Monday 9 May 2016

Urban Decay Alice Through The Looking Glass – Complete Collection Review, Swatches + Looks

One thing was certain, that the white kitten had nothing to do with it – it was the black kitten’s fault entirely…

If Lewis Carroll’s opening lines to Alice Through The Looking Glass are not enough to get me wanting to see the upcoming movie  (or the mesmerising Disney trailers I’ve been watching online for that matter), then Urban Decay’s new limited-edition collection created in its honour certainly will.

The Alice Palette is one those eagerly-awaited launches that only come around once in a while. The collection is a follow-up to UD’s 2010 Disney collaboration, the Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows, which sold-out within hours on the brand’s website.

I had one of those jaw-dropping moments the first time I set eyes upon it online – story here. I have now got my hands on the complete collection and it is every bit as wondrous and trippy as I had expected.

Pretty much all of the previews I’ve read strongly urge to act quickly should you want to buy one.  At time of post it was out of stock everywhere it seemed - at UD online, at Selfridges and now also at Debenhams.

But enough of the pre-amble. What of the collection itself? 
The palette features 20 all-new shades, arranged in five columns in tribute to key characters from the film: Alice, Mad Hatter, Mirana (The White Queen), Iracebeth (The Red Queen) and Time. It’s bright and highly colourful in part, soft and more muted elsewhere. In terms of finishes there’s glitter, satin shimmer, frosted and mattes.

Completing the collection are five limited edition lipsticks, from an understated sheer nude to an edgy gunmetal navy with silver shimmer.

The Palette - Packaging

This is stunning, a riot of kaleidoscopic flowers and butterflies. It features quotes from the film, and elements of embossing and gloss add to its super luxe feel. Inside the lid is an Alice mirror reminiscent of one in the film, with the quote ‘We’re all mad here’.

At the centrepiece is the pièce de résistance: a pop-up butterfly that springs to life as you open the panels (I will be posting a video demo on my Instagram shortly here). 

OK. There’s a lot to get through. I’ve swatched by character/column.

Alice (from right to left):
Looking Glass- pale pink demi-matte.
Reflection - soft peach matte
Dormouse – warm brown matte with floating gold micro-sparkle
Metamorphosis – vibrant periwinkle blue with micro-sparkle

Personal highlight – Metamorphosis. There isn’t a big colour pay-off here which may not be to everyone’s taste. It’s much less pigmented on the lid, a cool blue with a semi-opaque finish, but it really works for me.

Mad Hatter (from right to left)
Hatter – vibrant green with tonal micro-sparkle
Gone Mad – aubergine with pink iridescent pearl
Paradox – vibrant orange with gold pearl
Cake – saturated blue-pink with silver micro-shimmer

Personal highlight – Paradox. Super colour pay-off and it really catches the light. Love the warm, golden undertones.

Mirana (from right to left)
Lily – opal pink pearl
Duchess – peach with pink shift and micro-sparkle
Kingdom – copper-bronze pearl
Chessboard – medium brown matte

Personal highlight – Kingdom. Superb colour pay-off. It has warm, rosy-gold undertones, a soft texture and blends easily. It’s very buildable too.

Iracebeth (from right to left)
Heads Will Roll – vibrant turquoise with gold micro-sparkle
Bandersnatch – deep teal matte
Salazen Grum – metallic crimson
Royal Flush – pale beige shimmer

Personal highlight – Salazen Grum. A shimmery, deep coppery red. One of the more pigmented shades. It’s very creamy, glides on the lid and blends evenly and smoothly. I simply adore this– dress it up for evening or tone it down for day-time.

Time (from right to left)
Time – black-navy satin with soft iridescent micro-sparkle
Dream On – metallic purple-silver
Chronosphere – metallic deep bronze
Mirror – grey-taupe satin

Personal highlight – this is my favourite column (taken as a whole) with strong tones, good colour pay-offs and wearability.  Though it also contains the most problematic shade, Dream On, which I had trouble picking-up. I’d suggest using a damp brush to get some intensity to the colour.

The Lipsticks – Packaging

The outside of the cases mirror the palette packaging, with colourful kaleidoscopic artwork. It’s all very playful, madcap and thematic.

Swatches (from right to left):
Alice – Sheer nude with pink shift
Mad Hatter – bright purple shimmer
Mirana – matte berry with tonal shimmer
Iracebeth – bright red matte
Time – gunmetal-navy with silver shimmer

My Look

I created the look above using shades from the Iracebeth column. Iracebeth (played by Helena Bonham Carter) has crazy make-up in the film (a vibrant turquoise hue from lid to brow, and a bright red heart on the centre of her lips). I wanted to come up with a look that was striking, but that I could happily wear.

I haven’t worn red lipstick as bright as this since I was in my 20s but I think it looks stunning. The formula feels super creamy, it goes on evenly and stays put. The colour pay-out is also tops. On the eyes I used Heads Will Roll all over the lids, Bandersnatch in the crease, Salazen Grum blended between the crease and brow, and Royal Flush to highlight both the brow and inner corner of the eyes.

Final thoughts
This is one highly desirable celluloid-inspired make-up collection. It’s every bit as trippy, madcap, whacky, nutty and chaotic (in a good way) as the film is sure to be. With its range of shades, textures and finishes there’s plenty of scope here to have a good play around, whether you’re looking to recreate looks from the film, come up with your own interpretations, or simply to conjure up something that’s daytime wearable - with perhaps a hint of daring.

The Alice palette costs £43 and the lipsticks £16 each. It's worth checking for palette stock (you never know) but you can still buy the lipsticks (at time of post) from Urban Decay here.

Post contains PR samples

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