Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette: Glamlust or Glambust?

It’s been a week of palette pandemonium!

A year after the debut of the highly popular Modern Renaissance palette, the cosmetic powerhouse (operated by mother-daughter duo Anastasia Soare & Norvina Claudia Soare) released its latest suite of products in their ‘Fall Glam’ launch on July 25th. The new collection boasts 30 shades of all-new matte lipsticks as well as 4 liquid highlighters. However, the most anticipated product of the launch was undeniably the Subculture Palette.

Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Subculture Palette’, $42. www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com, Sephora, Macy’s, & Ulta retailers

Referred to as the grungier “sister” of Modern Renaissance, Subculture is dedicated to the Instagram beauty community – paying homage to the brand’s massive following, which the company attributes to their ability to share and connect with beauty lovers through the social platform. Naturally, Subculture’s reveal garnered a ton of anticipation from excited fans, who were eager to see if the newest palette would measure up to the last one.

Now. . .us beauty lovers can be extremely, um, passionate when it comes to cosmetics, but I’ve never seen a palette cause this much of a frenzy. Subculture has SO. MANY. mixed reviews – most seeming to be on the negative side.

It’s tricky, though, because experiences with palettes – and cosmetics in general – are so subjective. It’s important to keep in mind that what works for one person isn’t guaranteed to have the same results for someone else, which appears to be the case particularly with Subculture.

Anyhow, I’ve decided to put together a list of the pros & cons based on my experience with it so far. . .this post would be a novel otherwise! (More than it already is)

Top Row L-R: Cube, Dawn, Destiny, Adorn, All Star, Mercury, Axis || Bottom Row L-R: Roxy, Electric, Fudge, New Wave, Untamed, Edge, Rowdy

PROS. . .
Great pigmentation & color payoff on majority of the shades. Though, I will say that some have to be worked with more than others. (See my thoughts on Cube below)
Unique color scheme. I’m someone who reaches for neutrals on the daily, so this palette really forces me to get creative with color!
Blendability. Again, this seems to differ significantly from user to user, but in my case I’ve had no issues here.
– Aesthetics. Pretty packaging always catches my eye, and I love the teal exterior.

CONS. . .
Fallout/powder kickup. Personally, these are very minor cons to me, but this is something that has caused the most complaints. So here’s the deal:
Because these shadows are so pigmented, you really only need to gently and slightly dip your brush into them. Excessive swirling or dipping a brush into the pan isn’t necessary when using this palette, especially with knowing how softly they are pressed by the manufacturer. A little definitely goes a long way, and you can always build up the color if you want more.

The quality and texture of the shadows has caused people to speculate a change in formula – and there has been. Comparing the ingredients of Subculture to Modern Renaissance, you’ll find that the first ingredient in the Modern Renaissance shadows are Mica, whereas in Subculture Talc (as in, Talcum powder) is now the main ingredient – which explains the powdery texture and amount of kick-up there is.

Cube. This one fell a bit flat. The color is gorgeous, but takes quite a bit of working with to get it to do what you want. Not sure if I’ll be using it that often. I don’t advise using this one dry at all – definitely needs to be used with a damp flat shader brush.

Swatches. . .
FYI: Metallics were swatched dry.

On a more positive note, ABH handled the day of the launch VERY well, and I was extremely impressed! As seen with previous launches, the higher in demand a product is, the more insane the launch tends to be. Though getting onto the U.S. site was difficult for about the first 30 minutes due to site traffic, I was eventually able to get through and place my order. I was fully expecting everything to be sold out in under an hour, which was not the case – even hours and days after the launch! I definitely applaud them on having sufficient inventory for the volume of orders they received. Norvina even took to Twitter to offer frequent updates to anxious customers, which I thought was great.

Oh, and did I mention that expedited shipping was $4? FOUR. DOLLARS. For 2-day shipping!!


Final thoughts. . .

While it’s not my favorite palette that I own, I’ve been enjoying using mine and personally don’t think Subculture is as horrible as it’s made out to be. I bought it on the day of the launch, before seeing all the negative reviews, so I had a very unbiased opinion going into it. Quite honestly, I probably won’t be reaching for this all that often, since I do tend to wear mostly neutrals on an almost daily basis. However, I do think that this palette is getting unnecessary flack for things that simply require a different way of handling the product, ie. fallout. This being said, I do agree with reviews saying that it has somewhat of a learning curve.

So, is it worth the price? Truthfully, if you’re like me and hardly play with color, then maybe not. But, if you’re curious about Subculture, as I was, I recommend taking the reviews lightly (both the good and bad) and just trying it out for yourself! You may be pleasantly surprised :)

Until next time. . .stay glamorous! xo


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