Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Back in the early noughties (when the 90ies finally arrived in Ireland) Urban Decay were my go to eye shadows, Hard Candy (with the cute plastic rings) were my go to nail polish and everything else was Stila.  Back then Urban Decay one of the only brands to have bright and vibrant shades and they always injected life and colour into your makeup.  I have always loved the quality of Urban Decay shadows and over the years they have continued to improve the quality.

When I heard Urban Decay had a new Palette I got a little excited, I have been collecting Urban Decay palettes for many years.  Urban Decay Smoky Palette* is the new addition to the collection and like most Urban Decay palettes it has sent makeup lovers into a frenzy.

When a makeup lover hears about a big new release they go through a number of stages:

First I felt surprise "Smoky palette in Summer, smoky screams winter to me- sure they are only Mad"
and then the excitement hit me "AHHHH I HAVE TO HAVE IT"
then the guilt hit me "I don't need more eye shadows I have a ton"
then curiosity "Ill just have a look at it and see what its like"
a bit of indifference "Sure they are browns and I have browns"
when I got my hands on it "oh sweet mother of makeup gods"

Finally acceptance "I'm going to have to get it".

When the first Naked Palette was launched I was a little surprised - I associated Urban Decay with bright and vibrant shades (specifically purple) but as X factor judges would say they took neutral shades and made them their own by adding a bit of glitter and excitement. 

I picked up the first Naked Palette and loved it - after a while the velvet packaging got covered in dust and makeup so I had to depot it, unfortunately after I depotted it I forgot about a lot of the beautiful shades.  I got Naked 2 thinking the packaging was an improvement but the bulky metal case wasn't easy to open or use and the mirror fell out of it after a couple of uses which put me off using the palette.  I kinda went off buying Urban Decay palettes for a while then.  I felt like I was over the whole "Naked" branding so I ignored Naked 3 and the Naked Basics.

When I first saw images of the slick Naked Smoky palette my interest was sparked.  Urban Decay have truly perfected the their packaging.  The case is a sturdy plastic which has a smoked design running through it.

Naked Smoky has 12 shades (one of them is cheekily named Thirteen which quite hilariously had a group of beauty bloggers counting across the shades with puzzled expressions like we were learning to count and not quite managing it)  

  • High (cream shimmer w/micro-glitter)
  • Dirtysweet (medium bronze)
  • Radar (metallic taupe w/iridescent micro-glitter)
  • Armor (metallic silver-taupe w/tonal sparkle)
  • Slanted (light metallic gray)
  • Dagger (medium charcoal w/micro-shimmer)
  • Black Market (jet-black satin)
  • Smolder (deep plum-taupe)
  • Password (cool taupe matte)
  • Whiskey (rich brown matte)
  • Combust (soft pink-taupe)
  • Thirteen (light beige satin)
As well as a kick ass selection of shadows the palette also contains a double ended brush, often the makeup brushes in palettes are a little underwhelming (honestly they can be a bit crappy).  The smaller side is a pencil brush which allows you to apply shadow along the lashes, the fluffy side fits perfectly in my crease and is brilliant for buffing out shadow. The first rule of a smoky eye is to buff the shiz out of the shadow. This is a good brush which helps create your eye look.

With Naked Smoky your almost getting three palettes in one.  To the left you have shimmery and satin brown shades, to the middle you have silver/gray tones and to the right you have a matt selection.  With the original Naked Palette I found myself overwhelmed by the selection of browns and not know which shades to use (so much choice I didn't know where to start) where as this palette there is a lovely selection of shades (shimmery browns, grey and matts) but most important all the shades are wearable.

As you can see the shades to the left of the palette are shimmery browns

The middle of the palette goes gray and properly smoky

The final four shades Password, Whiskey, Combust and Thirteen are all matt shades.  Historically I have never been a fan of matt shadows but that is because for many years they have been very difficult to work with but over the last number of years the formulas have changed making them much easier to work with and matt shadows can be very flattering on small hooded eyes (hands up who has small, hooded eyes).  The shade combust is a beautiful transition colour.

And the final shades are beautiful matt shades.

I love that Naked Smoky has a wonderful selection of wearable shades, it gives you the opportunity to create those dramatic makeup looks (if your lucky enough to have large lids where you get to see the dramatic makeup) or also just pick one or two shades for a simple quick look.   I would love to tell you I have a "go to" look when using the Smoky palette but honestly I have been having a bit of fun using all the different shades.  Since I don't have that much time at the moment (tiny hands love to grab at makeup it seems) I have been sticking to simple looks and I love that Smoky allows you to to do this or go for a big dramatic look.

Historically Urban Decay have always have shadows with chunky glitter and they have included a glittery shade Armor into the Smoky palette.  Urban Decay get quite a bit of flack for these shadows as the glitter tends to migrate and fall down as the day goes on, you would think an old woman with a new baby would be totally against this kinda shade but in my opinion it absolutely has its place.  I have always loved using these glittery shadows in the evening and as the night goes on it looks like you have subtle glitter on your cheekbones. 

There is a look book with the palette if you need a bit of inspiration but I started off with a classic smoky eye by keeping the lash line very dark and the shadow gradually getting lighter.  Pretty much every day I have tried something new - the beauty of a palette like this. 

As I have very small eyes I love to tight line them because I don't have a lot of lid space and its perfect with the Smoky Palette just make sure you use a water poof liner (Like Urban Decay 24/7) and not one that will smudge and run down your face.....you want to look like Sexy Rock Chick not "Dirty Stop Out".

Urban Decay - You've come a long way baby.  Anybody remember The Book of Shadows ?  As you can see while the shadows have always been amazing the packaging has come a long way.  I have always been a fan of the shadows but I am really impressed by the new packaging, I think all the Naked Palettes should be revamped in similar sturdy yet stylish cases.

So should you buy the Urban Decay Smoky Palette?  In my opinion this is a great palette, not overloaded with so much brown that you get chocolate blind (like snow blind but with browns), as I said its almost 3 palettes in 1.  I think the Smoky Palette would suit any age group, an amazing gift for teens but not so loud and young that it would be off putting to more mature ladies.  I also think its one of those palettes that's going be popular for years.  I can see a lot of Smoky palettes as gifts this Christmas presents.  I am finding new shades to use every time I used it and while the glittery Armor might not be every ones cup of tea its still a very pretty shade (and whenever I wear Urban Decay Glittery shades people think that I have applied the fall out glitter on purpose).  Urban Decay Smoky is such a hardworking and versatile palette with such pretty colours I think its going to become a classic in makeup collections.

Urban Decay Smoky Palette is out now and costs €46 (that's €3.80 per shadow which is excellent value).  You can pick it up (or put it on your wish list) from Debenhams or House of Fraser.
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