Urban Decay The Black Palette Review & Swatches

** This post was written by Fiona. She no longer blogs for Swatch And Learn. However, Mary still continues to blog and will be happy to reply to your comment. **

Fan of black? Oh, yes, I am! I love makeup color of all sorts, but I have a soft spot for darker tones. They’re so mysteriously pretty, and in the right places, they really define your features!

So when I saw Urban Decay The Black Palette, I made a beeline straight to it. And before I even finished reading the back (it says, “Eyeshadow dipped in black. Dangerous sparkly-shift jewel tones plus a sooty matte black shadow…”), I already was clutching onto a set and holding to it for dear life.

How does the UD Black Palette fare against my high expectations?

Urban Decay The Black Palette Swatches & Pictures

Swatches on Eden Primer Potion

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero

Urban Decay Black Dog Swatches

Left: Wet Liner, Light Application & Heavy Application; Right: On Eden Primer

Black Dog is the only matte color in this palette. When UD said it’s a “sooty” black, they really meant it! I felt like I was applying ash on my lids (in a good way, even if it doesn’t sound that way :P).


Urban Decay Sabbath Swatches

Left: Wet Liner, Light Application & Heavy Application; Right: On Eden Primer

This color reminds me of royalty for some reason. It’s a dark blue that looks noble and inconspicuous, yet it has a slight shimmer to it to catch attention. In some angles, it looks black, and in others, it looks bluer.


Urban Decay Barracuda Swatches

Left: Wet Liner, Light Application & Heavy Application; Right: On Eden Primer

I would describe Barracuda as an antique pewter. I was expecting just a dark silver, but it has depth and looks like both a cool tone and a warm tone at the same time.



Urban Decay Cobra Swatches

Left: Wet Liner, Light Application & Heavy Application; Right: On Eden Primer

Big surprise for me. I tried Cobra last thinking I wouldn’t like it, but it’s now my fave of the palette. It’s greenish, it’s mossy-ish, it’s shimmery, and it’s beautiful.


Urban Decay Jet Swatches

Left: Wet Liner, Light Application & Heavy Application; Right: On Eden Primer

I thought I would like this the most, but it’s just a plummy color with a slight shimmer; albeit, it’s still pretty. It’s good to have in your collection, but not very unique.


Urban Decay Libertine Swatches

Left: Wet Liner, Light Application & Heavy Application; Right: On Eden Primer

Another color that I thought I would love, but I only like it. When you first apply it, it looks like a true green with sparkles (reminds me of Christmas), but if you smudge/blend it, it has a slightly brown tone to it for some reason.

Claims: OK; Product: TRUSTED

    Deep, dark & alluring colors
    X Dangerously sparkly

Key Notes

  • Name: Urban Decay The Black Palette
  • What I Paid: $43 CAD
  • What’s Included: 6 x 1g/0.04oz. Shadows, Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden, 0.03 oz. Travel-size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
  • Where to Buy: Exclusive to Sephora online & in-store

Urban Decay Black Palette Review

This is the 2nd UD palette that I’ve tried. And after absolutely l-o-v-i-n-g the Urban Decay Ammo Shadow Box, I went into this with a little bit too much hope. I was slightly disappointed at first. Since then I’ve grown to like Urban Decay The Black Eye Shadow Palette.

What caught my eye originally was how the colors look in the pans – they’re dark, but their underlying hue still peeks through beautifully. However, I found out they’re much darker on the skin and you don’t see as much of the color. They can appear to be slightly “muddy” and not versatile enough. What a bummer!

I’ve gotten over this though since I usually like to use darker colors as my liners, so the shades in this palette are perfect. If you use a wet eyeliner brush, it’ll intensify the hues. And what you get is a near-black slightly shimmery liner that looks like a different color when the light hits it!

Wetting your eyeshadow can sometimes ruin the product – it can turn hard or change into a different color completely. I’ve used all 6 of these shadows as liners with a wet brush. Yes, I do notice that there’s slight discoloration in the pan. However, they still perform as they should when I want to use them as shadows. Whew!

Even if you don’t like them as liners, you can still apply these wet and use them as regular eyeshadows. And these dark shades are good for color smoky-eye looks and for smudging along the lower last line, too!

Also, I think a good primer is a must with this palette, not because the shadows crease or melt (they don’t) but to increase the color intensity. The shadows are already very pigmented, but if you use a primer, it’ll bring out the underlying tone more and look less “muddy.”

You don’t necessarily have to use the Eden Primer. I actually prefer to use something else as I find Eden slightly too thick and not sheer enough. Plus, it’s kind of weird that they’ve included a matte primer in a palette of shimmery shadows. I suggest using a shimmer base or a sheer primer to let the sparkles shine.

The sparkles…which are actually a complaint I have. There is a slight shimmer to the shadows, but they are by no means “dangerously sparkly-shift.” You can hardly tell they’re there, especially if you use the Eden matte potion.

  • Great colors as liners & for smoky-eye looks
  • Shadows stay put & don’t crease
  • Pigmented
  • Slim, chic packaging
  • Colors on skin don’t match in pan
  • Shades can be too dark/near-black
  • Not enough sparkles

Final Verdict: 7.6/10

I like Urban Decay’s The Black Palette. I do; I really do. But! I don’t think it’s a must-have, and there are a lot of negatives to it. If you’re someone who wants to see more color and less black, then this one can be a skip for you.

What do you think of this palette? Love or hate?

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil from this palette was Fiona’s winner for the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.


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