Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review/Look: Urban Decay Naked Palette!


PROS:  Beautiful colors, sophisticated packaging, comes with UD Primer Potion and Good Karma Eyeshadow Brush, creates a multitude of looks, includes mattes, shimmers, and glitters, shadows are silky smooth, colors work for almost everyone.

CONS:  Shadows appear best when used with a primer; without a primer, shadows aren't very strong.

Like many other makeup addicts, the Urban Decay Naked Palette is something I've been lusting after for quite a while now.  My college student budget doesn't really allow for $50 makeup splurges, though, so I had to do without... Until, that is, this palette showed up on Christmas.  I had decided to add the original Naked Palette to my wish list this year, even though the Naked 2 had just been released.  The colors in the original palette looked better to me, and it seemed to include a bit more variety.  I think I made a good choice, although I would still love to get my hands on a Naked 2!

The first thing I noticed upon unwrapping my lovely gift was the packaging.  Urban Decay really knows how to make a product look and feel deluxe!  The palette came packed in a purple velvet tray, with the included primer potion next to it.  The palette case itself is also a soft velvet, with gold lettering.  As someone who is used to drugstore cosmetics (and therefore, drugstore packaging), it was a thrill to hold a makeup item in my hands that was clearly in a high-quality package.  The lid on the palette is magnetic, so it will snap closed, protecting the shadows while they're not in use.

The shadows themselves are gorgeous.  The palette ranges from a very light--almost white--color called Virgin, to the darkest grey and black shades, Gunmetal and Creep respectively.  The palette includes two matte shades, Naked and Buck, while the rest are more shimmery.  The range of shades allows for a multitude of looks, all with a beautiful neutral theme.  I wanted to swatch the colors for this post, but due to my extremely pale winter skin, about half of the shadows didn't even show up on my arm (although they show up beautifully on my lids!).  To see some great swatches, check out this blog.

The shadows can be picked up very easily with a brush;  a light sweep over the pan will pick up enough color to pat over the majority of the lid.  The colors are striking, especially when used with the included primer potion.  The UD Primer Potion is rather expensive, though, and there are other alternatives to this.  Foundation or concealer applied to the eyelid will produce a similar effect, and ELF makes an eyeshadow primer for only about $3 (see here).  Without a primer, the colors are much more sheer and don't show up quite as well.  With a primer to cling to, the shades really pop and provide incredible color, and they last all day with no problems.

The thing I love the most about these shadows is that they actually feel nice to wear.  They are silky and soft, and putting them on is quite the pleasant experience.

I'm no makeup artist, but I was pretty proud of the look I was able to accomplish the first time I used the Naked palette.  The pictures below were taken in the evening, after I wore the look for an entire day, which shows off the shadows' staying power.  I went for a lighter, smoky bronze look, and here are the results:

(My apologies for the shadow from my finger on the first photo!)

Here's how I created this look:

  1. Prime the lid with UD Primer potion (or equivalent, see above).
  2. With a flat/c-shaped eyeshadow brush, pat Toasted all over the lid.
  3. With a domed/fluffy eyeshadow brush, apply Buck to the crease, and blend up onto the lower brow bone.
  4. With the same brush, take Hustle and apply it directly into the crease and the outer corner of the lid.
  5. With a smaller precision brush, apply Creep to the outer corner of the eyelid in a V-shape.  Blend it in with the brush used to apply Buck.
  6. Apply Virgin just under the brow and to the inner corner of the eye.
  7. Line the upper lash line with a black liner.  For a smokier look, go over the liner with Hustle, or Creep for a darker look, blending very slightly upwards.
  8. Apply a black or black/brown liner to the lower lash line and waterline.  Smoke it up a bit by applying Hustle to over the liner under the lower lashes.
  9. If the look turned out dark for your tastes, you can add a bit of a highlight by dabbing on Sin to the middle of the lid.
  10. Mascara!
It may seem like a lot of steps, but it's really very simple, and creates a nice look for everyday wear that can easily transition into the evening.  

Overall, if you're a person who likes wearing neutral shades, I'd say this palette is a must-have.  You can create looks with it for all situations, and the looks will last all day.  This is a fantastic palette that is well worth the splurge!

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