Sunday, February 3, 2013

Urban Decay Vice Palette

(If you're thinking, another eye shadow palette review - didn't Jennifer say that she was going to buy as much shadow in 2013?  - you're absolutely right. I did... and I'm still committed to that resolution (though I've slipped up twice so far - once for the MAC Archie Collection and once for the Balm's Meet Matt(e) Palette on HauteLook on Friday... I'm only human!) but I did receive a few palettes for Christmas and my birthday that I haven't gotten around to reviewing just yet so you'll still be seeing a few in the coming weeks.  

This one was a gift from my parents, who have been generously indulging my makeup habit since I was a teenager.)

For the most part, I love Urban Decay's eye shadows.

They have such a wide range of colors, they're usually full of fabulous shimmer, and they're plenty pigmented.

A few of them have that infamous chunky glitter than makes working with them difficult, but UD has mastered the matte shadow formula and their shimmer and satin shades are creamy and super easy to use too.

As with any brand, you'll get more value for your money if you purchase a palette that includes multiple shades, but over the years, I've had two main issue with UD's palettes.

1) They repeat shades constantly so even if a palette has a bunch of exclusive shades, you might wind up with your third Midnight Cowboy or fourth Baked.

2) While beautiful and fun, their packaging is usually bulky and unwieldy, so unless you keep it out on your vanity, you wind up shoving it to the bottom of a drawer and forgetting that you have it.  (Or at least, I do.)

With the Vice Palette ($59), Urban Decay has pretty effectively addressed both of these issues.

Most impressively, the palette contains 20 brand new shades that are a mix of shimmer, satin, glitter and matte fininshes and run the gamut from bright and bold colors to soft and natural shades.

Just as importantly, the packaging is slim and sleek - it features a purple, almost rubberized plastic case with a fun, raised 'UD' decoration in the center.

Urban Decay Vice Palette
The one issue with the Vice Palette's packaging is that it shows fingerprints like nobody's business, as you can see in the photo above. I even tried to clean them off to get it ready for its close-up, but those suckers didn't want to come off.

I'm not particularly anal, but fingerprints like that do kind of get to me. (It's why NARS' packaging drives me mad sometimes.)

Still, it's so much easier to store than my previous UD Book of Shadows Palettes and it features a large mirror on the inside that makes it ideal for traveling with.

But really, it's the shadows that are the stars here.

Get ready to drool.

Urban Decay Vice Palette
The palette's first row includes Desperation, a satin-y gray-brown; Muse, a golden brown with gold shimmer; Jagged, a gray/green/black with gold glitter; Blitz, a shimmery bright gold; and Penny Lane, a shimmery light copper.

From l. to r.: Desperation, Muse, Jagged, Blitz & Penny Lane

The second row includes Junkie, a blue-green with gold shimmer; Chaos, a matte cobalt blue; Occupy, a dark teal-gray with silver shimmer; Unhinged, a metallic turquoise; and Black Market, a matte soft black/charcoal shade.

From l. to r.: Junkie, Chaos, Occupy, Unhinged, & Black Market

The third row includes Provocateur, a light gray/pink/purple with multicolored glitter; Rapture, a violet-gray with silver shimmer; Vice, a satin-y bright purple; Noise, a hot pink with gold glitter; and Armor, a gray-brown with silver shimmer.

From l. to r.: Provocateur, Rapture, Vice, Noise, & Armor

The fourth row includes Nevermind, a light, shimmery golden brown/taupe shade; Echo Beach, a shimmery beige/champagne; Anonymous, a matte pinky nude; Freebird, a shimmery light pink; and Laced, a matte mauve/taupe.

From l. to r.: Nevermind, Echo Beach, Anonymous, Freebird, & Laced

The palette also includes a double-ended brush with a flat shader end and a fluffy blending end.

For the most part, the shadows in this palette are exactly what you'd expect from UD - super pigmented, blendable and easy to work with.

However, from the swatches, you can probably tell that they are a couple of shades that are somewhat disappointing - in particular, Jagged and Occupy. However beautiful they appear in the pan, both have a pretty sheer base, so when you apply them to the lid, you really get nothing by faint color and tons of chunky glitter.

The best way that I've found to use them is to either apply them over a creamy base that they can stick to or to apply them over a powder shadow in a light but similar color so you get some of the color and glitter.

Chaos is bit difficult to work with too - it looks so deep and intense in the pan, but it's much lighter (maybe even sheer) on the skin.  You really have to layer it on or use a creamy white base (like the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk) beneath it to get the same intensity on your lid.  I use it mainly as a liner, though, so it's not too much of an issue for me.

Other than those shades, the shadows are all extremely user-friendly.

But I expect a quality shadow formula from UD - where I think they really knocked it out of the park with this palette is the shade selection. Not only are they all brand new colors, they're a terrific blend of bold, bright colorful shades and softer natural or neutral shades so really, this palette could really meet pretty much all of your shadow needs.
 My personal favorite shades include Penny Lane, which is just a gorgeous lid color if you've got blue eyes; Junkie, which is perfect when I want a more colorful look; Nevermind, which is such a pretty brightening color for natural look; Laced, which is ideal for a no-makeup eye look if you've got super fair skin; and Provocateur, which is just so fabulously shimmery and brightening on the eye. 

Black Market is also a good black/charcoal shade for fair-skinned folks - I find that really pigmented black shadows are too much on my pale skin, so a soft shade like Black Market is perfect when you want to darken up the outer V or crease.

(The only shade that I can't ever see myself using is Noise - with super fair skin, I'm not sure how to pull off hot pink shadow without looking sickly. If you have any suggestions, please share.)

If you're someone who saw all the hype about the UD Naked Palettes but just didn't want to shell out $50 for an entirely natural palette when you like to play with color a lot of the time too, the Vice Palette is a perfect option for you.  It's only $9 more and you get 8 more shadows with a range of colors.

(The palette is somewhat lacking in matte shadows, though, so you might want to supplement it with the Naked Basics Palette to really cover all the bases.)

All in all, I think that this is one of the better non-Naked palettes that UD has come out with in a while. If you can get your hands on it, I don't think you'll regret it.

Are you a fan of the UD Vice Palette?  What would your ideal combination of shades be in a palette like this?

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