Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Urban Decay Customizeable Palette: Fantastic or Flop?

Since this has been making headlines everywhere since yesterday I thought it would only be fitting if I addressed this new launch and my thoughts on it.

Many of you are familiar with Urban Decay eyeshadows. Most of us know and love their eyeshadows from their many popular eyeshadow palettes. Whether its The Book of Shadows, Naked, Naked 2, or any other pretty palette they have we have a love hate relationship with their shadows...some we love and some we hate...or at least dont use as often.

Urban Decay just announced on their website that they are reformulating their single eyeshadows as well as releasing several of the more popular shades from palettes in singles AS WELL AS releasing a new build your own palette.

In theory this sounds like an AMAZING idea...Until you hear the price!

$18 starts you out with one 6 pan palette and one prepicked eyeshadow color. For each individual eyeshadow its going to cost you $18 more. Some people have brought up the fact that you can buy the extra eyeshadows over time and that way the price wont be so overwhelming... that's true but no matter how you slice it you're still paying a pretty penny! Lets break down the math and compare some popular customizeable palettes. 


 With a huge array of palette sizes and an insane number of eyeshadow colors and finishes there's no contest that this is the most customizeable you can get in a pro palette setup!

They carry palettes with two fill shapes; Round and Square. You can get a palette anywhere from 2 eyeshadows up to 40!!! Here's the price breakdown:

Palette for 2- $6.00 (square only)
Palette for 3- $7.00 (square only)
Palette for 4- $9.00 (square only)
Palette for 5- $10.00 (comes in round and square)
Palette for 10- $14.00 (comes in round and square)
Palette for 20- $20.00 (comes in round and square)
Palette for 40- $35.00 (square only)

The eyeshadows they offer to fill these palettes with come in an array of finishes, two shapes, and the square ones are in solid or rainbow form.

Square solid shadows (pan style)- 2.7g of product $5.00
Square rainbow shadows (pan style)- 2.5g of product $7.00

Round shades (come with own casing and will need depotting)- 2.6g of product $12.00

Lets assume we're going to make a palette(s) of 15 to match MAC's largest palette (we'll do this for UD as well). It would cost us $24 if we did two palettes to equal 15 exactly but we'll go the cheaper route and just buy a 20 pan palette and leave a few empty...that's $20 for a palette.

Now lets fill it! For the sake of ease we'll do a round and a plain square. For the round you'll spend $180 on eyeshadows. For square you'd spend only $75.

Now to add it together. For a 15 round palette you'll drop $200. For a 15 square you'll drop $95. And no matter which way you go you'll still get more grams of product than UD AND have 5 empty spaces left to fill later.


MAC has the name and prestiege to back it up! With a few palette sizes to choose from, a ton of shades and finishes, and a recycling reward program its easy to see why they are the original! 

MAC palettes only hold round eyeshadows and that's all they sell but it makes it very easy and simplistic to find what you need. They carry three palette sizes 2, 4, and 15. Here's the price breakdown:

Palette for 2- $7.00
Palette for 4- $7.00
Palette for 15- $16.00

Eyeshadows can be purchased in pan or package form and of course you can always depot the packaged ones if you decide you want them in a palette. The packaged ones are also the only ones that count in the recycling program.

Pan- 1.5g of product $11.50
Package- 1.5g of product $15.00

Again we are going to purchase a palette of 15 which equals $16.00. 

Now lets fill it! For pan only you'll spend $172.50 on eyeshadow. For package you'll spend $225.00 on eyeshadow.

Add the eyeshadow and palette together you're paying $188.50 for a pan eyeshadow palette and $241.00 for a palette with eyeshadows from packaging but you'll be able to recycle those packages for a few free lipsticks ;).

The Lesser Known... Coastal Scents

Most people think of the 88 shimmer or matte palettes when they think of Coastal Scents. While yes they do offer very cheap premade palettes of some gorgeous colors they also offer new empty customizeable palettes and eyeshadows! Plus they are adding new shadows ALL the time and they are the cheapest available!

They offer only 2 palette sizes a 4 pan and a 12 pan but if you buy 12 of the eyeshadows to fill it with you get the empty palette free!

Palette for 4- $3.95
Palette for 12- $5.95

They have over 150 shades of eyeshadow and are constantly adding more PLUS they sell pigment, empty metal pans, and mixing medium; so you can always create your own unique eyeshadow shades to add to your palette!

Pan only- 1.3g of product $1.99 or clearance $1.49

Now then to make a palette of 15 you'd have to buy a 4 and a 12. That equals out to $9.90 if you have to buy the 12 pan.

Now then to fill that palette(s) it will cost us... $29.85!!!

Lets add them together now! It will be $39.75 if we have to pay for both palettes BUT since we bought 12 we'll only have to pay for the 4 pan palette making the total only $33.80!!!

Coastal Scents may not be MAC or Inglot but they do make amazing products and are great if you're just starting getting into makeup or are working on a tight budget! I mean you cant beat a custom 15 palette(s) for $33.80!

Finally.... Urban Decay

Urban decay currently only carries 68 shades of single eyeshadows and that's AFTER adding all of the new shades they just added. They have one palette size and it can only accomodate the UD single eyeshadows designed for it since they "lock" in. The only cool aspect of this is the fact that you dont have to permanently depot your eyeshadow to get it in the palette. In fact it's designed for you to be able to take the shadows back and forth from palette to packaging as you need to which is both nice and kind of cumbersome as well. I mean, who wants to store all of those empty packages?

Onto the price breakdown!

Palette for 6- $18.00
(contains one eyeshadow that comes with every palette)

Eyeshadows- 1.5g of product $18.00

Now then to equal out to the MAC 15 we'll have to buy 3 palettes and just have some empty spaces. Lets do the math...or I'll do it and you can just read it ;).

For 3 palettes you'll pay $ you'll get 3 shadows but they're all going to be the same shade so we're only going to count those shadows as one in our palette since who really needs a palette containing 3 of the same color!

For eyeshadows to fill your palette you'll drop $252!

Now lets add the cost of palettes and eyeshadows together... $306!!!!!

The Overview

Here's a summary of how much you'd spend at each place for a palette of 15 eyeshadows.

MAC= $188.50 Pan eyeshadow or $241.00 for packaged
Inglot= $95 for square (w/5 empty) $200 for round (w/5 empty)
Coastal Scents= $33.80 or $39.75 if you dont buy 12 shadows at once.(w/1 empty)
Urban Decay= $306.00 (w/3 empty)

Even if you went the most expensive way you could with MAC or Inglot it STILL wouldn't be NEARLY as much as Urban Decay!!! It doesn't even make good sense to go the Urban Decay route if you want a smaller palette since Inglot, MAC, and Coastal Scents all offer smaller palettes as well! I think its pretty obvious that Coastal Scents is going to be the cheapest of all of these but they do contain less product than all of them and aren't really deemed to be the same quality. (even though I personally love me some coastal scents!)

AND if you want to save even more money and have even more customization then simply buy a Z-Palette! These magnetic palettes contain no dividers so you can put any size, shape, or number of items you can fit in the container! They even have several different sizes to choose from ranging in price from $14.00 for the small to $28 for the PRO. You can put highend or drugstore eyeshadows, powders, blushes, bronzers, etc. so it's completely up to you what you add to your palette! AND since there are no dividers and various sizes you can add products you already own so you dont have to spend any money on eyeshadows or other products to fill your palette with! 

If you're short on money or looking for a beginners custom palette I would go with either a Z-Palette or a Coastal Scents Hot Pot Palette. If you want a highend version I would go for Inglot or MAC depending what company has the colors and formulas you like best.

While yes, I am very glad that Urban Decay has heard our pleas for singles of some of our most loved shades from their premade palettes I still think that this palette idea is just far too ridiculously priced for what you're getting! Urban Decay shadows are nice but I just cant think of 6 that I would love and use enough to warrant spending that much on them and putting them in a palette. Plus it's not even like you are getting more product than the other two high end companies! MAC has the exact same grams and ALL of Inglots are more! Coastal Scents are slightly less but they also are FAR cheaper!

All in all I personally won't be wasting my time or money on the Urban Decay Palette and I feel like I would be doing all of my readers a diservice if I didn't break it down for you how completely unreasonable the pricing is on this, for what you are getting, compared to much better products and palettes. The ultimate decision is yours to make, if you feel like this is something you want to purchase, but I hope that at least after reading this you can make an informed decision! :)

Lipstick kisses and eyeshadow dreams!


  1. I don't know if you noticed, but I was looking over the list of shadows from Urban Decay and of the 68, only (I think) SIX are matte!! Where as all the other brands you mentioned have DOZENS!!!

    I'm sorry I know I only have two eyes, however I want more variety than SIX (it may have been seven) matte shades to choose from.

    Urban Decay really needs to expand their wheelhouse and listen just a wee bit more closely to their consumers.

    Great GREAT review/breakdown! I think you did a fantastic job!

    1. Thank you so much! I think I did a pretty good job for putting this together at 4am with no sleep. lol I did realize later today though that I forgot to add Makeup Forever! Shame on me :( And I do agree...Urban Decay has some beautiful shimmery and glittery shades but thats really ALL they offer! It's just not practical to wear shimmer and glitter all the we all know glittery shadows just have more fallout than matte ones. I'm glad they listened to some things but they do need to listen MORE. These palettes just aren't practical in more than one aspect!

  2. Great Post! I'm getting myself an Inglot Pallet :)