This is a very belated review of the W7 On the Rocks palette, which is a “dupe” (more like a knockoff really) of the ABH subculture palette.I got it almost a year ago, but didn’t want to review it till now.
There’s been a great “controversy” about Subculture when it came out, due mainly to how the eyeshadows performed, which is a damn shame since to me this is the perfect eyeshadow palette for fall. I really like the earthy shades in it, especially the greens and yellow mustard,and in fact this palette is like the complementary palette to their Modern Renaissance. While MR is warm neutral, this leans more cool with shades like the grey or teals. But from an artist’s point of view, those colors are simply on the opposite part of the color wheel hence them being complementary, and while MR reminds me more of old Renaissance paintings with the reds, the Subculture feels more like its modern yet grungy little sister.
…Yeah you could say I’m obsessed with this color scheme.
But since the Subculture isn’t very beginner friendly and I was just starting in makeup, plus I didn’t know if high end shadows could justify having to pay a steep price for someone who is just a casual makeup lover….I decided against getting it, and instead getting the dupe for cheaper just to see if I really liked the color scheme on me.
And I have to say I regret doing that for two reasons, the performance of the dupe itself and for the color scheme which I’m absolutely obsessed with.
Let’s face it the dupe palette is nowhere near as beautiful as the original, in fact the packaging feels really cheap, even cheaper than MUR palettes. Not a fan of the cardboard packaging, although yes I know the ABH palette also comes in one. But this just feels very cheap, especially on the borders of the eyeshadow pans if that makes sense.Also I don’t know why but when I opened the palette, it had a rather strong chemical smell. I kept it open for a while to get rid of it, and it doesn’t look like it’s the shadows themselves, but maybe the glue? Dunno.It’s gone now so at least there’s that.
While the ABH palette’s shade names had a subculture theme going on, On the Rocks -or as it is dubbed Neutrals on Ice- has more of a drinks/cocktails theme…hence the Neutrals on Ice. With shade names like Bloody Mary, Pina Colada etc it does feel kinda cheap, although I guess you can applaud them for trying to come up with their own shade names…
Now to the actual shadows and how they perform. W7 infamously went on social media and tried to shame ABH for their formula or something, saying something along the lines of “We did it”… Dude, don’t go bragging about how you stole people’s ideas.
But did they really manage to find a middle ground between pigmentation and blendability, and not have shadows that are too soft they have a lot of kickback? I would say it greatly varies, while some shades are pigmented, which is a good portion of the shades for the exception of the two greens (minus the teal) these do have a lot of kickback. I find that I get the most fallout with the dark and pigmented shades. The yellows work wonderfully, but they completely missed the mark with the green duochrome shimmer, which comes off more like a yellow gold than a yellow and green duochrome.It is still a nice shade on its own, but it doesn’t come close to what it’s supposed to be.
My favorite shades are the teal, the wine, the two yellows and the deep purple, which I think works so much better than a black. The orange and grey are also nice, although I do find that the grey is kinda misplaced in this palette, even in the original, because I feel it leans more warm which is weird in what should be a cool(er) palette.
In terms of blendability it’s ok. I do find if I blend too much the colors on the lids they simply disappear so it’s better to pack on the color then blend, since obviously these don’t have some insane color payoff like the original.You can see in the first eyelook that the green that was blended just starts disappearing, so imo you won’t get a seamless blend with a lot of color payoff, especially if use a lot of shades.
Also since I have hooded eyes I do find the mattes transfer a bit.
So did they do better than ABH? I don’t think so, even without owning the original I think these shades are just hard to do in general, especially greens and yellows, so ABH weren’t really at fault. Claiming the dupe is superior is a stretch because it also suffers from similar issues in terms of fallout (it’s crazy with the purple) because of just how the shadows are pressed, which is made to ensure they’d be pigmented or else they simply won’t show up.I would say the shadows do blend rather easily, even though you have to build up some shades, but as far as muddying goes I don’t think I’ve experienced that, although to be fair these colors in particular could do that since they seem rather earthy.
So do I think this is a good purchase? Hard to say, with such dupes or knockoffs there’s always the moral debate about brands who specialize in such products, and which basically rip off of other brands. But on the other side there’s the fact that you have so many palettes on the market that are similar, for example each brand has their own version of the Modern Renaissance. So even if they don’t completely rip off that palette, they’d still be copying the shades to some extent. Also not everyone is able to afford a 40+ dollars palette,one that has some notorious issues ,especially if they just started out in makeup.
At the very least I know that I like this color scheme, and I could maybe even dupe it with Inglot singles which I’d prefer as I don’t think I need all the shades in the palette only the unique ones. Or maybe even take the risk of buying the Subculture itself, why not? I definitely think it’s worth getting into now since I’m more experienced and know what works for me better in terms of eyeshadow application.The Subculture seems like the kind of palette that you shouldn’t go ham on the shadows, and rather place the shades carefully so as to not get a muddied look.It could take a lot of finessing but it could be worth it, and I just like putting one shade or two on the lid, so even if I don’t do something too elaborate it could still work.
Also I know that Lime Crime also has a similar palette, and they’re available to me in stores now, but until not long ago I wasn’t comfortable with buying from them because of the controveries surrounding them… Well that is until they got a new CEO that is.
I definitely think I could get a lot of use of these colors since I’m a sucker for greens, and mustard yellow too it seems.It’s to be continued I guess.