Urban Decay Perversion Mascara & Subversion Primer Review & Swatches

I'm not really sure why I even bothered to review another mascara, because honestly, nothing ever looks good on my sparse and stick straight Asian lashes! For the longest time I've been on the hunt for that perfect mascara that will make my lashes look lush, thick, and full, as they can ever be. Is the new Urban Decay Perversion the one for me? Let's find out!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara & Deluxe Subversion Primer
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara & Deluxe Subversion Primer

Right now if you buy the Perversion Mascara, you will get a free deluxe sample of the Subversion Primer, too! Sweet deal! I'm not gonna lie, I purchased this mascara because it comes with the primer. ^_^ I can't help it. I love all things mini!! And besides, I need all the help I can get to achieve the fullest lash look!

L-R: Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (for comparison), Perversion Mascara, and Subversion Primer
L-R: Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (for comparison), Perversion Mascara, and Subversion Primer

The Perversion Mascara

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

When it comes to Urban Decay, you can always expect a bold tagline for each of their product. This mascara reads: “bigger, blacker, badder lashes“! And if that's not enough, it also says that it will: “get you sexy in one stroke“, too! Very well then! After using it everyday for three weeks, here's what I think:

Applicator

I find the applicator wand to be too big for my small eyes. It's a little difficult to maneuver especially in the inner corners. The brush is nice, though, very “bushy” which makes it easy to deposit the rich pigment effectively onto each lash. But the disadvantage I see is it picks up and deposits too much product onto the lashes. I suppose you can wipe off the excess before applying but having to do that every time seems like a waste of the product.

Formula

Despite the gooey look of the brush, the formula is quite nice — creamy and lightweight. It's not too wet, not too dry, and it sets in reasonably time. The black is a rich and intense glossy black. In fact, I think it's one of the blackest mascaras I've ever seen. What I like about it is it seems to hold curls really well without weighing down my lashes or making them brittle, stiff, or crunchy. One coat is enough to give a natural finish but as soon as I layer, my poor lashes seem to stick together, creating that clumpy/spidery lash look that I absolutely dislike.

It is supposedly formulated with a complex blend of proteins and amino acids to stimulate lash growth but after three weeks of use, I did not notice any significant difference on the length of my lashes. I wonder if maybe I need to use it longer.

Performance

I don't think it does anything much to improve the look of my lashes. Sure, there is a difference when I have the mascara on, but I don't feel that it does anything more special than my other mascaras. My lashes seem to look a little longer, a little fuller (perhaps), but definitely not volumized.

Longevity

The mascara smudges if worn without the primer. I wore it alone on a hot day and there was a tiny smudge around the outer edges of my eyes. When used in conjunction with the Subversion Primer, the staying power is significantly improved — no smearing, smudging, or transferring!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

The Subversion Primer

Urban Decay Subversion Primer
Urban Decay Subversion Primer

The primer also has a bold tagline! It reads: “thicker, longer, stronger“! ;D While I wasn't blown away by the mascara, I have to say I actually love, love, LOVE the primer! :) I'll probably repurchase just the primer once I finished with my sample. :)

Applicator

The shape of the primer brush is similar to the Perversion Mascara brush. What's different is the bristles. The Subversion Primer's bristles are blunt, thick, and less “feathery”.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (top) & Deluxe Subversion Primer (bottom)
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (top) & Deluxe Subversion Primer (bottom)

Formula

The formula features panthenol and conditioning vitamin E to keep lashes conditioned during wear. I love how extremely creamy and featherlight the formula is. It applies nicely and leaves lashes looking beautifully soft and feathery in one coat. The formula seems to just glide on to each lash with ease and does not leave them looking dry or flaky like most lash primers do. It exerts a small “lifting” effect as well.

Performance

It provides a volumized base for the pigment to grab onto and also helps the mascara to glide on more smoothly. I seriously think that this primer is one of the best lash primers I have ever used. It pairs well with my other mascaras, too, so two thumbs up for the primer!

Urban Decay Subversion Primer
Urban Decay Subversion Primer

The mascara is easily removable with water, but when worn over a primer, you will need a makeup eye remover for everything to come off.

The real test

L-R: Bare lashes, Subversion Primer alone, Subversion Primer and 2 coats of Perversion Mascara
L-R: Bare lashes, Subversion Primer alone, Subversion Primer and 2 coats of Perversion Mascara

The difference is not much but I hope you can at least see that the mascara does make my lashes look slightly thicker and longer but it doesn't necessarily volumize. What's more obvious is how the formula seems to clump, making my lashes stick together, and therefore creating the elongated, spidery lash look (not a fan). The black is rich and jet black, though, and I really like that a lot.

All in all, the Perversion Mascara is an OK mascara to me. It doesn't do anything special on my straight and sparse lashes (and so my search continues). Having said that, however, I am positive that if you are blessed with lush lashes (oh lucky you), you'll see a much more impressive result.

Do you know any tips or tricks to get your lashes looking lush and full? Do you use anything to stimulate growth? I've been looking for ways to improve the look of my lashes so if you have any suggestion, please share them with me in the comments below! :)

Purchase

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50 Comments

  • Like you, I also have lashes that are frustrating — so short and sparse! I’m interested in how Lancome Grandiose mascara performs — the initial reviews sound so positive. I am still using and liking both Chanel Le Volume & L’oreal Miss Manga, but I know both mascaras would make someone else with actual lashes look amazing (for me, at least it makes my lashes finally visible, haha).

    • I remember your review on the Chanel le Volume! It’s been on my mind ever since lol. Maybe I should just splurge and get it over with hahaha.

      Let’s hug, us short-and-invisible lash girls. T_T

      • YES!! Hug hug! Hehe. I see other gals wearing Le Volume and I get jealous as their lashes look so AMAZING with it. With mine, thankfully it makes my lashes much longer/visible and holds a curl, but it still doesn’t look va-va-voom like with other girls :(. Boo! Still, it volumizes and lengthens way better than really any other mascara I’ve tried. If you ever try it, please let me know your thoughts!!

        • I definitely will! :D

          I get jealous, too, when I see girls with luscious lashes!! So unfair! LOL. Good thing there are falsies!!! ;D

    • Hey Michelle! I personally prefer the UD Subversion Primer much much better! I might be in the minority here but when I use the Dior Lash Maximizer, my lashes feel dry and crunchy. It doesn’t make my lashes appear as full as the UD one does, either. Maybe I’m having a bad tube? Because everyone I know seems to love it! :)

  • I am really pleased with my decision to get & maintain eyelash extensions. The search for the perfect mascara was always really frustrating to me, and now I don’t have to even bother with mascara at all. Have you tried Latisse or any other kind of eyelash growth stimulator? I know that you wouldn’t see results overnight, but I would be really interested to see how any of those types of products would work for you!

    • I have thought about lash extensions but I need to do more research before I make my decision. I remember your instagram photo of your lash extensions and omg, Laura, they are luscious and beautiful! Can you still apply heavy eye makeup or are there certain “formulas” that you can’t use like a long-wear gel liner, or creamshadow, etc.? Because you need an oil-based remover to remove these products and I don’t know if oil would loosen the glue….

      Right now I’m just using the L’Oreal Lash Boosting Serum every night before bed. I swear it used to work really good for my lashes before but now it just doesn’t seem to be doing much of an improvement anymore. :(

      • I can wear any kind of eye makeup still. The “They’re Real!” liner can be difficult to remove since no, I am not supposed to use oil near my lashes, but as long as I keep the oil on a q-tip and am very careful, it isn’t really an issue. Fallout from eyeshadows onto my lashes can be annoying, though, since normally it would just be covered up when I apply my mascara, but since I don’t wear mascara anymore, the fallout has to be very gently brushed off of my lashes.

        The most difficult part about the extensions for me is not being able to splash water onto my face while I’m trying to wash it. >.< I have to be a lot more careful now. Well, technically I can get my lashes wet, you don't have to avoid water altogether, but when they get wet they can clump together and I think they fall out quicker if they get wet too often.

        Even with all the hassle they cause, I still love them!

        • Wow, I admire your patience, Laura! I would never have what it takes to maintain them! I wear long-wear eye makeup a lot and an oil-based remover is kind of a must. I don’t think I am patient enough to do the Q-tip thing every day. :(

          Still, just like you said, it is a hassle but wow, it’s so worth it if you can do it!

          Also, thank you for the input! I learned a lot from you and I’m sure it will be helpful to everyone who is considering getting lash extensions! :)

  • Hey Jaa, gah I’m so sorry to hear the mascara is just OK! Glad to hear you like the primer though. I’ve been using the Dior Lash Maximizer for a couple of years, and I just don’t think I’ll want to change!

    I systematically use a primer and two coats of mascara. I don’t want to start wearing falsies on a daily basis, and all in all this serves me well enough. Some of my favorite mascaras include Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl, Guerlain Cils d’Enfer, and Givenchy Noir Couture Volume. But really, if I had to choose ONE lash product to splurge on, it’d be the Dior primer. Everything looks 20 times better on top!

    Also, a technical question: did you wipe the two wands clean for that shot? Kudos!

    • Sunny, you are the biggest fan of the Dior lash primer! Whenever someone mentions it, I automatically think about you haha. I have yet to try none of the mascaras you mentioned but I’ll keep them in mind the next time I shop!

      I actually ran the wands through water. Strangely, both the mascara and primer came off really easily!

  • LOL, I love Urban Decay, and I *really* want to try their new mascara, and my lashes are OK as lashes go (I guess?), but I’m kind of reluctant because I always get mascaras and kind of go… ‘meh’? Like, they do their job, but I’m never all ‘OMGICOULDBEWEARINGFALSIESWTFBBQ’, which is the effect they kind of promise…

    Awesome review, though. As usual, your photos are stupidly awesome. After seeing the closeup of the primer brush with the white stuff on it, I now want to put up Christmas trees and drink mulled wine…

    • I can never understand mascara commercials. EVERY ONE OF THEM WEAR FALSIES!!! *shakes head*

      You have really beautiful lashes, Syl! You can do with any mascara, no need to pay $$$ for the expensive ones! ;D

      That’s what I thought of, too, when I saw the closeup picture of the primer brush. Snow! ^_^

      • You know who has ridiculously awesome lashes? My husband, the wizard. Bastard. Why do the guys (the ones who generally don’t care a fig for mascara), get the super lush lashes?!?

        WHYYYY!?

        I can’t complain about mine, but I still like a mascara to give me the length that means, when I open my eyes, my lash tips get tangled in my eyebrows. Most will do it, but some are better at it than others. Usually expensive ones T_T..

        • LOLOL! My brother and bf have super lush lashes, too!!! I’m always jealous of (and sometimes curse at) them!!! -__-”

          I would be so happy to have your lashes, Syl! They are so long and beautiful!! Although I could do without the lash tips touching eyebrows haha.

  • I could barely focus on what you were saying, Jaa, because your photos are just SO amazing. Your close-ups take my breath away. Would you mind telling me what kind of camera and lens you use? I’m curious.

    • Yes…. tell us all your secrets!

      In all seriousness, I think mascara is almost as individual as foundation. I’m loathe to buy high end mascara though when I just end up having to throw away a tube a few month after opening it. I wonder if mascara combining would work for you.

    • Hey Melissa! Thank you! I don’t know why my comment to you appeared as a reply to Erin’s comment!! -__-”

      I use a Canon 7D and 100mm macro lens. :D

        • Hey Melissa! What are you not happy about your photos? They look fine to me on your blog! :) Feel free to email me If you need help with anything (not that I know a lot about photography but I’ll try!).

  • Hi ladies, count me in for the Asian short eyelash complaints community:) Don’t laugh at me but when I was in Uni, I heard that if you cut your lashes just slightly, it will grow back longer. Guess what, stupid me actually did it on one side of my lashes. My friends all laughed at how silly I was. Did it grow back longer? No! To date that side lashes are still shorter than the other side.

    • OMG you can’t be serious!!!!!!! I’m so so sorry to hear, Grace! Are they noticeable at a normal viewing distance? And where did you hear that myth from?

  • I hate wearing mascara. It’s irritating. lol. But I am very interested with the primer! Never tried that before! Anyway, the only tip that I can give you is to wash your lashes with baby shampoo!!!!

  • I really want to try a good lash primer. I use Maybelline The Falsies but I want more drama hehe
    I don’t have any tip to share, I suck putting on mascara.. My eyelids always get painted -__-

    • Oh no! Maybe the brush is too big? With eyelashes like mine, using a primer is not an option, it’s a necessity. LOL.

  • Ooh Jaa, I could spend hours on your blog just to look at your amazing pictures. My gosh, I admire your skills! That being said (once again!) you sold me on the primer! I’ve never indulged myself into the mascara primer department and I’ve the feeling that I’ll regret that once I’ll get on to it …

    Alice x ⎥ALICEYEH.pro

    • Aww thank you as always, Alice! You’re just so so sweet!!! ❤❤

      I highly recommend the primer, it’s the best I’ve tried!! :)

  • I can’t spend that much on a mascara. I tried their lash primer in the past and wasn’t impressed so I know I won’t be trying this one either. I don’t need primers for my lashes anyway.

  • Oh sad that this mascara doesn’t work
    I was actually planning to buy it:((((
    Good to hear the primer works …… Happy dance :)))

  • Sorry this didn’t work out for you but I get the struggle. I’m one of those Asians with really sad lash situation and have basically given up on finding the “perfect” mascara. The primer idea was nice but I usually spend too much time trying to hide their whiteness and then there’s the clumping and smudging and all that. Fiber mascaras like Clinique Lash Power are budgeproof but add no oomph. YSL Faux Cils adds mega oomph but smudges. MUFE Smokey Lash Waterproof holds curls like nothing else but smudges like mad. I take all the money that I save on mascaras and throw them at blush, LOL.

    • LOL! I guess we just have to accept the fact that there is no perfect mascara for us. It simply does not exist. :( I tried the MUFE Smokey Lash once and I agree it smudges like crazy!!!

  • Come on, WHAT?! Smudging?! This is supposed to be the second coming of LASH POWER! What is this smudging nonsense?! Also, I’m convinced I have Asian lashes, LOL!! We have the SAME eyelashes, Jaa! They are the opposite of lush, straight, and are very hard to see even with 2-3 coats of mascara. The hunt for mascara greatness is real!

    • LOL! What’s your current favorite mascara, Kristen? I’m always curious to know what people use especially if they have thin lashes like mine! :)

  • Hello! For those of you worried about the price of this mascara and primer, my fb got it for me at Christmas in Costco. They have the pair for only $15! Also, my lashes aren’t super long or lush by any means, but on me, together these gave me almost falsie looking lashes. I’ve found myself reaching for this mascara more often than my Benefit They’re Real! One.

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