Redemption? Anastasia Beverly Hills Follows Up Subculture Fiasco With Prism Palette

Published on November 20, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

Can we just take a moment of silence for the Anastasia Bevery Hills Subculture palette?

ICYMI, that palette debuted a few months ago…and was immediately savaged by a huge number of YouTubers and online reviewers.  The shadows were super loose and people would hit pan the first time they swirled their brush in it.  The owner of the company eventually put out a statement that the palette was meant to be more of a “pressed pigment” palette, and that people were hitting pan and having extreme fallout because the shadows were meant to be used a different way.  Stephanie Nicole, who is usually known for being savage AF, actually gave a pretty good review of the palette where she talked about what the product was and how it was meant to be used.  I’ll include that here.

I was so in love with that grungy, 90s looking color selection; it was the antidote for the glut of red/brown/peach warm neutral/nude palettes that have been absolutely flooding the market the last couple of years and I was 100% here for it.  Even though I appreciated Stephanie Nicole’s review, I ended up not buying the palette – I know how I like to do my makeup, and I just don’t feel like this palette would mesh well with my application style.

Flash forward to about a month ago, and holiday releases are starting to come out.  I hear that ABH is releasing yet another new palette (I mean, c’mon – they were only going to be able to pay that light bill with Modern Renaissance palette for so long, amirite?!) and when I see it I’m intrigued.  It’s called the Prism palette and while it’s not the same color selection as the Subculture palette, it has sort of a similar feel and the shadows look to be more of the older, more emollient formula.  I watched a couple of early reviews, and I didn’t see any of the same problems with the shadows being powdery and then Sephora had their 20% off VIB/Rouge sale, so the deal was sealed.  I got this little velvet marvel in the mail with my fancy Flash 2-day shipping!

Let’s actually start with the packaging.  I don’t love that the outside is velvet – if you’ve ever seen whatever surface I’m working on when I do my show makeup, it is always covered with powder!  This is going to get so dirty the first time I actually use it for a real show look, and I don’t imagine it’s going to be very easy to clean.  I get that the velvet case is sort of their “thing” (both Modern Renaissance and Subculture have the flocked packaging as well), but it’s just not practical for those of us who just let it all fly when we’re getting ready.  Besides that, the design on the outside is nice enough, though it doesn’t look as sleek or sophisticated as their other two palettes.  I’m picky when it comes to things that are packaged in black and gold: it can either look really elegant or it can look like an awful 80s throwback, and this one really toes that line leaning towards 80s throwback.  It’s not the worst, but it’s just not packaging that speaks to me.  Luckily, the quality in this palette is where it counts – in the shadows!

ABH Palette

I swatched all of these shades and they applied beautifully.  Two of the dark mattes, Obsidian and Parallel went on and immediately settled into the texture of my arm, which made me a little concerned, but then I finessed it the tiniest bit with the included brush and it was gorgeous.  Since I apply my shadows with a brush (and the one in the palette is, IMHO, perfect!) I don’t have any worries about how these will perform.

L to R: Lucid, Eden, Unity, Sphinx, Osiris, Sphere, Obsidian, Dimension, Parallel, Pyramid, Throne, Saturn, Eternal, and Lure.  Applied over a base of Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer.

Lucid is absolutely gorgeous – it’s a white base with yellow gold reflect, and it applies pigmented and smooth.  The metallic/shimmers in this palette are a little uneven (not terribly so, but enough to comment on it) and this is definitely one of the best.  Eden is a nice deep peachy coral, and it’s matte and very consistent in its application.  I’m a little worn out on shades like this (with the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes, I officially hit my limit on peachy, cranberry, warm neutral mattes!), but this is on trend with them and it does look beautiful when applied.  Unity was a little patchy when I applied it, but it’s also pretty close to my own skintone, so I might have gone a little ham trying to get the swatch to be more visible.  Sphinx is a really nice bronze brown, very warm and the metallic shine is nice but not overpowering.  Osiris is definitely a favorite in this palette, a navy/purple base with pinkish reflects.  The glitter is lighter, but other than that it really reminds me of the Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Poe!  I think those two paired together could make a really interesting bold look.  Sphere is beautiful, but a pain in the ass.  Neon shades are always a little fussy, because of how much white pigment they need to use, so it doesn’t look nearly as bright on the skin as it does in the pan.  I definitely recommend using a white base for this shade to get more of the payoff, and pat it into the base to keep it from getting too muddy.  Obsidian is a matte black, though it’s not as black as it could be.  If you like a softer, almost charcoal sort of black matte for your looks, this is the shadow for you.  Dimension is a beautiful light purple with pink glitter, the lighter version of Osiris.  You could easily pair these two together for an interesting ombre as the glitters will complement each other nicely.  Parallel is a fantastic cool-toned brown; it’s matte but it almost seems to have like a bluish or a greenish undertone.  The color is rich and interesting and it’s easily my favorite matte in the palette, which is weird for me to say since I usually like dramatic pops of color!  Pyramid is a wonderful gold shade that isn’t just a straight up gold…it almost has a hint of rose gold to it?  Maybe a yellowy copper undertone?  I’m doing a shit job of explaining it, but it’s stunning and I love it.  Throne is another favorite, a black-based emerald metallic that also has a fair amount of subtlety to it.  Saturn is the only shade that feels a bit like a throwaway to me.  I don’t think there is any need to have both this deep burnt orange shade and Eden, and if I had to pick between the two I’d go with that peachier shade.  I know it’s here to help appease those warm neutral fanatics, but that’s valuable real estate that could have been filled by a much better option.  Eternal is a rosy copper shade that is wonderful – just enough sparkle to not freak out the glitterphobes, but still with a lot of shimmer and shine.  I love this color as well.  Lure is the final shade and it’s a nice matte mauve.  I don’t drool over shades like this, but the pigmentation is good and if you love mauves and plums, I think this will easily be a favorite for you because the quality is really good.

No Flash

No Flash

All in all, I’m not upset that I got this palette.  I think the color mix is very interesting, and I love that it had a similar vibe to the Subculture palette while offering a good mix.  I 100% do not understand the name – there is nothing about this palette that says prism to me.  When I first heard that it was going to be called the Prism palette, I seriously expected something more along the lines of the Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette, with a little representation of all shades of the rainbow.  So I think that’s a bit of a misstep, but otherwise I think this is a fun palette to play around with to get a nice mix of looks.  They did a good job of including at least a few mattes in various shades that will work as transition shades, and then working in fun pops of color that are unique but that can pair well together in a variety of ways.  It’s definitely not going to become my ride or die, but I like that they stepped away from the Modern Renaissance look and tried something very different.

For funsies, I’ll include Stephanie Nicole’s review of this palette as well.  I know her videos tend to be super long, but I always find them helpful and she’s one of the few YouTubers I still trust to give me an unbiased, unvarnished review.

This holiday is shaping up to be a sea of glittery, holographic sparkle mess (which I sort of love, let’s be real), but I’m glad that ABH tried to give us something that wasn’t traditional holiday and wasn’t gimmicky.  It felt like they made a real effort with this release and I appreciate that.  It doesn’t completely make up for the mess that was the Subculture palette…but it’s a start.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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