Hey loves, I wanted to let you know that I caved and bought the ever so controversial Anastasia Beverly Hills subculture palette. The grungy sister to the Modern Renaissance screamed my name as soon as it was announced. The colour palette is gorgeous and right up my street, it includes colours I use, colours I want to experiment with and colours I never thought I’d own!
I have read and watched a lot of reviews of this palette all being very mixed, some saying they had broken palettes, some saying it was too powdery and wasted product, some saying nothing blends and some saying the palette is an utter dream, I was so torn whether to part £41 for a palette that is so mixed, but I knew I’d regret it if I never even gave it a chance. I managed to nab mine off Beauty Bay before they publicly announced on their Instagram simply because I went on at 9am on 02/08/17 and found it to be there. I will note I was going to purchase this from Cult Beauty but when I went onto the site at 9am the palette was there but you couldn’t add it to the basket and it was like that for another 2 hours after, so unless Cult Beauty was delayed in releasing it I’ve no idea.
I’m going to split this review into two separate posts, this will be my sole first impression and will not include how this performs on the eyes, I’m going to do a separate more in depth tutorial/eye look on how this palette performs, how I got it to work and if I had any issues with blending/pigmentation etc. I know a lot of people are struggling to work with this palette so I’ll share my tips and tricks on how I used this palette to make it work, what brushes I used and any other techniques!
Onto my first impression as always I’ll start talking about packaging!
If any of you have tried the Modern Renaissance palette it comes in the same glossy thin card box which feels so sleek and sophisticated and the actual palette is in the soft case which loves to gather dirt so this time I’m determined to keep the box and the palette in pristine condition!
I do love the typefaces Anastasia use in terms of design they always hit the spot for me on packaging it’s not over the top or too cutesy it looks expensive and sophisticated and I’m all for that. But I do not like the colour for this the palette, the dark blue is fine but the mustard yellow colour which is similar to one of the shades in the palette is really ugly and I feel a coral colour would have looked better since blue and oranges compliment each other a lot more.
Anyway the palette is light but still has a bit of weight to it, and honestly I was scared to open it, so many people had said it had arrived smashed so when I opened mine I did it very carefully but absolutely nothing was damaged it looked clean and smooth and the shadows were covered with a plastic insert, the brush was in a plastic cover and the mirror had the Anastasia sticker across it. The Anastasia mirror is one of my faves but I know it’s a little cheat as it smooths your skin a bit more than other mirrors but it’s a great shape for eye looks.
So the shades inside are very different to what most palettes include, they are dark and smokey and grungy but still very colourful. I always wanted to try darker coloured smokey eyes but I just didn’t have the colours so now this palette should allow me to do this!
Off first impression the shades I was most excited to use were Roxy, New Wave, All Star, Electric and Axis. In this first impression I’m going to show swatches and talk about each shade and what I thought from first impression, like I did in my Violet Voss Holy Grail First Impression.
Here are the top row swatches!
CUBE: Cube in the palette looks like a chunky white shade but it is in face a duo chrome shade that everyone seems to be bringing out recently, a white base with pink reflect. I love these shades but the formula has to be right it’s extremely similar to Kat Von D’s Opal shade in the Alchemist palette however Cube is a lot more chalky because it has a stronger white base and more subtle reflect.
DAWN: On my pale skin Dawn is a lovely warm transition shade for more orangey/coral looks, it was the first shade I used out of the palette and I will say that this one blended effortlessly. It’s very smooth and pigmented and I can imagine getting a lot of use out of this.
DESTINY: This one reminds me of Makeup Geek Dirty Martini, it’s a muted olive green and I was surprised at how smooth and soft this one was. I’ve noticed with ABH shadows the more colourful shades are a bit rougher to the touch and this one was like Dawn very soft and smooth.
ADORN: This is the only true metallic shade in the palette and is very smooth and pigmented. It’s not as in your face as I would like, in comparison to a shade in the Zoeva Caramel Melange palette Adorn would take a lot longer to build up and cover the eyelid. The shade is super flattering though, not too dark or light and it’s not too warm, it doesn’t have a deep orange base. I still think this shade would look gorgeous on most eye colours!
ALL STAR: I was so excited for this shade because it’s a beautiful plum colour but it does come out a lot darker in the swatches which is alright but not fab in my opinion. Again it is super pigmented and swatches really nice but this one was a lot more powdery than the previous shades on this row but was still silky smooth to the touch. I do have a major problem with this colour though but I’m going to explain it thoroughly in my tutorial using this palette.
MERCURY: Probably the colour I’ll get the least use out of. I don’t tend to use greys that much but I do want to branch into it. I think Mercury would look amazing with the blue and teal tones in the palette and would work as a cooler toned transition shade in comparison to Dawn. Mercury really does remind me of Warm Taupe from the Modern Renaissance palette because it’s not a true grey it still has a warm base making it a tad more wearable.
AXIS: I’ve been living for the look of these blue colours especially Axis. It’s a really deep teal again a colour I’ve never experimented with! This is one of the colours that feels a lot rougher to the touch and does create a bit of powdery kick back but it’s nothing bad at all! Axis is a beautiful colour especially for adding a pop of colour to a smokey eye but it’s still deep and dark and grungy which I love!
Now onto the second row!
ROXY: This one is such a summery colour and one of my favourites from the whole palette, it pairs perfectly for the summery warm toned eye but also is bright enough to add pops of colour. Roxy I find to be really bright and it’s a shade of orange I’ve not really played around with before but it’s so smooth and look at that swatch! I know I’m going to get a lot of use out of it!
ELECTRIC: Very underwhelming to say the least! Electric looks metallic but it’s not pigmented enough to be metallic so I’m treating it more like a duo chrome shade, with a yellow/green base with reflects of orange. It’s an interesting shade but to me not that unique I have a single eyeshadow from Topshop which is very similar and would personally prefer to use that because it is so much more pigmented. Electric is really hard to use and hard to pick up product from it’s a bit of a let down to be quite honest.
FUDGE: This shade is the only duplicate from the existing line of eyeshadows. However the actual colour of fudge has gone a lot lighter than the original, even though I don’t own the original I saw RawBeautyKristi compare the two in her video review of the palette here. I think I would have preferred the original Fudge shade as it’s cooler in tone and deeper and it would match the grungy vibes more but still I’ll get a lot of use out of this colour because it’s the perfect neutral matte brown.
NEW WAVE: Peachy was my initial impression. The colour is very peach in tone but still has a good amount of yellow in it to make it more orange. It’s another colour that I love and will definitely use a lot, it’s equally as pigmented and smooth as Roxy and the two are perfect together.
UNTAMED: This shade was a little greener than I expected but would pair up really nicely with Destiny. I’ve always been trying to incorporate green into my eye looks but with my blue eyes I don’t think it looks right, but I’m going to keep trying and I think Untamed would be a good start for me. Untamed is a bit on the rougher side like Axis but again it doesn’t give a lot of kickback.
EDGE: In the pan Edge looks very yellow but once swatched it turns into more of a mustard yellow which I love! I do really like deeper yellows and I’ve found good ways to use them as well. Although it looks a little cooler in tone in the pan it’s not as you can see by my swatches it’s got the same sort of warmth that Roxy and New Wave have and these three would make the perfect basic summery eye.
ROWDY: When I opened the palette I was instantly drawn to Rowdy because I love deep purples! But this shade is extremely rough like Axis and it does feel quite bitty which makes it a little patchy. It’s a very dry shadow which is worrying when it comes to blending it out but I did try this colour in my tutorial so I’ll talk about it more then. I love the shade and the really cool undertone it has I just wish it was a lot softer!
So that’s all the swatches complete. I’m going to give my first thoughts from swatching the palette now.
I love the colour story I think it’s so unique and different especially for a brand such as Anastasia Beverly Hills. They are really branching out with colours and pushing the boundaries and making cult favourites.
This palette has come under a lot of criticism with people showing pictures of insane kickback and broken palettes and I really didn’t experience any of this. After I swatched every colour the palette looked like this.
I didn’t experience that much fall out at all. The drier shades had the most powder excess which was exactly the same as the Modern Renaissance palette. When you use brushes with the palette there is a bit more powder but even if they weren’t powdery you’d have to use a light hand because they are packed full of insane pigment. So either way you should use a light hand. The videos and images I’ve been seeing over the past weeks are stupid no one presses that hard into an eyeshadow, I think it’s come under a lot of unnecessary criticism and people have just jumped on the bandwagon to throw shade at a big brand to get attention, that’s what it seems like with some.
I’ve not had a problem with this palette in terms of kickback and messiness at all, so do not let that put you off buying the palette! Just use a light hand and you’ll have no issues!
I hate the fact that beauty influencers have been jumping on Anastasia as a brand especially Claudia her daughter meaning that Claudia has had to explain everything that is obvious to me. Complaining about broken palettes well use the customer service they have and get it replaced don’t complain and blame a single individual for messing up a palette.
Claudia posted this on her Twitter
You know I totally agree with her about swirling the brush around. People know that ABH shadows are pigmented so why would you press harder on a soft pressed shadow of course it’s going to create more fallout and hit the pan at the bottom. No one absolutely no one would use an eyeshadow in that way so why would you pretend to use an eyeshadow that way. It seems redundant which is why I’m bored of seeing the same thing in all reviews!
I pride myself in honesty, pictures don’t lie and neither do I, I don’t think this palette deserves the criticism, it’s a very decent palette, it’s hard to find pigment like that and if you want pigment you have softer pressed eyeshadows it’s science, it’s how pigments work. I think it’s a beautiful palette and yes I wasn’t impressed with the shade Electric but I’ve seen people using it and it looks so intense so I will find a way eventually because it will not go to waste. Sometimes you just need to try different techniques to get things to work to their best ability and I think that is key with this palette.
I will go into blending and fall out with brushes in my part 2 to this review, but for a first impression this palette is pretty damn good and I would recommend any of you to try it for yourself and see what you think!
That concludes this first impression, I hope you enjoyed reading through and maybe it put to rest some of your speculations about the palette! I’ll be back very soon with my part 2! Xo