Swatches + First Impressions // Urban Decay Nocturnal Shadow Box

Maybe it’s because it sounds like a Book of Shadows, but I have a hard time not finding Shadow Boxes alluring and a bit witchy (read: amazing). I have the original Shadow Box, and I do love it. I love the small size, the aesthetic, and yes, the shadows. So… I may have impulse purchased the new Nocturnal box without even reading about it.

The Packaging + Aesthetic:


It’s made to look like a shadows set in… black and white brick? I’m not sure what they were going for. It’s very Urban Decay- grungy, edgy, and a little bit strange. It actually reminds me of a pair of Express leggings I have that had a jean pattern printed on them in black and white. Instead of picturing myself in a blouse and cuffed jeans and oxfords with my hair in a bun, I picture… me in a studded black jacket with cuffed jeans and ankle boots and my hair in a loose, wispy bun 😛 My point here is that despite being a little bit edgier, it still fits in with my own particular style.

The packaging itself is very similar to Lorac’s LE palettes- not super cheap cardboard, but not luxe either. It’s a little bigger than the original Shadow Box, and it’s not as shiny and doesn’t have the fancy decals. However, the writing on the front IS embossed, and it comes with a small dual-ended brush.

The Contents + Weights:

This palette comes with 12 shadows. Each shadow weighs 0.5g (the same as the original shadow box) for a total of 6g of product. To compare, Naked Smoky and Alice Through the Looking Glass shades contain 1.3g each, Vice 4 shades are 0.8g each, and Moondust shades are 0.7g each. Thus, it’s definitely smaller than other types of UD palettes. However, the price is cheaper ($29). When you look at how much you get for the price, this is $4.83 per gram. Naked palettes are $54 or $3.46 per gram. Full-size UD shadows are $19 or $12.67 per gram.

There are six more “neutral” shades and six more “edgy” shades, making this a decent all-around palette. All 12 have been released before, with eight in the current collection and four being “re-releases” of past shades. I would say that if you like three or more shades, this is a good deal for the price.

The Swatches + Formula Impressions:


  1. ABC Gum. Matte pale peach; almost my skin color (in fact, in this picture, it’s hard to see it at all; I think it’s just a bit more yellow than my skin). A little dusty but not bad.
  2. Midnight Cowboy Rides Again. Beautiful metallic-like shimmer. It’s a bit of a warmer in itself, described as a pink champagne, but the shimmer to it is silver and makes it look more neutral. It has some fallout with a brush but glides so well on my fingers/skin.
  3. Baby. Currently not available in FS. Warmer light-to-medium brown with some metallic sheen to it. A little powdery but soft and blendable.
  4. Half Baked. Shimmery golden color; a bit muted and darker than a true gold, but definitely quite warm. Some describe it as copper, but it doesn’t look coppery to me personally. A little bit powdery but soft with good pigmentation.
  5. Riff. Warm medium brown with golden sparkles (not a ton of them, but noticeable). Aside from the sparkle, it’s a matte. Soft and easily blended without being powdery.
  6. Delete. Currently not available in FS. This is actually in my Vice 4 palette and is the color I absolutely destroyed when I accidentally dropped that palette… Dark brown with slight red undertones to it and very small amounts of possibly golden sparkle. Blends very well. Moderately smooth and not too powdery but IMO it doesn’t have excellent pigmentation.
  7. Fireball. Shimmery peachy-pink. Moderate pigmentation on my skin- it holds to my finger well but doesn’t transfer as easily. A little dusty.
  8. Backfire. Slightly muted medium-to-dark true purple; shimmery and a bit frosted in appearance. While it is a bit powdery, it’s not as hard as I usually expect from a purple and isn’t patchy.
  9. Lounge. Duo-chrome: the base color is a medium-deep brown with slightly red undertones and it has a greenish, bordering on teal, chrome to it in the right lighting. On my actual eyes, I just see brown and hardly any of the green. That said, it applies absolutely beautifully. It’s very smooth, blends well, and is quite pigmented.
  10. Armor. Currently not available in FS. Medium to dark grayish silvery taupe with some prismatic sparkle in it, making it look pearly. Slightly dusty to me but overall beautiful
  11. Heroine. Currently not available in FS. Dark blue (I would describe as a clear navy) with glitter that’s also blue but lighter and brighter (cerulean maybe? I can’t clearly tell). To me this was a bit patchy and not very pigmented. Kinda just eh.
  12. Blackout. Standard UD black that came in the other shadow box. Mostly matte but with a small about of shimmer to it. To me it was powdery and patchy.


I really do like that the formulas of these shades are fairly good. Minus the last two shades, they all were easy to apply and blend and didn’t look patchy. The inclusion of Heroine would be nice if the shade actually, you know, performed well. I don’t think Blackout is a shade I ever use for anything other than lining, but I suppose for darker complected girls it could be useful to help darken the lighter neutral shades. Tone-wise, this seems mostly warm, especially the neutrals.

I think this is a great palette if you’re looking for a small palette with some neutrals and some colors. However, if you’re an UD fan, you might have these colors already. If there are three or more colors in this palette that you don’t have yet and love, this might make sense to purchase; however, if you have color dupes for all the neutrals and only want a couple of the colorful/edgier colors, I think it’s better to buy full-size and depot into a Z Palette.


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