Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Urban Decay Vice2 palette: review & swatches & dupes

I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows so there was no other course of action but to pick their Vice  palette, even though I had many reservations about it even before I got it.  Vice palettes are limited editions, and they sell out fast, so the decision had to be quick. So, it is here with me and after I've been playing with it for a couple of weeks I know this is not my favourite palette, but I do not regret getting it at all.

The palette , which holds 20 shades comes in a shiny purple plastic case with 'crystal' UD logo in the middle. It opens automatically after you press the button. What I really like is the huge, full-size mirror, which is quite rare in eyeshadow palettes. I like to use the mirror even when I'm not using the shadows. There's also a double-sided brush, which is one of the worst eyeshadow brushes in history. It's stiff and prickly and I don't know why UD insist on attaching these brushes to their palettes. I'd much prefer any of their 24/7 eyeliner pencils.
Qualitywise, the shadows do not disappoint.  Most of them are creamy and incredibly pigmented. There's a variety of finishes ranging from mattes, through satins and glitters to metallic shimmers. Most of them apply and blend well, though the majority produce massive fall out. After I use a good primer UD eyeshadows last over 10 hours on my hooded oily lids.

Not many of the eyeshadows here are terribly unique but most of the eyeshadows are perfectly wearable and may be used to create day to night looks.

So what do I dislike about the palette?
Well, when I buy a palette I expect it to offer me a number of coordinated eyeshadows that go well together and give me the opportunity to create a variety of wearable looks. In case of a 20-eyeshadow palette I'd normally expect countless possibilities, but this is actually not a case here. First of all, the eyeshadows don't go very well together. I tend to reach for the same shades all the time. Rewind, Ambush, Smokeout and Derailed seem to be my favourites, Voodoo and Betrayal go very well together. Others form more non-obvious combinations and it's best to try them out to see if they match before applying them in the morning rush cause it may turn out that they clash horribly. 

The other problem is that the eyeshadows seem so repetitive. Who needs 2 pink and 2 more pinkish shades in one palette? There are also 2-3 dark, brownish outer corner shades, which perhaps aren't that alike when swatched side by side, but when blended out with other shadows they look so similat you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

What the palette definitely lacks is a medium dark matte crease colour.

Many shades have dupes within UD eyeshadow range, I'll mention these as I discuss each shade individually. Although the palette is an excellent value for what you get, advertising these eyeshadows as 'all new' is a marketing ploy and quite unfair towards the fans. 

I treat this palette as a set of 20 individual eyeshadows, which is definitely a good value for money, but I'd be much more satisfied if it gave me the opportunity to create a larger number of unique looks. 

SMOKEOUT is a gorgeous very very dark shimmery brown shade. It's like a kind of blackened taupe. Buttery and soft with excellent colour pay off.
LOVESICK is black with silver glitter. Creep from the Naked palette is not as dark and the glitter is less chunky.
SHELLSHOCK is a metallic silver, which is the best quality eyeshadow of this kind in my collection. Looks perfect when layered and blended over darker eyeshadows. Doesn't look flaky like many metallic eyeshadows do.
COAX is a shimmery bubblegum pink and
X-RATED is a lighter, more milky pink with satin finish. I do understand that there are people who reach for pink eyeshadows, but having both in the same palette is a bit too much.

PRANK is a beautiful peacocky blue-green-teal colour. Unfortunately it's a bit dry and when blended it reveals its black base. To pull out the real colour just pat it on the lid and try not to blend too much or it will simply turn black.
MADNESS is a lovely turquoise  shimmery shade. In reality it's darker than in the swatch above.
STRIKE is a lovely shimmery gold colour. Perfect for the coming season. Buttery and soft, like all the shimmers in the palette. Blitz from Vice palette is more green-based, whereas Strike seems more 'true gold' to me.
STASH is a perfect khaki colour, very pretty, just doesn't suit my complexion well.
POISON looks like it's a green-based charcoal /black colour, but when swatched resembles Creep very, very much. It's got the same texture and amount of microglitter. Just seems a tiny little bit more cool-toned. 

RADAR is a medium-dark brown shade with both shimmer and tiny glitter. Smog from the Naked palette is similar, but it doesn't have the glitter.
DAMAGED is a lovely proper  shimmery green shade, which is neither too blue nor yellow.
VOODOO is one of the most beautiful purples in my collection. It's like tons of violet glitter embedded in black base. This eyeshadow is quite dry and prone to fall out.
BETRAYAL is another lovely purple. It's a very irridescent lilac or lavender kind of purple. I don't have Asphyxia, but they seem similar.
DERAILED is an almost exact dupe of Mushroom from the Smoked palette, the only difference is that Mushroom leans more towards gray and Derailed more towards brown. And mushroom is more irridescent. Both are shimmery taupes.

DOPE is a pinky-peachy champagne highlight colour with shimmer, very similar to Bleach from the Shattered Face palette
TOXIC is very hard to describe, I can see there salmon pink and copper tones and some light mause undertones as well. 
HABIT is a matte base shade which looks warmer in the pan, but on my skin it turns pinky-peach. Freestyle (Smoked palette) is exactly the same. Laced (Vice palette) is darker.
AMBUSH is red-toned shimmery brown. Barlust (Smoked palette) is exactly the same.
REWIND is a  matte taupe brown, which would make a perfect crease colour if it was lighter. 

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.


  1. Great review! I always found the Vice palettes kind of tempting, but hard to get and it also never looked like a good color combination to me, like you said now..
    The only UD palette I have is Foreshadow, and I really like two out of the four shadows; never use the turquouise one and replaced the ugly glitter monster Midnight Cowboy by a proper shimmery highlighter. I am tempted by Naked 1, but it's also so hard to get and has the same imho terrible satiny packaging as Foreshadow. I do love my Deluxe eyeshadows though! (Ruthless, Underground, Zero)

    1. Oh, I don't have a single deluxe eyeshadow, must grab some one day if you say they're worth it! In the meanwhile I'm looking forward to Naked 3 palette as it looks like it's going to suit my skin tone best.