The latest release from Urban Decay is a collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. With packaging depicting his artwork and colours inspired by his works, the products feature brand new and exclusive shades and what’s more, all are absolutely wearable too. By the way, the 3 palettes (eyeshadows & blush) have an extra unique feature: they all have a ‘hook’ built into the back so you can hang them up. Now that’s what I call beauty truly imitating art.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988), was a pioneer of the neo-impressionist movement that rebelled against the conceptual and minimalist art that dominated the 70s. By 17 he was selling his hand-painted postcards and T-shirts and by 20 he had already landed his first public exhibition. A dominant figure in the 80s art scene in NYC where he counted the likes of Andy Warhol and music icon Debbie Harry as his friends, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work is still exhibited all over the world. His message was one that spoke out against social injustices, merging his passions and causes into his pieces that comprised of informal graffiti and mixed mediums/colours in unique and non-traditional ways. Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of his work and still recall how saddened I was to hear of his death, knowing that yet another bright light had been extinguished in the art world.
Untitled (Skull) 1981, Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled (Fallen Angel) 1981, Jean-Michel Basquiat
Urban Decay x Jean-Michel Basquiat, limited edition
Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette (CAN $49.00) | This is the more neutral of the two palettes which also consists of eight brand new shades. All feature Urban Decay’s Pigment Infusion System™ that provides the formula with rich, blendable, and long-lasting colour. I was actually quite impressed with the quality of these hues and this palette has quickly become the one I reach for the most these days.
- Enigma – neutral pale nude, matte
- Levitation – warm pale nude, matte
- Not for Sale – medium sienna, matte
- Suckerpunch – warm brown, shimmer
- Influence – brown satin with gold shimmer
- BK – grey, satin matte
- Pseudonym – deep navy, matte (full coverage only when dampened)
- Crown – metallic gold
Tenant Eyeshadow Palette (CAN $49.00) | This palette consist of eight bright hues that are surprisingly wearable, especially considering the intensity of some of the shades. All blend beautifully and display excellent pigmentation (note that both Boom & Untitled can be slightly staining) and depending on how light or intense you apply them, can all be made to work for a casual look as well.
- Studio – pale pink, matte
- 1960 – bright pink, matte
- Neo – aubergine with micro shimmer (more evident when applied damp)
- Les – charcoal black, satin matte
- Graffiti – deep green, metallic
- EXU – lime green, shimmer
- Boom – deep aqua/teal, matte
- Untitled – rich deep blue, matte
24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eye Pencils (CAN $25.00/each) | Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On pencils are some of my absolute faves; they’re all quite pigment-rich and literally glide along the skin buttery-smooth while also lasting like mad — even when worn along the waterline. The three shades of this collection not only work beautifully with both eyeshadow palettes, but can also be used underneath any of the eyeshadows for added depth of tone.
Gallery Blush Palette (CAN $45.00) | Created with the brand’s Afterglow formula that’s said to deliver up to 8 hours of fade-proof wear, this palette contains 2 blush shades, a highlighter, as well as a bronzer. All display excellent pigmentation & blendability and when applied over primer/foundation, last beautifully without showing any signs of oxidation. The bronzer is said to be universal in tone, but it definitely leans warm but can still be made to work on those with cooler complexions; just go in with a light hand & blend, blend, blend.
- X-Rated – medium pink, satin
- Now’s the Time – gold/champagne, shimmer
- Jawbone – medium bronze, satin matte
- Noho – radiant berry, satin
Vice Lipstick (CAN $21.00/each) | Three new shades in the Vice range that were created exclusively for this collection, these all come with a replica of one of Basquiat’s works on the outer casing, and feature the brand’s proprietary Pigment Infusion System™ which provides long-lasting colour payoff along with a reach creamy feel. Bonus: unscented.
- Exhibition – medium pink/purple (more like orchid to me), comfort matte
- Abstract – nude taupe, cream
- Epigram – neutral sienna, cream
It’s no secret that I’m passionate about beauty and while I can find something to love in pretty much every release that comes my way, some collections such as this Urban Decay x Jean-Michel Basquiat collaboration seems to have that little something extra. With the exception of a couple of eyeshadow shades that didn’t perform as I initially expected, I am impressed with every single item on all counts: pigmentation & performance. Having such inspired packaging doesn’t hurt the cause either…nor do the excellent price points. But beware: everything is limited edition, so unless you want to pay auction-house prices later on (eBay, I’m looking at you), better make your investment now.
Available at Sephora
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own