Monday, April 2, 2012

Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Collection


I am forever late posting reviews. I have so many backlogged that I should just stop mulling over my photos, and simply make myself post more regularly. I've had this anniversary palette from Urban Decay since August(?!) of last year and it's my favorite 2011 release from them. I've been using it a lot in conjunction with my ever constant Sugarpill colors.

ingredient list

I remember right before this palette was released, all the major beauty blogs and YouTubers were raving over it. There's something about seeing the oversaturation of a product that makes me not want to write about it myself. And I don't say this to devalue other people's opinions, it's just that I like to develop my own opinion about things, and feel better when what I have to say matters and isn't as lumped in with 'everyone else.' The problem is, I sometimes put up posts when products I review are no longer available.


I guess this post is more for myself in terms of referencing back to swatches at this point. I tried photographing this palette around 3-4 different times and never liked all of the shots from a single turn, so that's why there are some inconsistencies. I hope it's not too noticeable, but I prefer taking photos of unused makeup, therefore it kind of pains me to be posting shots where it's obvious that the palette's been quite loved.


Moving on to the actual review, the palette is a gorgeous set of bold brights and neutrals. It comes in a velvet box that can be reused, and the eyeshadows themselves are in a tray that pops out. Underneath, is another velvet lined box that is much shallower than the first one mentioned. The palette's cover has a beautiful filigree pattern, and the lid is bejeweled with Urban Decay's initials in a textured rhinestone purple.

reusable velvet box filled with various makeup
entire contents of makeup from previous photo
filigree pattern

Almost all of the colors have fantastic payoff and smooth textures, the latter of which we can now accredit to their revamped formula. In terms of wear, I don't have problems with Urban Decay creasing or fading as long as I use a primer. The few eyeshadows that are a somewhat finicky to use include: Midnight Rodeo, Tainted, Junkshow, and Blackout.

swatches (from left to right): Midnight Rodeo, Tainted, Deeper, Midnight 15, Junkshow


  • Midnight Rodeo - light, sparkly brown; a little gritty with some fallout, but otherwise applies nicely
  • Tainted - matte lavender with a subtle golden shimmer; a bit chalky and compared to other shadows in the palette, needs layers to build up color
  • Deeper - shimmery chocolate brown, smooth texture and great color payoff
  • Midnight 15 - shimmery, pale champagne; reminiscent of Verve; rich, smooth application 
  • Junkshow - hot pink with a subtle fucshia sheen; formula feels drier compared to other colors, close to a dry matte; needs a few layers to build up color, but isn't as difficult to work with as Tainted

swatches (from left to right): M.I.A., Vanilla, Omen, Ace, Flow


  • M.I.A. - pigmented brown, a shade darker than Deeper; great application and color payoff
  • Vanilla - shimmery pale yellow with golden sheen; great application and color payoff
  • Omen - bright purple with a blue pearl sheen, reminds me of a darker eyeshadow version of Morphine; similar to Junkshow in color payoff
  • Ace - shimmery gunmetal gray, almost looks blue sometimes; rich texture and pigmentation
  • Flow - shimmery pale peach

swatches (from left to right): Evidence, Blackout, Chase, Deep End, Half Truth

  • Evidence - dark blue with pearly blue sheen; favorite application of all 15 colors, with absolutely no fallout; is easily buildable despite that it does not have the best color payoff
  • Blackout - matte black with very subtle iridescent sparkles; decent application
  • Chase - shimmery golden brown; great color payoff and texture
  • Deep End - perfect pool water aqua; can leave behind a stain; nice, smooth application
  • Half Truth - grape purple with subtle pink micro glitter throughout; rich application, smooth texture

Evidence
Evidence, Blackout, Chase, Deep End
Deep End

OmenDeep End, and Half Truth are my absolute favorite colors from this palette. Personally, I could have done without any of the neutrals in the entire left column, and do think there are a few too many browns. I say this as someone who doesn't wear neutrals very often, and as a loyal Urban Decay fan and customer who owns both the Naked palettes. Some examples: Midnight Rodeo is only a smidgen darker than SidecarDeeper and Smog are nearly identical; M.I.A. and Darkhorse are similar but are different shades of brown--where the latter is more of a black-brown compared to the former; Chase is similar to Half Baked (more yellow); and finally, Midnight 15 is ever so slightly darker than Verve.


As an overall purchase, I do think the original 55$ was worth it in terms of the value behind 15 full-size eyeshadows and fancy, reusable packaging. It would've been fun to see a brights-only palette with just as many shadows, but nonetheless, my personal preference does not take away from how versatile Urban Decay's anniversary collection is.

tokki rating: A+

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