Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette Review
This week social media has exploded with Anastasia Subculture palette reviews and tutorials. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that they were mostly negative. Most of these reviews came out before I received my palette, and consisted of a long list of complaints that were not limited to colors oxidizing, excessive fall-out, and the shades being unblendable. Needless to say, I was extremely concerned I had wasted $42 dollars. In an M. Night Shyamalan twist, I became terrified to write the review this palette when I discovered I was in the minority. This Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette review is going to shock you because I adore this palette.
The Modern Renaissance palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills was the most successful impulse purchase I have ever made. I was unsure about the berries until realized there were only two deep pinks and the rest was neutral. When I applied that eyeshadow, my life flashed before my eyes and I saw the faces of the makeup gods. The moment I used Modern Renaissance, it became my new standard in eyeshadow. That palette helped me create beautiful looks and helped further my skills, so to say that I had high hopes for Subculture would be an understatement.
The Subculture Palette Application
Usually, when I get a new palette, I’m always eager to try it the very next opportunity I get. I don’t typically tear the packaging open and start doing my makeup on the living room floor, but I could not help it. I had watched at least 5 Youtubers review the product and hate it. The suspense was killing me, how bad was this palette?
I dipped my brush in New Wave, the same way I use Modern Renaissance. Tapped in once, and saw a small about of fallout, which was only a touch more powdery than Modern Renaissance. I spread it across my eye to find a delightful amount of pigment and the same immaculate blending that other Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes have. I continued recreating the look that was on Anastasia Beverly Hills controversial Instagram story with New Wave. Tapped into Untamed once, the same amount of powdery fallout appeared in the pan and then I blended. It blended perfectly, so I deepened it with Axis. It blended seamlessly again, so I added electric to my inner corner and Adorn to the outer portion of my eye. I created an editorial look in 15 minutes, which is unheard of for me and my skill set.
As I continued to swatch and play, Electric and Cube were the only shades that gave me trouble. Both duo-chromes were difficult to use. Electric was beautiful when built up with a finger, while cube was difficult all around. Personally, cube and electric are not my cup of tea. Both are beautiful to look at, but I choose Subculture for a specific reason. I purchased the palette to fill a hole in my collection. I needed sophisticated pops of color that performed. Anastasia Beverly Hills delivered just that. After trying all colors, I came to the conclusion that they performed beautifully.
The only drawback is the fallout. I have no negative opinions about fallout. In fact, my most loved shadows tend to be on the powdery side.
The Subculture Palette Controversy
From the moment I saw the leaked and unflattering Subculture photos, I knew this palette was grounded in color theory. I knew that despite the way it looks in the pan, the colors are going to work beautifully together in an editorial way. A lot of beauty lovers were in denial that the subculture palette could be the sister to the Renaissance, and confused by the layout. No one can deny the palette’s versatility and it all came together when the swatches were revealed. While this is by no means an everyday palette, it is possible to create neutral and warm looks as well as bold editorial looks.
The controversy did not stop with the leaked photos or the colors in question. This palette’s massively successful release came to a screeching because of viral videos addressing the fallout, patchiness, and unblendability. Ashley was in the first wave of Beauty Reviewers to create a video on how dusty the subculture palette was. She claimed that she had hit pan on several eyeshadows, in an attempt to make the palette work. From there, many a YouTuber hopped onto the viral trend and began their own reviews. The more people I saw review the palette, the more I tried to find a flaw in the formula other than the fallout. I had great results each time, no matter which of the shades I used in the palette.
This palette caused an uproar in the beauty community like I had never seen. I’d never seen a brand go from beloved to hated overnight because of one product release. But after the first initial storm, slowly a select few had come out with their support for the palette. Stephanie Nicole came forward to say, to her fans surprise, that she enjoyed the palette. She also works in the industry and gave a bit of insight on the formula. She explained to her fans why the palette could be performing differently for people. I have to admit Stephanie Nicole’s review was a bit of an echo chamber for me. She basically said my personal opinion on the eyeshadow palette.
With that being said, there is room for improvement for Anastasia Beverly Hills following the Subculture release. My other go-to beauty YouTube channel is Beauty News. They “destroyed” the subculture palette and the truth is that it is dusty. Dustier than any other palette I have
As much as I want to give this palette high praise and have it all be positive, I definitely cannot ignore the fact that other people have been having issues.While Anastasia and Norvina have been both transparent about pressing the shadows firmer, they also have stood up for their product. To some, this rubbed them the wrong way, and they took offense to it. I personally don’t have a problem with brands sticking up for their product. And I think they were trying to innovate with this palette, be creative, and change the game with these shadows. It didn’t translate to the consumer market, and I think all brands will have that one flop eventually. I am interested to see how they bounce back from this. I’m fairly confident that they will impress us again.
Ways to Make the Subculture Palette Work for You
If you did decide to buy the palette and are having trouble, I’ve compiled a list of ways to make the palette work for you. Although Anastasia has a generous return policy, if you can’t be bothered, or purchased through a website that doesn’t allow returns, here are some ways I like to make the palette work for me.
Use a Light Hand
I know it’s been said a thousand times to dip in once or twice and not to swirl. But when I mean use a light hand I mean very gently tap into the pan once. Otherwise, you will have too much product to work with. after you pick up the product gently, genuinely using a light hand while applying the shadow lightly with increasing pressure goes a long way. This method of application hasn’t failed me yet.
I see a lot of people pick up the product gently and then vigorously start blending, and that’s just not how I use the palette. Soft circular motions and as I lay the product down slowly increase pressure has worked like a charm. This will hopefully help prevent the colors from picking up on each other. Remember how soft and how much product you can actually pick up with these soft-pressed palettes. It’s possible using an excessive amount may be causing the issue.
Stick to Certain Color Families
Color theory does apply to eyeshadow as a medium. And while colors and their complements may be common knowledge, it may not be common knowledge that when mixing complimentary colors you make a neutral brown or gray color. Green and red not only compliment when next to one another but when mixed, they neutralize each other. There’s a science behind mixing colors, but a lot more goes into it than just compliments. Tone, shade, tint, and undertones all play a factor in how colors react with one another. I won’t bore you with specific color theory unless you would like to learn more about that here. If you’re having trouble with Colors muddying together, try these Color families in the palette:
Neutral (Warm) Look:
Setting color or transition- Dawn
Outer Edge/Liner- Fudge or All-Star (for a “berry” look)
Lid: Cube or Adorn for shimmer, dawn for a matte look
Neutral (Cool) Look:
Setting color/ transition- Dawn
Outer Edge/Liner- Rowdy
Lid: Dawn for a matte look, (No cool shimmers may need to use a supplement shadow)
Bold Blue Look:
Transition- Destiny or Mercury
Outer Edge- Axis
Lid- Can layer Electric over untamed or another base of your choice
Bold Purple Look:
Transition- Roxy (warm) or Mercury (cool)
Outer Edge- Rowdy
Lid- Dawn or Roxy for Matte or Cube and Adorn for a shimmer (Warm). May need a different cool tone from a separate palette. Dawn is neutral enough to add depth and could be mixed with All-Star. Mercury may be too cool to use all over the lid, cube layered over All-Star may look gorgeous for either look.
I created these looks myself, in hopes to eliminate any muddying due to color theory. Notice that I did not include New Wave or Edge. These colors have both orange and yellow undertones, which potentially can neutralize both purple and blue causing a mess. It’s best to use these colors with warm greens, oranges, and warm tones.
Use Packing Techniques Instead of Blending Techniques
Stephanie Nicole mentioned this best in her review, and I’ll let her explain herself with this link to her review. I mentioned that vigorous blending may be picking up the soft formula. Packing is another way to solve this problem. Packing on color and blending out the edges is a good way to get color pay-off and a decent blend. If the gentle blending is not your style, this may be the answer for you.
My packing technique is different from Stephanie’s. I use normal blending techniques for my transition and crease colors, then I pick up a small amount of my outer V deeper colors for depth and dimension. I tap the brush off, and sometimes even tap the brush on my arm to get rid of excess product. Finally, I use stamping motions where I want the deepest colors to set and lightly stamping motions where I need to blend the edges. Then I repeat and build color until I’m satisfied. A bit different from packing the product on, but it really helps build dimension.
Forget Transitions When Doing Bold Looks- One of the techniques straight out of the brand itself use on Instagram is to go straight in with bold colors like Untamed, then blend the edges out with a transition. Although I warned you that colors like New Wave and Edge may cause muddiness, I have successfully used these colors to blend out and mesh together appropriately. Anastasia has used untamed or axis very boldly in the crease, then added Edge after blending the deeper colors out to blend out the edges. I think is a viable technique to help prevent product build-up that could potentially be causing the colors to pick up on each other.
Final Thoughts on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette Review
A really well-thought out color scheme, with a few hiccups. One of my favorite bold palettes of the year because of its versatility and soft formula. I finally have quality bold colors in my collection, and a great palette option for fall. Although others may disagree with the formula, or how the company handled the Subculture Controversy I stand up for this palette and the brands work. Hopefully, you have found my honest review helpful, as well as my tips for how to make the palette work. For more honest reviews and tips, read my Pat Mcgrath Matte Trance Lipstick Review, and my Jaclyn Hill Palette Review!