The new Urban Decay Electric Palette looks to be everything you would expect classic Urban Decay to be-bright super pigmented shades packaged together in an exciting new palette. But, if you buy this palette, at least in the United States, you will see a fine print warning on the back that the shades Slowburn, Savage, Jilted, and Urban are “not intended for the immediate eye area.” Keeping in mind that most will think of these as eye shadows, what the heck is up with that? Further, why isn’t this warning made clear before you buy? Is the Urban Decay Electric Palette safe or not?
Why the Urban Decay Electric Palette Has That Warning
When it comes to pigments, some are approved by the FDA for the eye area and others are not. In particular, neon shades are not approved for use in the eye area in the US, although they are approved in other countries. Thus, the UK version of the palette does not contain the warning, and Urban Decay has taken the position that the palette, at least in the US, is an “artistry palette” not just an eye palette. (learn more here). Now here is what gets interesting with that. The palette also contains ultramarines (in the shade Savage) and Chromium Oxide Greens (in the shade Freak), which as far as I know are not lip safe (but are considered eye safe), so if it is meant to be a body palette, perhaps that warning should have been added as well? It makes me think Urban Decay is not particularly sincere in their labeling this as an “Artistry Palette.” As you will see below, I believe they fully intend people to use it as an eye palette and are fully marketing it as such.
Is Urban Decay Hypocritical in Their Marketing?
Here is what bugs me about this palette. Urban Decay can state that they are not marketing it as an eye palette, but their website would say otherwise. On their sales page are eye looks using the shades that “are not intended for the immediate eye area.” There are also photos of bloggers sporting eye looks that involve those shades. So Urban Decay’s marketing of the Electric Palette flies in the face of the warning and I would say seems to thumb their nose at the FDA. Further, as I noted above, other shades in this are not lip safe, so if this is a palette meant for other areas of the body, that warning should be on there as well. Here is a screen shot of one of the eye looks advertised.
What bothers me most is that the warning does not appear on the sales pages. Nor did it appear in the PR email I was sent. If I purchased this palette, it would be thinking it was an eye shadow palette and I would be mightily pissed to then read the warning. I’m glad I saw the issue in the Sephora reviews before I hit the buy button.
So, is the Urban Decay Electric Palette Safe?
Heck, I don’t know! It apparently would be viewed as safe in most countries. But given that certain shades are not approved for use in the eye area in the United States, I say proceed with caution. If you tend to have sensitivities to dyes, you might was to be particularly wary. Temptalia also reported that a couple of those shades stained the skin, even when using primer (see more here). I do tend to be sensitive to some dyes, so I am not touching this one no matter how gorgeous it looks. I do admit that it looks beautiful.
With all that said, it is a beautiful looking palette that is getting rave reviews. If you are not worried about the warning, you can buy it here at Sephora. Because of the warning, I decided to pass on it and might pick up a Smashbox Santigolden palette instead.
Update: Phyrra has a great dupe list of other brands that match the Urban Decay Electric shades. You can see that here.
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