Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I'm Not Buying: Urban Decay Afterdark

Urban Decay recently released their newest palette, Afterdark, which looks like it is slated to replace the Electric Palette. 

And I won't be buying. 

And I have to tell you, I really wanted to buy this palette. The colors are completely up my alley with what I've been loving in terms of playing with color, and I like the generally dark esthetic. In all honesty, this was a hard item to say no to. 

In an effort to try and be more economical with my purchases and not buy something just because it's new and shiny and pretty, I tried to talk myself out of this purchase because I hate Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes. That fact alone has kept me from buying many recent Urban Decay releases and is a reason that is always important to keep in mind. Typically, Urban Decay shadows are dry, stiff, and produce a lot of fallout. I am always disappointed whenever I try Urban Decay palettes, and despite how enticing a color scheme may be, I have been able to avoid their palettes because I know the quality will be poor. 

But then I heard that Urban Decay came out with a new formula that is very similar to the Make Up For Ever artist shadows, and my go-to tactic to talk myself out of Urban Decay palettes went up in flames. The Make Up For Ever formula is arguably my favorite for shimmer shadows because I love the pigmentation that it packs. This shadow formula is also really similar to my Tarte Rainforest of the Sea palette as well as the Anastasia Beverly Hills single shadows. Hearing that Urban Decay has adopted this shadow formula made me impulsively think that I needed to buy this palette. 

And folks, I'm happy to say that I've officially resisted temptation. Here's why:

I own every single shade in this palette already. 

Let's look at the palette shade by shade:

Photo: Temptalia 

I am using swatches on Temptalia's blog as a reference. 

Alter is a white gold. From my own collection, it looks like Make Up For Ever Golden Beige:

Photo: Temptalia

Scene is a golden pink. From my own collection, it looks like Make Up Geek Mai Tai:

Supersonic is a cranberry copper. From my own collection, it looks like Zoeva Warm Notes:

Photo: Temptalia 

Sinful is a dirty gold. From my own collection, it looks like Juvia's Place Nairobi:

Off Duty is a dark brown with red undertones. From my own collection, it looks like Zoeva Subtle Blend:

Photo: Temptalia 

Druggie is a violet purple. From my own collection, it looks like Melt Cosmetics Promiscuous:

Backfire is a dark plum. From my own collection, it looks like Coloured Rain Queen Mother (except this shade kicks Backfire's ass):

Photo: Temptalia 

Lounge is that typical red-brown-blue-green. I actually don't have any shadows like this anymore because I don't like this kind of color. But I have previously owned and decluttered MAC's Club:

Fringe is a dark teal. From my own collection, it looks like Juvia's Place Dalia:

Paralyzed is a navy blue. From my own collection is looks like Viseart Bijoux Royal #8:

Photo: Temptalia 

I don't normally take the time to map out every single eyeshadow in a palette and compare it to my own collection. But as you can see, I literally own every single shade in the Afterdark palette. And still because I don't have all of these colors together in one palette, my brain still tricked me into thinking that this palette could be unique to my collection. And because the formula of the Urban Decay palette is updated and similar to my favorite formula, again my brain tricked me into thinking this was something unique. 

So, I took the time to recreate this palette with existing shadows in my collection for myself, mostly, so that I could undeniably see that I don't need Afterdark. And what's even better is that I love the formulas of all of these shadows, so it's not like they "need" to be upgraded. I'm also posting this because this is a good exercise for anyone to do when contemplating a palette they know they don't need. This palette, in all honesty, is probably unique to most people's collection. I am well aware that my collection is superfluous and outstretches that of what is normal or even usable. But, I think it's worth keeping this exercise in mind to see how many duplicates shades are in your collections. 

As far as the color scheme, the palettes that most remind me of Afterdark are the Make Up For Ever holiday 2016 palette:

Photo: Temptalia 

Juvia's Place Masquerade:

And Juvia's Place Nubian 2:

Let's talk about the positives of Afterdark. The palette costs $49 for 10 shadows at 0.06 ounces each. The Naked palette, in comparison, costs $54 for 12 shades at 0.05 ounces each. The Naked palette, in my opinion, has low quality shadows (at least the palettes in recent production; original palettes had superior quality) that produce a ton of fallout, so I actually think Afterdark is a much better value than the Naked palette. Afterdark will also look incredible on people with medium to deep skin tones, and it is always thrilling to see a product that will work well on all skin tones, not just light ones.

The biggest "negative" that I can think of is that this is not a complete palette for most people and does not include any matte shades. As I have previously mentioned, the creamier formula doesn't translate as easily to matte shadows, so it's not surprising that all of these shadows have shimmer and metallic finishes. My assumption is that most people will need to bring in matte shadows to complement this palette, and while that is not something that really bothers me, I know it's a negative factor for a lot of people. 

Something I think is important to keep in mind is how often you will get use out of something. Before starting my one week, one palette project, I would have gotten use out of six or seven shades maximum. And before I started shopping more shrewdly, that would have been worth it for me. Now, I would get use out of every shade, and because of that, I see that getting use out of only part of a palette is pretty wasteful. If you would only use a handful of these colors, it would be better to just buy a few select singles. Frankly, the neutral shadows in this palette aren't that unique, and they probably already exist elsewhere in your collection.  

See, the collection of colors in this palette seems unique, but the individual colors are not.

And the reason is because we don't typically see these colors paired together. Because this is a palette that will truly work on all skin tones and isn't specifically designed for light skin. I think it's really telling that the two palettes I could think of that most resembled Afterdark are from a black-owned makeup brand, designed for people of color. 

Because of this, I'm of two minds about Afterdark. On the one hand, I find this palette to be completely redundant to my collection and think for many people it will be as well. On the other hand, I think it's about damn time that a major brand releases a neutral palette that works for medium and deep skin tones. The fact that this palette is of fantastic quality is even better. However, it's unfortunate that this is a limited edition palette. I don't think it sends the right message that light skin–friendly Urban Decay palettes are permanent and this darker skin–friendly palette is not. Regardless, I already have all of these colors in my collection and absolutely do not need to add another palette. I'm sure Afterdark will be incredibly hyped, and because of that, I hope more brands make palettes that work for a myriad of skin tones. While I would love to try Urban Decay's new formula, I just do not need this palette and won't be buying. 

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