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making faces :: never enough nakedness

i was late hopping onto the naked palette bandwagon, but when i finally got one, i have to say, i understood why something as obvious as a palette of neutral eye shadows was so popular. i mean, i understood that they were easy to wear, but a well-priced palette of a dozen shadows was a boon for traveling, rushed mornings, and all those other times when you don't want to hunt through your collection for certain colours, but you still want to be able to play around a little. i never ended up grabbing the second instalment of the naked series, which is odd, because it was a little more neutral than the first palette and, as such, would likely have been more suited to my complexion. i did, however, jump when i saw the release of "naked 3", which came out just before the holidays at sephora.

many of you have probably already seen swatches and reviews of the palette, but i figured that it was still worth adding my two cents [which is, interestingly, now an impossibility in the country where i live]. and although the palette is now out of stock in many locations and on line at sephora, it is joining its naked brethren in urban decay's permanent pantheon. [part of me is thinking that i'd like to start taking odds on which one of the naked palettes will be the first to get the axe when sales inevitably start to wane.]

the most talked about aspect of this palette is its "rose gold-ness", the incorporation of pinkish tones into the mix alongside the warmth of shimmering golds and coppers. as such, it seems to form a more cohesive whole than the previous two entries, which had an array of neutrals from molten to chilled. this will make the palette more useful to those who wear such colours well- there's unlikely to be a single shade that you can't pull off- but it's a bit risky in that the palette is likely to be a washout for anyone who can't wear [or who doesn't like to wear] rosier colours.

that said, i do think that these shades are going to work well enough on a lot of skin tones. i've heard mixed reports from women of colour, but one thing that many people appreciate about urban decay is that their shadows are beautifully pigmented and therefore show up better on pigmented skin. the quality of the shadows in "naked 3" is in keeping with what we've come to expect, in mostly good ways. [i'll get to the not-so-good way shortly.]



i find that the palette divides nicely into thirds as it moves from light to dark shades. the first four shadows are fleshy, warm pinks that are perfect for a natural or softer glam look on women like me who have pinkish complexions.

l to r :: strange, dust, burnout, limit
strange :: a peachy white matte highlighter that applies smoothly and evenly. i can tell you right now that this is the shade i'll be using the most, just because it's such a workhorse. it forms a great base, works as a soft brow highlight and functions equally well for brightening the eyes when used as a lid colour. i didn't take comparison shots for these shades, but "strange" is a little bit lighter and pinker [less peach] than inglot 352.

dust :: here's where the not-so-good comes in. i actually like this shade, a sparkly warm shell pink. it's great for adding a dash of glam without having to add a lot of colour. unfortunately, it falls in line with other urban decay glitter shades that i've tried, in that the glitter has a tendency to get everywhere. that said, it has plenty of colour payoff and the effect can be fetching on the eyes. your best bet is to use a slightly dampened brush and to pat the colour in place. you'll still have some migration, but this way most of the product will remain on your lids. i don't have a lot of glitter shadows, so there was no obvious duplicate in my collection.

burnout :: this is a beautiful frosted apricot pink. it's deeper than natural on me, so it definitely adds colour, but it still looks pretty soft. despite the finish, it doesn't scream frost to me. it has a more subdued quality than some urban decay frosted shadows.

limit :: it's another matte shade, a very smart decision on the part of the u.d. product development team. i feel like i'm about to start repeating myself, because i just talked about how much i love this sort of shade in a recent post. it's a rosy warm mauve with an undercurrent of brown. it's lighter and warmer than some of the other shades i have in this family- chanel hasard, le metier de beaute icon and burberry antique pink.

the next section of the palette is deeper and warmer. shades four through eight have a plum tone in them which picks up on the pinks of the first four and gives it more earthiness.

l to r :: buzz, trick, nooner, liar
buzz :: another micro-glitter shade with fallout problems, this is an incredibly smooth copper rose with silver sparkle. i find this one does hold together a bit better than dust and, again, it's pretty enough that i find it's worth the effort it takes to work with it.

trick :: here we move into full-on copper territory, but still with a pinkish edge. it's very frosted, so that the shade gleams in the light, but it doesn't cling to dry patches on the lids the way that some frost shadows can. quality-wise, this is one of the best shadows in the palette. the limited edition shade "mythical" from mac is somewhat dirtier-looking, perhaps a little browner. le metier de beaute "fire lily" is redder/ pinker.

nooner :: the third matte shade! this one is a plum brown with a lot of pink to it. it's going to make a lovely, rich crease colour on a lot of complexions, but use a light hand and a fluffy brush, because this baby is uber-pigmented. it's like a deeper, warmer version of "limit" and the two work really well together if you want an overall matte look.

liar :: this one is definitely starting to lean towards taupe territory. it's a warm brown with a lot of mauve and a cooler, ashy cast to it. i love the cool-over-warm aspect of this colour, which helps to differentiate it from some similar shades. le metier de beaute "corinthian" is pinker and darker. rouge bunny rouge "bohemian waxwing" is less mauve and slightly cooler overall.

the final four shades in the palette are the deeper, defining colours. these definitely move into the range of brown/ taupe/ grey, but still maintain a hint of the pink we've seen in the rest of the palette. i found that these four shades were somewhat easier to replicate with other shades, so you might want to consider that when determining how much you truly need the palette.

l to r :: factory, mugshot, darkside, blackheart
factory :: a warm taupe with a lot of sheen to it, this is the sort of shade that urban decay do so well. there's still a lot of pink in the colour, more than some of the comparisons that i thought of. the pink makes it different than mac "satin taupe", but it's browner than "corinthian". mac "twinks" has a similar plummy tone, but is redder.

mugshot :: an excellent multi-purpose colour, this one does remind me rather closely of "satin taupe" in its mixed of brown and grey elements. it's just a little darker and cooler than "factory", actually, enough that i think they'd blend pretty seamlessly on the eye.

darkside :: this is definitely the most unique shade of the last four. it's a deeper, greyer taupe with a distinct purple undertone. it has just enough brown in it that i think it still qualifies as taupe, but it definitely leans toward the cooler end of the scale. it has a satiny finish with a beautiful sheen. mac "keep your cool" is somewhat similar, but more matte and less purple.

blackheart :: this shade is probably my least favourite in the palette because it's dry and the application is a little patchy and i feel like it's the kind of thing that we've seen a fair amount before. it's a sooty, soft black with red-pink sparkle that doesn't translate terribly well on the eye. mac has two shades- "smut" [lighter, greyer base] and "beauty marked" [very similar]- that compare to it, but to really see this kind of thing done well, you should look at armani's eyes to kill shadow "lust red". this isn't a bad shade, i just find that it's not quite up to the quality of the rest of the palette.

that's a lot to take in, but here's the short version: this is an excellent, wearable, high quality palette that offers the opportunity for a lot of different applications in one package. if you're a fan of urban decay's brushes, there is a dual ended one included as well. i do like them and they are probably the best brushes to use on the more glittery shades. you also get a resealable sample pack of four different types of urban decay's "primer potion" for eyes. i don't love this base as much as the one from nars, but it is really nice to be able to try out different formulas and colours.

the bottom, bottom line :: it has a lot to offer.

i thought i'd show you a few of the looks that i've done since having the palette that give an idea of the different ways in which i've been able to use it.

look #1 :: the rosy

 


shades used :: strange, dust, burnout, limit, nooner, mugshot
i find you can't see the sparkle too well in these photos, but i assure you, it is there. i wanted to really pull the pink tones on this look just to show that you can wear pink around the eyes without getting the "rabbit" effect.
i've lined my upper lashes with illamasqua precision ink in "havoc", which i thought tied in very nicely to the rosy tones. i'm not sure what blush i used here, but the lipstick is guerlain rouge automatique in "vega".

look #2 :: the smoky




shades used :: strange, liar, mugshot, blackheart
you can do a smoky eye with anything, but clearly, this palette can produce a very nice taupe variety with a bit of a pink kick to it. i used "blackheart" and urban decay's 24/7 liner in "zero" [a softer black] to smudge along the lashes to get good definition.
the rest of the face, i've kept lighter, but i wanted to stay very much in the pink range, so i used two products from mac- the limited edition lipstick in "bubblegum" [a light, cool pink with gold shimmer] and the likewise limited blush ombre "azalea blossom", a melange of light pink and lavender. but clearly, this look is made by using the best accessories.

look #3 :: the softy

 



shades used :: strange, limit, trick, darkside
this is a very basic, understated day-to-day kind of look using some of the softer colours from the palette and "darkside" to get some definition. you could really spend a week doing variations on this kind of look alone [and in fact, it is a more neutral variation of the first look i did here].
i've paired it in this case with a neutral gloss with some sparkle- bobbi brown "naked plum" and i have to say that i really like the combination.

these are just a few sample looks i've come up with while trying the palette out. this sort of effortless and wearable versatility is at the heart of urban decay's naked success, because there are literally thousands of options you could try, variations on a rose gold theme and half the fun is in discovering the ones that work for you.

thanks for reading!

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