Finally! Urban Decay has returned to South Africa with a bang. When their store officially opened in Sandton City, Urbies were lined up outside the doors.
The brand also launched a pop-up palette shop that almost broke the internet. This brand is making noise, yo!
To celebrate the launch, a bunch of beauties hit up Dakota Lee rockabilly bar in Jozi for a blur of burgers and booze that included a temporary tattoo parlour and Spin & Win colour wheel that saw spinners get an application of whatever colour it landed on.
Anyhoo, the night got intensely ‘fun, fierce and female’ (to put it mildly) and myself and a bunch of beauties decided to adult like utter pros by downing yet more bubbles when we got back to the hotel. The end result was the kind of (well-deserved) post-party hangover that made us all want to gouge our eyes out. Seriously girls! I thought my head was going to explode like a bloody grenade so standing in the UD store the next day with neon lighting and loud music nearly broke us but oh my God were we there and were we AMPED! At one point I thought I was going to black out over the blush stand but nothing, NOTHING, was going to stop us from swatching up a storm. This in itself is a testament to the power of the beauty world’s most wondrously pigmented eye shadow.
Beauty friend: I feel like my brain is leaking out my ears but I can’t stop applying lipstick.
Me: My liver is about to shut down but I’m compelled to try on every shade of highlighter.
Beauty friend: My skull is being squeezed in a vice but I’m not leaving until they call our names over the loudspeaker at the airport…
So, what is in this cave of wonder that you’re going to want? The short answer is pretty much everything… and boy do they have it. I’ve been snapping up Urban Decay products for years via various department stores and Sephora stands across the globe but I’ve never seen so many of their products all in one place.
We’re talking every ‘standard’ eye shadow single plus the new Moondust line up… All the Naked palettes you know and love as well as limited edition lovelies like the UD XX. It’s not just their bestselling eye shadow primer – it’s whole line up in every shade (yep, they come in shades) including the anti-ageing variant. It’s all there girls, just waiting for your credit card.
They’ve got all the new Vice lippies too – super pigmented, ultra glidy lipsticks in every shade known to man and available in an array of finishing that include creme, matte and balls to the wall glitter.
Now let’s talk price! This is the big question everyone keeps asking me so let’s whack at it. Urban Decay isn’t a ‘cheap n’ cheerful’ brand but their items aren’t going to financially destroy you either. (Well, unless you lose your mind and buy everything and yes, there is a real danger of that happening.) To give you an idea, their shadow singles are R220 a pop which is pretty on par with MAC’s, which, last I checked, was R210. A few years back I probably would’ve told you to play in store and then buy online from the states, but now that our Rand has hit the skids buying locally is almost dollar-for-rand identical to the states and in many cases even less expensive.
So, the next big question is ‘What did you buy?!’
Being surrounded by all that UD mooiness was tough as there were so many things I wanted but I can’t justify buying another lippie when I’ve got five million at home, more arriving every time I open my door and an expensive car service coming up that isn’t going to accept payment in gently tested BB cream. Thus, I did the Very Adult Thing and curbed my credit card in favour of making a mental note of the items I want and plotted to get them via my standard Urban Decay payment plan – emotionally manipulating my rich biets sister when I return to St. Tropez. (‘See this scar from when you me flung that nut cracker at me?! That’s a primer potion right there, girl!… You’re doing dinner with Karl Lagerfeld? Sounds almost as awesome as my about-to-expire, marked down Checkers lasagna. I’ll take that Suspect shadow single, thanks!)
Still, there was one item I wanted immediate access to so I broke down and snapped up this boy…
Hoekom? Because THIS recently happened to my beloved Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder.
How it broke almost deserves its own blog post. Would you believe me if I told you I’d literally just dropped off a bunch of stuff at a charity I support when a small, cricket bat-bearing child came flying out of nowhere to smash at my handbag like a freakin’ piñata? God! Is this not the perfect example of no good deed going unpunished?! The best/worst bit was when my friend freaked out and got all ‘WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS?!‘ while everyone stared awkwardly at the ground ‘cos, um, hello, where we at a blerrie orphanage…
Anyway, let’s get back to bizness… Until that powder met it’s untimely demise, it was a ride-or-die cosmetic BFF. I love it for it’s great, natural-looking yet medium to heavy weight coverage. Perfect for when I really want to bring the mooiness – like for a big evening out or when I have to yak it up on Expresso and need something a bit more opaque than the sheer loveliness that is Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Compact foundation, a great ‘day time’ powder foundation. Before Naked Skin and I hooked up I’d been using Geurlain Parure Gold Radiance powder foundation but, now that I’m saving to buy a house, I just can’t justify a powder that costs over a grand anymore, regardless of how much I love it.
So, while my hand auto-reached for the Naked Skin powder, I thought I’d take a gamble on the powder foundation and, while I’ve since realised it doesn’t serve up the coverage the powder gives me, I don’t regret it. I like that it evens out my skin, feels unbelievable light on my face and mattifies without looking ‘flat’. Also, as the powder’s so finely milled and specially coated, you can apply it multiple times a day and it never, ever gets cakey. But ja, like I said, even though it’s billed as a ‘powder foundation’ (which gives the impression it would offer more coverage), I find that the plain old ‘powder’ (the one that got smashed) delivers more cover. So now, this newbie has been put to work as my new favourite ‘day time’ powder to replace the Lancome one that’s about to run out.
Right! It’s now time to wrap this up ‘cos I’ve got a script to write. The long and short of this post is that Urban Decay is now open and waiting for your love if you live in Jozi. More stores will roll out in South Africa soon and Cape Town will probably be next but the PR peeps are being tight lipped as to when.
As far as the pop-up shop goes, I can see that’s still going strong and I’m not sure when it shuts down or when/if it’ll get expanded on to include more products but here’s hoping. I’ve actually had a lot of people ask me about the Naked Basics shadow palettes it features and want to stress that, while they’re lovely, all the colours are MATTE. Please be aware of this when you buy because, in my opinion, Urban Decay’s shadow greatness really shines brightest via their satin, shimmer and sparkle textured shadows. Those are the dudes that are going to blow your mind open, so if you didn’t specifically turn up for a matte shadow fiesta and you’re about to hit ‘Add to cart’ for your first taste of Urban Decay, know that YES it really is worth sucking it up and springing for the full palette. Just trust me, okay?
Ooh! Before I forget! Something else that Urban Decay do fabulously well is brushes that are all cruelty-free and made using recycled materials. I now regret being too drugged up on painkillers to make a mental note of the eye shadow brush I used in store but am almost convinced it was the UD Pro tapered blending brush. It did THE BEST JOB of applying a darker shadow to the outer corner and crease of my eye and I’ve been thinking about it ever since…
(Hey l’il sis! Sorry to interrupt a session with your live-in masseuse but I finally got a break from the stress of my multiple jobs. Remember that time we went to Wimpy and you emotionally scarred me for life by saying my arms were looking ‘middle aged’? Well! How lucky are you that I found a little somethin’ somethin’ that could totally take the edge off…)