Back in 1997, I worked in retail and my manager sported a shade of nail polish I have never seen before. “Roach” she said with a sly smile. As disgusted as I am with the visual, it was indeed reminiscent of the most hated rodent in my book. It was a burgundy brown duo tone that shimmered in the light. It was stunning. This is how I was introduced to the wonderful world of Urban Decay cosmetics.
Introduced 16 years ago offering a different vision of what is considered beautiful, Urban Decay was founded by Sandy Lerner (from Cisco Systems), David Soward and Wende Zomir. The company started with 10 lipsticks and 12 nail enamel shades. Today, Zomir acts as Executive Creative Director.
I didn’t collect all of the polishes or lipsticks, I’m kicking myself now for this mis-step, but I am slowly harvesting a collection of my favorite product from this brand: eyeshadows!
If you are familiar with this brand and if the polish name, Roach, is any indication – you know most of these colors are anything buy shy and demure. Dig deeper and you will find colors that are suitable for the office, job interviews and even meeting your partner’s parental units for the first time! The shadows are pigment rich and long wearing. I have previously reviewed their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils (my favorite for vibrant colored liners), I will be focusing on the shadows this time.
Here’s a lineup of just a few of the shadows that are in current rotation for the office:
It’s probably no surprise that my favorites are peach gold, golden bronzes, taupes and a grey taupe. I did an experiment and wore my Urban Decay shadows exclusively for a week and it made my morning routine a breeze and a pleasure. These shadows are buttery smooth, blend easily and it doesn’t take much to make a statement on your lids. However, the shades with glitter are notorious glitter bombs – fallout everywhere! This isn’t a deal breaker for me, I just make sure I have a cotton swab soaked with makeup remover nearby. If you are in a rush and in no mood to do any glitter cleanup then stay away from these shades.
Here’s a look I turn to probably most of the time when either I over slept or I just want a sexy, bronze smoky eye for the office:
Suspect on the lid, Secret Service as my contour, Smog as my outer-V contour and smudged Underground, metallic taupe, 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil along my lower lash line. I finish with Walk of Shame (matte nude exclusive with the 6 slot, Build Your Own Palette), black mascara and UD 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Smog.
The other reason why I just adore Urban Decay shadows, it satisfies the punk princess in me:
These are some of the vibrant shades in my collection that I love to use as my outer-v contour shade. I have tried to work the deep pink of Woodstock as an eye of the day look for the office – see image below. Flipside (a limited shade featured in 2009’s Get Baked Summer palette) has also been a lid color for me. It’s a vibrant teal but on my tan skin, it’s a cool icy silver-teal.
Here’s how I used Woodstock:
Freelove is applied all over my lid up to my orbital bone, then I pack Woodstock middle of my lid only so there’s a slight gradation of color – from peach to pink. I then apply tease as my contour shade and the matte Blackout is my outer-v shade. I finish with mascara and UD’s 24/7 Glide-on Pencil in Perversion.
Here’s Gravity as a work friendly look:
I used Gravity all over the lid, Secret Service as a contour and finished with Foxy on my brow bone black mascara and liquid liner (NARS). I also smudged Secret Service along my lower lash line.
I am pleased that Urban Decay underwent a makeover by reinventing their entire shadow lineup, changing the formula and making (almost) every palette with an exclusive individual color that you can carry with you or pop into one of their Build Your Own Palettes (I recently found mine at the Sephora boutique inside JC Penny’s). The texture is smoother and the color blends easier while delivering even more pigment. The products are cruelty-free and vegan formulas are even offered.
I know I go through these phases where I praise BRAND A one month and then BRAND B the next but Urban Decay will always be on my top 3 list of favorite cosmetic brands and in my arsenal when I’m working as a makeup artist for a stage show. I just wish they offered powdered blushes and lipsticks. However, all the lipsticks have been on clearance so there’s a hint that the folks at UD are up to something and I hope that means a new lipstick collection.
Either way, Urban Decay eyeshadows keeps me professional on the outside while letting me unleash my inner punk rock, roller derby babe…in small amounts of course!
My Gravity EOTD with peach cheeks and glossy nude lips (UD Lip Junkie Gloss, Naked)
**I also use an eyeshadow primer on my lids for crease proof, staying power**
Urban Decay is found online, Sephora and Ulta boutiques and at select Macy’s Department stores. The single shadows retail at $18/USD and palette collections can run from $36-$59/USD.
- Urban Decay Dangerous Palette Review
- M.I.S.S. Michelle’s Beauty Picks of the Week: Color Me Badd – Get Sprung on Urban Decay’s Spring 2009 Colors
- New Additions At Urban Decay
- Fall Down The Rabbit Hole With Urban Decay And OPI
- My New Lipstick Crush: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick