So, at the moment I have a bit of an on-off relationship with Urban Decay, as they don’t seem to know their arse from their elbow when it comes to sticking to their principles with regards to animal testing. First came the great China debacle, and then a couple of weeks ago I heard that they had been sold to L’Oreal, a company well known for using animal testing. I nagged them on twitter for a bit, and they did reply telling me that they have assured PETA that their cruelty free principles have not been compromised by this sale. Obviously everyone will have different views on this – the issue of parent company is a hotly contested one when it comes to the cruelty free issue. Personally I still purchase from CF brands who are owned by non CF companies such as NARS (owned by Shiseido), and The Body Shop (owned by L’Oreal), so I have for now decided to continue to use Urban Decay products. That’s a personal decision though, and I can completely understand why other Cruelty Free advocates might avoid.
So, this palette has been causing a bit of a stir in the beauty community of late – both the original Naked and the Naked 2 palettes are extremely popular – the only common complaint (especially with the original version) seems to be the lack of matte shades, which appears to be what UD are trying to address here.
Size wise this is a dinky palette, and comes in a snap-close case which has a rubberised finish similar to NARS.
The Basics palette is about the size of a pack of cards, but obviously a bit thinner. It doesn’t come with any add-ons – no brushes, eye liners, primer potions or mini lipglosses to add any bulk, which is actually no bad thing in my opinion, making this ideal for travel or carrying about in a makeup bag.
Not all of the shades in the palette are actually matte – one is a satin finish, and the darkest shade looks as if it contains fine shimmer particles – these don’t actually show on application, so actually this could be counted as a matte.
The shades run across the palette from lightest to darkest.
Venus is a satin shade – white with a hint of warmth/yellow to it, which makes a good highlighter or lid shade – it could also be layered over any of the other shades to add a bit of shimmer if wanted. Next along is Foxy, a pale beige/barley shade, followed by Walk of Shame, which is also a pale brown shade with a slightly more pink undertone. Both Foxy and WOS make good all over shades to create a base to blend over, and are also great for blending out other shades. Both these shades run pretty close to my actual skin colour though, so they don’t make a massive impact. Sometimes that’s not what you want from an eye shadow though…
Naked 2 is a coolish nude brown shade, nice for a lid shade when creating a smokier eye, or for an outer corner shade on a more everyday shade. Faint is a darker neutral brown shade, again great for smoking out the eye or lining the lashline. Crave is abit of a deceptive shade – in the palette this has a blackened brown appearance, but when swatched appears black – its possible that the more this was blended out the less it would look black, and the more it would appear as a dark brown. It also appears to have a very fine golden shimmer in the palette, but again this doesn’t really translate when applied.
As a standalone palette, the Naked Basic’s palette certainly does what it ways on the tin – it is a basic neutral palette, which is mostly matte. A few years ago, when I first started blogging, I wouldn’t have given this palette a second glance to be honest – back then I was like a kid in a candy shop for using bright colours and could carry that off as I was still in my twenties. As time has progressed, I’ve grown more affection for a neutral eye. That’s not, I hasten to add, because I think those over their twenties shouldn’t wear colour – nothing could be further from the truth! In my case though my eye’s are a fairly prominent feature of my face, and any attempt to enhance them with colour can actually make them look a little cartoonish – I’ve simply found that keeping my eyes neutral, or using one or two coloured shades carefully, and enhancing my lips makes my face look a bit more balanced.
As you can see from the pictures above, some of the shades do actually kick up a bit of dust when used – this seems to be a common problem with matte ey shadows. I haven’t found that it’s caused any issues with blending or application though, and the eyeshadows ahve a good longevity, which can obsiously be improved by the use of a primer.
If you already own one or both of the previous naked palettes and are craving a little matte to supplement them, then this is definitely worth a look, however I would say that this is definitely more the case with Naked 1 – Naked 2 does contain a few matte shades anyway, meaning you might not find this useful. I like the fact that this palette is pretty much all I need if I’m away from home – this plus a mixture of lipsticks and blushers makes a pretty versatile little makeup bag.
If on the other hand, you find neutral shades dull, like to use a lot of colour, and/or are all about the shimmer, then you’ll probably find this palette duller than dishwater…
The Naked Basics palette is available from Debenhams online and in store for £20.
Cruelty Free? Lot of debate, see above! For now they appear to still be a cruelty free brand, although their parent company, L’Oreal definitely are not.
Disclaimer – I purchased this with my own money.