This month’s Palette Play saw me roll over two palettes from February which I ended up not feeling too inspired in during that month and attempting to use them more in February, I also pulled out the palette which almost broke the internet for all the wrong reasons – ABH Subculture – to see how it’s performance faired in 2022.
Violet Voss Berry Burst
I picked up this palette as I thought it would be one that would be good for travel to be able to do colourful pink looks and neutrals, however since I reviewed it back in Jan 2020, I’m not sure it’s a palette I’ve reached for at all – nor really thought about. Now, travel has been off the cards for quite some time – however, the fact I’m not sure I’ve reached for it at all in 2 years makes me think maybe I should find a different home for it!
The review I gave of this was positive, the mix of shades and it’s clear layout in a pink and a neutral row.
The mattes and metallics in this palette are good and apply and blend nicely with good lasting power, but I crave a more interesting finish on metallics at the moment and these just lack a little bit of a punch. I did end up using this palette a few times, although the pictures below are from my original reviews as the lighting just wasn’t good. But this entered my project in February and every time I opened it, I pretty much put it back down as I just didn’t feel inspired by it. If I want a pink look, my Love palette from Natasha Denona will win, and whilst the metallics on the neutral side are nice, I also have other ones which capture my interest more.
Packaging Comments: The packaging of this palette is quite pretty, it does have a mirror in it which feels kind of point
Price Point thoughts: When these came out they were £18 which is a little steep IMHO for a palette of this size, but since then they have risen even further to £25, which honestly feels a little ridiculous for 12g of product from a brand such as Violet Voss. If I compare that against that CP palette, I know where I would rather spend my money.
Keep or Declutter: Declutter! Whilst I don’t not enjoy this palette – I have so many palettes I just prefer, I don’t feel much inspiration when I open up this palette. I have a friend in mind for this palette who is just starting to build out his makeup collection and experimenting with makeup, so I’ll pass this onto a better home where I think he will enjoy it more.
Pixi Eye Effects in Hazelnut Haze [Gifted]
I was gifted a few palettes by Pixi a few years ago and started working on a review around about the time that my ~life started going pear shaped~ and the review never got completed, this palette when I pulled it out did have a few signs of use, but it’s not a palette I could ever remember using – so may have just been swatches, so I was curious as to what I was going to think about this. Pixi do a lot of great things, but I’ve always found their eyeshadows to be pretty lacklustre, and sadly that’s where I ended up with this palette.
On the surface, I like the look of this palette, a wearable khaki pop of colour against the warm toned neutrals, with a thoughtful mix of metallics and mattes. The reality is, as nice as this looks in the pan, everything lacks pop and pigmentation on the eye. I do question who this palette is for, if it’s for the people who prefer a soft and sheer shadow, this is it, but the trouble is, they don’t look it in the pan, the look rich and seem like they invite the wrong crowd.
The metallics pay off as satins at best, the khaki pays off so pale it almost looks grey and looses all of the pretty gold pearl it has in the pan. The mattes are quite nice with a creamy and to be honest are heavily let down by the rest of the palette, although they do blend away very easily. Applied wet or dry, over a good primer or a glitter primer, there seems to be nothing I can do to bring the metallics to life.
Packaging Comments: I like the packaging the pans are large and they make excellent use of the space with no huge gaps between shadows, whilst it still feels a nice and compact size for travel.
Price Point thoughts: This is £22, which is staggering for the quality that you get. I don’t know why Pixi can get other powders right but not shadows. Save your money.
Keep or Declutter: Declutter. As much as I enjoy this I have most of these colours a few times over and they all perform a lot better than this. It would make a good palette for travel, but feel like this is a palette for people who use one shade at a time and prefer a softer eyeshadow look.
Remember when there were basically online riots about this palette when it launched? Famed for its “bad quality” at the peak of ABH’s popularity, it was a palette that quickly showed up in discount stores which is where I snagged mine from. I was surprised when I pulled this out that there were certain shades that I’d clearly used and loved a lot.
There are two true metallics in ABH Subculture, Adorn has full opacity in the warm bronze tone, Electric has a 3/4 opacity with some sheerness to it, but not so much that it doesn’t look like a true green on the eye, but enough to use matte dark shades under to change the depth. The shade Cube is a funny one, it’s like a topper shade with a pink pearl hue but is a little bit chalky and I found when layering it over other colours it looked too light with this colour story, but if you really work it you can build it up to use it alone on the inner corner.
The mattes in ABH Subculture make up the majority of it, the shades Roxy, Dawn and Fudge were firm favourites through creating the looks with this palette. The dark mattes whilst pretty in the pan confused me on the eye, they don’t pair with most of the shades in the palette very well, and I found when I used them on the lower lash line for example somehow most of them ended up looking the same – e.g Rowdy, Axis and Untamed looked virtually identical on the eye.
Packaging Comments: I like the long and slim packaging that’s actually rarely seen apart from ABH and Urban Decay. I never have loved the suede outer, it looks dirty and particularly bad with this darker teal colour for showing marks!
Price Point thoughts: The full official price of ABH Subculture is £43, but it’s found online now for much cheaper, at £45 no it’s not worth it for me personally, but at the £25 I snagged it for in TK Maxx, it’s a good deal.
Keep or Declutter: I’ll keep ABH Subculture for now… I have enjoyed this every time that I’ve used it with but, I think it’s not something I will continue to reach for a lot. I wish some of those darker jewel tones were metallics to mix up that end a bit, and it would make this palette a lot more wearable and diverse. I see a place for it in my collection but I can also see maybe something else coming along from my collection which could be a better version of this.
And there we have last month’s round up. I feel like I got the most use out of Subculture and featured a lot of looks with it on instagram that I didn’t manage to capture on camera for. But I’m happy to wave goodbye to my first two palettes as part of this project of going through all my palettes. I’m also planning a full palette review this month separate from my project on a palette I purchased last month, so keep your eyes peeled for that soon.