Urban Decay After Dark eyeshadow palette

That Urban Decay is one of my favorite eyeshadow brands is no secret. So when I spotted the release of the After Dark palette I was intrigued. Released at the same time with the permanent Nocturnal Shadow Box, but that features many shades that have appeared in other Urban Decay palettes. Since I already own so many Urban Decay palettes, I figured After Dark would be more unique. Here are my thoughts.

Urban Decay After Dark eyeshadow palette

This palette was difficult to get a hold of. News about Urban Decay releases in The Netherlands is scarce and when I spotted reviews of the Nocturnal Shadow Box, I was expecting to see posts on this palette appear as well. Alas, no such thing happened and I am still not sure whether this was ever even released over here. After a long hard search, I found it on several of Urban Decay’s official websites, but those only ship to the country they operate in. So the French website only ships to France etc. Luckily I found one on the UK website and asked my friend in the UK whether I could send the palette to her home address and have her forward it to me. She did and thanks to Alison I am now the proud owner of this palette. It retails for £39.50 and is still in stock on the UK and French  Urban Decay websites.

The packaging

The packaging of this palette was quite elaborate, which is probably due to the fact that I ordered this off Urban Decay’s official UK website. The palette came in a postal box, but then this larger purple box was on the inside containing the palette and some extra bubble wrap my friend added to protect it on its journey across the North Sea. When it first arrived the palette was simply loose in this box, so I’m glad that she put in some extra wrapping. Because with eyeshadows you just never know.

Next, there is the eyeshadow palette itself. That very pretty super shiny box? That is actually the outer packaging. The duller looking of the two is the actual palette. To me, that was a bit of a let down because all the pictures I could find online showed a pretty holographic looking palette. However, once I got this is was only the outer packaging and not the palette itself. Not a huge bummer of course, because the actual packaging is still shiny and gorgeous.

Then we finally get to the actual packaging itself. The palette is made of a sturdy plastic. When it comes to the overall feel think Urban Decay Naked Smokey palette, more so than their more classic tin packaging for some of the other Naked palettes. It is very prone to finger prints, so if that is one of your pet peeves you won’t like this.

The Brush

As with most Urban Decay palettes, this comes with a brush. Overall, I like these brushes for packing on shadow and I keep a few of the ones I already have in my travel brush set. Since they are dual ended I love how they have the 2-in-1, these make for some excellent travel brushes. They are a bit small for blending and crease work I find, but they work just fine to get some of the basics down.

The Shades

This palette contains 10 shimmery eyeshadows and range from some warmer tones in the top row to some cooler shades in the bottom row. You will immediately be able to tell that this shade range does not make for a stand alone palette. I have subbed in my Naked Basics palettes to create more well-rounded looks with this. However some of these shades go together very well. You would only need some neutrals for the transition and the brow bone.

My favorite shade here is Lounge. It is an Urban Decay classic and I have been loving these blue/ brown shades lately. Another favorite is Fringe. This is a vibrant shimmery teal which works wonders against brown eyes like mine to make them pop. The purples and warmer tones are also very pretty and you do get a few neutrals to make this is a fairly workable palette. It doesn’t contain many super deep shades though, so if you like smoking out a look, you’d better have a matte black or dark brown ready to go.

The Swatches

Alter – Scene – Supersonic – Sinful – Off Duty
Druggie – Backfire – Lounge – Fringe – Paralyzed

Pigmentation wise these all go on flawlessly. They are intense and apart from Druggie they go on very opaque as well. I found all the shades easy to blend and apply. While Druggie is a touch sheer, you can build it up by layering. Fringe is easily the stand out shade as it is the most vibrant shade in the palette. Alter may seem very sheer, but the base is very pale and pretty much disappears against my skin tone. It has a pretty white golden sheen to it, which makes it perfect as an inner corner highlight.

Scene is a pretty coral pink that works well to brighten up an inner corner or on the lower lash line. Supersonic reminds me of the shade Sonic in the Vice 3 palette and that happens to be one of my favorite Urban Decay eyeshadow colors. Sinful is an interesting yellow gold: it has a very ruddy undertone. Off Duty is a good brown and Backfire and Paralyzed are some jewel tones to add a bit more punch.

The Looks

Look 1 | Warm Toned
Scene (lid)
Supersonic (crease)
Sinful (blend/ transition)
Off Duty (lower lash line & Outer V)
Alter (inner corner)

For the first look I used all the warm shades in the top row. I wanted to create a look using mostly just this palette to show you that you can, if you wish work with only this. The shadows are shimmery, but I still love the look of this as it set off nicely against my brown eyes. I did have to go in with a bit of brown liner on the water line to ensure enough contrast.

Look 2 | All the Blues & Greens
Lounge (lid)
Paralyzed (crease)
Fringe (lower lash line)

Look number 2 features the three blue/ green shades on the bottom right side of the palette. I had to go in with my Naked Basics 2 to create a deeper crease, highlight the brow bone, transition all of that nicely and highlight my inner corner. I don’t find there to be any other shades in this palette that go well with these three shades otherwise. But I do like this look. Where the first look complemented my eye color, this contrasts it.

Look 3 | Purples
Druggie (lid)
Backfire (outer V, crease & lower lash line)
Scene (lower lashline, inner third)
Alter (inner corner)

The purples in this palette are pretty brightening. You could easily make these more intense by adding a base to make them pop, but I wanted to do something light and pretty that day. I think it is a very pretty, feminine look and very different from the other two. Again, I used my Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 to blend everything out, but I think you could go in with more purple and browns to pull this together and make it deeper, or you could go for a more avant garde look by pulling in Lounge.

The Conclusion

I truly love Urban Decay shadows and I think this is one of the best palettes they have come out with in a while. The quality is there, you can get some very distinct looks out of this, but you do have to pull in other shadows to create a full look. These shadows work well, last all day and I love the looks I created with it. In short, I think the Urban Decay After Dark palette is one of Urban Decay’s finest releases and if you are looking for some shimmery colors to add to your collection, I would highly recommend.

What is your favorite way to wear colorful eyeshadow?

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