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.