Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

More of a Base than a BB Cream

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm ($34.00 for 1.18 oz.) is described as a “beauty balm that minimizes pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness instantly” plus “significantly firmer, more-lifted skin in eight weeks.” This is really not a tinted moisturizer, sheer foundation, or the like; the coverage is described as “translucent” once it dries down. Instead of tinting, it’s supposed to “[diffuse] light with high-tech pigments.”

Muse has an excellent write-up for this, and the best takeaway from her review is, “Put aside what you know about traditional Asian BB Creams because this is not a BB Cream formula that would be comparable to those.” She is my personal go-to for all things BB Cream, because she’s tried them extensively (and not just what we see in the states as marketed as BB Creams!).

Straight out of the tube, it looks like a light-medium peachy-beige; definitely warm-toned, and almost orange-y. Blended out, it matched my forearm (about NC20), and when I applied it to my face, matched me there–well, more like you couldn’t really see it. It kind of looks, feels, and acts more like a primer than anything else when I used it. The way it looks is my skin just a little better–yes, everything is just a bit softened overall. There’s no real coverage, so any redness, spots, and the like doesn’t really get evened out or covered, but otherwise, it definitely minimizes the look of “pores, lines, [and] wrinkles,” just as described (but misses on redness, at least for me). I can’t weigh in re: “firmer, more-lifted skin,” since I haven’t used it for eight weeks and won’t be doing so.

The texture is lightweight, creamy, and thin (but not runny). It didn’t feel tacky on the skin, and it was easy to blend, but I found it spread best in small areas, rather than in larger areas, because it dried down quickly. I did feel like I needed to apply a fair amount to cover my entire face in the product, not because I was trying to achieve coverage (as in covering up my skin), but as a result of the quick-to-dry texture that just wouldn’t really spread from say, forehead to nose or chin. It is also mint-scented; I didn’t notice it when I wore it, but when I swatched it on my arm, and then put my nose to my arm, I could definitely smell it–so depending on how sensitive you are to scents, you may or may not notice it.

If you have good skin naturally, it might be worth checking out if you’re looking to diffuse the look of lines and pores. On its own, the diffusing effect seemed to last for six to seven hours.  It feels and acts a bit like a primer, but when I wore it as a primer, it didn’t extend the wear of my foundation/blush, and I felt like it made blending my foundation on top of it more difficult (not by a lot, just noticeably a different application experience). On my end, because my biggest skin concern is evening out my skin tone (and if I’m going to wear a face product, I want a little coverage otherwise I’ll just go bare-faced), I haven’t found a way that I’d personally incorporate it into my routine.

See more photos & swatches!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $34.00.

Is it limited edition?

No.

What makeup are you wearing?

On eyes: Urban Decay Ammo Palette (left: Maui Wowie, Mildew, Shattered, Oil Slick, Sin; left: Polyester Bride, Chopper, Last Call, Smog, Sin), bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara. On lips: Urban Decay Obsessed Lip Junkie.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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54 thoughts on “Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Kira

    Hm! Looks weird… I was thinking to buy it, but after yours review I would not

  2. Frou

    hi christine, quick question: how come for some of the last few urban decay products (this bb cream, the flushed palette), you haven’t been including “glossover” ratings like you usually do? you have for the revamped ammo palette and the new lipglosses, so why not these products?

    • The Naked Flushed Palette has a Glossover – it received a C+ and has final thoughts and a breakout of the score. For skincare, primers, hair care, etc. I generally don’t do a Glossover, because it doesn’t make sense (no pigmentation).

  3. This is the only colour it comes in? I don’t see how on earth it’s going to look good on darker skins. I think I’ll just stick to my Nars tinted moisturizer.

  4. Dana

    It’s way too orange tinted for me. Hopefully they’ll come out with more shades.

  5. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I got a sample of the Tarte BB cream last week and I am so impressed with it that I’ll be buying it once I get close to using up my Marcelle BB cream (the Sephora near me hadn’t even received the actual product yet…only the samples!)

  6. I tried this out at Sephora, and I felt like I couldn’t see it on my skin at all – no color, no diffusion effect – just nothing. Quite disappointing!

  7. Avatar of Katie Katie

    great review!

  8. Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

    Great post Christine. I go to the Muse for all things BB as well, she has definitely got their number! I have been dissappointed with American and European claims to BB cream. The Dior adjusting one adjusted me Snooki orange, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Too Faced did the same. As did Boscia. So many make zero difference or make a negative contribution. The only BB I will use is Dr. Jart, and I swear by it. I have totally lost faith in any non Asian BB being even marginally effective and I won’t bother with them anymore.

    • Beck

      Oh my gosh the Dior BB and the Boscia…we’re awful literally scary orange!! I was shocked at how terrile they were.i got deluxe sizes in both and was super disappointed. and the Boscia had Silver sparkles. Looked like a thick children’s orange paint with silver glitter.

  9. Avatar of Gina Gina

    I wish a brand in the US would actually come out with a REAL BB cream, like the ones in Asia, with a good range of colors. All of the American/UK ones just look like tinted moisturizers or primers. Which is fine, I love tinted moisturizers, but I wish they’d just call them tinted moisturizers, rather than calling them something they’re not to make money off of the BB cream craze.

  10. Avatar of Susan Susan Nevling

    Off subject but don’t know where to ask. I see women describing their coloring with 2 letters and a number such as NC 20. Where do those numbers come from and what do they mean?

    • From MAC foundation – which is primarily a system that is NW## or NC##!

    • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

      To expand on Christine’s comment, the NW/NC refer to the undertone (warm/cool), while the number is the degree of color depth. (i.e. 10/15 is fair, while 40/50 would be for darker skin tones)

      • To expand on Veronica’s comment (LOL) NW/NC (warm/cool). Take not that MAC’s definition of “warm” and “cool” are opposite from most cosmetic companies:

        In MAC foundations warm tones are more pink, cool tones are more yellow. This is opposite from about every other brand on the market.

  11. Avatar of Lauren Lauren

    I got a sample of this with an order and I could barely tell the difference with it on. I like more coverage. I get more coverage with my Tarte Tinted Moisturizer and even more than that with my Smashbox BB cream.

  12. Danii

    This stuff just will not work for fairer skin tones, myself included. I got a sample and I blended a tiny bit on the back of my hand. Yikes! Totally orange. :| Aside from that, Christine, I seriously didn’t notice you had two different eye looks on till I looked at the “What Makeup Are You Wearing” section and then really looked at your eyes! Big fail on my part haha.

    • I put it on Shaun’s forearm (which is around NC15) and it seemed to blend in about 90% – we couldn’t REALLY tell if it was tinted orange or if it was fully blended it.

      Sorry to hear it went totally orange on you, Danii! :( I was worried it might do so on really fair skin tones!

    • Avatar of Megan Megan

      I literally just put this on my face (a friend let me have a sample) and I thought the same thing… there is NO WAY this was going to blend in on my lighter than NC15 skin. Surprisingly though? I’m not orange. I can’t say I can really see a difference with the BB cream on (maybe a little bit of diffusion? No coverage over problem areas though), but it blended in surprisingly well on my face. On my hand, it did look a little orange but I can’t tell it on my face. Very weird!

  13. Evelyn

    Wow, you have incredible skin. Even the before picture is totally enviable.

  14. I think it could work for me. My skin doesn’t look too bad, and diffusing pores and lines sounds good to me. But I already own 2 products that do the same thing: Stila One Step Corrector (which also helps with redness) and Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch.

  15. vane

    What about the glossover?

    • I’m not doing Glossovers for skincare, hair care, primers, etc. It doesn’t make sense given the grading criteria – there’s no pigmentation to it – doesn’t make sense to grade it like it does!

  16. Avatar of AnnaLiese EvilStepQueen

    In the shadows of your face, or low points, or whatever, it makes you look a little more orange-y than you normally look. I got a sample from my Sephora to give it a try, but I think I’m going to feel the same way about it. Looked great on the back of my hand, but my face is a bit more fair.

  17. It looks just a bit too peachy for my taste :/

  18. Avatar of Michelle MichelleChefNYC

    I didn’t understand the whole BB cream thing after trying the offerings from US brands. They were like tinted moisturizers with less coverage and some possible benefits from added treatment ingredients (although looking at the labels, those ingredients were so far down it seemed unlikely to get results even with daily use). To me it felt like all these US brands were trying to capitalize on a trend, but without giving a product that really had much benefit unless you already had near perfect skin… then I tried a korean brand BB cream and understood why people would want to use these products. It offered decent coverage, a beautiful finish and stayed in place all day. All I needed was a little concealer with it and it was perfect (although finding a perfect color match has been hard at times). I think it was a real revelation for me and has since become my daily face product, but I don’t think the US brands have quite gotten it yet, and with every brand popping out one of these “BB” creams, I think there is massive room for improvement.

  19. Avatar of Megan Megan

    For that price I could order 3 of my Korean BB Creams from California. So far ZERO brands sold here have nailed a BB Cream. No thanks! I’ll keep the one I have.

  20. GK

    I wasn’t impressed by this at all. The color put me off, even though its supposed to disappear. The scent was overpowering, I continued to smell it through the day. My makeup didn’t go on smoother or last longer. This is a complete miss. I much prefer their original primer.

  21. I was curious about this product! I agree that Muse has great reviews on things like this…I’m still waiting for actual BB creams in shades dark enough for ladies with my skin tone : )

    • Avatar of Amy xamyx

      Shiseido is introducing one in two shades, Medium & Deep. NARS Pure Radiant TM also comes pretty deep, as well (although not a “true” BB cream, it’s more than the average TM).

    • td

      Sleek Makeup does a “BB Cream” for darker skin tone. Actually, it’s quite nice.

  22. This stuff just doesn’t work for me at all, unfortunately. I had a couple samples of it and I tried it multiple times, and it just never seemed to work. I am extremely pale (about an NW15, but really, I’m a little paler than that), and this never blended into my skin. I always looked orange, and because I wear sheerer foundations, the orange always peeked through.

    Too bad, too, because I do really like everything else about it. :\

  23. Safyre

    This is a just a wee bit off-topic and I apologize. I don’t remember her username unfortunately, but I recall watching a Youtuber explain the difference between the Asian BB creams and the US ones. It pretty much came down to the fact that the Asian market BB creams are more of a skincare item with a tint added. They’re almost meant to be used under a foundation if the tone or coverage doesn’t match. The ones on the US market though, are more of a tinted moisturizer with skincare as an afterthought. Hence why they feel and wear so differently. I’ve tried both and while I really want to love a US based one… I can’t. The new Tarte BB primer things are the closest thing I’ve ever come to liking one on the US market. I’m really biased though because the Skin79 VIP Gold made my face feel like a baby’s bottom and nothing has ever made it feel that way again. I guess that’s a tough criteria to beat though “must make face feel like baby’s bottom” *shrug*

  24. I wasn’t sure about this product but after receiving a sample with an Urban Decay order I placed a few weeks ago I can honestly say I am in love with this product! It doesn’t give me coverage but it seems to smooth out the look and feel of my skin and it’s an excellent primer before I put on my foundation (currently using and loving Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in 4.5). It seems to make it last longer and control oil on my forehead and chin area (FYI I have normal to dry skin but I do get a bit oily on my forehead). I ordered a full size of this because I have definitely fallen for it!

  25. Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

    Not for me :) I want more coverage, and I’m so fair I’m afraid this would turn me orange after reading other comments here. I’ll stick to my Bobbi Brown BB cream (it’s not quite a BB cream but it’s more than a tintd moisturizer).

  26. San

    Christine,
    After reading some other beauty blogs, I have to commend you and give you virtual hugs for the excellent grammar and spelling on temptalia. It makes it so much easier to read your blog.

  27. Great review! I got a sample of this with a recent Sephora order, this reminds me to try it out. Maybe this would work like a tinted moisturizer for me.. I usually will put mineral foundation over TM for more coverage. This sort of product isn’t something I’d really seek out on my own, but for someone who doesn’t want to wear foundation but wants a bit of coverage, maybe it’d work well

  28. I think this would be an excellent base to layer mineral foundation over :)

  29. Elena

    I love this beauty balm. I use it as a primer, it does reduce the pores for me..and takes a bit of the redness away. I wear it underneath the naked foundation 7.5 and this is the best part for me. I have oily skin and I get oily through out the day, this beauty balm is a holy grail for me. It controls the oil all day long for me. I do get a bit oily but nothing like before I starting using it. Towards the evening time is when I got the most oily and I just don’t anymore. My bf always commented on how oily I am..he has not said that to me in about 2 weeks now. Now what it feels like to have normal skin!! I hope they never stop making this I have tried so many products to control the oil and nothing ever worked for me. I love UD!!!!

  30. JennJam

    Hi Christine,

    I hate to divert from the UD BB topic, but – - I am *loving* your right eye makeup look, here – - it’s gorgeous!!

    Would you mind sharing the products used there, when you have a minute? Thanks so much! :)

    • WHAT MAKEUP ARE YOU WEARING?
      On eyes: Urban Decay Ammo Palette (left: Maui Wowie, Mildew, Shattered, Oil Slick, Sin; left: Polyester Bride, Chopper, Last Call, Smog, Sin), bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara. On lips: Urban Decay Obsessed Lip Junkie.

  31. Tas

    I find it’s a great primer but some of their other claims are a bit ropey. The first is on the front of the bottle “DNA repair”. A cream cannot ‘repair’ your DNA and who’s to say it needs repairing. The other claims may take time to assess fully but this one is ludicrous.

  32. Avatar of Stephanie n8ivebeauT

    I got the idea from MAKE UP ARTIST Kandee Johnson to use it as a primer since it has the same ingridients as a primer with a few extra’s. It should be on her most recent foundation routine video on YouTube. OMG!!! This worked wonders and made my make up look beautiful and gave it that lasting power that I’ve been looking for. For reference I have very oily skin, redness, a ton of sun/age spots that I’m very conscious about and used just about every drug store and high end primer (yes, even the pricey Hourglass one) and this one just made my jaw drop. I do have an Asian BB cream and it does give coverage so I do agree with what everyone else is commenting about American ones and can’t say this should be classified as one.

  33. marley

    Hey! Do you have a review up of the Naked Skin FOundation? I tried to use the foundation matrix to work out my colour, but I still wasnt sure, I wear NC25 and i have slightly yellow, undertones, what color in the NSkin foundation would you reccomened. I was thinking around 3.0-4.0? What do you think?

    Thanks! Everytime i go to buy a product I alway check you page for reviews) Especially shopping in Australia, because everything is twice-triple the price)

  34. I totally agree with you! It feels nice, but there is no coverage! Even just a smidge more coverage and I would love it.