The Naked palettes have always been on my radar but never in my collection. I’ve waffled between Naked 2 and Naked 3, loving the shadows but never being able to justify the cost. A neutral palette, in my humble opinion, should be affordable and include shades ranging from highlighters to black. Every neutral palette should include a matte black shadow. Go ahead and fight me on this if you dare: a solid black eyeshadow is utterly necessary for a decent neutral palette.
My go-to neutral palette for the past several years has been the UD x Gwen Stefani Palette, a palette I picked up off the Sephora Sales page for $30. Some of the shades in the palette are total busts, but I have relied on most of the shadows in this collection for the past couple of years. There are pale shades for highlighting and washes over the lid area; there are great crease colour that build in intensity; there are a few metallics to add some glimmer; and there is a fantastic black eyeshadow to bring all the looks together.
Unfortunately, my reliance on this palette means that I am now out of many of the shadows, hitting pan on others, and staring the end of an era in the face. As a result, I was on the search for a new neutral palette, and just as I was growing frustrated, Urban Decay came to the rescue with the Naked Reloaded.
I didn’t want this palette. I repeat: I didn’t want this palette. However, with the spring Sephora last year, the dwindling shadows in the Old Reliable Gwen Stefani palette dwindling, I decided, as with most of my cosmetic purchases, what the hell? If I hate the palette, I’ll just return it.
And I didn’t hate the palette. I love it.
The Naked Reloaded palette is the least expensive member of the Naked collection, retailing for $58 at both Sephora and certain Shoppers Drug Marts. It was listed at $55 when I purchased it back in May (not including my VIB Discount). The palette includes 12 neutral-toned shadows ranging from pale beiges to dark browns.
Naked Reloaded is a lightweight palette. The outside is done up in fabric with gold lettering. It’s plush and luxurious, and as much as I balk at elaborate designs or prints, I actually quite like the look of this palette. If nothing else, it is a fraction of the weight of my UD x Gwen Stefani Palette and a more travel-friendly size. The magnetic closure means that the shadows are safely stowed in the palette. There is a mirror (thank goodness). I also like that the shadows come in different pan sizes. Some of the more frequently used shades are in slightly larger pans while the metallics and other shadows that will be used more sparingly come in smaller pans.
I love Urban Decay’s eyeshadow formulas. Their mattes apply well to the lid. The shade Dreamweaver, which is a frosty brown colour, generates the most fallout of any of the shadows. Distilled is another one. Both of these seem a little drier than the more buttery foil shades like Angel Fire, Reputation, and Burn. The mattes blend exceptionally well, and the whole palette is arranged very logically. The colour story makes complete sense. This is a palette that can generate a lot of looks, but it’s designed for very practical-minded application without a lot of guesswork.
I wear eyeshadow over Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, and I get at least 12 solid hours of wear out of these. I mentioned some of the fallout problems that I’ve had with two of the shadows; this is regardless of whether I apply with my finger or a brush, and it’s only during the application process. Once the shadows are applied, they wear well throughout the day.
Bribe, Blur, Boundaries, Bucked, Retro, and End Game: basically all the mattes are amazing! They layer so well and intuitively, one on top of the other, creating a perfectly wearable smoky eye for the day. Add a little more End Game for some depth and darkness at night. Retro is this great coral shade that brings warmth into a standard look. I will generally reach for these most work days and then add a pop of metallic from one of the other shadows.
Reputation, Barely Baked, and Angel Fire are my favourite metallics and frosts to reach for, and they apply well using a brush or my fingertip.
I actually really like Dreamweaver and Distilled; I just wish they were a more buttery formula to carry their glitter. The fallout from them is just a little disappointing. I usually cover my cheek with a tissue before applying to save myself the clean-up.
Finally, Burn is a colour choice that I don’t understand, especially since it’s positioned directly next to Reputation, which looks the exact same. Swatching these shadows, I would never know which one is which unless I was told. I think Urban Decay could have put in a different colour, like, I don’t know, a matte black?
But that’s just me 😉
Most make-up wearers are not in the market for another neutral palette. They either already have one that they love or they have several that they purchased for pop colours and are not in the market for a new one. Being that I was in the rare position of running low on my favourite Urban Decay neutrals and having relied on a limited edition palette for several years, the Naked Reloaded palette made sense as an investment, and I’m very happy with it. Aside for having to bring along a matte black eyeshadow to make up for the palette’s lack of black, I’m able to get all the looks I want and need from this one palette alone. There’s a reason it made its way onto my list of beauty favs from last year, and it was the reliability, the intuitive design of the palette, and the overall quality of the formulas.
Love this palette.