It's time to put them head to head:
Urban Decay Naked Basics vs. Coastal Scents Go Palette Cairo
Obviously, it is not fair to expect the same quality of shadow from a palette that cost $8.96 and a palette that cost $27.00. So, instead, we are going to compare whether a higher or lower end palette is giving you more bang for your buck.
You can go on other blogs are probably get really beautiful swatches that show the richness of each color as it builds up on your skin. I am not going to do that. Instead, I am going to be a wee more methodological about my swatches. Every swatch has exactly two swipes of my eyeshadow brush. No more, no less. In my opinion, that is going to give you a much more honest depiction of what the product actually looks like when you try to swipe it on your face. It's also worth noting that all of these were swatched dry-- you are going to get more pigmentation if you use the product while wet.
Urban Decay Naked Basics
|Urban Decay Naked Basics Outside|
|Urban Decay Naked Basics Inside|
|The first, lightest color (Venus) has a slight shimmer, but all the rest are matte.|
Number of colors: 6
Size per color: 0.05oz
Overall size: 0.3 oz
Cost per ounce: $90.00
|Urban Decay Naked Basics Swatches- dry, two strokes of color each|
Coast Scents Go Palette Cairo
|Coastal Scents Go Palette Cairo Box|
|Coastal Scents Go Palette Cairo Outside|
|Coastal Scents Go Palette Cairo Inside|
|Top row: matte, shimmer, shimmer, glitter|
Middle row: shimmer (metallic), shimmer (metallic), shimmer, glitter
Bottom row: demi-matte, matte, matte, matte
Number of colors: 12
Size per color: 0.023
Overall size: 0.28 oz
Cost per ounce: $32.00 (For comparison, my favorite drugstore makeup, the Maybelline Stylish Smokes Eyeshadow Quad, costs $6.25 for 0.17oz, which translates to $36.76 per ounce.)
|Swatched top row. Don't worry, it's not the picture. These colors didn't show up in real life either. (The fact that the lighting is hideous, though, is the picture. Sorry.)|
|Swatched middle row.|
|Swatched bottom row.|
I also think that there are some practical limitations to the colors selected. The Urban Decay palette has lots of light-ish, tan colors. The only colors that show up at all in the Coastal Scents palette are quite dark. If you are a lady of color, that probably will not be too unnatural looking, but, for my coloring, most of the stuff is too dark for a whole look. (And if I am going to do dramatic makeup, I sure as hell am not going to do it using brown.)
I was also a tad peeved about the way that Coastal Scents advertised their pigmentation. Look at that first row of swatches that I took, as opposed to the ones on their website.
|My swatches vs. the swatches that Coastal Scents provides on their website.|
From my perspective, the Urban Decay palette still comes out on top in terms of quality by a lot because you need less makeup to achieve pigmentation (meaning the same mass of eyeshadow will last you longer), it is smoother and easy to apply, and it just looks more attractive on your face (the Urban Decay palette makes it look like I have mad eyeshadow skills, but it's really just the quality of the product). The point of eyeshadow, usually, is to do something with your makeup that looks attractive. If the product you have isn't helping achieve that goal, it doesn't matter that it is much less expensive.
With all of that being said, the Coastal Scents palette is a third of the cost of the Urban Decay palette, and that is not a trivial pricing difference. Some people plan on using a neutral palette multiple times a week and it is seriously going to get used. If you are NOT one of those people, it might not be worth it to you to spring for the higher end palette. If you use the shadows wet and put more effort into achieving pigmentation, the Coast Scents palette would be perfectly acceptable for occasional wear. (Plus, who doesn't love silver eye shadow?!)
Still, I feel comfortable concluding that the Urban Decay palette gives much more bang for your buck than a less expensive alternative.