Sunday, 16 October 2011

Review: Urban Decay Mariposa eyeshadow palette

Urban Decay really like their butterflies. The new Mariposa eyeshadow palette ('mariposa' is Spanish for butterfly) features a lovely embossed image of a butterfly on the lid, and a semi-abstract butterfly wing design on the inner insert.

The Mariposa palette is a slimline metal tin with a hinged lid. It reminds me of the sort of tin expensive cigars or cigarillos are presented in. Inside, there is a loose-ish cardboard insert with ten 0.8g eyeshadow pans set into it, and a well with a mini-sized UD taklon brush. The pans are smaller than the Book of Shadows or Naked palette pans - they're just over half the size/weight of standard Urban Decay eyeshadows.

The tin is easy to open, with a lip under the closure (which clicks shut gently - it's not secure enough to keep in your handbag but is fine for using at home). There's no mirror in the lid, which is unusual for UD but does make the palette lighter.

The brushed metal finish is attractive and unlike the shiny 15th Anniversary palette, it doesn't attract fingerprints. But it is surprisingly delicate and prone to scratches. The picture shows the scratches already on the palette from transit when it was sent to me, and since then it's picked up a few more from being used around the house.

Colour-wise, this is a fairly standard UD selection, and is typical of recent palettes. There are some eye-catching brights, some smouldery cool tones and some warm neutrals. It's all shimmers, and there's a bit of microglitter in some of the shades too. 

It seems that since the Naked palette, UD are keen to capitalise on their success by including a generous handful of neutrals in each new palette, but in Mariposa's case, the 2 new neutrals, Spotlight and Limelight, are the two weakest offerings, both being quite gritty and sheer compared to the high standard of the other shadows. Skimp, the soft satin-textured highlighter, is a welcome addition. It's a new shade, but is also featured in the Book of Shadows IV. 

I was most interested in the cooler tones on the left-hand side of the palette. Money, a greenish-grey, was part of the Book of Shadows II and is a unique but subtle shade that's great for bringing out brown or blue eyes, while the dirty dark plum Rockstar makes a great liner or smoky eye. Mushroom is a superb cool taupe, and Haight is a vivid teal with pigmentation that allows you to create a really dramatic look.

A minus point for the palette is the fact that the cardboard insert containing the shadows doesn't fit flush with the tin, and shakes around inside it. It also moves around when you work your brush into the pans to pick up colour. I'm not sure why this is the case - perhaps it's so that you can prise the insert out after you've used up the shadows and re-use the tin. However it makes the palette feel a bit flimsy and it's less satisfying to use as a result. To fix this, you could poke a small folded bit of paper down the side of the insert to brace it in place. 

Mariposa would be a beautiful gift for someone new to Urban Decay. However it's probably not a must for an obsessive established collector, as most of the shades are either replicated in other places or similar to existing colours. It's very practical and represents excellent value for money, but doesn't have the "wow" factor of some of their more conceptual palettes.

Disclosure - PR sample


  1. I think this is a lovely palette, it's true that a lot of the colours are duplicated else where but i think this is a nice mix of neutrals with a few brighter colours popped in if you want something a little more daring. I would buy this for a friend for definite, and i kinda want it for myself for trips away!!

  2. Where have all the photographs gone? I'm not seeing photos in the main articles.

  3. Lovely palette but I want to know what nail polish you are wearing? It looks gorgeous!

  4. Sharon - it's OPI Not Like In The Movies. It's one of my favourite duochromes :)

    Trimperley - I hope the images are showing now.

    Jo - it is a lovely palette. I feel now I have been a bit harsh on it...

  5. Thank you. There are so many duochromes about at the moment I didn't fancy guessing!


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