Which Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes are best?
Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes had a major moment in 2013, when just about every beauty YouTuber owned the brand’s Naked palette. And while the Naked palette was discontinued in 2018, Urban Decay still has a wide range of eyeshadow palettes for the makeup enthusiast.
Makeup artists and influencers have long sung their praises, and the brand offers nine palettes today.
If you’re looking for an everyday-wear Urban Decay palette that’ll last a long time, the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette is the top choice.
What is Urban Decay makeup?
Urban Decay is a high-end American cosmetics brand founded in 1996. Many of its products can be found at familiar retailers such as Macy’s, Sephora and Ulta Beauty.
It’s best known for its popular Naked Collection, which over the years has culminated in the production of 12 makeup palettes.
What to know before you buy an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette
Everyday vs. special makeup look
Urban Decay makes a variety of eyeshadow palettes and each serves a slightly different function. If you want an eyeshadow palette you can use and wear every day, choose one that includes a light or highlight tone, a medium tone such as a warm brown, and a darker color to apply to the eye’s crease.
If you’re looking for a palette for special makeup looks, choose one that features bright or dramatic colors.
Choose the palette that will give you the look you’re aiming for. Some Urban Decay palettes are better for a dramatic smoky eye while others are suitable for a rosy, neutral look and everything in between.
Consider eye color
Different eyeshadow shades will make different eye colors pop.
- Brown eyes: Cool-toned gray, green, gold, purple
- Green eyes: Purple, plum, bronze, copper, silver, charcoal
- Blue eyes: Copper, gold, pink, blue, black, brown
- Hazel eyes: Fuschia, pink, gold, purple, green, copper
Consider skin tone
Certain hues of eyeshadow can complement your skin tone.
- Fair skin tones: taupe, rose gold, champagne
- Medium skin tones: bronze, copper, honey, gold
- Olive skin tones: royal blue, emerald green, plum, orange
- Dark skin tones: bright blue, metallic gold, shimmer, burgundy
Consider hair color
Depending on your hair color, consider an eyeshadow shade that can make your eye color stand out.
- Blonde hair: beige, peach, pink, rose
- Brown hair: warm brown, lavender, plum, violet, mocha
- Black hair: pink, purple, blue, brown, gray, black
- Red hair: copper, pink, taupe, blue-red, chocolate brown
What to look for in a quality Urban Decay eyeshadow palette
Range of color and tones
A quality eyeshadow palette should include a light color to be used as a brow bone highlighter and in the corner of the eye, a medium tone for the lip and a deeper tone for the crease.
Choose a palette with colors you can truly envision yourself wearing, as opposed to one that will sit unused because the colors aren’t suitable for everyday looks. Popular neutral colors for everyday use include tones of brown and beige.
An eyeshadow palette may look clean, colorful and vibrant, but that doesn’t mean the color will remain when swatched on the skin. A quality eyeshadow palette is fairly pigmented — the color is visible after a couple swipes of application, and the color matches how it’s presented on the palette’s packaging. It should show up well on the skin.
How much can you expect to spend on an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette?
Since Urban Decay is a high-end makeup brand, its eyeshadow palettes can be anywhere between $30-$55.
Urban Decay eyeshadow palette FAQ
Do Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes come with an eyeshadow brush?
A. A full Urban Decay eyeshadow palette (12 shades) usually comes with a two-sided makeup brush. Urban Decay Basics and Urban Decay Mini palettes usually don’t come with an eyeshadow brush.
Can I take an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette in my carry-on bag?
A. Yes. The palette does not need to be placed in a plastic bag or need to be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening as long as it’s 12 ounces (350 milliliters) or smaller.
Are Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes waterproof?
A. While the shadow will generally stay put for a full day, the eyeshadows are not waterproof.
Do Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes come with matte colors?
A. Each Urban Decay palette is different. Many come with matte colors, but check the product’s description before making a purchase.
What is the best Urban Decay eyeshadow palette to buy?
Top Urban Decay eyeshadow palette
What you need to know: Great for a natural eye makeup look, this six-shade palette compliments a wide array of skin tones.
What you’ll love: The product is cruelty-free and made without parabens, which can disrupt hormone function by acting like estrogen in the body.
What you should consider: Some reviews say the eyeshadow can flake onto the cheeks and under the eyes.
Where to buy: Sold at Sephora
Top Urban Decay eyeshadow palette for the money
What you need to know: Featuring rich, velvety colors, the palette has 12 tones ideal for a rosy, pink and red makeup look.
What you’ll love: The cruelty-free palette comes with a double-ended vegan eyeshadow brush.
What you should consider: While the shades are pretty, reviewers occasionally said the eyeshadows were easily cracked.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Using a pressed powder formula, the Naked Honey palette features honey-toned colors in matte, metallic and shimmer finishes.
What you’ll love: The cruelty-free product is made without parabens and comes with a double-ended eyeshadow brush.
What you should consider: There are more shimmer colors than matte colors, making it better for special-occasion looks.
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Audrey Nakagawa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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