ABH Subculture and ABA Prism Palettes. Congrats on the Promotion, Chicklet.

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I have been working like CRAZY the last couple of weeks.  When I say that I’ve been working like crazy, I mean I’ve worked eleven of the last twelve days and have logged WELL over 100 hours of actual time spent at work.  I’m exhausted, I’m cranky, and I’ve never been more thankful to have two days off than I am right now.  Everything has taken a back seat to work and sleep.  Basically, I wake up, I go to work, I come home, I crash.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  I missed my three-year wedding anniversary last week.  My best friend was in town over the weekend, and we didn’t even see one another, and he was staying at my apartment.  Today is my first day off in what seems like forever, and I’m spending it blogging and drinking lots of coffee at my local coffee shop.  Later I’m probably going to take myself for a pizza date and maybe a fancy cocktail at the bar next door to my coffee shop.

Somewhere in all the chaos of the last couple of weeks, I got a promotion.  I had one day off, spent it sleeping and making a vain attempt at cleaning my apartment, and when I got back to work the next day, I got called into the office and promoted.  I’m a chef now.  The cooks have to call me chef (actually, I don’t let them because I think that sounds weird).  This is a pretty good cap to a year that started off really shitty, if I’m totally honest.  I also like the timing.  My old boss is out promoting his new cookbook that I wrote, and it comes out in the next few days.  My finances took a huge hit writing that, and he was such an a**h*le about the entire process (and about the thousands of dollars I’m convinced he wasn’t going to pay me for the work), that I can’t help but remark on the timing of everything that just happened.  I’m excited for the promotion, and I celebrated with a reward purchase of two eyeshadow palettes I sure didn’t need but definitely feel like I’ve earned.

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Yes, I bought Prism and Subculture.  I knew I wanted Prism as soon as I saw it.  I mean, seriously.  Just look at Throne and Osiris.  I was on the fence about Subculture, but since I’ve always tapped my brush into shadows and not swirled it around like a person who just wants to waste product and get powder everywhere, I went for it.  I know people either love or hate that palette, and I happen to love the way the mattes look in it.  These two look like they will complement each other nicely, and, hey, I just worked 100+ hours and got a promotion.

As far as Prism is concerned, the quality is what you expect from Anastasia Beverly Hills.  The metallics in the palette feel almost like a gel when you touch them.  The mattes are a little bit chalky, but they still blend out nicely, and there is a ton of pigment in the majority of the shades.  Sphere is the most chalky of the bunch, but it’s still workable.  It’s a neon, and there’s a ton of white in it, but you’ll still need a white base under it to see the full intensity.  I think it will look brilliant as an inner corner highlight or underneath the eye.  The only real dud is obsidian.  They’re saying it’s black, but it’s certainly not the blackest black I’ve used, and it’s a little patchy when swatched to be honest.  It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, as I have many different blacks in my collection.  Swatches on me and descriptions from the website are below.  Ignore my burn scars.  I’m not a cutter–just a cook.

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Left to right:  Lucid (duo chrome white gold with pink reflect), Eden (ultra-matte coral pink), Unity (ultra-matte nude ochre), Sphinx (metallic warm bronze), Osiris (duo chrome midnight violet with red reflect), Sphere (ultra-matte electric green yellow), Obsidian (ultra-matte deep black), Dimension (duo chrome silver grey with pink reflect), Parallel (ultra-matte truffle), Pyramid (metallic yellow gold with green reflect), Throne (duo chrome blackened blue-green with multicolor reflect), Saturn (ultra-matte terracotta), Eternal (metallic violet copper), Lure (ultra-matte ashy lilac)

Now, here’s what I have to add to the descriptions:  Eden is your standard peachy pink shade.  Sphinx is a super creamy bronze with purple shimmer.  Obsidian, as I said earlier, is more grey than black.  Dimension is a very sheer silver with a pinkish-purple shift that I think will look amazing on my green eyes.  Pyramid is a true gold with green shimmer.  Throne (my favorite) is a green with a black base and multicolor shimmer.  Eternal is a copper with almost the same purple shimmer as Sphinx.

For anyone who owns Modern Renaissance and has touched the shade Vermeer, then you know how the metallics in here feel.  Texture-wise, this palette is very similar to Modern Renaissance, so I anticipate that it will be much easier to work with than Subculture.

Speaking of Subculture, here are the swatches on my arm and descriptions from the interwebs:

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Left to right: Cube (duo chrome pink pearl), Dawn (ultra-matte sand), Destiny (ultra-matte sage green), Adorn (metallic bronze), All Star (ultra-matte vintage wine), Mercury (ultra-matte slate grey), Axis (ultra-matte blue-green), Roxy (ultra matte muted coral), Electric (duo chrome lime-gold), Fudge (ultra-matte warm bronze), New Wave (ultra-matte citron orange), Untamed (ultra-matte tarnished green), Edge (ultra-matte gold mustard), Rowdy (ultra-matte blackened purple)

Cube is the almost nonexistent shimmery shade on the far left that is closest to my wrist.  It has potential as a topper, but not much otherwise for me.  Overall, I find the descriptions of these shades to be very true to my results.  These behave almost like a softly pressed pigment.  The blues and greens in Subculture are very intense.  Axis stained my arm and made for some difficult removal.  Untamed and Rowdy were not far behind it in that respect.

The color payoff in Subculture is superior to that in Prism, but Prism is by no means bad.  If anything the shades have more slip to them and blend easier than those in Subculture.  The colors in Subculture do not seem to be firmly pressed in the pans, and even just moving my fingers around to pick up color for swatches dislodged quite a bit more product than was necessary before I got the hang of how to handle the eyeshadow.  I don’t know how travel-friendly these would be, and I don’t intend to find out.  It seems like a good drop could shatter them.

(Edit:Two days after typing up my initial draft, I wore several shades in Subculture for a night out. Here’s my takeaway of eight hours of wear over UD Primer Potion. A VERY light hand yielded intense color payoff.  A working knowledge of color theory is a must when dealing with these colors.  I used Axis and All Star beside one another and and was very careful to not mix them lest become a muddy gray brown color. Rowdy on top of All Star works fine. That lightened All Star and the shade became an orange-ish pink. Cube actually made a cool highlight when light hit it.  I didn’t find the shadow itself to be difficult to work with, but I went in knowing if I barely tapped a brush into a pan, I would have plenty of product for my needs. My big beef with the palette is the shadow began to wear off along the crease of my eye.  This doesn’t generally happen to me. By the time I got home I had a semi-circular line on each lid where the shadow had just disappeared from. Everything else looked fine.)

I know some people are saying that these palettes look the same, but I honestly don’t see it.  I’ll concede that Roxy and Eden are dupes for one another.  So are Fudge and Parallel, but those are neutrals, so who really cares.  As far as everything else, the undertones look different to me, and the shimmers in some similar-looking shades are quite different when worn.  I don’t think these palettes look the same, but I do think they were designed to play really well with one another.

Here are side by sides of all the possible dupes I could think of in the palettes:

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Left to right:  Eden (Prism), Roxy (Subculture), Unity (Prism), Dawn (Subculture), Sphinx (Prism), Eternal (Prism), Adorn (Subculture), Parallel (Prism), Fudge (Subculture)

Eden and Roxy are virtually identical, but Roxy is more intense.  Unity and Dawn look similar in the pan, but Dawn shows up more mustard than Unity.  Sphinx and Adorn are similar, but Adorn has more gold in it, and Sphinx is more purple.  Parallel and Fudge are basically the same, but, like I said, it’s a brown neutral.  Who cares.

Here’s a shot of all the shades side by side:

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Top (left to right):  Lucid, Eden, Unity, Sphinx, Osiris, Sphere, Obsidian, Dimension, Parallel, Pyramid, Throne, Saturn, Eternal, Lure
Bottom (left to right):  Cube, Dawn, Destiny, Adorn, All Star, Mercury, Axis, Roxy, Electric, Fudge, New Wave, Untamed, Edge, Rowdy

I will say that I love the shade range and color variety here but hate the layout of these palettes, but that’s neither here nor there for me since I’m going to depot them anyway.  I’ll just put them in a Z-palette in a way that inspires me, but each is cohesive if you think about it with some color theory in your reasoning.  I just hope the shades in Subculture don’t shatter when I try to remove them from the palette.  I use an induction burner to depot my shadows, and the method is pretty idiot proof, so if anyone is curious, you can read about how I do it by clicking here.

I certainly don’t think that anyone needs BOTH of these.  They’re $42.00 each, and if only one of them is speaking to you, just buy one.  The cost of this purchase with tax was $91.46 bringing my yearly Sephora total to $1,000.34.  That’s still not enough to reach VIB Rouge status because Sephora doesn’t include tax in their calculations like I’ve been doing.  I didn’t set out to reach VIB Rouge again this year, but at this point, I’m so close that I’ll just buy the Hourglass primer that I’m out of and one or two other things and be there.  Yeah, that’s a ton of money, but I have to reiterate that I spent nearly four times that amount at Sephora last year.  I’m still calling this exercise a win, and now I’m off to play with my new array of shadows.

–Jackie

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