August 4, 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

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!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (All Star, Mercury, Axis, Roxy)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (New Wave, Untamed, Edge, Rowdy)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette Swatches (Cube, Dawn, Destiny, Adorn)

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.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette is available now at ulta.com and sephora.com.

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?

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

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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Comments

  • Brenda

    Thank you for your review and honesty!. It is very refreshing to see a review on this palette that isn’t about the drama.

  • Christina D.

    Hey Sista! Not sure you remember but I had mentioned to you in your initial post about this palette that I have it, used it, and didn’t hate it. In fact, I kind of like it. But thanks to the negative reviews, I knew going it to use a light hand. I also knew that if it was difficult to blend (and it was) I would do a “paint-by-numbers” approach in using the shadows, and it worked. Granted, I’m no make-up artist (although I can draw!) so my creations tend to be simple. I really don’t understand the near hysterical reactions — afterall, it’s only makeup and can be returned — although I do understand that expectations where high. Personally, I’ve only like two of ABH’s palettes (MR and Mario) and I had all of them, but I got rid of everything but those two. I’ll be keeping Subculture, too.

    • Isabella Muse

      I do remember 🙂 I don’t either, it seems a lot of drama. It’s NOT that bad. It’s difficult, yes, and very powdery, but not the insanity everyone is making it out to be. I think I’ll use it a lot in the Fall if I have time to do an intricate look! It really has some good shades to create nice autumn looks!

  • Sarah

    I’ve absorbed so much information about this palette and unless Subculture was deliberately designed to be powdery and hard to blend (I saw videos where colors didn’t blend smoothly and left instead harsh, dark lines), I’m just going to skip it for now. As controversial as the brand is, I would rather have the Androgyny palette by Jeffree Star if I want unusual colors like deep teals, mustard yellows, and military greens.

    It was a little shocking, this release. I expected ABH to have a hit on their hands. What a situation.

  • Jules

    This isn’t a palette for me–im too fair and cool toned to rock at least half these colors! But I’ve been waiting for your review, out of curiosity! I think there’s definitely a place for the bloggers and vloggers who ARE makeup artists, but I love the fact that you’re not! Yeah, there are some people with a passion for makeup who can recreate the complex looks and have all the high-end tools…but then there’s the rest of us. We don’t have the time or skill to spend 20 minutes on an eyeshadow look using 10 colors. We’re looking to use 2-3 colors, using what would probably be considered subpar tools. I know I fall into that category! That’s part of why I love your blog and reviews!! I hope that doesn’t come off wrong… I just find your reviews so much more relatable and real because of it.

    • Isabella Muse

      I can see it not working at all on very pale beauties. These are harsh shades that will make some skin tones look like they have a black eye! Aw thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is exactly what I am aiming for here. I am not a model nor am a gorgeous twenty year old girl that has incredible makeup skills 🙂 I’m just average old me and I’m comfortable with that and I’m glad you are too! And yes, three shades MAYBE four is the extent of my skill 😀

      • Jules

        Well, as you can see from all the love here, you seem to be a gorgeous person, inside and out!!! Keep on keeping it real!

        • Isabella Muse

          aw Jules thanks! I’m no one special but thanks for believing in me <3!

          • Isabella Muse

            Likewise my dear! <3! You're going to make me cry now, stop! 😀 xoxoxoxoxoo!

  • Maria

    Thanks Muse for your great review. I agree with you and I saw the shades. I am not a makeup artist and I would try to figure out what shades to use together. I also have the same batch number as you which I noticed on Sephora website reviews was the better batch. I just got mine late This week and did not use it yet. I will have to use a light hand.

    Ps. Ulta has the new Mac palettes including Basic B @@ch. I am curious on that one.

    • Isabella Muse

      I always struggle with pairing up shades! Let me know when you try! Curious what you think! I saw 😀 I was tempted by those but scared about the quality!

  • BabyBeans

    It’s hard to say if it was just that some people used it too heavily at first or if there is s bit of a difference between batches. The way-too- powdery texture could explain some of their problems (like the color buffing away completely when they blended) but it just seemed weird. Some of them could not get the eyeshadow to stick to their eyelid in certain spots. Like maybe there was an ingredient that should have been added to help it stay on and blend into your skin. This formula has a very small target base if you have to be a professional MUA to use it. My fumbly amateur fingers needs a formula that goes on and blends easily.

    • Isabella Muse

      It is, I agree. I notice a lot of the same batches I got had issues. So, it appears there inconsistencies with the same batches. Very strange and unusual! I think even as a MUA you might struggle with it!

  • yelena

    muse, I am like you. I love makeup and makeup palettes, but have no idea how to put together the colors.

    but I LOVE this look on you! can you tell us what colors you applied and where? 😀

    I’m usually a one shadow look kinda girl, any more color and I end up looking like I got punched in the face. but this look is goregeous and glam and metallic and I love it!

    • Isabella Muse

      The struggle is real! I’m always looking for inspiration online because I seriously, can’t even begin to understand what colors go well together. For the longest time I was scared to use green and brown together, pretty basic right? But I thought it would look horrible. Shows you how much I know! I actually mentioned all the colors I used in the post although, didn’t mention the placement of them. Axis outer corner, Fudge crease, and adorn inner lid/eye. Thanks 🙂 It’s a little messy but I tried! <3!

      • yelena

        whoa i never would have guessed that axis was in there!! I knew adorn was in there but i couldn’t place the crease color! thanks muse!

        • Isabella Muse

          my pleasure! my blending skills suck thus you probably can’t see it haha!

  • Christina

    That’s a shame. I’m pretty experienced with makeup and don’t typically have problems with making eyeshadows work or combining colours, but I cannot stand eyeshadow that is fussy to use. I want to be able to apply my shades quickly and get out the door, even if I’m using multiple colours. I’m not one who loves and raves Anastasia’s eyeshadow formula; like any brand, there are shades/formulas I love, and some that I don’t. Plus, I think I can recreate the palette with a combination of my Viseart Dark Mattes and some of my MUG, MUFE, or Mac products, so I won’t be too sad if i skip this.

  • Carol G

    I has zero interest in this just because of the color scheme and it being mainly matte. However, I have been reading the reviews. I’m glad I passed on it. I don’t need a palette that you need to walk on eggshells just to use. This is a shame. I expect a lot of people will be returning it.

  • Susan

    I was so interested in this palette at first because of the different colors and so many mattes. But your review and most others make it sound more of a chore than a joy. I think I’m going to create a dupe palette from other cheaper brands, and get one of the Lorac Sunset palettes instead too.

    And Muse, I want you to STOP RIGHT NOW saying you are not an artist. You are. I don’t think you realize how many people, including moi, look to you for beautiful REALISTIC makeup looks. I can’t tell you how baffled I get by bloggers and vloggers and “influencers” (I hate that word) who try to apply ten shades of eyeshadow for one look. WTH? They only have one or two square inches of skin to work with in the first place, and they have complicated placement diagrams that look like electrical schematics for the Space Shuttle. Who does that in real life? I vastly prefer the looks you show us using one, two, maybe three colors at a time.

    You artist, you. Arty McArtistFace. Don’t change!

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s high maintenance that’s for sure! I can’t blame you for going that route because it’ll save you plenty of mess 😀 Awwww stop you’re going to make cry <3 Thank you! Don't get me wrong, I respect those people like you wouldn't believe. THEY HAVE SKILL that I could never hope to have an ounce of but I agree it is overwhelming for me and sometimes frustrating because I feel like I have to be a rocket scientist to achieve the looks they do! They make it so easy but when I try it NEVER comes out the same way 😀 Love ya thanks 🙂 <3!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ruth

    first- i love you & your blog because you’re just like us! i love make up but am by no means really skilled at application. i put it on and hope for the best. more often than not, i have too much blush, my eye shadow isn’t well blended, and somehow i have lipstick on my nose. but it’s cool, it fades during the day. you give your honest opinion for people like me and i value it! i’ve avoided and have purchased items on your recommendations and have never been steered wrong.

    • Isabella Muse

      I love you! <3! and this is ME all the way! I always have too much blush on, I always have really poorly blended eyeshadow, but who cares, I HAD A FREAKING BLAST putting it on lol! 🙂 I'm not perfect, never in my life have I been, and that's ok, I'm just comfortable with who I am and I'm cool with who I am and that's all that matters and that's what is important to me. And I LOVE YOU because you're just like me 🙂

      • Ruth

        yes! make up is supposed to be fun and when it’s not fun anymore because of comparing yourself to someone else, it sucks the fun out of it all. it took me A LONG TIME to be cool with myself and i like the person that i’ve become a lot. i’m not perfect and won’t ever be, but that’s ok too, because that would be tedious AF! i swear sometimes, we’re so much alike and that is awesome!!
        xoxoxoxxoooxxxxooo

        • Isabella Muse

          Likewise! I agree completely. I’m cool with who I am, comfortable with the person I’ve become and happy about it. I have people trying to tear me down constantly on the blog but honestly, it’s water off my back. I’m pretty cool and confident with who I am and I realize my flaws and I’m cool with them too ;-D You gotta love who you are no matter what 😀 And besides, you have a lot of things to love about you ;-D <3! XOXO!

  • Robin

    Love your honest review! Like Jules, I’m very fair and this palette would not work for me. Like you Muse, I love makeup, but I’m not a pro. Three shadows is the max I put on my lids and they are not bold colors. I’m in my 40’s and a bold eye is not for me. I don’t have any ABH products; the colors don’t appeal to me. That said, I’m loving the Lorac Unzipped Sunset palettes!!

    • Isabella Muse

      Thanks Robin! It’s def not one for fair beauties in my opinion! I’m hearing great things about the Sunset Palettes! Haven’t cracked mine open yet 😀 looking forward to it!

    • Susan

      Robin, I’m trying to decide which one to get. I’m in my 50s. What do you think of the palettes? Leaning towards the Mountain one.

  • Maria

    I am really surprised with all the negative reviews considering that the eyeshades are made in Usa. Only the brush is made in China.

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s understandable, the palette is hard to work with so it is getting a lot of backlash because of that!

  • Kimmyyy

    Hey Musey,
    I don’t own any ABH products (nothing against them, I’ve just never seen anything I had to have) and I was never planning on buying this, but I definitely got sucked into all of the drama, that’s for sure. I follow lots of the big beauty “gurus” on YouTube as well as a lot of beauty bloggers (Sparkage, LauraLee, Temptalia, etc.) and came across SO MANY mixed reviews. I couldn’t believe how many showed/said theirs were literally crumbling apart and blending completely away, while others were saying that theirs were messy but still completely workable. Someone put up a video comparison (I believe is was Sparkage) showing the fallout from the Modern Renaissance palette VS Subculture and they looked pretty similar to me, with Subculture being just a bit more crumbly.
    Either way, just makeup or not, I can understand some of the outrage. This is definitely a higher end brand that is expected to put out top notch products, so when they put out something like this that so many are having issues with, I find it a bit disappointing that they’ve done virtually nothing aside from tell people how they should be using it, unless something’s changed in the last day or two. I’d expect something more along the lines of “Hey everyone, we’re looking in to it, stay tuned!”. I mean, look at all the complaints Marlena from MG had to deal with when her pigments (pigments and Sparklers?) came out without sifters. So, this drama doesn’t shock me in the least. I just can’t believe how many mixed opinions there are. I do appreciate your super honest review, though!

    When did makeup start having so much drama????

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi kim! Yeah, I’m catching up on all the beauty blogger and youtube reviews today! I tried to avoid all of it until I tried it for myself. There are issues here a plenty but I wanted to share what my experience was with it all. The company did address it and said they would offer refunds for anyone that wasn’t pleased with their purchase however, that doesn’t take care of the issue with the formula. Hopefully at some point they do something about that as well! I agree 🙂 Makeup should be fun when did it become so chaotic!?

    • JL

      Why the drama? Though I agree that many went a bit far with language during reviews of products, I think this one is so dramatic because EVERYONE, from hobbyist to pro MUA expected a lot from this palette, and it seems a flop.

  • Kat

    Love how thorough this review is! I’m going to pass for sure, too much risk in getting this.
    I personally think that there must be a difference in batches. I was convinced when Temptalia posted a long post about how she and xSparkage (sp?) were comparing their palettes over video and she said their palettes were wildly different. Hers was powdery but not so bad, but xSparkage’s was out of control powder everywhere and the color would change when she put it on her eyes.

    • Isabella Muse

      they actually had the same batch as I did. I spoke to Christine and she had the same batch number that I did and xpsarkage also had that batch. So oddly enough all three of us had different experiences!

  • Flaky

    I’ve thought this was a miss for me since the first pictures leaked. I won’t be in line in front of anybody for this, that’s the good news for those who like it.

    The thing is, I think this is SEVERAL missteps for ABH. I seem to recall they had a highlight palette over the holidays that people didn’t like. Then they released the stick foundation & if I recall that wasn’t well received either. They have some good products, but they are starting to worry me. It’s ok if they are just a small brand with a few well done items. I don’t need a full face of makeup from the brand if they are having trouble keeping everything up to par. I appreciate that they have stiff competition by some really good dupes for their flagship brow products & they need to branch out. But, I worry about whether they are learning from these past missteps. The company’s reaction to this whole debacle was less than impressive.

  • Bren

    I thought your review was spot on! I had no intentions of buying this palette, but the more I looked at it, well, I got it. I have not had any issues with hitting pan after 3 swirls, nothing like that at all. I do not agree with some Youtubers, in fact I experienced the same as you, you need a light hand, don’t swirl your brush for 20 seconds and then try and apply these in 5 minutes. I did not understand the colors when I first saw this, I thought they looked “dirty”, but now that I have been playing with them the palette seems to make more sense, it does scream fall, but I have worn this palette for the last 4 days. I find if I don’t try and blend blend blend, they look better on my eyes, so I was not as disappointed in this palette as I thought I would be. I am going to try and experiment with the MR palette and SC this weekend, see if any of the shades can come together. Thanks so much for your review, I agreed with everything you said, and you said it perfectly!! I would buy this again, I am making it my challenge to conquer this one!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      Thanks Bren! 🙂 Agreed! You can’t swirl in the shade or use a heavy hand otherwise you’ll screw up your entire look! YAY! Have fun storming the castle 😀 I’m so glad to hear it is a go for you!

  • blee

    Thanks, Musey girl! All I can say is that I have the 1st pallet and I love it. I too hit pan fast, but I used it daily for my lid and with it being a smaller size I would see that happening. That is why I got them in full size and made my own quads. I REALLY like what I have and would try this in the future. And you make this look beautiful! xoxoxoxoxo 😀 thanks again for you review!

  • Caroline

    Thanks you for the honest review. I enjoy your blog a lot and trust your recommendations 🙂 The only ABH palette I own is the Mario one, and while I have no desire to get the subculture palette, your review actually help me understand why I am not reaching for the Mario palette. Makeup is personal, and as someone with hooded Asian eyes, I have come to learn that mid-toned, softer colors complement my eye shape the most. ABH shadows are just too much for me. As you pointed out, the matte shadows are too pigmented and often turn muddy if I am not careful. In addition, ABH shimmers read a bit frosty on me. I definitely share yoru love regarding the Asian brand shimmers (Suqqu being my favorite) with top-notch translucent quality and the ability to layer. It’s all just personal choices and finding what works the best for yourself. Your neutral point of view is appreciated!!

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thanks Caroline 🙂 I couldn’t agree more about Asian shimmers, I really like them as well as I don’t get the frost factor from them (which I hate) that I often have an issue with in US brands. And you are too right, everyone has different experiences with formulas! It’s all about learning what’s best for you!

  • bella

    Thank you for your review. I have watched tons of videos, and I don’t even like any of the colors. They look pukey for lack of a better word. I saw Casey Holmes video with it and she took it off and started all over again because the first look was completely muddy and looked Horrible! The one palette that I wanted to get and kept waiting on, was the Mario palette. I just loved the colors and formula.

  • Jay

    Your look came out so pretty! Very un-amateurish to me! 🙂 it’s so weird how every so often, the beauty community will bond over a mutual hate of a product. I so so so appreciate your balanced review! I’m a total amateur collector/beauty lover too and also can’t envision many looks with this palette. I don’t mind whipping it out when I have more time to focus on eye makeup, but dang it I’m not creative enough to work with the colors lol. Since it’s permanent, I’ll give it a go during the next sale. Are you interested in the ABH lipsticks or liquid highlighters? They don’t look super unique or anything haha but pretty

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thanks Jay! Likewise! I really am not creativity enough to begin to understand what goes where here. I spoke to Christine (temptalia) during my review process and she had mentioned that she the shade range because it forced creativity. And she’s right, it’s really a palette that makes you sit and think what would look good together! 😀 Not the highlighters but I am going to review the lipstick 😀

  • Jodi

    Outstanding review!!! ( as always : hence my complete & total faith for The Muse! Ain’t no other Beauty Guru but she for me!!! ( hehe little poem for you Muse ! ) I’m glad I waited before purchasing … I will indeed buy Subculture, but there’s no longer urgency – I can wait for a discount code or something awesome GWP shows up in that I want!
    XOXO from one of your multitude of countless fans!!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL Jodi thanks girl! 😀 <3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love ya!

  • Dawn Molero

    Part of the problem with this seems to be that a lot of the bloggers etc. insist that products be super pigmented and soft and perform perfectly and look good on really intricate looks. They keep wanting more and more and it’s impossible for companies to make them happy. I don’t even bother to look at what most of them do. I don’t like super pigment…..it’s a mess to work with. I don’t want a dramatic makeup look. Sometimes I only use one color….I know….crazy. I prefer reviews like yours that are more true to life with a look that I could wear to go to the grocery store here in Louisiana without getting funny looks. I definitely appreciate what you do and value your opinion. Please keep up with the cute looks and honest opinions!!

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thank YOU DAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you so much <3! You made me smile with "cute looks" 🙂 That's exactly what I TRY to aim!

  • Tippy6

    Muse, I believe you’re being a little too hard on yourself because you are talented and have a fantastic way of presenting reviews that is refreshing. If you haven’t been professionally trained in cosmetic artistry, then you’re doing a damn good job with the war paint on your own trial and error approach. Frankly, you’re doing a much better job than some so called expert gurus out there. I have never had the opportunity to work with any of Anastasia products; however, I have dabbled with a lot of highly pigmented matte shadows and you are correct in your assessment of employing a very light hand when picking up and applying these types of shadows. In addition, the brush that appears to accompany this palette would not be the one that I would use and is probably the greatest cause for the muddying issue that you are encountering as well as the dust up problem. Also, the size of the brushes on either end appear to be a little too large for precise application. May I suggest Urban Decay Pro brushes in sizes E208, E209 and E210 for use with highly pigmented matte shadows. These three brushes are synthetic, rather dense and fantastic for use with any eye shadow but are spectacular with mattes used with a very light hand. Basically, you just have to barely touch the brush end to the product. If not enough, touch it again. Like you stated, this palette will probably takes time and patience to master. Mattes, for me at least, are difficult to control with brushes that are too fluffy and soft. Hope this helps and keep up the fantastic job. Keep on keeping it real!

    • Isabella Muse

      AWWWWWWWWWWWW thanks Tippy! You are way too kind! <3! Thanks for the recommendation on the UD pro brushes, I have those and will try with those and see how things go! and thank you! Your comment made my day <3!

  • Tracy

    Thanks so much for the in depth and insightful review. Like you, I’m a techie who enjoys makeup as a hobby, so your perspective was really helpful for me. Also, I do like the eye look that you’ve published with this review – I think it’s lovely. 🙂

  • kjh

    Well, I hate to be so totally Schadenfreude about this, but the whole controversy makes me giggle and snort. Makeup is on the level of the presidency, when it comes to provoking extremes! I did say on T (who gave you a nod on her AMA, in case you haven’t had time to read it) that I certainly did not have the skill level to make this work. Just love the muted colors, though. Your sponge tip swatches always make stuff look good, at times far better than they would apply. But, if you used sponge applicators, this would likely destroy in no time, possibly with batch exceptions. Think I’ll get a few dupes and call it a day. T has MAC, mufe, MUG , and I think CP dupes up. Not close dupes, just closest from those lines. The Ulta consumer reviews are quite skewering, and those are generally generous, compared to Sephora’s…with the exception of S’s deletions already noted by Muse readers this week. I think Norvina’s response (blame the skill level of the user) is unacceptable, especially in view of how abh has benefited from SM. If they reformulate, I might give it a go…but I can’t blend Naked 1 to save my soul, so prob a bad idea. You are always gracious and truthful, which is of true value.

    • Isabella Muse

      I used sponge tips to swatch but not during application since the shades were so soft. I spoke to Christine prior to reviewing as we were comparing experiences with the palette. At the time she had already tried it fully and I was just starting to test out. We kind of had the same experience with it overall though I think.

  • genevieve

    Thank you so much for your in depth review, it is always appreciated.
    I wasn’t really drawn to this palette because of shade colours and the fact that they are mostly matte.
    I am not too skilled at applying eye shadow and I would find this palette way too difficult to use. It’s a shame that it has attracted all kinds of negative reviews for ABH.

  • JL

    Well, the verdicts are in and yours was the last I needed to confirm that despite REALLY wanting this palette (I do like the color scheme a lot, it’s unique and I know I could rock those colors whether on me or others),I’ll not purchase it now. If somehow I find one on sale somewhere (which online vendors may do with the mixed to awful reviews) for under 15 bucks, I might then try it for fun. I have two Natasha Denona palettes that need time and are very pigmented with some fallout, but give beautiful results. And with experience, you can even whip them out and do a quick look, but this just seems like a crazy mess for too many people, even those with MUA skills. Thanks!!!!!! Your review helped a lot to confirm my decision is a good one for now.

  • Maria

    Muse, did you use an eye-shadow brush to apply all the colors? Thanks.

      • Maria

        I do not have the Mac brushes. I use Ecotools which I love and use with Modern Renn and all my other shadows.

  • Chris

    The very mention of major fallout would be a no purchase decision for me. Thank you for your informative review. I like the colors but it’s not calling to me.

  • Sammy

    One thing I can definitely say for Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palettes is that they are not the same uninspiring, let’s-keep-reinventing-the-wheel-but-use-different-packaging palettes. The same repetitive eyeshadow colors marketed differently with all the cosmetic companies literally makes me scratch my head with frustration season after season. (Rant over – lol). I loved ABH Renaissance Palette, because it was so different than any other eyeshadow colors that I’d seen out there for quite some time. And they worked beautifully with my blue/green eyes. This palette sure is different, but alas I do not believe the colors will work for me. Bummer. As I am always looking out for something a little bit different than what I already have on hand. But kudo to ABH for continuing to think outside the box.

  • Jodi

    I forgot to mention that it was your review that convinced me to buy the palette in spite of the negative aspects. I’m just not feeling the overwhelming frenzy to get it “Right NOW!!! “. To be clear, I didn’t find your assessment to be wholly negative. I gained much insight from your comments … We’ve been duly warned, so I understand that I’ll be buying a ” Problem Child” palette. I’ll treat the shadows as though they are loose pigments! Your colour swatches are excellent! Above all others, I find your swatch photos to be the most true & accurate. You’re so objective & reasonable!

    • Isabella Muse

      lol Jodi I laughed at the problem child palette haha 😀 Aw thanks girl! <3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bren

      That is exactly how I treat these shadows as well. I have no issues with fallout since I use powder under my eyes when applying this palette, my only real “issue” is the fact that if you blend, it all goes muddy. SO, to combat that, I just place the shadow where it belongs and don’t do much blending. All in all happy with the colors, but the army green color is not army green, lol

  • Maria

    Hi Muse. I used my palette for first time today with my Ecotools eye brushes. I did not have much fallout. My problem was that 2 shades I used were patchy and looked muddy. I used mercury on the lid and adorn in the crease. They were muddy and patchy. Cube did not have much color on the Brow bone, but worked fine in the inner corners. My problem also is deciding what shades go together. I am not an artist or color wheel expert. I will use it again and I might return it. I bought it on launch date from ABH website.

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Maria! Sorry to hear the woe. I had the same issue with pairing up shades, it was a little hard for me to figure out which went well with what. Thank god for good return policies!

  • Jodi

    Subculture is made primarily of TALC!!!! Ugh! Modern Renaissance is made primarily of MICA! In fact, I don’t see Talc listed as an ingredient in MR. No wonder there’s such disappointment!
    Based on the reviews, I considered that Subculture was possibly pure, pressed pigment. I figured I’d baby it like loose pigment. To confirm, I checked the ingredients list. Nope! It is indeed a stinky palette for the mature complexion!!! Talc is a NO for the elderly – It will make us look so much older!

  • Stephanie G

    Muse, you are my favorite reviewer! 🙂
    Any time I get a palette, I go on pinterest & search for looks from that palette – otherwise I have no idea how to come up with looks!
    I love the colors of this palette, and I wanted to get it for my mom, since I knew she’d love the colors too. But I think it would be too finicky for her.

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thanks Stephanie <3! That's a great idea! I'm constantly on pinterest! Maybe wait until they actually revamp the palette!