Thursday 1 October 2015

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Review, Tutorials and Swatches

Hey Everyone!
Hope you all are well :)

If you follow me on social media or even just here on the blog you will know that a while ago I attended the big reveal of the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette at the Dean Hotel in Dublin. I put up a little post with information regarding the event and product, I also included some very quick swatches, if you missed that post you can catch it here. The week after the event I was sent out the Naked Smoky palette to try for myself and I'm here today to give you my final thoughts on Urban Decay's latest edition to the Naked range.

I am a massive fan of Urban Decay and have been for years. I own numerous palettes (not only from their Naked range), their primers and I've always been a lover of their 24/7 glide on eye pencils. I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed with a product I've purchased from the brand. However, this latest release has left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. I'll tell you a bit more about that later on.
When the first images of this palette emerged online I was jumping up and down I was that excited. Out of all of the Naked palettes on the market, the colour combination of the Naked Smoky was definitely my favourite. I simply couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

Before I go into detail about the eyeshadows I want to talk to you about the packaging. To me, the packaging is pretty much spot on. It is most definitely my favourite packaging from the range to date. Design wise there is some smokey detailing on the front and back of not only the palette itself, but on the cardboard box too. The plastic casing is sleek and sturdy yet doesn't appear bulky which I like. I also think the addition of a magnetic closure is a nice touch. As per the other palettes, there is a large mirror making the palette perfect for on the go. 

If you're not familiar with the previous releases from the Naked range, encased in the palettes are 12 eyeshadows with matte, satin and shimmer finishes.
One of the things about this palette that is different from the rest of the naked releases, is that the shadows are grouped together according to texture. This was a fantastic idea and I believe it will prove to be beneficial for any beginners out there.


  • High
  • Dirtysweet
  • Radar
  • Armor

  • Slanted
  • Dagger
  • Black Market
  • Smolder
  • Password
  • Whiskey
  • Combust
  • Thirteen

All of the shadows are new to the market with the exception of Radar, Armor, and Black Market. Armor and Black Market previously appeared in The Vice 2 palette while Radar appeared in The Vice palette.

The Naked Smoky comes with a leaflet that gives a detailed step by step guide on how to create four different looks using the palette. Again, something that would prove very useful for beginners or simply for people who are looking for a little inspiration.

Also included in this palette is a double ended brush. Let's take a closer look!

On one end we have a tapered blending brush. If you have seen my video on my favourite eye makeup brushes you will know that I like to use different blending brushes for different reasons. This is the type of brush that I would use last for blending. This brush is slightly stiff so I don't like it for blending colour into the crease. Once I have my shadows applied and blended out in the crease I like to use this brush to buff around the edges of the shadows to ensure that the colours are diffused nicely. It works great for this purpose.

On the other end then we have a pencil brush. I would use this type of brush for smoking shadow down along my lower lash line but I just found that this particular brush was too harsh. The bristles felt like they were scratchy underneath my eye when I tried to apply some eyeshadow. I decided to wash the brush to see if that would soften up the bristles but it didn't, so this end was a no go for me!

As I've said before I had a ridiculous amount of requests from viewers looking for a tutorial using the Naked Smoky Palette. I received this palette on a Thursday morning so I got up and spent my time solidly filming and editing to ensure I got the video up at my normal time of 6pm on a Friday. *Sigh* now we move onto the disappointing part, the quality of the shadows. 

I'm all for the deep dark smoky eyes so naturally enough for my first look I gravitated towards the grey tones in the palette.

The Urban Decay Primer Potion is one of my all time favourite eyeshadow primers so I popped this on before eyeshadow application to prep my eye area. The first shadows that I used from the palette were matte. Matte shades sometimes can be a little tricky to apply but I found myself really struggling with 'Whiskey' and 'Password' in particular.

Whiskey is the dark brown matte shade in the palette and this was the colour I used in my crease. I had to keep layering and layering in order to get the colour pay off that was in the pan. Layering matte shades isn't unusual, for me the problem was the amount of layers I needed to apply. Due to the amount of layers I was applying I found I was then getting a bit of a patchy appearance, which is noticeable in the finished look.

I wanted the grey smokey eye to be quite intense so I decided to apply the shadow Password as my base. That way, it would make the satin finish shadow 'Dagger' really pop when I applied it on top. I found the shade Password very hard to apply evenly, I had to pat the shadow onto the lid over and over again to ensure I had a nice opaque finish to the lid. Similar to my gripe with Whiskey, patting the shadow on the lid to get an even layer wouldn't be unusual, it was the fact that I had to spend a lot of time doing so. Not only that but I found Password just didn't wear well on the eyes, it separated on the lids after a couple of hours wear time. I never have a problem with my eyeshadows fading or creasing but this should definitely not be the case especially when I prepped with the primer potion first.
To get any sort of lasting power out of the eyeshadow I had to use a primer followed by a grey base and even at that longevity wise things weren't great!

Based on the above look, the last shadow that I had a problem with was the shade 'Smolder'. The moment I set eyes on the palette I fell in love with the shade Smolder, it is the most beautiful deep plum shade. I'm more so just let down by this shade as I find that the colour in the pan doesn't transfer onto the eyes. I find it applies more so like a muddy grey.

Now it isn't all doom and gloom I did use five other shadows to create the above look and these shadows I did enjoy. These shadows were:
Combust, Thirteen, Black Market, Slanted and Dagger.
If you would like to see the shades in action and if you are curious as to how I created the above look then just click on the play button below and it will open the tutorial! 

The response I got from that video was fantastic and again, I received numerous requests to record another look using the palette. I had other requests so I decided to kill two birds with the one stone and combine them. The following Friday then I recorded a 'no brushes' makeup look using the Naked Smoky again.

The only shade that I used that was different from my last look was the eyeshadow 'Dirtysweet' one of the shimmer shades. I've nothing bad to say about this eyeshadow it applied and lasted well on the eyes.
The other eyeshadows I used to create this look were:
Thirteen, Combust, Black Market and Whiskey.

If you would like to see how I created this look then click on the play button below.

From the above video's I have shown you nine out of the twelve eyeshadow in action. To date I have used all the eyeshadows in the palette, combining them in different ways. The only other shadow that I haven't discussed yet that I had an issue with is the shade 'High'. I don't have a major problem with this eyeshadow it was just something I noted. The texture of the rest of the shimmery shades to be fine, but I found the glitter particles in the shadow 'High' were a little bit chunky.

Overall I just feel that the quality of the eyeshadows has majorly dropped. The issues that I had with the shadows in this palette, I never had with the rest of the Naked range. I couldn't fault the original Naked palette, same applied with Naked 2, with regard to the Naked 3 palette I just wasn't keen on a palette filled with rose toned eyeshadows but the quality was great and then finally we have Naked Smoky. Unfortunately I love the range of colours in the palette but sadly the quality just isn't there.

The Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette retails for €46 and is available in store and online from House of Fraser and Debenhams. 
Have you tried the Naked Smoky Palette? If you have I would be very interested to know your thoughts!
Chat soon,
Eimear x

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