Thursday, February 23, 2012

Naked 2 Palette Review & Swatches

Ok, how long did you guys think I'd be able to hold out against Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette? I dearly love my Naked palette, and when I first heard a second one was coming out (that was nearly a year ago!) I couldn't contain my excitement. Fast forward to... well, about a week ago. I had a gift card to Sephora from my dad that I'd been hanging onto since Christmas, and I got an email that there was a free NARS gift with any $35 purchase that contained a mini version my beloved eyeshadow base (perfect to take on vacations!), a mini Laguna bronzer (I have another mini from a set that I have been avoiding using because I don't want it to run out!), and a mini Orgasm illuminator, which is a product I'd been swatching in the store and had been dying to try out. I'd been wanting the Naked 2 palette, with its assortment of mostly cool-toned neutrals (if you've been paying attention, you'll notice I've been going through a cool-toned neutrals kick!) but kept talking myself out of it, since I have the original Naked palette and a handful of eyeshadow singles that are similar. But suddenly, that email seemed like an excuse to get it. Well, that and my enabling boyfriend, who offered to drive me to our nearest non-JCP Sephora (on Valentine's day-- so romantic, right?), and had been questioning why I was holding out on the Naked 2 palette when I clearly wanted it, and had a gift card that would cover all but the tax. Throw a free NARS gift into the mix, and I was helpless against its thrall!

I know most of you will already have seen swatches of the shades in this palette, but I figured one more round of them wouldn't hurt anything; if nothing else, someone might find it helpful to see the swatches on another skin tone, and hear yet another opinion on the palette. Let's go ahead and get the basics out of the way. The Naked 2 palette is housed in a hinged tin, a significant upgrade from the Naked palette's flocked exterior, which gets dingy looking pretty quickly. It includes a double-ended eyeshadow brush and a mini lip gloss, in addition to its 12 .05 ounce eyeshadows, 5 of which are exclusive to this set. Urban Decay's website describes the shades as "taupe and greige neutrals", whereas the original Naked palette has more bronze, warm brown, and pinky brown shades. Both include Half Baked, which is a great gold, but I have to wonder why they felt the need to include it in both sets; how hard would it have been to formulate a slightly cooler cold to go in the Naked 2 palette? Oh well, I digress. The palette will set you back $50, which isn't cheap, but when you consider that you're getting 12 really wearable shades (so there will probably be very few, if any, that you'll avoid), a 2-in-1 brush, and a mini lip gloss, that ends up being a lot of bang for your buck. Especially if you can manage to get it combined with another promo, like I did, and snag some other mini-sized products.

I was really, really good, and took photos before I opened it and stuck my fingers in it. This is what the packaging looks like:


 Here's the mini Lip Junkie Gloss in Naked that comes with the palette:

Lip Junkie Gloss in Naked 

The back! 
 And the palette; the tin has a mirror on the underside of the lid, and there's a groove for the brush below the shadows.

All of the eyeshadows! 
 And closeups:

Left to right: Foxy, Half Baked, Booty Call, Chopper, and Tease

Left to right: Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve

Left to right: Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout
 And here are some close-ups of the brush it comes with. It's synthetic, so the bristles are very soft, but a bit "slippery". I find that shadows don't adhere as well to them as to my MAC brushes that are natural hair. The smaller compact oval wedge side is nice for patting shadows on; the other end seems to be more of a blending type brush, but I don't think it does a great job of blending. Oh well! It's not terrible, and I'm glad I got to try out the brush, and I'm glad that Urban Decay is including something other than the 24/7 liner in Zero or a mini primer potion! If you don't have a blending brush you like better, it will certainly get the job done, and if you're giving this to a makeup newbie, it will definitely help them get their brush set started.

The smaller brush head

The larger end of the brush

The logo on the middle of the brush; the handle seems to be aluminum. 

So, I have swatches for you guys, and a couple of eye looks I did with the shadows. I'm so sorry, I cannot for the life of me remember all of the colors I used, but I do recall a couple of key players, so I'll point those out. They were definitely all created with shadows exclusively from this palette.

I swatched from the top of my wrist down my forearm in left to right order of the palette. That makes absolutely no sense. I'll just label the pictures. There is also overlap in each of the pictures, so some swatches show up in more than one picture.

Swatches left to right: Corner of Tease, Chopper, Booty Call, Half Baked,  Foxy 

Swatches left to right: Snakebite, Suspect, Tease, Chopper

Swatches left to right: Verve, Pistol, Suspect, Snakebite 

Swatches left to right: Blackout, Busted, YDK, Verve
 Eye looks using Naked 2 Palette:

I think this one uses Foxy as a base, Bootycall as a highlight, YDK on the lid, Half Baked on the bottom lash line, Black Out in the center of the crease, and Tease in the rest of the crease. 

I think this one is Verve on the lid with Tease and Busted in the crease, Foxy to highlight... 

Ok, lesson learned: I shouldn't wait so long between taking pictures and posting what products I used and where!

Summary: I don't find myself loving this as much as I hoped I would, mostly because I feel like I've done it before with the original Naked palette. That being said, what it lacks in the excitement department, it makes up for in the usability department. The colors are generally pretty subtle on the eye, but they are easy to work with and blend like a dream. There's also a nice variety of finishes here; most are smooth, shimmery satins (a texture that Urban Decay does amazingly well), with a couple of glittery shades and a couple of matte shades thrown in for good measure. This definitely fulfills its claim as a great collection of taupe and grey based neutrals that you can use to make subtle daytime looks, dramatic dark nighttime looks, and most everything in between. I'm not sure if you definitely need both of the Naked palettes, but if, like me, you bought the first one before this was an option and were overcome with the feeling that this would suit your coloring better... then it's more of the awesome same!


  1. I know what you mean by the excitement of the palette. Personally, I purchased the first Naked palette because I thought it would be useful and as a collector's item. It's just something that's kind of nice to have, and the same goes with the 2nd Naked palette. This is the only reason why I'm able to hold myself back from buying it right away. I'm waiting for it go to on sale :)

    1. Yeah, I didn't get the "shiny new toy" feeling with it because, well... It really DOES just feel like Naked Palette 2.0. But it's still got great shades and is a really practical set of colors for me, I definitely don't regret buying it, especially since I already had a gift card* and got the NARS deluxe samples I wanted!

      *Thank you, Dad!

  2. I just got this yesterday and tried it out today! I can't believe I bought both of them but it is keeping me way more interested in doing work looks!

    1. I know it seems like an excess of neutrals with both of the sets, but they are really great shades for every-day, toned down looks that still have some character.


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