ABH Subculture gets LeslieHere’d

Listen. I know this is the 5000th review of this palette- but they are ALL different and I don’t know who to even trust out there in beauty land anymore. So I was in Ulta the other day, had a merchandise credit (that you can’t use online, wtf is that about), saw this thing out on the shelves and was all “sure, I’ll try it”. AND HERE WE ARE.

So strap in because it’s Leslie here with her thoughts on the Subculture palette!

The Product

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette, 14 shades for $42. Palette contains 11 ultra matte, 2 duochrome, and one metallic.


I didn’t really have an interest in this palette at first. The colors don’t really speak to me, the layout it kind of choppy, and they don’t seem to go together. Looking at a few individually I can see uses for them, but seeing them all together in this layout gives me zero inspiration.

BUT – I love the ABH Modern Renaissance palette. It is, in my opinion, one of the best palettes available. And the more tutorials I saw using this product, the more the colors grew on me. So if it is anything close to the same quality as the ABH ModRen, then it is a win!

The Claims

An essential eye shadow collection, Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette features 14 shades that range from grungy mattes to bold metallics with an underground edge. Complement to best-selling Modern Renaissance Palette. Full pigment and easy-to-blend formula

The colors are definitely grungy, but calling this a ‘complement’ to the Modern Renaissance palette?! How. Why. How.

Maybe ‘sister’ palette in a Kat/Bianca kind of way #tenthingsihateaboutyou


Full pigment – YES (on finger swatches). But absolutely incorrect to call these easy to blend *Spoiler alert?


These are the swatches on the ABH site. I would consider myself to be close to the top skintone.


So now let’s look at these as actual swatches on a person’s skin – close to the top skintone above. Because that for sure looks embellished.


The first three here are Cube (duo-chrome pink pearl), Electric (duo-chrome lime gold), & Adorn (metallic bronze). Now I did a pretty aggressive swirlswatch, and this is the best I could get. Cube is kind of expected and a beautiful shift – hard to work with but pretty under the right light. But Electric & Adorn are hard passes for me. I even tried applying Electric wet on my eye, and all I ever got was green/gold glitter (that creased…and faded.)


The rest of the shades are all ultra mattes, and they are ULTRA pigmented. I mean GEEZE LOUISE ya’ll! Just a modest little swirl and one swipe on the arm and this is the result.!

However they are quite powdery, verrrry chalky – something that seems to be the biggest issue people are having with this palette. Just from one swipe on my arm and you can see fall out BESIDE the swatch. I wasn’t even vertical for this!


This is the shade Axis, the one that seems to be the most powdery. The pan is even super dusty after the one finger swatch:


The Application

FALL OUT ASIDE…no wait, they’re still pretty bad.

These are some of the weirdest, most difficult eye shadows I have ever worked with. Despite being SO pigmented, they seem to blend away to nothing. Maybe the powdery-ness has something to do with it..I have no idea. It’s like they are just dusty, chalky, too finely milled pigments. I tried to blend out each matte to kind of show you how they blend away to a patchy nothingness:


There has also been rumors that these shadows ‘oxidize’ which is a very unusual verb to use when talking about pressed eye shadows. I don’t necessarily agree that they oxidize, but I do notice a change in color from powder form to blended form. Just look at the second shade over in my swatches, Destiny. The very center of the swatch, where the powder is most intense, looks lighter than the rest of the swatch and the blended bit. Like it has a lot of white pigment in it reflecting too much light.

Also! It especially doesn’t blend right where you first lay it down. Kind of like a stain that doesn’t’ get blended out before setting. Are these Pigment Powder Stains?!

There are a few shades I feel do ok on the eyes – Dawn, Roxy, and um, that’s it. But those are EASILY found in palettes I already own.

While writing this, I was perusing other reviews online. I am so shocked that some people have no issue with this product. This leads me to believe that this is a batch issue. The way Temptalia describes her experience with the palette, while still flawed, is nothing like what I see from the palette in my hand. I even ran back to my vanity to try more looks thinking I was just terrible at applying it!

But no. This (my) palette is just garbage.

The Wear

Short and sweet – any pigment I could get out of these shadows (I recall specifically Mercury in the outer corner & crease, Electric in the center) was all but gone by the end of the day. Creased, faded, splotchy. Mess.

The Verdict

Listen. I want this to work just as much as you do. I want this to look like all those reviews that blend and stay and aren’t dusty…

But I would hold out on this palette until new batches are released. The company hasn’t specifically said it will be making changes to future releases, but there is obviously a consistency issue that needs to be worked out. My advice to you would be stay farfaraway



see also (fo giggles)  https://www.reddit.com/r/muacirclejerk/comments/6r1l6h/on_the_blending_of_subculture/

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