For the holiday season, Urban Decay has released the Heavy Metals palette, an all-shimmer palette with a supposed new formula.
And I won't be buying.
What's interesting to me is that I have heard a lot of talk about this palette, but conversations are usually about the packaging. The palette itself is entirely reflective, and there is a mirror between the two sides of the palette. My favorite complaint about the packaging thus far is that it is not good for beauty vloggers because it is so reflective and therefore difficult to show on camera. I have heard this from a few different people, and maybe that's a comment that's useful to other vloggers or bloggers (I can imagine photographing this would be a nightmare), but for consumers at large, that kind of critique is not really all that useful. It was a nice reminder to me, however, that sometimes these reviewers can be a little out of touch with the needs and desires of their main audience. That's important to keep in mind, I think, because so often these reviewers will say that you "need" something or "Go out right now and buy it, you won't be disappointed!" which is so easy to say when you receive PR or make some kind of your income off of buying and reviewing products. (Those purchases can then be written off of taxes.) But the vast majority of people don't need most products that are released, and they certainly don't need to consider how well packaging will hold up on camera.
I'll be honest and say that I don't particularly have any interest in this palette. I've mentioned before that I don't have a ton of interest in all-shimmer palettes, because I cannot make much of a look with only shimmers. My personal preference for makeup is to have a shimmery shadow on the lid and then build the rest of the look with matte shades, so a palette with only shimmers would not get a ton of use. I would prefer to buy shimmery singles for this purpose than have an entire palette.
I've mentioned this before, but I am also not a fan of Urban Decay palettes. I've read that this is a new formula, so there is a chance that I would like it, but I'm not so interested to explore the new formula that I want to buy an entire palette. I also feel like "trying a new formula" is just an excuse that a lot of people make to justify buying things they don't need. If they already have those colors in their collection and know they really shouldn't buy it but want to give into the hype, they will say that they want to explore the new formula. But if you already have products that work well and that you enjoy, spending that kind of money "just to try it" is just a justification for hype.
I also don't like the packaging of this palette. The palette comes in a purple plastic container with a scrunched end:
Personally, I am not a huge fan of the scrunched end, and I can imagine that it makes stacking and storing this palette a bit challenging. The main part of the palette lifts out:
And I suppose the layout is inspired by an artist's palette for paint. I'm not typically a fan of packaging where the product removes itself entirely from the protective case as I find it to create extra hassle for no apparent reason. I also don't really like the layout of shadows and don't like the mirror between the two sides. It seems like it would be awkward to lift the entire palette to look at yourself in the mirror, and it doesn't seem like it would be very functional—I can imagine it would be difficult to hold and apply makeup at the same time.
In terms of colors, this isn't something that we haven't seen before. The right side of the palette looks like so many warm-toned palettes, and looks really similar to the Make Up For Ever holiday 2017 palette:
From Urban Decay itself, Heavy Metals reminds me of After Dark:
As well as Vice 3:
And Vice 4:
It also looks like Tarte Make Believe in Yourself:
And for a brighter option, there's Juvia's Place Masquerade:
From my own collection, it looks like Viseart Bijoux Royale:
Makeup preferences certainly change over time, and there was a point in my life where I would have snatched this palette in a heartbeat and would not have considered the cons of packaging, practicality, and personal preference. I am definitely in my "favorite" stage of makeup preferences right now and really enjoy all the products that I have and equally enjoy being picky with what I choose to purchase. And there is just nothing so special about the Heavy Metals palette that I feel is worth being picky. There are so many shimmery, foiled palettes and singles within this color scheme, and it's funny to me how much this palette looks like After Dark. Brands notoriously recycle old colors and color schemes, but when a brand recycles their own products (After Dark released last year around the holidays), it gets to be a little ridiculous.
In terms of positives, the colors certainly are pretty, and it seems as though this palette has received positive reviews in terms of performance, so maybe the new formula really is a step above what they have previously produced. But, again, trying a new formula is just not a good enough reason for me to buy colors that I already have. And since this palette looks so similar to several other Urban Decay palettes, people who are fans of the brand will likely have all of these colors in abundance as well. And I suppose that they are banking on people being so curious to try the new formula that they won't mind buying something again.
I also appreciate that this palette contains warm tones as well as cool/colorful tones, but, again, this really feels like a companion palette to me. That is not to say that someone can't create an all-shimmer look; in fact, one of my all-time favorite looks I've done was a shimmery chrome on the lid and a shimmery olive in the crease. I've also been really into a shimmery brow bone highlight recently, so I can certainly see people doing an all-shimmery look. But I would also say that for most people, the majority of looks aren't completely shimmery. I don't personally subscribe to the notion that a palette must possess "complete" looks in order to be worth purchasing, because I feel like that way of thinking tends to result in having multiples upon multiples of the same colors in one's collection. But, $55 is also a lot of money to spend on a palette where only one or two shadows would be used at a time. For most people, I would guess that they are truly attracted to only a handful of colors in this palette, and those are probably shadows that they already own, or they are colors that can be purchased as singles.
While I think this palette generally has a nice color scheme, it is also something that I have seen many times over and definitely already own. The impracticality of the packaging just adds another negative onto this product to really seal the deal for me that this is not a product that would get a ton of use in my collection. I think it's exciting that Urban Decay has reformulated their shadows, and I'm excited to see what else they come up with—hopefully something that sets a new trend instead of follows something a little old. I don't have any use for this palette, so I won't be buying.