My first impression of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette was that it was BEAUTIFUL! I absolutely love the cohesiveness with its sister palette, Modern Renaissance (MR), but overall performance was lackluster. This palette had the most kickup than any palette I've ever owned, even when gently patting the pans with a dense brush as suggested by ABH.
'Cube' and 'Electric' are both duo chrome shadows. They have different formulas compared to the mattes and also harder press with a cream-to-powder consistency. Both barely showed on the eye (even with MAC Fix+) using the ABH brush that came with it. I was only able to achieve color pay-off with a finger. I think that these shadows were intended to be toppers or for pops of corner on the brow bone, inner corners or middle of lids (which performed great in this manner by the way).
On the other hand, the mattes are a softer press (as stated by Norvina here) and makes the shadows super powdery and very hard to layer on top of each other. It's quite difficult to build up to intense color pay-off without blowing the color out too much. I noticed this particularly when I was blending one color into another.
Top row: finger swatches, bottom: brush swatches
Despite being a part of the single shadow permanent collection, 'Fudge' was reformulated and included in the Subculture palette. The first ingredient in MR shadows is mica while Subculture's is talc, an ingredient that is also found in baby powder. Talc and mica are both minerals, but talc's properties help absorb oil and make a product more smooth and matte. On the contrary, products with mica tend to give off a more radiant finish. If you compare the ingredients of MR and Subculture, the ingredients list for MR is much more comprehensive but do contain more filler ingredients. So in theory, one could say that Subculture is literally more pigmented than MR.
Because of the softer press, it means that you MUST be oh so gentle with this palette. I definitely wouldn't suggest traveling with this unless its in your carry-on bag. If you're like me and are the kind of person who prefers to pack on product and then blend, then this palette isn't for you. We are creatures of routine, so for most people it's a hassle to change your everyday technique in order to use a specific product. Even when I did change my technique and lightly tapped my brush once into a matte shadow, I did notice minimal fallout but still a fair amount of kickup which still wastes product.
- colors are cohesive
- packaging and design
- colors aren't "true" (they look different in and out of pan)
- too softly pressed; insane amount of kickup and fallout
- blends patchy and shadows skip when layered on top of each other - mattes were too powdery; nearly blended into nothing especially when layered
🔔 VERDICT: ⠀
I will be purchasing another Subculture palette to give it a fair shot as I've seen many inconsistencies across the internet from fallout to oxidizing colors. I also hope there is a different shadow press for future batches to minimize fallout and kickup. I was quite disappointed during my first week of playing with this palette because I was already seeing dips in the shadow pans.
This is a palette for those with a light hand and don't mind spending the extra time to blend out and really work with the colors.