Still, when the Naked3 palette was announced, I was swept up in the craze. It's pink. It's pink, you guys. Pink and brown. Those are my colors. I can wear them to work. I paint my face with them and pretend I am a fairy princess. And three is my lucky number. Surely, if it wasn't fate, it was at least serendipity.
I wish so badly that this was a story about how the Naked3 palette is the best eyeshadow that Urban Decay has ever produced. I wanted it to be good. I did spend my money on it, after all.
But, you guys... it's just not very good. It's not awful, but it's yawn-inducingly mediocre.
The packaging is totally fine; the metal tin is a rosy bronze with a wavy pattern that is reminiscent of what happens when you are reading in the bath, accidentally let water splash on your book, and then let it dry.
There's a big fatty mirror and twelve 0.05oz eyeshadows that are arranged in some approximation of lightest to darkest. There's also a double ended brush.
Strange is a matte almost-white-but-not-quite with a dash of pink thrown in. I have noticed that it is very difficult for even top-notch eyeshadow companies to make really lovely matte whites, so I usually don't have very high expectations for them. Strange is totally fine, but it leans on the powdery side and, as a result, it takes a lot of layers for the eyeshadow to actually stay. I feel like I apply it and it kind of drifts off my eye and I have to keep building and building to get some good color. For a matte white, it's perfectly okay. It's certainly no "Tako by Sugarpill", though!
Dust is the shade in this palette that actually makes me mad. I have no idea what the fuck is going on with this shade. It has the texture of cornflakes. You don't swatch this color-- you chip at it and hope some of the hunks land somewhere near your eye. It's a pale pink metallic that looks all kinds of gorgeous in the pan... until you actually swatch it. Then it looks like your eyeshadow contracted a skin condition. (Seriously. Scroll up and look at that picture.) What's more, 99.99% of that random eyeshadow dust adorning my pictures came from Dust. I would say, then, that "Dust" is an appropriate name, but at least dust is smooth. On top of that, it's not even pigmented.
I would be a little less angry if this was a color I wasn't actively excited about. If this was some random brown, I would be okay. But, as it is, I'm seriously pissed that someone from Urban Decay thought that this was an appropriate level of quality. I can just picture them throwing up their hands and going, "Eh, good enough!"
Burnout is a pearly peach with totally acceptable color payoff.
Limit is probably the best shade in the palette in terms of pure eyeshadow quality. This mauve-y dusty rose is rich, pigmented, and easily blended.
Buzz is a frosty dark rose color. It leans pretty metallic, but, despite the disasters found in the other metallics in this palette, it's got pretty nice color payoff and no more fallout than what you kind of expect when you choose Urban Decay as your brand.
Trick is a frosty copper. It's got decent color payoff, but it's also got some of the weird texture problems that Dust has, just to a lesser extent. This is such a bizarre flaw; I've never used eyeshadow with this problem before.
|Swatches from left to right: Strange, Dust, Burnout, Limit, Buzz, Trick|
The darker shades have more consistent quality, but they are less exciting.
Nooner is a warm, medium-brown matte. (This one is also pretty lovely in terms of quality.)
Liar is a medium brown with a frosty finish.
Factory is a warm dark brown with a satin finish.
Mugshot is a frosty, metallic taupe.
Darkside is a purple-ish brown with a satin finish.
Blackheart is a dark brown not-quite-black with red glitter.
|Swatches from left to right: Nooner, Liar, Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, Blackheart|
The double ended brush looks gorgeous, but it's not particularly functional. The synthetic bristles are so smooth that they feel borderline greasy, which isn't necessarily a flaw, but it was not my favorite feature. One side is definitely a "pack on the shadow" brush, although its ability to do so is only so-so. The other, though, I have no idea. It's not fluffy enough to be a blending brush. (Trust me, it blends like crap.) It won't pack on shadow. It can't do anything precise. So... why is it there...?
Urban Decay also included four samples of four of their eyeshadow primers: the Original, Eden, Sin, and their Anti-Aging Primer. I've tested the efficacy of the Urban Decay Primer Potions here, and they're fine but... definitely not the best thing on the market.
Urban Decay states that each sample contains a week's worth of primer. I actually think it's a great deal more than that. They didn't label how big the samples were, but, comparing them to other samples that I have, I'd guesstimate that each contains around 0.05 fl oz of primer. The total, then, would add up to 0.2 fl oz of primer. That's a lot-- a full size tube of Primer Potion is 0.37 fl oz for $24, putting the estimated retail value on these samples at around $12.97. My biggest concern with these would be preventing the samples from drying up!
Here are a few looks I have created using the Naked 3 palette:
|This is what happens when you bronze the fuck out of my face.|
Putting aside the value of the brush and the eyeshadow primer, this palette costs $52 for 0.6 oz of eyeshadow, putting it at $86.67 per ounce. That's a very reasonable price.
The reason that I am so frustrated with this palette is because the shades that kind of sucked were the shades that had enticed me to shell out my money. If you look at those shades and think, "Eh, I could take 'em or leave 'em", you probably won't be crying your heart out over your decision to make a purchase. Hell, the mattes (used in the first look above) are actually pretty great and plenty of the shadows are just fine. Personally, though, I'm pretty bummed.