Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Urban Decay's Vice Palette - Review and Swatches - Part 1

I tried to convince myself that I didn't need this palette because I really didn't, BUT when the Urban Decay Friends & Family sale came around, I caved. What can I say? I'm addicted to Urban Decay palettes. The only thing keeping me from wanting any of the new Feminine, Dangerous, or Fun palettes is that I already own most of the colors in them.

If you didn't notice in the title, this is the first of two posts on this palette. This one will be a basic overview of the palette. I haven't used all of the shades yet, so this is more of a first impressions post that has been informed by my previous experiences with Urban Decay shadows. The second post will have swatches comparing the shades in the Vice Palette to other Urban Decay shades that I have (and a few other random shades that I wanted to compare them to as well).

If by some miracle you haven't seen anything about the Vice Palette, it costs $59 and contains 20 brand new eye shadow shades. It is a limited-edition palette. I would guess that it will start getting hard to find as it gets close to Christmas, but as with anything limited edition, that is all a guess.

The exterior of the palette is a sleek rubberized case with the initials UD raised with fake jewels. I like that it isn't as bulky as the Book of Shadows palettes that came out in previous years. I am dying to depot my BOS IV, but I don't have any empty freestyle palette space for those shadows yet.

The lid of the palette has a mechanism that makes it slowly lift up on its own after the release button is pushed. It's a fun feature, but it also keep the lid standing up at an angle. This a nice feature because it makes the full-sized mirror on the inside of the lid convenient to use.

On to the best part: the shadows.

Each shadow is .03 oz of product, which isn't quite full size (.05 oz). They are still a generous size that would take a long time to get through.

The only extra with this palette is a dual-ended eye shadow brush. I didn't take any close-ups of the brush, but it is similar to the one included in the Naked 2 palette. One side is a fluffy blending brush (that is slightly less fluffy than the Naked 2 brush), and the other is a flat shader brush (that is fluffier than the Naked 2 brush).

In each of the swatches that follow, the shadows were applied to bare skin with a Q-tip. After doing the swatches, I realized that the Q-tip didn't do the pigmentation of some of these shade justice. I was too lazy to go back and re-swatch all of them using my finger. The color description in parentheses is taken from Sephora.com (with a few adjustments made by me because I can't stand the inconsistency in capitalization and abbreviations).

Row 1: Desperation, Muse, Jagged, Blitz, and Penny Lane
Desperation - (greyish taupe brown matte-satin) - This is a good grey for people like me who are afraid of greys. It has enough brown in it to make it easier to wear for people who can't quite pull of a straight grey or a blue-grey. I've already used this as both a crease shade and as a liner shade, and I liked it for both purposes.

Muse - (dark reddish brown with golden and multi-colored shimmer) - I don't really see the red in the base color, but I would guess they described it that way because it is a warmer brown. I see a mix of red and gold shimmer. The shimmer is really fine, so there isn't going to be a lot of fallout issues.

Jagged - (matte black base with gold metallic) - This color is crap, plan and simple. I did swatches on my hand using my finger, a sponge-tipped applicator, and a brush (both dry and wet). I got decent color payoff with my finger and with a wet brush. It's actually gorgeous looking when applied wet. However, I'd be scared to use it on my eyes because of fallout issues. It looks like it has black shimmers that go everywhere! Not pretty. I'll wait to try it for an evening when I plan on playing around and not leaving the house.

Blitz - (bright gold metallic) - This is a true gold with really good pigmentation. Sometimes when I look at it, I think there is a slight green tinge to it as well.

Penny Lane - (bronze metallic with gold glitter) - This is a really peachy bronze color. I would say that it has shimmer, not glitter. It isn't chunky at all and has good pigmentation.

Row 2: Junkie, Chaos, Occupy, Unhinged, Black Market
 Junkie - (dark green-blue with gold shimmer) - The gold shimmer on this is really fine. It just about disappears when swatched.

Chaos - ( vibrant royal blue with very subtle shimmer) - This color swatched the worst with a Q-tip. It swatches much better using your finger, but the Q-tip swatch is more accurate to what you would get using a brush or even a sponge-tipped applicator. I have seen a lot of reviews that say this shade is amazing for being a matte base shadow, and I'll defer to them on that because I don't have any shadows like this in my collection.

Occupy - (dark grey-blue metallic) - In the pan, this shadow looks like it would be a gritty mess like Jagged, but, thankfully, it isn't. I would use this shadow before applying foundation and concealer though because it looks like it will give some fallout. What the Sephora description fails to mention about this shadow is that it has a lot of multi-colored shimmer that is absolutely gorgeous.

Unhinged - (electric turquoise blue metallic) - I would say that the Sephora description is spot on here. The finish is a gorgeous metallic sheen with no discernible shimmer.

Black Market - (dark charcoal black matte-satin) - This is a black that leans slightly grey and has a soft sheen. I actually like that they pulled back on this shade slightly instead of going for the blackest-black satin they could make. This seems like a much more useable shade for me than Blackout, which is so intense that I haven't attempted using it for anything other than as a liner.

Row 3: Provocateur, Rapture, Vice, Noise, Armor
Provocateur - (light greyish pink with lots of multi-colored glitter) - This is another dud shade in the palette. I love the color, but it is a chunky, glittery shade that has a ton of fallout. It isn't quite as bad as Jagged though because the base color applies a bit better.

Rapture - (dark greyish purple with multi-colored shimmer) - The shimmer is so fine in this shade that it comes across more like a metallic shade to me. I like the grey tone to it because it makes it look a bit more neutral.

Vice - (dark eggplant with subtle red shimmer) - This is an interesting color to me because it looks like it has a blue sheen to it. At the same time, it looks like a warmer-toned purple. I'm assuming that has to do with the red shimmer, that it really so subtle that I wouldn't have notice it if I didn't see it in the description.

Noise - (dark reddish-pink metallic with big gold glitter) - The description here is a bit deceptive. Saying that it has big gold glitter makes it sound like a chunky, crap shade. It isn't. The gold glitter flecks are large enough that they stand out, but they don't make this shadow a gritty mess.

Armor - ( greyish brown metallic with silver micro-glitter) - This shade is similar to Occupy that it looks like a gritty mess in the pan, but it isn't too bad when you actually use it.

Row 4: Nevermind, Echo Beach, Anonymous, Freebird, Laced
This row is definitely my favorite! I can see myself using it all the time.

Nevermind - (light taupe-brown shimmer) - I don't know that I would classify this is a taupe shade. It is warmer than what I would typically classify as a taupe. This shade is going to be a favorite of mine.

Echo Beach - (light wheat-champagne shimmer) - This is a golden-champagne shade as opposed to the pink-champagne of Sin. This is another shade that I will use regularly.

Anonymous - (light whitish-pink nude matte) - This is very similar to my beloved Wet n Wild Brulee. It's a great blending and highlight shade for me.

Freebird - (light peachy-pink with silver micro-glitter) - Freebird looks gorgeous in the pan. Sadly, it is slightly chunky when swatched. It is better than Jagged and Provocateur, but it still looks like it will be fallout prone. Proceed with caution.

Laced - (pinky-taupe matte) - This is one of the shades I was most excited about with this palette. I have been wanting more matte shades similar in depth to Naked to help blend out deeper lid colors, and this one fits the bill.

Final Thoughts

This is a fun palette with a good mix of shades and finishes. At about $3 a shade, it is a good value (and an even better value if you are able to get it on sale). It isn't a must-have because most of the shades aren't unique enough that you couldn't find a dupe somewhere (you'll see this in my next post). However, for those who are as addicted to Urban Decay as I am or for someone who is just starting to build their makeup collection and wants a good mix of quality shades, this is definitely worth checking out. Sephora is having VIB and BI sales in November, so that might be a good time to try and pick it up.

What about you? Were you able to resist the call of the Vice Palette or did you pick it up too? What are your favorite shades from it?

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