Rant & Rave: Urban Decay

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Urban Decay

There are a lot of permanent products from Urban Decay that I really love (Vice Lipsticks and 24/7 Eyeliners are some of my go-tos, as far as I can have go-tos!). I’ve found that their seasonal/limited edition launches can be more hit or miss, and they can be repetitive, despite the brand not having THAT many launches per year (like why it is always the same cheek trio?).

— Christine

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I like their 24/7 eyeliners, and, in fact, I think a vault of them was my very first UD purchase! I wish they were self-sharpening, though as I feel like I waste product when I sharpen them–and so I have replaced most of them in my collection with Marc Jacobs highliners.
I think some of their website sales and freebies are great and I even have gifted some of their clever sloganed clothing merchandise.
Although I own a few really never fully appreciated any of their eyeshadow palettes. Some LE lipsticks– like Rebel– I still hold onto1

Oh, I love Marc Jacobs gel eyeliners more than anything. I forgot about them. It’s late here. I gave most of my vault to my daughter. I like the UD pencil sharpeners. Don’t know if they are truly better but they are in my little world.

P Jill – I feel that way about most pencil liners. I hate having to sharpen them because of the waste and, from time to time, outright breakage. Most of my favourite pencils are the one that need sharpening and I wish it were “otherwise”.

Urban Decay makes a lot of my go-to products, such as the 24/7 liners and the Primer Potion, and I’ve been using a UD foundation for the past few years (though that might change the next time I need to replace it). But I can’t remember the last time one of their new releases really excited me! (besides that Winterfell Snow 24/7 liner I never got my hands on, lol). It just seems like their stuff is not that innovative or interesting anymore. How many variations of Naked palette do we need? (Hint: I need 0. I don’t own any Nakeds).

Rave: So many solid permanent products! The e/s singles are almost always fantastic, love both their old Revolution formula lipsticks (and glosses, too) as well as their newer Vice formula, Afterglow blushes, highlighters and my HG bronzer Jawbone, 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils and Lip Pencils. Add to those, the perfect setting spray for ultra humid conditions or concert venues, All-Nighter! Oh, also, Born To Run palette is HG for me, too.

Rant: Drug and crime related names are a major turnoff. As are certain names glorifying these things. Their LE collections could be better in quality, and not so inconsistent from one collection to the next. Then there’s most of the Naked palettes; great quality, but shades are just so similar that in Heat, Cherry and Naked 1, everything muddies up and has less variation than desired for a 12 pan palette. Naked 2 doesn’t do that, thank goodness! Naked Honey appears more promising…hope I’m right about that!

I think they have better consistency than most of the brand peers, but I haven’t seen any exciting releases from them this year :/ although, they do usually have strong winter/holiday collections

Rave: I love the 24/7 Glide on pencils and their lipsticks. Both the Revolution and Vice lipsticks work great for me and there are a lot of great shades. Their “moonshadow’s” are lovely. The Born To Run palette was such a life saver on our trip to Europe. The setting sprays all work well although I am still partial to my MAC Fix +.

Rant: Packaging can be bulky and difficult to work with. I wish their single shadows either came in easier and less bulky packaging or that they offered a pan only option. I frequently hate the names of shades. The whole sex/druggie vibe is just not my thing. Doesn’t seem like they have released anything really “I must have” worthy in a long time.

I love a lot of Urban Decay stuff so rather than list my raves, I’ll just list my rants:
– drop the drug culture names, please; if it was ever chic or edgy, it no longer is
-why did you discontinue Naked, Naked Smoky and Naked 2??? was it just to anger me?
– make Lannister Gold pencil permanent. You’d have a real winner on your hands (even if you have to use a different name for it because of licensing issues)

Rave: The 24/7 liners are fantastic, as well as their single shadows and their original Naked palettes.

Rant: They changed their eyeshadow formula into one that I can’t tolerate — I’d love to be able to use Born to Run or the new Naked Reloaded, but unfortunately I can’t. The eyeliners used to offer every color under the sun, many not available from other companies, but they seem to be cutting back on their color options. Also, discontinuing Naked 1 and now Naked 2 is just ridiculous — these were cornerstone palettes for a lot of people.

Rants: None, really, but that might be partially because, even though I’ve been inspired by UD’s outside-the-boxness in the past, I’ve owned very few UD products over the course of my makeup-wearing life. I currently have the Spectrum palette, some eyeliners, the anti-aging eye primer potion, three or four lipsticks, aaaaand … that’s it, I think. I have owned other products which I never went back to, like the All Nighter spray (no matter how little I put on, it made my face feel, dry, tight, and left it looking shiny, like I had shellaced myself), the All Nighter foundation (which didn’t work as well for the texture of my skin as I needed it to), one of the mascaras (flaked and smudged), and both their loose and pressed powder (don’t remember any issues, just didn’t go back to them). I’ve never purchased any eye singles, highlighters, or blushes, though I’ve been plenty tempted.

Raves: IMO, they’re the main reason we now have something that can only be called “alternative mainstream” makeup. There were always going to be indie companies that would do their own thing — push boundaries (or ignore them) — but UD is the reason you can walk into Rite Aid and buy a blue lipstick from Revlon. I think they lost their edge somewhere in the process of being purchased over and over again, and now they’re … well, I don’t know what they are anymore, but I appreciate them the way many (including myself) admire MAC for what they once were, and what they mean to the history of makeup. Bless UD — they brought out the punk soul in a lot of people who didn’t even know they had it in them.

UD’s “Does pink make you puke?” campaign in… what, 1996?… was my introduction to loving makeup. That and Revlon Streetwear were mainstays of my early years.

I also don’t recognize the current UD, but I maintain a fondness for them out of nostalgia.

I love all of the colors they come out with for the 24/7 Liners. They’re so smooth and fun.

They also give up and put products on sale too fast, imo. It’s a vicious cycle now. People don’t buy because they’re not on sale immediately so they put them on sale immediately.

They were my intro to intensely pigmented and metallic eyeshadows, via heavily discounted palettes at Nordstrom Rack. So lots of fondness.
But the 24/7 liners have been a let down, despite the (once?) great color range. Too soft to keep their point after sharpening. So not as much control over the line as I want, and too much product waste from all the sharpening.

Rave: Cruelty free and their 24/7 liners work really well. Love their naked palettes.
Rant: I’ve never cared for the smut and drug references. Edgy and alterna doesn’t have to mean vapid or trashy or seedy or glorify addiction-culture. I’ve never really cared for their aesthetic in general.

Rave: Their eyeshadow palettes of the past were stunning and the brand introduced a whole new way of looking at neutrals, their lippies and foundations I haven’t tried, but I think they are good.

Rant: In the recent past some of their offerings have been quite disappointing and the brand still has questionable names for their products.

I really like the vice lipsticks and their eyeshadow formula (when it’s good). I find the eyeshadow reliable on my eyelids: with primer, I can count on 12 hour wear and so far only viseart can match that.

Rave: I love their eyeliners, it’s one of the few I’ve tried that doesn’t burn or melt off completely from my oily lids.

Rant: Like the others here, I feel like I waste a lot of eyeliner when sharpening them. I am not a fan of their primer potion. It burns when I put it on!

The lipsticks are nice, but so are a lot of other brands. The eyeshadows are overrated….they just don’t last on me no matter what kind of primer I use. And like others have said, the drug and crime related names are a real turn-off. Not one of my favorite brands.

UD had ridden the Naked horse well into the ground, to the point that any new Naked product doesn’t get much of a reaction out of me. Plus their latest attempts to be edgy with the shade names are instead juvenile and a turn-off. I’m already saying a hard Pass to Naked Honey and it hasn’t even come out yet!

The brand has become overrated.

I’ve owned a few products – a mini nakeds palette, a travel palette, the moondust palette, some nail polish, a few eyeliners, mascara.

The mascara packaging peeled off the product. Nothing like finding chunks of black plastic on your hand. Haven’t been impressed with all the new naked palettes – the oranges didn’t interest me and neither did the pinks/reds. The new yellow one is wait and see. I’d prefer some cooler colours.

Some of the quality hasn’t been there lately and some of the product names are a bit of a turnoff. I didn’t like the travel palette I bought. It was a good idea at the time, but overall it was heavy and the inside products were a bit inconsistent.

– Amazing eye products such as their 24/7 eyeliners (all day wear and they sharpen well), eye primer and eyeshadows, in tons of shades. The Naked series of palettes is amazing as well, although I personally liked only the color selection in the Naked Smoky eyes; but they are great quality and each person has her/his own color preferences. Plus, I still got the eye brush from the Naked Smoky palette, it’s like 5 years old and performing amazing!

– I wish their single shadow system was more flexible and simple, like the one MAC has.
– The line of eye brow products they release was sub-par in quality, from my point of view. They added tons of products, but the colors weren’t quite natural and the performance was lacking.

I don’t have either a rant or a rave – I have maybe a dozen UD or so products of various types (e/s palettes, lipsticks, highlighters, UDPP, eye liners, etc) and I don’t typically reach for any of them. They perform adequately is about the best thing I can say about them and I have strong preferences for other brands products over what I do have, so I am sadly ambivalent about the whole brand.

I suspect it will go on my mental DO NOT BUY list the same way MAC did several years ago. Nothing horrible happened, I wasn’t shocked or offended by anything, I just decided not to waste my money on stuff that didn’t provide me with any real enjoyment.

I love UD within the products I use. This inclues All nighter spray, many lippies, 24-7 liners and most eyeshadows. I like the primers spray in the green bottle ( of course I can’t recall the name) but us it as an adjunct to a regular primer.
I haven’t had great success with th es primers and don’t use other products.

UD makes some of my fav products!


*Vice lipsticks (fav shades: Bun Bun and Backtalk)- nice variety of shades and so unbelievably comfortable on the lips!

*24/7 eye liners (favs: Perversion and Rockstar) – great color selection, super creamy, doesn’t drag and also stays put. Perversion is the best black pencil liner I have ever used and Rockstar is a nice sparkly aubergine, which I have repurchased at least 3 times!

*primer potion-makes my eyeshadow last from dusk til dawn. I try other primers every once in a while, but always go back to PP.

*24/7 lip liners (favs: Rush and Obsessed) – I don’t like dry formulas, which tend to drag on my lips. The UD liners are creamy and so easy to apply. Despite their creaminess, they stay put. The color selection is also nice.

*All Nighter Setting Spray- prolongs my makeup. Expensive, but actually works!

*Brow Beater Micro pencil-precise, pigmented and natural. Deserves way more hype!

*Perversion Fine Point Eye Pen – this is my HG liquid liner, which I continue to RP. Water proof, super black, opaque and lasts on my watery eyes for the whole day. I wish they’d make more colors in this formula.

*Naked Shapeshifter contour palette-the formula is so good! The powders are so finely milled and the cream products apply like a dream. I also love the fact that the creams and powders are property separated from eachother.


*Naked Skin Concealer-just did not work for me… Made my under eyes crepey, dried them out and clinged on to every single line I had. Also the lasting power was pretty meh.

*Naked Skin Foundation-clung to every single dry patch… Very finicky to use. I am in general not a fan of thin liquid formulas.

*Beached Bronzer-hard to blend, patchy…

Rave: I have a soft spot for UD because they inspired me to get back into makeup after a few years of not being interested. Best of all, they have always been cruelty-free.

Rant: I hate that they are not independently owned any more which makes me think that this has something to do with quality issues. I also hate the dumb names but there are several brands guilty of the same.

UD was the first makeup brand I fell in love with. I used to stalk their website, I got their print catalog. I knew all the product names. I couldn’t AFFORD any of it (God, I wish it still cost $9 a pop), but I was obsessed. So what I love about them is largely the sentimentality of the mid-to-late 90s when I was just starting to develop my own style.
And the Basquiat collab. When that dropped it was like they’d read my diary.

My rant is the brand’s color story. Their lack of green has always bothered me for some reason. Eight hundred metallic or glittery purples, a thousand dark browns, and yet Mildew is still the only yellow-based green. And their colors in general just skew too dark for me most of the time- I can only ever wear the lightest two shades in their Naked and Vice palettes.

RANTS: UD used to be one of my favorite brands. I still like it, but I think creativity and quality has gone down since they were bought by L’oreal. Packaging has become cheaper and less creative over the years. They are no longer *the* edgy line, and I don’t think they ever will be again, which makes me sad. The Naked line has been run into the ground, and they need to move on without necessarily discontinuing it all, but just not adding to it. I HATE that they discontinued the Naked Basics Palette. They don’t offer pro pans of their eyeshadows. Despite the Afterglow lines being excellent, they never expanded the permanent shades ranges of the blushes and highlighters. They got rid of the fantastic Revolution lipglosses, and I don’t like the replacement line as well. Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette was a disappointment, especially since we know they are capable of doing bright colors well. The GOT eyeshadow palette’s packaging was a bulky, ugly monstrosity that disappointed this fan very much.

RAVES: I love a lot of their permanent products: Vice Lipsticks, 24/7 eyeliner (Perversion is my favorite, HG black eyeliner pencil EVER), 24/7 Lip Liners, Perversion and Troublemaker Mascaras, Primer Potion, and Naked 3. The Born to Run Collection was fantastic, as was the Beached collection, the Moondust Palette, and Heavy Metals. I really love their older collections and palettes, and I wish L’oreal had kept up the vibe and quality of the brand.

All of my UD purchases have worked out somewhere in the range of pretty well-to-really well for me. Maybe the ingredients they use just play nice with my skin? My only real complaint is that I wish they’d make the Electric palette and all 5 shades of Double Team mascara (right now the only one available is Vice, the purple-Gonzo blue is listed but marked “out of stock”) permanent again.

Find memories of my first expensive nail polish. Toad, in 1996. they had so many great colors!!! I was a Revlon Streetwear girl that loved a rare splurge on an urban decay shadow and such.
I’m sad they rarely put out nail polishes. They are always awesome.
I don’t mind the names. I’m not sensitive about it, it’s one of the only things that reminds me of how awesome 90s edgy they were.

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