Angela Bocage

Underrated Urban Decay, and supporting companies that don’t support cruelty

One of my favorite makeup companies is Urban Decay. Their grouchy little garbage cans of shadow with flip-up lids are among the most underrated products around: get past their campily overpunked names like “gash,” “uzi,” and “asphyxiation,” or my fave: “polyester bride,” and you’ve got really lovely, wearable, durable color that’s as silky as a dream and as sheer or as bold as you choose to make it. It’s the combination of these shadows’ tenacity and their creamy-silky texture I can’t praise enough… but people like the brilliant and adorable Linda Rosewood(,  who’ve never bothered with makeup, will never share my wonder at Urban Decay, because they weren’t dopey enough in high school to wear the horrid, chalky, crumbly cheap-ass drugstore crap eyeshadow I endured. I shudder at the bitter memories! But perhaps if someone were to lure such ladies to indulge themselves in a playful session of ornamentation, they’d like the little garbage cans, or the bright satin of Urban Decay’s deluxe shadow line, in spite or because of the fact it comes instead in jewelboxy little thematically embellished mirrored compacts with more elemental names like Peace, Honey, Graffitti, and Fishnets. Peace is acid-trip cerulean, Graffitti pungent green, Honey warm dark gold.

I swear my makeup obsession really began when, as little Southern girls, bunches of us would be playing outside and choose one to be The Queen,  put flowers in her hair and berry juice on her lips, bedeck her with more flowers, and any “dress-up stuff” fabric or jewelry our female relatives let us play with, and adore the female beauty of our peers (which could be anyone’s)! Actually, it more likely started with those female relatives. Look at my cousin Jennifer Horne’s “Aunts” poem (linked to at right). Of course, we were damn lucky we didn’t get poisoned by the wrong berry, bitten by brown recluses, or felled outright by some deadly birdshit-borne virus…

Like deep-Southern little girls, the Urban Decay folks know how much fun makeup is supposed to be. More importantly, they are one of the rare companies whose sites take a stand against cruelty. Too Faced only talks about that anymore in terms of the boys’ (excellent!) makeup brushes, and nary a mention remains on Stila’s site–although of course after Estee Lauder sold the company it was bought late in 2006 by an “investment firm” that also runs, among other things, an aluminum extrusion company, a couple of plumbing supplies, building materials, synthetic textile, and other companies of no discernible aesthetic focus. (But wait, don’t give up on Stila yet–instead look for more Stila news here first, because an insider has promised to give this blog the real scoop real soon!) Although Urban Decay states that they are “not a vegan company,” they are nevertheless kind enough to designate, with an appropriate paw print, the significant number of their products which are vegan.  The site can help  find other companies we critter-lovers can actively and happily support. PETA also offers a downloadable catalog of cruelty-free companies as well as a yearly caring consumers’ catalog one can order at


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  1. * rosewood says:

    ooo, next time I see you, I want to play The Queen with you.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 5 months ago
  2. Why Ms. Rosewood, for being the most frequent commenter in the first fortnight of this blog, that is exactly the prize you have won! I hope we play at least a couple rounds so you can experience both the Lady in Waiting and Sovereign aspects of this wonderful game!

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 5 months ago

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