Monday, 22 February 2016

UDxGwen | Urban Decay Spring 2016.

Confession time: when the Urban Decay/Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette popped up online (and through my letterbox) late last year, I was left feeling a little deflated. Please don't throw your unicorn horns at me. Sure, the packaging was cool and as a No Doubt/Gwen fan I loved the idea but I just didn't think it was anything special. The eyeshadow quality was nice and had lots of mattes, I couldn't fault that, but after Naked Smoky and Vice 4 I was just left feeling a little "meh". And so, I chose not to show it on my blog - simply because I just couldn't bash it; it wasn't a bad palette (I know pretty much everyone else thought it was amazing and everyone who I know that has it LOVES it), but it just didn't excite me enough to blabber on about it. But what was released in November was only the start of things to come; better things, in my opinion. I'm so happy to say that the second half of the UD x Gwen collaboration has absolutely made up for the eyeshadow palette. If you're a Gwen fan, a cheek product junkie or a bright lipstick lover you need to have a nosy at your nearest Urban Decay counter, ehm, yesterday. 

 

One of the items included in the second half of the collection is a Brow Box (€25.50). Cute packaging, novelty "Magic's in The Makeup" logo on the mirror and some dinky brushes and tweezers. It is essentially two cool toned light taupe/blonde brow powders and a wax. The quality of the products is really nice, but unless you're a die hard fan/collector or just really dig the convenience of brow powers in a little box then I would say skip this. Obviously this collection is a pale girl's dream, being created by Gwen with Gwen herself in mind, so it doesn't actually bother me that this will really only suit fair haired gals, but obviously that's something worth pointing out. It's a little pricey in my opinion, my advice would be buy a lipstick from the collection instead.








Speak of the devil. My favourite thing in life. When I think of Gwen Stefani's makeup I think of neutral eyes, killer lashes and a bright (usually red) lip. In that sense, the overall collection really does reflect her and I can definitely tell she was heavily involved in this collaboration. The eyeshadow palette came with a little card of mini lipstick testers back in November which I absolutely loved and thought was such a brilliant idea - and a great way to get excited for the spring release of what I originally thought was just lipsticks. 
There are 8 lipstick (€21) shades in total, 2 of which are online exclusives. While there is a nude and a few pinks, most of these lipsticks are in the red family. There was a lot of confusion and disappointment in that online, but again since Gwen is known for her red lipsticks I'm not even mad, because they all do serve a purpose in my opinion. I'm not saying you need all of the different shades of red; I think this collection is more about finding the right red that suits you. These lipsticks vary in both undertone and finish (sheer, cream, new mega matte), so whatever one you pick will be based on your preferences which is something I really appreciate.
There's a true pin up red (714 - mega matte), pink red (Wonderland - cream), blue based red (Spiderweb - cream), a deep burgundy red (Rocksteady - cream), a blue based fuchsia (Firebird - cream) and a sheer nude (Ex-Girlfriend).



I will say that although the packaging looks absolutely stunning and so art deco, they do feel very plastic-y and just generally cheaper and lighter than the Revolution lipsticks. I'm happy to report though, that the quality is just as lovely as what we're used to seeing with Urban Decay so I'm not too bothered by that. I think if you're a red lipstick lover or a Gwen fan this would be a really special thing to own from the collection. I also appreciate how universal the lipsticks are. With the collection being designed by Gwen with her skintone in mind, I feel that it excludes a lot of people, or maybe won't look as flattering on some as it will on others, but the lipsticks really make up for that. The particular shade I received for review was Firebird; it was so creamy and long lasting leaving a really nice even stain as it wore off. 

And since Gwen is such a lipstick maestro, she created matching lip liners for the collection (€18). I'm a lip liner advocate and all about using them especially with reds so I think these make a fab pairing. The packaging is gorgeous - it will kill me to sharpen these. It has the true OG 24/7 formula and they're not really exaggerating when they say 24/7. These liners are some of my favourites because they hit the perfect balance between applying soft and creamy but then really setting down and not moving anywhere once they're on.



Rock Steady, Firebird
But it doesn't stop there; UDxGwen is the gift that keeps on giving. Probably what I was most excited for in the whole collection - the 6 pan blush palette (€42). When I saw this mentioned on Trend Mood's Instagram I nearly died... but not before screenshotting it like mad and sending it to all my makeup loving friends, of course. I think a blush palette is such a unique product to do in a collaboration and I absolutely love it. The packaging is almost identical to the eyeshadow palette, just reversing the colour of the polka dots on the front. Similar enough to flow with the theme of the collection but different enough to be able to distinguish it from the eyeshadows on your dressing table, yano?



The quality of the blushes themselves are beautiful, although I'm already a huge fan of the 8hr After Glow blushes so there's no surprise there. This will probably look best on light-medium skin tones, because you can then use these powders for bronzer, blush and highlight. That being said, some of these blushes would make lovely highlights on a darker skin so if you're unsure I'd suggest swatching them in person first! 5/6 of the shades have a beautiful shimmer through them, but doesn't bother me personally but is worth mentioning.



Cherry is a light cool toned pink with shimmer and is gong to be so beautiful in the spring, Easy a rose with gold particles, Angel a light warm nude, Lo-Fi a warm matte brown (perfect for bronzing), Hush a dark beige champagne highlight and OC a light peach with shimmer and the softed pink sheen/duo-chrome. Overall, the highlight of the entire collection for me and the perfect cheek palette for spring and summer.




I am so impressed with the latter half of this collection. If you liked the eyeshadow palette then I'm sure you already love this. If, like me, you weren't overly impressed with the eyeshadows then I still think this is absolutely worth a look at. My top picks would be the blush palette and a lipstick or two! Did you pick anything up from the collection? Let me know below - I'd love to know what you think of UD pairing up with Gwen... I know it was a massive success and I'd love to see them do this with some more celebrities and personalities in the future! x