Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Need Glitter! Stat!: Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit Review

Photo Credit: Urban Decay
 Happy Soon-To-Be New Year!! I know everyone has fancy-schmancy celebrations to attend, and sparkly makeup will definitely be in order. Well...okay, so my NYE plans are a little less than fancy-schmancy, to be perfectly honest, but I like sparkly makeup, so there will be glitter. Oh, yes. There. Will. Be. Glitter.

And really, who does glitter better than Urban Decay? If I had to bet, I'd lay money their corporate parking lot shimmers. By the way, Urban Decay doesn't even know I exist. This is purely my completely unsolicited opinion. I dig them.

Anywho, over Christmas I was able to pick up one of their holiday palettes, the Midnight Emergency Kit. I'd been absolutely coveting this palette for a couple of months, and paying regular visits to my local Ulta to pet the box it came in. I've never paid $39 for a palette, but while it hurt a bit to hand over the debit card, the pain was definitely worth it to bring my baby home. She's gorgeous, and I can't wait to show her off to you.

Packaging: This is an exceptionally well-made kit. I have a tendency things (read: I'm a klutz who shouldn't be allowed out without a keeper). When I showed to this to Thomas, he remarked that he thought he could probably throw the thing against a wall and it be alright, so it might have a fighting chance with me. I have no worries tossing this sturdy palette in my purse.

Closed, this palette is slightly larger than a cased smartphone, and is a lovely golden champagne faux leather with zipper closure. "Urban Decay Midnight Emergency" and the UD logo are embossed on the front. Inside the lid is a generously-sized mirror (slightly smaller than the screen on a smartphone). The base of the palette holds four almost full-sized eyeshadows (.04 instead of .05 oz--so close!), a full-sized tube of Lip Junkie Lip Gloss in Midnight Cowboy, and a travel shadow brush. There is a zig-zag motif (meh) that gradates in color from champagne to purple along with the eyeshadows (it's a really neat effect, actually), and royal purple fabric lining. 9.8 out of 10.

Eyeshadows: As I said earlier, the set comes with four almost-but-not-quite full-sized shadows: Midnight Cowboy, Midnight Rodeo, Midnight 15 and AC/DC. Midnight Cowboy is one of their best-selling shadows, and is a pink champagne with silver glitter. Midnight Rodeo was a popular cream shadow, but is now only available as a powder shadow, and only in this palette. It's light, shimmering brown with silver and gold glitter. Midnight 15 is brand new, and is a taupe shadow with irridescent glitter (UD states it's pink champagne, but it sure doesn't look like it to me). AC/DC is a muted royal purple shimmer.

These suckers sparkle. This is not micro-glitter. This is not a little sheen. We're talking chunky glitter you can actually pick up with your fingers. That said, it's not tacky. Seriously. I know, I didn't believe it at first, either, but it's really not inappropriate for day wear or the office, and it's because of the color choices. These are all very natural, neutral colors (yes, even the purple, because of how muted it is). I wore all four to work yesterday, and was completely comfortable and appropriate. Honestly, I probably could have stood to have worn a little more color on my cheeks, because the eyes and lips (I'll get there in a bit) were so neutral.

The shadows are soft, but not so soft that they break if you look at them funny (*cough* Stila *cough*), and are fairly pigmented. The only one that's given me trouble is Midnight 15, and I think that's mostly due to the type of brush I was using. I tried a different brush and things worked much better, but in the interest of full disclosure, I'm putting that out there.

The colors are beautiful on their own, or in a myriad of combinations. My only gripe is that the glitter fallout is substantial, even with an Urban Decay primer. One color over a primer seems to work well, but as soon as you layer, the glitter fairy sprinkles your cheeks, and it's nigh onto impossible to clean it off. My only suggestion is to do the eyes first, even before foundation. That way, you can use a tissue or face wipe to clean up without wrecking your makeup. That's not a fix for the entire day, but it's a start. 8.5 out of 10.

Lip Gloss: I love this gloss. In an earlier mention of this product I said, "This is a nude, sparkle-filled gloss that looks like vinyl and feels like butter. Mild plumpers perfect your pout, while the minty flavor freshens your breath. Keep it in your purse to always look polished," and in an earlier review I gave it an 8 out of 10. I'm actually going to up that a bit because it really does plump your lips. A lot. The gloss inflated my lips, so I'm inflating its score. 9 out of 10.

Eyeshadow Brush: It's a travel eyeshadow brush, but it's a good travel eyeshadow brush. The bristles are soft and silky, but firm enough to press the shadow onto the eye. The brush is also large enough to actually work (unlike most I've come across), and the handle is long enough and thick enough to handle easily. I wouldn't replace my everyday brush with it, but it's more than serviceable enough to toss in the purse for touch-ups. 8 out of 10.

Value: This is not an inexpensive set, but let's do some math: The usual UD shadow is $17. These are so close to full-sized that we can go ahead and use that number. 4x$17=$68. The lip gloss is normally $19, so that brings us to $88. A regular-sized shadow brush is $26, so let's knock it down to, say, $12 for travel, and bring the total to an even $100--and that's before you take into account the nice case and large mirror. You're getting an over one-hundred dollar value for thirty-nine. That, my friends, is a steal. If I could change anything, I'd throw in a blush. However, this is an "emergency" kit, and in an emergency, I can just pinch my cheeks. 9 out of 10.

Final Verdict: Get one while you still can, and glam it up for NYE! 8.9 out of 10.

This was an Ulta exclusive, but it's no longer available online. You can probably still find one in your local store, though. I purchased mine Monday, and there were several still on the shelves. They are also still available directly from Urban Decay, and there's no difference price-wise (except shipping, of course, but that's kind of a given). Swatches to come, assuming I can get my camera to work and my lighting to not suck. This could take a while...

UPDATE: Okay, these are not the best swatches in the world, because I am not even slightly good at photography. The camera shakes when you take the flash off, and the flash washes out the colors, so...well, enough excuses. From left to right, we have Midnight Cowboy, Midnight Rodeo, Midnight 15, AC/DC, and Midnight Cowboy Lip Junkie. They're much more shimmery in person, and the glitter is entirely visible. This picture is rubbish, but hopefully it'll help a little.

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