Review: Urban Decay Naked Basics (Revisited)
One of my first product reviews (my third product review, if you want to get technical) was for Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette. This review happened almost exactly a year ago (if you want, you can read it here). And let’s be real. It wasn’t the most helpful review. I still struggle with photos, but my photos at the time were substantially awful-er. I also didn’t provide a lot of information and didn’t show you how the shadows actually looked on my face.
A few days ago, a friend of mine requested some eyeshadow inspiration using Naked Basics. A re-visit seemed like the perfect way to close out the year: it’s a demonstration of my growth as a makeup blogger in 2016.
Naked Basics was released in late 2012 as a response to pleas by eyeshadow addicts who were begging for an all-matte Naked palette after its two glitter-bomb predecessors. Even in their “all matte” palette, Urban Decay eyeshadow formulators couldn’t help throwing in a non-matte shade because fuck it, they’re Urban Decay and they’ve got to be true to themselves.
The color scheme of Naked Basics is pretty bland but in a versatile kind of way. I kind of think of Naked Basics as the eyeshadow equivalent of a potato. You could live your life without potatoes, but they really come in handy. On their own, though, potatoes are not super interesting. They are great supporting characters– who doesn’t love big hunks of potato in their soup?!– but the thing about your food that is interesting is not going to be the potato itself. The potato just helps your soup (or whatever you made) be complete. Likewise, with Naked Basics, the thing about your makeup that will have a “wow” factor is probably not going to be your eyeshadow. You can blend it beautifully and it will look awesome, but there has to be something else in your look to create real visual interest. Combined with the rest of your makeup, Naked Basics can be used really effectively to create a beautiful look.
Naked Basics is half the size of a full-size Naked Palette, containing six 0.05 eyeshadows. The colors lean on the light side, which is nice for all of us who find that we use up a palette’s designated highlight at a much faster rate than the other shadows. It’s less helpful, though if your goal is to create as many diverse looks using the palette as possible since the three lightest shades are relatively similar.
The palette contains:
Venus, which is a creamy satin shade with a hint of a frosty finish. It’s the color of whipped cream with a ton of vanilla poured in. (Everything else is matte.)
Foxy is a soft, creamy yellow that is reminiscent of manila envelopes.
Walk of Shame is a pale, pink-ish beige.
Naked 2 is a very soft, brown-leaning taupe.
Faint is a medium-dark brown.
Crave is black.
Every single shade in this palette is creamy and richly pigmented.
Over the past year, this palette has been my staple for “professional” makeup. I wore these shadows on every job interview that I went on. Since someone did, in fact, hire me, I can only assume they didn’t shoot me in the foot too badly. Clearly I can attribute my new job to Urban Decay and not, like, my resume or some bullshit like that.
For this post, I did three looks using Naked Basics, each of which had a different level of intensity:
At $27 for 0.3 oz of product, Naked Basics is pretty medium-priced, ringing in at $90 per ounce.
Basically, given the quality of these eyeshadows, I would recommend this palette to anyone who looks at it and says, “That looks like something I would like to wear. I would get a lot of use out of that.” If this palette is a yawn for you, don’t buy it. There are tons of neutral palettes you can wear to work that have a bit more pizazz. If you like how it looks, though, you will love it.