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L’Oreal to Buy Urban Decay Cosmetics

Today, it was announced that L’Oreal has signed an agreement to buy Urban Decay Cosmetics. Urban Decay was founded in 1996, acquired by LVMH in 2000, then sold to private equity firm Castanea in 2009. L’Oreal owns several recognizable brands in the high-end market like Lancome, Kiehl’s, shu uemura, Giorgio Armani, and YSL. When it comes to this price point, adding Urban Decay into the mix makes a lot of sense of L’Oreal.  The Body Shop seems to be the only similarly-priced brand in their portfolio.  They also own L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, and Essie, which can all be found at mass.

One concern among Urban Decay fans might be its stance on animal testing and how that might change over time.  While ultimately whether you buy or not will depend on your set of rules, but some brands under L’Oreal have no animal testing policies, including Giorgio Armani and The Body Shop (another brand that was acquired) were two readily identified. It is possible for Urban Decay to continue forward with their policy, but the parent company does still conduct animal testing; L’Oreal has significantly reduced its animal testing and has invested millions of dollars into alternative testing methods (source; also see L’Oreal’s developments here), though it has not ceased entirely.

Here is Urban Decay’s response: “Though our ownership is changing, our policies are not. We just spoke to both the CCIC and PETA, and will keep our cruelty-free bunny icons. Urban Decay is staying cruelty-free and proud.”

L’Oréal today announced the signing of an agreement with Castanea Partners to acquire Urban Decay.
Based in Newport Beach California, Urban Decay, created in 1996 by make-up expert Wende Zomnir, has built a reputation based on the concept of “beauty with an edge” and values of femininity and irreverence. The line has star products in the eye category such as the Naked Palette and recently successfully launched its new foundation, the Naked Skin weightless liquid make-up. Urban Decay is popular among the youthful highly-involved cutting-edge consumers who are attracted by the fashion-forward image of the brand. The market for make-up specialist brands represents 44% of the luxury make-up market in the US.

In the fiscal year ended in June 2012, Urban Decay recorded net sales of 130 million US dollars.

“Urban Decay will beautifully complement L’Oréal Luxe’s portfolio of iconic brands. It is the make-up specialist we needed to fully satisfy young women in search of playful colors and inspiration in selective distribution, at an accessible price point. It is totally additional to our existing propositions and as such it will contribute significantly to the growth of the Division in the years to come,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, President L’Oréal Luxe.

Urban Decay is distributed in the key assisted self-service channel which includes among others Ulta and Sephora. It is one of the fastest growing segments in the US luxury retail universe. Urban Decay is also strong in e-commerce with http://www.urbandecay.com/ and http://www.sephora.com/.

Frédéric Rozé CEO L’Oréal USA said, “Thanks to the acquisition of Urban Decay, the Group will strengthen its position in two very dynamic distribution channels in the USA, ie assisted self-service and e-commerce. We look forward to this new and exciting opportunity.” In the US, Urban Decay will report to Carol Hamilton, President of L’Oréal Luxe USA.

“L’Oréal’s strong innovation capabilities and presence in every channel of distribution will enable Urban Decay to reach its full potential in the marketplace,” added Tim Warner, General Manager, Urban Decay. “Together, we have great ambitions for the future.”

The closing is subject to regulatory approval which is expected by the end of the year. — L’Oreal

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Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer
Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer

Interesting Color, But Brush Strokes Rain on the Parade

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.37 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering rich brown graphite.” It’s a deep blackened-brown with a hint of plum and fine threads of shimmer. Chanel Strong came to mind, but it is more burgundy–quite a bit redder in shimmer; and Bobbi Brown Twilight is a lot like Strong, so it’s not much like this one. Chanel Vertigo is a bit grayer, and it has less shimmer. China Glaze Bogie is more red-toned.

The color was fully opaque after two coats, but there were visible brush strokes in both natural and brighter lighting, which may or may not be a deal-breaker for you. It had a great consistency that wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed beautifully across the nail without streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges of the nail. I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chips with Bobbi Brown’s formula.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Nail Lacquer Black Pearl

Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette ($27.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six full-sized eyeshadows: Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (very light yellow/beige matte), Walk of Shame (very light pinky nude matte), Naked 2 (rosy taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte), and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).

You’ve been pleading with Urban Decay to release a matte version of the Naked palette, and Naked Basics is their answer. You may be familiar with shades like Foxy (available individually, also in Naked 2) and Walk of Shame (exclusive to Build Your Own Palette), which have shown up in other palettes.

Venus is a white-shimmered creamy white. It’s not a full-on frost, but it is more than a satin on me. When I used this on the brow, it added quite a bit of sheen against my skin tone. The color payoff was excellent, and the texture was soft, smooth, and buttery. Urban Decay Kinky is matte. bareMinerals Silhouette is more metallic.

Foxy is a yellowed beige with a matte finish. It had good color payoff and was soft and smooth to work with. Urban Decay Booty Call is a frosted version–a little more orange. bareMinerals Serendipitous is frosted. MAC Brule is more beige.

Walk of Shame theBalm Adagio is less pink. Urban Decay Virgin is frosted. Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine is comparable. theBalm Matt Smith is similar. Inglot #390 is more beige.

Naked 2 is a soft taupe–a little brown, a touch of gray–with a matte finish. It had nice pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige is shimmery. MAC Omega is darker. MAC Camo is browner, darker.

Faint is a medium-dark brown with a hint of warmth and a matte finish. The pigmentation was perfect, and it was very soft to the touch. theBalm Sultry has a satiny sheen. bareMinerals Namaste is similar, slightly grayer. MAC Wedge is warmer.

Crave is a dark black with brown undertones and a matte finish. It was very soft, smooth, and nicely pigmented. Le Metier de Beaute Fin has micro-shimmer, which isn’t very visible applied. Giorgio Armani #1 is very similar. MAC Dark Dare has micro-shimmer.

The palette itself feels and looks tiny. It’s minimalistic (and I don’t think I’ve ever described any packaging by Urban Decay as such!) and perfect for travel. It could fit in your wallet–it’s delightfully compact and lightweight. I couldn’t believe there were full-sized eyeshadows in it. The soft, almost rubberized (but not quite like NARS’ packaging) case should hold up well to travel abuse, and it is easy to wipe down.

Now, the only warning I have is if you already have both Naked palettes, you have one shade exactly, and then Crave is similar enough to Blackout (2), while Venus is similar to Bootycall (2) and Naked 2 is a tiny bit darker/grayer than Naked (1) and Faint is a bit darker than Buck (1). See individual shade descriptions above for dupes. There are also three light shades in the palette, though they each have a different tone so they’ll work differently for cool, warm, and neutral looks but can feel repetitive.

If you’re a fan of neutrals, OR you know someone who loves (or perhaps, has to wear) neutrals, this is a must-have palette. The texture of these eyeshadows is phenomenal; silky, smooth, finely-milled, but not even a smidgen powdery. They’re densely pigmented with true-to-pan color payoff.  I test-drove them over the weekend, and they lasted eight hours without fading and stretched into the ninth hour the same way–without a primer.

Urban Decay Basics Eyeshadow Palette Naked Basics
Naked Basics
Naked Basics
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total
See All Glossovers

Also In This Review

A-

Venus

Permanent
Read Review
A-

Foxy

Permanent
Read Review
A

Naked 2

Permanent
Read Review
A

Faint

Permanent
Read Review
B+

Crave

Permanent
Read Review
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Urban Decay Naked Basics Launches


Urban Decay Naked Basics Launches

Urban Decay launches Naked Basics–the long-awaited, multi-purpose matte companion to Naked. This is the palette that belongs in every woman’s makeup bag–from fans of a neutral matte eye to color fanatics looking for base shades to pair with their bolder shadows. These uber-wearable shades look great on literally EVERYONE. Richer than other mattes, the color goes on with a smooth, luxe finish (never chalky or powdery). We’ve even included one demi-matte shade, Venus, which has the tiniest touch of satin–perfect for highlighting and adding dimension.

  • Venus Soft, off-white demi-matte
  • Foxy Very light yellow/beige matte
  • Walk of Shame Very light pinky nude matte
  • Naked 2 Rosy taupe matte
  • Faint Warm, dusty brown matte
  • Crave Deepest, darkest brown/black matte

Availability: $27 at Urban Decay on November 29th, then elsewhere like Sephora, ULTA, etc.

5 Holiday Red Lipglosses to Try

5 Holiday Red Lipglosses to Try

I can’t decide if I love red gloss or lipstick more.  I just love the juicy glossiness of a gloss, which is why I don’t often wear a matte lip by choice.  Do you have a preference?

What’s your favorite red lipgloss to wear during the holidays?

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