21 Eyeshadow Swatches! Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette review

When it comes to eyeshadows and the best quality eyeshadow palettes, Urban Decay is a bit of a fail safe for me. Their eyeshadows are often that lovely soft, almost buttery, kind of powder which makes blending and application an absolute breeeeze.

Urban Decay Cosmetics are probably most known for their Naked eyeshadow palettes – a range of wearable neutrals in different warm/cool tones, but what about their more creative, adventurous colours?

When I first started buying UD Cosmetics back in the early 2000’s, all my palettes were full of glittery, vibrant shades. I’m talking shimmery silvers, intense leaf greens and beautiful cobalt blues (oh gawd, back in the day when I actually DID wear colour on my eyelids). But in a world of Naked 1’s, 2’s and Smoky’s, where did all the colour go?

Well I tell you now. I FOUND THE COLOUR.

Enter the new Urban Decay FUll Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette. This limited edition set has 21 shades of their iconic eyeshadows. It’s actually the BIGGEST number of eyeshadows in any UD palette, but we all know, it’s not just about the size right?  

UD have cleverly organised this palette by colour family and in a range of matte and shimmer finishes, so you can have a coordinated coloured eye, with dimensional colour. This makes it a MILLION times more wearable, for those, like me, who don’t do colour very often! (seriously, the only time I wore colour this year was this red eyeshadow look).

Oh yeah, and it’s housed in an absolute beauty of a case. HIYA.

I know it’s not just about the case – but LOOK AT IT. It also houses a giant mirror inside and a high-quality double ended brush

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, a good brushes can make a huge difference. One end is a Tapered Crease for laying down shadow, blending in the crease and outwards. The other is a denser Shadow Brush to pack colour under the eye eye, in the socket and out corner. As with most brushes in UD Palettes, it’s very, very capable and worthy of a buy separately. 

Logistics covered, let’s take a closer look at the important bit. The colour.

So, apparently each eyeshadow in the Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette features UD’s Pigment Infusion System – a special blend of ingredients that gives every shade that velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying power and blendability.

I’ve taken the liberty (aka DELIGHT) of swatching each row on my arm and I can report that there are some discrepancies here. Some of the shades are the perfect model of what an Urban Decay eyeshadow is about – velvety, intense, blendable and long lasting.

Unfortunately, some of the shades are letting the side down and ‘must try harder, C+’ – I’m talking pale, gritty and frankly weeeeak pigment performance. 

It’s quite evident from the swatches below which colours look intense and full, and which look powdery and dusty – take a look!


All courtesy of the Urban Decay website, because as if I can be bothered to detail all 21 shades eh? 😉

  • Alchemy (deep fuchsia satin)
  • Gossip (bright metallic pink w/subtle floating pearl)
  • Paranoia (soft metallic blue-pink)
  • Warning (deep metallic copper)
  • Seize (bright metallic coral w/subtle floating pearl)
  • Jones (metallic orange w/subtle floating pearl)
  • Midnight Blaze (black matte w/yellow-gold pearl)
  • Calavera (bright yellow matte w/subtle floating pearl)
  • Goldmine (metallic yellow-gold)
  • Hundred (deep metallic forest green)
  • Hatter (vibrant green w/tonal micro-sparkle)
  • Mean (bright metallic lime green)
  • Minx (deep navy matte w/floating tonal pearl)
  • Blindsided (bright teal blue matte w/floating pearl)
  • Metamorphosis (vibrant periwinkle blue w/micro-sparkle)
  • Delirious (deep plum matte w/subtle floating pearl)
  • Sketch (metallic medium purple)
  • Faded (lavender w/gold shimmer)
  • Platonic (black matte w/iridescent glitter)
  • Iced (oyster silver w/shimmer)
  • Bump (white matte)

Full Spectrum Palette Swatches

So this is it, the whole sh-bang. Every colour, in it’s own little coordinated colour family.

Putting them all next to each other, you can see the lovely looks that you could create with these – even the red/orange family looks quite wearable to me.

Overall – if you wear colour then this is a great investment for you. The shades can also be mixed together to make other shades (if you can remember your colour wheel from primary school – hands up?)

To be honest, the quality of this palette does not live up to it’s cult sister palettes due to the inconsistencies in texture but the colour choice is excellent and it’s a really decent selection if you’re a makeup fan who likes having options. 

If you’re looking to have one just ‘in the back room‘, then this is a great choice. The casing also gives me the sort of thrills that I’m sure only addicts will understand.

At RRP £43, it’s pricey (though still cheaper than this Charlotte Tilbury Sculpt & Glow) but I mean, it’s pretty much the only colour eyeshadow palette you’ll ever need. It’s got CHRISTMAS PRESENT written all over it. 

Given that my eyeshadow preference is pretty much permanent taupe, grey or black (like my heart LOL), it’s not something I would buy for myself but I have colour-loving friends who willingly took this off my hands.


Buy here from House of Fraser – where they often do a 10% off deal

Or here from John Lewis – where they always guarantee to match competitor deals.

What do YOU think? Is coloured eyeshadow your  jam? Would you consider getting one “for the collection”? 

Who even remembers primary colours and the colour wheel from school? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

Zoe Bayliss Wong
Zoe Bayliss Wong

Zoe is a Forbes ’30 under 30′ finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.

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