Urban Decay Naked Palette Review: You’ll Want To Be Getting Naked
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I have a lot of feelings about Urban Decay, I really do. I was the kind of tween that would lock themselves in their bedroom emerging with a new ‘look’ right before bedtime, at least twice a week. Was very into hues of blue because I thought it brought out my eyes. So, so many hues of blue. This was before I learned the joys of contrasting. But the take away is, makeup is a personal experience, and Urban Decay so gets that.
On a more sensitive note, it can be hard justifying to others that you…like… makeup. So much of our relationship with makeup has been narrated by societies perception. Society believes that makeup is the evil sidekick to the supervillains. That’s the insecurity inducing beauty industry. Translation: Why do you wear makeup, you know you’re just feeding the patriarchy, right? The little girl in me that just liked painting my face, playing with color and exploring my look says: Patronising, much? Isn’t the point of self-expression…self and expression?
Urban Decay Company Background
Urban Decay came into this market around 20 years ago, when makeup was about correcting and concealing. But in a beauty world of doctor’s curtain corals and therapist couch beiges, Urban Decay ignited a coup of color, thus rebranding makes up as a form of self-expression, not passive compliance to an industry profiting off of a minimizing view of beauty. How did I make this political? Good question, but if you’ve ever seen The Devil Wears Prada, a fashion classic starring her highness Meryl Streep, you’ll know that fashion and politics are always linked in some way. The daily choices we make are informed by, and inform, the world that we live in. Oh, and also, Urban Decay are avid social warriors as well.
They are not only Peta approved, committed to fair treatment of animals, but they have a specific vegan range. From inception, Urban Decay was about emboldening women, providing them with the tools to express themselves aesthetically, but also socially. With their growth came the expansion of that vision in the form The Ultraviolet Edge. The Ultraviolet Edge is a new global initiative that has contributed over $2 million to women’s empowerment nonprofits. Urban Decay brought to the market the idea that there was even a market. They brought personality to the mainstream, and the personalities responded. It’s a very third wave. If you’re into that kind of thing.
Urban Decay Naked Explained
So you’re probably reading over the ‘naked review’ going, I came for simple and she’s giving me all this personality talk? Well, here’s the thing: simple is a shade. Naked is a look. When Urban Decay came on the scene, they were repping the niche, the personalized. At the time that meant grunge, but ultimately they were building a community of makeup junkies. As their band of junkies expanded, so did UD’s scope of looks. Enter: Naked. (grammar is important).
In a recent interview with Cosmo our friend Wende, the co-founder of UD, set the scene for the inception of Naked; during a brainstorming session on the product someone charmingly noted that it ‘looked like the shade of your butt’. True story. And kudos to that person because this birthed the ‘naked’ brand. What I love about this story is it’s so available, Google it, it’s so real and personable, and so…Urban Decay.
They are a company set on being real. You see it in the palettes. Each palette caters to either a different skin tone or a different look. They are the ultimate supply and demand; never producing for the sake of production, but rather because there is a need. It means that there is something to suit everyone, so take your time, know your face and get to know your people at Urban Decay.
If you look up Urban Decay Eyeshadow, the recurring theme is pigment. ‘Highly pigmented, love the pigment, amazing pigment!’. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s the concentrated color. There’s pigment in everything; nail polish, paints etc. When it comes to pigment, each medium presents differently. A highly pigmented lipstick will be more opaque, the same with nail polish. With eyeshadow though, the packed powder responds to your natural skin tone. Naked is perfect for this.
The Naked ideal is neutral, but what is neutral? Some of us are warm toned, some are cool toned, not to mention our natural pigment. The high pigment in Naked means that you’ll get the color you want, interacting with your natural coloring to give you your perfect neutral match. You want a highly pigmented eyeshadow so that you’re able to create contrasting looks instead of muddy, blurred messes. They enable you to shade, contour and highlight your best features. Urban Decay are leaders in highlighting your best features. The Naked range is a testament to that.
By no means would you call the Naked palette humble, but there was no way to know that this quality product would launch a cult following resulting in an entire range, spawning products to this day. The Naked palette for me personally was the mental shift between makeup being a project to an art. When you’re working with bold colors you’re usually complimenting, or contrasting, an outfit, event or mood. The neutral yet strong tones in the naked palette are a shout out to contour, shimmer, and your actual face. Your face is the canvas and your features are the parameters. Not the color of your dress, or the event you’re being dragged to; What looks best on you.
In this palette of 12 colors, you’ll find 2 matte ‘browns’, Naked and Buck; along with 10 shimmery shades. 5 of these colors were complete new releases, exclusive to the Naked palette.
Breaking down shades: Virgin (nude satin), Sin (champagne shimmer), Naked (buff matte), Sidecar (beige sparkle), Buck (brown matte), Half Baked (bronze), Smog (golden brown shimmer), Darkhorse (bronze-plum shimmer), Toasted (taupe-bronze), Hustle (mocha shimmer), Creep (near-black metallic), Gunmetal (dark grey metallic)
And then there was Naked 2. I remember being personally confused about Naked 2. If Naked was the perfect neutral, why release a second? But as soon as I saw it I got it immediately. Although you can’t improve on perfection, you can personalize it. Although the original Naked adapted to different skin tones, Naked 2 took the idea of neutral for all and created this cool tone palette.
The cool tone palette means that instead of adjusting your original Naked to you, the Naked 2 does all the work for your skin tone. Some colors overlap, but with an extra matte color, the base of your look is cooler all over. Someone with a warm skin tone can still slay this palette. It’s the difference between a classic but got out of bed smoky eye (Naked 2) and a beachy, windswept, situation. (Naked).
Shade Breakdown: Foxy (cream bisque with matte finish), Half Baked (golden-bronze with shimmering finish), Booty Call (shimmering cork), Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro glitter), Tease (creamy pale brown with matte finish), Snake Bite (dark bronze shimmer with metallic base), Suspect (pale golden beige with shimmering finish), Pistol (light gray-brown with shimmering finish), Verve (oyster with shimmering finish), YDK (cool bronze shimmer with metallic base), Busted (deep brown with shimmering finish), Blackout (blackest black with matte finish)
A lot of beauty bloggers feel that Naked and Naked 2 are two sides of the same coin. But it’s unanimously agreed that Naked 3 brings the warmth. It’s like saying, here is a sunny mountain, and there is a cloudy mountain, and here is the beach. One of these things is not so much like the other, but it definitely belongs. Naked 3 is my personal favorite because my skin tone is Strawberry Shortcake meets Miss Piggy. But, like Miss Piggy, I definitely have my glam days, and so there is really a special place in my heart for all 3 of these palettes.
And now for something completely different, this palette comes with 12 all new shades, including 2 glitters. It’s got your shimmers, your mattes as well, but to define this warm look, there’s got to be a little glitter just to dab in the corner there and lift the look.
Shade Breakdown: Strange (pale neutral pink matte-satin), Dust (pale metallic pink shimmer w/iridescent micro-glitter), Burnout (light pinky-peach satin), Limit (light dusty rose matte), Buzz (metallic rose shimmer w/silver micro glitter), Trick (light metallic pinky-copper shimmer w/tonal micro-sparkle), Nooner (medium pinky-brown matte), Liar (medium metallic mauve shimmer), Factory (pinky-brown satin), Mugshot (metallic taupe shimmer w/slight pink shift), Darkside (deep taupe-mauve satin), Blackheart (smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle)
There’s a reason they are called makeup artists. We are all made up of shapes and angles, shades and tones. Each one unique and each one discoverable. Urban Decay is about knowing yourself and giving you an outlet, another way to tell the world you’re here in your skin, in your look. No matter if you’re cool toned or warm toned if you’re looking to create a glow, this is the range for you.
Take your time to get to know your hues -- your undertones, your image- and pick the palette that expresses your you-ness. How many women are looking for an experience in their makeup; are looking for the beauty, in their beauty products? Urban Decay has created a community around every shade of eyeshadow, person and preference.
“We would surely have failed by now were it not for the support of makeup artists who share our love of innovative performance products AND experimental color. We love to field their daily requests—usually because a celebrity client has stolen their favorite product. Our online reviews are off the charts; if we don’t get five stars, we just about cry. Thankfully, makeup junkies review our products more often and with more fervor than many of our competitors.”
-Wende Zomnir, Co-founder, Urban Decay.