Urban Decay: Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette Review + Swatches!

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Price: £40.00/$58.00
Quantity: 15 Eyeshadow Pans
Claims:This is the beauty collaboration you’ve been waiting for! We partnered with Gwen to create her ultimate eyeshadow collection. From her 15 can’t-live-without shades to the super-luxe case, Gwen designed and developed her perfect palette.”
Rating: 3/5 stars


I was very excited for this palette when it was first announced. Being a long time No Doubt and Urban Decay fan, as well as being a lover of Gwen Stefani’s personal style, I thought I would love it. Another factor in my decision to buy the palette was that it was comprised of mostly natural/neutral colours, which are my go-to shades on the daily. However, as you’ll come to find in this review, the palette didn’t exactly live up to my expectations.



Packaging



The palette comes in a nice white and gold metallic style cardboard box, however this outer packaging isn’t great for travel. As I usually when I’ve ordered eyeshadow palettes, I was terrified I would open it and all the shadows would have been smashed in the post. Thankfully this hadn’t happened, but I’ve never understood why companies don’t use bubble wrap to help protect palettes. 

The actual palette itself comes in plastic white and gold rectangular box packaging with black polkadots. It feels sturdy and slightly heavier than the usual Urban Decay palettes and looks very elegant on your dressing table. The box has a relatively strong magnetic closure which is very handy and opens up and stays to whatever angle you desire to be able to see in the interior mirror (which is an amazing size). Urban Decay have been hit and miss in the past with their palettes having to be propped up to use the mirror, which I personally don’t mind because I hardly ever use the mirrors that come with palettes, but it came in useful when I used this palette on set of a photoshoot the other week and a model wanted to use it to curl her own eyelashes. However I have found that the more you use the palette the less rigid the joint at the back becomes and so the mirror has started to fall down more with use and occasionally needs propping up. 

PROS: Beautiful, elegant packaging. Looks expensive and stylish. Magnetic closure is strong and it has a large mirror inside.
CONS: The plastic used for the packaging could possibly be broken in transit so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for travel and the mirror has lost it’s rigidness and tends to fall back the more you use it.

Consistency, Pigmentation and Finish


The colours in this palette are absolutely gorgeous, and if you’re a lover of neutrals with the occasional pop of colour you will love this palette. It has a good ratio of matte to shimmery colours (5 mattes - a good amount for Urban Decay palettes - 8 shimmers and 2 satins.) 



In the pan they all look very rich and pigmented, which massively excited me when I first opened it, however upon swatching I was disappointed. The lighter colours are rather sheer and barely show up on my skin tone (I am very fair but that wouldn’t matter if the pigment was there). The best row for consistency, pigmentation and finish seems to be the bottom row with the brighter colours, which Urban Decay often excel at, however unfortunately for me these would be the colours I would be least likely to use. I do have to say though, the majority of the eyeshadows in this palette feel extremely silky and soft, showing there was thought put into the quality of the eyeshadows in this palette and it’s not just a gimmick. 




PROS: Amazing colours on sight, the bright and darker colours have fantastic colour pay off and almost all the shadows are very smooth. Great ratio of mattes to shimmers.
CONS: Colour payoff is disappointing with the lighter colours, some of the colours don’t swatch well and seem to be difficult to build. A let down for those who love neutrals and have fair skin or darker skin unfortunately on which the colours would appear ashy and washed out.


Best Application?


I tested these shadows out using my Zoeva Complete Eye Brush Set (http://www.beautybay.com/cosmetics/zoeva/completeeyebrushset/), using the shade ‘Bathwater’ for my inner corner shade, ‘Zone’ for my transition shade, ‘Punk’ to deepen the outer corner and ‘Blonde’ to highlight my brow. I was unhappy with the payoff of ‘Bathwater’ when I originally put it on, so tried mixing it with a tiny bit of mixing water to make it more opaque. This didn’t work as well as I’d hoped but I really wanted to try the shadow to review. ‘Zone’ and ‘Punk’ went on fabulously, however I noticed I had to keep blending them or they would start creasing on me. ‘Blonde’ barely showed up on my skin tone which I expected and didn’t mind as I just used it to highlight my brow and give it a bit of a sheen, however as you can see in the picture it’s not even apparent. 




In the 10-15 minutes between finishing my make up and taking the picture, the darker eyeshadows had creased again and were already starting to fade. Perhaps I’ll try using them again with a primer and let you know the difference (I recommend the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer https://www.toofaced.com/p/eye-shadow-primers/shadow-insurance/). However, when you’re paying £40/$58 for a palette like this from a reputable company like Urban Decay, you would expect the shadows to stay a little bit longer even without a primer.




PROS: Again, lovely colours in the pan that initially go on well. 
CONS: Creasing and fading starts almost immediately, colours don’t blend or build well, lighter shimmer shades are not opaque even when wet. 



The palette also came with some free samples of the lipsticks that Gwen Stefani has created for the rest of her line with UD (which also includes a blush palette). If you would like me to do a review of these please leave a comment down below! 



In my opinion, this is a beautiful looking palette but it doesn’t quite meet my expectations in terms of pigmentation and longevity which I’ve experienced with other Urban Decay palettes. I would say this palette isn’t great for those with very light skin tones (which is ironic seeing as Gwen herself supposedly picked the colours that she would want to wear) or very dark skin tones. I’ll try using this palette again in the future with primer and give you an update as to whether the colours turned out any better, but for now I’m disappointed with what you get for your money and would recommend getting the most out of it by using the bright colours now spring is upon us and summer is coming. 

Thanks for reading!

Emma Victoria x
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