September 11, 2014

Urban Decay Shadow Box Review & Swatches

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

Urban Decay Shadow Box Holiday 2014

The Urban Decay Shadow Box is a brand new, Ulta exclusive eyeshadow palette filled with a dozen Urban Decay Eyeshadows. You’re getting both brand new shades (three never before seen shades) in this palette as well as shades that you may already own or have wanted to own.

Let’s take a look!

Urban Decay Shadow Box 25

Urban Decay Shadow Box

At a glance the Urban Decay Shadow Box Eyeshadow Palette is a total win. It’s travel friendly, portable, plus it houses 12 shades of Urban Decay Eyeshadow. What’s not to love?! If you’re plots and plans involve purchasing an iPhone 6 Plus today I’d say that this has the feel and size of that phone, perhaps it’s a little smaller. It fits comfortably in my hand and at first I was delighted I’d have 12 shades of shadow to tote around with me when I travel in such a small, easy to carry around palette. I placed a blush on top of the palette in the pic below so you can get an idea of the size.

Urban Decay Shadow Box 24

It comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a full size mirror and a magnetic closure that features a claspe of Urban Decay’s chunky initials gracing the front of the smoky purple compact.

Things get a little weird quickly though…

There’s variety here but not necessarily value. I’m so used to Urban Decay gifting us with full size shadows in their palettes that I just assumed I’d be getting the same with the Shadow Box. Unfortunately these shadows weight in at 0.01 oz each. Compared to past shadow palettes this is grossly overpriced. To add insult to injury I fear the shadow formula is quite different from what I personally know and love about Urban Decay Eyeshadow.

It’s a funny thing because many of the shades in this palette I already own and all those singles shades have a soft, creamy velvety texture with great color pay off. Those single shades cannot be compared to the textures and pigment you’ll find in the Shadow Box though. I thought these were considerably drier, a bit on the stiff side, and not nearly as intense as the original versions. Urban Decay has always toed the line in the shadow formula with a creamy consistency formula that’s very buttery smooth showing the characteristics of a cream shadow but having the wear and ease of application of a powder. Unfortunately, these shades are not in any way like that. Even shades I know and use often like Smog seemed a little drier and a little less pigmented. I felt like the shades were not only dry but also lacked the intensity and vibrancy that the brand’s eyeshadows are known for!

Urban Decay Shadow Box

Urban Decay Shadow Box Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Shadow Box Palette

Urban Decay Shadow Box eyeshadow palette swatches

Urban Decay Shadow Box Swatches (Lost, Freelove, Moonshadow, Baked Cowboy)

Urban Decay Shadow Box Eyeshadow swatches

Urban Decay Shadow Box Swatches (Smog, Blackout, Flash, Mushroom)

Urban Decay Shadow Box swatches

Urban Decay Shadow Box Swatches (Sin, Indo, Bordello, Tornado)

I admit it was confusing. Either Urban Decay has gone with a new distributor for their eyeshadows or perhaps the palette shadow formula has just changed to keep costs low!? It’s anyone’s guess but most Urban Decay Eyeshadow fans will likely agree that the Book of Shadow Eyeshadow formula isn’t quite what we know, expect, and love from the brand.

The Urban Decay Shadow Box will likely gain attention due to its portable size and variety of color that’s for sure! But I think true fans of the brand will have a head scratching moment after trying it and left to wonder what exactly happened here?

The Urban Decay Shadow Box is available now, exclusively at Ulta and

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • JJ24

    I swatched these in store and I completely agree. Hopefully this is a one time thing and the Vice 3 will be the same quality we expect.

    • Isabella Muse

      vice is a little different too unfortunately…better than this but a LITTLE different from what UD normally does but I’ll have a review shortly explaining it 😀

  • JoElla

    hhmm buy this, or, shell out a few more bucks for the Vice 3??

    Vice 3 baby, Vice 3!

  • Robin

    Didn’t Urban Decay sell their company last year to Loreal? I remember a big stink because originally they were going to start selling in China which requires animal testing on cosmetics. People unloaded on UD’s site and facebook and UD changed their mind. Week later, they announced they were selling the company to Loreal. I hope the merger didn’t lower UD quality; it sounds like it did.

    • Janelle

      I agree that there has been a complete change in quality since UD was bought by L’Oreal!!! There are some Lancome and Maybelline shadows that are amazing, but the majority are not…I am seeing the same inconsistency, price increase, fall-out (and UD always had fallout!!), and lack of pigmentation now with UD.

      Pass for me. I think I am over UD other than the $10 door busters Ulta will have on Black Friday!

  • Fancie

    The reviews all seem to be the same. It’s the ashame the formula isn’t the same as the singles. This would have been a great palette otherwise

  • Mel

    I’m so disappointed with Urban Decay this year… I still consider the Anniversary Palette the best palette EVER (above all the Naked ones, even though it is not neutral and has two pink eyeshadows – WHY).
    The eyeshadows lately seem so stiff, and so do the eyelines, they lack pigmentation… Everything used to be so buttery and new and different and crazy ( * crying * )

  • Flor

    Hey Muse, is there another palette that is similar to this one but pigminted? Im tryin to move away from neutrals n love this colored palette.thanks!

  • Flor

    Hi. Muse, can i jus say i get super excited when u write bak.. Lol! Anyways… I am willin to branch to a different brand, i jus dont want colors too crazy, ex: the UD electric palette since im in the office setting. Thanks again for ur help!!

    • Isabella Muse

      lol you’re too cute 😀 can I tell you something? I’m always excited when anyone comments or responds back too hehehe 😀 ohh no problem! If I were you, WAIT! because Holiday palettes are launching now and you’re going to get a ton of great selections both nude/natural and color 😀 plus likely you’ll see a lot of sales too! UD will likely have a sale soonish etc…so you can grab that really nice ammo palette which isn’t as loud and crazy as the electric palette but totally wearable 😀 If you’re going for colorful both too faced and ud are recommended! and too faced will have some great palettes launching for the Holidays 😀 plus UD is bound to have another palette in the works for the holidays 🙂

      • Flor

        I will take ur advice to wait, probably wait impatiently but nonetheless wait for the upcoming palettes! Thank u for ur help and i’ll see the new palettes n sales when u write ur posts 🙂

        • Isabella Muse

          <3! My pleasure dear! Believe me the Holidays is always a good time for palette buying :D

  • Sunshine

    I wish I had read your review sooner. I was really debating between this one and the Ammo pallet, but I was really after color and this one had more. I just never imagined that there would be a difference in the way the shadow feels compared to any of my other UD pallets. But WOW is there. The Sin in this pallet seems powdery compared to the one in my Naked pallet, Smog has no where near the same silky feel and color payout and all of them are just not as luxurious as I have come to expect from UD. I had seen some things that they were changing their formula but I imagined it would make them more awesome not less. I really hope this is not an accurate depiction of all UD shadows going forward because I’ll be heartbroken if it is. 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      i think perhaps you might see this formula in a lot of upcoming palettes but let’s hope not. Singles will likely remain the same though!