Did you ever read those Sweet Valley High books? I loved ’em when I was a kid. There’s like a billion in the series… Okay, not a billion, more like 181, but that’s still A LOT of books. They’re all about the trials and tribulations of two teenage twins, Elizabeth, the perfect little goody-two-shoes, and Jessica, the unscrupulous yet lovable bad girl, who live in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, CA.
I had a Sweet Valley flashback today while swatching Urban Decay: The Black Palette. The $36 set, exclusive to Sephora, came out for fall, but I wasn’t ready for its darker shades until now.
The six powder shadows strike me as shades a Jessica would like — naughty and smokey with a bad-girl edge.
She’s the girl who’d steal your boyfriend but then charm her way back into your good graces (without you even realizing it!). Despite how dark and moody they are, the colors are still flexible enough to wear to school or work.
The palette, with its five shimmery jewel-toned shades and black-as-night matte, are the stars of the show, but the set also comes with two of Urban Decay’s cult faves, a tiny bottle of Eden Primer Potion and a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero, all for $36.
Shimmery gunmetal gray Barracuda, shimmery dark plum Jet, shimmery indigo blue Sabbath, shimmery black-and-gold Cobra (like a beefier version of the middle shade from the Clarins Barocco Eye Trio), shimmery blackish green Libertine and matte Black Dog round out the palette.
All of them pack hard core, intensely rich pigment; consequently, if I only had 10 minutes to do my entire face, this would NOT be the palette I’d grab. The shadows are just so intense that blending them can be tricky (also apt to be fallout), but for traffic-stopping smokey eyes, assuming you have the time for a lot of layering, The Black Palette would make an excellent choice.
On my eyes, these shimmery shadows broadcast both black and color. They’re more like interpretations based on black, rather than straight-up shimmery blues, greens and the like.
Swatches from left: Black Dog, Barracuda and Jet
Sabbath, Cobra and Libertine
Black Dog, Barracuda, Jet, Sabbath, Cobra and Libertine
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero, Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden unblended and blended
Even if you’ve never attempted a smokey eye before, don’t be scurred! You could totally rock this palette. Maybe start with something easy, like pairing one of the shimmery shades on the lid with your favorite neutral shadow in the crease, which is what I’ve done here using Sabbath, and shimmery brown Toasted from the Urban Decay Show Pony Palette. Then…blend till ya can’t blend no more!
Oh, it might help to do your eyes before the rest of your makeup. That way you can clean up any fallout or fix any missteps before you move on to concealer, foundation, blush and/or powder.
AVAILABILITY: Exclusively at Sephora stores and online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,