What could be better than an eye shadow palette housing twelve shadows? Well, the answer to that is quite ‘basic’ (geddit?) – a beautiful rose gold palette showcasing eleven matte shades and one slightly shimmery demi-matte shade (here’s looking at you, Blow). The moment the Urban Decay NAKED Ultimate Basics (R850) landed on my beauty desk I was awestruck. A palette containing matte shades is exactly what I’ve been wishing for. This beauteous compact contains a selection of both warm and cool neutrals. I’m delighted to say there’s a little bit of everything to compliment most skin tones.
If you’re not familiar with Urban Decay, then you might not know that the NAKED Ultimate Basics palette (R850) boasts a selection of totally new shades. Yip, twelve never before seen shades for you to play with. Another fun fact? This is the palette that the Urban Decay beauty junkies asked for. The fans wanted more neutrals, more mattes, and more NAKED-ness.
- Blow ♥ light nude demi-matte
- Nudie ♥ soft pink-nude matte
- Commando ♥ light taupe-brown matte
- Tempted ♥ pale brown matte
- Instinct ♥ medium pink-taupe matte
- Lethal ♥ reddish brown matte
- Pre-Game ♥ pale yellow matte
- Extra Bitter ♥ burnt orange matte
- Faith ♥ medium warm brown matte
- Lockout ♥ rich neutral brown matte
- Magnet ♥ smoky gray matte
- Blackjack ♥ warm black matte
Let’s be honest, the most important aspect of an eye shadow palette is that it needs to be versatile. You should be able to create multiple makeup looks using the same palette. I decided to put NAKED Ultimate Basics to the test by utilising almost all the shades to create three achievable looks for the average woman to wear. The “First Date” look makes use of my absolute favourite shade in the palette – Extra Bitter. I blended this burnt orange shadow with a bit of ‘Faith’ and ‘Lockout’ and created an easy-to-wear, everyday look, that could also be adapted to be worn to the office or to a Sunday lunch with the family. Extra Bitter comes out tops for me due to the fact that it blends beautifully and offers extreme pigment. Slow clap for Urban Decay!
While trying out NAKED Ultimate Basics I quickly discovered one thing. The quality just isn’t the same as their other cult-favourite palettes. At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, I need to mention that the lighter shades (namely Nudie, Commando, Tempted and Pre-Game) don’t show up clearly on my pale skin. If I make use of an eye-shadow primer it helps somewhat, but essentially these shades don’t work for ME. I put emphasis on that because they might very well work for YOUR skin tone. I will say though that all twelve shades are the usual soft and silky texture you’ve come to expect (and love) from Urban Decay. I created my “After Work Cocktails” look using my second favourite shade in the palette – Lethal. A sultry look using ‘Instinct’ all over the lid and blending the crease with ‘Lethal’. I love pairing these shades with a berry blush and lipstick.
Another thing I’ve noticed about a few of the darker shades in NAKED Ultimate Basics is that they don’t blend easily. I had the most trouble blending ‘Blackjack’ for my sexy and messy “Friday Night” look. This warm black matte isn’t completely opaque and requires a quick, heavy hand to achieve the desired smoky effect. I know I’m being awfully pedantic, but I personally would have replaced ‘Commando’ with ‘Buck’ (from the original NAKED palette), and instead of ‘Blackjack’ placed the ultimate black matte shadow, ‘Blackout’ from NAKED 2.
I know many of you have asked this question – which NAKED palette is the best? After extensive use of four of their palettes, I can happily say that I would still choose the original NAKED or NAKED 2 over any of the other palettes (including this one). I’m an avid Urban Decay supporter and as much as I wanted to love this palette, I can only say that I loved parts of it and while the idea was superb, the execution was lacking slightly.
You can purchase this palette, as well as a few of their others on the Urban Decay online store.