I recently picked up the Urban Decay Jean-Michel Basquiat Gallery Blush palette at Sephora. The artistic packaging is cool, but I was drawn to the simplicity of a bronzer, highlight, and two non-similar blush shades. Also, this palette is limited edition and has a lot of great reviews online, so of course I was curious!
The shades are X-Rated (bright pink), Now’s the Time (highlight), Jawbone (bronzer), and Noho (mauve). X-Rated is available as a single blush. The other three seem to be exclusive to this palette, but you can get similar shades separately or in the Naked Flushed palettes.
This palette is canvas-covered cardboard with the logos and crown design embossed. Some of the artwork is raised as well, which makes this palette nice to hold and rub your fingers over. It feels incredibly sturdy and has a strong magnetic closure.
This palette is thicker than other palettes, but I feel like that just adds to the 3-D effect of the artwork on the packaging. It also has a little plastic crown on one edge where you open the palette.
Inside, there’s a good-sized mirror with the crown emblem again. This palette doesn’t hold itself up, though, so to use the mirror, you have to hold the palette or prop up the top against a wall or something.
The pans are a great size at 4.25g each. They’re the perfect size for my blush brushes, and they’re far enough apart so that I don’t accidentally stick my brush into two shades at once.
There’s something so satisfying about this packaging. It just feels nice and well-made. The details in this packaging are very unique and true to this collaboration. More on that below! But first, I want to talk about how these wear.
Wear and Color
These powders are all very soft and beautiful to swatch, particularly the highlight (it was so bright it messed up the focus on my photo!). X-Rated is sheer, and the others are all very pigmented. I like that X-Rated is a bit sheer, because that level of hot pink on my cheeks would NOT look good. It still swatches beautifully, anyway, and it comes off more natural on your cheeks than it looks in the pan. It can also be mixed or layered with Noho to warm and brighten it up a little bit.
When I applied these to my face, I was blown away at the pigmentation once again. I literally wrote “holy pigmented bronzer” in my notes, because the bronzer is truly the star of this palette. Be careful with it if you’re heavy-handed with your face products! I make sure to be careful each time I wear this, because one wrong move and you’re stuck blending it out for ten minutes.
I noticed that the bronzer does well with both fluffy and stiff brushes. This means you can use it to contour or add a little color to your skin. The blushes work much better with a light, fluffy brush. When you use a brush that’s too densely-packed, it’s hard to control where the color is placed. I also had a hard time seeing the color on my cheeks in certain lighting when using the wrong blush. With a lighter brush, it’s a much quicker process. These are pigmented enough that you don’t need to spend much time picking up product with your brush — a couple swipes is all you need.
These powders hold up really well throughout the day. My cheeks kept their color, and my contour stayed put. I used the highlight over my eye shadow a couple times as well, and it looked great all day. Overall, I’m super impressed with this palette.
About the Palette and Collaboration
This is what Urban Decay has to say about this palette:
Part of the UD Jean-Michel Basquiat collection, the Gallery Blush Palette features four versatile shades inspired by the work of this groundbreaking artist.
From the colors and shade names to the packaging, EVERYTHING in this collection evolved from Basquiat’s art. Like Urban Decay, Basquiat was an outsider who challenged the status quo and used color in nontraditional ways. From his informal graffiti work and the way he mixed mediums and colors to the way he spoke out against social injustice, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect fit for our brand.
Gallery Blush Palette is a four-pan face palette that holds two shades of blush, a bronzer and a highlighter based on Basquiat’s paintings. These versatile shades work on any skin tone, and our long-lasting Afterglow formula delivers 8 hours of wear.
Housed in a mini reproduction of Basquiat’s artwork, Gallery Blush Palette is wrapped all the way around with canvas, so the art printed on top comes to life. We designed the palette with a small cutout on the back for hanging so you can display it on your wall and create your own mini Basquiat gallery.
About the artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat began drawing and painting at the age of four and never stopped. By the time he was in his teens, his graffiti was a fixture around lower Manhattan. After leaving home at 17, he began selling hand-painted postcards and T-shirts. At 20, he landed his first public exhibition and quickly rose to fame on the ’80s art scene in NYC. His iconic work is still exhibited all over the world.
I like how much background they give about Jean-Michel Basquiat, and I had no idea there was a cutout on the back until I read this. It’s interesting that this palette is meant to be a literal display piece on your wall. Again, the details in this palette are tasteful and well-aligned with this collaboration.
Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand, so this palette is cruelty-free but not vegan. Their website clearly labels vegan products, so you can likely find some close matches to these that are vegan if that matters to you.
As of right now, this palette is still available in some Sephora stores, and on some sites that sell Urban Decay, for $23.80. The original price was $34.
What do you think of this palette? Would you hang it on your wall?
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