Before I begin I’d just like to apologise for being over a week late with this post – I won’t talk about it now but for the next few weeks I might be operating my blog a little bit differently. I’ll leave a small paragraph at the end of the post explaining what’s going to change and why, as well as what’s going on right now to force me to make these changes.
This will be the last Urban Decay Naked palette review before I make the big comparison post! I realise that the Naked palettes are old news to long-term makeup fanatics, but I find that people just don’t talk about them very much anymore despite the fact they’re still widely used! For people who are new to makeup as well, I believe it’ll be a lot more beneficial for them to be reading more up-to-date reviews about them, now that they have all been out for a while and the hype has died down, it’s a lot easier to make a well informed decision about which palette would be best to purchase first, without feeling the pressure to buy the one that is newest or most popular.
If you missed my first three Naked palette reviews, click for:
The Naked Smoky palette is the newest to the Naked palette family, and also the darkest. This palette has a healthy mix of blue, purple, brown, and neutral colours, perfect for creating all kinds of smoky eye looks, ranging from everyday/natural smoky, to full-blown night out smoky, which I feel makes this palette quite versatile, and also great for all skin tones – from the palest to the darkest. All of the Naked palettes are made differently, with different colour selection (ie. Naked 1 – warm toned, 2 – cool toned, 3 – rose), but I find that this palette in particular is really different from the others because it’s not exactly ‘Naked’. These eyeshadows don’t really seem to be made to look subtle or nude/naked, but somehow it all still falls under the ‘Naked’ family. Of course, like I said before, there are some nude/neutral shades in here, but overall the eye looks are meant to look quite bold and dark – which is what sets this palette apart from the others.
Tom bought me this palette as an early Christmas present – I had no idea he went out to buy it for me! I came out of one of my lessons at uni one day and he just gave it to me (he’s really good at buying me surprise makeup, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that he recently bought me a Lancôme Juicy Shaker as a surprise for no real reason). The Smoky palette was the third Naked palette to enter my collection, and honestly, I don’t use this palette as much as I use the others. Personally, I prefer lighter eye looks anyway – I find them much quicker and easier to do during the week, and in my opinion, lighter looks suit me more anyway. I would only ever really attempt to use this palette if I was going on a night out. In everyday situations, I think dark smoky eye looks make me look tired and washed out (since I have light skin and hair), but for party/night out situations, I think dark eye looks on pale girls can be very striking and flattering. It’s all down to personal preference anyway – I wouldn’t discourage anyone from wearing a dark smoky eye look out on a normal day; if you want to do that – go for it! I just don’t like it very much on myself.
Urban Decay changed up the packaging again for the Naked Smoky, and I personally think that it’s the best they’ve come up with so far. Firstly, the front of the palette is simply stunning, over all of the Naked palettes in my opinion. I love how they’ve presented the packaging as a play on ‘smoky’ – with a literal smoky grey and black background, and silver embossed lettering on top. Also the base of the palette is slightly transparent, so you can see the eyeshadow pans and the brush from underneath, which I think is a pretty cool additional feature. The palette is also magnetic, which keeps it closed and makes it a lot harder to break than the Naked 2 or 3! The magnets in it are really strong so you could literally just hold the palette from the top in mid air and it still wouldn’t open. The Naked Smoky is definitely the most sturdy palette of all of them, and if you were to use the large mirror on the inside, you’d be able to control the angle which you wanted it to stay at, as it doesn’t flop back like the Naked 2 does, which makes it a lot easier to use if you just want to balance it on the table top and use it for the mirror.
The brush is very similar to the Naked 2 and 3 – double ended, with a long, fluffy end perfect for blending, and a shorter, stubby end for smudging colours. I don’t really use the brush in this palette, although it’s definitely a decent brush, just because I prefer to use my own Real Techniques brushes – but that’s just me sticking to what I know!
As always, there are twelve colours in this palette, and this is what they are from left to right:
- High: The first colour in this palette is a subtle light pinky-peach shimmer shade, perfect for highlighting the browbone and the inner corners of your eyes. Recently I’ve been mixing shades on my mobile lid, so on the inner quarter I would use a very light shimmer eyeshadow, and on the rest of the lid I would use another slightly darker shimmer shade. High is a colour that I believe would be great for use on that inner quarter.
- Dirtysweet: This shade is reminiscent of Half Baked from the Naked 1 and 2 palette. It’s an orange-gold shimmer shade that would look gorgeous as the outer three quarters of the mobile lid, and I believe High next to this shade would be very complementary.
- Radar: Radar is a semi-matte shade. It doesn’t swatch very strongly, and you need to go back in a couple of times to get the full effect of the shade. When you first swatch it, it appears very matte, but as you pick up more, you get some shimmery particles. Radar is a coppery brown shade, and would be a great colour to smoke out the eyes with.
- Armor: This is a silver shimmer shade with tiny glitter particles inside. I think Armor is a colour that can be used in many different ways, on any part of the eye depending on the kind of look you’re going for. My favourite use for Armor is to put in in the middle of the mobile lid, on top of the shades you have already used, to give a glittery, metallic extra bit of charm to the lid.
- Slanted: Slanted is the lightest blue of the three blue shades in this palette, it’s a metallic grey-blue shimmer that would be great for use in a blue smoky eye with Dagger and Black Market.
- Dagger: Dagger is the medium blue shade in the palette. It’s a semi matte shade that again would be great to use in a blue smoky eye look with Slanted and Black Market.
- Black Market: Black Market is the darkest shade in the Naked Smoky palette and is a dark blue-black shade that appears mostly black once you swatch it. It’s pretty much a matte shade, so it’s excellent for dark smoky looks of any colour.
- Smolder: This is a dark purple shade in the palette. It’s semi-matte – barely shimmery at all, and is another great shade for smoking out the eyes.
- Password: Password is a cool taupe matte colour, making it a great shade to put in the crease.
- Whiskey: A matte medium-brown shade. I find that this shade is really good for more neutral, everyday, or brown smoky eye looks for use on the outer corner.
- Combust: Combust is another matte shade, and is a pinky nude shade. It can be used as a base colour or a neutralising shade to soften dark colours and edges.
- Thirteen: Thirteen is a pure white colour that could either be used as a base colour or a matte highlight.
A nice thing about this palette is that it seems to literally go from shimmery shades, to semi matte shades, to completely matte shades, which I think is great from an organisation perspective, and although there are more matte shades in this palette than any other palette (with 4 completely matte shades and 3 semi-matte shades), I find that the four completely matte shades are really waxy and hard to use. They tend to ball up when you try to swatch them, which makes them really chunky, and then difficult to blend out. I don’t know why the texture of these shades is so different to all of the palettes that came before it – I can say for sure that the matte shades in all the other palettes don’t ball up like that. I read some other blog posts from other people and no one seems to have mentioned this thing – if you have the Naked Smoky, can you let me know if you have the same problem? Or is mine just a little bit faulty? Please comment if you have answers!
Another thing I found with this palette that is kind of a turn off is that it has so much fallout in it! Like, I’ve never had a problem with fallout with any of the palettes before, but this one is so messy I can barely be bothered to pick it up most of the time because I know exactly what will happen and sometimes I just cant be bothered fiddling around to clean it up after (I know shadow shields are a thing but I don’t have any). I would definitely recommend doing your eyes before your face if you’re using this palette because it’s just going to ruin your face makeup otherwise! Personally, I always do my eyes before my face anyway – a lot of people I know always tell me I’m doing it the ‘wrong way around’ but I just like my face makeup to be flawless thank you!! It’s a lot easier to clean up eye makeup mistakes when you don’t have foundation on!
Back to the good things about this palette – it actually comes with a folded card that gives you four different smoky eye looks to try! So instead of telling you my own pairings like I normally do, here is what the card suggests (in order from top to bottom – refer to picture):
- Everyday Smoky: Combust (brow bone, blend into crease), Armor (inner corner – blend up to crease, and outer corner, wrap around lower lash line), Password (crease, use to soften edges of Armor and blend down to the lower lash line).
- Smoky Cat: High (inner corner), Dirtysweet (at the edge of High and blend towad the center of the lid), Radar (centre of the lid – blend with Dirtysweet), Whisky (outer corner and crease).
- Smoky Reality Star: Thirteen (brow bone highlight), High (inner corner), Black Market (blend from upper lash line eyeliner to crease, blend with eyeliner on lower lashline too), Slanted (to soften edges of Black Market), Dagger (crease, blend into Thirteen).
- Iconic UD Smoky Eye: Combust (crease to brow), Thirteen (brow bone highlight, blend with Combust), Smolder (lid and crease, blending up and out, also apply over eyeliner on lower lash line), Password (blend with the edge of Smolder, wrap around the eye, soften edges of lower lash line), High (inner corner highlight).
- Best packaging of all the Naked palettes!
- Eyeshadows are generally very pigmented – but not all of them.
- Great organisation of shades.
- Universally flattering.
- Great for evening looks and parties.
- Long wearing.
- 12 shades.
- Very unique with colour selection – nothing like any of the other palettes.
- Comes with a double ended brush.
- Large mirror.
- More matte shades than any other palette, as well as a few semi-matte shades.
- Matte shades are waxy – weird texture, hard to blend because they ball up.
- Lots of fallout – so messy!
- There are some disappointing shades in the palette – mostly the matte ones because of the waxy texture. Makes them less pigmented.
- £39 – a con depending on how much you’re willing to spend on an eyeshadow palette.
- Maybe not great for pale girls all the time – especially in the day it can make you look washed out if you go in too heavy.
- Shades are generally dark – hard to make a light look of this palette (though what do you expect from a smoky eye palette?)
So this is the last post about the Urban Decay Naked palettes! Hopefully now you can look back on all my posts, read the pros and cons and decide which palette would be best for you – if you don’t have them all already! Sometime in the future I will make a comparison post about all of the Naked palettes in short form with links back to these posts so you can quickly read about all of them and then read the bigger original post if you want to! I hope you enjoyed this mini-series anyway! If you would like me to do another one of these again feel free to comment or message me on any social media with your suggestions! See you in the next one! ♥
Quick life update: I’ve been struggling to find time to write blog posts recently since uni work is getting pretty intense – I have an essay, a presentation, a performance, and a couple of exams coming up in the next few weeks (pray for me), and on top of that I work almost all day on Saturday so I’m usually too tired to do any work by the time I get home. For this reason I’m going to aim to do one blog post a week instead of two like I have been doing before. Hopefully I can get back into doing two a week when uni is over and I move back home. Also, some really exciting news: I have a job interview at Benefit Cosmetics this Friday! I’m absolutely dying to get it but the interview process is apparently really hard so wish me luck! I’m actually so excited for it – if I got the job I think I would cry. I’ll keep you updated on how everything goes though – if I have anything extra to say I’ll add it on to the end of future blog posts – or you can follow me on Instagram as that’s where I’m most active, or Twitter (links are at the side if you’re on your computer, or at the bottom of the page if you’re on your phone). Thanks for reading! ♥