I’m so excited to write this post, because I’ve been waiting for Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky Palette ($54) since before it even existed! UD’s Naked eyeshadow palettes are amazing; the shadows are high-quality, densely pigmented, blend effortlessly, and wear beautifully. I have all of the Naked palettes, and always have at least one in my makeup bag. I keep buying them because they’re so good! What I like most about them, aside from the quality, is their versatility. With a range of both light and dark shades, they are great for everyday use, and make the perfect travel companion because they contain everything you need to create a varying range of eye looks. All that was missing from the mostly neutral lineup of previous Naked palettes was one filled with smoky shadows.
So many people online expressed disinterest in a smoky palette because it was limiting; this one is not, and has already replaced my other Naked palettes in my current makeup bag rotation. The 12 shadows are incredibly versatile; they range from nude to black, and there’s a mix of matte, satin, and shimmer formulations. It proves that smoky eyes aren’t just about heavy black shadow loaded on the lids (although you can definitely do that with this palette, too): you can create dimensional looks with browns, greys, purples, nudes, and even a steely blue. Today, I’m wearing the brown & nude shades from this palette: Combust on the browbone, Whiskey all over the lid and into the crease, Radar layered on top, and Dirtysweet in the inner corners. It’s rich, multidimensional, and gorgeous, but I wouldn’t call it smoky, and that’s exactly why I love this palette so much: it gives you the option to create smoky looks, but doesn’t limit you to just those styles.
UD carefully thought out everything, and included a dual-ended tapered crease/pencil brush with this palette. I have never in my life used a brush that came with a palette before the Nakeds, but these brushes are really good! This one in particular is great because the tapered crease brush lays down color beautifully (it’s not so great for blending), and the pencil/smudger tip does its job expertly. They also upgraded the packaging of the palette itself. This one feels sturdier in my hands, has a magnetic closure for extra security, and a large mirror that spans the entire interior lid. I’m not crazy about the smoke effect on the packaging, but I can easily look past that.For those of you looking for inspiration for your eye looks, there is also a small fold-out brochure included with suggested shadow pairings and techniques (cateye, smoked out, and more). I liked seeing how the Urban Decay people paired up the shades…it encouraged me to experiment more with layering colors to achieve different end results.