August 2, 2017

ABH Subculture Palette – Swatches & Review

So it was quite the little journey to get this palette. I’ve never stayed up for any kind of product launch before, especially makeup. Well, I thought about it for the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette, but against my better judgement, I didn’t (typically, it sold out). So, I was even more determined to get the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette. Not for the hype, but:

  • Because I fell in love with the ABH Modern Renaissance palette
  • My Modern Renaissance palette was lonely and needed its sister
  • And because I’m a sucker for eyeshadow palettes.

So let’s go back in time to last Tuesday evening to the launch of the Subculture palette.

To provide some context – if you live overseas, I’m in Sydney (Australia) and it was to launch on July 25th (PST).

Make sure you’ve got a cup of tea and a comfy chair, cos we’re gonna be here for a while…

The day (or night) of the launch

The day of the launch (nighttime here) I set an alarm for 12am (AEST) to make sure I was ready to add the Subculture palette to my cart the moment it came out.

So, it’s 12am, and wouldn’t you know it – it still hadn’t been released! It’s worth mentioning that prior to like, a solid half-hour before the release time, ABH hadn’t listed the exact time it would be available. This is so their servers wouldn’t crash.

I’m just sleeping (cos I’m wrecked) and out of nowhere, my eyes open wide and I remembered – THE PALETTE!! So I unlock my phone and head to the ABH website, and it’s there! It’s live! So I add to the cart.

And then… black page. It’s blank. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Meanwhile, Twitter was absolutely combusting. So many people were having the same issue. But don’t worry, Claudia Soare (ABH President, daughter of Anastasia herself) was on it – keeping us updated as she was trying to get to the bottom of it. As for me, I just kept refreshing… and refreshing… and refreshing.

At 2.41am (AEST), I refreshed the page for the 198th time, and the blank page had disappeared!! Victory at last! I purchased the palette, and not long after that I received the confirmation email. At this point I was so ecstatic that I was having a freaking party on Twitter. At nearly 3am. Yep, you heard that right.

So I purchased the palette, and all was good in Kristy-land.

Fast-forward to Monday 31st July – I came home from work and there was a nice FedEx package waiting for me on the kitchen bench.


If you already own the Modern Renaissance palette, you’ll already know what the palette itself is packaged in, plus the actual case of the palette. Subculture is no different to Modern Renaissance in terms of packaging. The case has that same velvet material that Modern Renaissance has – the only noticeable difference is the colour.

Colour selection

Subculture is the cooler-toned sister to Modern Renaissance. If you prefer cooler-toned eyeshadows with a pop of outlandish colour – you’ll get the most of this palette. There are a few warm-toned shades, but the majority of the palette has cooler tones. There are also two duo-chrome shades, plus a metallic shade.


The matte shades are extremely pigmented – a really tiny bit goes a long way. They feel almost velvet to the touch, it’s unreal. I’ve never experienced eyeshadows quite like ABH ones. My Modern Renaissance mattes feel exactly the same way. As you can see, they swatched beautifully.

You may have noticed up the top of the swatch image that ‘Cube’ is at the very top, yet it looks like there isn’t much there. Same for ‘Electric’ down near the bottom. Cube and Electric are the two duo-chrome shades in the palette. I really adore these, but man, they swatched like a pile of dog poo. That being said – I don’t really think swatches on your wrist are a true indication of how well a product will perform. The best thing to do is just try it out on your eyes and see how they go. But the people like the swatches, so I do the swatches.

They did perform better on the eyes, but to make them really *pop*, apply with your finger, or spritz your brush with some face mist.

Other observations

Another thing worth noting – Modern Renaissance shades had a whole lot of kickback when you dip your brush/finger into the pan. Subculture is no different. I’m not joking when I say a really tiny amount goes a long way. I completely underestimated it when I dipped my brush into one of the mattes. Let’s just say I had way too much on my eyes and it took me a solid 15-20 mins just to blend it out. And after that it still looked like I’d let a child go ham on my makeup. I had to remove it and start again.

Too much kickback isn’t really a deal breaker for me, but if you’re not into that – you might want to give this one a pass.

Overall thoughts

I think Anastasia Beverly Hills really nailed it with the Subculture palette. The mattes are mind-blowing – one touch and you’ve got a whole lot of colour. While the duo-chromes are very pleasing to the eyes, I probably would prefer if they were a tad more pigmented.

Overall, I’m impressed with this palette. I’m really hoping for another ABH palette to come soon, because their eyeshadows are insane.

This retails for $42 USD (same as Modern Renaissance), and you can buy it from ABH direct. Please note that it is currently sold out. Soz 🙁

Will you be buying the Subculture palette? Either way, I’d love to know what you think.



One Comment