Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Marmite of the eyeshadow world: The Subculture eyeshadow palette by Anastasia Beverley Hills...

Ahh; ABH had been teasing us for months with pictures of the Subculture palette on social media and I instantly fell in love with the shade selection, so I jumped on it upon it's release. However I then saw the shit-storm on YouTube with people way more skilled in makeup saying how horrible it was to work with, so I became almost scared to use it.

But I needed to try it to find out if it was something that I'd need to hurry up and return because I just wasn't able to make it work. Well, I've made up my mind, so get the big drumroll ready...
I love a more grungy- undone look, so I'm not a big shadow blender which is a major deciding factor in how Subculture is going to work for you - to get the fantastic pigmentation that these shadows have means that the shadows are very softly pressed, so firmer application and overworking the shadows will just muddy the shades into a patchy mess. 

Now my warning is out of the way, lets get to the good stuff. In Subculture you get Electric [lime-gold] and Cube [pink pearl] which are both duo chromes, Adorn [bronze] is a metallic, and the following shades are all ultra-mattes; Roxy [muted coral], Fudge [warm bronze], New Wave [citron orange], Untamed [tarnished green], Edge [gold mustard], Rowdy [blackened purple], Axis [blue-green], Mercury [slate grey], All Star [vintage wine], Destiny [sage green] and Dawn [sand]. You also get a double ended shade and blending brush, which is actually a good quality, so is something I use.

 We get a nice mix of warm, cool, and neutral tones, and [having hooded eyes] I love the matte to shimmer ratio. There's some pretty, more toned-down 'everyday' work looks. However it's when I add one or two of the more punchy shades to take my look up a notch [I find myself gravitating towards New Wave, Roxy and Edge all of the time, as you can see in my demo photos]. that I really fell for subculture - if you have blue eyes like me and/or love autumnal shades, you'll love the shade selection too! I've got quite a few new palettes within the past year, but none of them pack as much punch visually with the shade selection; it really encourages me to step out of my comfort zone. I've not had any issues with fading, oxidizing or creasing to feedback - I believe those problems are being caused by people applying too much product.

Any let downs? The duo chrome shades Cube and Electric aren't as soft and apply on the sheer side, but almost every duo chrome shadow I've tried is
, so I guess that's not a real negative for me as the shadow seems to be designed as shadow toppers. Dampening the dense shader end of the supplied brush for application of these two shades, gives a more intense look, compared to applying the shades dry.

So there we go; I mostly like my Subculture palette and will rebuy it when I need to. I think it's just a question of preferred application technique with the very soft shadow, rather then good batch versus bad patch. I think that if you are used to using softer shadows and aren't a big shadow blender, then this palette will work for you. If you prefer to use a firmer hand for shadow application and love your blending, then you might want to sit this one out.

Sorry to be blunt; I think it's just using common sense to be light-handed when using soft shadows and it's not doing loads of extra steps with application to make it work, so I don't get loads of peoples complaints. I don't get why Norvina [ABH CEO] got hate for saying swirling a brush over and over in a pan isn't a good idea in response to someones video who had done exactly that - to my eyes/ears she was just being straightforward, not hateful or 'throwing shade'. Nor did I find the ABH tutorial then put out rude or condescending - I think people are being too sensitive. Being light-handed with soft shadows is just plain common sense - if you're light-handed, and don't overwork the pigments, it works well.  I do suspect that a lot of the reviews is an almost pack mentality, and the 'scandal' videos popping up all over YouTube are people jumping on the witch-hunt train for views. 

ABH have said that future batches of Subculture will be pressed more firmly, so some people might prefer to wait before buying it.

Here's a fantastic review; Stephanie Nicole works in cosmetic manufacturing, so hearing her explain product formulas was very informed and interesting. 

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