Urban Decay is a great, trendsetting brand known for their bright, innovative eyeshadows. However, at $17 or more a pop, it can be quite expensive to buy their eyeshadows as singles. Luckily, they also put out a lot of limited edition value-priced makeup sets that make it much more affordable for you to collect their lovely colors. One such set is the Book of Shadows. This holiday season they have released their Book of Shadows Vol. 4 which offers 16 shades (10 of which are new and exclusive to this palette) for $64.
So this year’s Book of Shadows (Volume 4) palette includes:
- 16 eye shadows in Blue Bus (periwinkle blue sheen), Gunmetal (gunmetal gray with silver glitter), Cobra (smoky green with gold shimmer), Baked (rich golden bronze shimmer), Bender (moss green sheen), Gravity (violet with silver glitter), Lost (neutral brown shimmer), Hijack (metallic muted teal), Midnight Cowgirl (golden beige with gold glitter), Sin (light shimmering champagne), Midnight Rodeo (beige shimmer with silver glitter), Crystal (pale icy blue shimmer), Bust (taupe sheen), Missionary (light taupe sheen), Skimp (ivory peach sheen), Zephyr (pearly cream sheen)
- 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion (carbon black)
- SuperCurl Mascara in black
- Eyeshadow Primer Potion
- Mini Keychain Speaker
Packaging (I put this first because it really pisses me off that it keeps getting worse each year)
My biggest complaint with the last Book of Shadows (vol. 3) was that it’s packaging was unnecessarily bulky and gimmicky. So this year I feel the need to complain MORE because the packaging is even bulkier and gimmicky-er.
As usual, the top of this kit opens up to a mirror and some decorative popup but there is no makeup on the top making it wasted space and adding nonessential bulk to the packaging. Additionally, this year they decided to include a mini speaker, a phone stand, and a QR code card so you can use your phone to watch how-to videos on looks you can create with this year’s shades. Personally, I don’t want to watch tutorial videos on my phone (but, if I did, it already has speakers), and I would much rather do so on my iPad or laptop so the mini speaker is a complete waste of money and materials to me. The price of this palette ($64) is also about $10 more than last year’s Book of Shadows, probably in order to pay for this stupid speaker. And, of course, the packaging is even bulkier than last year to cover the extra space that this junk takes up. And, the QR codes are so tiny that they are a pain in the butt to scan anyway. And, I couldn’t get my iPad to recognize them so I was stuck watching them on my tiny phone screen. And, the videos weren’t even that creative with their use of shades. And, they are very repetitive. Yes, we get it: you want us to use Primer Potion before we put on our eyeshadow. No need to say it 5 times. I think they actually shot that part once and put the exact same footage in all 5 videos.
So, as you can probably tell that I’m not that much of a fan of this year’s Book of Shadows. Aside from the packaging, I’m not that impressed with the color selection. Maybe they used all their creativity on their 15th Anniversary Palette because there are some really awesome shades in that one. Honestly, only about half of shades in BOS4 are really interesting to me. I like Baked, Hijack, Sin, Lost, Crystal, Bust, and Zephyr but Baked and Sin are part of the permanent collection and not new shades.
So what about the rest of the colors? Well the rest of them are either not great quality to me (like Blue Bus that looks great in the pan but goes on so sheer its totally worthless as a bright color) or packed with so much chunky glitter that pretty much no one thats not a tween will want to wear them.
I am glad they finally decided not to put another matte black shade in the palette. It seems like I have a matte black shade from them in just about every palette I’ve bought so I’m totally all right with this one not having one.
Want to know the breakdown of new/permanent shades? According to Fleur De Force, it is:
- New Shades: HiJack, Missionary, Bender, Crystal, Lost, Blue Bus, Gravity, Bust, Midnight Rodeo, Zephyr
- Previously Limited Edition Shades: Cobra, Skimp
- Permanent Collection: Baked, Sin, Midnight Cowgirl, Gunmetal
I like the 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner. I already have a couple shades of this in brighter colors but having the black is nice too. These eyeliners look like pens, but they are really the wand type. I prefer the pens because I think they are easier to use but the formula for these is nice. While it is waterproof, it actually washes off fairly easily with eye makeup remover – which is not true of some other brands of waterproof eyeliner. The applicator is very fine tipped so you can get a fine line with it but it takes some practice to get used to the wand applicator. I’m glad they didn’t do yet another pencil eyeliner this year though.
The Primer Potion is a nice addition as well, but I usually use Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which I think has a little better consistency. But, the Primer Potion works fine and I will use it for traveling or as a backup if I run out of Shadow Insurance.
The SuperCurl Mascara actually is pretty curling but its not very volumizing or lengthening. And its pretty much just a sample size.
And, as I’ve already mentioned, I think the speaker is a worthless waste of money and would MUCH rather they skipped that nonsense and made the packaging more compact.
- Most of the eyeshadows are good quality
- 24/7 liquid eyeliner is a nice bonus
- Buying just 4 of these shades individually would more than the price of the whole palette
- Some of the shades are not good quality
- There is TOO MUCH GLITTER in some shades
- The packaging is way too bulky
- The speaker may be useless for you
- Quality: 4/5
- Uniqueness: 4/5
- Value: 5/5
- Packaging: 2/5
- Overall: 3/5
So is this Book of Shadows worth your $64?
Its hard to say if this year’s Book of Shadows is worth its price. It is more expensive than in the past and doesn’t have as many awesome shades as last year’s, but if you like even 4 of the shades then its cheaper than buying it alone, so even if its not as great of a deal as it could have been, it is still a pretty good deal. But that’s up to you. There are a ton of other value sets out now that are great so you may want to pick something else with less gimmicky, bulky packaging. But if you are a devout Urban Decay fan like I am, you may just want to swallow your pride and pay the extra $10 for the stupid speaker just to get the few new exclusive shades in this collection.