One of the most exciting beauty releases of the year is undoubtedly the stunningly presented Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette from Urban Decay. For makeup fans, the news of a new Urban Decay palette is always exciting, but for me the collaboration with Gwen Stefani really did top the makeup releases of 2015 for me. I am a huge fan of Gwen Stefani, not just for her solo work, but more so for her work with No Doubt, a real favourite band of mine whose albums I grew up with. Gwen has a really unique, feisty and delicious personal style that stands out from other women of her status, a style I could never pull off myself but a style I admire and swoon over nonetheless.
The palette itself is absolutely beautiful in design, quite possibly my favourite palette from Urban Decay yet for design alone. A compact palette which comes with a huge mirror with a bold industrial like white, gold and black design with tarnished gold industrial logo. It's actually been designed incredibly well, very sturdy and the close is really secure, which is something I am seeing constantly improving with each new Urban Decay palette. The palette houses 15 shadows, 12 of which are completely new to this palette, with 3 are shades you'll have come across from Urban Decay before.
The shades selected for this palette are very neutral, with just a couple of real stand-out shades that are dark and sultry or bold and bright. This seems to be getting really mixed views from both Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani fans alike, with many people commenting on the fact that they wish the shades included had been more ballsy or exciting. Personally? I think Urban Decay have been exceptionally clever with this palette. If you've been a fan of Gwen Stefani as long as I have you will know that she is pretty well known for a few key features of her style. Her taste in fashion is bold, daring and incredibly sexy, she pulls off a red lip better than most could dream of doing, and her pale skin and blonde hair are defining features. The red lip always stands out - but the rest of her makeup? It's always understated, modest, defined enough to accentuate her naturally beautiful and striking features, but never over the top. That perfectly translates with this palette; the exterior is bold and striking, whilst the shades are neutral, perfect for everyday with a few key shades which work effortlessly to transform a look from day to night.
Blonde is a pale ivory with a slight pink iridescence frost finish. One of those neutral shades which works well to neutralise skintone, but on my more olive complexion isn't very noticeable alone.
Bathwater is a pale golden beige with very subtly warm undertones and a frost finish. It's a really lovely shade for the inner corner when creating a day time appropriate eye; subtle but enough to open eyes nicely.
Skimp is a lovely pale nude with a satin finish. It has more oomph to it than Blonde, so it makes more of an impact, but still pretty subtle and one that works best as a base shade.
Steady is where the shades start to get really beauty, a lovely soft copper with warm undertones and a slight metallic finish. This is one I can happily wear as a wash of colour over the lids with a soft brown liner and an eye-opening mascara for a neutral eye that's soft and chic.
Punk is a deliciously deep brown with plum undertones that is absolutely perfect for this time of year and works wonderfully when blended through the crease, particularly with it's warm undertones and soft matte finish. It's also a fab shade for using as a soft liner on the lower lash line.
Baby is a pale rose with a very slight warm copper undertone and metallic finish. When used in the centre of the lid I actually find it quite nice for making my brown eyes stand out.
Anaheim is a pale brown with just-warm grey undertones and a soft matte finish. If you like going for a very neutral basic look for in the day, this makes a lovely wash of colour and is very 'work appropriate'.
Stark is a super soft pink that almost has a peachy undertone with a lovely matte finish. Another one that works well as a wash of colour over the lids.
Zone is a medium toned brown with subtle warm yellow undertones and a soft matte finish, nothing too fancy as far as browns go but a good transition shade.
Serious is a smoky grey with soft flashes of iridescent pearl and a slight taupe undertone and a soft, fine shimmer finish. Perfect for those of you who prefer not to go as bold as an all out black but want something with a dark, sultry tone for the crease to complete a look.
Pop is a light peach with a lovely sparkle finish that has just the right amount of micro-glitter to make an impact, without being too 90's party. Great for a pop of colour in the centre of the lid.
Harajuku is one of 3 very bold and bright shades in the palette, a metallic pink with cool blue undertones and a soft sparkle with frost finish. I find pink shades of this nature a touch different to work with, but if you can pull off a pink like this then you're sure to be smitten with Harajuku!
Danger is a real beauty, a deep navy blue with cool undertones, a touch of metallic sheen and a slightly pearl finish. It catches the light beautifully, an incredibly bold shade and one which stands out beautifully. Lovely with a nude lip and soft blush on the cheeks.
1987 is a real winner for me, a lovely medium yellow gold with war undertones and a frost finish, it's one I can see myself getting a lot of use out of all year round. I love gold shades and this is one of the more wearable options I've come across!
Blackout is the typical true matte black you'd expect to finish off a palette. A real deep, dark coal black that can be used as a shadow and liner in one.
Overall I'm very happy with this palette. I'm more smitten with the exterior design of the palette itself than the shades included, but that's more so because I have my fair share of neutral palettes. If like me you're not struggling for neutral shades, then this isn't a 'must-have' palette, but if you're still trying to find that perfect neutral palette that has a few stand-out shades to cover a variety of looks, then this could be the palette for you. The shadows themselves each have the quality, pigmentation and longevity that Urban Decay is famous for; some of the paler shades work better when used above a cream base, but there's no dud shades so a pretty good selection and lovely formula's throughout.
It's worth baring in mind that this is a limited edition palette, once it's gone it's gone - so if you want to snap this up, don't leave it too long!
Available at www.selfridges.com, £40.
*PR Samples - Disclaimer.