Archived Post

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II ($48.00) is the second installation in the Book of Shadows eyeshadow palette series. It is also part of Urban Decay’s holiday offerings. You can view my review on last year’s Book of Shadows for comparison, as well.

First, the palette includes sixteen eyeshadows. The new and exclusive shades are AC/DC, Nylon, Mushroom, Sphynx, Jinx, Homegrown, Misdemeanor, and Perversion. The existing shades are Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, and YDK. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz., compared to single eyeshadows that are 0.05 oz. and retail for $16.00 and the deluxe eyeshadows that are 0.09 oz. for $18.00. All of the existing shades are single eyeshadows (not deluxe), so it’s best to compare to that.  Just to put it in perspective, by the ounce, these are about half the price (by ounce!) as the full-sized versions.

Shade Breakdown

  • Perversion is a nearly matte charcoal black with just a tiny dust of silver sparkle. (I know Urban Decay says it’s matte, but it seemed like it had some sparkle to it every time I looked at it.) This shade was also included in last year’s palette.
  • Gunmetal is a frosty, silvery-gray with lighter silver sparkle.
  • Ecstasy is a shimmery cool-toned medium purple with lighter pinky-purple shimmer.
  • AC/DC is a burgundyish-plum with a dirty silver sheen.
  • Nylon is a medium bronzy-brown with softer bronze shimmer and has a frosty finish.
  • Sellout is a frosty, intensely pigmented champagne-nude. I really liked the color pigmentation of this shade in particular, and it felt very, very smooth.
  • Mushroom is a dark, cool-toned taupe-y brown with cool bronze shimmer. This is sort of similar to the cream eyeshadow of the same name.
  • Sphynx is a lightly brightened cotton candy pink with an icier pink sheen.
  • Half Baked is a coppery bronze with a golden bronze metallic sheen and shimmer.
  • Twice Baked is a dark, semi-matte chocolate brown with just a light dusting of bronze.
  • Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is a glittery confection of light taupe brown and champagne. This eyeshadow had the worst texture of the bunch — very gritty, very glittery.
  • YDK is a medium-toned cool-toned brown with a reddish tone and a frost finish.
  • Jinx is a bright, medium freshwater blue that goes on very pigmented and smooth.
  • Flipside is a green-teal, mermaid-esque shade with a frost finish.
  • Homegrown is a bright, grassy green with a golden-green sheen.
  • Misdemeanor is a dark, blue-green shade that is reminiscent of peacock feathers with a soft, green micro-shimmer.

At first glance, I thought the two palettes were too similar for my liking, but after comparing them side-by-side, that was definitely not the case. The only repeated shade is Perversion, but otherwise, the shades are different. Some of the shades themselves are similar, but there are no obvious repeats. I always like Urban Decay’s palettes, because they are always high on value and variety. I like being able to try out a bunch of shades without having to actually purchase all of those individual shades (particularly since it’s very hard for me to finish an eyeshadow, so I don’t actually need a whole pot of it!).

I also like that Urban Decay mixes about half in new shades and half in existing shades. With sixteen shades in total, there are many different eyeshadow combinations one could come up with within this palette. I will say I wish Urban Decay had a better highlighter shade included in this palette or found elsewhere in this, because the closest we come is Sellout, which has a very high metallic/frost finish so it can be garish on the brow bone at times. I could also go with seeing a few matte or semi-matte shades for more texture variety.

These are all minor complaints, mind you, because for the price, it’s a great deal whether you want to travel with it or just use it at home. (If you’re using it at home, the highlight and matte complaints are worthless — just mix it with products you already have.)

The shades are well-pigmented, smooth, and nearly all of them have a frost/shimmer finish. (If you don’t dig that, you won’t dig this.) The only shade I had any real issue with was Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, because it is extremely glittery, so it has fall out issues. Otherwise, the shades were impressive, and clearly there is a lot of color to play around with in this palette. This makes a great gift for yourself or a friend, too.

The packaging is just so-so; I found last year’s packaging prettier and more cohesive. I found both palettes to be a little bulky, and I wouldn’t mind something that just open and shut, rather than pulling out a drawer of eyeshadows. The inclusion of a miniature sized UDPP as well as Zero and Bourbon eyeliners is just icing on the cake–all three are handy in application and for travel.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’ve always wanted to try Urban Decay eyeshadows, their palettes are always a choice way to do so. You get great value and good variety!

Availability: Urban Decay

See swatches and close-up photos

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2
Perversion, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, AC/DC

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2
Nylon, Sellout, Mushroom, Sphynx

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2
Half Baked, Twice Baked, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, YDK

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2
Jinx, Flipside, Homegrown, Misdemeanor

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Nicole Avatar

I do love there pallets as well, this is one to think about, but I do love homegrown and misdemeaner, I would diff say that I would buy those alone if I didn’t want the whole book, thank you again for the great review

Torie Avatar

I just ordered these today but only bc ulta and sephora did not have in the stores(i was so disappointed-i ckd them both out this wk). I cannot wait til they get here. You know I tap my e/s brush before applying and alot of the glitter falls out but enough stays on that it’s still sparkly and I’ve never had a problem with it getting all over my face. I love UD!!!

Fantastic Avatar

I did the exact same thing today–I waited forever for Sephora to carry it, and each time I stopped in, the MA had a different idea of when they’d get it. Finally they started saying to expect it near the holidays. Good to hear that there isn’t too much fallout on the glittery ones 🙂

amy Avatar

I like this palette, the colours like they the can work really well together into numerous combinations. I think I like this palette of colours better than volume 1 book of shadows. I probably won’t pick this up though because I am eyeing some things from Dior, Chanel and Guerlain. 🙂

Redhead (hi) Avatar

How many ounces are the mini liners and UDPP? Could you give me something to compare the size of the palette to (say, the size of a small human hand) so I might get an idea of how big they are?

Whitney Avatar

Assuming the pencil is the same size as the travel ones released last year…
Travel size = .8 grams
Full size = 1.2 grams

So you get a little more than half! It’s a really nice size in my opinion. 🙂

Now comparing it to the size of something… hmm lol. On my hand, with the cap on, the pencil is just a little bit below the tip of my pinky. With the cap off, it goes to about my first joint I guess? If you have the Covergirl Lashblast mascara, with the cap on it goes to about where the cap of the mascara cap starts to slant. And of course without the cap on the liner, it’s a little bit above the silver ring on the mascara. Phew, LOL. Hope that helps you some. I don’t know why I really decided to go into my bathroom to find something to compare it to. X)

And Christine — thanks for all those swatches! It looks perfect, right up my alley. *_* BTW, I rushed to order the Stila Barbie palette after I saw your swatches. Lol I wish it’d get here already. 🙂

Fresco Phyrra Avatar

Sellout was the first UD eye shadow I bought, I think. I then grabbed the sustainable shadow box palette. I love the textures of sellout and Half-Baked. Twice Baked isn’t bad. I absolutely hate the texture of Oil Slick, Uzi, Kiddie Pool and Midnight Cowboy Rides again.

Love your review and the swatches.

Haley Avatar

I got this already and I adoreee it. Its so awesome. I loved the first one so I jumped on the second one the instant I saw it on the website. haha. Definitely worth the money.

hiya Avatar

Hey no offense, I like your blog, but that VoiceFive survey pop up window is super annoying. It comes on every page. Can you please do something about that? thanks!!

Sushi Flower Avatar

I love this palette. Its nice to find one where the colors would work together for an eye look, compared to many palette where the colors are clashing and you have to buy other eyeshadows to use them. I really cant figure out why that seems to be the trend with cosmetic companies today.

Angela Avatar

I am loving all of those neutrals, but I probably would never use those greens since greens dont look good on my skin tone and with my hair coloring.

auroragyps Avatar

I thought this one looked a lot like the first palette (which I have) too, especially the blues greens. Now, I dont feel that way too much. I doubt Ill get this one though, since I got the Get Baked palette just a month before this one came out. I also have both 5 piece mini 24/7 pencil sets, so Id end up having 3 Zeros and 3 Bourbons, which I totally do not need.

I used to wish UD would put out cool ES palettes, but now that they are, theyre repeating colors a bit too much. Also, having the limited edition liners in sets is driving me nuts. My kingdom for just the Mildew one.

Dawn Avatar

OH MAN! I didn’t think it possible but i think this one looks better than the first! I’m craving this now but I can’t afford it 🙁 I kinda went crazy with Style Black and Cremesheen Dazzleglasses.

Doreen Avatar

Wow, the shadows are gorgeous…I would really run out and buy it, but I really don’t need another Bourbon and Zero eyeliner. The only shades I really really really like are AC/DC, Mushroom, Gunmetal, and Nylon anyway.

Teresa Avatar

Thanks for this review Christine! It makes me want it even more 😀
Does anyone know if it is in the stores yet? Especially in Canada? (where I am)
Thanks! 🙂

Jennifer Avatar

Hi, I had been calling my local Sephora every Fri for the last month to see if they had it yet, they finally told me yesterday they dont think itll be till Nov. But I remember last year they had the first one out at the end of Sept, so who knows. I caved and ordered mine online and it took a week and arrived on Thurs. Its so gorgeous! Im Canadian, my nearest store is Mississauga. Hope this helps some.

Alexis Avatar

I LOVE UD palettes. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the line. I get a lot of bang for my buck. I’d love to get this palette but I have Half Baked/Twice Baked/Flipside already from the summer’s Get Baked Palette. It’s also how I discovered Sin primer potion. Oh and Bourbon 24/7 pencil. I also bought Ammo and I discovered if you’re not careful you end up a glittery mess with some of their shadows. So proceed with caution but the colors are fun and so easy to apply/blend.

i heart UD!

Charlie Avatar

Love your website- it’s SO informative and helpful not just on the expensive brands, but the drugstore brands also! Keep up the amazing work! In your opinion, if you had to choose 1 palette, would it be the UD Book of Shadows VOl 2 or would you for the 120 palette #2 from bhcosmetics? Do you know where UD’s e/s is made? Thanks a bunch!

Christine Avatar

Thanks, Charlie! Glad you like it! To be honest, I prefer the UD palette. I’m a little wary of makeup that I know is made in China and nobody ever seems to really come out with safety information to the contrary. I also find that these have much more dimension!

Kim Avatar

yay! I just picked up my book of shadows yesterday @ sephora! I asked one of the girls if they had it in yet, and she said they received a package from urban decay…Apparently they weren’t planning to release so early, but i told them i had my clash for clunkers! whoo hoo!

Kendra Avatar

I cannot wait to buy this! The swatches look so pigmented and pretty, and I love the eyeliners and Primer Potion that comes with it! Much better than Volume I i think

Brenda Avatar

Ok MAC, you have been evicted for Urban Decay LOL!! I am finding I like the quality of their shadows much better. I’ve looked at this palette in the store and while I’m not big on the packaging I think I will go pick it up this week.

Makeup_Freak Avatar

I finally got my Urban Decay Book of Shadows II. But because most of the colors in the palette are earth colors and golds, I also bought a Deluxe Shadow Box palette. The colors in it are so bright, it seems like a perfect addition to the book of shadows. Bright purples, teal, green. Yammy. I am excited.

glitter princess Avatar

I just got this as a birthday present :)!caNT wait to try this!! 🙂 i orginally thougth i will skip this as i had got last years one and was trying to be good with money so im over the moon I have been given this as a early bday pressie yeaaahhhh……. christine have yo posted any looks from this pallete?

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!