Thursday, 15 September 2011

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review and Swatches

So here it is, Urban Decay's latest offering, the Book of Shadows volume 4. Well, really it's 5, because there was also the Alice in Wonderland palette, but anyway. It cost £46 and for that you get 16 just over half size (of the Urban Decay singles) eyeshadows as well as a full size 24/7 Waterproof Liquid eyeliner in Perversion (black), a travel size Supercurl Curling Mascara (black), a travel size Eyeshadow Primer Potion (original), as well as a mini speaker and cables to connect your smart phone, and a card with 5 QR codes. I don't have a smart phone, so can't test the technical side of it, but I will tell you all about the make up.

First of all, the palette is HUGE. It's probably one and a half times the size of the original Book of Shadows and some people tought even that was pretty big. This one measures 22.5 cm (length) by 15.5 cm (width) by 4.5 cm (height), so it is pretty bulky. The palette comes in a cardboard box which is different from the older Books of Shadows because those came in plastic sleeves with an extra card showing the contents of the palette, whereas we have that all printed onto the bottom of the box. The design is butterflies and rays of light, which is actually very pretty. Inside the box you have the palette with the same design which is nice. It's got a pop-up lid with a smallish mirror and a fold-up pocket for your smart phone as well as the Get the look card, and some more butterflies that are supposed to go boing up at you when you open the lid, but mine are just flat, sitting still at the bottom. Ah well, never open the lid of my Books of Shadows anyway when applying my make up. You also have the usual drawer with the eyeshadows and extras.

Now the eyeshadows are a bit dull to be honest. The bottom half of the palette is practically just neutrals (which is great I guess if you love neutrals, but you have the Naked Palette and half of the 15 Year Anniversary Palette for that already). The top half has some colours, but it's greys, blues, greens and browns and not really the vibrant variety either. There are some shades I like a lot, including Gravity, a blueish purple, Blue Bus, a nice blue, Baked, a lovely orangey copper (permanent by the way), Sin, a gorgeous pink champagne (permanent), and Skimp, a flesh toned satin textured highlighter. The good thing about this palette is that it's not glitterfest. It does include some shimmery shades yes, and it does include Midnight Rodeo (from the 15 year anniversary palette) which does have major glitter fallout, and Midnight Cowgirl, but most of the shades are not glittery. I have to be honest, when I hear the words Urban Decay and Midnight, I immediately know there will be lots of glitter involved, but Midnight Cowgirl is actually a pretty good distant cousin of the Midnight Cowboy family and is a very pretty, only slightly glittery shade.

I did have some issues with Crystal which just doesn't seem very pigmented at all, and Blue Bus needed a few layers to make it work, but most of the eyeshadows are pretty good quality. I personally would say if you can only buy one palette and you have to choose between this and the 15 Year Anniversary Palette, then I would definitely recommend skipping this one in favour of the other one. At £46 however, it's still good value, since the 16 eyeshadows (0.8 g each) would already add up to £110.93, plus the eyeliner is worth £14, the mascara worth around £8.50 (don't know how big the full size one is, but this is pretty decent size), and the Primer Potion, so we are easily looking at £140 or so. I think the question is whether it's worth £46 to you? I bought mine mainly because I have all the other Books of Shadows and thought I'd probably regret skipping this, but in all fairness, you could quite happily live without it.

As for the extras, the eyeliner is very nice and easy to apply, lasts all day and is definitely waterproof (took a while to remove with my Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Make Up Remover, probably need something like Lancome Bi-Facil instead). The mascara doesn't do it for me I'm afraid, it doesn't add any volume and only adds a little lenght, and since my lashes are naturally curly, no matter what mascara I use, I don't really need a curling mascara (and can't really say if it does a good job at curling or not). The Primer Potion is a very good base, I use it all the time, and it's nice to have a travel size one to take on holiday, etc.

Okay, enough of the rambling, there are lots more photos, check them out after the jump! I will be posting a couple of looks soon, so be sure to check back!

Now onto the swatches:

Blue Bus, Gunmetal, Cobra, Baked, Bender, Gravity, Lost, Hijack (with flash)

Blue Bus, Gunmetal, Cobra, Baked, Bender, Gravity, Lost, Hijack (without flash in natural daylight)

Midnight Cowgirl, Sin, Midnight Rodeo, Crystal, Bust, Missionary, Skimp, Zephyr (with flash)

Midnight Cowgirl, Sin, Midnight Rodeo, Crystal, Bust, Missionary, Skimp, Zephyr (without flash in direct sunlight)


  1. Great swatches! I really like the shadows

  2. Your swatches and review have reassured me no end, most reviews seem quite negative on this one. I got 10% off so couldn't resist >.< xx


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