I know we have all read / watched a million ABH Subculture reviews. It truly is the palette heard AROUND THE WORLD! It really is a very polarizing palette, either you love it or you hate it and there is no right answer.
I decided to go ahead and review this palette myself anyway. I really haven’t gotten much use of this palette in the year or so that I’ve had it because I have been quite intimidated. I recently pulled it out for my 19 eyeshadows in 2019 Pan that Palette challenge and it has really sparked my interest to be more creative!
There are so many different colors in this palette that seem kind of hard to work with on an everyday basis but it actually has been pretty fun! Each shade is different though, so we will get into that later.
This palette comes with 14 shades – 2 duo chromes, 1 metallic shimmery shade, and 11 are matte. It also includes a mirror and a small double-ended blending brush. It also retails for $42!
The Subculture palette has the same felt exterior as many other Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes, including the Prism and Norvina palette. This packaging is also somewhat polarizing. Some people hate how easily it can get dirty and other people really like it. I personally keep my palettes in their uni-carton so I haven’t had an issue with it getting dirty yet. I LOVE the felt and I like the contrast between the blue and the yellow.
The Shades & Swatches
In the first row, you have:
Cube – So I hate starting on a bad note but this is one of the not so good shades. It is the first “duo-chrome” in the palette but it really is not pigmented at all You can see in the swatch below that it barely shows up on my arm. This was after numerous tries to build it up. I think it is really interesting. It does have a duo-chrome white / pink effect but it is impossible to get to show up on the eyes.
Dawn – This is a matte creamy tan shade. I have been using this shade as a transition shade a LOT. It is a very powdery shade so you have to be careful but it does blend out easily. I think this is the shade I am going to hit pan on for my 19 eyeshadows in 2019 challenge.
Destiny – This is an army green ultra-matte shade. I think this shade is really pretty. It looks kind of patchy in the swatch and you do have to kind of pat it on the eyelids instead of blending it but I think it is a workable shade.
Adorn – This is the one shimmery / metallic shade in the entire palette. It is a bronzey-gold shadow and it is REALLY pretty! Literally no issues with this beauty.
All Star – I actually used this shade in my Palette Bingo using the Subculture palette. I like this shade to deepen up a pink / mauve look which is kind of what I did in the palette bingo that I posted. It is really pigmented so it can be kind of hard to blend out but still a pretty shade.
Mercury – I don’t know why I don’t reach for this shade that much. I really like shades like this. Mercury is like a grey, taupe matte shadow. It is similar to All Star where it is really pigmented but kind of hard to blend evenly. I do like the color though.
Axis – This is a dark teal matte shade. This is a really pretty shade for the outer corner but it is also very pigmented so can be hard to work with.
In the second row, you have:
Roxy – This is a pink coral matte shade. It is one of the more wearable shades in the palette on an everyday basis. It is one of the most powdery shades in the palette which is annoying. You just have to be very careful with your brush and not pick up too much.
Electric – This shade is so hard to work with. I think Cude is the worst shade in the palette but this is up there. It is the other duo-chrome in the palette. It has a yellow / green shift which is really fun but again so difficult to use. It takes a lot of build this shade up and it is so hardly pressed.
Fudge – This is a chocolate (fudge) matte shade. This is a pretty basic dark brown shade. It is great to deepen up any look – really pretty brown!
New Wave – This is a pretty orange / yellow matte shade. This is one of the best shades in the palette. It is easy to use and very pretty on the eyes!
Untamed – I don’t reach for Untamed very much to be honest. It is a little darker and bluer than Destiny but I find myself reaching for Destiny more. I think it is a pretty shade but not my favorite.
Edge – I LOVE Edge. It is just a pretty mustard yellow matte shade. I think it is a unique shade and a fun, but wearable shade in the palette.
Rowdy – This is another very pigmented shade. It is a dark purple matte shade so it is kind of hard to work with but I do like it once in a while for the outer corner. David wants me to pan this shade this year but I think that would be way too hard!
My Final Thoughts
So there is a lot to unfold with this palette. Obviously the big controversy is around how powdery the shadows are and they definitely are! There is something different about the formula of these shades compared to other ABH palettes.
I have had a couple of issues with blending them out evenly as well. Sometime they get patchy but I haven’t experienced anything too crazy. I think it is because I tend to reach for only 1-3 shades at a time. I don’t mix a lot of shades so I think that helps them perform on their own.
I really don’t like Cube – that shade is pointless. I also think some of the dark, pigmented shades are difficult to use but I can use them. You must have a very light hand.
But like I mentioned above, this palette has made me step out of my comfort zone! I love mixing Edge and Axis, New Wave and Rowdy, Dawn and Destiny, and more. I think it is a really fun and unique palette.
I don’t think you should buy this palette unless you are really interested in it. If you think these shades are right up your ally, then go for it! I think this is a very versatile palette – you can do a lot with it but I also understand just wanting a go to look versus having to work for an eyeshadow look.
This is not an everyday palette (at least for me) but it is a fun once in awhile palette. I am personally really happy that I own it!
Let me know down below what you think of this palette! I would LOVE to know! (No wrong answers here!)