Aldi’s Lacura range is becoming renowned for its high-end copies, and the latest dupe takes on the most popular eyeshadow palettes ever sold. Can Aldi’s ‘Naturals’ hold a candle to Urban Decay’s famous Naked palettes?

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Seemingly no one is safe from being cloned by Aldi. From  Jo Malone fragrance  to Liz Earle skincare  and Max Factor mascara , the Lacura cosmetics team are taking on the big guns in the most blatant way possible: by making low cost versions of the world’s most popular (and often pricy) beauty products. On paper it seems like a steal for the consumer, and seeing as many of us wouldn’t bat an eyelid when buying own brand cornflakes as opposed to Kellogg's (or ‘Special Way’ over Special K as my mum used to), applying the same bargain hunter ethos to beauty appears reasonable, although potentially questionable from a creative ethics P.O.V…

What you really want to know, though, is whether the quality of a cut-price eyeshadow palette can compare to the much hailed textures, tones and longevity of a costly cult palette. Here goes…

What you’re getting

Aldi has launched two very familiar looking eyeshadow palettes for May- Naturals Eyeshadow Palettes come in at £5.99 each, vs  Urban Decay Naked palettes  which are pruiced at £39.50. If you really want to number crunch, that’s an 84 per cent saving.

They roughly correspond to  Urban Decay Naked 1  and 2 , with copycat tins, although both grey in colour and somehow both chunkier and more flimsy. Each palette has 12 shades, so same-same in that department, and the brush looks near-identical too, although it doesn’t pick up product as neatly.

Onto said product- the pans are almost a mirror image of the original Urban Decay shadows, although the shades aren’t named, and the mirror within isn’t really a mirror- more of a blurry plasticky reflective surface. Texture wise you’ve got a mix-up of mattes, metallics and glitters as per the original, and they look impressive. I’d wear all of them bar-none for both day and night, and while flattering, there are issues on application. If you’re a Naked devotee, you’ll notice that the pigment here is watered-down, and the texture feels very talcy- I found it tricky to get it to stick to the brush and blend out. Pre-work I applied a pale neutral matte base, with a mauve-brown matte in the crease, glimmery dark brown metallic at the outer corners and dab of rose gold glitter in the centre of the lid. The shadows did fuse together nicely- tonally they’re very well matched as with the original Nakeds, and I eventually built up the colour to a smokey-ish daytime finish. My eyes looked more hazel than normal, defined and generally nicely made-up but not OTT, which is the aim of the Urban Decay’s range too, so those boxes are ticked, although the glitter shadows come off chunkier.

The verdict

If you can’t afford the nigh on £40 original Naked palettes, you’re getting bang for your buck shade and effect wise, but the colour payoff and longevity are lacking (I had some minor creasing by lunchtime), and I had quite a bit of shadow fallout happening under the eyes. This actually isn’t a disaster (a smoked up eye should never be too precise), but it’s a consideration if you’re in the office. The fact that Aldi’s palettes are cruelty-free free like Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes is a big plus, but they don’t quite nail the professional prowess and intensity of the Naked family, although they come impressively close given the huge disparity in price. If you don’t mind topping up and buffing out a few creases throughout the day, and a dial down of the original pigment, they’re a goer.

Pre-order  Aldi Lacura Naturals Eyeshadow Palettes , £5.99 each, online from Sunday 13th May or buy in store from 17th May. The palettes are an Aldi Specialbuy- once they’re gone, they’re gone.

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