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- Rated 3 stars
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eyeshadow palette
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Can I still talk about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette or is it too late? A few weeks ago, it was everywhere! But not necessarily for the best reasons: it was so controversial after its release…
For those of you who didn’t follow the US makeup gossip news, here is a summary of the events:
The ABH Subculture palette was released at the end of July. It had already been announced a few months before, and makeup addicts were very impatient because the release of a new ABH palette is still an event. Especially after the resounding success of the previous one, which I rave about here, the Modern Renaissance palette.
The Subculture palette was announced as the sexy and bold little sister of the Modern Renaissance with more intense and trendy colors for real makeup lovers who wanted something different from the usual neutral shades we can see everywhere at the moment. The creator of the Subculture palette, Norvina Sun, the daughter of the ABH founder, introduced it as a palette intended to exacerbate creativity.
In short, with all these warm neutral eyeshadow palettes floating around, I admit that I was intrigued by this launch. When I first saw the colors, I wasn’t so sure, especially for an everyday makeup, which is generally what I go for (#boring4eva) but I realized that this palette wasn’t meant to be an everyday palette and that it was actually a good thing (I’ll tell you more in my presentation later in this post).
So basically, this launch was very exciting, but just a few days after the release, something happened: the video of a beauty blogger on YouTube reviewing this palette went quite viral, and it wasn’t really good for the brand. In this video, the blogger/makeup artist does a makeup with the Subculture palette she just received, and we can clearly see that some of the eyeshadows she uses are so powdery that they almost disintegrate when she puts her brush in. On top of that, once they’re placed on the eyelids, they appear quite difficult to blend properly.
And she was sadly not the only one to experience these issues because very quickly, dozens of other videos emerged reporting the same facts. Surprisingly, this is not the case for everyone, some palettes look “normal”, and others have issues.
In short, Anastasia Beverly Hills seems to have released palettes with inconsistent quality. And when the success of the brand relies heavily on communication via social media, it’s a big problem. Reputation is everything with this is your strategy.
The brand reacted by proposing refunds for defective palettes and ensured that for the next production, the shadows would be pressed properly to avoid them to be too powdery, but the damage was done. This is probably the worst palette launch of the year.
Besides, ABH is launching another palette in a few days, the Prism, and I expect it’s a launch that was supposed to happen later but I guess ABH needed to make us forget the bad publicity around Subculture…
So, with all the controversy around, why did I still buy it, you may ask? Well, because I was one of the impatient ones who bought it the minute it was available, on July 25th. And the bad reviews only began to emerge two days after the launch.
And I’m only talking about it now because, on top of that, the brand sent me a defective palette. I missed a shade in the palette, I had the same color twice.
They ended up sending me another palette, but it took a little time and persuasion. I don’t live in the US, and they asked them to send them back the defective palette so it would have cost me as much as to buy another, and I didn’t want to pay for their mistake.
Anyway, I ended up receiving it at the end of August, the day before my trip to Seoul, (if you want to see some Seoul bits, my Instagram account is full of them wink ) so I actually started to use my Subculture palette two weeks ago.
So here is my very late review! smile
Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eyeshadow palette, presentation:
What the brand says about it:
“An essential eye shadow collection, Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette features 14 shades that range from grungy mattes to bold metallics with an underground edge. Complement to best-selling Modern Renaissance Palette.
Full pigment and easy-to-blend formula
14 shades with ultra-matte, duo chrome and metallic finishes
Includes dual-ended brush“
Clearly, with its bold shades, we’re far from the regular, neutral everyday palette! This palette is more for real makeup/ color lovers who want originality and who aren’t afraid of intense and colorful looks.
To be honest, I don’t think I will use this palette super often, but for going out or the days I want a different and impactful look, these type of colors are perfect.
The colorful harmony of the palette is rather dark, with many muted shades. For me, it’s more an autumn-winter palette (but, if you prefer to wear it during summer, go ahead! Makeup has no rules wink ).
The colors are all new and exclusive to this palette (even Fudge which is not the same color as their existing eponyme shade) (yes, it’s very weird, I know).
The choice of finishes is also quite bold: a palette made up mostly of very deep matte shades, so it’s clearly not a palette for makeup beginners. (and this palette made me realize that I’m definitely not a makeup artist, I struggled once or twice with the dark shades lol) (but I never pretended to be one ^^)
The Subculture palette includes 11 matte shades, two duo-chromes and 1 metallic.
As usual, Anastasia Beverly Hills is a trendsetter brand and went for an original palette which really stands out compared to its competitors. It’s quite refreshing to see, and it’s definitely the main reason I was into this palette in the first place.
But now, let’s answer the 2 million dollar question: do the eyeshadows disintegrate when you use them and are they impossible to blend like a lot of people claim?
Let’s have a look together!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eyeshadow palette, my test and thoughts:
It’s the same velvet coating as for the Modern Renaissance. I’m not a fan of the material that is a real dust and stain catcher. However, I like the teal and the touch of yellow with the name of the palette, it’s a nice combination of colors.
About the palette itself, it’s a classic cardboard palette with a mirror. The brand added a double-ended brush, which I don’t use because I find it too stiff and not very pleasant on the eyelids.
– Colors and finishes choice, versatility:
As I said above, the color choice is quite audacious and edgy, so it makes this palette ideal for people who want to try unique and intense looks. It’s great when you’re in a more “artistic” mood or if you want to do an impactful makeup.
The colors combine rather nicely between each other, and they’re very trendy.
Regarding the finishes, the brand speaks of 11 mattes and three metallics, as for the Modern Renaissance. But I would rather say it contains:
– 11 mattes: Dawn, Destiny, All Star, Mercury, Axis, Roxy, Fudge, New Wave, Untamed, Edge, Rowdy,
– 2 duo-chromes: Electric, Cube,
– 1 metallic: Adorn.
Overall, I’m a fan of the choice of colors and finishes, apart from two shades that I dislike (Destiny and especially Mercury, which looks very dull on my eyelids).
– Overall quality of the eyeshadows:
OK, so let’s finally talk about the elephant in the room smile
So, either I was lucky, and I came across a good batch, either Anastasia Beverly Hills adjusted its production but I didn’t see a huge difference with the shadows of the Modern Renaissance palette. Indeed, the eyeshadows in the Subculture palette are powdery but nothing crazy. I just wouldn’t recommend using a super fluffy brush and taking too much pigment all at once, though.
You wouldn’t really need it anyway because the shadows are extremely pigmented, more than the Modern Renaissance, so a very small amount is enough to have a lot of color pay-off.
They’re also supposed to be difficult to blend, and yes, indeed, some of the dark shades tend to stain the eyelid (especially All Star). But nothing super unusual here, matte dark shades are always more difficult to blend than lighter colors, especially if they’re very pigmented.
I also heard that some colors look bad mixed together and tend to become gray, but I think it’s probably because these colors are quite muted, they’re not bright and luminous shades, and they all have a certain amount of gray undertone so when you mix them, it shows a little. But honestly, as you will see in my photos below, you can still get some nice looks with several colors of this palette without it looking too muddy.
– Value for money:
The value for money is quite decent in my opinion, it contains 14 shades for $42.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eyeshadow, the colors:
– Cube: a very nice duo-chrome shade, it’s a sheer white with a frosted pink reflect Perfect to catch the light or as a color topper.
– Dawn: a light peachy beige matte shade, ideal in the crease for example or for a natural wash of color all over the eyelid.
– Destiny: I’m not a fan of this shade. It is a khaki green with a strong gray undertone, and personally, I find it quite dull and it tends to make me look tired when I wear it.
– Adorn: a stunning copper bronze metallic shade, very intense.
– All Star: a beautiful matte burgundy but unfortunately it tends to stain the eyelid a little, and I struggle to blend it properly. It’s a shame because I really like the color.
– Mercury: the color I like least in the palette. It is a dull taupe gray. On me, it looks dull and dusty. uneasy
– Axis: a beautiful matte teal, beautiful and intense. I love it to emphasize the waterline, but it also looks gorgeous used all over the eyelid for a color block look.
– Roxy: a stunning deep muted coral, a little bit grungy. It has a matte finish.
– Electric: one of my favorites, and yet I would not have bet on it. It’s a golden yellow duo-chrome shade with a lime green reflect. It’s really bright, and I adore it applied on the entire and/or the inner corner. It’s beautiful!
– Fudge: a warm matte chocolate brown.
– New Wave: a beautiful orange-yellow, very intense and edgy. It gives a real twist to cool tone makeup looks.
– Untamed: this shade looks like Destiny, but I prefer it. It’s a beautiful muted blue/green, but it’s not dull like Destiny. It’s very pretty, especially applied in the outer corner of the eye.
– Edge: a beautiful mustard yellow, matte and very grungy.
– Rowdy: a stunning dark indigo blue, between a blue and a purple shade. It gives a lot of depth to the looks. It’s a matte finish.
Finally, here are the swatches of the palette:
And some makeup looks:
– Look 1:
For this look, I applied Dawn in the crease, Electric all over the eyelid and in the inner corner, Roxy in the outer V and Fudge along the lower lash line. My black liner pencil is from Club Clio.
My lipstick here is from Ofra, it’s the shade Aries.
– Look 2:
As you can see in the photo above, All Star is super patchy, and I struggled to blend it. Not a fan of this shade sadly, because the color is stunning.
Here, I applied Dawn and Edge in the crease, All Star all over the eyelid, Rowdy in the outer V, Axis along the lower lashline and Cube in the inner corner. I also used an eye pencil from Essence in the shade Blue Lagoon.
On my lips, it’s the Lippie Stix Sheer Kiddo (I still adore it).
– Look 3:
A more colorful makeup look!
I applied Dawn and New Wave in the crease with All Star to intensify the outer V, Adorn and Untamed on the eyelid and Electric in the inner corner. Along the lower lashline, I applied All Star blended with New Wave.
On my lips, it’s Velvet Teddy by MAC.
- the selection of color is very original and trendy, and also quite unique at the moment
- the pigmentation is insane
- it's a permanent palette, it's not a limited edition
- obviously, there were some issues during the first production, with shadows not pressed strongly enough. Not really reassuring for a consumer who is not sure to buy a product with a consistent quality
- I'm not really a fan of packaging, the velvet coating is a dust catcher and stains super easy
- the shadows are quite soft and powdery so when you put your brush in, you have to be careful and be light-handed, which is annoying if you're not used to it
- some shades are fairly dull and greyish (Mercury and Destiny)
- All Star is a bit difficult to blend, which is a shame because I love this color
Clearly, it’s not a palette for every day but more for the moments when I want a more original makeup look. The colorful harmony is really trendy and unique, and that’s what I really like in this palette.
I had some minor issues with some shades that are harder to blend (and two that I’m not a fan of) and it’s true that the eyeshadows are quite powdery but nothing catastrophic, and after all the very alarmist YouTube videos I saw, I was expecting something much worse!
Have you heard about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eyeshadow palette? Would you wear this type of colors?
Photo credit: bonnie-garner.com