ABH Subculture Drama.

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette has been one of the most anticipated new releases of this year with thousands of makeup addicts flocking online to get their hands on it. As expected the palettes flew off the shelves at record speed, even beating the much-loved Modern Renaissance palette in terms of sales.

Make-up artists and addicts alike waited with anticipation and as soon as the palettes landed on their doorsteps, they were out of their packaging as quick as  you can drop a hot potato; brushes were grabbed and primers slapped on ready to experience the hype surrounding the brand new addition to the ABH family.

The subculture palette is the brainchild of Norvina Claudia, the daughter of Anastasia Soare who founded Anastasia Beverly Hills. She is the President, face and figurehead of the company following on from her mother’s legacy. The palette was advertised as a sister to the very famous Modern Renaissance palette, a palette that I personally own and absolutely adore because of the creamy, pigmented shades that are really easy to blend.

With the Modern Renaissance palette being loved by makeup addicts and influencers alike, you would have thought that the Subculture palette would be of the same quality and consistency. However the moment eyeshadow brushes where windscreen wipered across the face it became clear that the Subculture palette was very different to her sister the Modern Renaissance.

Reviews and first impressions started appearing on YouTube that were less than favourable about the £41 palette; complaints were made about the massive amount of fallout that was generated when putting your eyeshadow brush into the palette, kickback has now become the hot new world  in the make-up community.

Another gripe that reviewers were finding was its lack of blendability, colours blending different from the palette onto the actual eye, colours getting muddy and becoming patchy. I witnessed many and experienced makeup Guru struggle to apply these eyeshadows and say how disappointed they were with the product.

The drama (Too Much Drama in Makeup) surrounding the palette grew and Norvina released a statement surrounding the backlash and some ‘advice’ on how to apply them on her Instagram. That immediately left a sour taste in my mouth as surely if you’re spending £41 on a palette as a makeup artist or enthusiast surely you shouldn’t have to treat it any differently to any other makeup palette you have.

It seems that Norvina was determined to produce the most pigmented eyeshadow palette on the market and in doing so has sacrificed the blendability of the palate. She mentions about possible bad batches but whenever we ever heard a bad batch of Modern Renaissance palette, that’s right we haven’t.

With any hyped product I always wait it out for at least a month before thinking of purchasing it, this is so I can get the full picture on the product in terms of reviews and opinions from other people on makeup groups. Very early on the negative YouTube videos started to filter through from beauty gurus like Jamie Genevieve and Tammi Clarke.

I usually throw in a huge pinch of salt when watching beauty gurus but that’s usually because they ‘big up’ products, making out that they are better quality than they actually are. Why would all these beauty gurus absolutely slate a palette if it was actually good, what would they gain from that, certainly not a spot on the coveted ABH PR list.

When deciding on buying makeup I usually ask my opinion of my makeup friends as I trust their opinion much more than beauty gurus. There was a lot of anger and disappointment surrounding the Subculture palette, with people handing over their £41 only to find that they have something that is hard to work with and unusable. These are a few of the comments that my friends at ‘Queens of the New Age’ said about the palette.

“Personally it seems chalky and flaky compared to MR I touched one shade with my brush (the one provided) and the fallout was so bad I thought I would see pan almost right away!

The colours should work but don’t blend together at all and I have seen so many look like they are bruised when the colours mix so not a great look, its sad after the hype and anticipation”

“I’m looking into getting a refund”

“I want a refund too”

“I absolutely love the colours but they don’t blend for anything”

“I love the colours but I’m a newbie and really struggled and makes me feel better when others who are much more advanced are saying it’s difficult”

I have also witnessed friends that are fantastic at blending really struggle to pull out a half decent look with it. If you look at the majority of looks that are on trend in the makeup community at the moment there is one thing that stands out, most of them use blending techniques to achieve the look, so why would a company that had already found the recipe for creamy, pigmented shadows that blend beautifully, (see the picture of my look with the MR palette), sacrifice that for more pigmentation?

I would imagine that a company as big as ABH would have tested these new shadows, did they test the with a variety of different levels of makeup enthusiast? Wayne Goss has actually defended the palette saying that the reason people were having problems is because they were feverishly digging into their palettes swirling their brushes into the pans. Another famous YouTuber and very honest reviewer Stephanie Nicole also said a similar thing about it, saying the lightest of hands were needed and it is definitely dependent of your style of makeup application whether you like it or not.

What’s your verdict?

My verdict is that this palette is definitely a pass for me and will be logged into the anti haul vaults to remain unpurchased. There has been talk that the Jeffree Star Androgyny eyeshadow palette is a near dupe, but whether I will purchase that remains to be seen (as I have most of the shades in my Makeup Geek eyeshadows.

I would just like to make one final statement on the matter and hopefully brands will eventually realise this “don’t keep trying to reinvent the wheel; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

What do you think of the Subculture palette, let me know in the comments. Ciao for now makeup fans xx

16 Comments Add yours

  1. I think it’s such a same about this palette I loved the colors, but the brand telling someone that they know how to use the shadows, is just wrong and them acting unprofessional! For that price, the palette should just be working, instead of putting out all kinds of excuses.
    Beauty On A Budget


    1. lifewithmrst says:

      Exactly, no palette should ever be that expensive and be hard to use. Thanks for stopping by


  2. Megan says:

    Wayne Goss explained it very well on his YouTube channel. Since he has his own line of brushes his point that even a soft brush was going to cause issues. His exclamation of why because of all the pigmentation made sense to me I think some people are being very very mellow dramatic about it . Emily Noel another YouTube personality I like to watch made the point that when you put your brush in the first time if it puts a lot of power out then use that to apply it to your other eye. I can’t stand how the beauty community behaves sometimes because, if popular person hates itthey’re going to make everyone else hate it. I don’t think that a lot of these beauty influencers think for themselves they kind of have a hive mentality. Everything you said made total sense and yeah I would use this pallet if I had it it’s normal to have kickback especially with the higher end softer shadows.


    1. lifewithmrst says:

      I also dislike the hive mentality and the launch of subculture proved it, so many people flocking to buy it without knowing anything about how it would perform. I feel sorry for the people who have bought it and ate now struggling to use it, not the influencers, the people who actually buy the product.


  3. Colleen Bijl says:

    I did like the colors. I hardly ever wear makeup but I know that a lot of people love to wear all kinds of different shades. I am very minimal especially with shadow. Have a great da.


  4. lcdorkin says:

    Sounds like a lot of negatives! I probably wouldn’t buy this palette. I prefer my make up products being easy to apply!


  5. Claire says:

    Love the way you have explained the whole scenario


  6. lucicoo says:

    I’ve heard mix reviews about this palette, some have said that it doesn’t have a lot of pigment for the price. The colors look really nice thou and great for Autumn coming up.


  7. Aarika says:

    This is such an interesting post! I learned so much about palettes, and this Subculture Palette has beautiful colors. Thanks for sharing!


  8. Marynia says:

    The biggest issue for me with this palette is that it was advertised as MR sister palette, so I expected the same high quality, easy to use shadows. Turned out that is not the case. Then ABH/Norvina went on saying about bad batches, people’s inability to use it correctly and then that it’s palette for pros so not so skilled people wouldn’t do so well with it.
    Talking about changing their story…
    Personally I’m very disappointed with the brand and their behaviour, but I guess for someone (Anastasia herself) who says that they ‘invented’ eyebrows and that we’re not ready for what Subculture actually is that’s nothing to be bothered with 😕
    I’m glad now that I haven’t actually received it when ordered, so I’ll be getting a refund (btw it takes awful long time to sort it out with their CS…)


  9. Zoe keate says:

    I bought this and sent it back the day after it arrived! Such a shame cos it’s a beauty to look at!! Just hope some of these brands produce better quality palettes with a similar colour story as this because it was outstanding to look at but terrible to use! Only got my refund today after chasing abh several times!!


    1. lifewithmrst says:

      So sorry that you had a bad time with it. I can understand why everyone is sending them back, thanks for reading x


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