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Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

For the past week the whole beauty community has been in an uproar over this palette. There have been mixed reviews, talk of inconsistent palettes and that one video where a eyeshadow was panned in a single use. The palette in question is the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette, and I thought as I have been testing out the palette now this week, I would add my thoughts to the interweb.

As a palette that has been touted by Anastasia Beverly Hills themselves as the sister palette to the Modern Renaissance palette, I had high hopes. When ABH released the launch pictures, I knew that it was a palette I needed in my life due to its unique, grungy shades.

ABH's Subculture palette contains 14 shadows (11 matte and three shimmer/metallic) that have grungy vibes and an underground feel. The palette retails for $42 USD and is the same size and style of the Modern Renaissance palette. It features the same soft velvet packaging, except in a deep blue shade. The palette includes a dual ended brush that is actually of high quality, and one I use with the shadows regularly.

The shades of the Subculture palette will not appeal to everyone, and definitely steer off the neutral warm toned path that is all the rage right now. It is a mix of dark shades, yellows, greens and blues.

A day or two before I received my palette, the negative reviews started rolling in, and I was truly worried I may have made a dud purchase. Reports of extreme kick back and fall out, difficulty blending, and even shadows oxidising on the skin were surfacing. I decided then to take every review with a grain of salt, test it out for myself, and draw my own conclusions.

And I have to say, this palette has definitely not been a dud for me. The shadows are super pigmented, save for the two duo chrome shades cube and electric, which I find a tad underwhelming, and to not sit on top of the matte shades well.

The shadows are an extremely soft formula, just like the Modern Renaissance palette, so I find I literally just have to touch my brush to the pan, and pick up enough pigment! They definitely have some strong kickback, but I don't find it as extreme as shown in some of the negative reviews posted, and it's something that doesn't bother me, if the shadows are good quality, which they are. I know that some people don't want to feel like they have to baby a palette and make sure to not dig into their palette, but it's not something that worries me. All palettes are unique, and those firmly pressed have to be dug into to get enough pigment, while softly pressed shadows only need to be gently touched for great pigment payoff.

I also read reviews that said that the eyeshadows are impossible to blend and don't blend well together. I find that the shadows aren't as easy to blend as the Modern Renaissance palette or my Zoeva palettes, but they do, just requiring more time and patience. The only exception is the shade fudge; which is a warm brown shade that appears a bit patchy on my eyelid, and is difficult to blend properly.

Overall, if you are looking for a unique eyeshadow palette, the shades speak to you, and you are more experienced blending your eyeshadows, I would recommend this palette. It is ultra pigmented and beautiful, but does require a gentle touch and extra blending.

This palette works well for me, and I will continue to use it, as I will my Modern Renaissance palette. I'm glad I gave it a chance despite the bad reviews, and I recommend taking all reviews (good or bad) with a grain of salt, and testing it out for yourself if the palette speaks to you.


  1. Great review Kels! I have a feeling everyone wants to jump on the bashing bandwagon and it's so annoying! I'm glad you're enjoying your palette x

    Daniela | MissNewBeauty.net

  2. I love the shades in this palette, but I know that I won't use them that much so I don't know if it is worth buying it, but it is sooo beautiful!

  3. Completely agree with your review!
    The palette requires a different approach (i.e. just touch the brush to the colour, and tap off excess), but the colours blend beautifully. I also find the duo chromes difficult, but worked for me well enough with some Too Faced Glitter Glue underneath.
    Love the colours, and agree, while every other company is producing the SAME palette (i.e. copying Modern Renaissance!) its so refreshing to see some original colours.