Sunday, 7 February 2016

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette - Review and Swatches

I love Gwen Stefani. No Doubt. Bad joke, couldn't resist. But seriously, I love her, no ifs or buts. As soon as I found out she was coming out with a makeup collection, I was onboard, regardless of what the products looked like. I do like quite a bit of Urban Decay (UD) makeup, but it was Gwen Stefani's name on it that was why I bought it. I went a little mad. I bought 6 out of 8 of the Gwen Stefani lipsticks and 5 of the 6 lip liners. I bought the eyeshadow palette (obviously) and the blush palette. I did not buy the brow set as it is for blondes. 

I don't admire many celebrities. Gwen Stefani is one of the exceptions. I think she is gorgeous and edgy. She is just an all around cool chick. Any woman who can rock red lipstick 24/7 shamelessly and it look damn good, is thumbs up in my book. I have loved her since No Doubt burst onto the scene in the mid-90's. I also think her name is awesome. Years ago I read a quote by her where she said that when she was a teenager, she tried on red lipstick and looked at herself in the car rearview mirror and thought that it looked damn good or that's the look and she has worn it since. I understood her totally when I read that. That's how I feel about dark lipstick in general. Not everyone can rock it, but for those of thus can, may no one put us sunder. Okay, I am totally babbling now. On to the matter at hand.  

The packaging looks more expensive on camera than it is in real life. It is still cute though, but bulky. The Gwen Stefani plate on the front of the palette is a super cheap ass plastic. It looks metal from a distance. Oh I wish it had been metal. There is a nice big mirror inside. The palette contains 15 eyeshadows which are 0.4 oz. each so a fair size. I bought mine directly from Urban Decay the day the palette was launched because I was afraid Sephora would be sold out of it fast when they eventually got it. As a side note, I have not seen this palette sold out at Sephora yet and it's been out a good two months. It's $58 U.S. or $70 Canadian.

I have a lot to say about this palette. There is a lot of a good and some bad. I think I will get the bad out of the way first. Overall, the eyeshadows in this palette are a bit chalky and dry. I have been working with some really good Anastasia of Beverly Hills eyeshadows lately and after using those this palette was a bit of a shock to my system. So that's the first thing. Second, there are too many similar colours in this palette. Nine of the fifteen are all various shades of cream/beige. That's way too much. I would have loved to have seen a dark chocolate brown, a purple....something else. They blend well, but I think they could blend a bit better than they do. Some of the shades are not great and others are much nicer than I expected.

The first row is Blonde, Bathwater, Skimp, Steady and Punk. The swatches are in the picture below. Blonde is a bit yellow for my taste, but it works well as an inner corner and brow highlight. Bathwater has grown on me, but I find it doesn't apply as easily as I would like. It's a bit stiff. Skimp is not good. I have Skimp in another UD palette and performs much better than this version. Weird. Steady has also grown on me. It's one of the smoother shades. Punk is gorgeous! It's a matte plum burgundy and it's one of my new favourite eyeshadows. Punk has great longevity too.

I see why Gwen choose these colours. With her milky skin, a lot of these colours would pop. If you are medium to dark toned, I am not sure how much use you would get out of this palette.

Okay, in the picture below we have left to right (second row of palette) Baby, Anaheim, Stark, Zone and Serious. Baby looks quite pink in the swatch but I don't find it quite so pink on my lids. It's a decent colour though and one of the smoother ones. Anaheim and Zone are both good crease or transition colours if you have a light skin tone. Otherwise, perhaps lid colours if you have medium skin or darker. Anaheim is cooler whereas Zone is more warm and pigmented. Stark is just blah and chalky. Serious is such a neat clubbing grey with, if I am not mistaken, gold and burgundy shimmer. Love this colour and I have nothing else like it in my collection.

Third and last row of the palette from left to right is shown in the swatches below. We have Pop, Harajuku, Danger, 1987 and Blackout. Pop is a gritty, glitter bomb. I don't care for it. Harajuku was a surprise for me. It goes on the lid quite light and it reflects gold it seems. It looks darker on my arm than on the lid. It doesn't look crazy on the lid, it's quite wearable. Danger reminds me of other UD eyeshadows that I have seen before. It has good pigmentation. 1987 was also a pleasant surprise. This gold is quite flattering on the lid and looks awesome with black liquid liner. Blackout is pitch black! This colour is not to be played with. I have no issues working with it, but you better want this colour where you place it, because if not, it sure as hell is not going to budge easily. You have been warned.

Am I glad I bought this palette? Heck yes! I would buy it again tomorrow. It's not everyday that Gwen Stefani puts her name on some makeup. I find this palette to be easily wearable since most of it is so neutral. I will definitely reach for it, but it will not be the first, second or third palette that I reach for. The colours are a bit stiff to work with in general. Punk, Serious, Harajuku and 1987 are quite unique and happy additions to my collection. If you are not a Gwen Stefani fan, I would pass on this palette. If you are a Gwen Stefani fan, you cannot afford to pass on this palette.

The UD Gwen Stefani lipsticks and lip liners are out of this world based on my first impressions of unboxing them. Full reviews coming soon. I have been testing out Plaid (which is exclusive to the UD website) and it is the most beautiful colour ever. I am so in love. I have not been this enamoured with a lipstick for years. I just realized I am listening to Blake Shelton on iTunes. Huh. Interesting, how appropriate. Okay, here is the roundup on the eyeshadow palette.

Packaging: 7.5/10   
Pigmentation: 7/10
Easy to Work With: 6.5/10 (lighter shades a bit tricky)
Longevity: 8.5/10
Colour Stays True: 9/10
Texture: 6/10
Price: 7/10 
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 3/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10
Would I buy this again? One is enough but if I lost it, I'd be crushed cuz' it's Gwen!
Overall Rating: 7/10

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