Review | Urban Decay Naked Basics 2

Urban Decay Naked Basics (left) and Naked Basics 2 (right)

One of my first major makeup investments was the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette almost two years ago. Never having been one to successfully blend shadows together and create art on the eyelid, most palettes scared me because they offered way too many colors and I couldn’t figure out which shadow would go on the lid and which belonged in the crease. This was clearly when I was still in a newbie eyeshadow phase (not like my skills are much improved tbh) so the less intimidating, the better. Naked Basics also appealed to me because of all the love surrounding the Naked Palettes online, with claims that the shadows were pigmented and easily blendable, all good things for a beginner. Urban Decay’s latest release of the Naked Basics 2 also seemed right up my alley as it was more cool-toned and had hints of taupe and reddy-brown, two flattering shades for my lighter skin tone and brown eyes. I held out on buying it because I didn’t need another palette and there were other ones ahead of it in line, but my extremely generous friend Amanda gifted me the palette for Christmas, so now I couldn’t feel guilty about having it in my collection.

Urban Decay was clearly trying to make these into true sister palettes as when they are placed side by side, it’s almost difficult to tell which is which. Each comes with five matte shadows and the original sports a shimmer (Venus), while 2 replaces it with a satin finish (Skimp). They go from light to dark and come in with a good-sized mirror in a compact and sturdy case. Both also have some shades that are more pigmented than others, which is a bit annoying at $29. If you can tell from the above photo, my fave shadows from the first palette are Venus – the shimmer of the palette and the most unbelievable inner corner highlight shade, Walk of Shame (WOS) – a lovely pinky nude, Naked 2 – a really light and natural brown, and Faint – a darker brown (I usually mix the two browns for the crease or use Naked 2 on the lid and Faint as a liner). As a yellow-toned nude, Foxy hardly shows up on my skin, but works well as a brow highlight when I’m sporting a really dark or shimmery eye look. As a black, Crave is the least used for me as it is really intense and actually has a lot of fallout.

SWATCHED! From left to right: Undone, Primal, Cover, Frisk, Stark and Skimp.

From looking at the Naked Basics 2, I was ecstatic to try every shade as I thought they would show up on my skin and as I mentioned earlier, the undertones seemed quite flattering. This palette really differs from the original in that it’s fallout is way more intense and I always feel like I’m wasting so much product just by swirling or patting my brush in the pan. For the lighter shades, their lack of pigmentation means I spend more time picking up product than I would like, while the darker shades are extremely pigmented so even the smallest amount on my brush gives my eyes raccoon vibes. What was most disappointing is that Cover, the red-brown I was most excited for translates differently on the lids than in the pan, as does every shade. Even swatching them on my arm produced different results, with and without a nude primer or white eyeshadow base. I also find the darker shades to be quite difficult to blend out, making the whole palette a lot more difficult to work with than the original. I went to Googling tutorials on blogs and searching YouTube for inspiration on different looks I could do with the palette and to see how other people were working with it. A lot of people with medium-dark skin tones seemed to like this palette a lot and preferred it to the original, quite surprising as it is cool-toned. All the looks I found were also quite smokey and severe as for me, a Naked Basics palette is all about a natural look.

Overall, I think the original Naked Palette is best for lighter skin tones, natural looks and people new to makeup (or lacking in blending skills like myself) as it is quite foolproof. The Naked Basics 2 seems to suit those with medium-dark skin, colored eyes and the more skillful blenders. It’s also a really cool palette to accompany the other larger Naked palettes and for those looking for a smokey eye that strays from the classic blacks, silvers and dark browns. If you’re creative with eye shadows and again, quite talented with a blending brush, I think you’d really get along well with this palette and I would demand you teach me your ways so I can get some proper use out of it. I definitely prefer the original Naked Basics, but even then I wouldn’t re-purchase the whole thing. I love 4/6 shades, which is really great, but Venus is the only one I actually can’t live without and hope Urban Decay sells individually because if not, then I will have to keep this palette in my rotation forever. Even then, I wouldn’t mind because I do get on with it but the Naked Basics 2 is a bit of a letdown for me. I really like Primal and Frisk for all over the lid or in the crease, but I can’t seem to find a way to make any of these shadows work with each other and thus have to go looking through other palettes to find suitable mates.

Do you have any the Naked Basics Palettes? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments below! Xx

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Cheers! S.