MAKEUP | The Urban Decay Wired Palette: The Trials, Errors and Successes
Ever since my subscription to Seventeen magazine in high school, Urban Decay has had a special place in my teenage heart along with brands like Hard Candy and Revlon's Streetwear line. It was makeup that was edgy, something I could never be brave enough to wear or make enough money to afford. While I wouldn't call Urban Decay an inexpensive brand, I have always found that the quality I get is fair for the price. The eyeshadows have always been among my favourite formulations with every palette I have used being consistently solid in pigmentation and colour payoff. I had no reason to believe that the brand new Wired palette would be any different from previous ones, but lemme tell ya, this one is not like the others!
When you open the palette, it's stunning. The rainbow of shades in both matte and shimmery textures get your attention right away and if you saw this in-store, how could you now stop, stare, swatch and then wonder just how often you would use shades like "Jolt" or "Savage". In terms of packaging, it is also extremely solid with the case being made of a solid thick plastic and feels dense for its size.
This palette looks a lot like the now discontinued Urban Decay Electric Palette and I wish I had it to do a proper comparison, but there are quite a number of reviews out there that compare both if you'd like to have a look. From swatches, it looks like the swatches of Electric are far more intense. The video I watched was with Kristen Leanne and she seemed honest about her confusion and disappointment. She has her own collaboration palette with UD so it spoke volumes to me that she had a fairly negative review of this palette and a similar experience to me while using it.
After you have moved past the excitement of the rainbow of shadows, you will notice that the palette is divided into shades that are safe for the eyes and ones that are not. I was a bit surprised about this as I was not expecting 40% of the shades in an eyeshadow palette to not actually be intended for the eyes though the makeup looks I saw online used ALL the shades on the eye. I did not because I was scared that my eyes would either get irritated or that my eyelids would stain. Nothing bad seemed to happen to the YouTubers I watched so I probably could have applied the shadows on my eyes with no ill effects.
This palette is a pressed pigment palette (just like the Electric palette) which means a slightly different means of application with a dense instead of fluffy brush or fingers in the case of some shadows for me. I'm not great with makeup and it took me awhile to actually do some research into why I was having a hard time with this palette. The time that I take to research skincare is definitely not the same with eyeshadow and honestly, if I still had my crazy work schedule I would have just written this palette off as a dud, but I took this as an opportunity to do some trial and error which I will outline below.
Swatching the eyeshadows in this manner may not have been the best since they are pressed pigments and may have shown off more of their colour payoff with me concentrating them in one area as that is how shadows like this perform best. The white shade "Glitch" was probably the most chalky even when applied with a finger and dense brush. I should mention that all of these shades did not hold up well to blending with a fluffy brush as the colour just got "brushed away".
The shades for the Face and Body were quite pretty and it is very possible that I might have to sneak them onto my eyes at some point just to see what they look like as my eyes aren't too sensitive.
Eyeshadow focus: Jolt, Fluorescent and Current
This was my blind attempt without realizing what "pressed pigment" really meant so I was using a combination of fingers and my Morphe fluffy eyeshadow blending brush. I also came across an interesting post from Phyrra about the controversial use of the phrase "pressed pigment" which further added to the rabbit hole I had already descended into.
With my eyes open, the look didn't turn out too badly, but when I look down you can see how "segmented" the shades are because blending with a brush made the colours fade so much. I went in multiple times with a finger and even a damp brush. "Jolt" and "Fluorescent" were especially challenging to work with.
Urban Decay Quick Fix Priming Spray*
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5.5*
Diorshow Browstyler in Universal Dark Brown
Urban Decay Chill Setting Spray*
ABH Eye Primer
Urban Decay Wired Palette (Jolt on inner lid, Fluorescent in the middle and Current in the outer V)
Urban Decay Moondust Shadow in Skywalk*
Chaos on upper lash line (couldn't see when fake lashes applied)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Roxy* on lower waterline and the shade Chaos along lower lashline
Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Mascara*
Shu Uemura False Eyelashes in "Black V"*
Urban Decay Wired Palette with shades Switch and Slowburn*
Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne Beauty Beam Highlight Palette*
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Bun Bun* (from the Kristen Leanne collection)
Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Lipgloss in Desert Heat*
Eyeshadow focus: Glitch, Chaos
This time I used the Urban Decay Primer Potion as my primer and started off with "Glitch" thinking that maybe having a white base would further intensify "Chaos" but I really don't think it did anything. "Chaos" took awhile to build up as I did need to use a fluffy brush to soften the edges so there was a lot of finger pressing onto the lid and then slowly blending outward until I was happy. My husband hated this look, but I think he's just not a fan of the 80s blue eyeshadow look. I thought "Chaos" was pretty, but was very tough to blend even a tiny bit without losing its intensity as shown in the video by Tatanisha Sankar.
Eyeshadow focus: Jolt, Current
I decided to follow a tutorial from Kristen Leanne as it used two colours I had a number of issues with. I had some issues keeping "Current" looking super sparkly in the first attempt so this time I kept the look a little more straightforward and after picking up "Current" on my brush, I sprayed it with UD's All Nighter Spray which worked well. I also packed on this shade with my finger and pressed on my lid which worked well. I added in some UD Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in "Distortion" to the inner corners of my eyes which also made the look really pop. I blended the two shades very gently and it turned out to be a look I would love to wear again especially now that I will have to wear a mask for work, it's time to play up the eyes!
It is obvious I initially found this palette very hard to work with, but I persevered because UD is a brand that has so rarely let me down and I wanted to be fully informed before I said "yes" or "no". On the plus side, the shades were indeed quite pigmented once I used a finger or a dense brush to apply. What I didn't like was having face and body shades within an eyeshadow palette. Though it doesn't actually say on the box that Wired is specifically an eyeshadow palette, having shades that haven't been cleared as "eye-safe" is a bit odd. I tried looking for tutorials that used the Face and Body shades on areas other than the eyes and I could not find any! Who knows, maybe Halloween will be the time to bring this out again, but this is a very specific palette with a specific way of using it so I would keep that in mind if you are thinking about purchasing. Personally, I think there are other palettes and brands that do bright shades better so Wired will ultimately be a no from me even though we finally understood each other in the end.
You can find the Urban Decay Wired Palette at www.sephora.com and www.urbandecay.ca #PressedPigment #Beauty #Swatches #Makeup #Sephora