Shall we kick off the new year with a palette review on a product that divided the makeup community? The Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet came out last summer and it quickly polarized those who do not love the palette against those who do love it. There seems to be no in between. For me, I fall into the love camp as I generally like Urban Decay’s Naked line as a whole and I feel that this palette is great for what it is trying to do. This is my full review.
Review: Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet eyeshadow palette
So let’s talk specifics first. Since this is a Naked palette we can expect this to be a 12 pan eyeshadow palette that retails for around the €55 mark. Many people find that very expensive for this type of palette but one thing I have always appreciated about the Urban Decay Naked palettes is their easy to wear color stories combined with a buildable eyeshadow formula that makes it easy to use as well. Let’s see if this palette falls into that category for me as well.
What does this palette have to offer?
First of all, this palette comes with 12 shades and not all of them are purple. That was something not everyone liked. I personally don’t mind. My main worry wasn’t the fact that the neutrals were there, but that they all seem to be quite peachy and warm toned and I didn’t really see them pair well together with the purples (I was wrong as you will see below). Another notable point is the fact that this palette still comes with the same double ended brush. When will they stop doing such an unnecessary extra that nobody uses? I mean, I own all the Naked palettes. I have 8 of these brushes by now.
What is the color story like?
To me this is a classic Urban Decay color story. One that favors shimmers over mattes: there are three mattes and everything else is a satin or a shimmer in good old UD fashion. Another very typical UD thing about this palette is that all the colors are a bit, well, boring. These are not the most vibrant purples you will be able to find on the market. These are soft and if we consider the fact that this is a Naked palette, I think that is actually very clever. This is a great palette if you are looking for a purple palette but one that you can still wear to work on the daily.
How does this palette swatch?
As you can see there is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of these shadows. They are all smooth, easy to use shadows. As most Urban Decay shadows, these work best if you build them up. You will not get BOOM pigment straight away, but that’s what I love. It’s simply easier to use as you can never go overboard. I prefer to build up my shadow rather than getting the pigment from the start and having to blend like crazy. Another thing that I noticed when I swatched these shades, but that I didn’t hear anyone talking about is that this palette features not 1 but 2 duochromes. Both Lucid and VR are duochrome shades and even Dazed has a bit of a peach to gold reflect to it that looks stunning on the eyes.
3 Looks, 1 Palette
To show you what this palette can do I have created three different looks. With 12 shades I could have gone with just two, but I wanted to show you how the two different parts of the palette perform separately, as well as what happens when you put the neutrals together with the purples. So I did a full on purple look for you, a full on neutral look and than finally a look that combines neutrals and purples.
For the first look I used all the purple shades in the palette to create this look. I used Digital in the Outer V and the crease which I blended out with Optimized. I feel that even though Digital is a satin, it still works wonderfully to deepen up a look. I used a bit of Purple Dust on the lower Lashline together with Cyberpunk. I then used Warning on my top lid and topped it off with Euphoric which I also used in the inner corner. The result? A very pretty, wearable all purple eye look. Especially Euphoric is a standout shade for me as it has that blacklight kind of quality to it that really goes well with the name of the palette: a true ultraviolet.
The second look I tried to do focused on the neutrals. As you can see it is very peachy and quite basic. The shade that makes this work best is VR. That is that stunning shimmer on the lid and that makes the look for me. I feel they are light enough to work for me but I am super fair skinned so I get why not everyone would love these. I also used a bit of Lucid in the inner corner. I was afraid that wouldn’t work, but because VR has a greenish tone to it as well which is why they go together quite well, which was unexpected.
But I knew the power of this palette would be the combination of the purples with the neutrals. This is a look I would definitely want to go back to. I just used Hacked and Mind Slip for a nicely blended crease and then used Euphoric all over the lid. Digital went onto the top lid as liner and I used Cyberpunk with Digital on the lower lash line. I finished off the look with a bit of Luci on the lower lash line. In short, an easy, but wearable look with a pop of purple.
My final thoughts
However, I have not yet finished using the Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet. I definitely still want to do a look where I use Lucid in a more central position, the same goes for some of the other purples. I think this is therefore a surprisingly versatile palette, especially as far as Naked palettes go. I can see this being a purple smokey eye, but also a neutral palette. This is quite the chameleon and that’s why I love it. I enjoyed all the looks I created and I can see myself going back to this a lot.
Would I recommend the Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet eyeshadow palette?
Yes and no. I can see why this palette isn’t everyone’s favorite. The neutrals are quite light and so are the purples. I think if you have a warm and deep skin tone this palette could pull quite ashy on you and may not be as flattering. Against my fair skin though it worked well and I really love this. Do I think this is the best purple palette on the market? Not by a long shot, but then again, I haven’t quite found my perfect purple palette yet. The search continues.