ABH Subculture: Hit or Miss?

img_5372.jpgThe Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette has been causing quite a stir in the beauty world since its release. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ll be familiar with the coveted Modern Renaissance palette that pretty much every beauty guru has in their collection. You can read my blog post about it here.

Some have been calling Subculture the sister palette of Modern Renaissance, whilst I’d be more inclined to refer to it as the long lost cousin. I, along with pretty much the rest of the world, am a huge fan of the MR, it being my most used palette since I bought it last July, and subsequently have almost hit pan on most of the shades. So, when I first heard rumbles of a second ABH palette I was pretty damn excited, intrigued to see what it would look like. I must admit, when I first saw the images of Subculture, I wasn’t all that impressed. It gave me autumnal, forest-y, earthy vibes, which definitely caught my attention, but I feel as though the colour scheme is a bit all over the place. When I look at MR, my eyes instantly group 4/5 shades together to create a look, but with Subculture I find that they don’t all work together. Don’t get me wrong, I instantly knew I had to get my hands on it, but it didn’t appeal to me quite as much as the warm toned pinks and reds of the MR. img_5370.jpg

I bought Subculture on the release day from the ABH UK website, over the moon that I wouldn’t be forced to wait ages for it to be available to us Brits, and that I wouldn’t be required to fork out for the extortionate shipping and custom fees. I opted for the free shipping, not wanting to spend anymore than the £42 for the palette I was already paying, but I was pleasantly surprised that it arrived at my house on Monday (31st), just 4 days after placing my order.

So, how does it compare to the Modern Renaissance?

It’s no secret that Subculture has been truly ripped apart by beauty gurus, some claiming the fall out was shocking, others insisting the colours are ridiculously difficult to blend. After hearing all the negative reviews, it put me off and I quite frankly, I wondered why I had even bothered to purchase it. It look me a full 5 days to work up the courage to play around with it, terrified I was going to be faced with a powdery mess of colours.


I’m not going to lie; this palette does have a lot of fallout. But, so does MR, and honestly it’s nothing you can’t handle. You just have to make sure to tap the excess powder off your brush before applying it to your skin.

The eyeshadows themselves are crazy pigmented, just like MR, with the exception of duochrome shades Electric and Cube which require a little more build up. The formula, whilst a little powdery, is really soft and smooth. Adorn, a shimmery metallic shade is a truly beautiful golden-copper, and I can see it becoming a well loved shade.

At the time of writing this review, I have to admit that I’ve only used a handful of them, so I can’t fully comment on the quality of darker shades such as Axis, Untamed and Rowdy, however the shades I have tried I’m relatively impressed with.


Let’s all ignore my dodgy eyebrow, shall we?

The look I created was by no means my best work, and something I really wasn’t all that happy with but to be perfectly honest, I simply could not be bothered to take it off and start again.

I started by using the shade Dawn, which unfortunately was less than impressive. I couldn’t even see it on my skin as it was so pale, and I abandoned it pretty quickly. In its place, I used Roxy, a really pretty coral/peach colour as an easy transition shade and ran it through my crease. This shade is something I can see myself using again and again as it’s so nice and subtle. I found the shadow blended pretty nicely. I then chose to use New Wave, a more orangey colour in the outer V, and loved it so much I put it in the crease too. To be honest, I had no idea what I was trying to achieve with this look and pretty much just yolo’ed (is yolo still a thing?) my way through.

Edge, a mustardy-yellow, has intrigued me since I first opened the palette, and I patted this all over my lid. I found Edge had slightly more fall out than some of the other shadows, and my brush actually left tiny dents in the pan. I decided to ditch the brush and use my finger instead, which worked pretty well, but I found this colour just didn’t want to blend. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about these eyeshadows being difficult to blend and I definitely see where they are coming from.

Because I am a massive sucker for duochrome, I used Electric, a mix between green and gold, over the top of Edge, again applying it with my finger. Electric is definitely more noticeable when you use it over the top of another colour.

I felt like the look was missing something, so I decided to put a tiny amount of All Star on the outer V, attempting to blend it into the crease. All Star was much darker and browner than I initially realised, it’s no where near as red as it looks in the pan. Unfortunately, this ended up ruining the whole look, as when blended with other shadows it just turned into this ugly muddy colour, that was so difficult to blend out.



The final look? Not overly impressed…

In an attempt to save the look, I used Cube as an inner corner and brow bone highlight, which I really loved. Despite not looking like much when initially swatched, it’s much more pigmented and prettier when you build it up.

Overall, Subculture is an OK palette. It’s not my favourite palette I own, and it probably won’t be one I reach for all that often. I think it’s one of those palettes where there are some shadows in it that you absolutely love and end up using them all the time, but alongside shades from other palettes. I am still yet to try the greens in the palette so I could change my mind, but for now I’m not overly in love. Is it worth the hype? In my opinion: No. Do I regret buying it? Again, no. I think once I’ve stopped being so scared of the colours, and actually try and create some better, bolder looks I’ll probably like it a lot more. I’ve seen some really nice creations all over Twitter, Youtube and Instagram, so I know it can be done! But for now, Subculture hasn’t truly amazed me.

Over to you: Do you own Subculture? What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me, or has it become your new go-to palette?


3 thoughts on “ABH Subculture: Hit or Miss?

  1. Makeup & Beauty Blog says:

    i love the colors of this palette! yeah i feel like modern renaissance has some fallout too, but i can still work with it so its no biggie

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