Friday, 7 August 2015

Review/FOTD | Urban Decay Naked Smoky.

Another year another Naked palette to grace (geddit?) our shelves and Instagram feeds. This time around Urban Decay took their Naked train to the smoky side (minus the 'e'... but we'll forgive them for that) and I was lucky enough to receive a press sample to play around with and let ye all know my thoughts on it. Now, I have to admit, when I first saw photos of this online my opinion was completely split. Shade wise, because it is a largely cool toned palette (with taupes, greys and blacks) the warm toned lover in me was like "meh". Equally, however, the Urban Decay obsessed Naked palette collector in my head was happy dancing and doing my best Godfather "Welcome to da fah-muh-leeeee" impression. I'm not sane. I know this.
There was so much hype around this palette - over 8,000 people on the waiting list in Ireland alone. Urban Decay don't mess around. I won't be comparing the Naked palettes in this post (Temptalia has lots of comparison posts to check out) but I will say that the original is warmer, number 2 is cool in tone so probably closest to Naked Smoky but definitely not identical (though I will say straight out that if you only own the second one then you probably don't need this) and the third is nothing like Naked Smoky because it's all pink and rose gold in tone. 

With all that boring stuff out of the way, let's look at the palette. The packaging is a huge step up from the original flimsy cardboard that attracted dust from all corners of your room. It's definitely my favourite casing and I love the smoke detail across the front. It has a magnetic closure and overall feels streamlined and sturdy. It comes with 4 "how to" lookbooks which, for once, aren't completely crap (hurray!) and a beautiful synthetic double ended brush. I'm always a fan of the Naked palette brushes but I think this might be my favourite one yet. The soft yet slightly tapered blending/crease brush and the detail smudger are perfect for smokey eye beginners and make it easy to create a pretty seamless look. 

Naked Smoky of course comes with 12 shades grouped in terms of finish (instead of lightest-darkest, which was previously typical for Naked palettes) Naked Smoky contains 4 "frosty" shades (2 I would say are shimmers and 2 which are the infamous Urban Decay chunky micro glitter which you need to be careful with when using), 4 satins and 4 mattes. I'll get into the shades individually but I do want to reiterate that this is definitely a cool toned palette overall, and that is more or less the look you're going to get with this. So, if you're a die hard warm toned bronze and copper eyeshadow wearer, you'll need to ask yourself if it's worth spending the €46 on or if you're best sticking to Naked original or Naked Basics. If you do like your cool tones, you enjoyed Naked 2 and really want to extend your cool tone eyeshadow collection then I think this is the perfect palette for you. Similarly, if you're a warm toned wearer and want to experiment with greys or just don't have a preference and love all eyeshadows equally (though some are of course more equal than others) then this is also a great option. Finally, if you're like me and just have to have it because it's Urban Decay and the Naked set wouldn't be complete without it then... why are you even here? You're probably sitting at home playing with it already having been one of the 8,000 on the waiting list... mad respect! At the end of the day, they're still the Urban Decay quality (although one or two aren't gushingly fantastic) at a reasonable price for what you're getting so for most people, it will be worthwhile adding it to their collection.

High is a light beige with silver micro-glitter. This shade is quite crumbly because of the glitter but the pigmentation is still there. Not my favourite shade from the palette because it's a little dark to be a super brightening inner corner highlight on my casper white skin tone but you can make it work. If you're using this across the lid I would say pat it on instead of swiping and use a sticky base to keep that glitter in place.
Dirtysweet is a medium beige with a gold sheen. Really buttery and in line with classic UD eyeshadow formula. 
Radar is a chocolate brown with gold shimmer. Again, really smooth and I think these first three shades will make it more wearable for most people, especially people who prefer warmer toned looks.
Armor is a taupey grey with lots of silver micro-glitter. You can't see quite as well as High in the photo but it is one of those crumbly shadows. I found the glitter did fall down onto my cheek whilst wearing it throughout the day so this was really the only big dud in the palette for me. To get the best out of this shadow, use a sticky base and apply it to the lid using your finger and pressing motions.

Onto the satins! Slanted is a steel with silver sheen. Nothin' special, but the texture is definitely nice.
Dagger is a slightly darker colour but still in the same cool toned family with slightly blue-ish undertones. I can't see myself getting a huge amount of use out of this colour but if you're a big fan of cool tones you'll love this. The pigmentation is smooth and it isn't overly frosty so works well in a smokey eye. 
Black Market is just shy of being jet black. At first I was a bit miffed they didn't include a true matte black but I actually think this works better for this palette, especially for beginners or people who aren't super confident in their blending. The satin effect is almost matte, but that satin formula also means it isn't super chalky and hard to blend. It is still really dark, so the impact is there without the huge effect of having to sit and blend a straight up matte black until your eyelid is red raw. 
Smolder is a blackened plum colour. I used this once and was a bit disappointed at how little purple actually shows up on the lid, so you'd probably have to use a dark purple base to get this to really pop. The texture is great, I was just hoping for more of a jewel-toned plum if that makes sense? Still a good alternative to straight up black for depth, though. 

Password is a matte grey taupe with purple undertones. I had heard bloggers complaining about the mattes in this palette but I don't really know why - I really like them all. They are definitely thinner in consistency than, say, the Naked Basics, but I still think they're smooth, pigmented and easy to blend. They're very similar to Smashbox mattes in the Double Exposure palette if you're familiar with those and like them, then you'll have no problem with these.
Whiskey is a deep chocolate brown to match their popular eyeliner shade. This had the best pigmentation out of all the mattes and was really smooth.
Combust is a dusty mauve/blush toned colour that makes a perfect transition shade for lighter skins, regardless of whether you want to do a cool or a warm toned look with this palette. This kicks up a bit of powder when you swirl your brush into the pan but it builds nicely on the eye and is a great addition to the palette.
Thirteen is a light cream, just a pinch off white. Again, kicks up a bit of excess powder in the pan but applies nicely to the eye as a browbone highlight to tone down a very frosty look.

Overall? It isn't my favourite out of all the Naked palettes shade wise, purely because I love my warm tones. That being said, the quality of the shadows overall is there and €46 for 12 Urban Decay shadows is always going to be a good deal if you'll use most of them. Is it super unique? No, but then again how many times can you make a neutral or smokey eye palette super unique - it's a bit too high an expectation at this stage. Just because it isn't super unique doesn't mean it isn't a great palette because it definitely is formula wise. And don't think warm toned lovers won't be able to use this palette at all, because High, Dirty Sweet, Radar, Whiskey and Combust can easily make a beautiful warm toned smokey eye. If you only wear light neutrals or bronze/golds then skip this altogether. But, as I said before, if you like your taupes and silvers, generally enjoy the Urban Decay eyeshadow formula or just want to collect the Naked series then go right ahead and pick this gem up because it's by no means a bad palette at all and you certainly won't be disappointed with it. 

 FOTD #1: The Iconic UD Smoky Eye.
I don't typically use the little tutorial booklets that come with palettes, but the 4 included in Naked Smoky are pretty comprehensive and overall nicely planned out with diverse looks that I think everyone could follow. So, I decided I had to recreate their "iconic" look - a classic grey and black smoky eye. I used Combust (transition shade), Zero eyeliner pencil as a base all over the lid, blended that out and added more in layers (slightly thicker on the outer corner and always darker at the lashline), Password in the crease with Smolder and Black Market mixed together and patted on the lid. I mixed Combust, Password and Black Market and buffed that out on the lower lashline, added a touch of High in the inner corner and Thirteen on the brow bone. Ta-daaaah!
I kept my base quite sheer coverage, then added some bronzer (which I think really helps from making those black smokey eye looks looking too "punched in the eye" and zombie like overall... unless you're into that in which case, you do you!), Rapture blush by Urban Decay on the cheeks and No. 7 Nude lipliner. Smokey eye and nude lips, a fool proof combo.

FOTD #2: The Spotlight Smokey Eye.
Started off as always with Urban Decay Primer potion and applied Combust into the crease as my transition shade. I used a flat brush to pack Whiskey onto the inner and outer corners of the lid, blending them up slightly into the crease and leaving the centre of my eye bare. Next, I patted Armor onto the middle of my lid with my finger and buffed Thirteen onto my brow brone. I added some winged liner (although feel free to skip it and smudge some pencil liner or shadow onto the lashline, because these spotlight looks also look great sans winged liner), put black liner on my waterline and repeated the eyeshadow steps on the lower lashline i.e. Whiskey on the inner and outer corners with Armor in the centre. I used a mix of High and Thirteen to highlight my tearduct area. 
I kept the cheeks lighter than the previous look, and just used some subtle contour and Rapture blush (with a very light hand). I chose to go with a dark lip just to show both a nude and bold lip, but you can mix and match to suit your preference. The lip combo below is NYX Cabernet lipliner and Urban Decay's Shame lipstick if you were curious! 

I hope the FOTD was useful for some of ye who were maybe on the fence about picking up this palette. You can definitely create some gorgeous looks with it ranging from day to night, but I wanted to specifically showcase some of the more nighttime geared looks you could easily do with it. Are you a smokey eye lover or just a Naked lover and will be rushing out to buy this or are you over the Naked trend? I'd love to know in the comments below! It'll be interesting to see what Urban Decay come out with next in their Naked series x