Ahhhhh this review is long overdue! I picked up the Naked Smoky palette at the launch party July 9th so I’ve had 2 months now to play with it. Let’s take a closer look.
What UD has to say:
The key to nailing the most sought-after and elusive eye look ever? Naked Smoky—loaded with ALL the essentials you need for the perfect neutral smoky eye. A true range of shades. The perfect brushes. And detailed tutorials.
We packed this palette with a dozen sultry, smoky neutrals, including nine never-before-seen shades and three exclusives from past palettes. Experiment with warm bronzes, dimensional grays, rich browns, gorgeous taupes and deep black. From mattes and satins to shades with sparkle, Naked Smoky has it all. Each shade in Naked Smoky features our Pigment Infusion System™, the proprietary blend of ingredients that gives every shade its velvety texture, rich color, serious staying power and blendability.
Ever buy a beauty product and then realize you have no idea how to use it? Naked Smoky makes sultry, come-hither eyes totally doable. The detailed lookbook breaks down four amazing ways to get Naked and smoky, and our exclusive double-ended brush (with a Tapered Crease Brush on one end and a Smoky Smudger Brush on the other) makes application easy.
The case and brush feature a cool floating smoke effect, with “Naked Smoky” in gunmetal foil. To add to the mysterious vibe, we set the shadow pans in a smoky transparent base. The magnetic closure on the case prevents shadow mishaps in your bag, and the full-size mirror makes it easy to get Naked whenever the urge strikes.
The outer box is pretty standard for UD’s palettes with a quick description of the palette in both English and French and a run down of the colors.
Inside the box is the palette itself and a booklet with four sample looks and a description of terms.
The case is absolutely gorgeous. It’s hard plastic that’s semi-transparent with a smokey pattern and raised silver printing on the front.
There are 12 shadows in the palette with 4 shimmers, 4 satins, and 4 mattes designed to create an array of smokey looks. It contains everything you need for black, brown, and gray based smokey looks. It also has a dual ended brush with a fluffy blending side and a dense crease side.
And now… on to the swatches! Below is the full set lined up. As always, click the photo for a closer look. All swatches here were done over e.l.f Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer.
High – “champagne shimmer w/micro-glitter.” This is super sparkly, nicely pigmented, and incredibly smooth. While it is glittery, the glitter adheres fairly well and I haven’t had a problem with fall-out like you normally get with UD glitter bombs.
Dirtysweet – “medium bronze.” Buttery smooth and metallic, this leans a little more gold than bronze on my skin. It blends out fairly nicely and is pretty pigmented but if you want rich metallic goodness you’ll want to pack it on a little more.
Radar – “metallic taupe w/iridescent micro-glitter.” It’s a little thin for my liking and I have trouble building it up on my lids to be as rich as it is in the swatch here. It’s one of my favorite shades in theory but in use it’s not quite star material.
Armor – “metallic silver-taupe w/tonal sparkle.” This is a bona fide UD glitter bomb but that doesn’t stop it from being my favorite shade in the palette. It’s a tiny bit on the purpley side of silver-taupe and I’m in love. This definitely benefits from a sticky base to grab the glitter and I’m fond of using it over UD Bondage. I know a lot of people dislike UD glitter bombs so I may get some flack for saying it but I really love this one.
Slanted – “light metallic gray.” This is a pretty metallic gray leaning towards the blue side. It’s smooth with decent pigmentation. I like this color a lot. I tried using Slanted and Dagger together and had a nice ombre going on with them at first but after 4 or 5 hours they had kind of merged together on my lids into a single muddy gray shade.
Dagger – “medium charcoal w/micro-shimmer.” This is a pretty dark gray on me, leaning cool. It looks more satin when applied and the micro-shimmer isn’t very evident. The pigmentation is alright but it’s not stellar. See note above about it melding with Slanted after a few hours.
Black Market – “jet-black satin.” Oh Black Market how I love thee! This is a nice satin with better pigmentation than UD’s usually thin black mattes. That’s not to say that it’s a perfectly buttery opaque black, but it’s better than usual at least. I’ve been reaching for this when I need black more often than any of my other black shades recently.
Smolder – “deep plum-taupe.” I really wanted to love this shade but I just can’t. It doesn’t pull plum on my lids, in fact it looks more like an off-black or off-gray when applied. Y’all know I love my purples so this makes me sad.
Password – “cool taupe matte.” I’ve loved Password lately! I’m not sure why they’re calling this taupe when it’s really more of a gray. Pigmentation is a little thin but it’s buildable and blendable so while it’s not perfect it’s definitely workable.
Whiskey – “rich brown matte.” This leans a little dusty brown rather than super rich brown on me. Like Password, pigmentation is a bit thin but it builds up well.
Combust – “soft pink-taupe.” This shade really surprised me. Shades like this generally don’t show up well on my skin and are a bust but this is gorgeous, pigmented, smooth, and visible on my skin!
Thirteen – “light beige satin.” This is pretty and fairly pigmented. It makes a great brow bone shade for me!
The packaging is beyond slick and gorgeous! I think UD did a great job giving a selection of shades that can create a wide variety of smokey looks including browns, blacks, and grays. Shadow quality is a little hit or miss but I feel like it’s better overall than my Vice LTD. The shimmery shades aren’t as glitter bombesque as UD’s shimmers usually are which is a great change! I don’t think this palette is a must-have for the average person it’s a great tool for anyone who rocks a smokey look regularly.