Urban Decay breaks new ground in collaboration with Gwen Stefani

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Urban Decay, a U.S. cosmetics brand, started empowering women with makeup nearly 20 years ago in a time when pink, red and beige dominated the prestige beauty market. Urban Decay strategically released their collaborative line of products with singer-songwriter, fashion designer and actress Gwen Stefani. Stefani’s love for makeup is obvious, as she is famous for what can be called her signature makeup look: bright red lipstick and arched eyebrows. Her line includes an eye shadow palette, blush palette, eight lipstick shades, six lip pencils and a brow box.

Urban Decay is managed under L’Oreal with an array of other brands, like NYX Cosmetics, The Body Shop and Essie. | www.makeupandbeautyblog.com

The UD Gwen Stefani Collection is the first celebrity-designed collaboration that the cosmetics company has ever done, making this launch unique and a milestone for the brand. Aside from the fact that she is the first celebrity that Urban Decay has collaborated with, this project was largely in Stefani’s control. Artist and designer collaborations with cosmetics brands are a smart tactic to get fans to buy new products. Some artist “collaborations” entail the artist putting their name on a random product just to hike up sales for a specific brand. However, Stefani was heavily involved in the process of creating her line. She let loose while handpicking the shades that would go into her palettes, rather than having a large influence from the cosmetic brand’s design team. She dreamed up the tiniest of details, down to the eye shadow and blush palette’s packaging and sleek exterior. Stefani’s love for black and white graphic prints inspired the modern design of the collection.

The two most popular products from Stefani’s line are the eye shadow palette, which includes 15 shades, which consist of mostly warm-toned neutrals along with some pops of color, and a blush palette consisting of six different. The pops of color make the eye shadow palette a little less typical, since most Urban Decay palettes have a common color scheme. The brand’s most popular eye shadow palettes famously known as the “naked palettes” have all had different color stories, one of which was rose-hued neutrals and the other being smoky eye based.

There is barely a distinction between some of the neutral shades in Stefani’s eye shadow palette. The highly pigmented formulas of Urban Decay make Stefani’s eye shadow palette successful in terms of quality. Given Stefani’s edgy style, there is a lack of versatility in both the eye shadow and blush palettes, as both do not work well with all skin tones. Although Stefani did hand pick what colors and products would go into her line, the eye shadow palette may remind some of a combination of the first and third Naked palettes, as well as Urban Decay’s Vice palettes, which consist of a range of bright and dynamic shades for the boldest of makeup lovers. The blush palette includes shades ranging from a pop of pink to a matte bronze, all of which last the day but are more suitable for ladies with lighter skin.

There is almost a literal translation of Stefani’s look in both palettes, which makes it more personal for Stefani since she wants her must-haves to secure a spot in every woman’s makeup bag. The eye shadow palette is suitable for makeup lovers who like the brighter shades and do not already have a neutral palette because there is a combination of both. The blush palette has the brand’s popular Afterglow formula, which allows the blush to last for eight hours, perfect for the ladies who have long days at work or who like to party into the night. Like most Urban Decay products, the quality in the UD Gwen Stefani collection is there.

The world of makeup is ever-evolving, with more and more women participating in the current beauty trends. The competitive cosmetics market is influencing brands such as Urban Decay to do bigger and better in order to continue thriving in such a competitive field. Techniques such as contouring and strobing have become fads in today’s society, influencing cosmetic brands to try strategies such as collaborating with celebrities in order to attract more consumers. The red lip and arched eyebrows may be Stefani’s signature look, but the recent trend of filling in eyebrows perfectly and fearlessly rocking a bold red lip can be seen among cosmetic brands.

Despite the fact that the products in Stefani’s line may not be suitable for all skin tones, the collaboration can be deemed successful thanks to the star’s ability to encapsulate her signature look for her fans. Take Stefani’s own “must-have” products and shades in combination with Urban Decay’s incredible, long-lasting formulas, and there lies yet another successful set of products from the never-disappointing brand.

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