Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette ($49.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes ten eyeshadows: Kinky (soft ivory peach with a matte finish), Freestyle (light pantyhose nude with matte finish), Mushroom (warm grey with shimmery finish), Back Door (true dark brown with matte finish), Blackout (blackest black with matte finish), Barlust (dark golden brown with metallic finish), Rockstar (deep aubergine with shimmery finish), Evidence (deep navy blue with shimmery finish), Loaded (deep emerald shimmer with metallic base), and Asphalt (deep gunmetal with silver micro glitter and metallic base); one eyeliner in Perversion (blackest black); and a mini Primer Potion (in Original).
Freestyle is a light-medium brownish peach with a matte finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a little powdery. This is a new and exclusive shade to this palette. Bare Escentuals Stealth is more orange and shimmery. Inglot #341 is darker and a little pink.
Mushroom is a gray-brown–it’s a very intense taupe. It had good color payoff, and a really soft, dense texture. This is part of the permanent range. MAC Keep Your Cool is more muted. Chanel Illusoire is less brown.
Blackout is an intense, deep dark black with a matte finish. It has good color payoff and doesn’t have any powderiness. This is part of the permanent range. Milani Pitch Black is slightly softer. Sugarpill Bulletproof is comparable.
Rockstar is a dark, smoky purple with subtle red undertones. It has a very buttery and smooth texture with great color payoff. This is part of the permanent range. MAC Indian Ink is almost like a matte version, though it is a little darker. Lancome Zip Me Up is a bit lighter. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac is a touch lighter.
Loaded is a blackened green-teal. It goes on very, very dark–you will lose some of the strength of the overall green/teal if you blend it out, but it doesn’t look full-on black. This is part of the permanent range. Bare Escentuals Max Volume is a bit lighter and greener. OCC Poison is greener. theBalm Jealous Jordana is less intense, slightly greener.
Overall, it’s a good palette; the best performing shades were Mushroom, Barlust, Rockstar, and Loaded. The “worst” (which weren’t bad!) performing shades were Evidence and Asphalt, which were both a little dry. Kinky and Freestyle were a marginally powdery but applied well and had good color payoff, despite being lighter in hue, which was impressive. Three of top Urban Decay eyeshadows are in the palette, too (Mushroom, Rockstar, and Loaded) along with the lovely rich black Perversion eyeliner. I tried a few different combinations (none of which I ended up liking, but for testing purposes, still worked), and I averaged around eight hours of wear with minimal fading but no creasing over bare lids. With a primer, the wear was perfectly intact after eight hours of wear.
One thing I disliked about the palette was the composition. This has no impact on the rating at all, because it’s very subjective and doesn’t affect the quality of the product. Like The Black Palette, it has lots of dark, smoky colors–totally appropriate for the palette–but it seems like this is a palette you’d tote around with you, as if it was an all-in-one palette for great smoky looks. There are too many dark shades to build more diverse looks. I would have loved to have seen one or two more shades (perhaps something cool-toned–maybe a silver, silver-blue–hey, Strip would have been a great addition to the palette).
Kinky and Freestyle are the lighter shades in the palette, but it’s missing a genuinely cool-toned one, and perhaps one with some shimmer/satin in it, rather than matte. I tried layering Kinky over a few shades, but it seemed to make more of a mess than lightened the underlying color. Freestyle read a bit too warm against most of the colors when I tried playing with it. If you want a one-and-done palette, maybe this isn’t it. If you want lots of Urban Decay eyeshadows, it could be a great choice.
Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz. (compared to 0.05 oz.), which means the palette contains $108 in eyeshadow, plus a full-sized eyeliner, which normally retails for $19, and then a small primer potion containing 0.13 fl. oz., which is worth $7. The palette contains $134 worth of products for the $49 price tag. It’s still a great deal–it’s just not as good as previous palettes, such as Naked and Naked 2, which both contained 12 full-sized (as in 0.05 oz. each, so 0.60 oz. worth of eyeshadow–double this palette) eyeshadows, plus two comparable extras (brush and primer).
Honestly, I don’t mind that the eyeshadows aren’t full-sized; it’s hard to get through a full-sized eyeshadow, especially some of the darker shades, of which there are plenty of in this palette, but at this price tag, it’s a little tougher to swallow, given that they’ve done much more value-packed palettes. It’s something to pay attention to in case this a trend of things to come, but the palette on its own is still a good value and well worth the price tag–assuming you want more than 3 shades!
If you want a one-and-done palette, maybe this isn't it. If you want lots of Urban Decay eyeshadows, it could be a great choice. The palette on its own is still a good value (but not as good as palettes have been in the past) and well worth the price tag--assuming you want more than 3 shades!
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
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Where there’s smoke…there’s fire! The most-sought after look across the globe is the illustrious, elusive smoky eye. Whether you’re an old pro, or a smoky novice, Urban Decay’s Smoked Eyeshadow Palette makes sultry eyes not just possible, but easily doable for everyone! Look smokin’ hot, red carpet and paparazzi ready, using your own mad skillz’! Smoked is packed with everything needed to smoke out like a pro.
Asphalt Deep gunmetal with silver micro glitter and metallic base
Backdoor True dark brown with matte finish
Barlust Dark golden brown with metallic finish
Blackout Blackest black with matte finish
Evidence Deep navy blue with shimmery finish
Freestyle Light pantyhose nude with matte finish
Kinky Soft ivory peach with matte finish
Loaded Deep emerald shimmer with metallic base
Mushroom Warm grey with shimmery finish
Rockstar Deep aubergine with shimmery finish
Perversion 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Primer Potion (Original)
Naked Skin Liquid Foundation ($38.00)
It feels like wearing nothing at all, yet Naked Skin transforms complexions. Skin looks natural, illuminated and bright: like the beautiful skin you were born with. Weightless and virtually invisible, this revolutionary, paraben-free formula creates a flawless, demi-matte finish; light-diffusing spheres make you look professionally retouched. It’s the ultimate in ultra definition. With a broad, universal range of 18 meticulously calibrated shades, Naked Skin is a buildable liquid foundation that provides medium to full coverage with an unrivaled, weightless texture. It feels different as soon as you touch it.
Naked Skin’s revolutionary, oil-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free formula diffuses light, blurring fine lines and wrinkles. Ultra-forgiving, the weightless, never-before-seen texture allows you to apply more wherever you need extra complexion perfection. No matter how much or how little you build, your skin is left neither matte nor dewy, but with a totally natural, luminous finish.
For the ultimate in ease of color matching, Naked Skin shades are numbered. Shades ending in .5 are more neutral/cool in tone, while shades ending in .0 are more golden/warm in tone.
Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush ($24.00)
Longing to have perfect skin like celebs Michelle Williams, Thandie Newton, or Ziyi Zhang? You’d be surprised how far a little good karma can get you! Blur the lines of reality (and your foundation) like a pro, one stroke and circular buff at a time, with the Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush by Urban Decay. Specially designed to use with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, the Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush smoothes away lines and imperfections with either liquid or powder foundations. Unlike sponges or a typical thin, flat foundation brush, the round, densely-packed strands of the Optical Blurring Brush distribute makeup evenly.
Buffing skin into a flawless, soft-focus finish, the Optical Blurring Brush creates the look of complexion perfection by diminishing fine lines, pores, and other areas makeup tends to settle in. Like the rest of the Good Karma Brush collection, the super-soft synthetic brush hair of the Optical Blurring Brush is made from recycled PET bottles, while its sleek gunmetal handle is fashioned from recycled aluminum.
Availability: July 9th, 2012 for Smoked Palette; July 24th, 2012 for brush and Naked foundation @ Urban Decay
After careful consideration of many issues, we have decided not to start selling Urban Decay products in China. While several factors were important in reaching this decision, ultimately we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our core principles. We know there are many progressive consumers in China who would embrace an opportunity to purchase non-animal tested products – our hope remains that we have the chance to offer Urban Decay products to these consumers someday in the future.
Following our initial announcement, we realized that we needed to step back, carefully review our original plan, and talk to a number of individuals and organizations that were interested in our decision. We regret that we were unable to respond immediately to many of the questions we received, and appreciate the patience our customers have shown as we worked through this difficult issue.
Since our founding in 1996, we have been committed to ending animal testing in the cosmetics industry. As demonstrated by the renewed support we have received from organizations like PETA and the CCIC, this principle remains at our core. Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf, and we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals. Urban Decay is proud to be100% cruelty-free.
This is one of my favorite colors to wear! As someone with a warmer undertone, this type of color is flattering–it brightens, warms up, and looks (fairly) natural on. I can do a quick sweep on the lid, or I can incorporate it with other shades like golds, oranges, reds, and purples.
Urban Decay reached out to me yesterday, shortly after I published the press release, and said that they were happy to take any questions I might have. On behalf of readers, I took the opportunity to ask several, and I also included a couple asked by Twitter followers. I’m still waiting on the answer to another question (and they’re working on it), but here are their answers to the questions I had and a reader question:
What has Urban Decay done in the past to proactively change the way animal testing is done or perceived in the US? Have measures been taken beyond being a cruelty-free brand? Does UD fund alternative testing research?
Urban Decay has been a cruelty-free band since our inception in 1996 and was one of the first few brands to adopt the Leaping Bunny Logo. We created our “How Could Anyone” campaign to raise awareness about animal testing in cosmetics. Bracelets with our “vegan paw-print” and “How Could Anyone” statement were sold at all retailers to benefit the Humane Society of the United States. We do not work with any manufacturers that conduct animal testing. We work regularly with organizations such as PETA and the HSUS to raise awareness and funds for alternative research.
We have turned down several opportunities to participate in high profile fashion shows and designer collaborations that use or promote fur. Despite that fact that many cruelty-free brands sell brushes made with animal hair, we only manufacture our brushes with synthetic fibers. We do not make donations to organizations that conduct or condone animal testing. We are the first brand ever to create a vegan shopping section on our website to cater to our vegan fans. We have made, and continue to make, monetary donations to further research into alternative testing.
How does Urban Decay intend to change the mind of Chinese government regarding animal testing and women’s rights?
We will continue to seek out alternative methods for testing and creating a demand for them in the industry, as well as influence the community to request this of their government. By creating new jobs for women and putting them into positions of importance, we hope to influence the community and our consumers via education and brand messaging.
How does injecting money into a country that has historically been difficult to persuade put either Urban Decay in a position of power or China in a position to listen? When major business and brands, both within and outside the cosmetic industry, can’t create impactful change in the country, how does Urban Decay intend to do so?
We are working with cruelty-free organizations on the ground in China to focus our efforts and make sure we are making the most impact. We consulted with the Feminist Majority Foundation and learned from them that giving Chinese women professional opportunities is an important step in creating cultural change. As we gain an understanding of the market, we plan to develop creative solutions to drive awareness about these issues.
With Urban Decay’s home country still requiring and allowing animal testing, why is the push into China so vital – particularly when UD has stated that they don’t even plan to make money for quite a while and the market isn’t quite ready for the brand? Did UD consider participating in the dialogue as a potential market entrant, thereby still holding onto all of the potential dollars and business to bring into the country?
While me may not be out of the woods yet as far as eradicating animal testing in the US, there are approved alternative methods approved and available for use here. We are implementing additional efforts in China where immediate change is necessary to provide alternatives in order to continue our fight to end animal testing.
How is UD planning on enacting the changes? Will the brand hire experts in Chinese culture to make an education plan? (Asked by Phyrra)
UD is working on developing a team based in China who will drive our education program and media outreach. They will train and educate our employees who will then pass our message on to the consumer, thereby raising awareness of the issue. We also plan to support via marketing and social media as we have successfully done here in the US.
Comments are now closed. Readers are disrespecting each other and their beliefs.
Urban Decay is going to sell our products in China. Because of China’s policies on animal testing, we know that this will not be a popular decision with some of our loyal customers. But the decision is a thoughtful one.
For 16 years, we have been committed to two key causes: women’s rights, and the fight against animal testing. Our dedication to those causes will not waver.
For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens. The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products. So, our brand does not test on animals, but the Chinese government might conduct a one-time test using our products. Do we like China’s policies? No…and that is really the point. Going into China was a huge decision for Urban Decay. But, we believe that change cannot and will not happen by outside pressure alone in a closed market. Change can only happen from within. When we enter the Chinese market, we will do our part to help make those changes.
When we were considering expanding into China, a group of marketing consultants told us to remove the section of our company history that describes our crusade against animal testing. “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer,” they said. Of course, we refused. Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one. The news that animal issues don’t even register with the average Chinese consumer was one of the biggest factors in our decision to go there. During Urban Decay’s infancy, we worked hard to inform consumers about animal rights in the United States and Europe. The battleground for animal rights is now in China, and we want to be there to encourage dialogue and provoke change.
We also hope to shed some light on women’s rights issues in China. As a company that caters to a female customer, this is extremely important to us. For one thing, going into China is a way for us to advance women into important professional positions. We will help grow the cosmetics industry, which primarily employs and creates career paths for women. Although workers’ employment rights are a relatively new concept there, progress has been made partially because of pressure from businesses, consumers, and advocacy groups from other countries. Based on this, our belief is that both an outside force and inside pressure for change can result in helping transform both the importance of women and animal testing policies in China. And more importantly, we hope to influence the perspective of the citizens on both of these issues.
If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change. We want to encourage a culture of consumers who care enough to buy cruelty-free products, and who view professional women as role models who influence their lives on a daily basis.
Yes, we are a for-profit company. And yes, we would eventually like to make money in China. But we don’t stand to turn a profit in China for quite a while, partially because the market isn’t quite ready to sustain an untraditional brand like ours. If it were only about the money, we would wait a few years. But our foray into this market is also about participating in an amazing time of change in China. We don’t like animal testing (and neither do the 13 dogs in our office), but we are trying to change the world… even if it is one eye shadow at a time! Sitting on the sidelines isn’t our style. We understand that you might not like our decision, but we hope you can respect it.
For any advocates or Urban Decay fans interested, Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir will host a live chat on urbandecay.com to answer questions about our entry into China.
Please keep comments respectful, thoughtful, and refrain insults, personal attacks, and the like. I know that this is an issue that is near and dear to many readers’ hearts, and sometimes passionate beliefs can inspire equally passionate, but sometimes hurtful, disrespectful, or disparaging responses. I ask that readers give each other the respect that each of us as human beings deserves.
Comments are now closed. Readers are disrespecting each other and their beliefs.