When ABH announced that it would be releasing vault collections for Black Friday I was stoked. I did not own a single ABH product, and I had trouble justifying the purchase of old palettes to review. In Canada, each palette retails for $66+taxes. So, for me to purchase the collection separately would cost $300. This works out to $5.36 per pan of shadow. The vault collection offered four classic palettes: Soft Glam, Modern Renaissance, Prism (which was not available for purchase), and Subculture with a glittery holder for $90USD. With the conversion, shipping and duties this vault collection cost $160, working out to $2.86 per pan of shadow. A great deal.
Subculture and Prism both have a simplistic formula. If you compare these two palettes to the rest of the ABH line up, you would be surprised to see the differences. I like that. This cruelty-free company took the time to create a simple product. In an age when it behooves you to bring a chemist along to purchase makeup, a primary product is welcome.
Admittedly, I was nervous about the Subculture palette. There has been a multitude of negative reviews, some by fabulous artists who claimed that this was not a type of palette a beginner should even take out of the box. The Prism palette garnered the same critical advise. Couple that with an intense molecular level dislike of the color green and a sense of dread was almost overwhelming.
Then I opened the box and fell in love. The velvet cover of the palette beckoned me, and the beauty of the colors inside won’t let me go. I should say that I now own green sweaters, my nails are painted green and the looks that make me feel my best come from this palette. These are the bold colors of someone wanting to be noticed. They rebel against the pinks and purples of the market. This palette pairs perfectly with the Prism palette to create an insane number of looks.
Each shadow is soft and very pigmented. This is not a palette to dig, swirl or press hard. A gentle tap/wiggle will coat the brush with a decent quantity of material. Each of these shadows works best when layered. Tap the product into place and gently blend the edges with a clean brush. This is an entirely different method than the “lay down color and blend, blend, blend” style. It does take a bit of getting used to. Once you catch on to the method, there is no going back.
- Cube (Duo chrome pink pearl): This shade confused the heck out of me, it does appear very pink on the skin. Which totally contrasts the overall tone of the palette. This color is so light and bright it makes the darker colors seem more profound and grungier. It works wonderfully as an inner corner highlight. The maximum payoff for me was with a wet brush or fingertip.
- Dawn (Ultra-matte sand): It appears like a nude-peachy-taupe mix in the pan, and actually looks closer to the photograph when applied to the eye. This color is soft and delicate and beautiful. It builds beautifully. A perfect transition shade with easy blending.
- Destiny (Ultra-matte sage green): A deceptive army green. Super pigmented. It applies with a massive punch of color. Tap this product into place, unlike Dawn, it will become patchy if over blended. This is a unique grungy color.
- Adorn (Metallic bronze): Looks similar to many other metallic bronze shades. It works well as a topper yet, left me underwhelmed. It does perform well when applied over a tacky base (concealer) and applied with a wet brush. I have no criticism in regards to the formula. In a palette that stands alone in the marketplace, this shade feels like the outcast trying to hang with the cool kids.
- All-Star (Ultra-matte vintage wine): The most beautiful color in the palette. This burgundy shade is unparalleled. Matte perfection. Tap into place for the ultimate color payoff. This is a shade that I live for. It is dark and brooding and beautiful in a dirty sort of way. It garners attention when paired with any and every shade in this palette.
- Mercury (Ultra-matte slate grey): When viewed in the pan it does not stand out in the way it should. The color payoff for this shade is insane and will appear significantly darker on the eye than it does on a finger. Use a very light hand with this shade, or you will arrive at a place you didn’t expect. Again, best utilized when tapped into place, with a clean brush to blend the edges.
- Axis (Ultra-matte blue-green): This color looked so dark in the palette I was afraid to use it. Use a very light hand, the brush will pick up a hefty amount of product with the lightest of touch. Tap the color into place and wait until almost all of your pigment is laid down before attempting to pull it into the crease. This is a color that will require building in layers. Go slow and use small amounts to build the color. If you feel impatient and have the urge to dip/swirl the result will be fallout all over your face and patchy color. Take your time. Build slowly.
- Roxy (Ultra-matte muted coral): True perfection. When viewed in the pan this color is so muted. I initially thought it was a transition shade. When applied to the eye, the color appears very close to the photo. Hands down the most beautiful orange/peachy shade. This color blends beautifully. Again, use a light hand and take your time. I can not get over how amazing this shade is. When all else fails, this shade is perfect for a quick and natural look. It’s vibrant yet, versatile.
- Electric (Duo chrome lime-gold): As the name suggests this Electric shade is an attention getter. An excellent topper, inner corner highlight or on its own over a tacky base; this shade does garner attention. Best applied with a wet brush. Definitely, use a setting spray with this shade, I found that it was the only shade that faded away to nothing in short order if not built up on the lid with a proper base and spray. The green shift is very subtle and beautiful.
- Fudge (Ultra-matte warm bronze): I adore this shade for quick everyday looks. A lovely chocolate shade that applies well with a tapping motion. As with all of the shadows in this palette take your time and build the coverage.
- New Wave (Ultra-matte citron orange): If you want perfection this is it. When applied to the eye, this shade takes on a vibrancy that is stunning. A perfect crease shade that is buildable and blendable. This is the shade that I noticed many You Tubers trashing for how soft and powdery it was. Many videos featured brushes swirling and pigment flying everywhere. Use a light hand, just lay the brush against the pan and gently swipe it across once. The brush will be loaded with a fair amount of pigment. I had zero fallout with this shade.
- Untamed (Ultra-matte tarnished green): A deep green, it appears much lighter in the pan because it is nestled in between two super vibrant shades. I found it to be a dark almost muddy shade. Color is buildable if you go slow. This is a shade to be tapped into place.
- Edge (Ultra-matte gold mustard): When viewed in the pan, this shade is somewhat unremarkable. Yellowish. When applied to the eye it comes alive with a pop of color this is indeed deep mustard. So unique and eye-catching. This shade is buildable and blendable.
- Rowdy (Ultra-matte blackened purple): I use this shade every time I use the palette. From lining my lashes to an outer corner shade to an all over lid shade, this one does it all. Deep and dark, this will bring the drama and focus all eyes on you. Again this is a shade that requires time and patience, the reward is worth the effort. Tap this product into place and conquer the world with your look.
As described on the ABH website:
- Contains 14 eye shadow shades in muted tones that are ideal for evening looks
- Palette includes 1 metallic, 2 duo chrome and 11 ultra-matte finishes
- The intensely pigmented formula delivers high color payoff
- Includes a dual-ended brush and a large mirror housed inside travel-friendly packaging
How to apply as represented by the ABH website:
- Create a smoldering, smoky winged liner by buffing Axis or Rowdy into the lash line.
- Wash Roxy over the lid and then blend out All Star along the lower lash line to create a dramatic look with a pop of color.
- Prime lids with a self-setting or matte-finish primer rather than cream or emollient-based primers.
- For duo chrome and metallic shades, a shimmer base can also be used to amplify the shadow, like the shimmer end of Highlighting Duo Pencil.
- If using concealer as a primer, apply, let dry and set with powder before applying your shadows.
- Then, pat or pack on color; for added intensity, layer more shades over blended shadow.
- When applying the duo chrome or metallic shades Cube, Electric or Adorn, first mist a small, flat synthetic eye shadow brush with a setting spray prior to dipping into the shades for an intense color payoff.
- When applying the shades dry, use natural-hair eye shadow brushes or clean fingertips for maximum intensity.
- When applying the ultra-matte shades (Dawn, Roxy, Destiny, Fudge, All Star, Untamed, Mercury, Edge, Axis, Rowdy, New Wave) use brushes with densely packed fibers for maximum color deposit and fluffy brushes for seamless blending.
AXIS, DESTINY, MERCURY, DAWN, ROWDY, FUDGE, ALL STAR, EDGE, NEW WAVE, ROXY, UNTAMED: TALC, HDI/TRIMETHYLOL HEXYLLACTONE CROSSPOLYMER, ZINC STEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, DIMETHICONE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SILICA, MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): YELLOW 5 LAKE (CI 19140), CARMINE (CI 75470), ULTRAMARINES (CI 77007), IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), FERRIC FERROCYANIDE (CI 77510), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891) *CONTAINS CARMINE AS A COLOR ADDITIVE. ADORN: TALC, OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE, DIMETHICONE, ZINC STEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): MICA, IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77499), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891) ELECTRIC: TALC, CALCIUM SODIUM BOROSILICATE, ZINC STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE, DIMETHICONE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SILICA, SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE, TIN OXIDE, MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): MICA, IRON OXIDE (CI 77491), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891) CUBE: TALC, OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE, DIMETHICONE, SILICA, ZINC STEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891)
You may wish to give this product a pass if:
- You are sensitive to Dimethicones
- You are sensitive to Talc
- You are seeking a Vegan product
For a palette that I was so unsure of, I am not able to sing its praises highly enough. Yes, the formula is different than what may be expected. Adapting the technique is a huge key to success. The colors are out of this world good and will attract attention like no other.
I had zero fallout thanks to the videos I have linked down below. Take a few minutes and find out how to best utilize the palette for maximum impact. If you have the opportunity to order this palette, I would recommend picking up Prism at the same time. They are perfect compliments to each other and Prism offers a wide selection of beautiful metallic shades that will give you greater versatitility.
My only complaint with this palette is the felt covering. It is so pretty, and it also gets so dirty. Wishing for a different covering yet loving the luxe feel of the felt and appreciating the whole Anastasia Beverly Hills experience. Also wanting to purchase the palettes I don’t have.
I love the formula, the simplicity, the lasting power of each shade. Rowdy lasted as an eyeliner all day through tears and activities, it lasted through a nap and didn’t stop until I decided to remove it. The quality is evident in the product. If I ever run out, I would repurchase it.
Check out the fantastic tutorial videos below. These are two of the most talented artists available on YouTube today. I would strongly recommend checking out their channels.
Do you love Subculture? What is your favorite palette? Let me know in the comments below, or chime in on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @everydaybeaut11. Find us on Flipboard at Beauty to the Test magazine.