Urban Decay has introduced a number of holiday collections this year, with the Vice eyeshadow palette ($59, Ulta, Sephora) probably being the most noteworthy. It’s a collection of twenty entirely new eyeshadows – none of these are from the permanent collection or past palettes.
The palette is made of a dark blue plastic that feels almost rubbery, making it very easy to grip – but for some reason it really likes to show up dirt. It has a self-opening feature – press a button on the front edge and it slowly opens to reveal the content. But you can also pop it open like normal at your own speed. The entire lid is a nice big mirror. There’s a tray for the double-ended brush – the same one that came with Naked 2 (you can read more details on it at the link). It’s a nice looking palette that feels sturdy, and it’s not bulky.
Many of the shadows here are very good – up to the usual Urban Decay standards – but there are a couple that really disappointed. That wasn’t the case with, say, Smoked, Fun or Feminine, which didn’t have a single bad shade among them – a few shades weren’t as great as others, but overall they were still very good.
This palette has a variety of colors and finishes, though not a lot of mattes:
I’m going to break these down row by row to show you swatches and give you details on each color.
- Desperation is a gray-purple that’s nearly matte except for a hint of metallic sheen. It applies well and is highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. This one is a joy to work with – it has a very nice color tone for deepening the whole look.
- Muse is a moderately deep brown with red undertones and gold micro-glitter. It’s a little bit sheer, so you either have to pack it on – in which case you’ll have moderate glitter fallout – or just wear it soft and sheer. When I wore it soft and sheer, very little of the glitter made it to my lids, but it performed nicely otherwise. Just be aware that there’s some compromising to be done with this one.
- Jagged just doesn’t live up to the rest of this palette. As a swatch, it needs to be built up and is a little powdery, but on the lid it’s even worse. It left not only glitter but little dark specks (bits of the powder?) in a sea of uneven sheer grayish-brownish-something. It looks pretty good in the swatch, but that’s only because I went over it and over it. I just couldn’t get it to look remotely like the swatch on my eye, which is a shame.
- Blitz is a highly shimmery yellow-gold that leans just barely toward green without really going there at all. It goes on evenly, and there’s plenty of pigment.
- Penny Lane is gold shimmer in a coppery base, but the shimmer is so concentrated that the overall effect is a light, warm peachy color. This one is slightly less pigmented than Blitz and Desperation, but still a very good color.
- Junkie is a deep teal metallic that leans green and has gold sparkle. This one needed a little bit of building up, but was otherwise solid.
- Chaos is a deep bright blue matte that I’m told has tiny bits of micro-glitter (see Temptalia and Musings of a Muse). It’s interesting, because Christine at Temptalia couldn’t see the gold glitter in Junkie, which is very evident in mine, and I still can’t see the glitter in my Chaos – not in the pan nor on my eye. Whatever the case, it’s a deeply pigmented color that applies like butter – a joy to work with.
- Occupy creased like a… big creasy thing on me, and I don’t have creasing troubles often. It’s a dark gray-purple metallic with micro-glitter. I was pleased that it didn’t have any noticeable fallout, but the creasing was an issue for me.
- Unhinged is a metallic deep teal. It’s highly pigmented and applied like butter. ‘Nuff said.
- Black Market is a deep brown-black with very tiny bits of micro-glitter that don’t translate noticeably from the pan to the lid. Like Blackout, this one can be used as a liner or to deepen other colors, or on its own.
- Provacateur is a metallic light mauve pink with a frosty finish and some noticeable glitter. It’s a bit sheer and on the dry side, but can build up to the color in the pan. I did experience some glitter fallout, which made this one not so much of a winner for me.
- Rapture is a desaturated medium purple with gray undertones, pink highlights and a frosty shimmer. It’s another color that isn’t terrifically pigmented, but builds up easily enough.
- Vice is a medium soft metallic purple with a deep burgundy base. Pigmentation is good, and it applies evenly.
- Noise is a deep bright pink with blue undertones and a satin finish. It has bits of gold glitter in the pan, but they just kind of disappear when transferred to skin (there are one or two glints in the swatch). This suits me fine, since I’m not wild about the glitter. Otherwise, this one applies very evenly and only needs a tiny bit of building up to reach the color in the pan (which gives you the option of applying it more softly, too).
- Armor is a deep taupe metallic with strong gray undertones and micro-glitter. I expected fallout city, but was pleasantly surprised not to have any noticeable fallout. It applies very smoothly with plenty of pigment.
- Nevermind is a pale shimmery bronze in the pan, but it goes on a little darker than expected due to the deeper brown base. Pigmentation is very good, and it applies easily.
- Echobeach is a frosted metallic wheat – a sort of light golden that almost has cool undertones. It also applies well and the color in the pan is exactly what you get on your lid.
- Anonymous is an ivory matte with solid pigmentation and a good texture to work with. It’s not quite creamy, but it’s not at all dry either. For a matte, that’s very good.
- Freebird is a light peachy pink with a frosted finish and just a bit of sparkle. The pigmentation could have been better, so this one takes some building and was a little bit frustrating.
- Laced is a matte light brown with pink undertones and grayish highlights. The texture is excellent, and the color payoff is great.
There are a few great colors (Chaos, Blitz, Unhinged, Noise, Armor, Nevermind, Echobeach and Laced), and most of the rest are good. Jagged was a big disappointment, and Occupy’s creasing turned me off. Overall, it’s a quality palette, but a lot of the colors strike me as very similar to other Urban Decay permanent collection colors. My next article on this palette will focus on potential dupes and near dupes from the Urban Decay line.