Saturday, April 21, 2012

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV Review and Swatches

My BOS IV is here!  There probably isn't a soul in the world (who is interested in makeup, that is) that hasn't already seen a million swatches of the Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV, but I can at least give my opinion and insight on the palette.

I snagged the palette for only $24 ($31 after tax and shipping) from Hautelook, which made me really happy because it retailed for $63 when it was first released.  The Hautelook sale is long over, but you can find these in the sale section of for only $29 right now.

I read a few reviews before deciding to get the BOS IV, and they were pretty mixed.  Some loved it, some felt that it didn't live up to previous palettes.  My opinion lies somewhere in between -- I've never owned any Urban Decay shadows before, so I like it a little better than some others may simply because it's my first experience with the brand and I'm excited about it.  I really like Urban Decay because they're cruelty-free.  But I can see where some others who have more experience with the brand might feel that it was less-than-stellar, because the color payoff on some of the shadows isn't as nice as I was hoping for.

Here are all of the shades.  As you can see, my "Midnight Cowgirl" shade is chipped; the palette arrived damaged like that.  I could have returned it for a refund, but I don't think I could have gotten an exchange so I figured I would just keep it.  What I liked most about this palette is the variety of colors.  There are some gorgeous neutrals, as well as some fun and bright shades.  For only $30, I couldn't pass it up.  The palette also comes with travel-sized Supercurl Curling Mascara and Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and a full-sized 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.  Oh and it came with a mini-speaker and a card with QR codes on it that had tutorials.  I don't have a smartphone (I know, I'm practically prehistoric!), so I can't access the tutorials, and the speaker is nothing special (sound quality kind of sucks).

Check out my swatches and more info behind the read more.

I apologize for the low quality of these swatches; I was having a tough time getting my camera to focus on my arm.  I really need to invest in a good macro lens.  But that's besides the point--you can at least get an idea of the color payoff with these.

I will probably use the neutrals more than the color shades, but I think "Gravity" and "Hijack" will be a lot of fun to play with when I'm going out somewhere.  "Blue Bus" is probably my least favorite because I'm not fond of the color and it has the worst color payoff.  I had to layer quite a few, well, layers, onto that photo to get the color to show up.  My overall favorite shades are "Baked" and "Midnight Rodeo."

Bottom Line: Overall, I'm happy with this palette.  I wouldn't pay $63 for it, but the discounted price on Hautelook was worth it to me.

So what do you think?  Do you have the BOS IV, or have you ever used any of these shadows before?  I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks.

*Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money and was not asked to review it.  The honest opinions here are entirely my own.


  1. I saw it on hautelook as well, but decided to pass. But it was a wonderful deal!

    1. I have been lusting after the Naked 2 palette, but I couldn't bring myself to spend the $50 on it. I figured that this was a good compromise lol

  2. I feel like this palette isn't like the "this is all I'll ever need palette" as some would expect with 16 colors, eyeliner, and mascara, but it really does have a lot of really nice colors. A lot of my other Urban Decay collections have a lot of bright fun colors, but having a lot of neutrals is more practical. They're great colors and they make for great bases. So far I've enjoyed Gunmetal, Cobra, and Midnight Cowgirl the most. I still have a problem with the shadow falling onto my face when I apply it, more so with the glittery colors like Midnight Cowgirl. The glitter falls all over my face, and since glitter is the herpes of the art world, I find it a pain in the ass to get off.

    I also haven't really used the tutorials yet. I have been meaning to because I want to play with the colors, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

    I saw that you didn't comment on the mascara or eyeliner and I wasn't sure if it was because it was because you didn't like them or haven't used them yet, but they're definitely worth noting. I know I really like them both. The eyeliner took some getting used to because the brush is thinner than what I normally use, but once you get the hang of it, it's actually quite nice! I was most pleasantly surprised with the mascara. I didn't approach using it with the same high expectations as I do with other Urban Decay products, but I was very happy with it. It does a great job of separating your lashes, gives a good amount of fullness to your lashes, and it isn't clumpy at all. I liked it so much that I may consider buying a tube of it next time I need mascara!

    <3 slightly-obsessed-with-urban-decay

    1. Ahh I noticed the same thing about the glitters getting all over my cheeks and lol @ herpes of the art world!

      I've used the mascara and I do like it a lot, but I am the WORST with liquid eyeliners. I don't even know if I'll use it at all because I'm just terrible at applying it.

      Thanks for the comment!!

  3. I've always wanted to get volume 4 but its just so expensive. I do love Midnight Rodeo so much though. I like how its not overly glittery. Great review chick x
    Heroine In Heels


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