With so much makeup out there, so many brands and so many colors, it can be hard to choose sometimes. However, there are also those times when something speaks to you personally, for whatever reason. Perhaps it works well for your skin tone, it’s from your favorite brand or the color is just perfect for you. This is exactly how I felt about the Urban Decay Backtalk palette.
Last year, in my A chemist’s favorite beauty products – the Bonds of Beauty 2017 awards! I mentioned that my favorite lipstick is the Urban Decay Comfort Matte in the color Backtalk. I have over 300 lipsticks and yet still, the Backtalk is the one I reach out for the most. It is still the one I have to buy the most often and the one that I am most sad about when it runs out. It has a soft pink color with a hint of purple and while it definitely adds color to the lips, it can still be classed as a nude because it is not an overly strong color. One could also describe it as a dirty pink shade which adds just enough color to your lips to look kissable but not enough to take away attention from other characteristics on your face. It’s the perfect everyday color for me.
As a result, as you might imagine, when Urban Decay launched a palette called Backtalk, with colors based around this lipstick, I was in love instantly. Urban Decay makes one of the best eye shadow formulations out there and on top of that they made a palette out of the one color I absolutely adore! Urban Decay has 30-40, maybe even more, colors in lipsticks and yet they chose this one color I love. It was makeup fate!
So, without further ado, let’s have an in-depth look at the Urban Decay Backtalk palette. Is it any good and most importantly is it worth your cash?
Here’s my verdict:
Although Urban Decay makes very good eye shadow palettes formulation-wise, there is something to be said about their packaging. Urban Decay is, what I would call, a mid-range cosmetic brand, neither drugstore cheap or high end expensive, and since their eye shadow formulations are so good you’d expect something to give somewhere else. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, that’s in their packaging.
Don’t get me wrong, the Backtalk palette (or any of their other palettes) is not ugly, it is actually quite cute. However, at the same time it is not as beautiful or enduring as let’s say some of the Too Faced or Tarte packaging.
The palette is made of high quality cardboard and it closes magnetically. It is designed appropriately in pink-purple shaded colors and has a nice mirror play of the word Backtalk at the front. The writing is slightly elevated but it is not easily visible to the eye. You will only feel it if you touch it.
The palette contains a big double sided mirror which is easily removable. It slides in and out the palette, but is also held in magnetically, and it is actually really practical.
You could take it completely out and place it on a more convenient height while doing your makeup and therefore, you also don’t need to hold the palette while creating your look! The fact that the mirror is removable might annoy you at first, as it comes off easily and accidentally sometimes, but it adds so much more functionality to the palette. You can even use the mirror on it’s own after the palette is finished. The mirror is also double sided.
Backtalk is not just an eye shadow palette. It also contains two highlighters and two blushes. This means that you can literally create an entire look if you have the backtalk lipstick as well and you don’t even need to think about what color blush, highlighter or lipstick would go best with your eyes! It’s so easy, complete and practical and is a great choice for traveling. This palette does not come with a brush.
Pigmentation and texture
If Urban Decay does something well is pigmentation. I have yet to find an Urban Decay eye shadow palette that is not appropriately pigmented for the shade of colors it contains and this is not an exception.
The eye shadows are nicely pigmented and even the highlighters and blushes go a long way too. Both highlighters and blushes can look natural, if you use a little and work them well into the skin, but both are also easily buildable to a more pigmented look. I love that the highlighters, specifically, are adjustable and not “blinding” in one go, as you can nicely control whether the look is natural or more exaggerated. With that being said, if you like your highlighter to blind pilots in the sky, these highlighters are not that intense and are not comparable to let’s say the Anastasia Beverly Hills ones that everyone loves the blindness of.
TIP: If you need a shimmer shadow or highlighter to be more intense, try this trick. Pickup the highlighter or shadow on your brush and then spray some setting spray on it. Apply the shadow or highlighter by dragging it onto the skin. The intensity of the shimmer should be much higher. The Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray works perfectly for this. Alternatively do the same using your fingers and spray the spray on the product that you picked up on your finger.
In terms of texture everything in this palette is good and as expected. The eye shadow texture is normal, as one would expect a good eye shadow to be. The blushes are also pretty good and don’t add any texture to the skin. However, the highlighters add a tiny amount of texture, especially if you have large pores on your cheekbones, but nothing major. It is common for highlighters to add a little bit of texture and as long as it is not a lot, it’s not a problem.
The shadows have minimal kickback, meaning that not much powder is kicked off when you tap your brush. That’s due to their neither creamy buttery or powdery texture which is almost perfect. None of them are patchy.
How can you not like the colors of this palette, it is literally fifty shades of dirty pink.
There are 8 eye shadow colors of which 3 are matte and the rest 5 are shimmers. There is a color for setting your eye primer, the light pink called 3-Sheets, and two browns, WTF and 180, for darker shading. The rest of the colors are literally anyone’s game, you can use any of them as you wish, for a main lid color or for transitioning. You can even create halo effects with the colors Bare and Curve.
In terms of blushes, there are only two colors of which one is matte and the other is slightly shimmery. The shimmery one is a dirty pink-purple and the matte is a pink-red meaning that you have two nice options of pinks with different undertones.
The two highlighters are obviously both shimmer looking and one is a light pink-orange whereas the other is a light brown-pink. Again, this gives you two nice options of a more youthful (pink-orange) or more natural (brown-pink) look.
Overall, although it is relatively a small palette, there is a good selection of colors and matte to shimmer options, because you can use the blushes and highlighters as eye shadows too.
However, one of the most important questions here is: how do the colors compare to the Backtalk lipstick?
Well, as I mentioned above, the palette is many shades of dirty pink so they follow the same theme and they do match. The actual eye shadow color backtalk doesn’t exactly match the backtalk lipstick but that’s expected.
Also remember that the lipstick color will appear different when swatched on a hand vs when on the lips, as our lips have some color already. Similarly, the eye shadows go on a less colored surface, our skin, but depending on your skin tone and shade, the eye shadow color might also appear slightly different.
If you compare the lipstick color on the lips and the eye shadow color on the lid it is still not the same but honestly, I think that’s a super difficult task. They appear to be a similar color scale, with the intensity being the biggest difference and to be honest that’s ok.
It comes to no surprise that these eye shadows are easily blendable and super easy to work with. The Urban Decay eye shadow formulation is as always top notch and the shadows blend very well.
The shadows are neither powdery or creamy buttery, they are somewhere in the middle.
The blushes and highlighters also blend easily but they are more powdery and less creamy than the shadows which makes sense for the type of product they are.
I always use the Urban Decay original eye shadow primer and with that the shadows last all day, do not crease and only loose minimal color intensity.
The highlighters and blushes also last all day but their intensity also fades over time.
Transfer proof tests
Neither the shadows, blushes or highlighters come off if you simply touch them but of course, if you rub them they will slowly fade away.
In general, Urban Decay shadows are one of the best, if not the best. This palette is generally top Urban Decay quality and the only reason to not buy it would be if you don’t like or suit the colors.
This palette retails for £39.50 which is the same price as any of the Urban Decay eye shadow palettes. You get 4 colors less than their normal palettes but you get 2 big pans of highlighter and 2 of blush which you can also use as eye shadows. As a result, overall, it is a good price and is definitely much cheaper than buying an eye shadow palette, 2 blushes and 2 highlighters on their own.
In terms of overall price, it isn’t cheap but neither expensive. Eye shadow palettes from reputable brands of high quality tend to retail for £35-45 and so this fits the general ball park.
This palette doesn’t smell of anything. There is no added scent but neither a natural one from the ingredients. There is only a faint cardboard smell from the packaging which is neither pleasant or unpleasant.
The lipstick lasts for 24M but believe me it’s so nice, comfortable and wearable that you will be out of it in 3. The palette lasts for 24M which is a good amount of time. If you haven’t used up this palette in two years you probably didn’t like the colors anyways.
Matching lipstick: Comfort Matte Backtalk
I highly recommend this lipstick, even more than the palette. The color is gorgeous and very natural while still giving a little color to the lips. It lasts all day and only fades slightly after drinking or eating. It doesn’t dry out the lips but neither really moisturize them. The Urban Decay lipsticks overall are very high quality for not as high prices as they could be. This lipstick retails for £16.50.
The lipstick bullet looks much darker than it actually is on the lips so don’t be fooled. This lipstick also has some moisturizing and good for the lip skin ingredients such as oils, waxes and extracts as well as vitamins.
BACKTALK (COMFORT MATTE) Lipstick Ingredients:
Octyldodecanol, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Kaolin, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Butyrospermum Parkii Oil / Shea Oil, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Candelilla Cera / Candelilla Wax / Cire De Candelilla, Cetyl Lactate, Cera Alba / Beeswax / Cire Dabeille, Cera Microcristallina / Microcrystalline Wax / Cire Microcristalline, Polyethylene, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Aqua / Water / Eau, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycine Soja Oil / Soybean Oil, Squalane, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil / Jojoba Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter / Cocoa Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima Oil / Avocado Oil, Shorea Stenoptera Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Extract / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Citric Acid, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Silica, Polybutylene Terephthalate, Polylactic Acid, Tin Oxide. [+/- (May Contain/Peut contenir): CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 15850 / Red 7 Lake, Mica, CI 77120 / Barium Sulfate].
Backtalk palette ingredients:
Eye shadow palettes don’t often contain any “nutritious for your skin” ingredients but rather just the ones required to create the formulation and pigmentation. As a result, I won’t spend much time here going over them. If there is an ingredient found in this palette that you’d rather avoid you’d likely have a hard time finding another palette you can use as the compounds contained are pretty standard.
However, I would like to address the ingredient talc as there is much speculation out there on the safety of it. As a chemist I can tell you that there is no scientific proof that talc is harmful, I will go through this in detail in another post.
Talc is classed as a skin irritant on its Material Safety Data Sheet (aka MSDS) however, so is table or cooking salt also known as sodium chloride and….we eat it. Pretty much almost everything can be classed as a skin irritant, especially to those with sensitive skin and these labels are very loosely defined. If you use it and you don’t get skin irritation, then there is no reason to worry. The only time when talc can be dangerous to health is if it is breathed in, in large quantities, as a free powder. So…don’t mash up this palette and breath it in.
Same goes for silica, it is only dangerous in free powder form, if you breath it in and if it’s in large quantities or repeated breathing in exposure.
Here’s a list of ingredients in case you want to have a glance:
BLUSH/HIGHLIGHTER Ingredients: Isoeicosane, Silica, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Zinc Stearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Methicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Tin Oxide, Laureth-4. [+/- (All shades may contain /Toutes les couleurs peuvent contenir): Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 45410 / Red 28 Lake, CI 15850 / Red 6, CI 15850 / Red 7 Lake, CI 77120 / Barium Sulfate, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake].
EYESHADOW: BARE, CURVE, SHADE Ingredients: Talc, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Boron Nitride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Zinc Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Alumina, Hexylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Aqua / Water, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polylactic Acid. [+/- (All shades may contain /Toutes les couleurs peuvent contenir): Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 16035 / Red 40, CI 77400 / Copper Powder, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 16035 / Red 40 Lake, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake].
EYESHADOW: ATTITUDE Ingredients: Talc, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Alumina, Hexylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tin Oxide, Polyethylene, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Aqua / Water, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polylactic Acid, Isobutylphenoxy Epoxy Resin, Polyurethane-11. [+/- (All shades may contain /Toutes les couleurs peuvent contenir): Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 77400 / Copper Powder, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder].
EYESHADOW: 180, 3 SHEETS, BACKTALK AND WTF Ingredients: Talc, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Alumina, Polyethylene, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Hexylene Glycol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Aqua / Water, Palmitic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polylactic Acid, Isobutylphenoxy Epoxy Resin. [+/- (All shades may contain /Toutes les couleurs peuvent contenir): CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, Mica, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77742 / Manganese Violet, CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 16035 / Red 40 Lake, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake, CI 77510 / Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 77288 / Chromium Oxide Greens, CI 77000 / Aluminum Powder].
This is a gorgeous palette and I love how connected it feels to the lipstick. I love the name and the dirty pink shades and also the fact that it contains a removable mirror, highlighters, blushes and eye shadows.
I am in love with this palette and I highly recommend it. If you love pink shades you will love this, but make sure to get the lipstick too! If you can only afford one item, go for the lipstick.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
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