Urban Decay Naked, Naked 2, and Naked 3 Swatches and Suggestions

After the release of Urban Decay Naked 3 and my recent (and rapid) consideration and purchase of all three Urban Decay Naked palettes, I wanted to explain the differences and make a few suggestions.  There are some basic considerations for each palette and everyone has a personal preference for eyeshadows.  But if you are new to makeup or just new to the Naked line, it can be overwhelming to see 36 eyeshadows and narrow the choices to a single palette.

Going in consecutive order, I’ll begin with the original Naked palette.

Urban Decay Naked Palette featured Image

Of the three palettes, Naked is often thought of as the warmest because of the four middle shades.  However, the two deepest shades are rather cool and the six remaining colors are quite neutral.  Urban Decay describes this as a “bronze” palette and I fully agree as this is a rather general term for a variety of depths and hues.  Naked is also the most shimmery of the three palettes and its two darkest shades, Creep and Gunmetal, are the lighter than the deepest shades of Nakeds 2 and 3.

Urban Decay Naked Palette Swatches

Naked offers two matte shades – Naked (a mid-tone beige) and Buck (a very warm fawn).  Both work well as crease shades or to lay down prior to other shadows to assist with blending.  Virgin, the lightest shade of the group makes a fantastic highlight shade.  It is a satin formula that is fairly neutral with just a touch pink to create a subtle brightening effect to the eye area.

Next Urban Decay released Naked 2 with “taupe and greige shades.”

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

At first glance Naked 2 is much cooler than Naked.  But a closer look shows that the warm colors have simply been moved from the middle to the beginning of the palette.  And while there are more cool tones on the darker end, the middle remains neutral.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Swatches

Naked 2 boasts three mattes – Foxy (a pale yellow), Tease (a mauve-taupe), and Blackout (an intense black).  Bootycall is a satin that looks more pink in the pan and more neutral on very warm and olive skin.  Interestingly enough, Half Baked (the second shade in Naked 2) is a repeat from the original palette (where it was placed sixth).  While the inclusion of this shimmery gold is debatable, it does go to show how much darker Naked 2 gets.  This was my original purchase and I prefer it for my medium-tan complexion and my love of deeper eyeshadows.

And finally there is the newest and most controversial Naked 3.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette Eyeshadows

Clearly offering “rose-hued neutrals,” I find this to be Urban Decay’s attempt at cashing in on the rose-gold trend over the last few years.  And they did a great job at that.  Every single shade of this palette has a rose hue of some variety and I find the entire palette to be neither cool nor warm…even on my olive skin.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette Swatches

Again there are three mattes – Strange (a cream with the tiniest touch of pink), Limit (a pale mauve), and Nooner (a soft grey-plum).  The second shade, Dust, is a rather unfortunate formula that crumbles severely.  I can’t imagine wearing it over anything other than a cream eyeshadow and application would need to happen both very carefully and before applying face makeup.  The other 11 eyeshadows are a fabulous creamy texture.  Naked 3 is much like Naked in that they both offer four light, four medium, and four deep shades.  However, Naked 3 doesn’t get quite as deep as Naked 2 unless the last two shades (Darkside and Blackheart) are applied wet.

The most often asked question I’ve seen around the blogosphere is, “Which palette is best for my hair and eye color?”  Honestly?  Any one of them!  People see pink and automatically think of green eyes.  But I have found Naked 3 making my brown eyes pop and pinks work beautifully on blue eyes too.

Next everyone automatically thinks that warm palettes are for warm skin and cool palettes are for cool skin.  Not only have I already shown that Naked and Naked 2 are truly a mix of warm and cool, but any skin tone can wear warm or cool.  It’s actually a matter of what cheek and lip colors are paired with the eyeshadows.

Taking everything into consideration (and looking beyond the tones in each palette), I suggest to first look at the mattes…how much do you use matte eyeshadows?  For what purpose?  These vary the most from each palette and should give you the best idea of which way to go.  Then think depth…Do you prefer more medium and deep shades?  Try Naked 2.  If you like more light shades, check out Naked or Naked 3.  Finally consider highlight shades…Do you like a warm browbone color? Opt for Foxy in Naked 2.  Do you enjoy a satin pink?  Naked is for you.  And if you like a neutral matte, try Naked 3.

What are your own recommendations for choosing a Naked palette?  Do you have a favorite of the three and for what reasons?  Share below!

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  • http://www.jennysuemakeup.com/ JennySue Makeup

    I LOVE this post!! I’ve been really contemplating buying the Naked 3, but I have so many neutrals in my makeup arsenal, it’s hard to add another one! I am a big fan of the original Naked and use it practically everyday- at least one shade or another from it. Been really into the rosy colored neutrals though, so maybe I should just ask for one more Christmas present;)

    • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

      So glad you enjoy this one! There are so many misconceptions about who can wear what…I know you feel me on that. We are both believers in working any shade on any girl :) Naked 3 is incredibly unique and universally flattering. You’ll be hard pressed to find similar shades so while you don’t *need* it immediately, I highly suggest picking it up at some point. There is no way you will regret it!

  • http://www.glambunctious.com/ Kristen / Glambunctious

    You make Naked 3 look amazing! I really adore it on your olive skin. I still rank Naked 1 as my top pick. You’re definitely right as I don’t really wear super dark shadows very often (I even find the deepest black-brown in Naked Basics “Crave” too too much for me), I love the metallics, and I have nearly hit pan on Virgin (sounds strange, doesn’t it?). I also have used it so often I have a few set looks I default to when I don’t feel like getting bananas creatively and just need something that looks good and is easy. 7 of the 12 shadows are ones I can use blind folded and consider tight buds, whereas I’m only close with a handful from N2 (shout out to YDK!) and am still working out my feelings for N3 on me. Who knew I had this many thoughts about Naked palettes?! Thanks for a FANTASTIC post – this is a really unique and very useful entry. Much love, Ali-Rock! Merry Christmas! :)

    • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

      Naied 3 *is* amazing, lol. Oh gosh…poor Virgin! O.O You can totally work Naked 3, just hang in there :) Have you tried either of the combinations I’ve posted? I just *know* this palette will look incredible on you. Merry Christmas to you too, girl! P.S. I’m still planning to work on false eyelash and wedding related posts. I didn’t forget, just want to do it well! <3

  • http://thiskittenhasklaws.wordpress.com/ Catherine Dream

    This is a brilliant point made – I don’t think any of them is SPECIFICALLY and EXCLUSIVELY for any skin tone.

    I for one have a problem with mattes vs shimmers: right now, I only own a few eyeshadows and only use mattes, never considered shimmers. I wonder if they’ll be too ‘loud’ for me, for my everyday look…

    • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

      Start small in terms of finish. A satin finish or a slight shimmer rather than a sparkle or glitter. They really open up the eyes and can make everything look lifted and awake :)

      • http://thiskittenhasklaws.wordpress.com/ Catherine Dream

        Oooooh, ok!

        So a slight shimmer makes eyes look more rested and open? That is new information I shall consider : )))


        • http://10amBeauty.com/ Alison M

          Yes :D You can do it at the inner corners of your eyes or the entire mobile eye lid. Suspect from Naked 2 (the beige in the center) is a perfect “first-step” shade for this. Here are two looks I’ve done that demonstrate the difference… a matte eye: http://10ambeauty.com/looking-for-a-muse/ vs. a shimmer eye (which uses Naked 3): http://10ambeauty.com/gorgeous-summer-glow-and-the-return-of-naked-3/

          Happy playing, let me know if you find a shimmer you love!

          • http://thiskittenhasklaws.wordpress.com/ Catherine Dream

            Thank you for patiently introducing me to eyeshadow : ))) Really.

            I’m jumping to these two looks right now!

            And Naked 2 is actually the one I’m considering getting, so Suspect will be my first ; )

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