When I first started wearing makeup, I never imagined that I would one day want to wear all matte eyeshadows. I was all about the shimmer, with my makeup habit starting in the days when frosty white eyeshadow was the preferred highlight of choice. But as I grew older and my makeup started getting more and more neutral, I started wearing more and more matte eyeshadows. First, as a brow bone highlight once I realized how ridiculous a shimmery white highlight could look; then as a crease shade; and now, I find myself just wearing all matte looks.
I have also always been a huge fan of Urban Decay products. Look into my Instagram feed to see just how often I feature their palettes, blushes, and lipsticks. For some reason I never think of them as my favorite brand or a brand whose products I lust over, but I have to admit, they make great products that all end up in my regular rotation.
Take today’s subject for example, perhaps the most…well, basic of them all is the Naked Ultimate Basics Palette. A palette of all matte shades, it’s pretty unassuming at first, but like most of my clothing, that’s what end up making it so good. It’s there when you want it to be, whether you want a warm look or a cool toned look; whether you want to go uber natural, or do a dark smoky look. This can do it all, as long as you’re good with the all matte part.
Thankfully this palette is permanent, but perhaps also making it forgettable among today’s hyped-up, limited edition, and over-marketed products. At $54, it’s on par with all of Urban Decay’s other palettes. On a side note – what’s up with all their limited edition collections recently? It seems like they’ve gone the MAC route – releasing collections often, only to have the products go on sale a month later. I find myself going back to their permanent line and looking for products that may have been forgotten. And if you haven’t given this palette a close look yet, go and do that now!
I know eyeshadow formula can be so so subjective, but Urban Decay just works with me. They are buttery,pigmented, but not too pigmented, and they last all day without a problem. The mattes are no exception, and I find them so smooth and easy to use.
The packaging is also just as practical. It’s a hard plastic case that matches the basic, but not necessarily boring, theme. There’s a large mirror inside that makes it useful for traveling and doing my makeup on the go. My makeup setup is kind of weird – I do my makeup standing up, and I have a fairly large mirror, but I still like holding a compact to do some more detailed work or applying mascara.
Inside the palette, there are 12 shades, 11 of which are matte, and one has a slight shimmer, but it’s much more of a satin shade than a shimmery shade. I find that for my skintone, there’s a good range of highlights, lid shades, transition shades, and liner shades. You could certainly use this as a starter palette for all your blending, and then add in more shimmery or colorful shades, but I also just like to use this on its own.
Generally, the shades pull warmer on me than they do on other swatches I’ve seen of the palette.
- Blow is a lightly shimmery ivory shade. It’s the only shade with any shimmer in the palette.
- Nude is a light beige-nude shade that blends right into my skintone.
- Commando is a light tan-taupe shade that pulls more neutral on my skin
- Tempted is a cool taupe brown.This shade was just a little drier than the other shades.
- Instinct is medium-dark tone cool brown with a slight mauve undertone. It looks much more mauve and rose-toned in the pan, but it swatches and applies much more like a brown for me.
- Lethal is rich dark plummy brown shade. This shade was more intense and seemed more pigmented and opaque with one swipe than the others.
- Pre-Game is a light warm cream shade.
- Extra-Bitter is a medium toned reddish orangey brown.
- Faith is warm medium-dark brown.
- Lockout is a darker brown that is slightly more neutral toned than Faith.
- Magnet is a dark slate gray.
- Blackjack is a dark, almost pitch black. It’s not the blackest shadow I’ve ever had, but it’s more of a soft black.
My favorite and most used shades in this palette are the warmer shades in the bottom row, like Lockout or Extra Bitter in the crease, Faith on the lid, and Pre-game on the browbone. Sometimes I’ll add Lethal in the outer corner. The look I did below uses these shade:=s:
I’m also wearing MAC Velvet Teddy on the lips, and Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Baby Love.
All in all this palette is great for creating your whole look, or to supplement your other eyeshadows. It is full of transition shades and crease shades, but it is versatile to wear everyday on its own. Personally, I wish one of the cooler toned shades were replaced with another dark outer corner shade, but it doesn’t bother me a ton. I’m pleased with the formula and the lasting power on my lids, and I’d recommend it especially if you want all your matte neutrals in one place.
Shades (range, tones, selection): 8/10
Do you have this palette? Do you have another all-matte palette that you love? Let me know!
As always, thanks for reading!