Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Urban Decay Smoked palette review & swatches

The moment I saw Urban Decay Smoked palette I knew I was meant to have it! It's a selection of very wearable both light and dark shades with shimmery and matte finishes. What's more the palette also contains the famous Primer Potion and and an eye liner in Perversion, which is soo good that it requires a separate review.
The palette itself comes in a zip-locked pouch which has both advantages and disadvantages. It doesn't look as pretty as well designed traditional packaging, opening the zip is fussy and most of the time my palette remains unzipped, it's also not the most comfortable object to hold while doing your make-up. But on the other hand it's extremely travel friendly. It's lightweight, shock resistant and wouldn't open incidentally and it contains everything you need except mascara and brushes.

And here are the swatches of all the shadows in the palette. Almost all of them are very pigmented and swatch well, with the exception of Evidence, which was dry and didn't cling onto my skin. As you can see most of these eyeshadows belong to earthy neutral shades, Evidence and Loaded being two exceptions. 

Let's have a look at them one by one.

Kinky is a very light matte beige shade meant for a highlighter. It's pigmented and soft but it blends with my skin so well that it's quite imperceptible. Not bad but I've seen much better highlighters. Kinky is exclusive for this palette.
Freestyle is light matte peachy beige meant as a base for other eyeshadows. I absolutely love this eyeshadow. It's soft and smooth and applies like a dream. And most importantly is completely invisible on my lids but smooths them out and prepares my lids for blending. Again this shade is exclusive for the Smoked palette.

To my big surprise, Mushroom is my favourite shade in the palette. Although this shade is not normally my taste, for some reason unknown I fell in love with it. What's more this is the best quality eyeshadow in the palette, the best texture, pigmentation and blendability. The shade is somewhat silvery taupe shimmer. Not the gritty kind of shimmer but the extra smooth satiny one. Beautiful!
Backdoor is a very dark brown matte eyeshadow. This is exclusive for this palette.

Blackout is just matte black. I wonder why Urban Decay give the same eyeshadows different names and then sell them as exclusive. Black Dog eyeshadow from my Black Palette is exactly the same, perhaps a bit softer and more powdery. But the shade of black is the same.

Barlust is coppery brown with antique gold tinge to it. Highly shimmery. Same lovely formula as Mushroom.
Smoked palette exclusive
I find Rockstar quite disappointing. It seems a sort of brownish purple, almost a duochrome, at some angles reads almost brown. Looks nice on its own but when applied the shade turns just muddy. Even worse when blended with other eyeshadows. I tried a couple of looks and each time the colour failed to come to play. All in all it's a nice purple for nude shade lovers. I'd prefer some more pop of colour. On the other hand I've got plenty saturated purples so this one makes a nice diversion. I need to try it out with some bright purples. Might tone them down quite nicely.

I love all shades of blue and Evidence looks so beautiful in its almost navy shimmery shade. Unfortunately this shadow underperforms horribly with its texture being hard and dry. When you drag your finger across this eyeshadow, exerting substantial pressure, it displays pretty nice pigmantation. The problem is that it's so hard and tightly packed that the brush fails to pick the product. It takes a lot of effort involving scraping and scratching to make it work. Pity.

Loaded is cool-toned green with shimmer. Looks lighter in the pan than when it is applied and blended. I'd describe this shade as blackened mint. Sounds like contradiction in terms but this is the most appropriate description of all. Soft formula and incredible pigmentation.

And finally asphalt. One more shade which has a close dupe within the Urban Decay eyeshadow range. It's fairly similar to Barracuda from the Black Palette, just a bit lighter and more of pearl finish while Barracuda displays some tiny glitter. Excellent colour payoff and formula. Smoked palette exclusive.
the lookbook
Apart from the eyeliner pencil and the Primer Potion the palette contains a booklet with a number of different looks you can create using the palette and a short glossary in case you don't understand some terms used in the booklet.
I both love and hate the booklet.
It's a godsend for people who lack experience in make up, or need guidance as to colour matching etc. The booklet provides step by step instructions on how and where to use particular eyeshadows to achieve different looks. I spent a good couple of days playing with the booklet and it was a lot of fun.

But after making 4-5 looks I got bored cause these are actually almost exactly the same looks just the names of shadows differ. I think this is the least creative make-up booklet imaginable. Even when browsing at first I thought they used the same illustration over and over again. It took me some time to notice that there was a subtle change between the pictures, same look, just a hint of brown or blue or purple here and there.

What's more I believe nobody has proofread the booklet as sentences like "apply more Backdoor, blend it up and out making it seamless with Backdoor" are nothing unusual here.
the lookbook
And a couple of clumsy looks I managed  to create:

the mattes + perversion

the mattes + perversion

perversion (smudged)+mushroom+backdoor

perversion (smudged)+mushroom+backdoor

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.

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