Does it sound like the height of polish fume-induced delusion to say that I think the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette was made just for me? Ok it does, but after four years of testing out a never-ending parade of neutrals, I’ve all but banned browns and taupes from my eyeshadow collection. Somehow, it always takes more work than necessary—and it never results in that naked eye look (the one I was beginning to think was a makeup myth invented to torment unsuspecting beauty lovers).
I won’t pretend to be above the madness that occurs every time a Naked palette is released, and I’ve been secretly coveting the first one since it launched. I mean, I’ve never heard so much praised heaped upon a single palette, as if it held all of life’s secrets for a mere $52. But in a rare moment of clarity, I remembered my disappointment with the oft-lauded MAC Satin Taupe. Not the color itself, which is really everything a basic taupe should be, but with the effect once applied to my lids. So I held off, even after swatching the neat row of pans at a friend’s house and falling into spasms of delight all over again (I want to wear neutrals, they just don’t want to wear me).
Imagine my delight when the metallic case landed on my doorstep in all of its peachy, rosy glory. I’m beginning to suspect (after years of playing around with color, someone just revoke my beauty blogging license already) that my complexion is neither warm nor cool, but truly neutral. If that sounds like you, I’m going to hazard a guess that you will fall madly in love with Naked 3.
I’ve found palettes can be very hit-and-miss where quality is concerned, but this is the formula that I love from Urban Decay. Dust kicks up more glitter-speckled fallout than I’d like, but the rest are a delight to work with, buttery and supremely blendable. Be careful not to pick up too much product with your brush; what reads as powderiness in some of the swatches above is actually the result of an insane amount of pigment. To be blunt, swatching is not my forté, so I recommend that you head over to Temptalia or From Head To Toe for more detailed looks at the individual shades.
Below, I’m wearing a combination of Strange, Trick, Liar, and Mugshot (at least I think I am…) with a slick of my favorite green liner. The point is, you can mix and match the colors and blend them together in any variety and still wind up with something wearable, particularly if your version of “neutral” doesn’t seem to coincide with everyone else’s definition. I’ve piled as many as eight shades on an eye at one time, and the result is never muddy or overdone, which means I can pat and layer to my heart’s content.
I’ve heard this palette called warm and cool alternately, and truthfully I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s neither too warm nor too cool, which is my main criteria for the perfect palette. It reads a little more pink or brown depending on your coloring, and while I can’t guarantee it will melt into your skin in a harmonious blend of hues, it manages to be wearable across a wide range of skintones—the whole point of the Naked franchise.
For $52, you get 12 eyeshadows (mattes, shimmers, microglitters), a double-ended brush, and four one-week samples of assorted eye primers—which is about as close to life’s answers as you can hope to grab off a Sephora shelf. I would have loved to see them toss in a single mini tube of primer and perhaps one of their new liners (cannot get enough, review to come) in place of the brush, but overall it is very good value for such a cohesive palette. All I can say is that I’ve been knee-deep in finals and papers and projects lately and have still managed to pull this out and play. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
What’s your favorite neutrals palette? Are you a Naked convert yet?
Full Disclosure: The product in this post was submitted by PR for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information on my review policy, please refer to my disclaimer.