This summer Urban Decay welcomes another palette to the Naked family! Technically it's a Naked4 but the brand chose to name it Naked Smoky instead to reflect the smokey-hued eyeshadow colors inside. As contradicting as the name (Naked and Smoky) sounds, I think it kind of makes sense. I feel that the word “Naked” is now treated like a family name and any products created under it is like a given name, does that make sense? And that gives them endless possibilities to create more and more products under the Naked range. Will we ever see the end of it? I'm not so sure, although I'll continue to buy every Naked spin-off as long as they make it because I'm a collector. Another reason I think why the name makes sense is because in this palette, you have options to create subtle, naked look as well as full-on smokey and something in-between looks! A little note before we begin, throughout this review I'll use the word “smokey” instead of “smoky” unless I'm talking about the palette's name! (I don't know why, but I think smokey with the “e” just seems more correct? Am I alone in this?)
The whole package
To me, Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette has the most visually pleasing design of all the Naked palettes! The gunmetal-themed case has a sultry, smokey print and raised lettering on top of the lid making it look a lot more modern than previous versions. The palette is made of sturdy, hard plastic and closes with a secure magnetic closure. I really like that the lid opens 180° (and stays open) so you can choose the perfect angle you like during use. There is a palette-sized mirror inside as well as a dual-ended brush.
The instruction leaflet includes step-by-step guides to get you started on 4 different smokey looks: Iconic UD Smokey Eye, Smoky Reality Star, Smoky Cat, and Everyday Smoky. This comes in handy when you are not feeling very creative!
The dual-ended brush is made of synthetic bristles on both ends. The left end is a Smoky Smudger Brush and the other end is a Tapered Crease Brush. The hair feels nice on the skin, no prickly or scratchy feeling that I notice but it's a little too firm for my liking. I prefer using my own brushes that are softer and fluffier but this one is a nice brush to keep in the palette for emergency!
At a glance
The palette contains 12 eyeshadows that are grouped by finishes and hues. The first four are shimmery and mostly everyday lid and highlighting colors. The middle four are satin in deep, dark, smoky hues. The last four are matte and mainly transition and highlighting colors. The color arrangement allows you to create a shimmery, everyday eye look, or a sultry, dramatic smokey eye, or a lightly-sculpted look with ease. Or you can mix and match between zones to create additional effects!
I find most of the colors highly pigmented and easy to work with. The shimmery ones are as creamy and velvety as we expect from Urban Decay eyeshadows. The matte ones are soft and smooth without creating much fallout. The satin ones are not as soft and satiny as I'd like but they are still pleasant to use.
One thing you may notice right away upon swatching these shadows is that they are not as “wet” and buttery (and crumbly) as the previous Naked eyeshadows. They feel noticeably thinner, firmer, and harder-pressed in the pan and may I also add slightly drier. I don't know if this is intentional by the brand but the texture change seems to help reduce the amount of powder and glitter fallout considerably during application and wear.
But being drier also means these shadows take a little longer to blend but they are not that difficult to blend by any means. There are a few shades that I wish would adhere to the skin better but I can always apply them over a creamy base to enhance their performance. Wear time is all day when worn over a good primer and I'd advise always using a primer just to be on the safe side. It is a (dark) smokey palette after all so be prepared to spend a little more time with it when creating looks!
Whole palette swatches
High, Dirtysweet, Radar, and Armor
- High – pink beige champagne; glittery finish
A beautiful inner corner highlight and accent lid color! The texture is soft, creamy, and well-pigmented. It is buildable to an opaque, metallic finish as long as you press it down gently. Do not sweep or it will create some serious glitter fallout.
- Dirtysweet – medium bronze; shimmery finish
A nice, smoothing, shimmery lid color with a nice pigmentation. The texture feels thin and sheer but can be built up easily. It is drier and firmer than High but is still very blendable on the skin.
- Radar – warm medium brown; shimmery finish with fine gold sparkles
Sheer, thin, and dry. The pigmentation is lacking on this one! I really have to pack it on when used as a lid color but the weak pigmentation makes it a good transition shade. It's not as hard to blend out as it looks, though.
- Armor – silver-taupe; shimmery finish with fine silver sparkles
The texture is very similar to High — soft, creamy, and nicely pigmented. It is such a beautiful metallic taupe shade that gives lids an ultra-flattering sheen. You can also pat a small amount lightly on the center of the lid as a final touch to add some sparkly effect to the lids.
Slanted, Dagger, Black Market, and Smolder
- Slanted – muted silver gray; satin finish
Yet another rather dry texture although not as bad as Radar. It has a pretty decent color payoff going on the skin but it tends to fade and crease quickly. You really need a thick, creamy, and preferably smoothing base with this one. It's workable, though, as you'll see in the eye look I did below where I used this shade primarily as a lid color.
- Dagger – charcoal gray; satin finish
Moderately pigmented but tends to go on a bit dry and unevenly. This one requires extra blending time for a proper smokey effect! There's no fallout or powderiness that I notice.
- Black Market – black; satin finish
Urban Decay describes it a “jet black” shade but to me it's not very black. It's kind of darkened black but definitely not jet black. You know how I love true black in palettes so this is a little disappointment for me. The color also needs to be built up for contrast. The consistency is a little dry and thin upon touch but if you're only using it for a super diffused “smokey” blending effect, then I think it has the right texture for that purpose!
- Smolder – deep purple plum; satin finish
A beautiful purple always makes a palette more special! And Smolder is one gorgeous purple! Although the texture is a little less than ideal (a bit dry and sheer), I'm glad it is buildable and blendable without too much fuss.
Password, Whiskey, Combust, and Thirteen
- Password – purple taupe; matte finish
It looks like a nice, cool taupe in the pan but swatches with a hint of purple. It has such soft and smooth texture making it extremely easy to blend. The pigmentation is also just right. It is not powdery or chalky at all, and produces zero fallout.
- Whiskey – warm brown; matte finish
Excellent matte texture. Pigmented, smooth, and blendable without creating a powder mess or fallout during application or wear. It makes a nice crease color when used lightly. It's also a great shade to sculpt the eye for a barely-there look!
- Combust – pale pink beige; matte finish
This is such a gorgeous shade but it is so close to my skin tone that I basically just use it as a base color. It has a nice and smooth matte texture with excellent color payoff and blendability but it can also feel a tiny bit chalky if applied too much.
- Thirteen – white beige; matte finish
Another fantastic matte shade! So creamy and smooth and blendable and oh, so pigmented! The powder is just so soft and you don't need much at all when used as a highlighting shade.
In this look I first applied Combust as a base color to aid in shadow blending. I purposely used the most-challenging shade Slanted as a main lid color and really packed it on using pressing motions and a flat shader brush. I smoked the outer corner with Black Market and extended it along the lower lash line. I used Whiskey as a crease color, Thirteen as a brow bone highlight, and High as an inner corner highlight. Lastly, I finished with a gentle dab of Armor using my finger on the center of the lid to add a bit of sparkly sheen to the lid.
- Upper lash liner: Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper (review)
- Lower lash liner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Sabbath (review)
- Cheeks: Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Bittersweet (review) and Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining (review)
- Lips: MAC lip liner, lipstick, and lipglass in Heroine (review)
Overall, I think the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette is a nice option for those who like an all-in-one palette that supplies colors for both daytime and nighttime wear. The colors here are not unique or undupeable by any means but they are complete (well, almost) and versatile. I'm a bit let down at the lack of a true, pigmented jet black for creating dramatic contrast. I'd think it's a must-have shade for any dark smokey palettes. There also seems to be missing a mid-tone crease color or transition shade but one can always mix existing colors to create one. I'm generally happy to see the drastic reduction in the amount of powder fallout from these shadows but I'm also craving that soft, creamy, buttery, velvety texture Urban Decay eyeshadows are known for. Hopefully in the next palette they will be able to tweak the formula just a bit more so that we can have the best of both worlds! :)
Comparison to previous Naked palettes
Please don't ask me which Naked palette to get! Because I honestly can't choose myself. :D Everyone is beautiful in its own way!
The original Naked is the most classic featuring the most foolproof and wearable everyday colors. It also includes a couple of dark colors to take your daytime look to nighttime look with ease if desired.
The Naked2 is cooler-toned and more gray-ish in comparison. Great option for those who find the original Naked too warm.
The Naked3, aka my favorite Naked, is full of beautiful, flattering pinks. This is the palette I reach for most often because the colors are so easy to wear. Every single color compliments each other really nicely (awesome for no-brainers!). I have yet to find another pink palette that rivals the beauty of the Naked3!
The Naked Smoky is a little bit of everything. It has safe neutral colors as well as dark, edgy, smokey colors. It's almost a condensed version of the original Naked and Naked2 with a bonus pretty purple plum.
Well, that's about it for my review of the Naked Smoky and comparison to previous Naked palettes! I know it's quite a lengthy post but I hope it was at least useful! Let me know if you have any questions (but please refrain from asking if you should buy the Naked Smokey because I am a collector, so of course, I'll always find a reason to tell you that you need it! ;D).