Honest Thoughts on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

anastasia beverly hills subculture

Hi, ladies! Wow, it’s been ages since I actually sat here and wrote a product review something on this blog. If you guys didn’t know, I created a YouTube channel last year and I basically spent most of my time creating video content. You can find my videos here. Please do subscribe, if you haven’t already! =)

Anyway, let’s talk about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette, shall we? I received this palette from my mother-in-law last Christmas. I honestly haven’t heard much about this product before, so like a curious  and nosy child, I went on to Google to pry for information. Apparently, Subculture is quite a controversial product in the beauty community.

If you do a quick search, you’ll find a lot of mixed  reviews (more negative than positive) about this palette. I was taken aback, but I figured I need to give this palette some justice. So despite my better judgment, I gave this bad boy a spin and I’m ready to give my honest and unbiased opinion.

First off, let’s quickly talk about the packaging. It is made with high quality cardboard with a smooth velvet cover similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette. I’m not a fan of the packaging because the material is a major dirt magnet. It comes with a decent size mirror and a synthetic dual-ended brush. The flap has a magnetic closure.

I like the brush that it came with as it works well with the product. The blending brush is soft and fluffy, while the flat shader brush is dense enough to pack the color on to my lid.

Shades and Pigments

The ABH Subculture Palette has 14 shades – 11 mattes, 2 glitters, and 1 holographic. The colors are unique enough to create tons of different looks – from neutral to bold.

All of the shades are highly pigmented and you only need to dip your brush ever so lightly to get the right amount of product. Who doesn’t love eye shadows with good pigmentation, right? But Subculture has too much pigment that it’s easy to go over board. You have to take control, otherwise you’ll end up looking like someone punched you in the eye.


Too Powdery?

Many despise this palette due to the fact that it does have a lot of kick back (powder residue when you dip or swirl your brush to the product). I have experienced this myself and I would nod my head in agreement. The thing is, all eye shadows have powder kick back because that’s the nature of pressed powders. Go grab your face powder, contour powder, blusher and even highlighter and do a quick brush swirl on them. Without a doubt, you will see some powder residue. However, with Subculture, it’s too much. I’ve seen videos on YouTube where people are swirling their brush on the product and they hit pan in a matter of seconds. I’m not going to do that because it’s a waste of product. I do have the ABH Modern Renaissance and it doesn’t have that much powder fall out compared to Subculture.

Poor Blendability?

Right off the bat, blendability could use some major improvement. The matte shades are difficult to work with because they tend rub off when you blend, especially All Star, Axis, Untamed, Rowdy, and Fudge. I find that these shades don’t stick even when your lids are primed. They move around while you blend, resulting to patchiness. You have to keep packing the color until you get an even coverage.

On the other hand, the glitter shades are a joy to work with. They have a semi-creamy texture so they stay put once you pat them on the lid. My favorite is Cube since I don’t have anything quite like it. It’s a holographic shade that turns into pink, blue, or violet depending on the base color you put on your eyelid.

With that said, I wouldn’t think blendability is hopeless. I’ve played with this palette enough to say that it does require a lot of work to blend the product. You’ll get there eventually, you just have to be patient.

Below are some looks I’ve created using the Anastasia Subculture Palette. 

Crease – Dawn | Inner and Outer corner – Fudge | Center of the lid – Adorn |

Lower Lashline – Fudge and Adorn

Crease – Roxy | Lid – All Star | Center of the lid – Electric

Lower Lashline – New Wave


Final Thoughts

I am not a professional makeup artist nor a pro at eye shadows, but here’s my final thought: Use this palette with an open mind.

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette is not for everyone because it requires great blending skills for it to work. However, if you’re someone who likes to be challenged, this palette is worth a try. And if you’re really interested in trying it out (and you have the budget for it), then forget everything I said, forget all the reviews you read online and just see it for yourself. Again, it is not the worst palette out there, so have fun and experiment!

As for me, I’m holding on to it because somehow, I found a way to make it work. How? Have patience. Be in control. Don’t overthink.

Julie Alontaga is the Beauty Content Creator and Editor of As Told By Julz. She works as a VA-SEO Specialist for a Web Development Company based in Australia. When she's not at work, she spends her free time binge watching movies and TV series, reading books, cooking/baking, or playing SIMS 4.

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