Thursday, December 1st, 2011


Urban Decay Naked 1 vs. Naked 2 Palette Dupes & Comparison Swatches

  • Foxy doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.
  • Half Baked is a repeat from Naked 1, so yes, there is a dupe–in fact, it’s 100% the same!
  • Booty Call is a peachier version of Virgin (Naked 1), but they’re really, really close. It’s just slightly warmer.
  • Chopper is more orange than Sidecar (Naked 1); I wouldn’t say they’re dupes, but they’re not totally different.
  • Tease doesn’t have any dupes, because it’s matte, so it doesn’t really appear the same as contenders like Sin and Toasted (both from Naked 1).
  • Snakebite is not as golden as Smog (Naked 1), but it’s nowhere near as dark as Darkhorse (Naked 1); however, if you mix both Smog and Darkhorse together, you get something rather similar.
  • Suspect is just a little more beige compared to Sidecar (Naked 1).
  • Pistol doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.
  • Verve doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.
  • YDK looks pretty similar to both Sidecar and Toasted (both from Naked 1), and Sidecar is closer.
  • Busted is very, very similar to Hustle (Naked 1); at best, it might be a little less red-toned. It’s not like Darkhorse (Naked 1), though.
  • Blackout doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.

See comparison swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Swatches, Photos, Reviews

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette ($50.00 for 0.71 oz.) contains twelve eyeshadows: Blackout (blackest black with matte finish), Booty Call Shimmery cork), Busted (deep brown with shimmery finish), Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro glitter), Foxy (cream bisque with matte finish), Half Baked (golden bronze with shimmery finish), Pistol (light greyish brown with shimmery finish), Snake Bite (dark bronze shimmer with metallic base), Suspect (pale golden beige with shimmery finish), Tease (creamy pale brown with matte finish), Verve (oyster with shimmery finish), YDK (cool bronze shimmer with metallic base), and Lip Junkie Naked (sheer shimmery pinky neutral) and Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush. The brush is good; it’s like Urban Decay’s full-sized brushes–same size, feel, density, and softness.

  • Foxy is a pale yellowed beige with a matte finish. It’s on the sheer side and a bit powdery. On my forearm (around NC20), it’s almost invisible. It could work for highlighting the brow on light to medium complexions. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Daydream, Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone, and MAC Brule.
  • Half Baked is a coppery brown with a golden shimmer-sheen. It’s very frosty but has good color payoff and a smooth texture. It’s part of the permanent range and is also in the Naked 1 palette. This shade is similar to a whole slew of others: theBalm Manic Maribel, Bare Escentuals Louder, MAC Amber Lights, theBalm Meep Meep, and Inglot #405 (and there are probably more).
  • Booty Call is a peach-tinted white-beige with a frosted finish. It’s new for this palette. It’s just a little peach compared to Urban Decay Virgin. It’s also similar to shades like MAC Vanilla, MAC Baby It’s Cold, Urban Decay Skimp, Inglot #353, and MAC Brule.
  • Chopper is a medium orange-red toned rown with coppery flecks of shimmer. This shade is permanent. It has good color payoff, but the sparkle is prone to fall out. It’s similar to shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds, Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa, and Make Up For Ever #12 (sheered out). Sidecar from Naked 1 is browner, not as orange.
  • Tease is dirty mauve-brown with a matte finish. It’s an interesting shade, but the color payoff is mediocre and texture is very dry and stiff. You really have to jab at it with the bristles of your brush to loosen enough product in order to apply it. It’s similar to MAC Quarry, which is truer-to-pan color than Tease, actually, plus it has more pigmentation. It doesn’t compare favorably to either Sin or Toasted (the two closest shades from Naked 1), partially because the difference in payoff and finish is too dramatic.
  • Snakebite is dark bronze with a dirty golden shimmer-sheen. It has a really lovely dense, buttery texture with excellent color payoff. It is deeper than MAC Tempting but warmer than Inglot #409. It looks similar to Smog, which is warmer, but not so much Darkhorse, which is more of a blackened brown; however, mix the two together, and you pretty much get Snakebite–both Smog and Darkhorse are in Naked 1 (and even right next to each other!).
  • Suspect is a soft champagne-bronze with a frosted, metallic sheen. It has good color payoff but felt a touch powdery. theBalm Schitzo is more golden and smoother. Sidecar (from Naked 1) is just pinker.
  • Pistol is a dirty gray-brown with a frosted finish. I’m hesitant to call it a taupe, because it has a lot of brown in it. The payoff is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. It’s similar to theBalm selfish and NARS Bali (but matte). It doesn’t compare to any shades from Naked 1.
  • Verve is a pale beige-gray with a pink tinge. This was in the Rollergirl palette. It doesn’t have a dupe or similar shade in the Naked 1 palette. NARS Grand Palais is several shades darker, while Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is more golden and gray (less pink). Urban Decay Ruthless is more beige.
  • YDK is a warm, coppery red-toned medium brown with a frosted finish. The color payoff is good with a smooth texture. Inglot #421 is deeper and more intense. Urban Decay Shag has more copper. Urban Decay Wreckage is a little less warm. MAC Buckwheat is a bit darker. It is very similar to Sidecar and just a little less warm compared to Toasted from Naked 1.
  • Busted is a burgundy-tinted, deep brown with warm, golden undertones. It has a soft, frosted finish. The color payoff was good and the texture smooth, though a little less dense than other shades. It’s almost the same as Hustle from Naked 1. MAC Midnight Flurry is a bit more burgundy. theBalm Mahna Mahna is more intense, more red-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is darker, as is MAC Smut.
  • Blackout is a really intense, deep dark black with a matte finish. It has really great payoff and goes on very black. It doesn’t have a comparable shade in Naked 1. Make Up For Ever #4 and Sugarpill Bulletproof are also very deep dark blacks with matte finishes.
  • Naked is a sheer neutral pink with white micro-shimmer. The gloss is non-sticky and mint-scented.

Naked 2 is a phenomenal value ($204 worth of eyeshadow, $24 worth of brush, $6 worth of lipgloss–$234 total), just like Naked 1, but I don’t think you need both. There are too many similar shades to merit both (seriously, why even include Half Baked again?). Like the original palette, this is a warm-toned neutral outlay of shades. I’m really not sure why they went with warmer shades (over neutral or cool) when Naked 1 encompassed mostly warm-toned shades already. I know that several readers with cooler complexions felt like Naked 1 wasn’t as flattering on them.

It’s packaged in a metal tin that closes shut really well, but it is a bit heavier than Naked 1; it’s the same size in terms of length and width. I’ve traveled with the Naked 1 palette many, many times, and I haven’t had any issues with it opening, ripping, looking worn, etc. I expect that the packaging of Naked 2 will appeal to others, though, as it feels more secure and hefty. If you’re less inclined to have a dual-ended brush, an Urban Decay 24/7 Liner will fit in the slot as well.

The color payoff of Tease is really disappointing; it’s dry, stiff, and applies unevenly. It takes a lot of packing and blending to make it work, which is a real shame given that mattes in Urban Decay palettes can be hard to come by! Foxy is also on the sheerer side but not terribly so, but it has some powderiness to it. Chopper has that micro-glitter texture Urban Decay loves but is prone to fall out.

Half-Baked is a repeat, Bootycall is just warmer than Virgin, Snakebite is similar to Smog (and exactly the same as Darkhorse + Smog together), Suspect is just a touch less warm than Sidecar, YDK is quite close to both Sidecar and Toasted, and Busted is almost the same as Hustle. The shades that didn’t have comparable shades already in Naked 1 were Foxy, Chopper, Tease, Pistol, Verve, and Blackout; that’s five of twelve.

I don’t know how this really measures up to Urban Decay’s “12 Taupe + Greige Neutrals” remark on the product page, because I don’t really see those shades well represented in this palette. The quality, overall, is good; I don’t think it’s as good across the board as the first palette, but for $50 and twelve full-sized eyeshadows, it’s certainly worth taking a look at. I just don’t think it lives up to the hype here, and again, if you have Naked 1, Naked 2 isn’t much of a leap.

I will have comparison swatches in a separate post.

The Glossover

palette

Naked 2

A-

If you have Naked 1, I don't think you need to have Naked 2. Naked 2 is a solid palette, but it is a lot like Naked 1, and both palettes are permanent, so it's really a matter of what colors you prefer and how often you wear neutrals. The palette would have benefited from making it more complimentary to Naked 1 rather than being so comparable, perhaps with a mix of cooler tones and less shimmery finishes.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

The Naked Palette by Urban Decay took over the internet via tweets, YouTube tutorials and reviews, sells more than one every minute, and remains (after two years on the market) the beauty industry’s best-selling palette! The most anticipated sequel since Empire Strikes Back, with shades ranging from the palest nude to the lewdest black, Urban Decay’s Naked2 palette takes full frontal to another level.

  • Blackout Blackest black with matte finish (Repromote, not available individually)
  • Booty Call Shimmery cork (New)
  • Busted Deep brown with shimmery finish (New)
  • Chopper Copper shimmer with silver micro glitter (Permanent)
  • Foxy Cream bisque with matte finish (Repromote, not available individually)
  • Half Baked Golden bronze with shimmery finish (Permanent)
  • Pistol Light greyish brown with shimmery finish (New)
  • Snake Bite Dark bronze shimmer with metallic base (New)
  • Suspect Pale golden beige with shimmery finish (Repromote, not available individually)
  • Tease Creamy pale brown with matte finish (New)
  • Verve Oyster with shimmery finish (Repromote, not available individually)
  • YDK Cool bronze shimmer with metallic base (Permanent)
  • Naked Sheer shimmery pinky neutral (Lip Junkie) (Permanent)
  • Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush Dual-ended brush

availability: Now @ Urban Decay for $50; mid-to-late January for Sephora, Ulta, beauty.com, Macy’s; February 2012 for international

Please note this palette arrived an hour ago, and I’m working as fast as possible to get everything up right away. Please be patient and hold ALL questions until I’ve had a chance to post the review. Thank you!

See more photos! Continue reading →

Friday, November 25th, 2011

By Amanda, Traveling Contributor

While earning her degree at university, Amanda traveled around the world to a plethora of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. She currently lives on New York City’s Upper East Side where is pursuing a graduate degree and working in education. Amanda has studied the histories of beauty around the world and is herself, an avid admirer and practitioner of the beauty techniques she studies.

To track her travels, thoughts, and techniques follow her at www.aklectique.com. As a world traveler (and with more travel plans on the horizon), she’ll be offering a unique perspective of the amazing local brands and products she’s discovered and still discovering.


Traveling Must-Haves by a World Traveler

I’d like to share with you what I take with me whenever I go traveling. From the High-Atlas Berber villages in Morocco, to the Pyramids in Cairo, to Red Sea just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, to Diocletian’s palace in Croatia, and through Nottingham’s rainy days, these products have proven their metaphorical “valor” for their resilient consistency and inherent capacity to work well across varying climate conditions.

I’ve found that my MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Power ($23.00) works for me in all whether conditions. Whether it be the 125 degree weather in Egypt or -30s in New Hampshire, this product provides the same consistent coverage and staying power across temperatures. I’d find that my bronzer and highlighter (listed below) are best suited for all temperatures below 85 degrees. If the temperature is higher, I risk looking shiny all day long. Finally Benefit’s One Hot Minute ($30.00) adds the perfect amount of matte color to my face to prevent me from looking washed-out in any climate.

Now, the eyes are almost a free-for-all. I tend to keep in neutral when I am traveling so as to not stand out as a foreigner too much.  (Below is a more detailed list of eye products that I’ve found to last underwater in Jamaica and Croatia, as well as after a long day of work.)  To the complete the visage, my must-have lip product is my Burt’s Bees Sun Protect Lip Balm ($3.99). This lip balm neutralizes the color of my lips and allows me to then apply pigmented lip product that is appropriate for the given situation. More often than not, I find myself using MAC Snob ($14.50) or Revlon’s Nude Attitude ($7.99).

Just remember: When traveling, less is more!

Check out Amanda’s list of must-have products for travel! Continue reading →

Monday, November 21st, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Eyes

I’m going to do my best to crank out the last few gift guides in the next day, because I know a lot of sales are coming up for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and I don’t want you to miss out! These are all products I personally recommend that are part of the permanent range. Products are listed in order of ascending price!

Eyeliners

  • Milani Liquif’Eye Eyeliners ($5.49) is a standout formula with a wallet-friendly price tag–if they had a bigger range, they’d be even better. I love their Black and Aqua shades.
  • MAC Fluidlines ($15) is a long-time favorite, because it’s creamy enough for smooth, crisp application but sets and wears well. My favorite is Blacktrack.
  • Tarina Tarantino Dream Hyperliners ($15) are a newly-discovered favorite with a fantastic color range, rich color, and long-wear. My favorite shades have been Sparkling Ammunition and Puppeteer.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liners ($18) also has an amazing range of shades as well as finishes, and this is an eyeliner that stays on well throughout the day. I regularly reach for shades like #4L, 5L, 12L, and 20L.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencils ($18) are a total go-to for me! They have a full color range available, and they’re soft and glide on easily. Some of my favorites are Bourbon Covet, Graffiti, Mildew, Rockstar, Stash, and Underground.
  • Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliners ($20) are super soft and pigmented, but they do run out of quick–but their color range is so rich, it’s hard to say no. I love Moray, Peacock, and Stingray.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners ($21) is a rich, long-wearing gel eyeliner that’s smooth and creamy but still wears all day. Check out shades like Black Mauve Shimmer Ink and Cobalt Ink!
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners ($23) is my absolute favorite for liquid liner, because the color range is wide and the formula itself stays on all day. I recommend shades like #3, 4, 9, 10, and 14. If you like lots and lots of sparkle, consider Stila Sparkle Liquid Eyeliners ($22) which have a very similar formula but their shades have more shimmer.

Eyeshadows

  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow ($1.99 to $4.99) are a real steal with a lot of variations and options available, and a lot of the shades are of excellent quality.
  • Inglot Eyeshadows ($5) won’t break the bank but will deliver intense color payoff–they’re most well-known for their mattes and Double Sparkles.
  • Sugarpill Chromalusts ($12) are finely milled with lots of dimension. My favorites are Stella, Absinthe, and Goldilux! I’d also recommend checking out their eyeshadows if you’re shopping for someone who loves bright colors (they’re also $12 and top notch).
  • theBalm Eyeshadows ($16) are richly pigmented, silky smooth, and wear really well. Their individual singles are great, but they also have several palettes that work well, too. My favorite singles are All About Alex, Jealous Jordana, and Risque Renee.
  • Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19) are some of my favorite cream eyeshadows for quick all-over washes or as an eyeshadow base; the range is generally more neutral/subdued so it would be great for busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to spend on their makeup every morning. I love shades like Birthday Suit and Skinny Jeans.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils ($20) is a chubby pencil that can be used as an eyeliner or more like a cream eyeshadow (or even an eyeshadow base). They wear really well and deliver pretty good color. I like shades Clinic, Lit, and Midnight Cowboy.
  • Bare Escentuals Ready Eyeshadows ($20 for duo, $30 for quad) caught me off guard, because I really didn’t think they’d be out of this world, but they’re really, really good. Some of my favorite duos are The Scenic Route and The Escape, and some of my favorite quads are The Elements and The Truth.
  • MAC Pigments ($20) are still one of my favorite products for really revving up a look. Some of the permanent shades I love are Pink Opal, Melon, and Teal.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22) come in neutrals as well as bright pops of color, and they’re a cream product that really locks down once it sets. I love the Aqua Creams best for eyes. I totally dig shades like #2, #5, #13, #15.
  • Illamasqua Pure Pigment ($24) may be pricey and they don’t come with a whole lot of product, for most consumers, it’ll take years to get through. The reason I like these is I feel like the range has a lot of complex, unique shades.
  • Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eyeshadow ($30) is a pricey but absolutely luxurious eyeshadow formula that’s built for layering. I love shades like Chameleon and Jade.
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense ($32) are so intense and have this interesting formula that wears well all day long and comes in some fun shades. I love #1, 2, 3, and 6 a lot!
  • Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palettes ($32) are good bang for your buck with top notch quality–love Dreamy the most.
  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow ($38) is my favorite eyeshadow formula, and I really wish they’d come out with more shades, but my favorites are Gypsy, Prism, and Lagoon.
  • Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette ($48) is still one of my favorite palettes that Urban Decay has launched, and it is something I reach for when I travel.

Mascaras

  • Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Mascara ($6.59) is my go-to for soft, natural-looking lashes with lots of volume.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara ($15) is a great all-over mascara; it thickens, lengthens, and volumizes.
  • Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara ($19) is fantastic for lengthening.
  • Hourglass Film Noir Mascara ($28) is inky black while lengthening and thickening well.

What are your must-have eye products that are permanent?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Totally Holiday, Totally Gift-Worthy and Under $50

This part of the holiday gift guide shares my favorite just-for-the-holidays palettes and kits over $30 but $50 or less–not over-the-top indulgent gifts but we’re getting there. If you missed it, I already posted the under $30 guide! :)

Eyes: Long-time readers know I’m a huge fan of Aqua Eyes, and the Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Eyes Collection ($36.00) contains five travel-sized (I’m guessing 0.02 to 0.03 oz.) and one full-size (0.04 oz.) eyeliner; for the price of two full-sized eyeliners, you’re getting six shades to try of a fantastic formula. Urban Decay also has two Eyeliner Sets ($32.00 each) that contain five travel-sized 24/7 Eyeliners; there is also a Shadow Pencil Stash ($34.00). At this price point, you can find some excellent palettes that came out just in time for the holidays, like Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00) and Bare Escentuals Ready 8.0 Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00).

Cheeks/Face: Too Faced In Your Dreams Makeup Collection ($39.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette that’s great for someone new to makeup; I like it because everything is presented in an easy-to-digest manner, and the colors coordinate with each other, so there is no guessing. Benefit Project Flawless ($32.00) is a cutely packaged set that contains a highlighter (Girl Meets Pearl), mascara, lipgloss (Foxy Lady), and blush (Bella Bamba). If that’s not quite to your taste, you could check out Romancing the Mirror ($39.00), which contains That Gal, Sugarbomb, and BADgal Lash.

Lips: I’ve been really digging Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lip Gloss Trio ($38.00); they’re fairly sheer, but they had so much dazzle and shine without feeling gritty–I’ve been reaching for these (because I need to do lip swatches for them!) to layer on top of other lipsticks. Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gloss to Go Set ($32.50) comes in a cute red faux leather zipper cylinder case with six holiday-appropriate glosses, and I like that it’s ready to give (there’s also a lipstick version).

Skin/Body: I love the way Estee Lauder set-up their skincare gift sets this year; they categorize them based on theme, like even skin tone or anti-wrinkle. Clinique has an excellent set for dry skin (Moisture Surge has saved my skin before!) called Total Moisture ($44.00). Consider giving a decadent, luxurious body cream in the form of this Laura Mercier Souffle Body Creme Sampler Set ($50.00 for 4×3 oz.).

Fragrance: Elegantly packaged, convenient to use, and full-sized, Tocca Beauty Rollerball Trio ($48.00 for 3×0.33 oz.) contains three different scents (Florence, Cleopatra, and Colette), which can be gifted as a set or easily broken up. Juicy Couture ($35.00 for 3×0.33 oz.) also has a trio of fragrance sprays of their signature scents. Fresh Sugar Obsessions Rollerball Trio ($35.00 for 3×0.34 oz.) contains popular Fresh scents, and if you have a foodie friend, this might be a good one for them. What’s really great about rollerballs is they’re easy to give, and they can be re-gifted, too–if you give your friend a kit, and they dislike one scent, it’s so easy for them to pass along to a friend/family member.

Do you have any suggestions for readers on the prowl for holiday gifts this year that came out just in time for holiday gift-giving?

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