Let’s go back to the pre-launch Subculture contoversy. Leaked and unflattering images of the palette flooded social media. The shadows looked washed out, in-cohesive and chalky.
The image wasn’t a blogger shot or teaser from the brand itself. It was actually the result of a broken non-disclosure agreement. The culprit? One of two retailers, apparently.
Anastasia’s president took to Twitter to address the leak and call out the person who ruined the reveal:
“We sent this to 2 retailers, one of which sent me images of the palette untouched on her desk. Waiting for the other now.”
Oh SHIT. She continued:
“I support everyone’s hustle, get your coin, but please don’t fuck with mine in the process.”
I mean, fair enough. Brands spend tonnes of money to promote their product. They’re careful about how the product is portrayed – pretty picture, good story, a full campaign. This dim iPhone shot has none of that. It was hardly flat lay goals.
Criticism of the colourway died down when Anastasia Beverly Hills released official images, in which the palette was properly lit. It looked rich, bold and different.
Poor First Impressions
When Subculture hit stores, reviews were mixed. Youtuber Alissa Ashley posted a video that showed shades from the Subculture palette crumbling when touched, and also blending poorly when applied. This review went viral after several other Youtubers weighed in to say they had similarly dodgy experiences.
Anastasia Beverly Hills responded to Alissa Ashley’s tweets and review, saying that the palette was not behaving normally. Alissa was offered a replacement palette but remains adamant that there is an issue with Subculture that goes beyond a batch of duds.
Bad Batch or Dud Product?
Temptalia, one of the most respected product reviewers, weighed in on Twitter, noting that she had difficulty blending some of the shadows. She notes inconsistency in the palettes, stating that she hers was workable, but she witnessed others ‘exploding’ with dust when used.
Discussions began about whether Subculture is a dud or if there had been a production error in some batches. Weirdly, it might have been both.
Anastasia Beverly Hills said Subculture is the first of their palettes that was created using automated pressing, and that the shadows had to be soft pressed.
They claim that palettes that were not pressed with enough force to prevent crumbling are defective, but that a few duds are part of any production run. They offered replacements to anyone who felt they had received a defective palette.
So, the official stance is that Subculture is soft pressed and some dust is normal, but that truly botched palettes will be refunded, as with any Anastasia product.
Still, bad reviews plague Subculture. Some of those who complained or shared poor reviews were given application tips, which did not go town well, especially as many customers who had difficulties with Subculture are professional makeup artists.
The loose texture of the new shadows isn’t a success. It creates mess and wastes product.
Plus, to limit mess, customers have to use their palettes very delicately and alter their application method or use different, smaller brushes.
But why bother? Sure, if this palette was a bargain bucket special, you might go to a little extra trouble for the sake of saving lots of cash. However, at €45, there shouldn’t be this much hassle.
And for those who say it’s a professional product, nah. It’s the sister product to Modern Renaissance, which was a consumer-friendly palette.
So, whether the new texture is intentional or not, customers don’t like it. I can see Subculture being discontinued after a few more runs.