Subculture: Anastasia Beverly Hills – A First Look

Subculture: Anastasia Beverly Hills – A First Look

Subculture High End Eyeshadow Palette

It’s not often that I get quite as excited about something as I was about the release of the Subculture palette. I knew the release date. My alarm was set early, although in the end for no reason. I refreshed the ‘New In’ page way more times than I would like to admit. And then, well I bought it. Anti-climactic I know, but don’t worry, there is nothing anti-climactic about this palette. In fact, there has been so much drama around Subculture so that’s not even possible!

The reason I was so excited about the Subculture release was purely because of my love for the Modern Renaissance Palette. I know, I know, I really never stop going on about it. But I can’t help that I’m obsessed! The Modern Renaissance palette was the first bold eyeshadow palette I have ever possessed. Before that, I was a Naked 3 kind of girl. Lovely colours yes, but just not much variation. The Modern Renaissance palette really changed the game for me, it brought me out of my metaphorical makeup shell. I would even go as far as to say it made me more confident as a person.

So naturally, I’m expecting the Subculture palette to achieve the same status and live up to the hype I have built up in my head.

Initial Thoughts

What initially struck me about the Subculture palette was the sheer range of colours. Anastasia Beverly Hills seriously know how to formulate a varied eyeshadow palette where all the colours just work. Even within the extensive colour range, there is a fantastic mixture of warm and cool toned shades. Subculture is the kind of palette you look at and immediately think of a million different colour combinations and looks that you want to create.

There has been a lot of controversy about this palette, and I am going to address that in this post. Now, a lot of people are disappointed with the kickback, blending and fallout of this palette. And I am not disagreeing with those people. The formula is noticeably different to Modern Renaissance. But, I have seen a lot of reviews and YouTube videos where people are literally digging their brushes into the palette. A little goes a long way with these shadows, as it does with Modern Renaissance, so that is just really unnecessary. I have also had no problems with blending and oxidation of the shadows. But, that being said, this is a first look, I haven’t had a chance to play around with it fully. However, after watching some reviews, I did blend a few together on my arm and didn’t have any problems.

Subculture colours grungy makeup high end eyeshadow

The Metallics

As a move away from the Modern Renaissance palette, Subculture has swapped out the signature light, sparkly shades in favour for shiny metallics. And, when I first watched this palette and started to put some looks together, this became a real problem for me. Basically, I tend to base all of my eyeshadow looks around a classic smokey eye. So, I need a lighter shade for my inner corners that this palette doesn’t necessarily provide. The only reason I can think that the lighter shades aren’t necessarily provided in this palette, is because then you will be more likely to also buy the Modern Renaissance palette. I can see why as these two palettes have a lot of cross-over shades that work brilliantly together! I don’t actually think the swatches of these shadows do these colours justice, but people love swatches!

However, after using the palette a couple of times, I have begun to branch out from the traditional smokey eye and really appreciate this palette for what it is. So, here’s a run down of the Metallics:


It’s actually surprisingly difficult to get to grips with this colour just from looking at photos of the palette. In photo’s it looks like a plain white shadow, but in real life, its so much more. This actually has a purple/pink metallic reflection, which is great for using with the cooler tones. This is actually a really cool layering shade to put on top of the other shadows to add a bit more depth!


On the Subculture page on the Anastasia Beverly Hill’s website, they describe this as a ‘Lime-gold’. And, although this is not entirely inaccurate, I would say ‘gold’ is a bit of a stretch. I mean, it’s yellow. This is actually a really interesting colour. And, although it wasn’t one of my favourites to begin with, it’s fast becoming one. It’s a yellow shade with a lime green metallic sheen, and it’s actually a lot more sparkly than it looks.


This is a classic bronze metallic with gold/rose gold metallics. Although this is one of the more standard shades in the palette, it’s also one of the most beautiful and pigmented!

If you want to fully appreciate the pigmentation and colour of these metallic shadows, then I would definitely recommend applying them with your finger or a damp brush, just to make sure the look is super intense.

Subculture Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Matte Shadows

This is when the pigmentation truly hits the fan. Until you’ve used the Subculture palette, or even any Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows, then you don’t know what pigmentation is. These shadows are seriously insane.


This is a classic, light coral colour, perfect for creating a super cute peachy look.


Okay, so this is a public service announcement for those of you out there with paler skin. This is not, I repeat, this is not an all over base shadow colour. It’s not. If you have tanned skin, then you may be able to get away with it.

It’s actually describes as a ‘sand’ colour, but don’t let that deceive you, as it does have strong orange undertones.


On the website, this is described as a cool-toned ‘Sage Green’, and I would actually say that’s pretty accurate. I really love this colour and I can’t wait to try to create some looks with it!


This one is pretty self-explanatory in terms of colour, and, it pretty much does what it says on the tin. What I love about the Subculture palette though is the fact that in amongst the bold colours, you can still find a few classics. This just makes it a fantastic all-around palette for any occasion.

New Wave

This is a true orange colour, and by far one of my favourites in the palette. Honestly, I did not expect to love these orange and yellow toned shadows so much, but I just cannot stop gravitating towards them!

All Star

Anastasia Beverly Hills describes this as ‘Vintage Wine’, which seems way too pretentious for my liking. Basically it’s purple with burgundy undertones.


This is a very cool-toned Green/Blue described as ‘Tarnished Green”.


This is described as a ‘Slate Grey’, which has some more brown undertones, which would make it great for more subtle looks.


A fabulous mustard yellow, which works fantastically with the other yellow and peach toned colours in the palette.


This is one of the colours that I saw in the photos of the palette which immediately drew me to it. This is another Blue/Green shade which is leaning slightly more towards the blue end of the spectrum.


This blackened purple works really well with Cube layered over to bring even more depth to your look!

Overall Thoughts

Although I don’t love it quite as much as my Modern Renaissance Palette just yet, the quality of both products seems similar to me. I think it’s such a shame that some people haven’t been loving this product and that it hasn’t been the quality they wanted. I’m no makeup artist, so I can’t say with any authority what is good quality and what isn’t. So if you’re still on the fence about whether to get this or not, I would recommend going through a few more reviews first!

If you love a bold eyeshadow look, then I would definitely recommend checking this palette, or the Modern Renaissance palette out. But, if you’re into a more natural makeup look, then I doubt this will be the palette for you to be honest. This post is not trying to sway you in any way about buying the Subculture palette. Honestly, if the bad reviews have put you off spending your hard-earned money, I get it. But, I just wanted everyone to be able to get a closer look at the colours and my initial thoughts!

Do you own this palette? If so, how have you found yours? What are your favourite colours? Also, I’m currently on the look out for my next palette purchase. So, if anyone has recommendations then let me know in the comments!





  1. August 2, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    I was like you! Super excited to get my hands on this palette. At the last second, I decided to wait to see what people thought about it. I have to say I was super disappointed by all the negative reviews. I really wanted this palette, because I don’t own anything like these colors. I’m glad to hear that you and a few fellow bloggers have enjoyed this palette. I think I’m going to go into Ulta or Sephora and test this palette out. Great review love xxx

    Melina |

    • Alice Cox
      August 3, 2017 / 8:23 am

      Thank you lovely 😊 simply because of the mixed reviews surrounding it, I think it’s a good idea to just go and test it out for yourself. It’s just so odd like I expected there to be so much love surrounding this palette and now there is just so much backlash! Xx

      • August 3, 2017 / 2:20 pm

        completely agree! Surprised not everyone loved it! xx

  2. Elly
    August 2, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    I tried mine for the first time today – like you I was super excited for the release as modern ren is one of my favourite palettes! I literally just tapped the shadows after seeing all the reviews about how powdery it was and most of the ones I used worked fine! The only colour I have difficulty with was rowdy – it just looked muddy when I tried to blend it out 🙁


    • Alice Cox
      August 2, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      Yeah I honestly thought a lot of the reviews where they were talking about how powdery it is were going a bit overboard. It’s like obviously if you dig your brush in for like 10 minutes you’re going to pick up a lot of product! I’ve found that with rowdy too, maybe it’s just the undertones of the colour? 🙂

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