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What’s with the hype around the Urban Decay Naked palettes?

I’m sick of hearing how amazing the Urban Decay Naked palettes are and that they’re still everyone’s favourite. For a long time now, they’ve been outdone in quality and outbid on price on all bar two of their palettes.

If you don’t know Urban Decay, they are the stars of the good old YouTube times when beauty brands weren’t set up to fire launch after launch out of a well-oiled canon. Or when people in make-up tutorials were predominantly covered in the same old products.

Urban Decay’s Naked one to three palettes were amongst those names dropped and swatched in almost every video. When you look at the ratings across a range of online shops, it’s clear they’re still doing well to this day.

Nakedness sells

Urban Decay’s popularity comes down to the fact the palettes draw on a broad but likeable colour scheme, which allows them to include every variety of nude. The make-up range also came out at a time when there weren’t many earthy toned palettes to choose from. In other words, their eyeshadows appeal to the mainstream and are known as the go-to palettes no matter what you need or who you are.

The three palettes were (and still are) a hit so it was no surprise the company decided to add new sets to the mix. There was the Naked Smoky, the Naked Heat and the Naked Ultimate Basics palette. There were also mini versions but I won’t be including them in this article. To make it easier to compare them all, I’ve put together an overview collage. My boyfriend would no doubt say they all look the same. But you and I know better, don’t we?

All the larger Naked palettes at a glance – from top left to right: Naked 1, 2, 3, Heat, Smoky and Ultimate Basics

Looking to the future

Given everything I’ve said about their success, you might be surprised to hear I no longer have my own 1 to 3 palettes or the Smoky version. Years after buying them I decided to sell my barely used sets and they were snapped up within seconds. I’d hardly finished writing up the descriptions before a number of offers started winging their way into my inbox. I wondered why.

For a start, they’re expensive so it would make sense to buy them second-hand. But aren’t there plenty of pigmented eyeshadows on the market now that blend better and don’t cost as much? Of course there are. BH Cosmetics, Morphe Brushes and Milani & Co are prime examples.

So which palette makes the cut?

Naked 1
...and Naked 2

Let me cut straight to the chase. Naked 1, 2 and 3 were way too powdery and crumbly for me. They weren’t pigmented enough and were pretty expensive to boot. The shimmery ones in particular are quite a let-down when it comes to colour intensity. So it’s a definite no from me.

Naked Palette
CHF 64.90
Urban Decay Naked Palette

Availability

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  • approx. 10 – 12 days
    2 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

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Naked2 Palette
CHF 64.90
Urban Decay Naked2 Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Palette

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 10 – 12 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

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  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

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Naked 3 Palette
CHF 65.–
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

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  • approx. 4 – 6 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

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Naked Smoky is another dull, forgettable ember rather than a smoking fire. It wasn’t pigmented enough and the texture was too powdery. If you manage to whip up an intense but clean smokey eye with it then hats off to you. I ended up looking like I’d just spent two rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson.

Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette
CHF 64.90
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 10 – 12 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

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  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

Information subject to change.

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You might be thinking OK, Nathalie, so which eyeshadow is good to use then? I’d recommend the remaining two Naked palettes:

Naked Heat’s warm, reddish colours are incredibly pigmented and blend like a dream. So it’s perfect for if you want to take a tentative step outside your colour comfort zone rather than a massive leap.

  • Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette
  • Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette
CHF 65.–
Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 4 – 6 days
    > 5 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

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Naked Ultimate Basics is another great palette. The colours are so buttery and rich. And you get a good range of shades, from cool to neutral and warm tones. All of the shadows are matt aside from one light cream that has a satin finish. What I love is that the palette can stand alone or be combined with (bright) colours from palettes you already have to create a variety of different looks. If you need versatility, look no further.

Naked Ultimate Basics Eyeshadow Palet
CHF 60.–
Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Eyeshadow Palet

Availability

Mail delivery

  • approx. 4 – 6 days
    1 item(s) ready for shipment from external warehouse

Collection

  • Unfortunately, this product cannot be collected.

Information subject to change.

View details

Trying to understand the un-understandable

Now you know how I feel about each of the Naked palettes and which I think are worth splashing out on. But I still can’t get my head around the hype. In my experience, these are the kinds of people who think palettes 1 to 3 are «OMG amazing». They’re not keen on experimenting with make-up; they want to buy one decent palette that can pretty much be used for any look and they tend to spend a long time mulling over a purchase.

Essentially, the hysteria around these palettes comes down to a combination of personal preferences, which are a far cry from mine, and a lack of comparable eyeshadow options. Once we took a look at the (rather big) target audience, we discovered I’m not or maybe just no longer part of it. Mystery solved.

What do you reckon: do these palettes live up to the hype?

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<strong>New Year’s Eve</strong>: Silver and gold highlights for a glamorous start!
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New Year’s Eve: Silver and gold highlights for a glamorous start!

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Natalie Hemengül, Zurich

  • Editor
As a massive Disney fan, I see the world through rose-tinted glasses. I worship series from the 90s and consider mermaids a religion. When I’m not dancing in glitter rain, I’m either hanging out at pyjama parties or sitting at my make-up table. P.S. I love you, bacon, garlic and onions.

8 comments

3000 / 3000 characters

User monika.widmer

Ich bin anderer Meinung & mag Urban Decay auch noch nach Jahren (die Palette habe ich allerdings nicht aus einem Hype heraus gekauft, sondern einfach, weil ich sie in den USA entdeckte & ausprobieren wollte). Ich brauche Naked 3 und da sind weder die Farben schlecht pigmentiert noch bröckeln diese.

28.08.2018
User Schnog

Ich bin auch anderer Meinung. Ich habe alle drei:) und die halten halt ewigs, darum habe ich die immer noch. Ausserdem sind sie (fast ganz) vegan und werden nicht an Tieren getestet und das ist für mich der grösste Vorteil.

28.08.2018
User H0rrorkitty

Ich finde so schlecht wie die in diesem Artikel dargestellt werden überhaupt nicht. Ich habe auch andere "Kaliber" daheim, wie Jeffree Star, Limecrime, Colourpop bei denen die Pigmentierung besser ist. Jedoch finde ich die Naked Paletten nach wie vor Toll! -> die Naked 1 wird nun ausgelistet und gibt's nich tmehr im Verkauf.

30.08.2018
User Natalie Hemengül

Es freut mich sehr, dass du Freude an deinen Naked Paletten hast :) Ich wünschte, das wäre bei mir auch so gewesen. Bin gespannt, ob es bei der Naked 1 vielleicht bald einen Relaunch geben wird... Colourpop finde ich übrigens grandios für den Preis.

03.09.2018
User H0rrorkitty

Mh, wer weiss... irgendwie wird ja in letzter Zeit gefühltballes relauncht.. :P Wobei man ja sagen muss, dass die Farb Kombi nun wirklich nicht speziell ist.. ich denke, das wird sich nicht gut verkaufen.. Nude, Braun Töne hats echt zu viele auf dem Markt.. :)

03.09.2018
Answer
User kitsuné

Während wir unsere Original Naked zum Begräbnis tragen (Rest in peace, old friend), launcht UD schon die Naked Cherry. :)

30.08.2018
User Natalie Hemengül

Ich frag mich ja, ob UD die Naked 1 relaunchen wird (ähnlich wie bei Huda Beauty, die die Rose Gold Palette erst vom Markt nahm und sie dann neu formuliert rausbrachte). Bin mal gespannt, wie sich die Cherry machen wird :)

03.09.2018
Answer
User missrubychung

verschreien doesn‘t mean what you think it means...

11.10.2018