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Talk about perfect timing! I've been meaning to review Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm for a while and when I learned that Urban Decay has just launched two new shades of the product to cover a wider range of skin tones, I know it's time to sit down and write a proper review on it in case you are (re)thinking of giving it a try!
The one that I have is in the original shade (formerly known as “universal shade”) which is now renamed to Naked Medium. The two new shades are Naked Light and Naked Dark.
From online swatches, Naked Light seems to have a slight pink tint to it that I think would be a good match for those who have fair complexion with pink undertones.
Naked Dark, on the other hand, is rather orange-y brown and would be suitable for those who have darker complexion with yellow undertones.
The original shade – the Naked Medium – is slightly darker than Naked Light and has a little bit of orange tint to it that would compliment medium complexion with yellow undertones.
The three shades come in the exact same packaging – a flattened, rosy copper-colored squeeze tube with a shiny chrome screw cap. There is a strong minty scent to the product (much like a toothpaste scent!) that I personally find pleasant and refreshing!
The Naked Skin Beauty Balm is a 5-in-1 product. It's supposed to:
perfect – by smoothing out complexion, blurring lines and wrinkles, and minimizing pores and redness
protect – against sun damage with broad spectrum SPF 20
treat – by providing anti-aging benefits as well as making the skin firmer (after 8 weeks)
prime – by acting as a smooth base for makeup application
hydrate – by keeping the skin moisturized
And if that's not enough for you, this product also claims to “inhibit/repair DNA damage“, too. Well, as a Molecular Biologist, I had to do a double take! :) I honestly highly doubt it but I am not here to lecture so I'm just going to move on and review the product on the basis of what it actually does on the surface of the skin. :)
We will start off with the consistency. It is thin, lightweight, and very liquidy! And this thing blends so effortlessly! I absolutely love the semi-matte finish it leaves on my face. It mattifies the shiny areas as well as smoothing down the dry, flaky patches without making them more noticeable.
It has a very, very sheer coverage, though. Despite the claims, it doesn't do anything to conceal the redness around my nose and on my acne scars, even after some layering. You will definitely need a little concealer help (or foundation), to completely cover the problem areas.
The formula looks scarily orange coming out of the tube, too, but for some strange reason, it blends right into my skin! I wouldn't say it is the perfect match for me, though, but it seems to add a little bit of “warmth” to my face. What I love most about this Beauty Balm is, in spite of sheer texture, it does surprisingly well at smoothing out my complexion! The small imperfections seem to get blurred out and generally softened and the appearance of pores and fine lines is visibly minimized. Whatever the “light-diffusing spheres” they put in it, it sure does work! :)
The difference between Before and After is certainly not drastic and you may be left wondering if it does anything at all under a certain lighting, but for me, there definitely is a slight improvement (as you will see in the Before and After photo below). My skin just looks better with it on and what's interesting is, I don't look like I am wearing any makeup at all. My skin looks so natural. It still looks like, well, my skin, only a better version of it.
I find it to be a good base for my foundation as well. It makes the application go on easier and smoother. And while this isn't something it claims to do, I find it to keep my oil under control, too. It is long-lasting as my makeup still looks pretty much the same as when I apply it in the morning. So another thumbs up from me for the staying power!
I feel like this Beauty Balm doesn't really fit anywhere in the makeup category. It certainly is not a BB cream, a primer, or a tinted moisturizer. In my opinion, it is a little bit of everything. It has sheer coverage like a tinted moisturizer, thin texture like a primer, and added anti-aging benefits and sunscreen like a BB cream. It's either they really didn't know what they were formulating or they knew exactly what they were doing! :D
All in all, if you are looking for a product with good coverage that will conceal everything, this will not be it. If you are looking for something easy to use on a lazy day, or if you have naturally good skin and just want to smooth it out a bit, then this may be a good option. I wouldn't rely on it as a sole source of sunscreen, though, as SPF 20 is still pretty low in my opinion. I'd supplement with a stronger SPF for daily usage. If you are still unsure about it, I suggest trying the travel size (for only US$14)!
What's your experience with it? Does it work for you? Share with me your thoughts. :)