When it comes to Urban Decay the focus right now is definitely on the latest Gwen Stefani collaboration, which looks gorgeous from what I can see on the blogosphere. However I was lucky enough to win the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette from the lovely Gemma (Flutter and Sparkle) just before the new year... so even though I am little bit behind on what's hot these days, I still wanted to share my thoughts on the latest Naked release. When the palette come out originally it caused a bit of a stir with undivided opinions from all beauty lovers around. I was definitely on the fence initially, because cool toned shades like these are just not something that pop out at me straight away or make me lust after a palette. Not to mention that I felt I could actually dupe a lot of the shades within from other palettes in my collection. I guess when your a beauty blogger that is always an issue, because you're bound to have similar shades within your collection already. When I won the palette though I was over the moon & excited to see what all the fuss was about, plus I wanted to make up my own mind on the Urban Decay release that had people's opinions divided.
So what are my thoughts on the Naked Smoky palette?! Well I'll have to be honest and admit that it's definitely not my favourite Naked palette of the bunch, but I don't hate it either. I'm still in two minds about it overall because there's times when I use certain shades and I will absolutely love the finished look. Then there's times when I go for the deeper, smokier shades and I'm not exactly thrilled with how my makeup looks. First off from the get-go, I love the packaging which is made of a plastic encasing with a beautiful design throughout to really represent the smoky theme. Secondly I am actually quite surprised by how much I like the shade section available, because even though the focus is on cool toned colours, there's also a few warmer tones in there which balance everything out perfectly. Thirdly I am quite happy with the pigmentation of each shade, there's one or two that could perform better, but the majority have a high colour payoff.
Now onto the less positive side of things... the biggest problem for me with this palette was that the formula seems to have changed a lot compared to the other Naked palettes and not exactly in a good way. Overall each shade has a drier, chalky texture and a powdery feel to it. This causes a problem when applied, as it makes blending so much more of a hassle then it should be. Unless you spend a good fifteen minutes blending everything out, the finished look can come out patchy & messy. It's such a shame that this kind of problem lets the palette down, since in the past I always admired how soft and buttery Urban Decay shadows applied to the eyes. Another thing to note is that a primer is essential with this palette or else the shades will just not last throughout the day. Apart from creasing which can happen to oilier lids, I also noticed that the shades just kind of blended together & started to fade away. I don't mind using a primer, it's just habit these days to pop some on before creating a smoky eye but I just thought it was worth mentioning.
When first testing out the palette I opted for a dark grey, smoky eye using the shades Password, Black Market and Armour. I didn't use a primer for a change and you can kind of tell that the shades have almost morphed into one despite spending a good half an hour trying to create some definition. So my final thought is that the smoky effect is definitely there with this palette and I love some of the shades within such as High, Dirty Sweet, Radar, Smolder to name a few. However I definitely think Urban Decay could have worked on the formula a bit more to create something with a higher standard of quality (like the original Naked palette for example). It's not the worst palette available on the market, but is it worth the £38 price tag?! I'm just not sure because I don't think I would be willing to pay the full price.
Have you tried the Urban Decay Naked Smokey palette? What are your thoughts... yay or nay? Let me know in the comments below.