Friday, 30 August 2013

Naked Palette Alternatives: Recommendations and Swatches

The legendary Urban Decay Naked palette, it seems that half the world has raved about it at some point. I can sort of see how, it is a great eyeshadow palette for neutral, everyday looks and the eyeshadows themselves are of high quality. It also lends itself well for more dramatic looks, making it a very versatile palette for anyone who loves their neutrals but I can also understand why someone would prefer to look for something else.

Maybe that's because of the high pricetag, £36 is quite a bit, or perhaps because the colour range is not your cup of tea since most of them are quite warm. Having so many colours to use can also be quite overwhelming, and because a lot of them are either shimmery or have glitter in them it means that it won't be for everyone, since shimmer enhances fine lines, pores and other imperfections and some people just prefer matte as well.

I personally found the quality of the eyeshadows very nice, but the pigmentation highly exaggerated and the packaging an absolute magnet for dust. I do love the range of colours though.

All of the following swatches in this article have been made using a single application with a primer underneath. 

Naked Swatches

With the Naked palette you get twelve shades, which is a very good deal for people who love shimmer and warm tones. Not all of them are very pigmented though, especially the few matte shades are lacking in pigmentation. Some eyeshadows feel a bit stiff, but none of them are chalky and all of them apply very  nicely on the eyes.

About the alternatives

The Naked palette is just about ideal for everyday looks, but there are more palettes out there that deserve some love too! I didn't really try to find dupes for you, but instead of that I found palettes that are great for everyday use and that I personally love.

Too Faced Natural Eye Palette

I have loved this palette deeply for years, and so I've had a lot of use out of it and hit pan on four of the shades! 

The Too Faced Natural Eye palette was the first eyeshadow palette I ever purchased and used religiously for years after that, until my love for make-up grew to the point where my collection expanded a lot and I had the luxury to switch between palettes and eyeshadows. I still use this palette a lot, you can definitely see which colours are my favourites though!

For £26 you get nine colours that are all quite warm. There are two browns in there that are a bit cooler toned, but most of the eyeshadows are warm colours, so that's something to keep in mind.

I'm not a big fan of the packaging. It is quite bulky and I don't feel like it should have to be. I don't mind that it's made out of cardboard, since it feels sturdy and has kept my eyeshadows safe for years.

The best thing about this palette is how accessible it is. When I was a complete beginner with make-up, it was still easy for me to make a look with this because I knew which colour was meant for a highlight and which one was meant as a dark crease or outer corner colour, it gave me structure. The choice is limited, but gives you enough variation to make daytime looks that are suitable for work as well as lovely sultry nighttime looks.

Too Faced Natural Eye Swatches

As for consistency, I prefer Too Faced's eyeshadows over Urban Decay's. The shadows are a bit softer and in my opinion, often quite a bit more pigmented. It's easier to get fallout as well though, especially with the darker colours but that's easily solved by tapping your brush off and stamping the colour on instead of wiping. All the eyeshadows are very pigmented, buttery and blend like a dream. 

Final Verdict Natural Eye Palette:

* Excellent pigmentation
* Great for beginners
* Good mix between matte and shimmer eyeshadows
* Sturdy packaging (the fact that it hasn't broken yet in these four years speaks volumes, I'm very clumsy)

* Packaging is bulky 
* Eyeshadows are very warm, so you have to make sure warm colours suit you.
* No mirror

Sleek Oh So Special Palette

This palette is a great option for those amongst us who do want a great everyday palette, but don't want to spend a fortune on it. Sleek's eyeshadow palettes are generally awesome, but this one is definitely one of my favourites. It comes with a fullsize mirror, twelve eyeshadow colours that range from light to dramatic and in packaging that shows it's budget roots, but is easily storable and well...sleek. 

The Sleek eyeshadows contain a lot of talc which makes some of them feel a bit scratchy and powdery. Lots of the eyeshadows feel lovely and soft though, so that's a big plus. All of the colours are very pigmented (as you will see below) but are also prone to massive fallout. I like the matte to shimmer ratio though, and the combination of colours is very flattering, you could combine most of these together and make it work.

Except for Bow, all of the eyeshadows are incredibly pigmented. This is really impressive for a palette that costs only £8!

Final Verdict Sleek Oh So Special Palette

* Amazing pigmentation and quality of the eyeshadows
* Cheap pricetag at only £8
* Wonderful range of colours that are suitable for both day time and going out, warm and cool complexions. 
* Good mix of matte and shimmer
* Full size mirror, non-bulky packaging

* Packaging doesn't have a magnet, so it can flip open unexpectedly
* Some of the eyeshadows can feel a bit scratchy and powdery
* Major fallout if you're not careful

Stila In The Light Palette

I have already written a detailed review about this palette that you can read here, but I also wanted to include it in this article because it's such a wonderful everyday palette. I actually prefer it over my Naked palette most days, and priced at £25, it's a lot cheaper too. 

The packaging is sleek but doesn't seem to be very sturdy, and with the eyeshadows being as soft as they are this is a problem for me. I'm not sure that I can take this with me in my bag for a long time before something crumbles. 

The shimmery eyeshadows are very soft and pigmented, whereas the matte colours are also pigmented but a lot more buildable, I haven't had fallout issues at all. Most of the colours are warm, which is wonderful for me because I have warm undertones, but people with cooler complexions should definitely try this palette out first before they buy it. 

Kitten, Bliss and Sunset are my go-to everyday eyeshadows, especially Kitten and Bliss are my all time favourites. Keep in mind that all the swatches I make are done with one application, so the sheerer colours can definitely be built up to full opacity. 

Final Verdict Stila In The Light Palette

* High quality eyeshadows that feel soft and buttery
* Price is not extortionate for the quality at £25
* Good mix of matte and shimmer
* Wonderful for warmer skintones
* Mirror in packaging, packaging isn't bulky. 
* Darker colours are buildable, so it's pretty much beginner proof

* The matte colours are less pigmented and require building up
* Packaging doesn't seem sturdy enough.
* People with cooler complexions might want to look elsewhere
* Eyeshadows need a bit of TLC, they are very soft so be gentle.

Make your own palette!

If you're the kind of person that wants all kinds of crazy colours in just one perfect palette and can't find them, or if you want the world of champagne and browns and taupes but no palette exists like that, make it yourself! Seriously, it's actually cheaper than buying a mid-end palette and it's fun as well!

Nowadays there's quite a few trustworthy indie brands on the internet that sell loose eyeshadows, and in a tutorial that I made I explained how you could press them.

An empty palette isn't that hard to come by either, with a quick search I got the one you see above for only £3. I bought the eyeshadows for only one dollar each, so in the end I got incredible value for money.

If you're interested, definitely give the website of Shiro Cosmetics and Fyrinnae a go! Also have a look at my tutorial so you can learn how to press your own eyeshadows here. 

I didn't actually buy all of these eyeshadows with the sole purpose of making an everyday palette, so instead I put my neutral-ish shades and my favourites together so I can show you. 

I think this is a great way of going about things, since in total this whole palette has only cost me about £21 and the quality of the eyeshadows is fantastic. I got all of these eyeshadows from Shiro by the way.

Of course it depends from which brand you buy the eyeshadow and how good you are at mixing it, but with a primer underneath these eyeshadows are on par to my treasured Too Faced palette. And that's saying something. 

Final Verdict Make Your Own Palette

* It's cheaper than getting a high end palette, but the quality is similar.
* You get to choose all the colours! No duds or colours you don't use. 
* The eyeshadow quality is very good (Shiro)
* Building your own palette is a lot of fun!

* You have to press them yourself and get everything together, so you have to want to do the work. 
* Pans easily fall out of my cheap palette
* It's hard to see the names of the eyeshadow
* Swatches aren't always available on the website, so the colour might not turn out as you hoped

Other Alternatives

Now these are all from hear-say, since I don't own them myself so bear with me. I wanted to include them because they're so very popular and respected. So even though I haven't personally laid my hands on them, I just want to make sure you know about it. 

The Lorac Pro Palette


The Lorac Pro palette is very much loved amongst my r/Makeupaddiction friends, and although I couldn't get my hands on it myself I can see why! There are a lot of colour options, a good mix between warmer and cooler, matte and shimmery colours. All of the eyeshadows seem to be incredibly soft, blendeable and pigmented. At 42 dollars it's a bit cheaper than the Naked palette, which is priced at 50 dollars in the US. 

MUA Undressed palette

MUA Pro Pallette Undressed
Source: Superdrug

The MUA Undressed palette is supposed to be an exact dupe for Urban Decay's Naked palette, and since it's only £4 it can't hurt to try! According to swatches online most colours are quite similar to the ones in the Naked palette, and the eyeshadow quality is supposed to be really decent too. 

Do you have any recommendations for everyday palettes yourself? What do you prefer to use? 


  1. Ik heb MUA undressed, en dat is echt een aanrader! De verpakking is alleen niet zo heel erg stevig. Maar goed, voor dat geld;).

  2. MUA Undressed is AMAZING for the price. Seriously, I can't stop raving about it. I don't know how similar it is to Naked, because I don't own that, but the palette itself is perfect. Great quality for £4!

  3. That's wonderful! When I saw swatches online it definitely looked really good, I thought about getting it but I think it would just be silly since I already have the Naked palette haha. Maybe I should go for Undress Me Too?

  4. wauw echt een super goede post je hebt er veel tijd in gestoken <3 ik hou echt van kleuren zoals kitten/honeypot en sweet honey! de laatste heb ik vandaag binnen gekregen dus moet ik nog testen *_*

  5. I heard Undress Me Too isn't as good, but I don't own it so I don't really know (but for £4 you can't really go wrong),
    But personally, I'd buy Undressed and take it for example for travelling because I'm paranoid and wouldn't risk Naked being stolen/damaged!

  6. Oooh ik ook! Haha die licht gouden, champagne achtige kleuren zijn mijn grootste zwakte haha. Sweet Honey is ook echt zo mooi <3

  7. I found an amazing dupe for the Naked palette, but it's only in the US and limited edition. Which is a shame because I actually like it better than the Naked palette! (Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Shimmer palette)