusive in the Netherlands I may be lucky.
If I don’t sell it I will return it because I know myself. I will never use it again and it’s money thrown away

Ariane Avatar

thank you and yes you can see it in the vids. Yesterday I watched Jeffree Star (and I don’t like him but was very curious about his view) and with him happened the same. Especially when you try to use concealer to make a cut crease, on the borders All Star becomes almost black.

Christina Avatar

This is reminding me of the Kat Von D Shade + Light Blush Duos which everyone was excited about but that had so many awful issues from packaging to product that they actually pulled the entire release off stores shelves!

Christina Avatar

Totally agree. KVD doesn’t mess around! Do really wish she would release new and improved blushes though! I would buy them all. ?

Miska Avatar

I think, before I stumbled upon this site, I never thought about how many dupes I may have had on hand already in my stash. Truthfully it amazed me. It’s so disappointing when a makeup brands response is something akin to “user error”. There are just way too many people having issues. Us customers are the ones that keep them in business and they should value our feedback. Too much competition out there for a company to respond that way. That was a bit of a rant i’ll admit but ABH is letting it’s customers down. Especially considering Mod Ren is such a great palette. I am anxiously awaiting to read what the ABH response will be.

Sasha Avatar

Yay for dupes! I only wanted just a few shades from the subculture palette and these dupes are going to save my life and some money for me! You’re a rock star, Christine!

Christine Avatar

No problem! If you’re just trying to dupe a couple of shades, make sure to check out the full, “official” dupe lists since those will list the closest shades regardless of brand. I wanted to put together the whole “palette” from a few brands, particular MAC/ColourPop/MUG as people likely have a couple and then adding several wouldn’t break the bank.

Susan Avatar

This whole fiasco is shaping up to be a PR disaster of epic proportions for ABH. I was going to buy it in-store at Ulta as soon as they got it but will now wait to see how everything falls out. Ha ha, falls out. I kill me.

I may try to make as close of a dupe palette as I can from some Coastal Scents Hot Pots (cheep cheep) and some Nyx singles I have. I already know, though, that CS doesn’t have a dark teal or a dark plum.

Thank you so much for this post and also your review, Christine!

Nicole Avatar

This is wonderful!! This palette was a miss for me right as soon as I saw the leaked images. There’s just too many shades I wouldn’t wear, but a few are nice so having a full list of dupes for the entire thing is great.

Would you consider doing this for other palettes? Such as the Morpe Jacklyn Hill?

Christine Avatar

If there are only a handful of shades, you might find even closer dupes on the actual dupe lists since these are closest shades from specific brands vs. closest period! I didn’t want to make the list of dupes for the palette $250, lol, so I went after MAC/MUG/ColourPop to make it more comparable (but buying singles, even at $4 or $6 and 14 of them will not be cheap).

You can view dupes by palette already in the Dupe List – just type in Jaclyn Hill and all the dupes will show up!

Nicole Avatar

Yeah, that would be a bit pricey! There are definitely some dupes in the JH palette, and I’m not a huge fan of blue, so I’d end up depotting it and giving the dupes away.

I love MUG! She makes great stuff. Another indy brand that I found on Etsy is FeatherRiver Body. She has some very unique shades and one I bought is an exact (seriously exact) dupe for Mac Arena.

Do you have a way to submit dupes we find, maybe things that you haven’t reviewed?

Christine Avatar

You can absolutely submit dupes. If you go to the navigation for Dupe List, there is “submit a dupe.”

We do have to have the two products in the database, so if it’s a random indie brand we don’t have, then we’d have to add the product first so it’s a little more complicated. Probably one of the things we’ll work on next is making it easier for users to add products themselves, and then we can add/fill in/approve the addition on the backend.

kjh Avatar

Checked out a couple of videos…jeffree, Alissa Ashley, raw beauty kristi. Clearly, there is a massive blending problem. The shadow seems to move away from the initial placement, leaving that deposit barish, and creates a very demarcated line of darker shadow…that s.t. has little resemblance to the original placed shade, away from the center of placement. Lots of weird dark lines. See js’s crease. Alissa apparently was the one who was called out by abh. She posted on multiple SMs dipping into the lower left shade and hitting pan after about 5 dips. Then she swirled the brush…and it all fell out like a waterfall. Unreal. Alissa clearly knows her ^%~+. It’s all fairly amusing….IF you were not the victim. These vids are being posted by abh fans, mAny of whom claim not to have watched another review. A few things are clear. Blending is a bitch. Most are confused by why this palette is so execrable. It goes from passable but difficult, to drop dead unacceptable.

kjh Avatar

Which says either different brushes or batch differences in your pans. Jeffree had weird lines, darkening, and bald spots. You are so right about dupes of dupes of dupes. It won’t take that many to have this one down, even disregarding my beloved mufe. I think this bomb is why team captain is OOS! Wasn’t, before this palette hit… The most interesting aspect of this is how abh will handle it. Obviously, not too well so far! It should be grace, not blame.

Sherri Avatar

I am not loving my Subculture palette. I am a huge fan of ABH MR. My All Star and Fudge both had terrible blendability. Untamed goes on WAY darker than it looks in the pan. I understand that there are some eyeshadows that really are for the hardcore makeup addicts (that’s how I think of Huda Beauty Rose Gold–not for everyone, but I love it). I’m really disappointed in this one. I feel like I wasted my money.

Sherri Avatar

I threw my packaging away, because I would have never expected anything like this from this reputable brand. I tried again today, using a softer hand and tapping excess off the brush, and both shadows I applied were patchy and unblendable. Truly a horrible palette.

Sherri Avatar

You are such a sweetheart, even in difficult situations. I actually submitted a request via the website, and they sent me an email to call the 800 number. I called and ABH is sending a prepaid return label to my email. The company handled it in a very professional manner, and the CS rep was very polite and efficient. So for me, ABH won’t lose my business though I may be less likely to be the early buyer that I usually am.

Sherri Avatar

Christine, I just want to compliment you on your honesty, integrity, and positive energy. You really provide such a service to makeup lovers, and you do so with grace and kindness. Thank you.

Karen Johnston Avatar

Christine, this was such an interesting and helpful post. I had no plans to purchase this (and still don’t) but now I am looking forward to swatching it in person and hearing how the drama plays out.
Also, such a fantastic job you did in coming up with three palettes worth of dupes!
Thank you!!

Nicole Avatar

First, I love your dupes! They are so helpful! I purchased a few MUG shadows yesterday to start duping the shadows I really wanted from this palette.
Second, I was looking at the MAC dupe list and you accidentally flipped the MAC dupes for Adorn and All Star (should be Bronze then I’m Into It instead of the current order). I only noticed because I was planning on swatching MAC I’m Into It later this week because I don’t have anything like it.

Christina Avatar

What would be the top three craziest palette controversies ever? The Sweet Peach palette release has got to be up there. The Jacyln Hill Becca eyeshadow palette? I feel like I am forgetting one. This one really puts the others into perspective though, wow! Never have we seen such a poor inconsistent palette before. The higher the expectations the harder the fall I guess. I still love ABH and I’m sure in the end it will all work out. I hope so because I love makeup but all the drama lately not so much.

Christina Avatar

Totally you are right. Like the MAC Simpsons or Rocky Horror releases I am sure left lots of people upset they didn’t get their hands on them. Or the Alluring Aquatics collection. I missed them all.
Yes I do stand corrected this is a horse of a completely different color!! 🙂

Kelly Avatar

Thank you for this! I got my palette day before yesterday and after reading your review (and others) I didn’t even unpack it – just got it ready to return. Last night the curiosity was killing me so I got it out and started playing. I haven’t tried every shade but here’s my experience so far – Roxy (the WORST!), Dawn and New Wave disintegrated upon the LIGHTEST touch; Electric went hard upon the touch of a damp brush, Adorn, Rowdy and Axis performed well and Fudge was a splotchy mess. That being said, I got a decent look with A LOT of care and time. Way more time than I want to commit. Not to mention I’m not paying for half of the shadow to fall out of the pan upon the touch of a brush. So this and your other dupes are awesome because this is obviously not working out. Now I don’t know if I should return immediately or wait for them to come out with an official statement/resolution.

Christine Avatar

It sounds like a comparable experience to some of the worst ones I’ve seen from others! I just feel that a lot of us know the difference between a soft eyeshadow that is on the powdery side (like LORAC or ABH Modern Renaissance) and the actual product disintegrating.

Kelly Avatar

Yes, this is way different than the softness of MR (which I love). At least now I don’t feel so bad about getting the Lorac Sunset palettes. I’m more confident in their consistency. I can make a palette work – even if it’s just decent – but Subculture is craziness!!

Christina Avatar

Oh I’m jealous I wanted the three Lorac Sunset palettes so much but am trying hard to resist. I was utilizing the Dupes feature to just last week for those and was surprised how many dupes I have even among other Lorac palettes. But the packaging of them is so beautiful and I still want them even though I don’t need them. Anyway good for you! Enjoy ?
I love looking at dupes it’s addictive.

Genevieve Avatar

I would return it Kelly – just to let ABH know that they can’t get away with producing a sub par palette, which you have paid good money for and bought in good faith that it will be of excellent quality. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an official resolution…….

Camellia Avatar

I was curious about the Subculture palette when it was announced, but since I already have a ton of makeup to work through, I figured I’d wait and watch for reviews before making a decision. I have to say though, I respect and admire you so much for taking the time and effort to make this post! This and along with the review of the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette, along with all the work that goes into this site as a whole, are all such a testament to your work ethic and dedication. You’re amazing, Christine!

Nell Avatar

Thank you Christine! I will pass, but remain interested to see how this situation works out. You have done an amazing job with the review and swatches and testing.
In general, Eyeshadow Palettes cost too much to have any duds. I’m hoping change might occur across brands, so that Palettes will improve.
And…I’m still waiting on the perfect cool color palette.
Thanks again!

Megan Avatar

Wow Christine. Just wanted to add my voice to those here already– thank you so much for the work you do! I really appreciate your honesty about this product and the dupes you’ve listed are so wonderful. You’ve definitely saved me money. (Today is not the first time and I should’ve thanked you before! I’ve also found several all-time faves from your site.) Watching this unfold over the course of the day has been unreal. I would have thought ABH would have more sense than to blame the user– it’s really disappointing. I hope it was truly a bad batch and not the company getting greedy for higher margins. The whole thing leaves a bad taste, though, and makes me a bit…hesitant…about future releases from them. They have a good track record so far, so they get a mulligan? I’m not sure. If they had handled it with transparency at the outset, the whole thing would have gone so much better.

Christine Avatar

There is likely a combination of both – there is an obvious formula difference (nothing about it on feel made me instantly think, “Yeah, this cheaper and it’s going to suck!”) as there are plenty of talc-based eyeshadows that work fine or even well – but then there’s also an inconsistency in terms of just quality of the press or binding of the eyeshadows. Like it seems more than a formula change – there are tons of cheap formulas that are still good.

Kirsten Avatar

I thought ABH Cube looked a lot like Mac Vex, but Vex looks more pinkish on me than in your swatch. It’s funny because I never really considered getting this palette, but seeing all the dupes makes me want some of them. (Also I would use Mac Plumage as a dupe for ABH Untamed. Slightly different shades, but still available though.)

Genevieve Avatar

What a legend you are Christine – most likely makeup lovers will have dupes for a number of these shades and the ones they don’t have can buy the singles from any of the brands you have listed above.
It’s just too bad that ABH continues to sell the palette when it’s so shoddy.

Ginny Avatar

Excellent post, Christine. I think for most, there are maybe three key colors that really represent the theme of this palette that one might not already have in their stash. For me, I’m only missing the yellow really. Of course if the palette was a slam dunk that might be a different story of whether it’s “worth it”. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a beauty product that was so obviously a quality control dud (like Leesha’s experience) so the whole situation is quite curious to me. Did you personally reach out / voice complaints to Anastasia?

Christine Avatar

Yeah, I think some people, like yourself, will definitely have similar shades in your stash and if the scheme is up your alley, you can grab the one or two that are MIA – cheaper than the palette most likely!

I have no relationship with Anastasia, so there’s no one for me to contact other than CS, which I’m sure is hearing plenty and they’re not able to do much!

Kelly Avatar

It is so crazy how user experiences are so varied! I have the palette & I haven’t had any issues with it. After seeing Alyssa’s video of her palette turning into sand, I tried to be more aggressive with my brush and still didn’t get that much dust.

I’m not sure what is going on but blaming users isn’t the way to go!

Brenda Avatar

Wow Christine and thank you!!!!!! I watched Alissa Ashley yesterday was astounded at how terrible that palette was. It’s almost as terrible as their response to this disaster. To blame your customer and to take no responsibility for the failure on your part to deliver a quality product is a clear way to self inflect reputational damage. To not immediately pull it out of production and refund all customers who purchased it is unacceptable to me. They’ve lost my business as they’ve lost my trust as the consumer.

Cassie Avatar

Thanks for doing this!

I wanted to mention that the Weekend Warrior palette (which Burnout is a part of) is still available on ColourPop’s site, on clearance for $12.

Also, Two-Much is going to be discontinued but is still available right now.

Just wanted to throw that out there for anyone who might be interested in those shades!

Rebecca Avatar

You are absolutely the best–this palette is such a disaster, and I had such high hopes for it! I need to tweet this article ASAP. xox

bibi Avatar

“Perhaps more disappointing is the brand’s attitude of it just being user error due to a softer press.”

Well if the palette needed special techniques to use it properly then why wasn’t that information provided with the palette? Sounds like ABH’s error to me.

None of the other ABH palettes needed special techniques to apply so why would anyone think Subculture would?

I wonder if not only the formula but the manufacturer changed for the Subculture palette. The inconsistencies between palettes seem to point to a lack of standardization and quality control. Like they’ve switched to a manufacturer that doesn’t yet know how to make high quality pressed shadows.

Christine Avatar

It doesn’t take much to figure out, “Oh, this is a softer formula, okay, I’ll use a lighter touch” so I imagine if people continue to have issues (e.g. the powder disintegrating with a few taps or one swirl of a brush), there’s sooo much more going on than just a softer press.

Kate Avatar

These dupe lists are incredible! I just don’t understand why they changed their formula? The MR palette was a huge success and may be the most widely loved palette I can think of? Why mess with that?

She-ra Avatar

This post exemplifies why your site is so great…thoughtful, methodical, honest and fair. Temptalia is the most objective and scientific review site for make-up out there.

I personally am not into eyeshadow (gasp, I know…but sensitive eyes) so I have no horse in this race. All about lipstick and blush I am.

But this post embodies how thorough and diligent you are and thus how wonderful your blog is.

I came to Temptalia for the swatches, but I stay for the science! ? Keep up the great work.

Waymire Avatar

I had no plans to buy it.. I think it’s ugly, would be difficult to work with just based on the color choices, and I was really disappointed because I expected “a cool toned sister to the renaissance” which is what they promised.. and so NOT what this is. BUT omg.. PLEASE give us more fabulous dupe posts for major releases in the future! That was awesome and so very helpful.. not only if you want to buy a different brand for whatever reason but to keep you from buying dupes of what you may already own.

Ariane Avatar

Yesterday I watched a lot of youtubers reviews (I’m just to curious If I’m the only one with a bad palette!) and the thing that I noticed is that Anastasia has sent subculture, all the 30 lipsticks and liquid glows to very small youtubers and by that I mean sometimes people with only 2.000 subcribers. The big ones (like Laura Lee) had to buy it (she says I bought them). Almost all the small youtubers are very positive because I think they are so grateful and scared they will never get something free again from Anastasia.
Also the ones that are positive have only used the colors that performed rather well and not All Star that oxidizes and Untamed, Destiny, Axis that perform very bad and have a lot of fall out.
I watched yesterday Nikkia Joy and she was so positive. And now I know why. The positive reviews only used the light colors that in my opinion are decent but not fantastic. Or they use only 2 or 3 colors. If you use more colors in my experience your eyelook becomes very bad….That’s why I never trust youtubers. It’s a business and they do everything what is best for there business and are not complete honest to there viewers.

Christine Avatar

Hey Ariane,

I can’t speak for others but I personally used every shade, including all of the deeper ones multiple times, and I experienced different degrees of issues (and in some respects, the opposite problem – too much adhesion vs. not enough!) but none of what I experienced seemed to be as bad as what some of the worst experiences were. I also purchased my palette, and I have not received anything from Anastasia in years and have no professional or personal relationship with them.

I don’t typically give a lot of credibility to a few getting a dud, but in this instance, it seems like there is a lot more at work than merely disagreement between reviewers.

Ariane Avatar

I’m loving Reading all the comments! It’s almost a book LOL.
FYI Just recieved an mail from two big websites in the UK that they are selling the palette so I think that Anastasia isn’t going to solve anything and are going to sell all the palettes that are made. Not very clever of them.

Em Avatar

Christine, you saved the day. Thank you for the very honest review on the issues surrounding this palette and doing the footwork to offer as many possible dupes for those of us forgoing purchase until current issues are sorted. I also appreciated that you reached out to Leesha and that you were able to offer an insiders look into how major the differences between your two palettes were and just how surprising this was coming from the ABH brand and the following response from the company. This is why I still stop by here after years and years of following you.

Cathy Avatar

Thank you so much for this info, Christine. When I first saw images of Subculture, I felt like I would definitely buy it, but after reading your comprehensive review, I will obviously pass on it. I can’t imagine how much money you have collectively saved us (your subscribers)! Temptalia rocks ♥ ♥ ♥

Savannah Avatar

Even if the consumer is not doing it right, you don’t say “you’re doing it wrong, it’s your fault.” You say, “hey, here are some great tips so you get the most out of your palette!”

Emily Avatar

Christine, this is very interesting reading from just about every perspective, and I am beyond impressed by the work you have put in to this. I don’t identify with Anastasia in any huge way, have and like some of their products but none are on my top shelf (except for St Tropez lip gloss, oh how I love it). So I don’t feel personally insulted by their defensive, “your fault not ours” stance, but I see it as a sadly missed opportunity for them to grow customer/fan loyalty. Anyhow, more than I am disappointed in Anastasia, I am blown away by your professionalism and dedication to makeup lovers. A hearty round of applause from a reader in NJ who should really be working on other things!

Susan Avatar

If anyone is especially interested in a dupe of Cube, Pur Cosmetics has restocked its Trolls movie tie-in palette, and there’s a shimmery white/pale pink with lavender duo chrome shift in it called Satin & Chenille. So, not a single but the whole palette looks fun and is $29 on the PC web site. No affiliation, just surprised to see that one shade and read how much people like it!

The more I think about Subculture, the less interested I am. If the formula is bad, will pressing it harder really make a difference? I’m not spending $52 to find out.

Susan Avatar

Yes, oops, I meant $42. I was going to get Subculture instead of one of the new Lorac Sunset palettes, but now I think I’ll get Mountain Sunset.

liz Avatar

This is a great post, Christine. And it is a head scratcher given they had the most lauded palette for 2016 (Modern Renaissance) and promoted this as its sister. But I have to say, I’m not the slightest bit surprised. I remember very well a couple years ago when the Contour Kit first launched and folks were dying to get it. They were launching it and then after it sold out I think, re-stocking and there was a hot mess with the site crashing and all kinds of things going on that folks on social media were really aggravated. They were getting slammed with posts on IG and Twitter, and would finally post something and it would not address what was going on at all. If I recall it was Anastasia who actually at the end of the day posted like they were working on it and she was stressed about it. That stuck in my mind so I’m not the slightest bit surprised to see how blase they are now because they were then, too. Hope they fix it with the other formula. I cannot understand why they would use another formula or anything different after the success that MR was, although most things usually come down to money.

MoMerrell Avatar

I have ABH 1st palette and while I loved it, it had fall out like crazy so I use in with a soft hand. I got the Modern Renaissance palette and it was horrible on my skin tone! Nothing stayed or built to be richer and it was far more powdery than the first. I took it back and have now decided NOT to purchase anymore of ABH palettes because you can pull the wool over my eyes once or twice but not over and over again. It obvious through actual video that something went wrong with those palettes and its obvious that they don’t care. Bad customer service really irks my skin!

MoMerrell Avatar

Yea their very first palette. I still have it and use it and I like (not love) the formula. It’s still a lot of fall out but it’s not nearly as bad a the newer ones. MR was just a mess for me, not as bad as subculture has been for people but it wasn’t all the hype on my skin 🙁

Vika Avatar

I’m getting this palette because I have no shades like these in my collection. I adore those dark and vibrant mattes. There’s something very interesting in the color selection of this palette. They flow so nicely together. I just don’t bother buy a bunch of mac and makeup geek. Palette is way easier for me personally.

Vika Avatar

Hi Christine, I’m debating between the viseart warm matte and neutral matte. Which one do you recommend? I do own the yes please palette from CP (which is very similar to viseart WM) and the KVD shade and light (which is similar to NM). I’ve just heard so many hypes around Viseart and I really want to give it a try!

Bea Avatar

Thank you for this post Christine! I was incredibly excited for this palette but once the bad reviews started rolling in I decided to pass. Anastasia had became one of my favorite brands but the way they have handled this has been disappointing to say the least. I’m totally turned off by their response to this mess; which is completely unacceptable. I don’t know that they’re going to address this in any other way…as their artist Alyssa is actively saying there are no batch issues, it’s just different and those who are having issues don’t know how to use it. I don’t believe this as if that were true a disclaimer would have been issued beforehand, not to mention the obvious inconsistencies between palettes. Unfortunately they’re on the brink of losing a customer. To see how they’re ignoring those who have complaints but retweeting and reposting those who have praise. It’s a real shame.

TravelingBlush Avatar

“The reviews range from “I don’t have any issues” to “worst palette” and unusable, ….”

Isn’t that an issue with EVERY beauty product out there? You need only to read the reviews on Sephora, Ulta whatever, and there will be the one stars sprinkled around, in addition to the adoration. Temptalia will kvetch on a product and in the comment, someone almost always have the oppoaite experience. Nothing new here, and as often the case, the drama? Starts here, i find.

Christine Avatar

Every product will have a variety of reviews but more typically you will have only a few extreme outliers and may often be summarized as differences in expectations or preferences, not “hey, my product turned to dust but yours didn’t” – the experiences for this palette are nowhere near normal disagreements in opinions/experiences. This post is not starting drama (Subculture’s inconsistency has been the talk of the community since before I even posted my review, let alone this post), and I don’t think that looking out for consumers should ever be seen as “starting drama.” It addresses concerns about a product that many feel has, at the very least, issues with inconsistency in manufacturing/production. I don’t think that people reaching out to each other and asking more about their experiences is “starting drama.”

The brand has stated they are going to press the palettes harder. It’s more than a mere minority in opinion if within a couple of days of the launch, they are already looking to change something across all palettes. Norvina, from the brand, has more recently stated that they moved to automatic pressing with this palette for the first time, so again, there very well might be manufacturing issues that many felt were, at least, part of the problem. If the brand is taking it seriously, why would it not be equally important for me to take it seriously and make sure my readers are well-informed about the situation?

Catherine Avatar

I have never commented before, but felt compelled to in this instance. With all due respect, if anyone thinks that drama about Subculture started on this site, all you need to do is google for it and you’ll see tons of widespread conversation about this + you’ll see the date-stamps on it that clearly show it precedes this follow-up post on the palette. Christine also usually doesn’t do such an in-depth follow-up post on a product or go through the trouble of finding so many potential dupes for customers who loved the idea of the palette, but want better quality. She did this additional work for her readers, especially the ones who experienced the quality issues, I believe in part to temper their disappointment and give them options while the official response of the company is in limbo.

I’m also curious about the other cases of drama you believe started here (as implied in saying “as often the case”)?

I’ll agree with you for sure that there is variation across most/all products in how much people enjoyed them or not. But also like Christine said, the customer experience is not usually so extreme and varied in the basic quality of the product, and this is an extremely hyped and anticipated product – not just “oh it’s another release in a saturated market.” One person saying a Too Faced highlighter barely showed up on their face vs. another saying it was perfect isn’t at all the same as “omg, my eyeshadow from a consistently solid brand disintegrated after I touched it a few times???!!!” Christine has gone on record many times as wanting to focus her time on posts that her readers find valuable, and it’s clear to see that readers found this post extremely valuable. It’s not starting drama, it’s helping her readers understand the situation and give them information to make their own buying decisions. I’ll be honest, $42 isn’t a lot to me, but I’m fortunate in that respect. If money was an issue for me, I’d definitely be that much more grateful for this kind of trustworthy information.

The last thing I’ll say about drama starting here is that this site moderates comments, so the response content is inherently managed.

Thank you so much Christine for all you do for your readers who don’t pay to get this great information from you!

Tina Fahrspur Avatar

Oh Christine,

I truly love your work and all the effort you put into it.
One question though:
HOW do you manage finding all the dupes?
Do you depot them and sort them by color or do you use a computer program?
With all these shadows it is so easy to lose oversight.

Jenny Avatar

Nice one!
I have also created an Inglot kinda alternatives.Actually i changed some shades a little, like as how i would like the Subculture shades to look like… for instance I don’t like rowdy as it is and chose less black more plummy shade.And made Cube a more opaque satin with duochrome shift.The colours of This palette are just so inspiring and challenging
Btw…i was thinking…what if you temporarily swap your palette with someone who’s didn’t work just so you both can see if there really are different batches

Shawne Avatar

Hey Christine, thanks for this list! I was wondering if you knew of any Karity dupes for these shadows? If not, no worries, you’ve given us plenty of options!

99 problems and Subculture is one Avatar

Thanks for putting so much time and effort into this. There are also some great Inglot dupes (including two pigments that are dead on, but much better dupes for Cube and Electric), but this may have been enough of an undertaking already!