Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Back to the Basics with Urban Decay

     Hey guys, I have something a little different for you guys today. I'm really excited to have gotten my hands on this here little gem. The new Naked Basics palette from Urban Decay.I'm a huge fan of the Urban Decay brand in general and especially their Naked line of eyeshadows. I own both the original and the Naked 2 palette and they get a lot of love from me.

     When they announced a new mostly matte Naked palette, I was pretty much on board from the concept alone. And now that I have my hands on the product, I can say that I'll get a lot of use out of this one too. If there had been one complaint that I had with the first two palettes, it would be that there isn't enough matte shades. Out of 24 shades, there is a total of 5 matte shades combined, which doesn't quite make sense for something that is supposed to be "naked".

     The packaging on the Basics Palette is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. The lid can be opened up to lie completely flat with no issues. It's plastic, so it doesn't vacuum up dirt like the velvet fuzz of the original palette and it's not metal so it's not as heavy as the second palette. Out of all the packaging on the Naked line, I think I like this one the best. It's compact and stylish. Best of both worlds, really.

     There are six full size shadows. Two of which were available in other forms. Foxy was featured in the Naked 2 palette and Walk of Shame was included in the 6 pan "build your own" palette. The rest are new, variously toned browns.

     The palette definitely favors those with lighter skin, as WOC would probably find little difference among the lighter shades against darker skin tones.

The palette includes:

  • Venus - the only non-matte color. It's an off white with a slight sheen. 
  • Foxy - a light, yellowy beige. 
  • Walk of Shame - a light, muted beige with pink undertones.
  • Naked 2 - a cool toned greige. 
  • Faint - a light-medium muted brown. 
  • Crave - a dark, blackened brown.

Swatches: (without primer)

I don't use MAC foundation, so I'm not quite sure what my skin tone would be with regards to that line, but my skin tone is light-medium ish with an undertone I have yet to determine (unhelpful, I know. Sorry.).

     For almost every color, I had to use at least two swipes to get the matching pan color. The swatched colors are pretty true to pan, with the exception of Foxy, which is a good deal sheerer than most and will change with the nuances of your own skin tone. None of them quite performed up to the standard fare of UD shadows: there are no one swipe colors here, not even Crave, the dark brown-black. WOS and Foxy are especially sheer colors, which I knew from previous experience and they required three layers for swatching purposes. It's probably best to note that all of these colors translate better on actual eye-lids so arm swatching isn't the best judge of character. The texture on all the shades (with the exception of Foxy) are pretty creamy/buttery and go on smoothly.

     Albeit, very rarely are matte shadows easy to work with and these are no exception. If I were to compare this to, say, UD Half-Baked, which is a gorgeous gold that barely needs a swipe to get rich color pay off, I'd say these shades are pretty disappointing. However, if I compare this to other matte palettes from brands across the board, these shades perform about the same as most other good matte shades. I love the natural look that they produce and am willing to put in a little extra effort for the effect. These shades take some work to get used to, but I think that has more to do with the fact that these are matte shadows and that's the nature of the beast.

     Overall, this would be a nice starter palette if you're starting from scratch. If you have very little or no matte shades in your stash, this is a great way to start off. If you have other neutral matte shadows, and also if you have both Naked and/or Naked 2 palettes, it's not absolutely essential that you go run out right now and get this palette. These palettes are available on the urban decay website, sephora and ulta for $27, which turn out to be $4.50 per shadow, which considering UD singles go for $18 a pop, is a pretty good deal.

Thanks for reading!


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