Hard to believe Urban Decay's original Naked Palette was launched FIVE years ago. Since then we've had a couple more variations on Naked, including blush, lipgloss and highlighter, and now we have (dun dun DUUUUUN) Naked Smoky, a mix of neutral toned smoky shades designed to help you perfect the perpetually popular smoky eye look.
As well as the product itself, you also get a fold out card with some application hints - UD suggest mixing matte, shimmer and metallic shades together for the ultimate depth to your smoky eye, something I can definitely confirm yields some pretty awesome results.
Now, Urban Decay have made palettes for smoky eyes before, albeit with more of a focus on smoky + colour. Naked Smoky sticks firmly to the brown/grey spectrum, meaning you're going to get a more classically neutral smoky eye than a fun colourful one.
Tones aside, I find myself loving the Naked palette packaging more and more as the line progresses - the original was a bit floppy, but the ones since have graduated to solid plastic casing which protects the shadows inside. Naked Smoky is no different: the shadows nestle inside a chunky plastic case which is sort of clear, sort of greyish, and very marbled, thus mimicking smoke. Bonus points for including a good big mirror, and a double ended brush.
Anyway, the shades! The first six are High, a metallic bright pink champagne; Dirtysweet, a slightly coppery metallic biscuit beige; Radar, a classic mid brown satin with brown and gold twinkles; Armor, a silverly lilac toned taupe with an almost-metallic finish; Slanted, a shimmering gunmetal silver; and Dagger, a dark pewter silver with a slight glow to it.
|High; Dirtysweet; Radar; Armor; Slanted; Dagger|
High and Dirtysweet apply like a dream, smoothing easily over the lid and leaving a strong metallic finish behind. I find I have to work a little harder with Radar - it needs a bit of layering to get to full intensity, and overblending can leave it looking a little muddy. Armor is probably my favourite shade in the whole palette - it's got a gloriously soft texture, a wonderful almost-metallic finish, and is a perfect lilac taupe. It does cause fallout over the cheeks, though - I find dabbing it on is easier than swiping. Slanted and Dagger are a perfect pairing of silver shades - Dagger in particular has a gorgeous depth to it which makes it wonderful for the crease and lashline.
The other six shades are less bling, more matte - Black Market, an intense black with the slightest sheen and depth in the finish; Smolder, a deep grey/black with low level shimmer and the slightest burned plum tone; Password, a creamy mid-grey matte; Whiskey, a mid-brown matte; Combust, a putty-pink matte; and Thirteen, a surprisingly pigmented matte white.
|Black Market; Smolder; Password; Whiskey; Combust; Thirteen|
The right-hand side of the palette wows me a little less than the left-hand side, mostly because there are four matte shades and I'm seriously excited by metallic finishes rather than mattes. That said, the four mattes, Password, Whiskey, Combust and Thirteen, work beautifully both together and with the more sparkly shades in the palette, and being Urban Decay mattes, they're unusually creamy and pigmented, without any hint of chalkiness. Black Market is a welcome change from the usual matte black Blackout included in most palettes - Black Market has more depth, a touch of subtle shimmer, and generally feels more intense than Blackout. Smolder is another favourite thanks to the deep plum tone which makes it incredibly flattering on greenish eyes and more interesting than a super dark grey.
So: Naked Smoky combines great packaging, a handy included brush, and some seriously deep-and-dirty neutrals into a package which makes smoky eyes a little bit easier. Do you need it? Again, as with the other Naked palettes, probably not - particularly if you're already a bit of an eyeshadow fiend. Do you want it though? Probably. There's just something about it that brings together multiple glorious things - blendable textures, well curated shades; easy to use format - which makes Naked Smoky just as desirable as the other Naked palettes. At £38, it's spendy, but so, so worth it.
It's also, sadly, sold out, as is unfortunately true for new Naked palettes. Sigh. BUT HOLD ON! I have one to give away! The winner will be announced Saturday 15th August; I'll post you your lovely new palette the following weekend at the latest. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: PR samples
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