Things I did while I was away: recapped makeup and hair highlights at the Emmys (an endeavor that made me wish for a week-long nap), chatted with the creative director of Amouage and documented the rise and fall (jk there was only a rise) of Cara Delevingne‘s eyebrows and beauty game, which was pretty much always bangin.
Is there such a thing as too much Naked? Clearly Urban Decay doesn’t think so, as they recently introduced their Naked2 Basics Palette ($29). The Basics series of their frighteningly popular (I don’t know how those things sell out in a matter of seconds! It’s scary!) Naked line have these things in common: a compact case, neutrals (duh) and an all-matte finish. It’s a nice textural change from some of their previous palettes, particularly for those who suffer from shimmer fatigue. I’m not one of those people, but you know…it’s nice to have options!
Compared to its predecessor, Naked2 Basics is cooler-toned, leaning toward the taupe-y end of the spectrum. The six shades are as follows:
- SKIMP – pale nude satin
- STARK – nude-pink matte
- FRISK – warm gray matte
- COVER – muted red-brown matte
- PRIMAL – muted brown matte
- UNDONE – deep, smoky brown matte
To coincide with the launch of their new palette, the brand is also releasing a double-ended, $20 brush. One side blends while the other smudges, so you can basically do your eyeshadow and eyeliner at the same time, solving a problem you never even knew you had.
While we’re on the topic of neutral palettes, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. This actually required some serious thought, as colors are usually just so much more exciting, but it turns out I’ve got a soft spot for tans and taupes too. A few I’d recommend:
- Urban Decay Naked 3 (review): If I had to pick one Naked palette, it would be the third iteration. The first two were gorgeous, but the third was just right. It’s like Goldilocks and her porridge, only I don’t think Goldilocks would have gone for a $52 bowl of eyeshadow…but I digress. There are one or two mattes in here, although it’s definitely heavy on the shimmers. That said, the shimmer is subtle and the powders are finely milled, so they go on smoothly and blend out beautifully. As for the shades, they are utter rosy perfection.
- Dolce & Gabbana Tangier Quad: I haven’t reviewed this one yet, although you can see its cooler-toned cousin Ibiza here—like Ibiza, this also retails at $60. If you’re into warmer neutrals, this is one to watch. There’s one square of matte, milk chocolate brown that even I, lover of blues and greens, can get on board with. It’s paired with a shimmery gold, orange (yes, orange! But it’s wearable, I swear) and peach that scream, “I’m on vacation!”
- Maybelline Chai Latte Quad: For something with a more palatable price tag, try a $5 Chai Latte—the drugstore quad, that is. I had this way back before they reformulated it, but the color scheme looks the same. The texture isn’t on par with my higher-end palettes, but you can put together an endless array of neutral looks with this. There’s a pale vanilla, a dark brown, a tan (workhorse crease shade, that one) and a sparkly gold for a touch of fun. Great for beginners, or anyone who needs a palette that’s equally good for work days and nights out. You can get a ton of mileage out of this, plus it’s easily replaceable and thus ideal for tossing in any on-the-go bag.
What are some of your favorite neutral palettes? Share ‘em in the comments below!
Full disclosure: Urban Decay Naked 3 and Dolce & Gabbana Tangier were press samples sent for review. All opinions are my own. For my complete review policy, please refer to my disclaimer.