The most controversial eyeshadow palette release in recent years? I think still, till this day it has to be ABH’s Subculture. The minute this launched people were falling over themselves to tear it down. Since then, the palette seems to have been reformulated and it also seems to be discontinued as well. That said, since this is my most favorite ABH eyeshadow palette and I have yet to review it, I thought I could push out this review before it is too late and it goes out of stock forever.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eyeshadow Palette // Review, Swatch, Makeup Looks
How much you pay for an ABH eyeshadow palette depends on a number of factors: which one you but mostly where you buy it from. If you are in the US you are lucky as this palette retails for $45. Over here in Europe it can go for as little as €49.90 or as much as €56 depending on where you buy it from. It is currently still in stock with the official ABH website, be it the US or UK websites, so as far as I know right now this is not going anywhere, but it has been taken from the stock at Douglas Netherlands.
This being the second palette ABH released in their by now classic 14 pan style, this is very similar in terms of packaging. Like Modern Renaissance it has a velvety outside, this time in a teal shade similar to some of the ones in the palette. Do not put your palette on a dirty table though as you will never be able to clean things up. Other than that, you get a brush and a mirror but I never used either one of them. What matters to me most are these shadows.
Because I held off of buying this palette for a long time. I definitely did not buy this when it came out due to the slack it got. However, this being a color story that is right up my sleeve and after loving the Norvina palette, I knew I wanted to try more. So when I could grab a 25% discount on it, I did. I already owned the dupe by Make Up Revolution, so I knew I would like it. Of course I was afraid it would be a terrible palette after hearing most of the beauty community dragging this palette and decluttering it pretty much straight away. But I was pleasantly surprised when I got mine!
What I like about it is the shade selection: I love me some mustards and teals and I feel I can use every single shade in the palette. It heavily focuses on deep grungy mattes though as there are only 3 shimmers which I find a bit limited. But I have found that this palette goes really well with some of the multichromes I got over the summer time so I have been wearing this a lot still. The color story is up my sleeve, so how do these swatch?
What Subculture is known for is its insane pigmentation as these aren’t just shadows, they are pressed pigments. They can be difficult to blend, but I found the only shade I had any real issues with was Axis, the matte teal. That is a shade that once it is applied it will not be moved, which you can see in the images below. The rest is absolutely fine if you use a light hand and take time to build up the shadows. These are not the kind of shades that allow you to do what I see all over Instagram: pack on a color and then blend with a smaller brush. It is just not going to fly and I think that’s why this palette received so much slack.
Back when this palette was released everyone was screaming for pigment. What does ABH do? They give us pigment, but then because of the way these shadows are used by some important influencers, the complete concept backfired. These are not bad shadows. They just come with a learning curve and an instruction manual that takes some time to become familiar with. But once you do you can create some stunning looks with this. I have heard people say of this that it is an occasion palette for them as they find it too complicated to use for casual looks, but I love mine for throwing on a quick matte basis and apply an additional shimmer on top. Makeup tastes can be sooo subjective!
3 Looks, 1 Palette
Look 1: Warm tones ft. Adorn
The way I went about the creation of these three looks is to make the shimmers central every time as that made the most sense to me. Adorn is a stunning bronzy copper shade that goes well with the warm tones in the palette. So I set up my base using those first and then I applied Adorn all over the lid. I put Cube in my inner corner for a bit of sparkle and you have a stunning warm toned look that is great for any occasion.
Look 2: The greens & teals ft. Electric
For my second look, I gave center stage to Electric the green toned shimmer in the palette. I paired it with Axis and Untamed to create some depth and definition. In these pictures you could see I had some trouble blending Axis into the crease. In the full face pictures you can see a smudge just below my brow. That was caused by blending the pigment up too high and not being able to blend it away. Still, this has to be my favorite look with this palette and one I do and reach for this palette specifically multiple times since I’ve had it.
Look 3: Very neutral ft. Cube
For my final look I included Cube all over the lid, which I am not a fan off. I pulled in some shades I still had left to set it up and then just went with it. But I feel Cube simply works best as an inner corner highlight and it has to be my least favorite shade in the palette. The other mattes are fine with me. I have no issues with Roxy being too powdery for instance and I felt these shades complement the palette well for when you want to blend things out or keep it very simple.
My Final Thoughts
I know I have said this many times already but Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture is still my favorite ABH eyeshadow palette. The color story is the most unique in this industry and no one has beat it yet. The quality is fine, but one you need to take your time with to get to know each shade and how it behaves on your skin, with your eye shape and over your eye lid priming method. These shades will work differently accordingly and I guess not everyone wants that from a palette as there are so many out there that are probably easier to use. So fewer points for ease of use, but for color story and quality I’d say this palette is top notch.