Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

Hi guys! Today I bring you the first of many, many reviews! I’ve got about 22 reviews scheduled, I think, LOL. Many of them, like today’s, have pictures with my old watermark (or even some with no watermark because they’re that old!), so I apologize in advance for that, but I’m honestly too busy to re-edit the pictures.

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box ($38)

Today I bring you a review of Urban Decay’s Deluxe Shadow Box. I bought this myself as a reward after finishing all my exams and projects last quarter and I used my $20 Sephora VIB voucher so I paid ~$20 for it. I’ve had it for over a month now, and I think I’ve used it enough to form a good opinion on it.

The Deluxe Shadow box comes with 9 of Urban Decay’s “Deluxe” shadows (these are purportedly nicer than their regular shadows), two double-ended sponge-tip applicators and a mini Primer Potion. I am honestly not a fan of any of UD’s packaging. I feel that it is downright bulky and awkward and a terrible utilization of space. Furthermore, I think the palettes are very THICK and it makes stacking them in my vanity drawer very awkward. I may seriously rip this palette apart and find some smaller container to put the shadows in in the future… except I do really like the big mirror in the palette. I honestly could care less for the velvet and chain mail cover. I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup packaging. I like things that are cute and pretty, but only if they are functional as well. Some of my favorite eyeshadow palette packaging is from Shu Uemura and Kat von D for Sephora. I don’t think the packaging on this is particularly pretty or functional and I hate that the velvet sticks dust and powder like crazy.

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box – Fishnet, Honey, Ransom, Graffiti, Zero, Peace, Shag, Scratch, Underground

The actual contents of the palette are pretty nice. This was technically my second UD palette, but I bought it before I received my first one. What drew me to this palette from Urban Decay as opposed to some of their others was the lack of glitter shades in it. The eyeshadows are indeed very pigmented, but I have to say I wasn’t nearly as impressed with Urban Decay’s shadows as I thought I would be… I think perhaps the brand had been too hyped up for me.

First of all, I find the shadows to be not nearly as smooth as I would have liked them to be. There are 8 shades with a metallic sheen and one matte (Zero), but these shadows don’t behave like other metallic shadows that I have (Shu Uemura, MAC). They skip on the lid when applied with a brush and have about the same amount of fallout as the glitter shades in my Kat von D for Sephora palettes. I have to be very careful with them. Second, they’re not as pigmented as I thought they would be. I often find myself applying a second or third layer of eyeshadow to get the intensity of color I want (and thus adding to the fallout issue). Third, they crease very quickly (say 3-5 hours) if applied over UDPP and MAC Painterly. They actually work much better when applied over UDPP alone in that they don’t crease, but they loose all of their metallic sheen and fade noticeably by 8hrs (and since it’s over UDPP directly, you have to use more shadow to be able to blend at all). From a company that is known for the high quality and high pigmentation of their eyeshadows, I was quite disappointed.

That being said, not all eyeshadows in this palette were created equal. Fishnet and Underground are probably two of my absolute favorite eyeshadows ever. They’re both very smooth and have excellent staying power. Peace, Honey and Grafitti are also pretty nice, but they fade. I’m not a huge fan of the colors Shag and Scratch, but they wear as well as Underground. Ransom frustrates me to no end because I freaking LOVE the color (I basically chose this palette FOR Fishnet and Ransom), but it’s absolutely the worst offender as far as fading is concerned. In fact, I have to be super careful even when blending this color because it fades dramatically if you’re too rough with it. And… I hate Zero. With a passion. I will probably never ever use it. It is the chalkiest piece of crap ever. I can’t use it without getting large black crumbles all over my undereye area and cheeks. It blends horribly. That being said, after it’s on it seems to meld nicely with whatever other eyeshadows you have on over the course of a few hours until it’s perfection, but the effort it takes to get there is just far too great, especially when Kat von D for Sephora’s Lucifer kicks it’s ass in terms of texture, pigmentation, blendability and staying power.

Here are some swatches: (applied with finger, no base)

L-R: Fishnet, Honey, Ransom, Graffiti, Zero, Peace, Shag, Scratch, Underground Fishnet, Honey, Ransom
Graffiti, Zero, Peace Shag, Scratch, Underground

For the most part the swatches are pretty true to life, except for Underground with is actually a medium taupe (slightly darker and a good deal more grey than it looks here). You can full-size the pictures by click on them. It shows the texture much better. See how gross Zero is?

For the $20 I spent on this palette, I would say it’s worth it for Fishnet and Underground alone and I’m happy keeping it as it does add a considerable number of brights to my collection. I would not have kept this palette for $38 + tax.

Here are some looks I’ve done with this palette:
New Year’s Eve
Christmas
Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box First Look

Disclaimer: I will eventually have an editorial disclaimer under the About Me section, or something, but in the meantime I guess this will do. This was purchased by me with the money that I earn at my job for my personal use. My opinions about this product were formed through thorough, scientific testing performed by myself over the course of a month. My opinions were obviously influenced by the digital and print media that I consume, but I have absolutely no affiliation to the company in question. Please keep in mind that I am extremely harsh in my judgements. I have very little patience for products that do not live up to my expectations and I have very, very high expectations.

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41 Responses to “Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box”

  1. ilyana says:

    Ok dropping a quick comment before I let myself drown in work again.

    one word: LOL.

    I had so much fun reading this review, it’s not exactly positive but you’re so funny Cat! XD I can totally tell how bad Zero is from your swatch, it just looks…mehhh. Underground looks nothing short of amazing tho and I’m such a sucker for Honey! You should check out the UD 24/7 eyeliner in honey, I love it so much ;D
    .-= ilyana´s last blog ..green tea is the way to my ♥ =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Aww, good luck with your last week! I know things must be super hectic and stressful for you! *hugs*

    Hahaha. Well I’m glad you enjoyed reading. =) I’m kind of at a loss as to what to do with this palette! I’ll have a review of the Get Baked palette soon too, and the quality of that one is just so much better I can’t believe they were made by the same company! (Or that the Deluxe shadows are supposed to be better than the regular ones…) The metallics are still a little greasy on my inner lid, but nowhere near as bad as the shades in Deluxe. Like… for a brand and a product that was so hyped up for me, I was totally disappointed. The quality is still ok, and I guess pretty average as far as the shadows I have in my collection and the variance isn’t as bad as MAC’s. Even in my Christmas FOTD you can see how sheer Honey and Graffiti can be applied (which I like for versatility, but they certainly didn’t live up to the absolutely legendary UD pigmentation I was expecting). And sure, there are a lot of shadows that suck compared to these. But really, what’s the point in comparing it to stuff you’ll never use or wear?

    I really want Honey! It’s been on my list forever – or a color like it. Unfortunately the UD 24/7s don’t stay on my bottom lashline nearly as well as I should like them to… so I think I might stick with trying to get the shadow to be prettier, lol.

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  2. amynaree says:

    Thanks for the review! I agree, not a big fan of UD’s packaging either! Even the little baked palette I got was pretty bulky :/ I only own 1 small UD palette so far but really wanted to get the Alice in Wonderland one but it is way pricey! After reading your review I would probably get this palette too if there was a discount or a sale going on :)
    .-= amynaree´s last blog ..FOTD – Love, love, love I want your love =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    You’re very welcome. =) And I totally agree about the Baked palette’s packaging!! It’s even thicker than this one! LOL. Yea, overall it’s a very solid brights palette – it’s just not nearly as nice as I expected it to be.

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  3. Jess says:

    Great review, Catherine! I like how vibrant the color show up!
    And haha… I LOVE your disclaimer a lot! ;)
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..F O T D : Soft Peach Look with Coffret D’or Jewelcious Eyes 04 + Flower Ring from Shanghainese Dumpling =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Thanks! And LOL. I may be a little cranky today. =)

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  4. sizbelle says:

    love the swatches you did. the colors are quite pretty actually. But the kit look kinda bulky to bring along for touch up.

    great job for the detailed review.
    .-= sizbelle´s last blog ..My Favorite Gloss Moment! =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Thanks! They are very pretty colors! I just wish they were less of a pain to work with. Since I have to wear UDPP and Painterly under my other shadows it makes it hard for me to use these in combination with any of them. And yea… it is really bulky. When I brought the palette with me to San Jose over Winter Break, I had to pack it separately because it wouldn’t fit well in my traincase. =/

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  5. Sarah says:

    Wow these colours look really bright and vibrant!!! Love the swatches :)
    Btw, thank you so much for your sweet comment!!!! x
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..I ♥ Australia… =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    They are pretty colors. =)

    And no worries at all! I think we sometimes forget that blogging isn’t a job or something we’re obligated to do. =)

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  6. Eva says:

    i love that palette! so pretty! thanks for swatching it!! i really want the alice in wonderland one
    .-= Eva´s last blog ..Lancome Eye Pencil Review =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    You’re welcome. =)

    The Alice in Wonderland one is so pretty. Sadly since it’s all repromotes I think I already have about half of the shadows (or close enough, I realize Alice/Painkiller is oh-so-slightly different than Flipside and Peace… but… really how many metallic aqua turquoises do you need?) so I can’t quite justify spending $52 on it. Good luck finding it though! Did you pre-order on the phone with Sephora? I’ve heard they may run OOS before it even hits the shelves!

    [Reply]

  7. sarah says:

    those colors look great but yea, i don’t really reach for my UD shadows either.. good thing i have singles.. the palette sounds horrible in terms of stacking/etc.
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..FOTD?! =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Yea, the whole creasing horribly on top of Painterly means every morning I have to ask myself “UD shadows today?” or “all my other shadows today?” I don’t understand Urban Decay’s rationale for these palettes. I think they’re really cheap and juvenile looking. =/

    [Reply]

  8. Lulu says:

    LOLLLLL at your disclaimer :) you are so cute and you always make me smile/laugh when I read your posts, hehehehe. The colors looks very vibrant from this palette! and you got a good deal on it! and with a shadow that has multiple colors, we are bound to not like a few of them I guess, but it’s nice to know that we have the other not so useful colors just in case.
    .-= Lulu´s last blog ..BF’s Adventures in Sephora and LUSH =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    LOL. I might be a little cranky today from a migraine and lack of sleep. =)

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  9. Blair says:

    Some of the colours are really pretty for example the ones that you swatched in the first and last photographs. Can you please do a look with Graffiti or Peace? They’re such vibrant colours and I’d love to see you sport them :)

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Sure thing. =) Graffiti is actually sadly not nearly as bright as it looks in the pan and Peace is a little bit more neon than I’d like to go to school in but I’ll try to do a good FOTD with them this weekend. =)

    [Reply]

  10. Great review, Cat! Looking forward to the other 22! ;) Interesting how not all eye shadows in this palette are equal. Good thing you had that VIB voucher!

    P.S Love the disclaimer! Xp
    .-= Shop N’ Chomp´s last blog ..Cheap Cheap Hooray! =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Thanks! Yea… I’ve sadly come to realize that I don’t have any palettes in which all the colors are truly of the same quality. The variation is kind of to be expected when shadows are of different textures (lustre, matte, metallic, etc) but the wide variation in this palette really surprised me since they’re almost all metallics. =/

    & LOL. I am maybe a little cranky today. ^^;;

    [Reply]

  11. Nikki says:

    that is a very pretty palette, UD really rocks with the pigmentation
    .-= Nikki´s last blog ..AMW Reports: Enjoying the Day with GlamBox & Friends =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    It does look very pretty. I just wish it were easier to work with.

    [Reply]

  12. jian says:

    Wow, thanks for such an in depth review of the palette! I agree about bulky, with that kind of sized palette I was expecting a great deal more shadows. Also, who actually carries a palette around by a handle anyway??

    But yeah, the black really does look chalky! But the rest of the colours swatched look beautiful! And wow, poor you! 3-5 hours, with UDPP and paintpot? >< I guess my lids aren't actually that greasy, it's mainly that my eyes water like crazy when I'm outside, or if there's a bit of dust about. =___= It kind of washes everything off, especially in the outer corners of my eyes.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    LOL. You’re welcome. I know, right?! I really like sleek… and I just don’t understand how this palette is supposed to work.

    And YEA! Paintpot by itself = 3-4 hours. UDPP by itself = 5-6hrs. UDPP + Paintpot = 9hrs. It kinda sucks. I guess my lids are just really high maintenance LOL. I think the watering on the very outside of the bottom lashline is quite common, actually. I don’t have it too bad but that’s definitely where my liner smudges the most and I know some other girls complain about it too. The only thing I’ve found that helps a bit is smudging powder shadow under or over the liner and that seems to help it stay better.

    [Reply]

  13. Jian says:

    By the way, just wanted to say. I’m a bit slow with this, but I absolutely LOVEEEEEE your new site. Feels so professional and clean~~! I wish I could design a better blog layout =___=

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    LOL aww, thanks! I … was really lazy and decided to go for the clean & simple route. It’s a lot easier to implement a nice layout on WordPress than on Blogger since you can actually write your own structure/stylesheets. I’d be happy to help you out with Blogger if you have some free time for it though. I did implement once so I’m sure I could figure it out if you need specific help. I think for Blogger it’s unfortunately mostly stupid hacks though.

    [Reply]

    jian responds:

    Ahh you’ve switched to wordpress? I assumed you were still using blogger, but had got your own domain name! I see I see… Maybe I will check it out, although that involves moving, which seems quite a lot of hassle!

    Thanks for the offer =) It’s really difficult to edit my layout though since I’m using a proxy server to access Blogspot, and like everything becomes all weird O____o;;; So the only time I’d be able to is when I’m back in the UK, but this term I start my junior block rotation, I’m into hospitals, like, properly! =O Scary stuff…

    [Reply]

  14. jojoba says:

    those are some very fine eye shadows!!! i thought the black was going to be more pigmented than your swatch. but it turned out not to be. weird. i have heard so much about that colour though.

    but for some reason, i prefer the rest of the colours more. and the packaging is IN!

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    They are very pretty. I totally agree with you about the black! I thought it should at least be on par with MAC Carbon… but I don’t think it is. The black shadow in the Kat von D palettes totally kicks its ass.

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  15. BofB says:

    I like the last three neutral colours but it sucks that Zero is so chalky. I don’t own any UD shadows but I was thinking of getting the AIW when it is released here in March just for the sake of having some in my collection.. though the likelihood of me managing to get my hands on it is slim to none. Looking forward to seeing your other reviews!
    .-= BofB´s last blog ..A Small Weekend Haul =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Ahh, good luck getting the AiW palette! Unfortunately I have enough of the shades (or close enough to them) that I couldn’t really justify getting the palette (and my whole slim/sleek palette OCD resisted terribly). The last three neutral colors in this palette are ok… In general I prefer my neutrals to be on the neutral/warm side and Shag and Scratch are weirdly red-toned on my skin… (especially Scratch) and end up making me look a little pink-eyed. =/

    [Reply]

  16. ndoodles says:

    I think if I own this palette I’d gravitate towards Scratch and Shag and Underground the most because I LOVE NEUTRALS! But the other colors seem really nice too. I guess if I had the money and the discount, I’d probably run and get it! But I think this packaging is a lot smaller than some other ones – the Shadow Books for example.
    .-= ndoodles´s last blog ..Sales Are Just Marvelous! =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    LOL. Dude, I love neutrals too!! But for some reason Shag and Scratch are weirdly red-toned on me (especially Scratch!) and so when I wear them they make me look weirdly pink-eyed… =/

    And yes, the package is smaller than the Books of Shadows… but there are 7 more shadows (16)!! Plus, I can appreciate the whole Book of Shadows packaging as an art form in itself. This palette’s packaging doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason and it’s not even particularly pretty…? (It’s kind of a purple velvet framed piece of chainmail… which I don’t really get?)

    [Reply]

  17. hmm $20 is fair for Urban Decay? I find their stuff to be hits and misses. The colors do look great but sucks if they fade really easily and don’t blend well…
    .-= Pop Champagne´s last blog ..Ke$ha is Desirable =-.

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    Yea, that’s what I thought too. I think most lines are like that though – hit and miss. Like their glosses kind of suck and it seems like no one uses their face powders, etc. Their lipsticks are supposed to be really nice and I’m thinking about investing in a few of those though. I just didn’t expect their most hyped up product to be so mediocre, ykwim?

    [Reply]

  18. ect says:

    Thanks for this review! Usually I hear people just instantly rave about it so it’s nice to see a more honest and thought-out review! The shades are super pretty, but too bad they are not all the same consistency :( I only have one single matte shadow from Urban Decay (Shakedown), and I like it a lot. I’ll have to look into different ones! THe swatches are great too, I really like fishnet, grafitti, and peace :D

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    LOL. You’re welcome. I try to be fair, but I realize I’m usually pretty harsh as far as my reviews are concerned because I tend to evaluate products based on the highest standard I know of rather than based on an average (I think probably because I’ve been lucky enough to use some pretty awesome products based on researching reviews and so I’m spoiled LOL). Fishnet is definitely my second favorite shadow of the bunch. It’s soooo pretty, and it has the nicest duochrome. It actually is very purple on my skin too so it’s quite wearable too. =)

    [Reply]

  19. zero is ….. really? I think you could find better drugstore blacks. (have you tried nyx black? that’s the best matte black I’ve been able to find so far). This is slightly disappointing, I was going to buy this mainly for Ransom, but now I’m not sure. I’m just looking for some really nicely textured, pigmented shadows (particularly purples or bright greens). Any recommendations?

    [Reply]

    Catherine responds:

    I know right?!?! I’ve actually not tried any NYX shadows but I have two of Kat von D for Sephora Lucifer shadows in my two palettes (Ludwig and Beethoven) and it’s freaking awesome so I think I’m set on blacks for now lol.

    Erm… yea, sadly Ransom is pretty disappointing because of the fading… BUT, I will say, I have pretty annoying lids for eyeshadow (3-4hrs wear with MAC Painterly, 5-6 with UDPP, 9 layering both with most shadows, except for Shu which requires incredibly thin layers of both and UD which only works on UDPP alone and fades…) so, it’s entirely possible that it’s just me and my damn greasy lids. I also haven’t tried any other primer with these, so YMMV. If it’s not too much trouble for you, I’d honestly recommend doing the base on your eyes at home and then bringing your own brushes to do an EOTD w/ Ransom and like… Underground or Peace maybe on a weekend to see how they fare on you. Aaaand… if all else fails there’s Sephora’s return policy. =/

    I honestly haven’t seen any other palette with a combination of brights like these except other UD palettes and those generic ebay ones (or the Bobbi Brown brights, but hers are all matte and it was like $70). For other purples, Kat von D Beethoven and True Love are pretty nice, but they don’t have a vibrant purple quite like Ransom and they don’t have other colored brights. =/

    For me, this palette is definitely nice enough to keep for the price I paid… it’s just a little annoying to use (because of the primer thing it’s basically either UD shadows OR other shadows) and upkeep. HTH

    [Reply]

    makeup morsels responds:

    I saw those, they look so nice except I probably have dupes for every single color in them already. I’m just looking for some vibrant ones. my lids are pretty oily too, but I think they’ve gotten a bit better, and I can get reasonable wear time with a base now. darn maybe if I gave them Zero and just bought the rest of the palette they’d knock 5 bucks off the price or something. sigh….why is that such a failure of a color? definitely helped :) thanks so much

    [Reply]

  20. [...] didn’t do any swatches yet, but if you’d like to see some, just head over to the lovely Cat’s [...]

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