I will always have a soft spot for an Urban Decay Naked palette. Always. For me not only are they nostalgic but they were such an icon in the beauty world – they forced other bigger brands to really shake up their mostly weak eyeshadow game, and bore birth to a new generation of beauty addicts who lived for eyeshadow palettes. I own all of them to date – I’m very lucky that Urban Decay have sent me the majority! – but today I may be about to reveal what might just be my new favourite..
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Urban Decay are no stranger to adding a bit of colour to the ‘Naked’ series. Take the Naked Cherry full of cherry pop pinks and magentas, and the Naked Heat full of blazing oranges and warm reds. The Ultraviolet is no exception, with half the palette being more ‘peach’ and the other half being different tones of purple. Really, the majority of this palette is a shimmer finish, which personally I think makes it much more user friendly – especially for those unsure of a purple. I know a purple can seem daunting, and I wasn’t totally convinced in the shade choices in this palette until I swatched it – but these are really wearable and in my opinion, fit the everyday user friendly ethos of the Naked series.
I do think the first two shades might be a bit washy and maybe slightly chalky on black skin, but the majority of the other shades, especially ones like Lucid and Euphoric will shine beautifully. For me, I probably wouldn’t use the palest shade Trippin’ all that much as it’s just a bit.. dare I say it.. boring.. but I absolutely adore Purple Dust, Optimized and V.R. Speaking of Optimized actually, I really think this is one of the most universally flattering matte lilac eyeshadows with pigmentation I’ve maybe ever seen – I think this will suit every single skin tone.
There’s a real trend for this sort of one wash eyeshadow right now and Optimised is utterly perfect for that. Lucid is also incredible, it’s exactly what I want from Urban Decay! Previously there was a shade just like this in the Kristen Leanne collab, and I reach for it all the time. I’m glad this palette has it in it, as I’ll use this a lot more than I do that one.
Straight up, if you own the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde palette, you don’t need this. Whether you want it or not… that’s your call. I own both now, and while I can see similarities, there are also differences. But you categorically do not ‘need’ both. I do think however this will totally open up the Naked palette series to a whole new generation of beauty lovers, who weren’t around for the first wave.
Eyeshadow these days in the youth is ruled by colour – the brighter you are, the better. This palette will grab a brand new youthful generation into Urban Decay and I love that. Combined with the release of the Wired palette just recently too – I’m really liking how this is looking for the future of Urban Decay. When I saw this one, I felt excited about the Naked series again, not bored by the prospect of another. I think they saw a lead in the more pastel colourful palettes by the likes of Huda & Colourpop, and worked their Naked magic on it.
I decided to do a ‘lit from within’ highlighter eye for my first play about with it, and I loved how it came out. I used actually a whole ton of shades to get that perfect HBO Euphoria iridescent glow but I think that’s testament to how easy these shimmers are to layer up. I wanna try another look using the more peach shades, I think Hacked and Optimised through the crease would be such a gorgeous day time look done in five minutes flat.
I know a lot of people are put off by purple, but I promise it can be so wearable. Here’s my advice and experience with purple shadows to help:
– Always blend properly. I know it can seem tempting to just pack the eyeshadow on, but leaving a ‘harsh’ line around the eye is what can create this sort of unintentional unflattering look. Go in with the purple shade you like, let’s say for illustrative purposes in this palette it’s the shade Purple Dust, then blend really well with a soft fluffy brush using a shade like Warning to make a soft, smoky purple.
– On black skin a shade like Cyber Punk can make the most gorgeous smoky eye. Don’t be afraid to use a pop of colour, you can always dilute it down by adding shades like Lucid, to add both highlight and a softness. One of my favourite looks on black skin is a bright bold purple with a shimmer inner corner highlight. You could use Digital to smoke it out even more at the outer corner.
– For a softer look, try an all over wash with a shade that complements your skin tone.
– If you are worried, start small and build up to a bolder look. Start with your usual look, but add a pop of purple to the inner corner. If you love that, move on to a pop of purple in the middle highlight, and then move on to purple under the eye. You’ll soon find a way that works for you!
I know you might be thinking ‘but I don’t suit purple!’ or ‘that’s too daunting for me!’ but I promise you, purple is actually universally flattering, and hard to get wrong. If you want some major inspo for more minimal looks on every skin tone, I adored this Refinery 29 article with some ideas on how to wear!
Urban Decay’s Ultraviolet palette retails from today globally, and costs £43 in the UK.
Remember as with everything – only buy it if you really love it!