We saw an influx of liquid lipsticks and contour releases last year but what I’m just now realizing is that it was also the year of eyeshadow palettes. It took me a little while to notice it but after counting the number of eyeshadow palettes I picked up last year (9 or more) it was clear to see that eyeshadow palette releases were pretty much back to back in 2015. Every time I turned around, there was a palette releasing that I needed as much as I need a hole in my head. It was complete madness!
However, there was one limited edition palette that I just knew I didn’t want: the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette. When Urban Decay first announced that they were collaborating with Gwen Stefani for a collection I was bouncing off the wall with excitement. Gwen Stefani is known for her fun fashion and bold, bright colors so I was expecting something funky spectacular since Urban Decay is pretty well known for taking a walk on the edgy side too. Imagine my disappointment when the sneak peeks of the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette hit Instagram and it turned out to be an extension of the Naked line. Womp womp!
The Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette just didn’t get my engines revving. The more pictures and swatches I saw, the more I was turned off. It looked pale, chalky and flat out boring. I just knew I wasn’t going to be spending a dime on it. It wasn’t until the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette finally hit stores that I began to warm up to it. When it launched at my local Ulta, I was forced to push it and do demonstrations on guests since I’m the Prestige Manager. Which was mortifying, at first, because I just wasn’t feeling this palette at all. It seemed too boring, too pale and not at all brown skin friendly. My first thought was, “How the hell am I going to sell this palette when I don’t even like it?”
Despite how I was feeling about the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette, the makeup junkie in me just kept pushing me to give it a try before counting it out. So I stopped being stubborn and just swatched the damn thing before the weekend of the event. Turns out, the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette isn’t so bad! Most of the shades were pigmented with a soft finely milled texture that felt and looked pretty good–even on my brown skin.
Of course, there’s still 2 super pale mattes that I’ll probably never wear (Blonde and Skimp) but the rest of the palette isn’t so bad. In fact, some of the pale shades that I thought I was going to hate (Bathwater, Steady and Pop) turned out to be amazing shimmers that are a little sheer but easily buildable to full on glamour eyes that sparkle, shine and make eyes stand out. I usually go for warmer palettes that mesh well with my warm undertone but I was pleasantly surprised how well this cool color scheme works on brown skin. I was finally pushed to buy the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette after doing a demo on a pretty gal with a similar complexion to mine and seeing how beautiful it turned out with ease. After that I had to have it!
Now, the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette is one of my go to palettes when I want a quick everyday eye or a neutral eye with a pop of color. The shimmers have a nice soft texture with a little fallout but nearly as bad as the Naked Palettes in my stash. The mattes were also buttery smooth and quite pigmented. They’re also a bit powdery but I find that they still adhere to the skin and blend well even on the days I’m too rushed to prime. The Gwen Stefani Palette also wears rather well on its own too. I can get at least 6 hours of wear on my dry lids before I start to notice creasing on the lids. When paired with the Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette keeps holding on for over 10 hours with solid wear.
I do still believe the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette is best suited for fair to light skin gals but I’d be lying if I said I still thought it wasn’t brown girl friendly. I can easily create a complete look with it whether I’m sporting a neutral look or smokey eye since it has a good transition shade (Zone) that also doubles as natural crease shade when I want a simple 5 minute look. Urban Decay may not have had deeper complexions in mind when they paired with Gwen Stefani to create this palette but I still think it’s worth a try. Especially if you prefer cool neutrals. It’s really a nice palette!