I’m probably one of the last girls on the planet to lay my hands on this – Urban Decay’s Naked palette. Such a clever idea. This now legendary palette was launched in October 2010 and was an immediate HUGE bestseller. I toyed around with the idea of getting one but since it doesn’t sell in New Zealand, gave up thinking about it.

But…when I went to Italy to work recently, I hotfooted it to Sephora only to find they had sold out. Then in Malaysia a few weeks ago, I rushed into Sephora only to find…you guessed it. Thailand doesn’t have Sephora but luckily, thanks to Nam-Tuam, I had to return to Malaysia to await my flight back to Christchurch and decided to go back to Sephora on the off-chance they had received a new shipment.

As I approached the Urban Decay display, I spotted my quarry. The palette was being showcased, which should mean it was in stock. But it was showcased the last time I was in the Kuala Lumpur Sephora store, so I wasn’t overly optimistic. I approached the display palette and looked at it longingly. Twelve universally-flattering neutral eyeshadows from sultry champagnes to bold gunmetals.

The Sephora sales woman approached. I gingerly asked whether the palette was back in stock, anticipating a negative on that. But she said: “You’re in luck. 10 palettes arrived at 9.00am this morning and 6 have already been sold“. She then whipped out the sleek, chocolate brown velvet-textured palette with gold lettering and I couldn’t get it to the cashier’s desk fast enough.

I paid approximately NZ$70.00 for the twelve full-size eyeshadows, which includes five new shades. The palette comes with what is called the Good Karma Shadow brush but this is frankly rubbish. Hate it. The palette originally came with a dual-sided eye pencil but I read somewhere that, in order to keep up with demand, Urban Decay replaced the eye pencils with the brush. Shame. The palette also comes with a mini eyeshadow primer but I don’t think this is as good as Too Faced Shadow Insurance or MAC’s Painterly Paint Pot (a nude beige cream eye colour that is fantastic as a base colour or as an eyeshadow primer or even as a concealer due to its flesh tone).

Now to the eyeshadows. The possibilities are endless – you can create a very subtle, neutral day-time look or go for smokey-eye drama or a summer bronze look. The twelve shadows are full-size and have a silky but rich pigmentation with no messy fall-out. Each colour has a great name – from left to right in the photo below –  Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep and Gunmetal.

My favourite shadow without a doubt is Sin and reminds me quite a bit of Stila Kitten, which is also a soft shimmering pink. This is followed closely by Virgin (an icy cream) and the beautiful warm gold colour, Half Baked. A touch of Half Baked in the inner corner of the eye really makes your eyes pop or you can use it on the centre of the eyelids to add warmth. Toasted is a gorgeous darker rosy pink shade and looks fantastic with Hustle.

There are some lovely matte colours in the palette. Naked is a soft brown suede colour and Buck is an earthy darker brown – both work extremely well in the crease and Naked also doubles as an eyebrow filler. Darkhorse is the most beautiful olive brown with a hint of gold shimmer and Creep makes a great eyeliner. I’m not so keen on Sidecar (a bit too glittery for me) or Gunmetal (too metallic).

The palette can be thrown into your makeup bag for travel or you can toss it in your handbag. A very versatile eyeshadow palette that lives up to the hype. I believe the Naked palette is now a permanent feature of the Urban Decay collection and other cosmetic companies are rushing out with their own versions. But those of us who have experienced the original and best will not stray.

UPDATE: OMG!!! Nooooooooooo….just as I lay my hands on the Naked palette, out comes the Naked2 palette. From the photos, I think I’d like this palette better as it has lovely soft neutrals.

I used Sin as the base colour; Naked in the crease and under eye; Creep as an eyeliner. Lipgloss is Deborah Milano Euphoric Shine lip gloss (07).

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