Okay, so it’s been a hot minute since I bought new makeup, but my investigative self just had to get my hands on the new ABH subculture palette. AKA the brand’s biggest controversy since inception. They’re a solid brand, and have cult following, so to polarise opinions the way that this palette did? It has to be groundbreaking-ly bad. Anyway, after my not-so-glowing Modern Renaissance palette review, I thought it would be interesting to see how this “sister palette” compares… I was in the minority of not liking Modern Renaissance, but that was mainly down to the colours. As far as I can tell, the tea on subculture is the formula. A lot of cosmetic chemists have weighed in on this issue, and I am not one of them so I won’t harper on about the talc content or lack of “binding ingredients” but it is certainly interesting. In terms of packaging, it comes in a lovely teal cardboard box, with the palette encased in that soft touch velvet kind of material, the same as Modern Renaissance. It’s a pretty looking palette.
I am currently going through a minimal makeup phase. This means no eyeshadow or lashes at all, and barely foundation and concealer. However, even if I put a full face on, I’ll skip my eyes and just wear mascara. I don’t know why I’m doing it, and I’ll probably grow out of it, but there’s a charming simplicity of skipping heavy eye makeup in the summer. This makes it difficult to review allllll the new makeup currently sitting in my drawers. However, I’m trying, guys.
Please forgive my pictures and swatches – they are iphone quality and not my usual DSLR quality as my DSLR is at home, and I have recently moved to the big smoke (more on this later – keep your eye on BBH).
I LOVE the colour palette. It’s gorgeous. Neutral, cool, autumnal, different etc. It’s so much more appealing and flattering than modern renaissance and much less mainstream. This is what caught my eye in the first place.
*Swirling my brush in*:
Wow. Hella fallout. Like, worse than Lorac Pro 2 level of fallout (one of the best palettes I own). Fallout itself doesn’t make me mad but this is excessive. No more swirling.
*Tapping brush lightly*:
Okay. This works. It blends well if you prime and set your eyelids. So far so good.
*Using shade All Star*
Hmm. The colour on my lid is not the same as the colour in the pan. It oxidises to a blackish red-brown. Kinda cool. But there is no maroon shade in the palette. It works, however.
*General use of palette*:
I tested this palette by doing an eye look using 9/14 shades in the palette. They all worked well together, but I will say this. Do not buy this palette if you don’t know how to use a light hand. If you use a heavy hand it won’t work. It will be hard to blend out and just make a mess. I always do my eyes before my face, so fallout isn’t necessarily an issue, but on the lower lash line, it can be difficult to control your brush, so be careful.
This was the eye look I created. It turned out nicer in person, I think.
I used Dawn as the transition shade all over the space between crease and brow, then Roxy as the crease colour with All Star in the outer crease. Then over the lid, I packed on Untamed, then used Adorn in the middle for a halo eye effect. I used Edge and Axis on the lower lash line and again, Adorn in the middle. I used Electric on the inner corner and Cube on the brow bone as a highlight.
On the rest of the face: ABH Dipbrow in Ebony, Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Liner, Red Cherry Stevie lashes, Too Faced BTS Mascara, NYX Total Control Foundation, Nars radiant creamy concealer in Ginger, Tarte Shape Tape concealer in Light Medium, ABH Powder Contour kit, Cover FX highlight drops in Moonlight, Ofra blush in raisin, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude with Blondie Gloss over the top.
^ This is the palette with the kickback of 1 tap of a brush. As you can see it’s pretty dusty. I would advise blowing the fallout off before closing the palette so it doesn’t get messy.
I like it much more than Modern Renaissance. The colours are a lot more universally flattering, and I was careful with application so that I didn’t pick up too much product on my brush. ONE TAP is all you need for a full coverage application of the eyeshadow. This also means I can do my eyes a little faster than if I were to use less pigmented or harder pressed shadows as I don’t have to build up the intensity. Personal preference but I really didn’t find it that difficult to use. It’s similar to the Lorac palettes and even Modern Renaissance is pigmented! Hellooo, has anyone used the Mario palette?! It’s similar. Perhaps not as dramatic, but that’s just the nature of ABH palettes. (I don’t think I reviewed the Mario palette – if you were wondering, it’s nice but there are quite a lot of satin shades). If you prefer palettes that are easier to use, pass on this palette, and wait for a new one… Guarantee the market will become saturated with similar toned palettes in the next few months!
You can find it here for £41:
- Pigmentation – 8/10 (it’s too pigmented so dropping it to an 8)
- Texture – 8/10 (very very soft)
- Longevity – 9/10
- Price – 6/10
- Overall – 8/10