Sunday, 23 September 2012

Review and Swatches: Urban Decay Smoked Palette


Today's review is all about the Smoked Palette. This new Urban Decay palette is made up entirely of new formulation shadows and has enough colours to create a range of smoky eye looks beyond the standard black. The palette comes with a full size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion and a mini Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original (not pictured, sorry). It also comes with the Get The Look Book which has step by step instructions on how to create 12 different smoky eye looks.
Urban Decay Smoked Palette

Urban Decay Smoked Palette
Opened Smoked Palette. Aren't those jewel toned
shadows gorgeous?

Now, I have plenty of eyeshadows and I even already have some of the ones in this palette (Blackout and Mushroom), so the big draw-card for me wasn't the ability to create a varied smoky eye. What did I want? The beautiful jewel toned shadows and the look book.

This is the cover of the Get The Look Book. That's all
I'm going to post, as I don't feel it's right to show
photos of the contents.

Urban Decay Smoked Palette Swatches
Swatches of the Smoked Palette.
L-R:  Kinky (4 swipes); Freestyle (3 swipes); Mushroom (1 swipe!);
Backdoor (2 swipes); Blackout (2 swipes); Barlust (1 swipe!);
Rockstar (2 swipes); Loaded (2 swipes); Asphalt (1 swipe!);
Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (1 swipe!).
                                                         Evidence from the Smoked Palette
                                                                           Oops! I forgot Evidence. Here it is.

Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
I just had to include this. This is what's left of the Perversion 24/7
Glide-On Eye Pencil swatch above after
two rounds with soap and warm water. Pretty amazing, right?


  • Packaging: This is the new Urban Decay packaging. The usual cardboard-based packaging is covered by a vinyl-esque material and zips closed. I don't really like the feel of the fabric, but this is a much sturdier packaging. It zips shut, so the palette is more portable (less likely to open and cause a mess in your bag). It also feels like it may be water-resistant, so in a bathroom, that's a plus.
  • Eyeshadows: These live up to the smoky promise- they're mostly dark, with only three lighter shades to mix things up. That's the one area in which this palette could improve- one or two lighter shades so that there's a more diverse range of looks you could do. The shadows are mostly warm toned, which is great for me, but this may not be the best choice for cool-skinned girls.  
    • Kinky: matte pale neutral beige (almost my skin colour). I found this one powdery; it also had the worst pigmentation of all 10 shades in this palette. Perhaps that's just because it's so similar to my own skin tone, but I had to do 4 swipes to get the swatch (above). . Pigmentation when I used it over UDPP in Greed was fine, so maybe it was just too similar to my skin for a decent swatch. On my eyelid it blended out nicely, so all good on that front. It's a new, exclusive shade.
    • Freestyle: matte light peach with an orange undertone. Pigmentation was good for this one, I only needed  2 swipes for good colour and a third to even out the long swatch. It was still a bit powdery (it is a matte) as a swatch but it was smooth and it blended out well on my eyelid, so I don't have any complaints there. It does look a bit more orange after a few hours, which didn't change my eye look much, but it's something to be aware of. It's a new, exclusive shade.
    • Mushroom: shimmer grey-brown with multi-colour microglitter. OMG! I love the pigmentation with this shade. One swipe was all it took for that rich swipe of colour you see in the swatch. This one is so smooth and lovely. One of my favourites, this one is part of the permanent range.
    • Backdoor: matte medium grey-brown. This had good pigmentation and it was smooth but just a little powdery. It's a new, exclusive shade.
    • Blackout: matte intense true black (no grey/blue undertones, this is black). It's got good pigmentation, it's smooth and it blends out really well. This is my favourite matte blackand it's part of the permanent range. 
      • MAC's Carbon is supposedly the gold standard, but no. Just no. It took me 4 swipes of Carbon to get the same pigmentation as one swipe of Blackout and Carbon is grey-based. There is no question, Blackout is the best.
    • Barlust: shimmer red-based bronze brown with bronze microglitter so fine you can't see it until you get to x8 zoom. The colour payoff was great- it took me only one swipe for the swatch above. It's smooth, not at all powdery and blends out wonderfully. It's a new, exclusive shade.
    • Rockstar: shimmer jewel-toned eggplant purple with purple microglitter. I was a little disappointed in this one, as it was a bit powdery and wasn't as smooth to apply (it was a little streaky). Pigmentation was still good, with only 2 swipes to get the swatch. It's part of the permanent range. 
    • Evidence: shimmer jewel navy blue with blue shimmer and a grey base. Good pigmentation, goes on smooth. It's part of the permanent range.
    • Loaded: shimmer jewel teal-green with green microglitter and a black base. Good pigmentation, goes on smooth. Only thing with this one is that it loses the jewel green colour when you feather it out- it looks like a green-tinged charcoal black. 
    • Asphalt: shimmer dark grey with very fine silver and blue microglitter. It had good pigmentation but I found it a bit powdery/streaky, like Rockstar.
  • Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil: This is amazing. It's SO black and so smooth and glides on so easily, it's wonderful. Plus, when I went to wash off all my swatches, it WOULD. NOT. BUDGE even after two rounds of soap and warm water. It's actually still on my arm as I type this. I'll let you know later on, but I really hope this does as well in the waterline!
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original: I haven't done this one in my primer review series yet, but it's my favourite and it's great. You'll just have to trust me till I get that post made!
  • Get The Look Book: This would be great for those starting out or those wanting to perfect technique. I found it useful. There are 12 looks with step-by-step instructions (some of which have typos, but no-one's perfect). On a side note, their "more creative" looks aren't as wild as some of the ones I do. Hehe. 
  • Cost:  This palette includes 10 almost full sized (0.8g instead of 1.3 g) eyeshadows (USD$108 value), a mini primer (worth USD$7), a full sized Perversion 24/7 Glide-On eye pencil (retail USD$19) and the Get The Look Book. That's USD$134 worth of product plus the Get The Look Book for USD$49. That's good value for money. It isn't, however, quite as good value for money as some of Urban Decay's past palettes- the Naked Palette was USD$204 for USD$49. So it's good, but it's not as good as it could have been.
  • Verdict: A-
    I love the jewel toned shadows and I like that it's a mix of matte and shimmer shades. The Perversion eyeliner is fantastic and I love that we get a full sized one. The Get The Look book is useful and has a lot of tips. My gripes are with the lack of lighter shadows and that this palette, while great value for money if looked at out of context, contains significantly less value for money than previous UD palettes.

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