Urban Decay Naked Palette - $44 at Ulta.com
I'm sure that the manic frenzy for this new Urban Decay palette hasn't escaped your attention if you shop for makeup online, read beauty blogs, or belong to any of the number of makeup forums out there, but in case you've managed to avoid the mental chaos, let me introduce Naked. Having been in stock several times on sephora.com, and selling out almost immediately each time, it's obviously well-loved. It's reported to be a permanent addition to the UD lineup, but that hasn't stopped people paying prices in excess of double retail on eBay (gack!). It's now in stock at Ulta.com, and if you're lucky you might find one at your local Sephora. As of right now, it's slightly difficult to get, but hopefully that won't last long as it's an amazing palette. I drove a 130 mile round-trip to a Sephora because after calling around they were the only Sephora even relatively close that had it. They had one left and held it, and I still counted myself lucky.
The deal with this palette is that it includes 12 full-size shadows, two mini liners in the form of a double-ended pencil, and a mini Urban Decay Primer Potion all for $44. Considering that UD shadows are $17 each for a single, this is a crazy deal. That's not all that makes this palette amazing... In every UD palette I've ever owned, there seems to be at least one or two glittery shades which I never use, but every one of these twelve are smooth and glitter free. There are mattes, satins, shimmers and frosts, but no glitter! With twelve shades of neutral shadows ranging from ecru to steel, you can create any number of flattering and varied looks that go from day to evening.
If you'd like to see the swatches and review, keep on reading!
Swatches: Top - Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal
Middle - Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse
Bottom - Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar
Virgin - This one is a light pink-edged ecru. It's more of a sheen than a shimmer and it lights up the eye like crazy. The texture is so fine and smooth, and it blends gorgeously. It works awesomely for a highlight in the inner corners, and for the brow if you like sheen there.
Sin - This is a UD fave; it's a light neutral peachy rose frost that is really smooth and beautiful. It's a great all-over wash shade, and it pairs well with just about anything else you can think of.
Naked - This matte is super smooth and pigmented. It's a bit darker than my NC 30 skin, so it doesn't really brighten, but it makes a nice base shade. It's also a great transition color to blend the edges of your crease color into your highlight.
Sidecar - This first appeared in one of the Book of Shadows; the first if I remember correctly, and it's a light neutral frosty taupe with a little bit of glimmer in it. Not glitter, but an irregular smattering of sparkle that is really pretty.
Buck - This one is a slightly warm fawn matte that is amazing for a crease color. It's wonderful for green eyes; it just makes them glow with the slightly red tone. The texture is really smooth and blendable, very creamy!
Half-Baked - Here's another big time UD favorite. It's a warm golden metallic, and it packs a huge punch. I have to be careful when I wear this because for some reason the warmth makes my eyes look a little tired, but it's so shiny and gorgeous I find myself wearing this shade a ton regardless. This shade is perm and has been available in palettes before, so a lot of you will be familiar with it.
Smog - This one is pretty well-known as well. I've owned this in a single, and in two other palettes before this, and it's one of my all-time faves. It's a greenish dirty antiqued bronze. It's a great bronze for those with green eyes! I find that it's one of the only bronze shades that doesn't look dirty on my skin. It's super smooth and just short of metallic, but the shimmer is very uniform and beautiful.
Darkhorse - This one is a deep ashy brown satin, and it got really beautiful depth to it. It's really pigmented and blends easily. I like it a lot for darkening the outer corner in daytime looks and also on the lid, blended up into Buck, and then highlighted with MAC Blanc Type.
Toasted - This one is a romantic rosy taupe frost that is both an amazing lid and crease color. It's great on the lid with a darker color in the crease, it's beautiful in the crease with Virgin on the lid, and applied to both lid and crease, with a bit of Naked below the brow bone and highlighted with Virgin, it's awesome. It's another great color for green eyes that really makes them pop!
Hustle - this one is a plum-toned dark taupe. It's halfway between a satin and a frost, and the payoff is wonderful. It's an amazing crease color, and again... it's amazing for green eyes.
Creep - is a pigmented soft black with a bit of miniscule silver sparkle. This isn't the spangly glitter I expected from a UD palette, but a teensy weensy sparkle a la MAC Reflects but perhaps even a bit smaller. There's no real fallout for this shade, and it's a great darkener for the outer corner.
Gunmetal - Here's another I tried before this palette, and it's one of my major favorites! It's a metallic cool-toned gunmetal. It's almost neutral in some lights and in others it takes on a really cool tone. Either way it's rich, smooth, and pigmented, plus it blends easily.
Overall, the palette is an amazing deal and every single shadow is great quality, smooth, blendable, long-lasting... I could go on and on. The included primer is one of my go-to products, and it's great that it's included. I use a UD Zero 24/7 pencil every single day, so of course I like that, and Whiskey is a pretty standard, but gorgeous medium warm brown liner. I highly recommend purchasing this if you already haven't. Everyone can use a solid palette of neutrals, and at this price, with these extras, this is a great option!