Nordstrom Urban Decay

Urban Decay Cosmetics Favorites and My Top Picks for Neutral Makeup Lovers

October 1, 2014

Readers often ask me if I had to pick one high-quality eyeshadow palette, what would it be? Picking a good eyeshadow palette depends on a number of things such as what kind of look you want, your skin tone, hair color, eye color, shimmer vs matte preferences and lifestyle. For my neutral makeup loving self, I find my most-reached-for palettes are Urban Decay Naked2 or Naked3. They both have a really good mix of neutral shades with matte, shimmer and satiny finishes. I find them extremely versatile and for me they are my do-it-all kind of palette. You can create so many different looks for day and night. If you like more neutral cool tones, I recommend Naked2. If you want something warmer or more unique, I vote for Naked3. I love the soft romantic feminine tones and they are neutral enough so you don’t end up looking like you have pink-eye if you wear these.

 Naked vs Naked2 vs Naked3 swatched

For those who prefer matte-eyeshadow the new Naked2 Basics is a godsend. I’m not usually a fan of an all-matte eye look because matte shadows end up looking so flat on my skin and age my face. I will occasionally use one as a liner because I like a soft defined line along upper lashes. The Naked2 Basics has completely changed my outlook on matte shadows. It has a selection of medium taupe neutrals where every single one is wearable and layerable. I prefer it over the original Naked Basics which I found was too pale for my skin tone.

If you’re the type who prefers to pick out individual shades, Urban Decay has a wide selection of beautiful taupes and sandy shimmers in the single Eyeshadow format. My favorites include Chase (a soft metallic gold), Suspect (shimmering sand), Busted (dark plum taupe), Lost (shimmering brown) and YDK (metallic taupe). They are on the shimmery side but I don’t find them too frosty. The texture of the Urban Decay eyeshadows is amazing. They have this rich almost buttery feel that melds in with the skin. I don’t need an eyeshadow base with these and they last all day. I like mixing and layering these with the matte shades for added depth. There are also some matte options available individually.

Some other favorites from Urban Decay include their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. These have a super creamy texture and apply easily. I like these because they really do glide onto the eyes and don’t tug at all. They last pretty long on me with normal wear, although if it’s really hot and humid they will smudge a little by late evening. I like to use them along the upper lash lines as a base for deeper/smokey eyeshadows. I find they bring out the pigment shadows when they are layered over the liners. My top three picks are Zero (matte black), Underground (soft shimmery neutral taupe) and Rockstar (a deep eggplant).

I haven’t explored much in the lip arena from Urban Decay recently. Their lipsticks and glosses have been repeatedly revamped and repackaged. I purchased the Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Glosses in Liar recently and really like it. There are 9 variations of nude in the lipgloss lineup, all of which looked really stunning but the sheer texture and finish make many of them look similar on my lips. I picked out Liar which is a gorgeous sheer cool mauve pink. It has a slight minty feel but doesn’t numb the lips. It’s a good everyday swipe and go color that adds just the right amount of shine. I like that it’s smooth and not sticky. It gives a super lush lip look.

Last but not least, I’m a huge fan of the Naked Skin Beauty Balms. I have the original one (which now comes in extended shades) and the Bronzing Beauty Balm. I like to use the Naked Skin Beauty Balm as a primer. I find when I use it over moisturizer and under foundation, it helps liquids blend better on the skin. The Bronzing Beauty Balm is something I like to use as a subtle contouring product or a base for powder blushes. It adds a bit of dewy texture and color to help powder sheer or light blushes go on better without looking heavy or changing colors. I also like using the Bronzing Balm mixed in with foundations if they are too light (I tend to tan easily) so it works wonders to adjust foundation colors for me.

Here’s a quick summary of my favorite Urban Decay items:

Urban Decay Cosmetics has just re-launched their line at Nordstrom. I remember back in the 90’s through the early 2000’s when Nordstrom had their modern/edgy beauty section with Urban Decay items when they had these out-of-this-world nail polish colors, iridescent blushes and scented shimmer body powder. I was sad when the line was pulled but I’m really happy that is is back now.

I hope this has been a helpful overview of some of my Urban Decay favorites. I’ve played with the line for over a decade now and I’m glad many of favorites are still in the line (like the Stray Dog, Sin and YDK eyeshadows). If you’re looking for an eyeshadow palette to start with, I do think the Naked Palettes are the best for the price, quality, ease of use and versatility. I consider all 3 of the Naked Palettes and the new Naked2 Basics must-haves in my makeup wardrobe.

Do you have any Urban Decay favorites? Everytime I check out the eyeshadows, I am amazed that I’m always discovering new shades.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. More information on my Disclosures page.

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  • michelle

    OMG–so much gorgeousness in one place! Thank you for this extensive post including all the swatches–you're the best! I love my Naked palettes (1&3), enjoy the Beauty Balm and thrilled to see Nordstrom is carrying UD! I am also LOVING those liners and single eye swatches. Yikes–more for my wishlist:)

    • I adore the Naked palettes, glad to know they've made your favorites list too 🙂

  • Erika Purrington

    how do you think they compare to lorac?

    • Hi Erika, I haven't used Lorac eyeshadows in a decade so I can't really give input on how the two brands compare today. From what I remember, the older Lorac shadows I had were really soft and buttery, but I preferred Urban Decay for their blendability and color selection.

    • If I may answer this question…. I have the original Naked palette along with a few singles and I have 3 Lorac palettes (Pro, Skinny and Pocket Pro). I think they are comparable. In my opinion Lorac is just a tad bit more soft and buttery, but to me they both blend out well. Like Sabrina stated, UD has a much broader, brighter color selection. I'm waiting to see what the Lorac Mega palette will look like. I've never regretted purchasing either UD or Lorac.

  • You've really outdone yourself with this wonderful post about Urban Decay. I smiled when you said, "I remember back in the nineties . . ." because that was my exact same reaction when I learned Nordstrom would be carrying UD once again. Although it started out as hard-edged, industrial urban look with product names like Uzi, Mildew, Asphyxia, Smog, etc., when UD launched the first Naked palette, the brand really grabbed the attention of a wide swath of women who had heretofore thought of UD as a rather garish brand aimed at teens. A beauitful selection of neutrals in an excellent formulation caused those women to see UD in a whole new light. The way Naked flew off the shelves, it became obvious that there is a huge market for beautifully executed neutrals. UD clearly established that neutral is not synonymous with boring and that even women who gravitate towards color will want good neutrals to anchor their looks. Smart. Very, very smart.

    I also love that UD created palettes with different undertones. I've lost count of how many times I've given one of these palettes as a gift; selecting the one that is perfect for the recipient's coloring. Yes, UD really upped their game when they developed and then expanded the Naked line. I'm really pleased that UD will be back at Nordstrom.

    • Thank you Eileen, this is really too kind of you! I am really pleased with the Naked line as well for those like me who really only wear conservative makeup.

  • Bloody hell I want EVERYTHING here haha. Such a beautiful collection of products. x


  • I need to get myself one of these Naked eyeshadow kits. The 2nd one is my favorite!

  • Great post! Loved seeing swatches of all three naked palettes along side!

  • Anonymous

    I just discovered your blog, the pictures and posts look gorgeous!

  • Love the 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencils, they're great for all-day wear. I'm ashamed to say that I don't own a single Naked palette!! At least once a week a get a strong urge to pick up at least one. Awesome post 🙂

    • I think one is definitely needed in everyone's makeup collection 🙂

  • Loving this post. I am a massive fan of UD and totally gutted that im in Australia and cant get my hands on the latest products. This post have made me green with envy!!

    Leonie x

  • Loved all the swatches! Every product looks so pigmented! I have the Naked3 palette and am in love, but I need help deciding which to get between the Naked and Naked2 palettes. Those singular eyeshadows are gorgeous as well! Might need to look further into getting them. Your review was rather helpful in that department though! Nice post 🙂 xxx

    Emily ⎜

    • Thank you Daisy, yes Urban Decay shadows are incredibly pigmented. It's a tough pick between Naked and Naked2, but I prefer the Naked2 version on me.

  • Love Urban Decay products! Think I may need to get my hands on Naked 3 and Naked 2 Basics! Lilly xx

  • Love this brand review

    ♥ ♥

  • NAKED shadows look so practical!
    I want them, but I would need to buy a bigger individual black shadow
    Lots of love, xx

  • I have to admit I like all UD palettes but I do love my Basics 1 palette, as no matter what I want to try with my makeup, I always go to this for smokey eyes. I didn't know about the 24/7 Glide-On Pencil and I'm loving how amazing they look swatched on! I'll HAVE to get my hands on them. x

    • I'm going to have to give Naked Basics 1 another try 🙂

  • I am completely jazzed that Nordstrom is bringing back UD. I love getting my beauty points and now can add UD to the mix when I order. As a woman of color, the Naked 2 works very well esp that black to add a touch of smoke. I love the beauty balm in dark it is just amazing and like you I love to use as a primer under foundation or just alone. The eye primer is what I reach for daily and the Naked liquid foundation is amazing, Sabrina you really must try it. I have luxe foundations but whenever I wear Naked, I get the most compliments, go figure! Love love this post 🙂

  • I've used the naked basics 1 palette to death and I'm seriously considering picking up the second one as well because it is definitely my most used palette!
    Been eyeing naked 3 as well. I convinced myself I didn't need naked 2 but naked 3 is just too stunning with its rose hued shades. Not a fan of the packaging though

    Chloé⎪ à la foliee

  • Great post! Naked 1 palette is still my favourite one out of the 3. I also love the 24/7 glide on eyeliners. UD has such amazing products. x | Instagram

  • Naked2 Basics is coming home with me sometime in the near future.

  • I love the look of that lipgloss, so pretty 🙂 I also have the Naked 2 palette but I don't get half as much use out of it as I should!

  • Meg

    Your photos are stunning! I've been debating over which single shadows to buy from UD, and I think "Lost" just made my list! I also love "Toasted" and "Bordello."


  • I really need more UD shadows in my life. I don't have any Naked Palettes! Though first on my list is Vice 3.

  • Such a great post 🙂 I love Urban Decay and really ever so impressed with the quality of their eyeshadows!

    A great post packed full of ideas!

    Laura xx