Friday, April 20, 2012

Urban Decay Reformulated Eyeshadow (New for 2012) Swatches and Review

Have you seen Urban Decay's newly overhauled shadow line? They took their current lineup of shadows (which were already good), completely reformulated them for better texture, adhesion, fallout- and crease-resistance, updated the packaging to not only look better, but so that the pans can be easily popped out and placed into customizable palettes, plus they even added a few shades previously only available in palettes. Sadly, quite a few shades were discontinued in the process (some of my favorites, too), but they're still available on the website until they run out.

Anyway, let me walk through the brand new packaging really quickly before I start talking about the formula.

The new box is really attractive. It's a sturdy cardboard box with a window cutout to show the shade. The color is a dark purple gradient and the Urban Decay logo is printed in silver chrome lettering.

The label on the top is colored to match the shadow inside, but it also acts as a safety seal. The bottom flap isn't sealed, but it has a series of cardboard flaps that prevent you from being able to remove the shadow without completely destroying the box.


Ingredients are listed on the sticker, not printed on the box itself.


There's even a nice surprise waiting inside the box, too. The interior features an abstract green leafy design. No detail was overlooked here!


The new shadow compacts are really special. They've kept their signature subway token motif, but translated it into a sleek, shiny dark chrome material instead of the matte silver plastic they were made of previously. The Urban Decay logo and motto are a lighter color than the packaging and are floating above the inner design, giving the text a really fascinating 3D effect. The new packaging is seriously gorgeous, whoever designed it did an amazing job making it look cool and modern while still preserving Urban Decay's historic subway token compact design.


The back label is colored to match the shadow, just like the sticker on the top of the box. Small detail, but much appreciated.


The new shadow containers open the same way as the old ones, but unlike the plain black casing those had inside, the new ones use the chrome material used on the outside on the inside as well.


And here's the new feature: The shadow pans pop out easily (no prying with a butter knife required) so that you can place them into a 6-pan Build Your Own Eyeshadow Palette.


For comparison, that's the old design on the left, the new one on the right (the shadow is SWF). I didn't dislike the old design at all, but now that I've seen the new one, I don't think I'm going to miss it.


I have a few of the new shadows to review, five I've used before and one that's new to me. The shades are (clockwise from top):
Mildew
Mushroom
Snakebite
SWF
Woodstock
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again


No primer, natural light and flash. Left to right: Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Mildew, Mushroom, Snakebite, SWF, Woodstock.


Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again


Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, original (left)
Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, new (right)

There's a slight variation in the shades here- the old one seems a little darker and has a lot more glitter, the new one is a little lighter, slightly more pink, has less glitter. In the old version, all the glitter would fall out of the shadow the minute you put it on your lids. In the new version there's still some fallout but, shockingly, a good portion of the glitter actually sticks!



Urban Decay Mildew


Urban Decay Mildew, original (left)
Urban Decay Mildew, new (right)

I think in this instance, I actually like the old version better than the reformulated one. The older one feels softer to me, and it also goes on darker. The new one isn't bad by any means, but it feels less soft and doesn't have the same pigmentation.


Urban Decay Mushroom

Urban Decay Mushroom, original (left)
Urban Decay Mushroom, new (right)

These seem mostly the same to me. The new one might be a little more dense and have a softer texture, otherwise this one didn't seem to change much with the reformulation.


Urban Decay SWF
(flash picture shows the microglitter)


Urban Decay SWF, original (left)
Urban Decay SWF, new (right)

The old one has more silver microglitter, but none of it stays on anyway. The new one is softer, sticks better, but seems to have less microglitter.


Urban Decay Woodstock


Urban Decay Woodstock, original (left)
Urban Decay Woodstock, new (right)

I have Woodstock in the Rollergirl palette (I love that palette so much), but it was my least favorite shadow from that palette in terms of formula. The old one is hard, which makes it difficult to pick up much shadow, but even when you get enough, the pigmentation isn't very good. The new one is much softer and has improved color payoff.


Urban Decay Snakebite

I don't have another version of this, so this one is new to me. I believe it was exclusive to the Naked2 palette, which I don't have yet. The texture of this one is like butter and it has excellent pigmentation.

The first newly reformulated shadow I tried Midnight Cowboy Rides Again. I had to see if they'd found a way to make the glitter stick. Here's the look I did:

Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again on lid
Urban Decay Snakebite in crease and on lower lashline
Urban Decay Demolition, smudged as liner and on waterline
(With flash and fluorescent light)

None of the glitter shows up on camera, but it's there. It's there and it actually stayed on my lids without me having to use any special product or technique other than my usual primer. In fact, I didn't even use a brush. I applied it with my fingers. Pigmentation in both shades was excellent and glitter fallout was minimal. How did they do it?!

What I liked:
  • New packaging is GORGEOUS. It's both elegant and edgy, modern but true to Urban Decay's history and style.
  • New shadows haven't changed colors drastically. I'm always worried about color changes in reformulated products.
  • New formula is buttery soft and applies like a dream.
  • A lot of shades that were previously only available in palettes are now part of the permanent line (Mushroom!!).
  • They figured out how to make most of the glitter stay in the glitter shades. It's a miracle!
  • Most of the Deluxe shades have been absorbed into the regular line, so no more trying to store those little weird-shaped domed compacts that never stacked well.
What I didn't like:
  • Some of my favorite colors got discontinued :(
  • Price increase of $1 per shadow. That's not a bad increase at all, but worth mentioning.
  • The palette system seems expensive to me. The Build Your Own Palette is an empty six-pan palette that comes with a free shadow and a brush, but it costs $18 for the palette itself plus $18 for each shadow. $126 for a full palette. I don't believe there's a way to get the pans separately for a reduced price (√° la MAC Pro Palette Refills), but I hope that's something they will do in the future.
  • Also, if you're planning on buying shadows to fill the palette, all that pretty new packaging is wasted since you take the shadow pans out of the single compacts to put them into the palette. The old Eyeshadow Vault allowed you to place the entire compact into a palette, but it did take up a huge amount of space and the new one is significantly easier to store.
  • A lot of the shades are really frosty.
The formula on the shades that I tried was divine. They were all velvety soft and smooth, not chunky or grainy, beautifully pigmented and easy to blend, just all around lovely. Urban Decay's eyeshadow formula was nice before, but it actually is even nicer now. I haven't tried any of the newly reformulated matte shades, but these shimmer/frost/glitter shades are excellent. And don't get me started on the new packaging design... It is gorgeous. I can't say enough good things about it, it's so pretty and shiny and a definite aesthetic improvement over the old design. And this is coming from someone who hates it when brands change their designs, be it logo, website or packaging. So, yes, I'm definitely okay with the changes in formula and packaging for once. The only thing that makes me sad about this change is that some of my favorite shades didn't make the cut (Urb, Honey, EL DORADO (!), Lounge, Uzi...), I would have loved to try them with the newly updated formula. At least they kept most of my favorites, like X, Last Call and Blunt.
 
You can click here to see which shades were discontinued and see what new shades they recommend to replace the old ones. You can also view the entire current lineup of 68 shades and get started on building your own palette. All of the original shades are still available at the moment, so you might want to stock up in case your favorite color was one of the discontinued ones.

The new Urban Decay single eyeshadows are $18 each, and are now available on urbandecay.com.

(This was sent for review.)

38 comments:

  1. Wow, Snakebite is gorgeous - love it so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not usually into brown frosty eyeshadow, but I'm actually loving this color right now. It's dark enough to give me the deep color I want in my crease and neutral enough to go with every shadow I've tried it with so far. Plus, awesome formula.

      Delete
  2. Wow, it looks amazing! Im so in love with some new shades, but unfortunately the Urban Decay Onlineshop don't deliever to germany.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, I'm sorry :( Hopefully some shop that carries them will be able to ship overseas!

      Delete
  3. So pretty ;0
    Can't wait to try them!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic review. It is really expensive though to make a palette of these, so I probably won't be picking any of these up anytime soon. My Naked2 palette will have to suffice :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still don't have that one! I need to get it soon.

      Delete
  5. I've never spent the money on a UD shadow because even though the colours are beautiful I always found the packaging cheap looking! These however may make me have another look!...Mushroom will be first on my list!

    Thanks for sharing!
    ..xX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh, but their shadows have always been so nice! And Mushroom is one of my favorites, it's the one I used the most from the Book of Shadows!

      Delete
  6. Great review and pictures :) I agree, the palette idea seems really pricey! Hopefully they'll come out with shadows without the packaging to make this a more affordable option :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More affordable, less waste, and would encourage me to buy even more eyeshadow, haha :D

      Delete
  7. Thanks for this review Scrangie! I'd been wondering about the new formulas since they announced them. The new packaging IS gorgeous, but being a NY-er, I've always loved their packaging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never ridden the subway so I feel like I'm missing out!

      Delete
  8. I love the colors they have, but I can't deal with the frosty, shimmery and glittery shades. I wish Urban Decay would put out more Mattes. Like in the MAC matte2 (squared) formula. I don't really buy Urban Decay shadows do to the overkill of frostiness they use.

    Xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the exact opposite! I actually really disliked the Urban Decay mattes and MAC Matte2, I thought they were patchy and frustrating to use, I got rid of all of mine. I like the shimmery glittery ones a lot, but wish there was more of a variety of finishes. I can deal with some frosty, but if every single shade on my eyelids is frosty, it's kinda overkill...

      Delete
  9. Thanks for this comparison. My own trial and feelings are of missing some of the colors that are now for not. But that started when they took down almost all of the mattes which I adored. I am not a fan of the empty pallet at all. I find I have my favs, I arrange the ones I am using currently so I know right where things are to grab. The pallet would be more bulk I would want to take when I go packing. I like it now that I grab one of their smaller pallets I have and/or just a couple of the tokens. I went through the customizable pallet with Avada and MAC and it never worked out for me. I agree it's too expensive to go that route and one would still want to save the empty pot to rotate things through a pallet unless you got rid of all of the pots and went all to pallets. I am not a fan of the metallics they have had and still have now - they look like frosts. I really am sad at some of the color changes you pointed out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the frosts in moderation, but too much frost is bad news. I didn't like their matte shadows so I can't say I personally miss them, but I do hope they come out with some new mattes in an easier to apply formula.

      Delete
  10. I'm happy to see you review these against the previous formulation. I've been really curious how each shade translated into the new formula. That's been especially true for the uberglittery shades (Midnight Cowboy specifically) and I'm glad to hear that the fallout situation is at least somewhat improved. Midnight Cowboy is a shade I love the look of in the pan, but have hated to use just because of the fallout issue. I may have to give it another go now.

    I'm disappointed to see that the new Mildew isn't as nice as the old Mildew. I LOVE Mildrew, it's one of my favorites from the brand and after seeing your swatches i'm debating ordering a backup of the old formula while it's still around.

    I'm actually a little disappointed with the new packaging. Straight out of the box, I agree the new design looks gorgeous, but I'm very wary of their use of chrome finished plastic. Matte packaging may not be as attractive and eye-catching, but it's not a magnet for fingerprints and makeup smudges the way shiny plastics are. I have a feeling the new packaging won't look as nice over time in my stash than the old ones did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True about the fingerprints! Usually that bothers me, but these are just so pretty that I almost don't care about fingerprints. Hopefully they won't get all smudgy and scratchy over time... But at least they might not look as bad as my lint-magnet NARS compacts, haha

      Delete
  11. I'm happy to see you review these against the previous formulation. I've been really curious how each shade translated into the new formula. That's been especially true for the uberglittery shades (Midnight Cowboy specifically) and I'm glad to hear that the fallout situation is at least somewhat improved. Midnight Cowboy is a shade I love the look of in the pan, but have hated to use just because of the fallout issue. I may have to give it another go now.

    I'm disappointed to see that the new Mildew isn't as nice as the old Mildew. I LOVE Mildrew, it's one of my favorites from the brand and after seeing your swatches i'm debating ordering a backup of the old formula while it's still around.

    I'm actually a little disappointed with the new packaging. Straight out of the box, I agree the new design looks gorgeous, but I'm very wary of their use of chrome finished plastic. Matte packaging may not be as attractive and eye-catching, but it's not a magnet for fingerprints and makeup smudges the way shiny plastics are. I have a feeling the new packaging won't look as nice over time in my stash than the old ones did.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great review. I quickly got Lounge & Urb before they were gone forever, finally replacing all the shades from my old UD First Date to Pin Up Face Case (I'd been meaning to do so for so long, but just never did). They're both so pretty & I'm sad to see them not make it into the new version.

    I like the new packaging ok, but I think I wish they weren't so metallic, so they wouldn't show finger prints. At least it looks like they don't look cheap looking like some metallic plastic packaging can. Still, I think I still like the metal tins the shadows used to come in in the beginning, although they could sometimes be a pain to open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those metal tins were really cool. But I hear you on the fingerprints! This packaging is just so pretty, though... I don't think it would look at pretty to me if it wasn't all chromey-shiny.

      Delete
  13. Anyone check out their little chart of "If you liked this now-discountinued color, you'll like these" swatches? All the discontinued ones seem way brighter. I thought when they came out with those new liquid liners a few months ago that the colors didn't seem as cool/bright as their old ones (the BRIGHT purple, acid green...). I feel like UD is putting more time into marketing/packaging (and thus hiking up prices) and in the process are not as creative/cutting edge with their actual products anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been noticing that for a while, glad it's not just me who thinks that. They've definitely been playing it safe with their colors and the only truly 'edgy' thing left about them are the names of the products.

      Maybe it's because of all the mainstream success they've had in recent years. They're making colors that appeal to the mainstream/average consumer who also enjoys the novelty of buying makeup with "edgy" names (but normal colors). I miss the old rebellious days of Urban Decay, but I do still like pretty much everything they make.

      Delete
  14. I just can't bring myself to commit to purchasing the palette at all. The price seems so ridiculous compared to my MAC palettes I have put together. :-\

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Cost of completely filling a MAC 15-pan (including the cost of the palette): $188 at current prices (http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/154/20958/Custom-Palette/index.tmpl)

      Six shadows in a palette from Urban Decay: $126. Ouch!

      I can see it being a neat and inexpensive way to store the shadows if you already have them. It's the cost of one shadow, plus it comes with a shadow. But for making my own palette, it just seems like such a big expense!

      Delete
  15. Superb review and swatch/product photos. I read with bated breath to the very end to see what shadows had been discontinued; good way to snag your readers hook, line, and sinker :-) UD's shadows are lovely, but I can't justify buying them, let alone the palette, when there are so many good indies out there who make shades that are similar. Their products *are* seductive, though, LOL. I'll just "shop" vicariously through this post, so thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!

      Haha, that was unintentional! I assumed that everyone had already seen the discontinued list since it was announced a few weeks ago, but wanted to include the link just in case :)

      Delete
  16. Lounge is my absolute favorite. I felt like a little bit of my soul left me when I found out its getting discontinued. :( Thanks for the review though! Informative and detailed like always! Might have to pick up mushroom... it looks amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :) Lounge was such a great color... might have to pick up a backup :(

      And Mushroom is fantastic. It's one of the colors I use most often for a grey/taupe combo smoky eye :)

      Delete
  17. I'm so sorry, this is totally off topic, but I am in desperate need of a new neon pink nail polish (seeing as mine has dried to the point of no return!). Since you've swatched almost every neon in the book, I knew it would be best to ask your opinion on this one. :)

    Of all of the neon pinks you have tried, which one would you say was the brightest, most head-turning, headache-inducing, almost-illegal colour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just got your email- I need a bit to look through my neons to see which one is the best!

      Delete
  18. I was really hoping they'd add Absinthe to the lineup - it's the only UD shadow I've ever really liked. I have a terrible lemming for Radium, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish they'd bring back the old Oil Slick that had rainbow glitter.

      Have you tried Graffiti? It's really similar to Absinthe, which could be why they didn't add it :(

      Delete
  19. Great comprehensive review! I'm absolutely loving the new packaging, and I'm glad they have diffused the deluxe eyeshadows into the regular eyeshadow line. I agree that the palette is a great idea, just kinda pricey.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love the new packaging a lot but the whole palette idea is a pricey.

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful. Refrain from using my comments for unsolicited advertising. If you would like me to check out your blog or product, please email me. Thank you!