What a wild week in the internet world with the release of the highly anticipated Subculture Palette! I, along with many others, have been eagerly awaiting the follow up to last years smash Modern Renaissance Palette so when all of these horrible reviews started popping up I was really confused! I can't believe the backlash I've seen against this palette, it seems you either love it or hate it and there's not much in between. I like to read reviews but I always try something for myself before making any assumptions because makeup really is very personal and no one product will work for everyone.
Honestly though, the reviews were so bad that I think when I finally did get the chance to use it on my eyes I was expecting it to fail so badly that I was just waiting for something to go horribly wrong like it had in the videos I'd seen.
Is there kickback in the pan? Yup.
Is it more than most? Yup.
Is it really as bad as they show in the videos? Nope.
At least not for me! I don't normally go into any new palette with a heavy hand because who knows how powdery it is, how pigmented, how much you will need to put on your brush, all of that jazz. I like to go in with a fluffy brush and a little product and go from there. So that's how I approached the Subculture Palette and I had zero issues. I even pulled out my Modern Renaissance to compare and tapped my brush into some of the shadows the same way and basically the same amount of kickback came up. I will say that a few of the shades in Subculture do have more kickback than the Modern Renaissance Palette but again, nothing major or unusual.
Plus, that Sephora Pro Palette everyone has been raving about (including me! See my review here Review: Sephora Pro Palette Warm) well it has a ton of kickback too but no one seemed to mind because the shadows were so pigmented! And comparing ingredients between the Sephora Palette and Subculture you'll find that both matte formulas list Talc as the primary ingredient and I feel like that might account for some of the similarities. And from what I've learned about ingredients the last few days, Talc seems to be more matte than Mica, which contains a slight reflect. The shades in Subculture are described as Ultra Mattes, and you would naturally assume they'd want to use ingredients that contain little or no reflects. Mica is an ingredient in the Sephora Pro Warm mattes, and the mattes in Subculture say +/- Mica in the ingredient list so there is a bit of it in there as well.
I've used it 5 or so times now and I really have no issue with this palette. I love the color scheme as it's pretty unique and I don't have anything else like it in my collection. I do think it is easy to get carried away with these shades though and using too many in one look is ill advised. I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner necessarily, but it is pretty versatile and has shades that are easier to use than others (Roxy, Cube, Electric, Fudge, Dawn, Destiny, Adorn). Also, if you watch the ABH promo video featuring Norvina, she talks about how she wanted the Subculture Palette to compliment Modern Renaissance. I think that using the two palettes together really unlocks a lot of different color combos and looks you can create and can make the Subculture Palette a little less intimidating. I can't wait to pair the dark teal shade Axis in Subculture with the champagne shade Primavera from Modern Renaissance, it's going to be so pretty! Norvina also said she sees Modern Renaissance as a Day palette, and Subculture as Night and that makes perfect sense to me! It's a bold palette that does have neutrals for a subtle look, but mostly has very grungy, edgy shades that are more about making a statement and less about looking glam and fabulous. At least that's what I take from this palette.
I think if you approach the palette in this manner it can become a lot easier to work with and you can create some really beautiful looks. I found the shadows to blend out really well, even if I applied a little too much at once. Again, if you pull in some transition shades from Modern Renaissance and use Subculture for your pops of color you may find it more approachable. I think this palette is all about experimenting and trying new things and new colors and no, they won't always work out but I have that happen with any palette I use. Sometimes less is more, and practice makes perfect, so test out some of the shades together and if they don't work out then wash it off and try something new!
If you're looking for an everyday, really wearable palette then I would say skip this but if you're open to trying something new and finding out if it works for you then I definitely recommend! This Palette retails for $52 CAD at Sephora, and can also be purchased directly from ABH, Cult Beauty etc.
Here are some looks I created using this palette -
And finally some swatches!
So what do you think about the Subculture Palette? Did it work for you? I wanna know! Let me know what you thought in the comments below.
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