Sunday, October 9, 2011

Urban Decay Naked Palette--My Gateway Drug to Eyeshadow

Oh eyeshadow, how I love thee. If you had told me even 12 months ago that I would ever develop an obsession with eyeshadow I would have laughed in your face. Then I had my second baby, realized that my 20's were behind me, and decided to start putting a little more effort into my appearance. The Urban Decay Naked Palette was my ticket into a world of eye makeup that previously had both confused and intimidated me.

First, the UDNP has been gushed about and dissected on so many blogs and beauty sites since it made its debut back in 2010 I'm going to try to focus my review less on why it's the most awesome thing since sliced bread and more on why it was such a revelation to me, and why I think it's a good investment for anyone who, like me, has never really learned how to pick colors or apply eyeshadow.

The rundown:
  • 12 warm neutral shadows ranging from a highlighter shade (Virgin) to black (Creep)
  • Includes one of Urban Decay's most popular shades--Half Baked 
  • Originally packaged with a 24/7 eyeliner in Whiskey (not available for individual purchase, which really irritates me) and a sample of Primer Potion, but currently packaged with medium-sized shadow brush and Primer Potion.
  • Flattering with most skintones and eye colors

So what's the big deal?  I think for me (and I'm going to guess for a lot of women, based on how quickly the original NP sold out and how well it's continued to do since re-emerging on the market last Spring) the Naked Palette is appealing because it's so non-threatening.  Let's be honest: it's hard to inadvertently make yourself look like a clown when you're using neutrals.  Besides which (and this is critical when you consider my point about why the NP is a wonderful gateway shadow palette for makeup newbies)  because so many people went crazy for it upon its release, it's incredibly easy to find tips on how to combine the shades for a wide variety of looks that even a beginner can execute.  There are literally thousands of YouTube how to videos featuring the Naked Palette, and thousands more blog entries detailing how to achieve specific looks using it.  The Naked Palette is everywhere.

It helps that the palette mostly lives up to its hype.  The shadows themselves are highly pigmented, soft, and visually stunning in the box.  Because the Naked Palette offers such a wide variety of neutral shades pretty much every shadow is easily paired with several others in the box.   Most are either shimmery or glittery, and if there's one common complaint about the NP it's that there are too few matte shades compared to the number of glittery shades.  I've only experienced glitter fallout problems with one shadow (Sidecar, which I have completely stopped using after coming home from work several times looking like I'd thrown a jar of craft glitter on my face) though, so I'm willing to give the palette a big pass on the matte/shimmer/glitter ratio. 

Why it's a Must-Own for Makeup Newbies:
  • Everyone needs neutral shadows.
  • The NP is highly versatile and can create looks from completely nude (aka: why are you even wasting money on eyeshadow if you want to look like you aren't wearing any?) to a dramatic smokey eye. 
  • The brush currently included with the set is a decent beginner brush, though it's really only for lids and doesn't work well in the crease.
  • At under $50, you're getting a good return in terms of quantity and quality of product.
  • As with any palette, there are shades on the NP that you simply won't use.  For me those are Sidecar (glittery taupe) and Creep (glittery black that for some reason refuses to blend in any way no matter which brushes I'm using).
  • It is $48.  Given the brand and quantity of shadows included it's a good deal, but not everyone can or wants to spend that much money on one collection of eyeshadows.  Everyone is making neutral palettes these days, and while I'm a big fan of Urban Decay's, you can find decent ones for as low as $5 (ELF). 
In conclusion, the approachability of the Naked Palette, the ease with which I was able to find how-to videos that showed me exactly which colors to pair up and how to apply them, and the great formula of the shadows made this a Eureka product for me.  Since purchasing the Naked Palette I've gone on to purchase several other palettes from other brands, which I'll be discussing here in all due time, but the NP is still my one true eyeshadow love.  

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