Urban Decay Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette (£35) is one of the star products of the new collection inspired by the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), one of whose paintings last week sold for a record-breaking $110.5 million – making it the most expensive American artwork ever sold at auction.
Brooklyn-born Basquiat made his name as a graffiti artist, part of a duo whose work was born out of the merging of hip-hop, punk and street art. He went on to exhibit his own primitive art inspired paintings in many prestigious galleries, and his paintings feature in private collections owned by the likes of Debbie Harry, David Bowie and Johnny Depp.
The new Urban Decay collection, created in collaboration with Basquiat’s estate, not only draws on colours from his artworks but features his images on the packaging. Indeed, the Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette is actually housed in a mini reproduction of his artwork – it is wrapped all the way around with canvas, so the art printed on top comes to life. There’s even a small cutout on the back for hanging so you can display the palette on your wall and create your own mini Basquiat gallery.
And as for the eyeshadows themselves? Well, they do look slightly scary on first glance – much like the artworks themselves – but they are actually very wearable, though I’m not sure I would describe them as “neutrals”, as Urban Decay does! The variations I’ve been using are
Levitation (warm pale nude matte)/Suckerpunch (warm brown shimmer)/Crown (very metallic gold) and Enigma (neutral pale nude matte)/Influence (brown satin with gold shimmer)/Pseudonym (deep navy matte)/Crown. The other shades are Not For Sale (medium sienna matte) and BK (grey matte-satin).
I found the eyeshadows quite easy to blend, and especially liked using the metallic gold shade in the corners of my eyes and over the top of the other colours to brighten the look up, as the shades are otherwise quite murky. I wouldn’t say the Gold Griot shades lasted particularly well on my eyelids – I felt they lost their vibrancy a little more quickly than I might have expected – so it might be worth using them with an eyeshadow primer as you probably don’t want to be lugging this hefty palette around all day … Other than that, it’s a winner. Now, ‘scuse me while I hammer a nail into the wall for my burgeoning Basquiat collection!