Monday, December 14, 2015

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

When I was growing up I was a complete tomboy, my mam tried her best by putting ringlets in my hair and dressing me in nice dresses but I was like Calamity Jane (she found me in my Communion dress playing in the coal shed).  As a teenager I lived in jeans, check shirts and (because even though I was a tomboy I loved makeup) probably a bit of lipstick.  When Gwen Stefani rocked onto the scene it was so refreshing to see somebody who would wear a pair of combats but still rock some red lipstick.  I immediately thought she was brilliant.  I loved how she was like a glamours tomboy with perfect makeup and how she single handily made mehindi's a fashion statement (hands up who was guilty of wearing one?)   Years later I managed to see her perform at the RDS and as you would imagine she was a total Badass. Fast forward many (many) years my uniform is jeans and bright lipstick (and check shirts have made a comeback).  

I was beyond excited when I heard that Gwen Stefani was going to collaborate with Urban Decay.  Urban Decay is one of my favourite brands (they get to bring their dogs to work how awesome is that?) and Gwen's makeup is always immaculate.  Gwen worked on a makeup counter before she made it big with No Doubt and has said if she hadn't succeeded with the band she would have become a Makeup Artist her passion for makeup is clear on her perfectly eye lined face.  Most days I don't remember what I had for lunch but somehow all the words of Tragic Kingdom come back to me because I used to play the CD on repeat. 

Unlike most celebrity collaborations Gwen was heavily involved in the creation of the eyeshadow palette.  I can just imagine the fun that Urban Decay and Gwen had when creating the palette - both are Californian girls of similar age.  She designed the palette with herself in mind curating her own perfect palette, so as you can imagine there are a lot of shades to create a classic 50ies eye as well as a few bright pops of colour. 

Gwen oversaw every part of the design process from the delicious gold and white box to the sleek white design on the palette which was inspired by the interior design in Gwen's house (which really makes me want to have a look around Gwen's house).  There are small touches like the pop of pink polka dot on the inside of the packaging that show how well thought out the palette is.  The packaging of the palette is divine its like a modern pop art bible. 
There are 15 eye shadows in the palette including 5 matte shades.  The top two rows are neutral shades with the bottom row being the party row.  The shades on the top row are quite light (I found it hard to capture the true colour of the shades in photographs but the swatches are better) and in the picture below look quite similar.  Initially I thought these shades were a bit "samey" but if you think about it the light shades are great for 2 reasons.....

1.  Gwen uses light shades on her lid for her signature lined eye and red lip look
2.  The only eyeshadow I have ever fully used have been light shades 

If you think of it these three shades are like the "GO TO" shade in a palette that you use up but with slight variation.  

The collaboration took a number of years and Gwen has said she agonised over which shades to put in the palette.  Image getting to make your own custom Urban Decay palette.  All the eye shadows have been well though through - 15 shades featuring 3 of Gwen's all time favourite Urban Decay eye shadows and 12 new shades created by Gwen and the Urban Decay Team even down to the names of the shadows.
Lets look throught the shades 

Top Row:  As you can see when swatched the shadows look different on the skin
Blonde (Cause Gwen is a glorious blonde) Pale Beige with pink iridescent shift
Bathwater (a No Doubt Song) pale beige with gold pearl
Skimp (One of Gwen's favourite Urban Decay Shadows) pale nude satin
Steady (after the No Doubt Album RockSteady) medium rose with metallic gold shift
Punk (Gwen's original style of music) reddish brown matte

From the first row I have been loving Bathwater and Punk but my favourite shade is Steady all over the lid.

Baby (inspired by her fashion line LAMB - LOVE ANGEL MUSIC BABY) cool metallic rose
Anaheim (where Gwen grew up) light taupe brown matte
Stark (a Urban Decay Favourite shade) nude pink matte
Zone (after the song Danger Zone) medium brown matte
Serious (a Gwen Song) smoky gray with iridescent floating pearl

Normally I wouldn't be crazy about this many browns but I have been loving Anaheim and Zone both matte browns which have been working brilliantly in my slightly creased and tired eyes.

Pop (her current type of music) pale coral with iridescent sparkle
Harajuku (one of her style influences - who can forget the Harajuku girls?) metallic blue-pink with iridescent micro shimmer
Danger (because we like a little danger) deep metallic royal blue with blue micro sparkle
1987 (the year No Doubt formed) bright metallic yellow gold
Blackout (Gwen's favourite black from Urban Decay) blackest black matte

This row surprised me the most - I thought a Urban Decay palette would have one of their signature purple shades - Danger is a stunning shade, I thought 1987 would be too metallic for me but I have been loving it on my lid the shade makes my eyes vibrant and alive (as opposed to the Walking Dead vibe I have been looking a lot like lately).  I am most surprised by Harajuku, you say "pink eyeshadow" I think "conjunctivitis" and nobody wants to look like they have Pink Eye.  Harajuku is a little bit of magic on the lids and inner corner especially with Anaheim or Zone in the crease.

I love that there are 5 matte shades in the palette.  Urban Decay matte shadows are smooth, pigmented and very easy to work with, I used to hate matte shadows but they are so flattering on my slighting ageing eyes.  I have been using Urban Decay's matte eye shadow primer Eden before I apply the shadows and it works as a perfect base. 

I have grown up with Urban Decay but its one of those brands that slightly older woman might be afraid of, the vibrant counter and bright shades could be intimidating.  Urban Decay might always stay young and amazing at heart but they are aware time catches up on us all and have created an amazing range of products for anti ageing (which has ingredients to smooth wrinkles) like the Anti Ageing Primer Potion, The Brightening and Tightening Completion Primer and the whole Naked Skin foundation range has anti ageing properties.  I love that Urban Decay is helping me look younger and kick ass at the same time.

I have been collecting Urban Decay palettes for years, the shadows have always been amazing but the palette designs are so impressive.  The Gwen palette is my favourite Urban Decay palette so far. I have been absolutely loving the Gwen Palette (much to the sadness of the Vice 4 palette which has been calling softly from my makeup counter), its one of those products that makeup me happy just to look at, when I open and swatch the eye shadows I get giddy.  I have never had a "back up" of an eye shadow palette but I have a niggling in the back of my brain I need a back up Gwen (unless it becomes permanent wouldnt that be brilliant).  I think the shades in the palette are perfect mix of everyday neutrals with pops of colour I never thought would suit me but are amazingly flattering.  The palette has a few light colours which suite the Irish complexion perfectly.
We cant talk about Gwen Stefani and makeup without talking about Lipstick, when I first heard there was a Urban Decay collaboration I thought "it has to be lips" but to trick us they released they eye shadow palette with a sneak peak of the lipstick launch (coming in March 2016).  There are samples of 4 of the lipsticks (there will be 8 in the range) and a image of one of the most beautiful lipsticks I have ever seen.  Since I had the baby I have been quite grown up with my lipstick purchased but I feel I am going to do some damage.

 When I was in chatting to the Urban Decay girls before the palette was released they all had their names down on the list (as well as girls from the other makeup counters) and there was a real buzz about the palette.  Its one of those products I am a giddy about, I have brought friends to the counter to tell them about it (I do this all the time with Stila) and basically act as a sales person... doesn't matter if your a stranger and standing beside me I will guide you through the palette too I'm helpful like that.

If you are to put one makeup item on your Christmas list this year it has to be Gwen Stefani's Eye shadow Palette - you may think you dont need it but I guarantee when you see it you will have to have it.

The Gwen Stefani Palette is out now and costs €46.00. Pin It
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