Readers often ask me if I had to pick one high-quality eyeshadow palette, what would it be? Picking a good eyeshadow palette depends on a number of things such as what kind of look you want, your skin tone, hair color, eye color, shimmer vs matte preferences and lifestyle. For my neutral makeup loving self, I find my most-reached-for palettes are Urban Decay Naked2 or Naked3. They both have a really good mix of neutral shades with matte, shimmer and satiny finishes. I find them extremely versatile and for me they are my do-it-all kind of palette. You can create so many different looks for day and night. If you like more neutral cool tones, I recommend Naked2. If you want something warmer or more unique, I vote for Naked3. I love the soft romantic feminine tones and they are neutral enough so you don't end up looking like you have pink-eye if you wear these.
Naked vs Naked2 vs Naked3 swatched
For those who prefer matte-eyeshadow the new Naked2 Basics is a godsend. I'm not usually a fan of an all-matte eye look because matte shadows end up looking so flat on my skin and age my face. I will occasionally use one as a liner because I like a soft defined line along upper lashes. The Naked2 Basics has completely changed my outlook on matte shadows. It has a selection of medium taupe neutrals where every single one is wearable and layerable. I prefer it over the original Naked Basics which I found was too pale for my skin tone.
If you're the type who prefers to pick out individual shades, Urban Decay has a wide selection of beautiful taupes and sandy shimmers in the single Eyeshadow format. My favorites include Chase (a soft metallic gold), Suspect (shimmering sand), Busted (dark plum taupe), Lost (shimmering brown) and YDK (metallic taupe). They are on the shimmery side but I don't find them too frosty. The texture of the Urban Decay eyeshadows is amazing. They have this rich almost buttery feel that melds in with the skin. I don't need an eyeshadow base with these and they last all day. I like mixing and layering these with the matte shades for added depth. There are also some matte options available individually.
Some other favorites from Urban Decay include their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. These have a super creamy texture and apply easily. I like these because they really do glide onto the eyes and don't tug at all. They last pretty long on me with normal wear, although if it's really hot and humid they will smudge a little by late evening. I like to use them along the upper lash lines as a base for deeper/smokey eyeshadows. I find they bring out the pigment shadows when they are layered over the liners. My top three picks are Zero (matte black), Underground (soft shimmery neutral taupe) and Rockstar (a deep eggplant).
I haven't explored much in the lip arena from Urban Decay recently. Their lipsticks and glosses have been repeatedly revamped and repackaged. I purchased the Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Glosses in Liar recently and really like it. There are 9 variations of nude in the lipgloss lineup, all of which looked really stunning but the sheer texture and finish make many of them look similar on my lips. I picked out Liar which is a gorgeous sheer cool mauve pink. It has a slight minty feel but doesn't numb the lips. It's a good everyday swipe and go color that adds just the right amount of shine. I like that it's smooth and not sticky. It gives a super lush lip look.
Last but not least, I'm a huge fan of the Naked Skin Beauty Balms. I have the original one (which now comes in extended shades) and the Bronzing Beauty Balm. I like to use the Naked Skin Beauty Balm as a primer. I find when I use it over moisturizer and under foundation, it helps liquids blend better on the skin. The Bronzing Beauty Balm is something I like to use as a subtle contouring product or a base for powder blushes. It adds a bit of dewy texture and color to help powder sheer or light blushes go on better without looking heavy or changing colors. I also like using the Bronzing Balm mixed in with foundations if they are too light (I tend to tan easily) so it works wonders to adjust foundation colors for me.
Here's a quick summary of my favorite Urban Decay items:
Urban Decay Cosmetics has just re-launched their line at Nordstrom. I remember back in the 90's through the early 2000's when Nordstrom had their modern/edgy beauty section with Urban Decay items when they had these out-of-this-world nail polish colors, iridescent blushes and scented shimmer body powder. I was sad when the line was pulled but I'm really happy that is is back now.
I hope this has been a helpful overview of some of my Urban Decay favorites. I've played with the line for over a decade now and I'm glad many of favorites are still in the line (like the Stray Dog, Sin and YDK eyeshadows). If you're looking for an eyeshadow palette to start with, I do think the Naked Palettes are the best for the price, quality, ease of use and versatility. I consider all 3 of the Naked Palettes and the new Naked2 Basics must-haves in my makeup wardrobe.
Do you have any Urban Decay favorites? Everytime I check out the eyeshadows, I am amazed that I'm always discovering new shades.
Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.