Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews

Skincare guides & product reviews for hydration lovers & the moisture barrier obsessed

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review

When the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($27) came out last year, I was one of the few women in the makeup-wearing world that wasn’t losing my mind over it. Make no mistake – I’m all for neutral shadows, and I do love matte shadows, but for some reason I always thought of this palette as a snoozefest. So why did I eventually buy Naked Basics? Boring story, really. One day I woke up and wished I had some neutral, matte shadows to wear. I researched a bunch of options, and decided this one made the most sense.

When it arrived, I felt the packaging made up for how utilitarian this palette is. The Naked Basics palette is very compact with smooth, luxurious casing. The weight of the palette – though not too heavy – makes it feel sturdy and substantial. This was a nice surprise, since the pictures online made it look like it could easily have felt like cheap, feather-light plastic.

Urband Decay Naked Basics Palette

The ingredients are fairly mild. None of the shadows contain anything alarming as far as irritation or acne risk goes, with the exception of Crave. Crave is the black shadow, and it contains an ingredient called Ethylhexyl Palmitate, which rates a 4 out 5 as a potential acne trigger. I wasn’t too concerned though – the chances of me rubbing black eyeshadow all over my face are pretty slim, I hope.

Urband Decay Naked Basics Palette


Urband Decay Naked Basics Palette

When it came time to swatch them, I was pleased. They’re all extremely pigmented, and though I wouldn’t describe the texture as buttery (like my Lorac palettes), they were mostly easy to work with. Crave was slightly less smooth than the others, but that’s almost always the case with black eyeshadow for me.

Urband Decay Naked Basics Palette Swatches

The colors blend nicely, build easily, and last all day when used in conjunction with my Urban Decay Primer Potion. Without the primer, I still got several hours of wear out of them before they started to fade.

I also found that it was just as easy to create a more dramatic look as it was to create a neutral, barely there effect. I often use the lighter colors as highlight colors even when I’m using other palettes, so Naked Basics gets quite a bit of action around here.

This palette is not without its flaws though. For many, this palette will be perfect, but for me, I felt that Naked 2 and Faint were a little cool for my skin tone. Since they’re neutral colors, they’re still wearable, but there’s something slightly off about the appearance of my skin tone when I’m wearing either of them. Additionally, Venus, which does have a little sparkle to it, produces a little bit of fallout. It’s easy enough to brush away with a fan brush, but still worth mentioning.




Overall, I’m happy with the Naked Basics palette. It’s extremely pragmatic, but elegant in its execution. However, I probably wouldn’t purchase it again. I will try a warmer palette next time the need for this sort of thing arises.

+ Nicely pigmented
+ Smooth application
+ Almost all matte
+ Easy to blend
+ Long wearing

– Venus has some fallout
– Crave can be a little finicky to work with
– Naked 2 and Faint wear a little cool (which would be a pro if warm colors didn’t look better on me)

Skin & Tonics Rating:

Performance: 4/5 – Long wearing, nicely pigmented color that’s mostly easy to work with

Quality: 3/5 – Venus has some fallout, and Crave is a little smudgy, the packging is elegant and luxurious

Value: 4/5 – Regardless of its shortcomings, these shadows are good quality and $27 is a great price

Overall: 3.7/5

Where to Buy

I picked mine up from Sephora, where it’s $27. It’s also available on the Urban Decay website.


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9 comments onUrban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review

  1. It’s a nice, practical palette. I used to be all about wacky colours, but I’m just now starting to appreciate neutrals.

    • Kerry

      I love neutrals, but man, I really wish I could find a matte palette that was just like this one but less cool-toned.

      What palettes did you like for your bolder colors?

  2. I never picked this one up. I just never felt the need. Love your look 🙂

    • Kerry

      Arielle, I was in the same boat as you until I found myself wishing for matte neutral shades. Do you have some that you like?

  3. The colors look really nice and great for everyday in the workplace. I couldn’t help but notice also how pretty your lip color is! What are you wearing?

  4. Yeah, what is that phenomenal lip color? Tea rose?

    • Kerry

      Good guess! It’s actually Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, but you just reminded me that Tea Rose exists. Now I’m going to have to break it out!

  5. Great post! I get fallout from from Venus as well, but still am such a fan of this palette! We did a review on the Naked Basics palette also, please check it out if you get the chance xoxo