First Impression Friday – Subculture Palette

I like the First Impression Friday thing and I am sticking with it, I will pepper in some Product of the Week posts when I have them but this gives me a little variety! The moment we have all been waiting for is upon, well the moment that I have been waiting for – I have the ABH Subculture palette in my hot, little hands. This palette has not been well-loved on social media, this is the double-edged sword of having so much information at our fingertips, I have been absolutely dreading the arrival of this palette. Modern Renaissance has been one of the best palettes that I have ever used – the pigmentation, the formula, that packaging *swoon* I have watched every, single available video about this palette and there are a couple of things that have irritated me – first off, all of the makeup artists claiming that one needs to understand colour theory in order to be able to use this palette, that this is not a beginner’s palette, people who are having trouble aren’t makeup artists, if you are expecting a Modern Renaissance type palette you will be disappointed, blah, blah, blah. First off, the pro thing really annoys me – these brands are marketing products to millions of consumers who are not pros. If these products were only marketed and made available to pros, this would slash their sales. If I can walk into an ULTA or Sephora and purchase an item then I am less inclined to assume that it is a product for pros. I can get on board with the colour theory claim, yea – if I mix blue and yellow then I am going to get green, hashtag – not a moron. Most of the videos I have watched haven’t been posted by beginners and finally, ABH specifically marketed this as the sister palette to Modern Renaissance so the disappointment is more than merited. I have been using this for a little over a week and spoiler – I like it.



I will spare you the sordid details as this has already been talked to death. It is powdery, not any more so than the Modern Renaissance palette though. I am comparing it to my second MR palette which is more powdery than the first one that I purchased and panned. The consistency is different so I think this lends some merit to the looser pressing claim put out their by ABH. Both are very pigmented, you dab your brush into either and you are going to get enough shadow for you entire eye (both eyes in some cases) – funny to me though that Subculture is being called a pressed pigment palette when MR performs much the same but isn’t being called that…? This does make either palette a little tricky to use if you want to use more than 3 shades but not impossible. It took me a little over a week to use every shade as I don’t use more than 3-4 shades for my eye looks – call me boring but at some point, it all looks the same! I watch these tutorials where 9 shades are being used and in the end, you just can’t tell – I don’t get it. As for the shades included in this palette, yes, they are stunning but I don’t think that ABH fully realized the concept they were going for. A teal/mustard eye sounds gorgeous but when you blend those two – you are going to get a grey/brown look which is probably my only complaint. You can pack the colours on near each other but you aren’t going to get a super blown out, smoky, teal, mustard look if you want that kinda’ thing. I didn’t have blending or fallout issues, I have been using soft, fluffy brushes and I think this works great at not picking up too much product. Also, I have worn the shadows with and without eye primer and didn’t have blending issues. I have used this palette at least 7 times and as you can see, have not hit pan on any of the shadows.

Close Up
Top Row
Bottom Row

I will certainly use this palette more heavily in the fall, I think that the shades are really stunning. The only one that I am not sold on is Cube, it is a white duo-chrome with a pink shift, it just seems out of place to me and I couldn’t get it to show up on my eye. I think that with the shades available, combinations are surprisingly limited but I still think it is lovely. I think it hits stores 8/15 – if you wanted it but were then put off by all of the social media drama, go swatch it and see for yourself!

Have you tried it? Thanks for stopping by <3




    • Stella

      I feel like it’s all we have been hearing about for the past two weeks. I wish that beauty gurus didn’t get these products ahead of the regular consumer, especially when some went in purposely trying to hit pan. I was scared to use it and it turned out fine!! Oh well. Thank you <3

  • Selena Hannah

    I wasn’t going to get this, but now I want to. You panned a whole palette? Omg! Do you recommend the MR over this one? I don’t have either one. Wondering if I should go for the MR, but the SC has more variety of shades.

    • Stella

      I sure did, it was my everyday palette for a long time! I’d recommend it over Subculture, every shade is usable whereas I know that I’m never going to use that Cube shade! I still think it’s a lovely palette but I like to use all of the shades 😔

      • Selena Hannah

        Maybe, I can get one for Christmas and one for my birthday next year. lol It’s an expensive palette but Urban Decay Naked Heat is a lot more. I was considering the TOO FACED White Chocolate Palette, but for like 18 more, I can get a full palette instead of a mini. I think I’ll go with the MR for Christmas. 🙂

        • Stella

          I think that the Naked palettes are a bit over-priced. It’s a lot of product but they tend to include quite a few similar shades. I would go full size on the white chocolate too! Way better deal. That would be a fabulous Christmas present, it’s a solid product 😊

          • Selena Hannah

            On another note, my laptop battery died and I’m on my kindle looking for a replacement. It’s an 8 year old laptop and Dell no longer makes the battery. I’m going to try a brand that makes more universal batteries, it’s for three different dell models including mine. It’s going to take a week to get to me. I just hope it works. I love blogging and I can’t do it on my lunch at work b/c then it becomes work property. Stupid. Hopefully it works out, otherwise I’m going to be out of the blogging community until tax season.

          • Stella

            Oh no! If that doesn’t work, have you tried Amazon or Newegg for a used one for your specific model? I had a really old Lenovo that I didn’t want to part with and purchased some used parts for it, Lenovo does the same thing – their batteries and charging chords are specific to Lenovo. I was able to buy stuff for it though from people who had parted their old computers down. My Lenovo finally died but I had replaced the disc drive, battery, and power chord with old parts I found online. I hope it works!!

  • dolledupbyj

    Great review! I’m so sick of all the drama surrounding this palette. I think it looks stunning and yes the MR palette was powdery AF but you only need to use a tiny tiny amount of product. People loved that palette, why are they freaking out about this one? The colours aren’t for everyone but that’s just makeup! xo J

    • Stella

      Right?! I’m still surprised that it has been given such crap reviews when it’s so similar to MR! I don’t get it, the shades are definitely unique but I’ve had a lot of fun using it. Yup – that’s the beauty of makeup 💚

  • llindaxxo

    The shades are beautiful and I do agree, Cube looks bleh. I wasn’t going to buy this palette at first, but I feel challenged to try to make this work for me because so many other artists couldnt. Am I being too competitive for no reason? Idk, I just want it lol.

  • lifewithmrst

    I am giving the subculture palette a miss this time. I have the MR and love it but for the colours in subculture I can probably get them from somewhere like makeup geek and not have to worry about applying them.

    • Stella

      I just saw a dupe somewhere and now cannot remember the brand of the shadows but it was spot on. Makeup Geek doesn’t always perform for me but I am sure that there are options out there and you’d probably end up getting more product for your buck!

  • hoiyinli

    The pro thing you mention is actually funny, considering that you clearly made this work for you but the gurus didn’t!

    I have seen the controversy over this palette and in my honest opinion, I felt like it was being judged too harshly with too little time to really explore how best to make it work. Instead, I felt like all they focused on in the video was it being powdery, and then if that wasn’t enough, to swirl the brush in there around and around until it hit pan. That really annoyed me. But I’m glad there’s reviews like yours that are actually more informative.

    • Stella

      Right?! It really surprised me that so many gurus couldn’t make it work. I agree, I got so tired of the same videos of excessive swirling! I’m enjoying it. Thank you, I appreciate that 😘

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