Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is a Book Without Pages Really a Book?

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide.

Thus opens Lewis Carroll's account of the fantastical journey of a little girl named Alice. Any beauty junkie who hasn't been under a rock (or large mushroom) for the last few months should be able to guess what pertinence this verse has to the post at hand.

Less than two weeks ago, Urban Decay released the third edition of their cult-favorite "Book of Shadows" to not a little fanfare. Proving they know where many of us junkies live, the company has partnered with Disney to make an official Book of Shadows honoring the release of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. To many of you this is old news, however, as the book is due to roll out to Sephora and Ulta stores by the end of the month, I thought a bit of info may be helpful.

The 16 shades included in the book all have Alice-specific names, but they are not new shades. Almost half have appeared in one of the first two Books, the rest, with only one exception (Alice/Painkiller) are permanent. For die hard Alice fans, this book will be a must simply because of the beautiful pop-up packaging (not to mention the opportunity to brag that you not only know what a Jabberwocky is, but that you currently have one on your person!)

For the rest of us, here's a quick breakdown of the shades: the Alice names, followed by the original Urban Decay names. Those that appear in a previous palette will be followed by the name of that collection, those that don't have a collection specified are permanent shades (available in singles.) It's worth noting that some shades that have appeared in previous collections are also permanent shades, and therefore are also available separately.

Top Row
Underland (Flash)
Alice (Painkiller)...Showpony/Preen Shadow Box
Oraculum (Baked)...Book of Shadows I
Queen (Last Call)...Book of Shadows I

Second Row
Chessur* (Chopper)
White Rabbit* (Polyester Bride)
Wonderland* (Maui Wowie)
Curiouser* (Grifter)...Book of Shadows I

Third Row
Muchness (X)
Mushroom (Mushroom)...Book of Shadows II
Midnight Tea Party* (Midnight Cowboy Rides Again)...Book of Shadows II
Vorpal (S&M )

Bottom Row
Absolem (Homegrown)...Book of Shadows II
Drink me, Eat me (Sin)
Mad Hatter* (Twice Baked)...Book of Shadows II
Jabberwocky* (Oilslick)

The set also includes two 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils in:
Zero (black) and Flipside (bright teal) At .8g they are 67% off the full size

Mini primer potion- 3.7ml or 37% of the full size.

Shadows are each .8 grams, or 53% of full size.

Taking size into account, this set is worth around $165, and that's if all of the shadows were available in smaller, similarly sized singles, which they're not. To get all of the shades included in the set as they're available, you'd have to hunt down the increasingly rare Book of Shadows I and II, and buy the available singles in full size, which would run you over $300. Talk about an adventure! The Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows retails at $52, making this a relative steal to those that don't already have one or both of the other collections.

I do feel it necessary to mention that almost half of the shades included in the set (those marked with an asterisk after the shade name) have large glitter particles. While Urban Decay shadows are great when it comes to pigmentation, texture and blendability, I personally have an extreme aversion to most glitter shadows. I find the glitter rarely stays confined to the eye lid; instead it migrates to other areas of the face and, in effect, makes one resemble a large disco ball. Since glitter also reflects light in photography, it's not something I can use in my professional work, so I tend to stay away from it if I can. This is totally my personal preference, and I'm sure the finish is the reason many people love these colors so much- I just thought it was worth mentioning.

Having said that, this is a tempting set- I'm still undecided myself. I own the first Book of Shadows, and unfortunately the three shades that overlap are shades that I don't use often- however, three out of sixteen shades isn't a straight vote in the "NO" column. The Alice Book of Shadows is a limited edition, and is going quickly- it's currently sold out on Urban Decay's website, but as of right now, it is available online at Sephora and Ulta (with both sites offering free shipping to boot.) The set will be rolling out the brick-and-mortar locations by the end of the month.

Hope this helps you all decide...

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream-
Lingering in the golden gleam-
Life, what is it but a dream?

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