Monday, February 2, 2015

Urban Decay Vice LTD Palette: In Depth Review & Swatches

I picked up the Vice LTD palette from Urban Decay awhile back but I didn't think I would keep it until I saw the fabulous reviews from other bloggers. So I decided to take the plunge and review it for you guys even though there was some insane controversy over the release of this product. 

Urban Decay says this is an extremely limited palette and I do not own any of the previous VICE palettes so this one looked like it would be my favorite curation of colors (the neon packaging helped, too).

The Urban Decay Vice LTD palette retails for $58 at ULTA only and contains 20 shades of eyeshadows, of which 9 are exclusively in this palette. 11 other shadows can be found in other palettes, so I'm listing them all below for you:

Crystal (Book of Shadows IV), Junkshow (15th Anniversary Palette), Backdoor (Smoked Palette), Deeper (15th Anniversary Palette), Nameless (Shattered Palette), Vaporize (Anarchy palette - reformulated) and Perversion (Book of Shadows II), Freakshow (Fun Palette), Blitz (VICE Palette), Last Sin (VICE 3 Palette), Anonymous (VICE Palette)

I'm lucky that I don't have that many duplicates, I only have the Book of Shadows and I didn't bother buying UD smaller palettes or the other VICE's, but if you have been collecting, you're definitely going to have repeats.

Inside some typical psychadelic cardboard packaging you will find this hard-plastic neon-green case with a push-button. This palette is great because you press the button gently and the top raises up on its own, which means you don't have to pry at it with your fingernails to get it open or worry about magnets not sticking closed during travel.

I love the bejeweled "UD" decal on the front, it adds some glitzy feeling to the otherwise Nickelodeon slime green color selection (I'm not even knocking it, I love it!).

Upon opening the palette, an over-sized mirror greets you, which is upright and ready for makeup application (perfect for on-the-go if you don't mind lugging this rather large and bulky palette around).

There's a nice variety of candy-colored shades in here, ranging from hot fuchsia, muted neutrals, to pops of glittery and metallic orange, yellow, golds, and some gem-toned shades such as sapphire and emerald.

If you're a fan of mattes, this palette is not for you. Urban Decay does a lot of things right, but mattes are rarely among those - there are only 4 matte shades: Backdoor (cool dark brown), Perversion (soft black), Anonymous (peachy cream) and Laced (soft pink-nude taupe).

The mattes, especially the darker shades, are rather patchy and more difficult to blend than the satins, metallics, shimmers and glitters. If you love glitz and pops of color in your eye looks, you will love the VICE LTD palette.

There is also an exclusive double-ended brush in this palette but it's smaller than others I have received in my Naked 2 and Naked 3 palettes. There's an all-over shadow brush (right side) and a crease brush (left side). 

The bristles are a tad stiff on the all-over shadow brush but it has a nice density. The blending brush seems to have a rather small point so I don't think it would be too useful for creating a blown-out effect, but rather applying more concentrated color to the crease.

I didn't find myself reaching for this brush because it was a little bit small for the purposes I would use it for.

As you can see from my swatches above (if you want to see the photos larger, click to enlarge), there is good news and there is bad news.

The poorest performing shades were definitely Backdoor (patchy and dry), Perversion (just not black enough, patchy - has to be layered a lot), Junkshow (powdery, needs building up for full opacity), and Laced (dry, hard to get any color payoff from this one).

The good news is great, out of the entire palette I was only disappointed by 4 shades. Roadstripe is sheer but has a beautiful duo-chrome pink to blue shift, so it makes a wonderful highlight. Crystal and Provocateur are to die for light blue and mauve shades with plenty of shimmer that will make any eye look pop. Deeper, Heat and Vaporize are buttery smooth to-die-for shades that will enhance any look. 

Goddess and Floss were okay, but that might be just because I'm not a huge fan of chunky glitter fallout - I suspect these are great over a black base and Floss is definitely superior to Goddess in consistency and shadow quality. Although Disco is also a glitter it seems to have the particles embedded in the formula better, making it easier to blend out. 

Any shade I didn't particularly mention performs as I expect from the Urban Decay brand (since reformulation of their eyeshadows) - can blend easily, has a smooth consistency and good color payoff.

For my look, I used the following colors and created a look exclusively from the Urban Decay VICE LTD palette:

  • Crystal - all over the eyelid
  • Anonymous - brow-bone highlight shade, underneath eyebrow
  • Laced - as a transition shade in the crease
  • Deeper - to define the crease
  • Blitz - inner under-eye corner
  • Hoodoo - outer under-eye


This palette is worth your time if you're an avid Urban Decay collector or you don't own too many palettes from them (to avoid repeat shades). I do appreciate that all of the shadows are their new pigment-infused formulation so you're getting tons of color payoff with most shades. 

If you like fun shades and like to experiment with color, this palette is definitely for you (specifically if you didn't purchase an Electric Palette). 

For the bold, adventurous and wild at heart, I give it two thumbs up and a very respectable score of 9/10.


  1. Great review! Thanks! Quick question, how do you get your swatches so sharp and even? Do you use a stencil or just sorta fill it in freestyle? :)

  2. Hey! Thanks so much I'm glad you found the review helpful! I try to give you a very honest perspective on everything I post about.

    I do my swatches by just using 2 long pieces of transparent tape down the length of my forearm as guides but I freestyle the actual swatches in between the tape. It helps if you use the same finger (such as your index finger) repeatedly rather than trying to use all your fingers... I find that gives the most precise look. Hope that helped!! :)


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