Sunday, April 21, 2013

Battle of the Neutral Palettes

I had been working on a post to review the Naked 1 and Naked 2 Palettes from Urban Decay.  However, I was never able to complete the blog post because I just can't make up my mind which palette is better.  I realize I should review these palettes separately and judge them standing alone, but, in the back of my mind, I was determined to choose ONE neutral palette as a go to.  

My ideal neutral palette would have the following Essential Shadows (as I call it): a matte black eyeshadow, a matte warm brown eyeshadow for blending purposes, and a light colored matte (or very little shimmer) eyeshadow for purposes of highlighting.  Matte black and matte warm brown are essential for every look I create.  I use black to line my eyes, buff out my black eyeliner, and to define my outer crease.  I also use warm brown eye shadows to blend, blend, blend, and blend some more.  

I do NOT like using solely shimmery eyeshadows.  Shimmery shadows are very reflective of light and they tend to pronounce the signs of aging by drawing attention to wrinkles.  If the entire eye look consists of shimmery shadows, the colors tend to look like they blend together.  I prefer more of a contrast that requires the mixing of matte and shimmery shades.

Onto the Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes: both of these palettes have one or two of my Essential Shadows but not all.

Naked 1 - top swatch
  • Pro: has 2 blending shadows - Naked (3rd from left) and Buck (5th from left)
  • Con: does not have a matte black shadow.  Instead, has a shimmery black shadow, Creep (2nd from right)
  • Con: does not have a matte to minimally shimmery highlight shade.  Instead, has a VERY shimmery highlight shade, Virgin (far left)

Naked 2 - bottom swatch
  • Pro: has a matte black shadow, Blackout (far right)
  • Pro: has a matte highlight shade, Foxy (1st left)
  • Con: does not have a warm brown eyeshadow for purposes of blending.  Instead, it has a cool brown shade, Tease (5th from left).  Tease has a more taupe color to it.  This may not be a problem for some, but I prefer warm brown.  Based on my personal experience, warm browns are more universal for blending.
Let's say I was packing to go on vacation.  If I were forced to bring just the Naked 1 palette, I'd bring along a matte black shadow, such as Carbon from MAC, and skip highlighting.  If I were forced to bring Naked 2, I'd include a matte warm brown shadow such as Soft Brown from MAC.  

What to do??

Enter Lorac's Pro Palette:

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw: "Hello, Lover!"

This palette has ALL of my Essential Shadows: matte black (Black), matte warm brown (Taupe and Sable), matte highlighter (White and Cream), and minimally shimmery highlighter (Nude and Champagne).

What I also love is that the shadows are organized into two categories: matte on top and shimmery on bottom.  These colors are mostly neutral but if one desires more variety in color, there's Garnet, Deep Purple, and Slate to play with.  The shadows have great color pay off even though they can be a bit powdery.  

So, if I were to choose ONE neutral palette, I'd choose Lorac's Pro Palette.  At $42 for 16 shadows,  ~$2.63 per shadow, this is a great value palette compared to $50 for 12 colors in both Naked palettes making it ~$4.17 per shadow.

Which palette would you choose?

1 comment:

  1. Such an informative post which throughly breaks down the different palettes. Now I know which one I will be purchasing next. Love your blog <3 <3 <3