Which Urban Decay palette is best?
Urban Decay boasts a diverse range of cosmetics, and its eye shadow palettes remain among its best-selling, most-loved products. With unique color stories that run the gamut of subdued neutrals to ultra-bold glitter shades, Urban Decay never ceases to impress.
Urban Decay offers over a dozen palettes, ranging from limited-edition sets to its signature Naked collection. Urban Decay Born to Run Eye Shadow Palette tops our shortlist for its well-rounded collection of travel-inspired shades.
What to know before you buy an Urban Decay palette
Types of Urban Decay palettes
Urban Decay is best known for its original Naked eye shadow palette. These palettes are available in two sizes, either six-shade mini palettes, or full-size palettes featuring 12 shades. Urban Decay occasionally produces other types of mini palettes with newer shades. Limited-edition palettes feature color stories inspired by art, fashion eras or famous musicians like Prince. These palettes typically feature ornate packaging as well.
How to apply Urban Decay eye shadow
Urban Decay eye shadow is high-pigment and can be worn on the eyelid without additional makeup products. However, to get the most color payoff and longest wear time, consider investing in a few key skin care and makeup products.
- Eye cream, including those with hyaluronic acid or collagen, soften skin and create a smooth base for better application.
- Eye shadow primer or base holds onto color and may prolong the shadow’s weartime dramatically.
- Once a shadow look is fully applied, close your eyes and spritz a light mist of setting spray across your face to lock in the look.
- Because Urban Decay shadows are high-pigment and long-wearing, you’ll need to use waterproof makeup remover to take it off.
What to look for in a quality Urban Decay palette
All Urban Decay eye shadow palettes have powder formulas. These shadows have smooth, velvety textures that are easy to blend, layer and build. Besides high-quality texture, the shadows have a lightweight, barely-there feel. Urban Decay eye shadow is also cruelty-free and vegan, and most collections are free of harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
Urban Decay’s Naked palettes have iconic compact designs that feature full-length mirrors, rectangular pans and decorative lids that feature their color stories. As for other types of palettes, Urban Decay has experimented with several compact styles, most of which have unique layouts. Unlike the Naked palettes, however, other palette styles often feature round or square pans.
Some Urban Decay palettes, including certain Naked mini palettes, feature only matte shades. However, others have a combination of finishes that may include shimmer, metallic or glitter shades. Generally speaking, the more pans the Urban Decay palette has, the more finishes it usually includes.
How much you can expect to spend on an Urban Decay palette
Urban Decay’s six-shade Naked palettes cost $29, whereas full-size versions with 12 shades cost $44-$54. Limited-edition Urban Decay palettes run $25-$55.
Urban Decay pallette FAQ
How long do Urban Decay palettes last before they expire?
A. Urban Decay eye shadow palettes have powder formulas, which means they’re expected to have a shelf life between two and three years before it’s time to replace them. To prolong shelf life, only use a makeup brush to pick up color, as opposed to your fingertips. Otherwise, you may introduce bacteria or dirt to the shadow, which in turn contaminate and deteriorate the shadow.
Does Urban Decay sell other types of palettes?
A. Besides eye shadow palettes, Urban Decay has begun offering blush palettes that include highlighter and bronzer. These palettes are popular among those who want to create layered, well-blended looks with colors that coordinate well with one another. Like Urban Decay shadows, these cheek shades are high-pigment and offer long wear times.
How often does Urban Decay release new palettes?
A. For the most part, the beauty brand releases at least one new palette annually. Some of these are brand-new palettes, like limited-editions, whereas others are extensions or newer varieties of the Naked palette collection.
What’s the best Urban Decay palette to buy?
Top Urban Decay palette
What you need to know: This 21-shade collection features a travel-themed color story that includes both neutral and unique shades.
What you’ll love: The palette features modern neutrals and jewel tones, all of which offer high color payoff. The shadow has a velvety texture that blends well, plus the formula is vegan and cruelty-free. The compact has a full-length mirror for on-the-go application.
What you should consider: There are mixed reviews regarding the compact’s construction quality, and the shades may be too bold for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Urban Decay palette for the money
What you need to know: Popular as an introductory palette, this six-shade matte set is ideal for creating classic day-to-night looks.
What you’ll love: The taupe-hued set of full-size shades complements all skin tones, from cool to olive to dark. It comes in a small compact that even fits in mini bags. The longwear shades live up to their name and last all day long.
What you should consider: Some buyers felt the shadows had chalky textures and shattered easily.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Bold and playful, this Urban Decay Naked palette is ideal for creating multi-dimensional looks.
What you’ll love: The set includes 12 neutral cherry-inspired shades that are universally flattering, and are especially popular among individuals with brown eyes. Their rich pigment photographs well. The compact includes a dual-tipped brush that is cruelty-free.
What you should consider: It’s a larger palette, so it’s not as travel-friendly as other options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.