Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV review

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Because sometimes, you don’t wanna be Naked!

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV reviewproduct photos: we heart this, swatches and tutorials: Marilyn

Before you read any further, there are two things that you should know about me: 1. I love when makeup companies come up with innovative products (the concept of eyeshadow primer practically made my head explode in excitement, but the vibrating mascara and powder trend kind of freaked me out). And 2. I’m kind of obsessed with Urban Decay. If it’s possible to have a girl-crush on a makeup brand, I’m pretty sure the intensity of my crush on Urban Decay rivals that of a tweenage girl’s crush on Justin Bieber.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV packaging

Urban Decay is smart and witty without being brash. They’re unapologetic in their love of color and of 100% cruelty-free products. The quality of Urban Decay products is consistently amazing, whether it’s color product, makeup tools or other beauty products. Their edgy style of product packaging is award-winning, and for good reason–it looks like it could be in some cool downtown art gallery (see above). Urban Decay points out that “although UD fans around the world might approach our products in wildly different ways, we’ve noticed they share an independent spirit that unites them.” Which is why Urban Decay products are so popular with the we heart this team!

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV packaging

The new, limited edition Book Of Shadows IV ($64) embraces some of the best aspects of prior Book of Shadows versions, and then improves on them by adding a full sized 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion (carbon black), travel sized Supercurl Curling Mascara in black and portable speakers to use with the five online makeup tutorials.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV palette

As before, this Book of Shadows comes with a travel sized original Primer Potion and has 16 colors, 10 of which are new shades (woot! ~wht). The Supercurl mascara has a curved plastic applicator, which easily coats your eyelashes. The formula does seem to have a very slight curling effect on my lashes.

The 24/7 liquid liner has replaced the two mini 24/7 eyeliner pencils that typically came with the Book of Shadows, which I would consider an improvement since I have been dying to get my hands on another 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner. And though the pencils are great, I already have plenty of those from other palettes. The 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner is a truly pigmented black, with an easy to use brush applicator. It can create a sharp line for a cat-eye look, or it can be smudged out for a softer look.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV review

The keychain speaker is cute and easily connects with my phone using the included cord. I had a little difficulty scanning the QR codes and getting the videos to play on my phone, but the tutorials themselves were easy to follow.

I tested four of the five tutorials; Monochrome, Smoke Out, Crystallize and Naked. As always, all of the included shadows were incredibly smooth in texture, and most were highly pigmented. This palette is really an amazing deal–I calculated the total cost of of all the included products (excluding the keychain speaker), and you’re getting a $200 value.

Blue Bus, Gunmetal, Cobra, Baked; Bender, Gravity, Lost, Hijack shade swatches L-R: Blue Bus, Gunmetal, Cobra, Baked; Bender, Gravity, Lost, Hijack

Midnight Cowgirl, Sin, Midnight Rodeo, Crystal; Bust, Missionary, Skimp, Zephyr shade swatchesL-R: Midnight Cowgirl, Sin, Midnight Rodeo, Crystal; Bust, Missionary, Skimp, Zephyr

Here’s a look at the tutorials…

Woman modelling the naked shadeNaked

Woman modelling the naked shadeNaked

Crystallize shade looks Crystallize

Crystallize shade looks Crystallize

Monochrome shade looks Monochrome

Smoke Out shade looks Smoke Out

Smoke Out shade looks Smoke Out

-An amazing value.
-Includes great new products and limited edition colors.
-100% cruelty-free.
-Beautiful, innovative packaging.

-Speakers and tutorials were kind of underwhelming.
-Palette is a bit large and clunky.
-Some shades are too glittery, some are too sheer.

Once again, Urban Decay redefines the makeup palette. But would we expect anything less?

Any Book of Shadows IV lovers out there?

Marilyn is a makeup maniac and slow but stubborn runner. She loves color coding her day planner, reading celebrity gossip and drinking good wine. Marilyn blogs about makeup and fitness over at her blog, Lipgloss and Spandex.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also may contain an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Marilyn

    Marilyn is a makeup maniac and slow but stubborn runner. She loves color coding her day planner, reading celebrity gossip and drinking good wine. skin tone: NC25 Skin type: oily, acne-prone Favorite beauty product: eyeshadow

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  1. @lipglossandspandex –Fabulous review! You really walked me through this Book of Shadows as if I literally had the product right in front of me. I love buying things that have everything in one central location. I am not a huge glitter fan but, I do like sheer eyeshadow.

    1. Thanks Holly :) Even with the glittery shadows (which I don’t care for since I rarely use them), it’s still totally worth it!

  2. Awesome review @lipglossandspandex! Urban Decay seriously does have some of the best eyeshadows in the market. I love their Book of Shadows but I’m kind of over the gimmicky pop up boxes :( I think they are the reason why I reach for my boxes less. They are a fantastic bargain nonetheless and I love when they include Primer Potions because it’s my go-to primer. :)

  3. Fabulous job with the swatches and tutorials @lipglossandspandex – I can’t decide which look I like on you best! There’s some really beautiful shades in here, and 10 out of 16 shades being new is really awesome. Though I agree with @mandabear – I’m kind of over pop ups and gimmicks. I just want good product, which this is! So I guess you really have the best of both worlds with Book of Shadows IV, the bells and whistles for those who are still charmed by that, and the fab product for those who need only that.

  4. I share your Bieber-esque devotion to everything Urban Decay, @lipglossandspandex . I agree, I don’t need the gimmicks, just gorgeous shadows. Can’t wait to check this out in person… if I can find it!

  5. First of all @lipglossandspandex, are those your real lashes? They are phenomonal! Now that that’s out of the way, I love Urban Decay shadows and their glittery, shimmery or just downright bold look. I always have a Midnight Cowboy hanging around somewhere. They also make one of the best primer potions around. I’m with everyone on the gimmicks…I don’t need cardboard butterfly speakers to help watch their tutorials (I totally had to read that part of the post twice to see if I had read it correctly…speakers?). Then again, if someone is encouraged to give UD a try because of it, why not? Most makeup palettes have something that you’ll never use, so best it be one of the non-makeup components of the set!

    1. I am with you–I could care less about the gimmicks. I just want good quality at a fair price.

  6. Oh my, I want this so bad. The Naked2 palette doesn’t have enough difference from the Naked palette to intrigue me, but this one looks amazing. The portable speaker is a cute touch.

  7. Wow, these are gorgeous and even more gorgeous on you! Really nice job on everything – you’re making me want this set badly!

  8. I love this palette, and am still as excited as the day I opened the shipping box! In any value set, there will always be things that you aren’t crazy about–in this case, the price, the techie goods, and the size are a smidge offputting. But there are so many amazing things about this palette–the colors, the packaging, the value–that I can’t give it anything less than five stars! So many different looks can be created with this one palette, and it leans a bit more neutral than previous Book of Shadows editions, but still has enough fun colors to be interesting. This would make a great gift!

  9. Your naked look is amazing!! So beautiful! Please do my eye makeup everyday! :)

    I own several Urban Decay Book of Shadows. They are always so much fun and offer such amazing color choices. This one looks like another winner!

    Great review!!

  10. “Because sometimes you don’t want to be naked.” Buahahh, I love it! *gigglesnort*

    @lipglossandspandex you are gorgeous! These colors look amazing on you. I love UD shadows, but I almost never buy their palettes because they’re so bulky. I guess it’s perfect if you’re into collecting, because they’re always so unique, but from a practical standpoint I tend to pass. The 10 new colors is what’s really tempting me about this set. Maybe!

    1. @mandaleem, the palette is quite bulky. It’s nice though for those who aren’t really into bright colors because it does give sampling of a lot of different colors all in one place. Or collectors like myself!

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