Now that I’ve spent a good two weeks (unintentionally, I might add) building up the suspense for this review, I’m finally going to get down to it and unveil the Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Volume IV. Get ready…
Egads, is that a stock image? Why, yes it is. Sorry, but I couldn’t get a decent shot of the whole thing.
First off, this box is ginormous. There’s no other word for it. While I’m usually not a huge fan of bulky packaging, I would hardly expect a palette named ‘Book of Shadows’ to be slim, so this one gets a free pass. The design is really gorgeous, and the palette comes inside a cardboard box printed with the same colorful drawing.
Open the top lid, and you get a spray of plastic butterflies, a mirror, iPhone/iPod sleeve, and QR codes. (And now, I’m going to subject you to gratuitous butterfly pictures because I took about 10 billion of them)
The bottom drawer slides out to reveal the eyeshadows, plus some extras (a speaker, cords, mascara, liquid liner, and mini UDPP in a squeeze tube).
I’ll go over the electronic additions later, but first, a little about the 3 makeup extras. The liquid liner is great, and I believe I referred to the formula as “liquid fairydust magic” in a previous review. The color is a versatile, glossy black which pairs well with the shadows. The mascara also impressed me (people, do you see the awesome chrome tube?). It defined my lashes while holding a decent curl, and didn’t smudge or flake. I also like that this year’s mini UDPP comes in a squeeze tube, which will make it much easier to get the leftover product out.
I’ve swatched them in the same order as they appear above. I also labelled them for an extra dose of helpfulness:
The standout shades for me were Baked, Bender, Lost, Hijack, Sin, and the entire bottom row, which looks a lot better in real life. All of the above were smooth like butter, with excellent color payoff. A few shades were less pigmented than the others, as I’m sure you can tell from my swatches. Midnight Cowgirl and Midnight Rodeo were the only glitters, and I experienced moderate fallout when working with them, but nothing terrible.
Now, I want to add that the only other palette I own from Urban Decay is their Deluxe Shadow Box, which I purchased a couple of years ago. This set might not be as useful to you if you already own their Naked Palette, which contains all the neutrals you are ever going to need. For me, this was a nice addition to my stash, as it contains a balance of neutrals and pops of color (not quite as bright as their 15th Anniversary Palette, so I’d steer you in that direction if you want more color).
Ok, lastly, all that high-tech stuff. While I was able to find a use for everything, the gadget additions aren’t really necessary. Example? While the purple keychain speaker has good sound quality, and is oodles of awesome, it doesn’t add to the palette itself, especially when you can access those tutorials online without going through the whole QR code thing. I don’t know whether the tech additions were a one-time thing or not, but for their next palette, I’d like to see them scrap those, and knock $10 off the price.
Thumbs up for
Very pretty packaging, well-chosen makeup extras, wearable color range, overall good quality eyeshadows.
Thumbs down for
Higher price point and the not-entirely-necessary tech gadgets. I was also disappointed by 2 or 3 of the eyeshadows, which weren’t as buttery and pigmented as the others.
Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Volume IV should be good for the office, or just for people who want to slowly incorporate color into their makeup routine. Hopefully, I’ve given you a pretty balanced picture, because I know that this palette has had a lot of mixed reviews. As I said before, I do think that this is a nice set, but a few specific improvements could have taken it to the next level. It’s also not going to be for everyone, especially since a lot of people seem to expect very bright, unique colors from Urban Decay, and these colors are on the safer side.
This is available online now for $64, but if you’re still undecided, just pop into Sephora to see it in person when it lands in-store around the end of November/December.
So what do you guys think? Flail or fail?
Full Disclosure: The product in this post was submitted for review, either by a PR firm or directly from the manufacturer. For more information, please see my disclaimer.
Stock image courtesy of Urban Decay.