Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay – Swatches and Review

20 Sep

My first vice palette ever. I literally could not resist this one. The packaging is gorgeous. The contents are swoon worthy. There are an abundance of jewel tones and bright, shiny goodness. I couldn’t wait to get it and share it. This review will be covering the colors, wear and suggested use for the colors in this palette. There are some bummers but the greater majority are wonderful with the right tools and application.

To the people who are complaining that there aren’t enough neutrals in this palette… Why? Urban Decay is a company known for color. If you prefer to play it safe, there are 4 neutral Naked palettes and a shit ton more from other companies, for crying out loud. I suggest the BareMinerals 8.0 Posh/Power/Sexy Neutrals series. There are some seriously beautiful neutrals in matte, satin, and shimmering textures with pops of color, but i digress.

This Vice 4 is the palette that color lovers have been waiting for. Let us have our happiness too.

To clear up any confusion there may be lingering around, this fractal-ed edition is technically the 5th in the Vice series. The Vice LTD (bright green chartreuse cover) would have been the 4th, but UD decided to label this one for Holiday 2015 as Vice 4.

First Look
Cardboard packaging reflects the theme of the palette. People are calling the design spiderwebs but i see fractals or shattered glass, like with the Shattered Face Case. You’re welcome to try to read the ingredients.The artistically crushed eyeshadows  displayed on the back of the package are a misrepresentation at best. The colors are actually much brighter and more fun.

The palette is completely plastic.The fractal lines and “vice” are 3-D and slightly raised above the surface of the rest of the lid. My cover doesn’t seem to exhibit as dramatic of as rainbow iridescence as the covers in the promo pics. It’s purple and green the majority of the time with occasional flashes of orange yellow and pink. Oh well. It still changes color enough to confuse the crap out of my S.O. who has mild color blindness. (I’m an evil person)

The lid does stay propped up by itself so it is functional if you’re going to use it to apply a look. I’m leaving the plastic cover on mine because i despise powder on mirrors. The closure is magnetic. Some previous Vice palettes closures had automatic, button triggers which were more fun. Speaking of fun, the colors in the palette, and the packaging itself, were supposedly inspired by an oil slick. I don’t care what they were inspired by. All i care is COLORS!

The eyeshadow pans are arranged 5 by 4 and there’s a slot at the bottom for a double ended brush in metallic purple. One end of the brush is a packing paddle that is thick enough to be used for blending. The other end is a round, duo-fiber blender. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the round blender end (the fibers are too long, head too sparse, and overall too floppy), but I enjoy the paddle end a fair bit.

What You Get
Most of the shades are glittery or shimmery. There are a few mattes and softer textures but the rest sparkle and shine. Each of the 20 shadows are 0.03 oz (0.8 g) which totals to 0.6 oz (16 g). With the palette being priced at $60 USD this calculates to $100/oz.($6.25/g).

If this palette were priced according to the UD singles rate ( $19 for 0.05 oz. at $380/oz. ) this palette would cost a brow-raising sum of $228.

It would have been HOW much?!

It would have been HOW much?!

Side note: the singles have crept up in price again this year, (from $18 each to $19). The Moondusts are now $21…. =__=’ I think i’ll be buying Make Up Forever Singles from this point on. More product for the same price – or less if bought in bulk. I might make exceptions for Tonic, Sideline and Fireball but still, grrrr.

If the Vice 4 were priced like the Naked palettes $54 for 0.6 oz at $90/oz, the Vice 4 would be $54.

If it were priced like the Electric palette $49 for 0.4 oz. or $122.50 / oz, the Vice 4 would cost $73.

Overall, this palette is a pretty good deal. However, the other 2015 Holiday palette by Urban Decay, the Spectrum Palette, contains 15 x 0.05 oz which totals to 0.75 oz. At $55 it breaks down to $73.33 per oz, a most excellent deal for a palette with color. If the Vice 4 was priced like the Spectrum palette, it would cost $44. For the extra $$/oz, you’re basically paying for variety, and some extras: portability (spectrum has a box lid as opposed to a hinge lid), a big ass mirror, a double ended brush (synthetic) , and a matching makeup bag.

All swatches are two swipes with my fingers unless i noted otherwise with a little marking in eyeliner. I swiped the color on until it went opaque or attained pan color, and made an even line. It may be hard to see the eyeliner markings so here’s the list:

  • Colors with 3 swipes: Bitter, Grip, Low (not so great pigmentation)
  • Colors with 1 swipe: Grasshopper, C-Note, Arctic, Harlot, Robbery (superb pigmentation)

The top half of each swatch is over bare skin while  underneath the dotted line is over primed skin (UD Primer Potion Original). I swatched going down the columns – left to right – so the swatches on my arm go like go like so:

  • Bones – Framed – Discreet – Bitter
  • Grip – Fast Ball – Grasshopper – Flame
  • Deadbeat – 1985 – C-note – Low
  • Beat Down – Underhand – Arctic – Crowbar
  • Pandemonium – Harlot – Robbery – Delete

Here’s all 20 colors in various outdoor lighting (read: sunlight). As you’ll probably see, the primer didn’t affect opacity or make glitter/shimmer stick any better.

Most of the shades are gloriously complex. Okay not complex as duo-chromes and shifters, but they’re not boring. The shimmer/micro-glitter in most of the shades is different enough from the base color to make the eyeshadow look different from various angles and lighting. Here’s the Vice 4 Palette in artificial (indoor lighting).

Color Breakdown + Notes

Bones – cool, beige with a faint pink-grey base. It has a sheer golden sheen that reads as a satin and borders on being shimmery in some lighting. Bones looked like nothing special in the pan but i really love the way that it looks on skin. There’s a little something special about the gleam. It was pretty easy to work and fairly smooth. This is a great all over the lid, one-wash color for adding brightness to the eyes.

Framed – light peach-beige. Warm-based., reads slightly orange on me (my skin has cool yellow tones with a hint of olive) Intensely smooth and velvety buttery, i would pet the pan of eye shadow for fun if it didn’t waste product. Applies like a dream. I imagine this would be a matte highlight in most people NC25 and up. It’s a pretty good color corrector for discolored lids with purple-ly discolorations and good for brightening the hollows where the inner corners neighbor the nose.

Discreet – light, cool toned neutral colored thing with a lilac-mauve base. also buttery and dense but doesn’t feel as rich as Framed. it takes a little longer to blend out. still wonderful to use and makes for a great crease shadow on me (NC 15-20 for reference). It’s very smooth and a good inclusion as a transition crease color for fairer people but might read as ashy-dead on tanner complexions.

Bitter – terracotta based, matte brown. medium-dark.  the texture is smooth but the shadow feels thin and it’s not the most pigmented. This one didn’t blend as well as i would have liked. It looks really strong orange on me and it’s quite dark, so to wear it, i had to spend quite a bit of time and patience to diffuse it out. warm skin tones should have no problems wearing it, but olives beware.

Grip – neutral, dove-grey, like a powdered up oyster shell with silver shimmer added.This one sucked at gripping the skin. (i couldn’t resist) but seriously, get ready for some cleanup if you use a fluffy brush. It’s more like an over shadow than an eye shadow. I would reserve this for adding a sparkly kick over another cool toned eyeshadow to transform it. it is good for inner highlight but too micro-glittery to be a brow bone highlight. A bullet, domed, or pencil brush is your best bet to get color payoff with this eyeshadow.

Fast Ball – very fine magenta-pink shimmer loaded into an orange-coral base. wears like a shimmery satin and almost looks metallic. Texture was a little drier and thinner but it picks up well and I didn’t get any dust or fallout. I wish it was more pigmented right off the bat. I recommend using a dampened paddle brush to get full opacity quickly or fingers.

Grasshopper – bright, emerald green matrix with darker green, gold and silver shimmers. It has a bit of yellow that brightens the color up. Quite shimmery but it’s very rich-feeling and there’s minimal fallout if i pat instead of sweep it on. This is very pigmented and applies true to pan color with no fuss.

Flame –  golden micro glitter in a sunset orange base. It has a strong red component and might read pink-orange from some angles. This is one of my favorite colors in the palette but the fall out is a bit dangerous. I recommend using a dense paddle brush or a flat paddle brush, avoid pony hair brushes. It’ll kick up too much product and drop gold glitter all over your face. The sleeker the hairs the better (weasel, sable, etc.) You can also use a synthetic, paddle-concealer brush. Just dampen the head of the brush before picking up product and pat it on. it doesn’t feel gritty to me, despite how it looks in the pan and is moderately pigmented.

Deadbeat – cool, light black with steely shimmer and sparse silver micro glitter.  not terrible, not wow-worthy either. reads as mostly satin. Its a basic nice black with a little kick of shine, a nice addition to up the versatility of the palette. feels a little dry but blends just fine. It’s not the most pigmented which is actually nice because I can make the smokey black-ness in my crease be as subtle or as intense as i want it

1985 – medium, purple-toned fuchsia. quite bright and frosty. It’s very much like Woodstock, but with more purple. The texture is a little thin and dry to the touch but it blends well. This one works best with a dampened paddle brush or fingers for max color pay off. makes for a killer liner color with a mixing medium and applied with an angled brush.

C-Note – grey green with extremely fine silver, grey and teal micro-glitters. If sage was shimmery, it’d be c-note. This one is quite pigmented, and has a bit of fall out as the shadow tends to pill if applied with a heavy hand. It took me a few passes and sweeps to get an even layer as product tends to stick. if applied over a neutral powdery base shadow (like framed), it’s very bendable and diffuses out to a nice oyster-gray shadow. The finish reads as glittery metallic.

Low – warm dark brown with lots of gold and silver micro-glitters. For a lack of a better description, its like really pretty, sparkly dirt. It even feels a bit gritty like dirt. The name could not be more fitting because this one got a low approval rating. This one isn’t half bad as liner when mixed with a fluid or patted over a sticky base. Whatever you do, don’t sweep or swipe.

Beat Down – blue-violet with navy and plum micro shimmer. makes for a great liner color or a colorful smokey crease. pigmentation is decent UD standard. It’s stiffer in texture and a hard to blend without losing the color, so you’ll need to add more color and build intensity as you go along. A fluffy paddle brush is best. This one has a shimmery finish. the shimmer and shine wore off after 5 hours and left a smokey blackened indigo color (no primer)

Underhand – very fine burgundy, gold and pink shimmer in a plum base. There’s a hint of brown around the edges and it becomes a browned purple if you blend and diffuse it enough. This one glides on like silk and looks like a rich satin ribbon. It’s moderately pigmented. To get the full glorious plum color, a few pats with a finger should cut it. using a brush will yield brown around the edges.

Arctic – sea teal with a strong gold sheen, very pigmented and buttery. there are a couple of silver sparkles in the pan but none translate to the eye. It reads as a frosted satin to me most of the time and looks downright metallic when applied damp. This is what love looks like. Favorite eyeshadow of 2015? i think yes. I’m a sucker for blues.

Crowbar –  bronze, gold  and green micro shimmers loaded into a dark-brown matrix. This one is gorgeous but also has a tendency to fall out so it’s mildly annoying to work with. This one and Low are the most crumbly textured pans. I like to scrape some product up with an angled brush and add a mixing medium (Inglot Duraline) to turn it into an eye liner. Forget trying to blend with this one and definitely do your eyes before face base.

Pandemonium – warm, wine purple shimmer, in a browned-plum base.  kinda gritty. a glitter-adhesive base might be necessary for this one to get it to stick since most of the glitter fell out over the span of 4 hours, leaving a smokey purple color behind. If you can get everything to stick, its a beautiful color. patting with a flat brush is your best bet. color payoff is pretty good though.

Harlot – cool lavender with a touch of pink. pretty great as a pastel wash of color if applied lightly. the shadow is very pigmented so pan color/intensity isn’t an issue. it’s quite rich and buttery. applies like silk and is very workable. The resulting frosty satin finish is incredibly smooth. this is one of my favorites

Robbery – warm, bronzed brown with multi-tonal shimmer and a beautiful cold, golden sheen. It’s almost like liquid metal. The texture is very nice and applies opaque with no problem. It’s soft, but has no fallout, and is easy to blend. it’s complex enough to look good with a staggering range of skin tones (minus oompa-loompas) and eye colors.

Delete – warm , medium dark brown, with very, very fine pink and gold shimmers. Reads as mostly matte with a bit of satin glow. it reminds me of powdered cocoa. it’s great for smudging along the upper and lower lash-lines as a shadow liner. It’s got a drier texture so apply lightly and blend, then add some more. If you plop a whole bunch of color down at once it’ll be hard to diffuse.

Thought Round-Up
If you don’t mind shimmer and love color, this is a almost ideal palette, well worth the price for me.

4 of 20 are harder to work with: Low, Crowbar, Deadbeat and Bitter. The rest are pretty damn great.

It i had to choose 5 to promote to the permanent lineup, I would immediately choose Arctic, followed by Robbery, Harlot, C-note and Framed. Yes i choose a neutral despite my mini rant-letter in the beginning, but Framed’s texture is just that amazing. Fastball would be an honorary mention, but Fireball already exists.

Where to Get
The Vice 4 is available now at Sephora’s website (online only) or at Urban Decay’s Website. It should show up at Ulta and the usual Urban Decay haunts later as the Holiday season draws closer.

I got mine from the Urban Decay flagship store in Newport’s Fashion Island (where i went a little swatch happy before i bought my palette).  The palette is $60 USD at all locations.


Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Eyeshadow, On the Fence


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2 responses to “Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay – Swatches and Review

  1. shamblesanddrapery

    October 25, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    Wow. Thank you for such an amazingly in-depth review. This has just been released in the UK so your post has been very much appreciated! x


    • XYZ

      October 25, 2015 at 4:49 PM

      you’re welcome ^_^ . i hope it helped in your decision making process.



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