I’m a little late with my review and swatches of the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eye Shadow Palette but today I’m finally going to share my thoughts. By now you’ve watched a lot of videos and read a lot of reviews on this palette and most of them have probably been pretty negative. There’s a lot of controversy and drama surrounding the palette at the moment.
When I review a major launch like this I try to avoid reading reviews or watching videos until I can try the palette out for myself because I find my opinion can be unintentionally swayed by what someone else is saying. So, today I’m busy catching up on what everyone is saying and I’m not necessarily in agreement.
It deserves to be mentioned I am not a guru nor a makeup artist nor an artist. My first childhood memory that sticks with me to this day is the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question. I remember it well because I knew, even at 4, what I wanted to be. I wanted to be an artist and that dream stayed with me well into high school (It was Junior year when I found out my true calling was technology). Needless to say, it didn’t work out. I can’t draw a stick figure! I’m telling you this because I really have very little skill when it comes to makeup. I love makeup, I love wearing makeup, but I don’t have the skills to apply it the way some bloggers or v-bloggers do. I’m pretty much a basic hobbyist at best. This is important to know because it plays a major role in my Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette review.
This palette contains 14 total eyeshadow shades most of which are matte (11 matte and 3 metallic shimmer) in finish as well as a dual-ended blending and eyeshadow brush. It arrives in a velvety compact, is made in the USA, and contains a total of 0.28 oz of product with each shadow 0.02 oz each. It’s the same size and price as the Modern Renaissance Palette but as I mentioned in the review of that palette is does contain a less product than palettes like the Artist Palette which was $30.00 at 0.30 oz with 12 eyeshadows and the Amrezy Eyeshadow Palette which was $29 at 0.25 oz with 10 shades. But this contains more variety of shades but the price is considerably higher. I do hate the packaging because it collects lint, grime, and makeup like a magnet and is impossible to clean off because of the velvety overlay. This is particularly a bad way to package this palette because the eyeshadows are very, very, very softly packed with major kick up which will get the packaging dirty very fast.
I keep hearing a lot of people saying that perhaps there was some sort of manufacturing problem with the palette and the source of the problems started at the factory. I don’t believe that. I think the formula is exactly what Anastasia Beverly Hills intended it to be but it somehow backfired for them because fans expected soft, powdery shades but not shades THIS soft and THIS powdery. I see where they were going with the formula or at least I think I do. They wanted to make the palette even softer and more pigmented than Modern Renaissance. In this case, they wanted to top their own work and make something even better and this sadly, blew up in their face. As they say, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. I understand they wanted to do good by improving upon greatness but they ended up making a mess and disappointing fans.
That being said, this isn’t as bad as everyone is going on about. It’s not for newbies, it’s not for people like me who lack blending and placement skills, and it’s not for anyone who wants to apply makeup easily without a lot of drama. And that’s what this is, drama! It’s a chaotic palette that requires a lot of tender loving care and patience during application. It can’t be rushed so, don’t expect to whip this out for a quickie morning look before dashing out the door. You need a good deal of time, a very light hand, and a lot of gentleness when working with this palette.
This in fact where it fails. Most people want to apply their eyeshadow quickly and get out the door. This palette doesn’t offer that option because it is messy and it creates a mess. So, patience is key.
These eyeshadows are like nothing I’ve experienced in the past. They are very, very soft. It’s almost as if they forgot to put in a binding agent of some sort to hold them together. I hear words like chalky being thrown around and I can’t say I experienced dryness or chalkiness with them. They are very silky, very smooth, and very, very, very, very, did I say very, very pigmented. Some videos and reviews I read mentioned hitting pan due to the soft texture and kick back and I can see that happening if you use a heavy hand but if you’re lightly touching them you should be fine. Speaking of lightly, you really need to use caution and a very light touch with these. Since they are so pigmented and so powdery things get messy very, very quickly. I’m very heavy-handed with makeup as we all know and I had to be careful not to press to hard into the pans because I ended up with a ton of product on my brush which makes application really hard because the shades are so pigmented a little goes a very long way. Pressing too hard results in A LOT of color and it’s going to be impossible to blend without things going utterly muddy. So, press lightly and build as needed. I didn’t experience sheering out. I was shocked to see videos where gurus applied the shadow to their lid, started blending, and the color just disappeared. I didn’t have that problem at all! My problem was the colors were too pigmented and I was blending and blending and blending and they were still too bold and too rich looking, it was difficult to diffuse the shades. I think maybe, somehow, there might be inconsistencies with the formula but my palette (Batch Number P7F21) wasn’t one. I also noticed some reviewers had issues with the color morphing or becoming darker during application. Again, I didn’t experience this. I did however, have a problem with colors going muddy during the blending process. Some of the shades look good together but once you start blending you end up with a certain muddiness because they are just so pigmented that they overpower each other and just meld together into one gross, muddy looking shade. That was an issue for me. But colors morphing wasn’t. They adhered well to my lid (I have drier lids) and didn’t crease or fade during wear but they did have MAJOR FALL OUT. I had eyeshadow everywhere! There’s just an explosion of fall out during application so, again this is why you need to practice patient when applying and use a lighter hand. One thing I did learn is that picking up color and tapping off excess helps to minimize all the crazy fall out!
Note: I’m missing some swatches. The photo I took won’t open for some reason. I’ll update this post with the missing photo shortly!
As I’ve been talking a lot about the formula here I did forget to address the metallics in my description above. The metallics are a bit different and since there are so few I almost forget to mention them. I wouldn’t classify Cube as a metallic, it’s more of a duochrome that has a white to pink shift. Cube and Electric were a little more difficult to pick up with a brush and I felt they applied rather sheer. Out of all the shades in the palette I was probably most disappointed with Cube and Electric. If you use a sponge applicator it might help to pick and pack color on more easily. Adorn was the real star! It’s a very soft, creamy texture with a metallic, foiled finish.
When I originally posted about this palette I expressed how it was a mismatch of shades and how I felt it would be challenging to create a look using these shades and I still stand by that statement. As I mentioned above I’m a hobbyist and sadly, that artist dream never happened. When I look at this palette I completely lack creativity to create something from it. It was hard for me to visualize which shades went well together. I just lack the creative talent and mind to create looks from some of these shades. Thankfully, I was inspired a little to create the look I did below using the shades Axis, Fudge, and Adorn. But one thing I know for sure, I can’t make these shades work with the Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette. ABH said Subsculture was created to compliment Modern Renaissance but I can’t really see how. The color just seem so vastly different.
The bad news is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eye Shadow Palette is a high maintenance eyeshadow palette that requires patience and tender loving care to use as well as a certain level of skill and creativity. The good news is, it isn’t nearly as bad as you’ve been hearing or at least it wasn’t for me. It’s messy, it’s fall out city, and it’s crazy difficult to apply without creating chaos all over your lids but if you practice a little you can get some nice looks out of this.
How did you feel about this palette?
Was it a BIG miss for you?
Or a hit?
Or are you stuck somewhere in the middle with me?