Monday, August 17, 2015

Review -- Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

When I heard that Urban Decay was coming out with a new Naked Palette, I told myself I wasn't going to rush out to buy it.

I lasted an entire week before breaking down and ordering it.

That's something, right?

My initial reluctance to buy it was due to the fact that it's the Naked Smoky Palette -- because while I love a good smoky eye, I have very specific requirements for the smoky looks I like on myself so I'm usually better off putting together my own looks than buying generic 'smoky' palettes.

That's because I have super fair skin so I prefer warm, bronze-y smoky looks on me over traditional black, gray, navy, etc., smoky eyes.

(Which is not to say that fair-skinned folks can't rock those kinds of looks. I see lovely examples of it on YouTube and Instagram all the time. It just requires a skill that I don't have ... or maybe it's just that I'm too lazy to put the work in. One or the other.)

The Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette falls more in line with the traditional idea of the smoky eye, so if that's your thing, I think you'll definitely enjoy this palette.

The palette comes in sturdy plastic packaging that features a gray, almost 'smoky' design. There is a decent sized mirror on the inside, as well as a double-ended synthetic brush just like the other Naked Palettes. This one has a fluffier blending brush on one end and a small pencil brush on the other for smudging.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette
Like the previous three Naked Palettes, the Smoky contains 12 shadows: High, a pink champagne with silver micro-glitter; Dirtysweet, a shimmery light bronze; Radar, a medium bronze-y brown; Armor, a gray-ish taupe with silver micro-glitter; Slanted, a light shimmery gray; Dagger, a dark charcoal satin; Black Market, a black satin; Smolder, a deep plum satin; Password, a matte grayish/purplish taupe; Whiskey, a matte rich brown; Combust, a matte pink taupe; and Thirteen, a beige satin.

From l. to r.: High, Dirtysweet, Radar, Armor

From l. to r.: Slanted, Dagger, Black Market, Smolder

From l. to r.: Password, Whiskey, Combust, Thirteen
On the whole, the shadows all have a nice formula -- pigmented, smooth, and easily to blend. There are a couple that are somewhat disappoint, such as Radar and Dagger, which are somewhat sheer.

Overall, though, I think if you like Urban Decay's shadows, you won't be disappointed with these.

There are a few shades in the palette that I absolutely love: High, which is a lovely shade for brightening up the lid; Dirtysweet, which is pretty shade for making blue eyes pop; Armor, which is my absolutely favorite shade for a very simple, lazy smoky eye for fair skin; and Password, which is a fairly unique taupe shade and a matte to boot.

I also love Combust. It's kind of a boring shade, but it's an ideal blending/transition shade if you've got pale skin with cool or neutral undertones.

For me, though, this isn't a palette that stands very well on its own, meaning I have to use other palettes or single shadows in my collection to create a balanced look that flatters my skin tone. As I mentioned above, that's because darker tones tend to be a little harder for me to pull off so I need to incorporate a few more mid-tone shades to make the looks work.

My go-to look with this palette isn't really a smoky eye at all. It's High on the lid, Armor through the crease, and Dagger in the outer corner, with some Combust to blend things out and Thirteen as a brow highlight.

The palette does come with a detailed look card with step-by-step instructions. I haven't used it yet, but it seems like the Smoky Cat and Everyday Smoky looks are definitely wearable for most people. The Iconic UD Smoky and Smoky Reality Star looks are pretty dark, though.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette  look card and brush

All in all, I feel like this palette is best for folks who have medium to dark skin or who prefer traditional dark smoky eye looks.

If you're someone who doesn't really wear a smoky eye or only wears it infrequently, I feel like there are better options out there.

Especially since this palette is $54.

You can find it at Urban Decay, Sephora, Ulta, and anywhere else you can buy Urban Decay products.

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