Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review -- Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

With the BB and CC cream (I think there's even a DD cream out there now) craze sweeping the beauty industry, it's hardly a surprise that every company wants a product to throw out into the arena.

The only problem with that is that many U.S. companies are just taking tinted moisturizers and calling them BB creams ... or in some cases, taking a product that doesn't really have any of the properties of a BB cream and slapping the BB label on it.

Case in point: the Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm.

UD touts it as a multitasking product that hydrates, primes, protects, perfects and treats the skin.

I suppose it could do most of those things to some degree, but in my mind, the Naked Skin Beauty Balm is similar to the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer in that it's essentially a tinted foundation primer.

And if that's what you're in the market for, I'd recommend the Tarte BB Primer over the UD Naked Skin Beauty Balm for sure.

That's not to say that the Naked Skin Beauty Balm is a bad product.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
 It's oil-free so it shouldn't clog pores or make oily skin look any more shiny. It also contains SPF20 so it can protect your skin from sun damage (though super fair folks like me probably need a little more than SPF20 to protect their delicate porcelain skin). It has a slightly liquid-y texture that makes it easy to blend into the skin, but it also has the silicone-y feel of many traditional primers so it can help fill in pores and fine lines for a smoother complexion.

However, I don't find that it makes my foundation last that much longer than when I skip primer all together and when I want an utterly flawless look, I still have to use an additional pore-filling product to help diminish the look of the large pores on either side of my nose.

In both of those regards, the Tarte BB Primer performs much better.

But the real issue that I have with the Naked Skin Beauty Balm is that it only comes in one shade.

UD calls it a universal shade and describes it as translucent, but for my super fair skin, the shade is a tad too dark and orange-y to work seamlessly with my complexion. Now, the product is mostly translucent in that it offers zero coverage -- here's another areas where the Tarte BB Primer has it all over the Naked Skin Beauty Balm; it actually offers a surprising amount of coverage for a tinted primer product -- but it does leave my face a tinge darker than my neck when I apply it. With foundation applied over it, it's not terribly noticeable but it still bugs me.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
 Note: I feel the need to point out that I do my swatches on the inside of my wrist/forearm, which is possibly the whitest part of my body. As a result, I think the Beauty Balm looks darker and more orange-y that it actually shows up on my face, especially since it's not blended out in the photo. I don't want to scare anyone off with this swatch, though I definitely don't think this is the best primer option for fair/light skin folks.

The Tarte BB Primer comes in four shades, so you can find an option that works with your skin tone.

In regards to the long-term benefits that UD promises with the Beauty Balm, i.e. improved elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles minimized, redness reduced, etc., I don't really know if any of those claims are true because I haven't used it regularly enough to see any of those results. I'm always skeptical of that kind of stuff with makeup products, though.

All in all, if your skin is darker than mine, the UD Naked Skin Beauty Balm might be worth checking out. In my mind, though, there are a lot of better primers (and BB creams) out there -- and this one costs $34 for 1.18 fluid ounces of product so it's not certainly not cheap. (You can get a smaller, 0.5 fl. oz. version for $14, which might be a good one to start with if you're unsure about the product.)

You can purchase it at Sephora, Sephora's website, and Urban Decay's website.

Have you tried the Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm? Are you a fan?


  1. If that came out of the tube I wouldn´t even have the courage to put it on my face! xD So firstly - you´re very brave to do that.
    Idk if there´s only one shade of something I´m always suspicious. Unless it´s a definite green or purple or white I don´t think it works - at least I´ve never seen/tried a product that actually adjusts its colour every skin tone (usually ends up looking orange on me). Which is a mystery to me because I´d think that companies would test their products on different skin colour before selling it to everyone and advertising it as this wonder-cream.

    So all in all UD is really disappointing me here. Their "naked" branch is really appealing to me but it obviously misses the mark with that product (at least for fair skinned people). :/

    1. ITA -- one-shade-fits-all products are almost always bad news for fair-skinned folks. In general, though, I'm always surprised how makeup companies seem to ignore folks who fall at the lightest and darkest ends of the skin tone spectrum. If I ever developed a makeup line, that's where I'd start -- with a foundation/concealer line that covers all skin tones, not just those lucky folks who fall into the middle of the range.

      I love the UD Naked eye shadow palettes and the foundation (which has a pretty impressive range of shades, IMO) but this one certainly leaves something to be desired.

    2. You should definitely start a drugstore make-up brand. But you´d have to expand quickly so those products reach me here in Europe!! xD

      The weird thing with the everyone-is-medium-skin-policy is, that I personally know no one who would fit that colour. Everyone is either lighter (most of them actually) or a lot darker than than.

    3. I'd definitely sell in Europe! ;)

      I agree about the medium thing. The only person I actually know who falls into that category is my mom. Everyone else is definitely on the fairer or darker side of the spectrum.

  2. That sucks that it only comes in one shade. It wouldn't work for my skin tone either. I'm pretty much done with these BB, CC, DD, XYZ creams. It's just a tinted moisturizer lol. I've only found one that I really like - but again, it's a tinted moisturizer.

    1. What what tinted moisturizer do you like? I'm always in the market for a nice TM. :)

      I actually quite like the Smashbox BB Cream and the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream (because they do offer more coverage than a tinted moisturizer while still feeling lightweight on the skin and looking natural), but the rest of them are just glorified TM. Not worth the money for sure.

  3. BB creams a little over the top, imho....sticking with a tinted moisturizer for myself is a better option because i can customize color and coverage! :) Thanks for the review!

    1. As I said above, I do really like the Smashbox BB Cream and the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream because they do offer more coverage without looking or feeling as heavy as a foundation, but I've been disappointed with the others than I've tried. I recently got a few samples of some CC creams and I'm curious to see if there's any difference with those. Somehow, I doubt it. :P

  4. I love a lot of things with the label of BB cream but most of them are just completely different types of products. My opinion is try stuff out and disregard the letters completly. It's all about finding products that work for you, regardless of the name on the bottle!

    1. ITA -- you have to try the stuff out to see if it works for you. I have a couple of so-called BB cream products that I actually like quite a bit, even if they don't do all the things that they claim to. Case in point -- the Tarte BB Tinted Primer. Love that stuff!


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