When Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance palette become a cult hit the second it came out, we all expected big things when they announced a new sister palette was going to be released.
Highly anticipated, the Subculture palette is completely different to its dreamy romantic counterpart, with bold teals, vibrant yellows and duo chrome eyeshadows, it was nothing I’d ever seen before.
Add to that, the fact ABH are well known for their super pigmented and buttery matte eyeshadows, this palette was causing a serious stir amongst the makeup addicted.
I saw it, I wanted it, I NEEDED it!
It was all looking like this palette was going to be the ultimate beauty buy of 2017 until beauty bloggers and MUAs the world over starting sharing their thoughts and experiences:
Changes in eyeshadow colour from pan to skin.
A huge amount of kickback on nearly all of the shadows resulting in a powdery mess.
Plus, even the most experienced MUAs were having trouble blending the shades together.
It seemed like Subculture was subpar.
So, why did I still buy it?
Well after watching what felt like a million youtube videos, and reading more reviews than I could count, the only thing I knew was that I needed to bite the bullet and try it myself.
I was disappointed in the way ABH dealt with complaints initially and I do think customer response would have been more positive if they had just admitted there were obvious problems with the Subculture palette. However, after finally acknowledging customers were far from happy with the powdery eyeshadows, they announced future batches would be pressed harder in the pan to stop fallout. Now whether or not mine is from a new batch I’m not sure but what I did do is wait until the Subculture palette was restocked on the official ABH website. This way I knew I wouldn’t be getting one from the first delivery but also if there was a problem I could send it back. Add to basket. Checkout. Click. Done.
The second I received that out for delivery email, I was placing cushions under my letter box for fear of broken eyeshadows and subsequently an even more broken me. At £42 this is certainly not a cheap palette and I was going to make sure my Subculture experience was going to be positive.
Of course after waiting in all day with not so much as a peep, the delivery guy banged down my door just as I was getting in the shower at 5:30pm. Eagerly grabbing it out of his hands, I ran upstairs, opened Subculture and just stared at it. Looks wise it more than lives up to expectation.
However, I’ve been wittering on for a good while now and I’m sure you just want me to get down to the nitty gritty. So here goes:
Swatches and Pigmentation:
Sorry for the not so pretty swatches but here they are. Using the brush provided I LITERALLY tapped my brush 3-4 times into the pan and this was more than enough for the matte shades. As you can see the colour payoff is incredible, New wave (bottom row, middle yellow) is the most pigmented yellow I’ve ever come across. Roxy (First on the bottom row) absolutely gorgeous. In terms of pigmentation they certainly tick the boxes. Did I get kickback? Yes I did. Was it bad? Yes. Did that matter? I don’t think so.
This is with 4 taps in each pan and as you can see some shades have more loose powder than others. I also compared it to my modern renaissance and it is definitely more powdery. After checking the ingredients list I believe this is down to the main ingredient mica in MR being changed to talc in Subculture. Why they have done this I am not sure, price is usually the reason for these things but if I wasn’t already wary of the kickback, I’m not sure I would have noticed and for the level of pigmentation with just a brief tap, I’ll take it!
The duo chromes (cube – first shade top row & Electric – second on the bottom row) are a completely different kettle of eyeshadow. These are both more creamy and therefore have zero fallout. For this reason they do take a lot longer to build up but the finish is this gorgeous metallic shimmer that really makes the matte shades pop. The only problem I have found is that after using electric for a few times with a wet brush it has started to become more compact and creamy in consistency (see above photo). Imagine a Colourpop Supershock eyeshadow if you know what I mean. This isn’t necessary a problem, but it doesn’t look very pretty in the pan and it does make it harder to pick up eyeshadow.
I have created an eye look below using the following shades and without a filter so you can see how they really look on the skin.
Crease – Edge & New Wave
Outer Edge – Untamed & Axis
Inner Corner – Electric
Lower Lash Line – Axis & New Wave
Fine!! Couple of patchy bits with the darker shades but again I think I was looking out for them because I’d heard they were difficult to blend. I think the trick with this palette is not to be scared. Of course it’s going to be bright, it’s a bold palette, so go for it and pack on that pigmentation.
Ultimately, I think whether you buy this palette comes down to whether you like the shades. If you would never wear these colours don’t buy it but if that glam grunge look is your thang, I’d say what are you waiting for?
Yes it’s not cheap, yes it does have kickback in the pan but for me this is another winner by Anastasia Beverley Hills and I am extremely glad to have joined the Subculture club.