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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Swatches + Comparison: Urban Decay New Reformulated Eyeshadows 2012 (Part 1)

From Top Left, Clockwise: Urban Decay Chase ~ Tease ~ Verve ~ Gravity ~ Psychedelic Sister

Please check out swatches of Part 2 and Part 3.

From Top Left, Clockwise: Urban Decay Chase ~ Tease ~ Verve ~ Gravity ~ Psychedelic Sister

  • texture feels buttery smooth (Chase, Verve, Psychedelic Sister)
  • great pigmentation when layered & used with a primer (Chase, Tease, Verve)
  • applies evenly (Chase, Tease, Verve)
  • blends easily (Chase, Tease, Verve)
  • does not look chalky
  • doesn't crease when used with a primer
  • lasts at least 12 hours without fading when used with a primer
  • no fallouts during application (Chase, Tease, Verve, Psychedelic Sister)
  • no chunky glitters
  • can be depotted and the pan fits in the MAC and CS empty 28 pan eyeshadow palettes without needing a magnet
  • the depotted pan can be placed back into the container

  • blends away too easily (Psychedelic Sister, Gravity)
  • applies patchy & lacks pigmentation when used without a tacky base (Psychedelic Sister, Gravity)
  • minor fallouts during application (Gravity)
  • refill pans are not available

Urban Decay Suspect Eyeshadow Depotted

The plastic insert can pop back into the container even after the eyeshadow has been depotted.

The depotted eyeshadow can be placed back into the plastic insert.

The container can close without damaging the depotted eyeshadow.

bottom side of the container after the eyeshadow has been depotted

The Urban Decay plastic insert is thicker than the MAC one.

Packaging: The new packaging allows you to pop out the eyeshadow and put it into the Urban Decay customizable palette, which holds 4 eyeshadows. I do not travel light, and I prefer to depot all my eyeshadows and store them in my Empty 28 Pan Eyeshadow Palette, which holds 28 eyeshadows. For this reason, I wish Urban Decay sold refill pans, which would also cut down on the plastic, be more eco-friendly, and reduce the cost.

In order for the eyeshadow to fit in my palette, I have to depot it using a hair straightener, similar to the way that I depot my MAC eyeshadows, except it just takes a little bit longer to depot because the plastic insert is much thicker than the MAC one. However, the thickness allows the plastic insert to retain its shape much better than the MAC one; therefore, it can pop back into container and be used for storage when you're travelling light. The containers can also be used to store any depotted MAC, Stars Makeup Haven or Inglot eyeshadows!

(To depot the Urban Decay eyeshadow, (1) pop out the plastic insert, (2) place the plastic insert on a hair straightener for about 20 seconds and then remove the label using a tweezer, (3) place the label on the table, sticky side up, (4) place the plastic insert back onto the hair straightener for about 1 minute and 30 seconds, (5) remove the plastic insert from the hair straightener, (6) turn the plastic insert upside down and push the pan out onto a soft surface, using a tweezer, and (7) finally, place the label on the back of the pan. You do not need to place a magnet on the back of the pan because the pan magnetizes to the palette. I have depotted over 50 eyeshadows and have never experienced them cracking. The key is to not overheat them. Also, please remember to wear gloves. I will not be responsible for any injuries incurred during "depotation." ^_^)

Reformulation: The original formulation of the Urban Decay non-glittery eyeshadows had a very buttery texture and they were super pigmented & long-lasting. The new formulation (of the non-glittery eyeshadows) is basically the same, but it just feels slightly more smooth. 

(Some people have mentioned that the colors are slightly different than the original formulation. So, I will be comparing the exact same shade of Urban Decay's original glittery eyeshadows to the new formulation in another post.)

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Chase (1.5g for $18) is a medium warm bronze with a gorgeous gold sheen and metallic frost finish. Suspect (new formulation) is more muted, less golden and not as intense. Half Baked (original formulation) is more golden, Woodwinked has a more coppery undertone and Romp is more brown. The texture of Chase feels buttery smooth and it has intense pigmentation when layered & used with a primer. It also applies evenly without any fallouts as long as you use a dense brush and tap off the excess. However, it does turn slightly orange on my NC35/37 skintone when I blend it. So, I prefer to wear it all over the lid and then blend it with a cool-toned brown shade in the crease to hide the orange. It lasts at least 12 hours without fading and it doesn't crease. 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Tease (1.5g for $18) is a medium mauvey brown with a matte finish. Haux is more rosy, while Wedge is more brown. The texture of Tease feels a little bit dry and it doesn't have intense pigmentation like the other eyeshadows do. However, the color builds up easily (without any fallouts) and offers great pigmentation when used with a dense brush and a primer underneath. Also, it does not look chalky and lasts as long as Chase. I love using it in the crease and pairing it with a light champagne shade on the lids for an everyday neutral eye look. 

(heavily swatched)


Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister ~ Urban Decay Gravity ~ Urban Decay Verve

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (1.5g for $18) is a medium red-based purple with a violet sheen and a metallic frost finish. Inglot Pearl 446 is darker and has a more red undertone. Gravity and Stars Makeup Haven Plum Crazy are blue-based.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Gravity (1.5g for $18) is a blue-based purple.with a shimmery finish. The texture does not feel as buttery smooth as Chase, Psychedelic Sister or Verve because it contains microglitters, which look like tiny sparkles, but they are not chunky. However, I did experience some minor fallouts during application. Plum Crazy does not contain any glitter and is more blue-based & richer.   

Psychedelic Sister and Gravity were the only shades that I had trouble working with. They swatch beautifully on my fingers, but they apply patchy on the lids and lack pigmentation if i don't use a sticky base. They both need to be applied when the primer is still tacky and need to be layered to get intense pigmentation. They also blend away too easily and end up looking muddy even when I use a light hand and a fluffy brush. I end up having to reapply the product to bring back the purple tone and the intensity of the color. 

I haven't had much luck with Urban Decay's purple eyeshadows. I had the same issue with Rockstar. There must be something wrong with the formulation of their purple eyeshadows or they just don't work well on my skin. Keep in mind, I don't have any issues with Plum Crazy and it's much more pigmented than Psychedelic Sister and Gravity.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Verve (1.5g for $18) is a light beige grey with a metallic frost finish. Vapor (original formulation) is lighter and more silvery, while Maui Wowie (original formulation) is more beigey gold and it contains microglitters. The texture of Verve feels buttery smooth and it has great pigmentation when layered & used with a primer. It also applies evenly without any fallouts as long as you use a dense brush and tap off the excess. Also, ilasts just as long as the other Urban Decay eyeshadows. I love using it as an inner corner highlight or all over the lids and pairing it with blues, golds or browns.

Bottom Line: The quality of each Urban Decay eyeshadow is not consistent across the board. The ones with the metallic frost finish have amazing pigmentation and they apply evenly & blend effortlessly. The matte one is more on the sheer side, but it builds up easily. The purple shades are a little tricky to work with and requires more effort & time. Nevertheless, I still recommend checking out Urban Decay's eyeshadows because they offer over 60 shades and most of them are excellent quality.

Note: The new formulation of Urban Decay's eyeshadows are available for purchase on Nordstrom,, Ulta and Sephora for $18 each. The original formulation of Half Baked, Vapor and Maui Wowie are being discontinued and are currently on sale for $9. Woodwinked contains 1.3g, while Wedge, Haux, & Romp each contain 1.5g. All 4 MAC eyeshadows are permanent and are available at MAC and Nordstrom for $15 (pot) and $11.50 (refill pan). Inglot Pearl 446 contains 1.6g and is discontinued in the round pan, but is available in the square pan for $6 at Inglot. Stars Makeup Haven Plum Crazy contains 1.3g and is available at Suite7Beauty for $6. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Have you tried the reformulated Urban Decay eyeshadows?


  1. amazing swatches. Plum crazy looks so pretty


  2. Nice! They're beautiful colors :) I only have the Naked 2 which contains the reformulated version of the shadows. I really like it :D

  3. I really love the metallic finish that they have! They are soo gorgeous. =)

    By the way, the Naked 2 palette costs $50 and contains 12 FULL size eyeshadows. If I were to buy them separately, they would cost $216 total. You got the palette for a MAJOR STEAL! =D

  4. How did you depot these eye shadows? I've tried so many different ways but, with this new packaging, it seems impossible to get the pan out!

  5. I wrote a "brief" tutorial on how to depot the urban decay eyeshadows in this blog post. Make sure you place the plastic insert on a hair straightener for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. The plastic insert is thicker than the Mac plastic inserts; therefore, you have to place the urban decay ones on the straightener for a little bit longer. I've depotted over 50 eyeshadows and have never experienced them cracking. The key is to not overheat them and to time it when you have the plastic inserts on the hair straightener.


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