Grab It for $16! Ammo Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay w/ Review and Swatches

23 Feb
Grab It for $16! Ammo Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay w/ Review and Swatches

What This is About
Guess who’s a cheapskate that gets things a thousand years too late when its on being-discontinued-super-sale!

Me. If you didn’t get that question right you ought to be ashamed of yourself. But you can be a cheapskate too because the Ammo Eyeshadow Palette is on sale again! The skull covered palette (which contains the new formulation of UD’s eye shadows) has been lowered from $34 to $16 which probably means its going to be discontinued for a length of time again. The last time i bought a ton of stuff from the UD site was years ago when they were discontinuing their old formulation and packaging of eye shadow singles – the ones in the matte grey containers with the star on the lid. I got each single for i think $5? Something cheap or i wouldn’t have bought enough to qualify for free shipping. I do remember that they were at least 66% off. It was my first foray into the exciting world of non-drugstore makeup.

I’m cheating a bit with this review because I got my ammo palette on Black Friday of 2014 during the online sale for $10 which is kind of a steal. Plus had free shipping that week! I know there were a couple of other times during 2014 when they were offering the Vintage-Pistol version for $10 but i didn’t feel like paying the additional shipping fee, nor did i feel like spending $50. Happily, i got my hands of this so i have more wacky colors to add to my thrice-over lifetime collection of of eye shadows. Sadly, there is no free shipping this time around. And in case you’re wondering, I haven’t reviewed it until now because I’m a lazy procrastinator.

Anyhow this is a detailed review of the “Vintage” Ammo Palette by Urban Decay with swatches and breakdown of each color. My palette is in the old packaging with the old cover art (pistol firing flowers and swirls) so i’m assuming that it also contains eye shadows with the old formulation. However, after playing around with my friend’s current version of the palette (which apparently features their “pigment infusion system”) against my “vintage one,” i honestly have not been able to tell the difference between the two in a single-blind test, with the exception of two colors which i will talk about. I had my friend apply corresponding colors from our two palettes to each eye and wore them around trying to test if there were obviously discernible differences.

I will be reviewing my palette in as much detail as i can without going insane.Hopefully – because the vintage and current ones are so similar – it will help you decide whether or not to get the current generation of the ammo palette. If you have already decided that $16 is a steal enough to buy on impulse, have at it and enjoy!

Others of you may need some convincing and a truck ton of details. Let’s begin.


First Look
Mine still has the clear plastic fishbowl-like-box which i have lost the picture for. Opps. This is what happens to procrastinators, kids. Learn well. I don’t have the ingredients list either which i am bummed about because the formulation has apparently changed. As far as i can tell though, only two colors really benefited.







The palette is made of black cardboard with printed metallic detail + 3D velvet accents. I like the vintage design better because I’m a fan of avant garde-y swirls but the current version has a skull composed of various little things. Google it or read about/see it at Temptalia. Christine at Temptalia is a lot more succinct and professional at I am but i disagree with her on enough points and have quite a few of my own to feel like i need to write a whole review. Anyhow, the palette is shelf shut by a magnet closure that feels very secure. It might even survive a few drops on carpet though i really don’t want to find out. I forgot to take a picture of size comparison again so just know that its 5′ x 4′ and less than half an inch thick. It looks like a very sleek notebook.


Inside there’s a nice sized mirror framed by more of the swirls in metallic, no velvet to be found here. There are 10 colors arranged in two rows. All the ones on top are darker shades (crease colors/definers), all the ones on bottom are lighter (all overs/inner-corner-highlighters) unfortunately there are no matte/satin shades for those who like a natural brow bone highlight because UD is trying to get you to buy a naked basics palette, probably. The colors in each vertical column are complementary which is helpful for the cosmetically clueless or the brain-dead beauty. There are just some days when certain palettes annoy the crap out of me because i’m having a crisis:  I’m short on time and can’t decide what colors to pair. This set-up takes out a lot of the guesswork. The Ammo Palette  could be repackaged and sold as “Colorful Eyeshadow for Dummies.”

Shadows + applicator (vintage)

Shadows + applicator (vintage)

First things first, i got rid of that sponge tipped applicator. Just kidding. It has its uses. I use the skinny side tip to apply Oilslick as a liner when I’m having a lazy maintenance day and don’t feel like washing brushes. The new version has a single ended paddle brush which is quite decent for packing color on and smudgey liner but because it only has one end, you’ll have to clean it thoroughly to avoid muddying up weird colors. The brush is synthetic so it’s easy to clean with a alcohol wipe but some of the colors are rather pigmented to be careful. I get the feeling most people buying this palette will already have a mini horde of brushes though i could be wrong.

What You Get
All 10 colors are either frost, shimmer, metallic or glittery in finish. 4 have micro glitters and there’s not a matte to be seen so you if you have sensitive eyes you might want to steer clear of this. The old and new palettes contain the same amount of product and all the same shades, the only difference as i have previously mentioned are the covers, palette artwork and the inclusion of a shadow packing brush vs a double tipped sponge applicator.

Each pan contains 0.03oz of eye shadow totaling to 0.30oz. At the full price of $34 that would be $113.33.
However, the current ammo palette is on sale at $16 or $53.33.
I got my vintage palette for $10 or $33.33 which is <3.

As a comparison to other eye shadow palettes:
Sleek i-divine Palettes are $11.99 for 0.36oz or $33.31/oz.
Stila Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palettes are $49 for 0.612 or $80.07/oz.
Kat Von D Monach Eyeshadow Palette is $46 for 0.57oz or $80.71/oz.
UD’s Naked Palettes are $54 for 0.60 oz or $90/oz.
Too Faced Cat Eyes Shadow Palette is $36 for 0.39oz or $92.31/oz.
BareMineral’s Ready 8.0 Power Neutrals is $40 for 0.24oz or $166.67/oz
NARS’ NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette is $79 for 0.045 or $1755.56 ……. did Sephora make a mistake on the product size description?


Color Breakdown
UD describes the colors as the following but I’m going to give you my take on the colors anyways

  • Smog (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
  • Mildew (mossy green shimmer with gold shift)
  • Oil Slick (black matte with silver micro-glitter)
  • Last Call (metallic plum shimmer)
  • Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro-glitter)
  • Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige shimmer with silver glitter)
  • Shattered(turquoise shimmer with a gold shift)
  • Polyester Bride (white snow shimmer with silver micro-glitter)
  • Grifter (sheer lavender shimmer with silver micro-glitter)
  • Sin (champagne shimmer).

Smog – medium darkish bronze with an orange base. There are a great deal of gold micro shimmers as well as some greens, oranges and pinks. Smog lightens up a bit on the skin. It has a frosted shimmery finish with a strong golden sheen in direct light. In more shadowed areas it looks like a satin dark brown. The  difference in Smog is that the current palette’s is sliightly warmer and more orangey based than the vintage version, but i might also be imagining things.

Mildew – is a beautiful yellow based olive green with a little hint of grunge-y darkness that gives it a bit of dimension. There are micro emerald shimmers mixed in with some golds and oranges. there’s a tiny pinch of magenta shimmers in there too just to balance the color out. What you get on the skin is slightly less olive and more of a lush grass green than what you see in the palette due to the emerald shimmers. The final finish is a mossy satin with a shimmering, jeweled-veil overlay. As far as i can tell, the vintage and current are identical.

Oilslick – is a charcoal black with a load of turquoise, magenta and silver micro glitters in about equal parts. It basically looks like a newly paved elementary school asphalt where the pitch is still nice and dark and there are lots of glittery mica bits shining from the matrix of the blacktop. The finish is a sprinkle of soap bubbles like glitter over matte grey-black base. The current version of Oilslick has as higher concentration of teal glitters and less of the magenta.

Last Call  – I would rename this “Princess Plum” if i could because it’s the color of a cherry plum with a stunning frosty metallic finish that screams regal. I say cherry plum in particular because cherry plums are a red based purple. In the pan it looks like a deeper magenta-violet but on the skin it pulls a lot more red with a hint of brown. This is due in part to the reddish orange base that is evident in dimly lit areas and blended out edges. It’s got a duochrone effect of red-burgundy over a darker plum. The shine on this is so intense that it seems foiled (wet applied) no matter how you put it on.  Old and current Last Call seem identical.

Chopper – is an orangey copper like a gently used penny with a slightly dark patina. In the pan there are evident flecks of gold micro shimmer. Swatched and on the eye/arm though, the glitter just completely falls out and off. The finish ends up being a frosty metallic just like Last Call. As i have previously mentioned, i an horrible at describing nudes/browns. Chopper is identical in the vintage and current palettes.

Left To Right: Smog, Mildew, Oilslick, Last Call, Chopper

Left To Right: Smog, Mildew, Oilslick, Last Call, Chopper

Maui Wowie – is a cold, pale yellow-gold like straw bedding or bales of hay (i used to be an animal nut). There’s a little bit of grunge-y green tone that, in combination with the dark gold micro glitter, prevents it from being a bright happy sunny yellow. It ends up being a neutral gold that i think will be very flattering on most, all skin tones. When swatched and applied  to the eye, most of the glitter is lost in application, leaving a frosted finish with touches of gleaming shimmer here or there. Maui Wowie is also unchanged between the two palettes.

Shattered – is a light marine blue like the waters of Hawaii. There’s the slightest hint of green that makes the color look very refreshing. I would drink this stuff on a hot day if i could. It also has a blonde-gold duochrome from certain angles and lighting (sunlight, yellow lighting, warm lighting, direct light). If the blue was the water, the light gold would be the glistening sands on the beaches. But now imagine that someone got a whole plane-load of this sand, metallic-ized the grains, then dumped it over the water and – by some feat of black magic – it all got suspended on the surface tension. That is how Shattered from the vintage palette looks. The finish is a frosty marine, but borders on metallic gold in some lightnings. Sadly, I feel like in the current palette  turned down the golden overlay some because the gold shimmer particles are less obvious in the pan and on the eye. What a shame.

Polyester Bride – is a cream that’s been faded to almost white. On most skin tones, it probably would look stark white.There’s also equal parts gold and silver micro glitter mixed in. On the skin, most of the glitter falls away leaving a sheer-y frosted white. If you manage to pack enough glitter on top of a stick base like Pixie Epoxy, it might look metallic. They still haven’t fixed this glitter poofing issue in the current version of the ammo palette.

Grifter – is more of a lilac rather than lavender. It has more pink tones than blue. If someone ground the daintiest of lilac flowers into powder and added a bucket of silver and gold glitter in a 2:1 ratio, they would get Grifter. I feel like this is a color that a sassy Barbie would wear. It’s soft, pretty variation on pinky-purple but frosty metallic finish practically screams “ice queen, super sarcasm machine”. The glitter doesn’t really like to stick around on the skin so there’s not much sparkle to it so you won’t end up accidentally looking like a 5 year old playing princess dress up. In direct light, it has a light, blue-violet satin shine that’s almost duo-chrome. Grifter is identical between the vintage and current Ammo Palette.

Sin – is nice rose-gold beige. I don’t know why they call it a champagne because if you look up the actual color of champagne it’s a pale, yellow gold. Sin is composed of warm, orangey peach tones in a pink, fleshy beige, rather than the yellow-brown beige that comes to mind more readily. If they had called it a rose champagne i would have let it fly rather than grumbling about. It does, however, have champagne and gold micro shimmers in it, though. Anyhow, Sin has a shimmery metallic finish that reminds me of a satined rose gold ring i have. Sin is the same in both palettes.

Left to Right: Maui Wowie, Shattered, Polyester Bride, Grifter, Sin

Left to Right: Maui Wowie, Shattered, Polyester Bride, Grifter, Sin


Swatches and Performance
Please click the  picture of the mass swatches to open them in a new tab, then press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘+’ to enlarge the pictures and view swatches in detail. The swatches were all too close to one another for me to cleanly cut/crop them all up by color.

All the swatches are done with my finger the following way: leftmost swatch of a color is one swipe, middle swatch is two swipes of color, and the right most swatch is two swipes over primer (Smashbox’s 24 hour photo finish shadow primer because its awesomely cheap). All of the top row colors over primer left dark-ish stains of various hues that were all very hard to remove. I had to use oil cleaner + a cleansing balm before i could use my normal face wash, but i digress

Going in Groups of 3 Left to Right: Smog, Mildew, Oilslick, Last Call, Chopper

Going in Groups of 3 Left to Right: Smog, Mildew, Oilslick, Last Call, Chopper

Smog – is excellent. It’s buttery soft, intensely pigmented and ultra bendable. One swipe is enough to reach opacity and would easily stripe my underarm from one side to the other. The staying power is rather weak on its own (about 4 hours). With a primer, try and stop it. The luminous brown was going strong at 9 hours though most of the golen shimmer frost had worn off around hour 6. There is honestly no difference between one swipe vs two swipes. Over primer, the golden sheen is more intense and borders on being metallic. I think i maaaybe get an hour longer of wear out of the current version of the palette so meh, no statistical significance.

Mildew – is average in terms of pigmentation. It will take two layers to reach opacity. Out of the pan, it feels like satin but on the skin it feels almost dry. It’s not powdery but it doesn’t have the same slippery, emolient-like blendability as the frosted metallic shades in the palette. Without primer this shadow is a goner by hour 3, all up in the crease and poofed into  eyeshadow heaven. Over primer, Mildew wears immaculately until around hour 6. After that mark, the emerald shimmers start fading away evenly, leaving a dark mossy matte color by around 8 hours of wear. The effect is a bit dirty so take note if you dislike such effects. I could not discern a difference between the vintage and current palette

Oilslick – is very intensely pigmented but the texture of this one is rather dry so blending/diffusing is rather hard to do right. On my swatches it got kind of streaky so it takes two swipes to go opaque. This color lasted 8 hours with no primer on my upper lids and 5 under my lower lash line. Over primer, it was difficult to remove at the end of a long day (12+) without oil based remover: it leaves a grey-black stain (after the glitter is long gone) that is budgeproof so this would make a bomb-ass liner. The glitter is also, oddly, toned down. Primer or no primer, the glitter lasts for 2 hours tops. Be prepared for teal and silver sparkles on your cheeks. This can be remedied by applying the eye shadow wet or over Pixie Epoxy if you don’t mind getting a swath of intense charcoal black. I personally like this one as a liner but the glitter might irritate some eyeballs. In the the current version of the ammo palette, Oilsick is still very pigmented and somewhat dry to the touch but UD fixed the blend-ability issue so that it now blends evenly and reasonably easily. They also warmed it up a so that when diffused, Oilslick has a orangey brown edge. Removing this one completely is quite difficult so get you cotton pads ready.

Last Call – is on par with Smog in terms of texture, blendability and pigmentation. It’s soft and glides like warmed butter. One stoke is enough to go opaque.  However to maximize the duochrome effect, I had to swatch twice. This color seems almost wet upon application. The shine and color remains j until almost hour 5 over bare skin which was really surprising. I usually associate metallic with horrible wear time. With primer, i get about 8 hours of wear before the red starts fading and it turns into a plum brown (a really nice crease color). The metallic finish is still there but it won’t be a smooth surface. You know how the skin will dry out a bit and little wrinkles and crevices on the skin will he highlighted? Yeah, that happens around hour 9. And because this is such a strong color, unless you have skin more perfect than a baby’s butt, it’s going to be a tad unflattering past 10 hours. there is no difference between the two palettes for this color. You’re going to want to use a primer with one one for sure (though why would you not wear one?) because without a barrier, the pigments left a bruise-like stain on my eyes. It was mildly amusing until i tried to get rid of it.

Chopper – is acceptably opaque in one swatch but it takes two to reach full glory. It’s pretty pigmented but I found that it had a odd blendability. It has a lot of slip and is very blendable but it so so soft that it piled a bit and had the tendency to streak when swatching straight down. I had to blend side to side a bit to get the pigment evenly distributed. UD fixed this issue in the current Ammo Palette’s formulation so Chopper benefited tons. Wear time remains about the same though. The glitter is gone by the end of application, with or without primer. Over bare skin, The eyeshadow lasts 3 hours before creasing. Over primer it manages 6 before it fades gracefully until hour 9 when the shiny, glowy luster disappears. There’s a orangey brown stain left though, and it is surprisingly difficult to remove.

Maui Wowie, Shattered, Polyester Bride, Grifter, Sin

Maui Wowie, Shattered, Polyester Bride, Grifter, Sin

Maui Wowie – has excellent pigmentation and pretty good blendability but the texture is buggy. It feels almost gritty in the pan. It’s not dry but i felt like every bit of micro glitter was being scraped along when i swatched. It takes one swipe to go opaque and blends well without a fuss, but the glitter. Oh my god. If you are going to use MW, do your eyes before foundation if you don’t end up with half a disco ball on your otherwise perfect face. It lasts a decently long time: 5 hours over bare skin and 10 over primer. The finish remains shimmery all throughout and color doesn’t change much though it does get a little less yellow and a little more warm brown. The fixed the grittiness in the current version of the palette so now it feels like silk and is more blendable though it is still drier than other shades. The glitter also adheres better and longer! However, the longevity over bare skin took a obvious hit, I get little more than 3 hours. With primer i still get 10+.

Shattered – Mmf, can we please give Shattered a moment of reverent worship please? That duochrome ❤ This is one of the sheerer colors that takes a bit of building (2 layers at least to reach acceptable intensity and 3 to go opaque) but it’s so damn pretty i forgive it wholeheartely. It is very soft and silky out of the pan and feels almost like a pressed mineral eyeshadow because it does tend to form little piles when scraped at. On the skin it has very good blendability, but that also means that it’s easy to sheer out by accident. I would apply and blend, then apply more for maximum color payoff but that requires a bit of time so this isn’t the most suitable for lazy/rushed people. The wear time over bare skin sucks (2 hours before migration) but over primer it looks immaculate up until the 8 hour mark. Oddly enough, the blue starts fading before the gold does after the 10 hour mark. This color starts creasing even over primer if i try to wear it past 12 hours. It is important to note that the golden sheen isn’t quite a strong in the current version of the palette. It looks more like a sunny glow on the turquoise base than a golden veil draped over.

That Duo-chrome <3

Shattered’s Duo-chrome from Vintage Palette . Top is two swipes, bottom is one.<3

Polyester Bride – is easily the worst in pigmentation and texture. It was dry, powdery, sheer and just unacceptable on the skin. DO YOU SEE THAT PILE OF PRODUCT? (at the top end of the swatch). It blended out quite far in the primer swatch but that took some effort because i had to first get the extra product at the head of the swatch evenly distributed. It doesn’t reach opacity until 4 swipes over bare skin and 3 over primer (which i have not shown here) but in putting down multiple layers of this shadow,  glitter got freaking everywhere the moment i tried to blend. There’s always that one throwaway color in a palette. This one is it. It might fare better as a sheer lip color topper to added sparkle and frosted shine. The wear time isn’t horrible (4 hours without primer and 9 hours with) but I’m still disgruntled by it. What’s more? UD didn’t address these issue in the current palette *cue table flipping* though my friend swears the current version is more pigmented (but just as dry and fallout prone).

Grifter – is meant to be sheer so i can’t really rat on it pigmentation wise. One swipe is weak, but I like to use it sheer as a over shadow to tweak some other colors that I have (like UD’s Woodstock or Radium). Two will make bring it to full potential (true to how the color looks in the pan). This one is nice and silky in texture so i will give it that. The glitter in this one also falls out but the concentration of  micro glitter relative to pigment is much lower so you might end up with a few silver specks under you eye, but not a half disco ball. Wear time sucks without a primer (not even 3 before creasing) but with primer it’ll last 8 before it starts fading. The glitter is gone by hour 2 though. I am hesitant to say that there’s a difference between the two versions of the palette but i believe that the current version is a bit creamier in texture and more blendable.

Sin – really shines over a similarly colored warm shimmery base. I make do with Nyx Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Cashmere even though Cashmere is a yellow toned champagne. The texture is ultra soft and buttery smooth. If anything, it is a little soft though, like suede. If you swatch too hard you’ll get too much product. Pigmentation is excellent, this shadow goes one opaque in one pass. Two will give it more of the rose gold shine effect and increase the finish from frosted shimmer to metallic. Sin will crease in two hours without primer which really didn’t surprise me; metallics are dismal on my oily lids. It lasted 8 over primer, but the color dried out and started cracking a bit at 10. It was still fiercely metallic but didn’t look too nice. This color remains unchanged between the two versions of the palette.


Final Thoughts
I love everything about this palette except a couple things

  1. the fallout from Oilslick, Polyester Bride, and Maui Wowie
  2. powdery-ness on Polyster Bride
  3. grittiness on mauiwowie
  4. the sheerness on Grifter. it could have been so much more amazing a purple had it been more pigmented

Luckily, point 3 been fixed in the current version of the ammo palette. Sadly, points 1 and 2 remain problems. Other than those flaws, this is a really nicely balanced palette. There’s a good number of nudes and some non-conventional color for fun days. All the colors complement each other very well and can be combined into an almost limitless number of looks. Now that i have reviewed it, i am allowed to play with it to my heart’s content. This will travel with me for sure because of it’s size, quality and versatility.

My favorite colors ranked by a combination of color and performance are

  1. Shattered
  2. Smog, Last Call and Chopper ( i honestly can’t choose)
  3. Mildew
  4. Maui Wowie, Sin
  5. Grifter
  6. Oil Slick
  7. Polyester Bride

I do think this is a pretty good value for the quality if you are looking for fun colors to add to your makeup arsenal. I can’t quite think of other palettes that have a mix of fun and neutrals for such a good price, aside from Sleep i-divine palettes which are harder to get in the US. As far as creating looks go, it’s practically idiot proof. UD did a really good job coordinating the colors but many of the shades can be worn alone on reaallly lazy/braindead days. Anyhow, please wear primer. Please. It will make everything look so much more lovely for longer.


Where to Get
It’s on sale only at the Urban Decay Website here.

…. and Sephora? If you look under their offerings of eyeshadow palettes it’s listed for $16 but if you click on the link to take you to the page to buy it, you get a big fat Oops! D.N.E. You might be able to get it for $16 in stores that still have it in stock if you show them the website listing then prove that the link is broken.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Eyeshadow, On the Fence


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One response to “Grab It for $16! Ammo Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay w/ Review and Swatches

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