I was really excited when Urban Decay emailed and asked if I’d like to try their Shapeshifter palette. Of course the answer was yes indeed, all my teenage dreams became coming true and I’m sure if you’d told my 15 year old Urban Decay obsessed self who spent every penny she had to buy herself all new makeup from UD for prom, that one day Urban Decay would be sending me a palette to try I would have lost my mind, so massive thank you firstly Urban Decay!
The Shapeshifter palette wasn’t one that I hadn’t heard a lot about until I looked it up, but everywhere this palette was really well reviewed so was really intrigued for it’s arrival. First off let’s just have a moment to appreciate the packaging on this. Wow, this thing is beautiful and online standard product shots did not do this baby justice. Firstly the cardboard packing alone is gorgeous, whilst it’s completely flat it has this weird 3D quality to it when it moves, with a really subtle holo sheen in the light which I had to get a super close macro shot of it for you to appreciate!
The palette itself is as even more gorgeous than the box, the casing is sturdy and acrylic (similar to the Smokey palette) with a raised waved pattern underneath which again depending on the light creates this magic shifting colour. If there was ever a packaging that gave me good expectations, I think it would have to be this one.
The palette comes in two colour ways, The Light Medium Shift and the Medium Dark Shift, I was really happy to have the lighter of the two as my contouring preference is to keep things pretty natural and toned down. The palette isn’t super thin, but the palette also has two sides with a mirror separating the two, one side has a four powder pans, whilst the other side has five cream pans. I’ve had a few palettes in the past from the likes of Laura Mercier and others which have had both formulas in there with no separation and it ends up an absolute mess after a relatively short time, The packaging of this one is ingenious to give you the best of both worlds in one palette. This palette describes itself as a contouring palette, but it’s so much more than that, it’s a contouring, highlight, bronzing and colour correcting palette all in one, and some of the shades could easily double up as an eyeshadow, if you’re looking for an all-in-one travel friendly palette, I think I’ve found it.
The powder side features three matte powders with a darker warmer shade, a cooler medium shade and a matte setting powder, nestled at the end is a shimmery highlighter which is a gorgeous neutral tone, which I find really difficult to find, too many highlights seem to lean pretty golden, peach, pink – and finding a good neutral one is hard to find.
These powders are incredibly soft and finely milled, they blend out beautifully on the skin and there’s no complaints I can make at all about the quality of these. My one criticism of this palette is that the pans on the powder side are quite close together, for some of these I like to use a larger fluffier brush and I find it quite easy to accidentally get one edge of my brush coated in the wrong colour. The cream side it’s easier to control as I tend to go in with a smaller brush.
My tan from Bali has faded away in our lovely rainy British summer very quickly and I’ve found the darker of the two shades a little too dark for me as a contour. In the pan it looks more like a bronzer than a contour but it’s not as warm on the skin as it appears in the pan – it could double up as either a bronzer or a warm toned contour should you prefer. The lighter shade however is the perfect contour colour for me, I like that it’s cooler and more muted on the skin it looks nautral without having such a grey undercast it looks a bit ghoulish.
The matte cream shade makes a fantastic colour to set eyeshadow primer with (despite that’s not it’s intention, in fact this whole palette would make a pretty eye look!), but I also love it under the eye to set my concealer and brighten the area. Whilst in swatches it looks quite opaque here – It does apply much more like a setting powder which has a bit of added coverage.
Finally, this highlight – as I already mentioned it’s a gorgeous neutral toned highlighter, something I don’t actually have all that much of in my collection. I’ve been admiring the UD Afterglow highlighters a lot in store recently (whilst I’ve been attempting to narrow down just which of them I wanted to try first) and this swatches as beautifully as a the Afterglow collection. This blends beautifully and just looks stunning on the cheekbones and as a brow highlight.
Then the cream side, we have five pans on this side instead of four and you’ll notice that there’s a bit more of a gap between the pans too. I’ll be first first to admit that I’m not a big user of cream products generally, I’ve never bought any for myself as I’ve always not really known what I’m doing with them, so I’m happy to have a palette to now experiment with. The formula of all of these is identical, there’s no one standout shade here that’s better than the rest, they’re all incredibly creamy shades which blend beautifully.
The first shade on the left is clearly the contour shade, in the pan this looks dark, scarily dark but rest assured it blends out to a much softer shade if you only lightly use the product. This has a warm hue without being orangey. Next up is the cream highlight, this is a rich creamy shade that works for under the eye brightening or using to make your contour shade more noticeable by using and blending either side of the contour to make it more prominent.
The next two shades are the colour correcting shades – what I quite like about these colour correctors is that they’re not scary pastel shades that have you wondering ‘what’s this one for again?’ – both of these are peach toned, one brighter, one lighter both designed to brighten an area. Personally I think I could have done with one or the other on these, if they’d swapped out the other for a more concealer tone I think this would have been a better combo IMO.
Lastly is the shimmery highlight, this is much less intense than it’s powder sister. Out of all the shades in both sides of the palette, this is the one I can see myself reaching for the least out of them all. This is great if you like something really subtle, but for me if I’m going to go to the effort of using a cream product I want it to be noticeable and in my face. Used together layered, the two shimmer highlighters look pretty but the addition of the cream product doesn’t add a lot for me, if you like the option of something very natural as well as something more shimmery then you’ll be happy with the inclusion of both of these.
Shapeshifter Palette In Action
At £39 this is a price point you’d expect from Urban Decay, I think if the whole spectrum of shades is your bag and you’re going to get a lot of use out of most of them then it’s worth it. But it’s probably worth checking at a store or counter that they’re going to shades you can see yourself using day in day out. If you’re exclusively a powder or cream gal then this is probably just a bit too much on the expensive side. But if you enjoy both and you’re in the market for a one palette does it all for contouring and highlighting when travelling then this is a great option, there’s a range of shades here that can take you from pale to tanned, and the medium/dark option of this is also a great for deeper skin tones. I’ve tried this palette on my eyes for the first time today as this post is going up (I’ll try and remember to snap a picture and add it later, but for now I have shown what it looks like on Instastories if you’re reading this ‘live’) and I can confirm that if you like a natural eye look or are looking to pack really, really light then this can wrap up your eyeshadow, contour and highlighting kit into one handy sized palette.
Have you tried the Shapeshifter palette? or have a favourite all in one palette?
Product received as PR from Urban Decay, but thoughts are based on my own experience with the palette.