Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Neutral Eye Shadow Palettes

Ever since Urban Decay released the Naked Palette about two years ago, nude, natural or neutral eye shadow palettes haven been all the rage. I remember that when the trend started, I was kind of disappointed because I didn’t think of myself as someone who really liked neutral shades. I tend to gravitate toward soft peaches, purples, greens, and other colorful shadows.

But I bought the Naked Palette anyway, just because I love Urban Decay’s shadows and figured it would be a good basic collection for traveling – and a funny thing happened. I started to realize that over the course a normal week, I probably wore colorful shadow looks two or three time. The rest of the days, I was using neutral shadows – many from the Naked Palette and other single shadows I’d accumulated over the years.

It turns out – whether I knew it or not – I am a big fan of neutral, natural, nude, whatever you want to call them shadows.   

I’ve picked up several other natural shadow collections since the Naked Palette, and while I like all of them, some get a little more love from me than others. Here are my favorite neutral palettes in order that I like them:

The Balm's Nude'Tude Palette

1.       The Balm Nude’Tude – I am in love with this palette. If I could marry it, I probably would. The Balm’s shadows are some of my absolute favorites – soft, creamy, and totally blendable. The lighter shades in this palette have such a pretty brightening effect on the eye, so they’re perfect for days when you’re looking a little tired. In particular, I love Stand-offish – a shimmery pink champagne color that I like to wear on my lid. The darker shades are perfect for smoky evening looks – Sophisticated is my favorite since it’s not too dark my fair skin. The matte shades in this palette, Sultry, Sexy, Serious and Sleek, are easy to work with too, which is a bonus.  The only shadow that may present a problem is Silly because it contains large gold glitter. It tends to stay in place on my eye but there can sometimes be an issue with fallout.

Urban Decay Naked2

2.       Urban Decay Naked 2 – This palette runs a close second to Nude’Tude.  The shadows in this one seem a little lighter than those in the original Naked Palette, so they work really well with fair skin. I also like that there are more cool toned shades in this collection than in the original  - I wear both cool and warm shades, but with pink undertones in my skin, I probably reach for cool shadows a little more often. It’s hard to pick favorites in this palette but I love Verve, Pistol, Busted, Tease, and Bootycall. I think Naked2 could probably use one or two more matte shades, but it’s still a gorgeous, wearable palette.

Stila in the light Palette
3.       Stila in the light (naturaleyes) – This palette was originally known as the naturaleyes palette (my packaging still calls it that, actually) , but they changed the name for some reason. Maybe Stila wanted their palette to stand out from the others?  Whatever the reason, this is another beautiful neutral palette. Stila’s shadows are creamy and soft, so they’re easy to work with. There are also four matte shadows here – a cream highlight shade, a light brown, a medium to dark brown, and a rich black – which is really helpful since the other shades are pretty shimmery. Stila’s famous Kitten (second from right in top row) is definitely beautiful but my favorite shade may be Night Sky, a shimmery charcoal shade (fourth from right in bottom row). I love it for a soft, smoky eye at night.

Too Faced Naked Eye Palette
4.       Too Faced Naked Eye – I really like Too Faced’s take on the naked eye because it’s soft and cool toned. The pink shade, Satin Sheets, seems a little out of place in the collection but it actually looks really pretty on the lid. What I love best about the palette is that it includes two matte highlight shades, In the Buff and Pink Cheeks, which work really well with the other shimmery shades in the palette.  I also love Pillow Talk, Lap Dance, Birthday Suit, and Like a Virgin.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

5.       Urban Decay Naked – While I really like this palette, I don’t think I was ever as crazy about it as some other makeup junkies. The shadows are beautiful and easy to work with, but I can’t say I love the way that all of them look on me. Still, I use this quite a bit and there are a few shadows that I love. In particular, I’m crazy about Virgin, Sin, Naked and Toasted.  Gunmetal is another color that I go to when I’m doing a smoky eye since I really can’t get away with black shadow on my fair skin.

Are you a fan of neutral or nude shadows?  What are your favorite neutral palettes?  Are you getting tired of the trend?

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