March 13, 2018

Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette Review & Swatches

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

I purchased the Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette ($46) when it launched last week at Sephora. It was sort of a no brainer for me as I loved the gorgeous dusky roses, berries, and coppers in this palette. The shades in the palette were inspired by Urban Decay’s Backtalk Vice Lipstick shade which is a nude-mauve that’s apparently supposed to be flattering across all skin tones.

I’m not sure if I’d call the shades in the Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette ideal and perfect for all skin tones though. As I know a few people that would say berries just don’t look good on them. Thankfully, I’m not one of those people. I actually like the way berries and roses look on my eyes so, like I said, this was a no brainer purchase.

The palette is actually an an all-in-one that contains 8 eyeshadows, two blushes, and two highlighters. I’m trying to think if Urban Decay has every did blushes and eyeshadows in one palette and I can’t think of a single one. Is this their first?! Maybe I’m having a senior moment or I’m a little fuzzy and can’t recall a time they did but nothing comes to mind.

As far as all-in-one palettes go the packaging on this is interesting if not slightly awkward and a bit thicker in size than your standard palette. They made the palette user friendly by including a double-sided mirror which actually removes from the case. In some ways, I couldn’t help but think how handy this was. But in other ways I felt like it made the packaging a lot more bulkier and difficult to store and also, heavier for travel. I also thought it was a little awkward as when you open the palette it can sometimes slide out and drop on the floor before you have a sec to grab onto it. If you had plans to remove it and toss it aside you sadly can’t as the palette won’t close correctly if it isn’t inside. I find myself wondering if I’ll ever even make use of it since I rarely use the mirrors included in eyeshadow palettes.

The palette includes 8 x 0.04 oz eyeshadows and 4 x 0.14 oz blushes/highlighters. As far as I know the shades are all new and haven’t been available prior to this. The palette is exclusive to Sephora and I was surprised to see it was made in the USA.

You might wonder at that last bit where I said I was surprised to see it was made in the USA. Well, we’ve come to expect poorly made eyeshadows from our favorite brands who have their palettes made in China. Sometimes the quality isn’t entirely up to par on these palettes. Ones made in the USA are typically an entirely other story as the quality seems to be a lot better.

The quality here is horrible. I’m actually shocked how bad this palette was. Those of you who expressed you’d be waiting to purchase this on sale have the right idea. Please don’t pay full price for this monstrosity.

As you may know I’m a fond of applying my eyeshadows with sponge tipped applicators. I’m old school I guess but I like packing on color with a sponge eyeshadow applicator and doing any blending or detailing with other brushes I own. I could NOT pack color onto my lid with these. I had to go over the swatches I did for this post about six times to get the color to show up on my arm. On my eye? It seemed to prove mission impossible. I keep packing color on but these are just so dry it seemed impossibly to get the best color pay off. After what felt like 18 layers later I was able to achieve the look you see below. The shadow formula is dry and picking up color with brushes or a sponge is very difficult. These are quite sheer. I expected the typical velvety super pigmented Urban Decay Eyeshadow what I got was a complete imposter. I had to shut the case and look at the logo to make sure this was an Urban Decay Palette. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers up in here. This can’t be Urban Decay! But I’m sad to say it is. Truly the eyeshadow shades are beautiful but the actually formula leaves a lot to be desired. You can see below how patchy my shadow is blended out.

Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette Swatches (3 Sheets, Bare, Curve, Backtalk)

Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette Swatches (Shade, Attitude, WTF, 180)

After the eyeshadow formula disaster I kept hope alive that the face powders would be much better. Purple blush fans will adore Cheap Shot which is a beautiful mauve pink. Low Key is another gorgeous shade that I was disappointed in as it is a really pretty sparkly peach highlighter which has zero pigment and a little bit of a sheen on my cheeks. All four shades blended poorly and suffered the same dryness as the eyeshadows. I had patchy results with both blushes and very little color from the highlighters just a hint of sheen. And yet again, I still struggled picking up color with my brushes. I kept laying the color on and when I finally did get it on my cheeks it looked patchy. The formula just blended poorly for me and didn’t the pigmentation just wasn’t there.

Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette Swatches (Cheap Shot, Double Take, Low Key, Party Foul)

I have to admit I’m heartbroken. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a palette. The selection of shades in this palette is stunning but I had had so many performance and formula issues. This is just chaotic and not a good representation of Urban Decay as a brand.

I highly suggest waiting for it to go on sale.

Did you get it?

How did you feel about it?

Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette is available now at sephora.com.

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

  • Courtney

    I just got this yesterday and I will be returning it. I don’t know how this crappy palette got produced. Booooooooo! It’s such a shame because it’s beautiful but it does not perform. Sending it back and getting one of Pat McGrath’s beautiful palettes.

    • Isabella Muse

      I cannot even. I’m shocked. I expected so much more. WTF were they thinking!?

  • Maria

    Muse. I just got it delivered yesterday. I did not use it yet. I was also very excited about this. Now I am wondering if I should return this. I normally do not return makeup. Muse, are you returning yours? The shades look nice on you but I do not want to struggle applying makeup. Did you use eye primer for the shadows?

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Maria. I’m not much of a returner to be honest. I’ll likely keep it as part of my collection. I don’t use primer when I am testing eyeshadow as I typically want to experience the formula without any helping hands. Hope this helps!?

  • Christina D.

    Hey Muse! I think those Face Cases that UD released a few years back (Anarchy and Shattered) had eyeshadows, blushes, and a lip pencil. I also think that Naked On The Run had shadows and blush.

    Now onto this palette: I haven’t used it yet. I did a major haul last week and still working my way through. Perhaps you got a bad one, but yikes!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think UD palettes are always manufactured in the U.S. — or at least they never outsource the palettes to China. I remember calling UD Customer Service when I misread the back of a palette and thought it was made in China (it wasn’t, only the enclosed brush).

    • Isabella Muse

      yes yes that’s what they were called! I wasn’t remember that at all! Now it comes back! I’m getting old lol! ;-D I can’t WAIT to hear your thoughts on it. Let me know how it goes maybe mine is a fluke but I checked sephora and reviews are bad (3 stars so far) which means if the bad are out-weighted the good at Sephora something must be wrong since most sephora reviews are all glowing! I thought UD had a few palettes made in china, thanks for the education! ;D

  • Alyssa

    I’m glad I saw your review before I purchased, cause I was tempted. I can’t believe the quality is so poor, that sounds like the same problem Too Faced wS having with some of their palettes. Thanks Muse!

    • Isabella Muse

      my pleasure. I’m so heartbroken! I can’t believe how bad this is!

  • breyerchic04

    Well that’s disappointing .

    I don’t think i’ll go for it even on sale 🙁

  • Denise

    Urban Decay’s Naked On The Run palette is an all-in-one that includes eyeshadows, blush, bronzer, mascara, liner and possibly a lippie (I can’t remember). The quality is good, and it still pops up at 50% now and again. As for Backtalk, thanks for saving me $46!

    • Isabella Muse

      Oh yes thank you! I forgot about that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my pleasure, please wait, don’t be curious, just wait 😉 lol!

  • Rina

    Aw man! Bummed that it sucked but happy that I saved $46 AND that I’m not the only one who prefers sponge applicators! The Sa’s look at me like I have 3 heads! Do you have one on a handle or do you have to buy the small cheapie ones in bulk? Thanks for taking one for the team, again!

    • Isabella Muse

      ha old school together ;-D I love them! Easier to pack color on! I buy the 2 1/2 inch ones that are like the ones at sephora in bulk. They are SUPER great for application (and swatches too!). Aw my pleasure xoxo!

  • Jen R

    Muse-

    Urban Decay had “face cases” several years ago that included eyeshadows, blush, highlighter, and an eyeliner – I have one that I still use occasionally because it has a really pretty purple shade!

    But to this palette – how depressing! I was initially uninterested in this, but it hard started to grow on me more and more. Now… think this is going to be an easy pass, and I’ll see if I can still pick up the kaleidoscope palette at half off. Thanks for saving me money and sadness!

    • Isabella Muse

      I honestly don’t remember those. All the makeup releases are running together now lol! Aw my pleasure and I’m sorry to break your heart!

  • Emily

    Shame, but yay for my wallet and my overflowing makeup cabinet. Thank you for the quick review, so I can move on with my life! This was one of very few palettes that have tempted me recently. By the way, I am really falling more and more in love with my IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol 1 palette, which I bought pretty much because of your recommendation. It is just fabulous, versatile, so easy to work with, and the colors come alive on my lids. Thank you so much for ushering it in to my life!

    • Isabella Muse

      Aw my pleasure. It didn’t take much time to test this and realize it was a flake! OMG I use it all the time! One of the few palettes I hit pan on! So glad you like it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • kjh

        Vol 2…eventually fell for it on sale, and it’s quite colorful, with the muted shades a tad deeper than pastels, so they don’t pull white based. Think these palettes are vastly overlooked, as we’re on to the next thing…like this Backtalk disaster.

  • Toopy

    Got the palette a few days ago and run into the same issues as you did. It is quite bad, especially in comparison to other UD palettes. In addition, the shadows turn very orange on me, which is not what I wanted or needed. I’m very disappointed in this palette. I have no idea how there can be so many 5 star reviews of this on the Sephora site, unless they are people with some sort of vested interest, or have used even worse eye shadows in the past and this seems stellar in comparison.

    • Isabella Muse

      yeah, I was actually a little surprised that the shades weren’t completely pink! A lot of them are in fact orange or look orange on the lid or copper really. I expected more rosiness and berry. I actually saw a lot of poor reviews at Sephora which I was surprised about considering Sephora allegedly deletes poor reviews (which I’m kind of believing lately since even the most awful items have 5 stars). Anyone who rates this 5 stars must be trying a formula I wasn’t lol! Because no way does this rank a 5 star rating!

  • KatyCT

    Yup, agree with everyone – thanks for taking the hit for me and saving me money.

  • Susan

    I was super-excited when this palette was first announced but did not buy it for two reasons: one, it’s a Sephora exclusive and since I’d want to see it in person first and I have no local Sephora (although we’re getting one soon, yay!), I was waiting on reviews. Two, once the swatches started rolling out, they were all MUCH warmer/more orange-y than the original swatches from UD, which were no doubt computer-altered.

    Now I see that this is basically yet another palette that is NOT cool-toned. Yes, there are a few cool shades, but it’s not all cool-toned. I’m so sick of warm browns and orange tones. The quality plus the swatches make it safely and happily a no-buy for me.

    • Isabella Muse

      oddly enough when I got it I felt the same way. It wasn’t an entirely berry or rosy shaded palette and there’s actually quite a few warmer coppers and browns here!

  • Jules

    Well, boo!!! So disappointing! This was, on first impression, my favorite spring release. Glad I didn’t just jump in and buy it. So weird. I usually wait for reviews for too faced or tarte, but UD I usually don’t even worry about!

    I actually got out my urban decay anarchy face case this weekend! It was kind of designed like this… But it sounds like it performs better.

  • SDinIL

    I wonder if you got a bad one. Mine are really pigmented and stayed put 8 hours with no primer. With primer and applied with Mac Fix I got 11 hours before fading. The blushes fade after about 7 hours on me. I bought another one for my sister and she loves it. My skin tone is Urban Decay Naked Foundation 2.5.

  • Christina

    Well that’s a bummer! The shades are pretty, and for a minute I was tempted, but not when you don’t even like it. Nah, I can live without it; Heavens knows that I already have all the shades somewhere in my stash.

    Thanks for the quick review!

  • Lili

    Oh my, this is disappointing. It feels like UD might be going downhill, with the latest releases(Distortion, Kristen Leanne collection..) ending up in sale really fast. Thanks for the review, definitely not even tempted to get this anymore!

  • kjh

    nailed it! got it yesterday and wore to night job. Unsolicited comments from the public: ‘That makeup is pretty, sort of.’ ‘You look so much better in bolder colors. I mean, those don’ really show up at all.’ “That eye makeup is really nice.’ ‘That doesn’t really look like you.’ The MAC MUA who comes in liked it, but I think she was only being polite. I told her, in no way get this palette. And, yes, the public does make a lot of unsolicited comments…think it was ~8. My general O: Not as advertised and far warmer than expected. it IS any old lady palette (might keep it.; no way they really targeted 70 yos, though, lol.). As different as they look in the pan, they don’t look anywhere nearly as differentiated on…both the blushes and the eyes. Very hard to pick up onto brushes. Way underpigmented. The blushes fade easily. There is a sameness that reads bad formula, rather than cohesive edit. It’s as if there’s a base shade that comes through/shows, while the actual pigment does not. Nobody is going to get a lot of looks from this, and it does not blend well. Some real no shows, even with primer. The only thing that really appeals to me is backtalk as a transition shade for looks in this color family. Pretty suckworthy, all in all, and I, too, was really looking forward to it. Bet we see a whole lot of (owned and better) dupes in our stashes, when Christine does her review. PS. A Lyft driver knocked to say he was here to drive me….in the middle of the blizzard we are having. A tad surreal, especially when he insisted. Eventually went off to find the real passenger.

    • Isabella Muse

      AGREED with all of the above especially having a hard time picking color up with brushes! It seemed impossible!

  • Adrienne

    This was a letdown and although disappointed I am happy to read the comments and that it wasn’t just me. I had points at Ulta (expiring soon) and the sales associate told me it was a Sephora exclusive (she may be incorrect) but I decided to have a mini eye makeover at Sephora over the weekend before purchasing because I was super excited. The woman who applied the eyeshadow was also disappointed. We used the UD primer as a base. The shadows were difficult to apply, the colors didn’t come out as expected, there was a lot of fallout and she had to keep getting makeup remover. I was only able to use 3 of the shadows the others were not flattering, and of the blush/highlight I was only able to use Lowkey which was really “low key non existent” on me. Within 2 hours I had creasing and my overall look really looked like a glittery light pink mess in the middle of my eye and I know she used more shadows. The backtalk had to be my base because 3 sheets didn’t show up and 180 was for definition but in 2 hours all I had was the attitude shade that was dominant . I don’t own any UD palettes because I ignore the hype and wait for the reviews. This will be a pass for me as well. The shades remind me a little bit of the Mulberry collection at Kohls by Academy of Colour

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m always happy it isn’t me as I feel like such a grump lately because my reviews are all bad. I feel like I whine but when people come on and say, “Hey me too!” I feel better. It is indeed a Sephora exclusive. Also, it is on UD but not coming to Ulta. Oh wow I’m so sorry 🙁

  • Sarah

    Dang girl, I was going to stop by Sephora on my way home and get this. Not going to now. It looks so damn pretty. Can you recommend a similar palette? If this question has been asked before, please forgive me. Thanks a bunch.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m sorry! 🙁 I’d go anyway and just have a little swatch and a play see if it turns out better for you! ABS Modern Ren? That’s a nice berry/copper palette!

    • Chris

      I am going to suggest to Sarah Dose of Colors Marvelous Mauves as your rose/berry palette. Dose also has a new Blushing Berries palette too but they are different than the Mauves palette. Dose of Colors also comes with a double sided brush too.

  • Jessica

    I bought about five or six years ago a palette from Urban Decay that I love. It is a small white case but contains five eyeshadows, two blushes and one highlighter. It also had 24/7 eyeliner and a beautiful lip crayon (I was so sad when they discontinued them so I treasure the one I have). Lastly, it also has a mirror. I think they made two versions, the one with the white case and other with a black case. The quality obviously is very good. It’s such a shame to see they are performing so poorly. I’m not even wait to get this on sale.

  • Magenta Wilde

    The shades sure are pretty. It’s the kind of colors I covet in an eyeshadow palette, but this sounds like it’s too much money for too little performance. You saved me money!

  • Maria

    I just checked a few you tube videos on this palette. It looked like the reviewers had no problems with the shadows and blushes. They all used various brushes to apply the makeup. No negative reviews. Very strange.

    • Isabella Muse

      Hopefully mine was a fluke! Although a few readers commented they experienced the same poor performance! Let me know how it works out for you!

    • Kish

      Wonder if they are paid reviewers? I notice a lot of disparity between people who are “influencers” vs people who are normal consumers/bloggers. There are a ton of negative reviews on Sephora, which makes me think it must really be bad. Usually it’s all rainbows and 5 stars…

      • Isabella Muse

        I looked at Phyrra’s review just a minute ago and she wasn’t terribly impressed she even mentioned how she got a hard pan finish from one of the blushes. I was thinking the same as Sephora typically all is glowing but it seems the bad outweighs the good at Sephora as you said!

      • Susan

        I rarely trust the paid reviewers. They’re not going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Amazingly, most of them LOVE everything they get for free. Go figure.

        • Isabella Muse

          unfortunately not everyone discloses everything which makes it even crummier 🙁

  • Kimmwc03

    I watched Phyrra’s review on Youtube and decided not to buy. Too warm toned. Swatched on her skin it was very similar to the Kristen Leanne palette.

    • Isabella Muse

      everything is warmed toned on Courtney ;-D She has the most perfect fair complexion ;-D No but in all seriousness, it is indeed quite warm! I think people expected cooler! I was ok with the warmer tones as I like them but anyone fairer who expected cooler mauves and roses will def be disappointed!

  • Virginia

    This review makes me so sad ! I was looking forward to this palette, but thanks to you I’ll be saving my money.

    Also. I agree with another commenter in here about all the warm tones palettes. I love me some berries and reds but cooler toned shadows (for me ) are much more flattering. I wish UD would do something different and go that route (besides Naked 2).

  • Carol

    I am shocked! I was looking forward to buying this but was waiting to get it fromUD since they have free shipping and I didn’t renew my Sephora Flash. I love UD and was so excited when I saw the pictures of this last month but now that it isn’t getting good reviews I won’t bother buying it. What a shame. I can understand why you were heartbroken. In a sea of all peach palettes lately this was a welcome change.

  • chibi639

    Really? I’m shocked. I swatched in store and bought my palette on release day, and I’ve been loving mine. I haven’t had any consistency or blending issues at all. My only gripe is that the shadows Bare and Curve are pretty much identical. I could have used another matte in place of one of them. I was surprised when I saw it in person. It’s definitely warmer than promo images have led us to believe but that actually tipped me towards buying the palette. I’m a medium warm skinned gal, so if it had been cool toned it would have been a skip. Maybe there are batch issues with this release?

    Also, I’ve found there is a correct way to put in the mirror. The side that says “Urban Decay” should be facing towards the face powders and the edge with the words should be inserted in the slot. I’ve done a vigorous shake & toss test and it holds very securely.

  • Robin

    Thank you for saving me money! When the Sephora reviews mention they were very fair and they had trouble getting the shades to show up, I was surprised.

    Ready for cool tone shades!!

  • Michelle Luna

    Guys: Before the shattered and anarchy Face Cases, there were Face cases in like, 1999. I have almost all of them. Mad old, I know.
    Muse I’m so glad you swatched these before I bought this because even if the quality was on par with UD, the colors actually aren’t turning me on at all like I initially thought! In pan I thought I would love them but nopers, no love tingles happening. Thanks for saving me and helping me instead think about what colors I already have in my insane hoard that I don’t use and should… especially the ones by UD!

    • Michelle Luna

      Oh I forgot to say, the original Face Cases had 4 eyeshadows, 4 lip products (2 lipsticks, 2 lip gunks) and a larger pan that was either a blush or a body haze (as it was called) depending on the palette. Rare is the photo collection of these palettes. I keep meaning to snap pics of mine…

  • Renu

    Thanks for your honest review, Musey. This is why I love your blog so much.

    Funny thing is, Juvia’s Place, Makeup Revolution/Freedom Pro, and a bunch of other relatively new brands are almost entirely manufactured in China, and their palettes have excellent pigmentation. Maybe all brands need to take a step back from the flurry of palette launches and examine what they – and their customer base – want to see, quality-wise.

    • Isabella Muse

      aw my pleasure! Oh don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of palettes made in china that I love but I think mid-range brands sometimes suffer when they export to china at times 🙁

      • Renu

        So do brushes, IMO! The Sephora Airbrush Concealer Brush 57 never truly recovered the outsourced manufacturing :'( 🙁

        Whereas Sigma, IT Cos, MUR, and so many others already make in China, and the brushes are top notch.

        • Isabella Muse

          oh no did the 57 change!? Say it isn’t so! I have two but I purchased them years ago.

  • Ricki Simon

    Well – darn! Mine just arrived yesterday, I hadn’t used it yet but do agree that there were more orangey shades than I expected. Guess I will return it – still searching for the perfect rose/mauvey eyeshadow palette.

    • Isabella Muse

      sad sigh 🙁 I did think it would be more rose and berry toned too!

  • Christina D.

    OK so I used Backtalk this morning..and I really like it! Having read your review, I went it with a large, dense eye shadow brush and used a heavy hand (I naturally have a heavy hand). I got lovely pigment, without any kick-up, that blended well. I will agree that the shadows aren’t as berry-toned as they appear but I it did not go orange of me. I only used one blush, Cheap Shot, and that made a nice, soft berry color on my cheeks (it reminds me of a lighter version of Rapture).

    All in all, it’s not quiet as pigmented as some of my other UD palettes, but I’m happy with it.

    • Isabella Muse

      I am so surprised! I felt for sure you’d hate it. I’m glad it worked out for you sis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was disappointed 🙁 Bit too sheer and didn’t blend quite as well for me as other UD palettes 🙁

  • Christina D.

    I know there are more negative reviews than positive, but I’m wondering if it is a quality control issue…or maybe there is a top layer that needs to be scraped off since, like I said, I went it with a dense brush and did a back and forth to make sure my brush picked up pigment. It did seem to work better as I went back in.

    • Isabella Muse

      I do wonder if I got a fluke! It’s weird, but I’m tempted to buy another one and try again lol! I swiped a few layers off to do swatches but same issues! I used sponge applicators and went in with a blending brush but same same 🙁

  • Jen

    Thank goodness I swatched in store–and I was somehow the first person to do so. When I got crappy results from the first pull I was like “Huh… Maybe I just needed to swipe off that first layer?” Nope. All of the pale shades were flippin’ awful and didn’t come close to showing up on my skin, and I’m very fair skinned. Nope. I’ll wait for reviews of the new TF natural face palette and even then may wait for my ULTA birthday coupon and cash in platinum points.

    • Isabella Muse

      I experienced the same Jen! Very sheer and had to build considerably!

  • Krystal

    I’m basically a huge UD fan and this palette left me so disappointed. I don’t mind the face palette but the eyeshadows are horrible!

    • Isabella Muse

      🙁 I felt the same about the shadows, just not what I expect from UD

  • Nads

    Hi Muse, THANK YOU for saving me a lot of money. Imported cosmetics aren’t cheap in my country (USD times 5!) but I always splurge on UD because they’re really usually of good quality. Had to wait 2 months for this pallette to arrive on our shores but now that it’s here I cant help to think that it’s too similar to Naked 3. Having read your review and similar feedback from the rest just gave me further validation that this is a pass. A little sad though haha

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi nads! Oh my gosh my pleasure! <3! I'm happy to have someone helped! Honestly, if you collect a lot of UD I can say there are plenty of shades you likely already have that are in this palette! There are oh so many bronzes and aquas a girl can have from UD you know? And this one contains plenty that are quite similiar to ones in past palettes!!!!!! Don't be sad 😉 I'm sure UD has plenty more coming down the pipe for Summer!