What Went Wrong: UD’s Naked Palette

In today’s WWW, I’d like to blog about the palette that kicked off the never-ending craze for warm (arguably) neutrals: Urban Decay’s Naked palette.

Commonly referred to as Naked 1 – even though it was never released as such – this was hailed as an all-time favorite by beautytubers… that is, until the next free PR product came along. I’m not calling out those who genuinely like the palette and have consistently used it since they got it, but when was the last time the Naked palette has been mentioned as a favorite by the big leagues?

Yes, I sound like a gatekeeper, but it’s hard to come off as genuine when you get a product or service for free and have the opportunity to keep doing so as long as you don’t trash the service or company in your post.

So why am I writing about the Naked palette in this series? 🤔 This is one of the more challenging palettes that I’ve bought, right under the AudaCITY palette. Sure, I shouldn’t expect colorful looks from this palette since it was designed to be neutral and to look naked when worn, but I have some bones to pick with this palette.

  • That damn shade Gunmetal

This particular shade stands out from the rest of the palette in the sense that it is hardly a warm color – it actually pulls off cool on warm skin tones and I can only eternally guess why Urban Decay decided to shove this particular shade when the whole palette screams WARM. Of course, there is Creep, which isn’t warm either, but I wouldn’t say it’s for the opposite – black eyeshadow is one of the few shades that’s not exclusively for warm or cool tones. Smoky is almost always requested by a lot of people who want their makeup done (I will never understand this fad), hence why it ended up on the palette.

But Gunmetal though?

Did I mention just how much fallout this shade gave when I tried it? The fallout in my AudaCITY pales in comparison to what Gunmetal showed me.

  • There’s only two matte brown shades.

I’m not counting Virgin on this bullet point. Virgin is workable if you have the skin tone that matches it. Otherwise, you’re kinda shit outta luck. Why is the shimmer-to-matte ration so uneven? Sure, this can be remedied by some matte singles, but if you’re paying $54 for a palette, why should you mandate yourself to buy separate shades that should have been in there in the first place?

Not cool, UD. Not cool.

I’m not going to riff on the packaging – it’s not a deal breaker for me and Urban Decay clearly took the backlash on it with the release of the other Naked palettes.

  • This palette was made as a rejection of the pink, “girly” makeup that was popular at the time of its release.

Because nothing says anti-pink and girly like neutral browns and sparkly bright shades, right? If Urban Decay was trying to mark itself as an edgy counterpart to the pink, red, and beige colors that was popular at the time, I was expecting anything but earthy tones. Think black, gray, silver, green, metallic blue, rusty brown – things that would come to my mind when I hear Urban Decay.

Aren’t you being a little too harsh on Naked 1? It was the first palette released by UD and it popularized the neutral palette theme!

My main issue with this palette is the fact that it was so hyped as an HG / all-time favorite / must have palette for any makeup lover, when I finally got the chance to get it, I had high expectations for the palette to perform well. But it didn’t – at best, it was an okay, warm neutral palette and at worst, it was an overpriced, overhyped palette that should have had one or two more matte shades to balance the shimmers.

And Gunmental shouldn’t have been a part of it.

Am I gonna use this palette again? Yes, because I’ve cracked it open and I’ve used it a couple of times. I try to rotate my palettes as much as I can.

Would I honestly repurchase it? No. Not in a million years and not even if it went on sale. I doubt Urban Decay expected the palette to be such a sleeper hit, but they didn’t plan for the long game when this palette was created – there are far more and better options than Naked 1 that can give you the same results.

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