Sunday, September 25, 2016

Naked Ultimate Basics

I use Urban Decay's original Naked Basics palette a lot. A LOT. It works great, travels well, and is oddly versatile considering it's only six neutral shades. Light nude eye with winged liner? Check. Heavy smokey eye? Got it. Anything in between? No problem. It's good shit. So when Urban Decay put out an ULTIMATE version, obviously I had to have it.

There are a few pros and cons, as with most palettes.

First, while the packaging is certainly gorgeous...

... it's got a few drawbacks. The shape and size are great, and there is a massive mirror inside which is always handy. But where the original palettes are made of a very hard case with a rubberized coating (which is what makes them awesome to toss in a purse or carry-on bag), this one is just normal plastic. Any undue pressure on the middle of the case is going to crack it, and as such, I don't consider it to be travel-worthy. Which is annoying, since the shades inside would have been perfect for that, as it has slightly more range than the smaller palettes. Besides, it doesn't match the rest of the line, and I don't understand or like that because I'm anal about things like that.

I also don't like that the inner case is super cheap plastic, especially since I paid like $70 for this thing:

I mean, come on.
But whatever, since I can't travel with it anyway, I guess that's not important. Moving on.

The shadow quality is pretty good overall. I don't personally think it's up to quite the same level as the original palettes, but it's pretty close, and at least it isn't obviously cheap and crappy (which can be a concern with limited edition or specialty releases). They build and blend well, so they're definitely good to use without frustration.

It also comes with a double-ended brush, which I will never use (mostly because I'm opposed to double-ended brushes on principle for no real good reason), but some people might be into that.

As for the shades themselves, I love them.

I particularly love that orange shade (and have been buying pretty much every version of it I can find, and thankfully it applies like a dream. The dark purple and slate grey were also high on my list of reasons to buy this, but they apply somewhat patchier than the rest of the colours, which is unfortunate. Again, they build and blend okay, so I'm not upset.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics: Blow / Nudie /  Commando
Blow is the only shimmer shade in the palette. They call it a matte palette despite this shade, but I'm okay with that because what use would the palette be without a shade to highlight the brow and inner corner? It applies smooth and shiny, and the pale champagne colour is lovely.

Nudie is a light taupe nude. I use it on my brow bone, because it's so close to my skin tone that it wouldn't be good for much else.

Commando is a taupe. It's great for transition or an all-over lid colour if you're going light.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics: Tempted / Instinct / Lethal
Tempted is my favourite transition shade. It's a slightly darker taupe and it blends beautifully.

Instinct is a dusty pink. It's a good lid colour, but doesn't really stand out enough to be obviously pink anymore once it's blended.

Lethal is an eggplant. It goes on a bit patchy but can be blended to work.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics: Pre-Game / Extra Bitter / Faith
Pre-Game is a yellow beige nude. I love it for the brow bone, and as an all-over lid colour when I'm doing a look more focused on liner or lips. It applies smoothly and blends well.

Extra Bitter is a gorgeous burnt orange. It's best used as a lid colour, but I've also used it as a crease colour with brown on the lid and it still looked gorgeous. It's super smooth and blendable.

Faith is a warm taupe. It's buttery and can be used for any purpose.

Lockout is a darker brown, even if it doesn't really look it in this photo (Sorry). It's also super smooth and works great for a work-appropriate brown smoky eye.

Magnet is a bluish grey and I would love it a lot more if it were as blendable as some of the other shades. But because I adore the colour, I plan to make it work.

Blackjack is a soft black. It blends well and I usually use it to darken the outer corner or to smoke out a smudgy liner look.

Blow / Nudie / Commando / Tempted / Instinct / Lethal
Pre-Game / Extra Bitter / Faith / Lockout / Magnet / Blackjack
As you can see the swatches for Nudie and Pre-Game are tough to see, but that's not because the quality is bad, it's just because they're very close to my skin tone.

I've had this palette less than a week and I've already gotten a ton of use out of it.  Here are just two:

Pre-Game, Tempted, Lockout, Extra Bitter (lid), Blackjack (liner), Blow

Pre-Game, Nudie, Tempted, Faith, Instinct (lid), Lethal, Blow
The versatility of the original palettes is further expanded with the option to add a little colour, yet the neutral purpose of the Basics line isn't lost. Despite my mild annoyance with the packaging, I definitely like and recommend this palette to anyone who doesn't like searching through their makeup for a pop of colour, or who has a job where they can't get too crazy every day. Depending on how you use it, this palette can create barely-there looks, soft professional looks, or glam smoky looks.