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Fierce Face Friday – The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

On Fierce Face Friday my aim is to share with you a makeup or skin care item(s), technique, tip, or tool that makes me feel gorgeous. I hope these little nuggets will inspire you to try something new or tell me about something that works for you. Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below. If you have a Fierce Face topic you’d like me to cover, feel free to reach to me directly and I will make every attempt to feature that topic in a future post. Today I am finally tackling the elephant on the internet, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette.

History and Drama of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

If you follow the beauty industry at all, you know about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette. This palette is on countless “stranded on an island” lists. I’ll do a full review of it as I really love it. However, if you aren’t in the know, you’ll just have to believe me for now when I say it is incredible. Therefore, a couple of months ago when Anastasia Beverly Hills announced Modern Renaissance was getting a sister, I was stoked.

When the photos of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette were released, I knew I needed it. No other colors like this are in my collection and the sort of grungy glam color scheme spoke to my child of the 90’s soul. The Ulta points I had been carefully saving would be enough to purchase this palette and I NEEDED it. When I am determined to own something, I set a calendar reminder so I don’t miss it in the mad rush and I was ready to make this palette mine.

…Then the Drama Began

As the date of the launch drew nearer, influencers and You Tuber began to get their PR products and chatter began. Unfortunately, the reviews were all over the place. Some people adored them and others thought this was the worst palette ever. Temptalia hypothesized there were different batches of the product and some were not as great as others.

The negative claims were abundant: too much fall out, patchy application, not easy to blend. It was like a wall of Subculture talk in beauty videos, message boards, and facebook groups. As for me, I was undeterred. LOOK AT THOSE COLORS!

First Impressions of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

The day the box from Ulta arrived at my desk, I was so excited. I ripped right in and started finger swatching, as you do. Rather, as huge makeup lovers with no patience like I do.

While I did notice some fallout from the get-go, it wasn’t anything alarming and the finger swatches were really nice. When I tried some brush swatches, the situation began to get a little more alarming. I choked down my concerns and thought “I can make this work.”

These colors are stunning!

A Series of Eye Tests

The first time I used the palette on my eyes I was alarmed. There was fallout all over my cheeks that did not wipe away easily and it didn’t blend well. Well, that’s not exactly true. It blends almost too well. As in, blends into a muddy brown no matter what I tried to do. I was frustrated but I don’t give up.

Photo shows a
Attempt one – decidedly meh

I wore it daily for about a week, trying combination after combination. One morning in utter frustration, I took this photo.

So much green dust on my cheeks

But I kept trying. After about a week, Subculture and I had called a truce. I created a look I liked and managed to get it done without staining my undereye area.

Calling a Truce With the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

In my truce, here are the rules of engagement:

  • Recognize these are pressed pigments. Respect the formula for what it is and don’t expect it to behave like the Modern Renaissance Palette.
  • Do your eye makeup first or apply loose powder liberally under your eyes.
  • Prime your eyelids. Don’t forget this step. You will regret it.
  • If you want an all over color, like I usually do, you’ll likely need a color from elsewhere. Cube may look like it will work but it is truly a duochrome on the eyes. Using it all over the lid from brown bone to lash line will be extra. Probably more extra than you want.
  • Dip your brush VERY lightly into the pan. Far more lightly than you consider light. You can add more but you cannot take off without much more effort.
  • Tap your brush. Just do it.
  • Apply with a light hand. Use the lightest hand you’ve ever used.
  • Build each color slowly and with intention. Now is not the time for a quick eye makeup look.
  • Blend with a clean brush. Blend with the same light hand you applied. If you go ham blending, you’ll end up with brown.
  • Apply any of the shimmer shades last and with your finger.

Follow these rules and you can make it work. It isn’t easy and will still likely take a few attempts before you like it but you can get there.

Here I am, making Subculture work for me

The Bottom Line: Should You Buy the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette?

Maybe. If, like me, you can’t stop thinking about the colors and you are willing to work with it until it works; you should go for it.

There are some really great colors in the palette. I love using Cube to highlight my browbone. Edge and New Wave are so unlike anything else I own I cannot help but love them.

However, if you are a casual makeup enthusiast or don’t feel a burning desire to own the perfect mustard shade for your eyes, I would skip this one. The Jeffree Star Androgyny Palette has some similar shades and it is a much easier formula to work with than Subculture. I’d get that if I had to choose.

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette


  • Beautiful colors
  • Highly Pigmented
  • Unique color scheme


  • Messy fallout
  • Blends into one muddy color if you aren’t careful
  • Requires practice and extreme care to make it work