REVIEW | Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

It seems like everyone has an opinion on this palette. 

There has never been a more controversial palette than Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette.

It's shocking how much backlash Anastasia Beverly Hills have gotten since the palette's release. Beauty bloggers and makeup artists have put out varying opinions. Some good, most bad. Curious, I borrowed my cousin's to see if it was truly as bad as everyone says it is.

So is it?

When the palette was announced, Norvina, the Creative Director of ABH stated, 'If Modern Renaissance had a sister, it would be Subculture.'

Perhaps in looks, but not in quality.

As expected it looks high-end in its packaging. The Subculture Palette's retains the same velvet casing, this time in dark blue, with a magnetic closure. I've addressed the problem when I reviewed the Modern Renaissance palette, the case won't stay pretty for long. Powders stick to velour.

Though the cheapest retailer in Brunei sold it for BND $72, Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette costs BND $57.50 (US$42) for these 14 shades. An estimate price of BND $5.40 (US$3) per shadow weighing 0.7g (0.02 Oz) each. So it is the same price as Modern Renaissance, for slightly more product.

Subculture was inspired by the Instagram subculture community, that made Anastasia Beverly Hills popular in the first place. 

Described as an essential eye collection with 'grungy mattes' and 'bold metallics' with an 'underground edge'. It features 14 shades, there are 11 matte shades, and 3 metallics including Adoran, Cube and Electric, which are duochromes. Perfect for someone who prefers mattes like me.

What made the shades so attractive were its colour scheme. Rather than warm or cool colours, these were neutral and muted. They reminded me of downtown streets, covered in old graffiti. Its colours rarely pop out, but cohesive in grunge. 

CUBE   |   DAWN   |   DESTINY   |   ADORN   |   ALL STAR   |   MERCURY   |   AXIS
applied using finger

CUBE   |   Cube is a shimmery duochrome, with a pale pink-to-lavender shift. It felt like a cream than a powder, and had the least payoff on the lids. Even if I used my finger, the shift would fade after two hours.

DAWN   |   A warm peach, Dawn is the closest nude shade in this palette. It works best as a transition shade for light skin tone, and wears the best out of the 14 shades. 

DESTINY   |   What I can describe as a greyish-green. Destiny is a muted olive green that applies patchy against the skin. Best applied with a fluffy brush.

ADORN   |   Adorn applies like a foiled texture, similar to those in Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette. A creamy copper brown with a metallic sheen. It's slightly chunky and best applied with fingers. 

ALL STAR   |   Somebody once told me, this shade was not good. All Star is a deep reddish plum matte with a warm undertone. The colour, when applied, ends up patchy on the lids.

MERCURY   |   Mercury is an odd colour. A neutral brown-grey, not too warm or too cool. It would act as a transition shade for the bolder colours, and for those with darker skin tones. 

AXIS   |   Axis is a dark teal with a cool undertone. While it applied patchy as a swatch, I found it easy to apply with an incredibly light hand. It diffused well with a blending brush.

ROXY   |   ELECTRIC   |   FUDGE   |   NEW WAVE   |   UNTAMED   |   EDGE   |   ROWDY
applied using finger

ROXY   |   Roxy is a light peachy-orange with a matte finish. No matter how much I try, the colour does not blend. It ends up looking stagnant and patchy.

ELECTRIC   |   A pale mint-green duo chrome. Electric is best applied with fingers to build from sheer coverage. Like Cube, it applies like a cream and fades just as quickly. 

FUDGE   |   Fudge is strange. The warm, deep brown is a beautiful colour and its velvet formula feels beautiful, it blends out horribly.

NEW WAVE   |   A light-medium orange with yellow undertones. New Wave, and other similar nude-ish colours, seem to be the best in the palette. It blends among the other shades, and applies without much work.

UNTAMED   |   I didn't like Untamed. The medium blue-green shade was difficult to blend and applied patchy. I didn't like the end result on my eye.

EDGE   |   What was supposed to be a medium yellow shade oxidised on my lids. Yes, this colour oxidises. How? When applied onto my eye, Edge darkened into a sour yellow. It retains its opaque matte finish, blending out well but still. How?

ROWDY   |   Rowdy is a deep burgundy, and arguably the darkest shade in the palette. It doesn't blend out well, staying where applied, but lasts for about 6 hours before getting patchy.


on the lids: Dawn, New Wave, Edge
liner: Fudge, Adorn
under eye: All Star, Roxy

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette is controversial, to say the least.

It should go without saying, all reviews will have some bias. The makeup reviews are no different. Subconscious or otherwise, good or bad, to a minuscule or large extent. As consumers, we can't listen to only one opinion. Rather, we should listen to many sources, and acknowledge their (unconscious) bias. 

Some reviews I found refreshing were RawBeautyKristi, Jordan HanzSamantha Ravndahl and Stephanie NicoleFor a further in-depth review, Temptalia is my favourite. Even if I don't agree with their final thoughts, their videos were informative. It is imperative that we remain informed and make our own opinions based on the information. 

That said, I have my own opinion. And in my honest opinion, it's not worth it. 

on the lids: Destiny, Untamed, Electric
under eye: Rowdy

Overall, I love the colours but I dislike the formula.

If the formula was similar to Modern Renaissance, this would have been another hit. Instead, the formula isn't lightly pressed, overtly powder and too strange. I wanted to love this palette, I wanted to create grungy badass looks. Unfortunately, the palette won't let me.

If and when ABH changes the formula, then I would reconsider purchasing the palette. Until then, it's a no from me. 

So would you purchase Subculture?
What are your thoughts on the controversy?

with love,
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