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September 18th 2016 / 2 comments
60 shades, six palettes, three sets of eyes and six looks: is the Urban Decay Naked Vault the most comprehensive eyeshadow collection ever? We put it to the test to find out
What makes the ultimate eyeshadow palette - 10, 20, even 30 shades? In fact, double that, how does 60 sound? We kid you not, because thanks to the new Urban Decay Naked Vault, the dream of limitless eye makeup ideas could have finally made the leap from fantasy to reality.
In order to commemorate its 20th birthday, the brand has launched an incredible limited edition set with every single Naked palette ever created - Naked, Naked2, Naked3, Naked Basics, Naked2 Basics and Naked Smoky - to make for one of the most comprehensive collections of eyeshadows we have ever seen.
With the palettes arranged in the most eye-catching of cases with a removable inner tray to double up as a jewellery and makeup caddy, it’s a true collectible in every sense of the word.
How do the palettes measure up though? To put their versatility and wearability to the ultimate test, we challenged three members of the GTG team of varying skin tones and hair colours to each create a day and night time look to see if they really do provide maximum pigment for our pennies. From nude to smokey, rose gold to bronzed, here’s what happened when GTG got Naked...
Palette: Urban Decay Naked
1. Firstly, I applied the palette’s nude Naked shade across my lid using the fluffy end of the makeup brush included to act as a base.
2. Next, I swept the metallic bronze Smog shade on top and in the crease for extra dimension.
3. For added definition, I applied the deepest shade in the collection, Creep, along the outer third of my upper lash line using the thinner end of the brush.
4. To finish, I swept the off-white Virgin on my brow bone to highlight.
The Naked truth: Highly pigmented and long-lasting, I was hugely impressed by the subtle yet noticeable variations that this palette was able to add to my usual daytime eye look. Providing ample amounts of multidimensional bronze for my buck, it offered the perfect balance of matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle shades to choose from which both blended seamlessly and didn’t cause any noticeable fading or creasing as the day wore on. Furthermore, its rich colour payoff ensures that every skin tone is catered for - from the lightest to the darkest.
Palette: Urban Decay Naked Smoky
1. To kick off my work to play transition, I applied the deep brown matte Whiskey shade across my lid on top of my day look using the fluffy end of the makeup brush.
2. Next, I swept the grey Password on top over my entire lid.
3. I then applied the metallic silver Slanted and gunmetal Amor on top for a multi-faceted touch.
4. For a graduation of colour from my inner to outer lid, I applied the purple Smoulder on the outer V and along the crease, followed by Blackout on top and along the lower lash line using the narrower end of the makeup brush for greater intensity.
5. To finish, I applied Thirteen, the lightest matte shade in the palette, along my brow bone and High, the lightest metallic shade, in the middle of my lid to illuminate.
The Naked truth: I’ve often found it hard to create a smoky eye pigmented enough to show up on my darker skin tone however, the variety and intensity of shades included in this palette provided a fantastic array of colours with which to experiment with. Ranging from browns to greys to bronzes, their velvet-like textures added illumination and definition with ease to help me to both step out of my eye colour comfort zone and transition from day to night with ease.
Palette: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics
1. I was already wearing Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, so on first I applied the nude coloured Skimp all over the lid, using the wider end of the brush from the Naked2 palette.
2. I added the pinkier Stark on top for extra depth, using the same brush.
3. I then added the taupe hued Frisk from the middle of the lid to the outer corners, using my finger to blend.
4. Using the finer end of the Naked2 palette brush, I applied the brown Cover shade to the crease/socket line.
5. I finished with a flash of Skimp on my brow bone, again using the fine end of the brush.
The Naked truth: Within the Vault is the Naked2 Basics palette, a collection of six unique matte, neutral shades with taupe tones - perfect for a daytime look. With cooler hues than the original Basics palette, it helps you to mix up your 9-5 makeup without abandoning your much-loved nudes. All the shadows have a velvety soft finish (the Urban Decay trademark), and though they’re matte they blend beautifully, they are topped off perfectly by the slightly more satin finish of the Skimp shade. With such a wide shade range from light to dark within the palette, it suits all skin tones too - being blonde and fair I made use of the palest four, though would happily dip into the darker colours for a more dramatic look.
Palette: Urban Decay Naked2
1. I began this straight on top of the daytime shades, and the shadows are so easy to blend that I used my fingertips for a lot of this look. I began with the cream coloured Bootycall all over the brow bone.
2. I then swept the pale, matte shade Foxy all over the lid.
3. I followed this with Suspect, a more pearly gold shade, all over the lid.
4. I picked a metallic shade, Verve, to sweep from the middle of the lid and out to the corners with the larger end of the brush.
5. For definition, I blended the smokier Pistol along my lower lash line.
6. To make the look a little more glam, I swept the rose-golden sparkly shade Chopper all over the lid with my fingertips.
7. I then added the golden Half Baked along my upper lash line to brighten, and dotted it at the inner corners to highlight.
8. I followed this with the bronzed Snakebite in the middle of the lid, to darken the look and give it a more night time feel.
9. I used the smaller end of the brush to press the metallic YDK onto the inner corners of my lids.
10. To add depth to all that shimmer, I blended the deeper shade, Busted, at the outer corners and into the crease of my eyes.
11. Lastly I applied Blackout with the finer end of the brush to create a winged black eyeliner along the upper lash line, and blended out.
The Naked Truth: There are so many beautiful shades in this palette that I found myself playing with almost all of them (as you can tell) to create my night time look. I think that’s what makes this Vault of palettes so impressive - no look will ever be the same because you can blend and mix to your heart’s content, especially as the shadows are so soft and pigmented. These taupe-based shadows have a great mix of matte, pearlescent and metallic finishes, and as a fan of shimmer it was the perfect shade range for me - I particularly loved Pistol as a slightly smokier, bronze-grey nude, while Chopper and YDK really brought the look to life with gorgeous metallic tones. Best of all though is that all the shades complement each other, so you can’t go wrong - whether you use two tones or all 12, the colours work.
Palette: Urban Decay Naked Basics
1. I applied the beige Foxy as a base, with the cream coloured Venus dotted at the inner corners of eye.
2. Then, I defined the sockets with the light brown Naked 2 shade, deepening the colour around the edges using a dab of the mid-brown Faint on the outer corners, applied with my fingers and blended with the fluffy end of the Naked 3 brush.
3. I finished off by lining my upper and lower lids with the jet-black Crave, using the flat brush end of Naked 3. Et voila!
The Naked Truth: With a high five of mattes and a single, eye-opening shimmer shade, Naked Basics may be small, but in terms of wear, blendability and neatly edited versatility, it's certainly mighty. The mirror within the compact is of a practical size (very rare in palette land) and once armed with a double ended brush to take care of precision lining and shadow buffing, you're made. Light and slim, Basics is the perfect weekender, wedding companion or handbag staple. In short, it can be subtle or a bit smoky, but it's never 'too much'. Goldilocks would probably label it 'just right'.
Palette: Urban Decay Naked3
1. I really went to town here. First I applied the matte pink Limit over my sockets with the flat end of the brush, dabbing glittery Dust at the inner eye with my fingers for a bit of quirky interest.
2. I followed this up with Nooner (one of my all time favourite shades) in the eye crease, applied with the flat end of the brush and buffed in slightly with the fluffy end. I added a graduated line of the deeper hued Liar here too for a subtle shimmer, using the same application method.
3. I intensified the shadow around the outer corners using the pink-grey Darkside, applying with fingers and blending out with the fluffy end of the brush. Then I dabbed a bit of lighter shadow in the centre of the lids to make my eyes look wider - I used the rose golden Trick (and my fingers). To finish off, I pushed the deepest shade, Blackhearts, into the lash line with the flat side of the brush.
The Naked Truth: My boyfriend bought this palette for my birthday as soon as it came out; I've been a sucker for rose gold shades long before the current craze got going. I'm on intimate terms with almost every shade in this palette, but you can't beat Blackheart for making brown and hazel eyes look practically hypnotic. All of the shades blend seamlessly together, and you can transition from 'job interview' to 'the club' with minimal effort and some subtle but impactful tweaks. The sturdy tin will endure, as will the shadows within, and the pro brush and large mirror add to the luxe appeal.
The Urban Decay Naked Vault is £185 and available to buy online from John Lewis here.
Written in partnership with John Lewis and Affiliate Window.