If there’s one beauty brand that’s captured how to do marketing in the digital age, it’s Urban Decay. If you read blogs, browse Instagram or even tweet occasionally, the launch of the latest palette in their Naked line on 27th July won’t have escaped your notice. Thanks to a generous influencer gifting policy, social media was burning up about the release of Naked Heat – and all for a fraction of the price of a traditional magazine advert or two.
Which leaves me with a problem: how to share my impressions of a palette you’re probably sick of hearing about?
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll already know that Urban Decay has been my go-to brand for… more than half my life. And you’ll also know that I don’t own a single Naked palette. Not a one. When it comes to eyeshadow, I’m a go-big-or-go-home, bring-on-the-colour kinda gal. The explosion of nude palettes is one of life’s inexplicable mysteries to me, right up with why every supermarket chain makes a big deal out of its one mayonnaise-free sandwich and Theresa May’s slim electoral majority.
But there’s another reason why Naked Heat was never on my wishlist, which is: in my wardrobe full of colour, the one conspicuously absent colour is orange. Oh, the trend-watchers dress it up; call it burnt sienna or copper or hot butterscotch, but I’m wise to their game. Naked Heat, I felt fairly confident in saying, simply wasn’t for me…
But then, three weeks ago, I left my hairdresser looking like this:
So I was actually pretty excited when that tell-tale hot pink bubblewrap envelope popped through my door.
Like its Naked predecessors, Naked Heat* (£39.50) includes a selection of 12 matte and slightly shimmery shades, all selected to go well together. They range from Ounce, an ivory shimmer; through a spectrum of ambers, coppers and browns up to the palette’s real show-stopper: Ember, a rich, metallic, copper-burgundy colour.
As you’re safe to expect from Urban Decay each shade is richly pigmented, with real staying power (especially when used with the Urban Decay Eden eyeshadow primer potion – my absolute ride-or-die everyday makeup product). The shadows are beautifully presented with a full-size mirror and high quality, double sided brush, in a gorgeous box with a 3D lid designed to look like you’re “looking through vertical blinds into a hot, steamy sunset” to quote the press release – while even the cardboard sleeve slides open like a matchbox.
So, um, I guess the first thing I noticed about the closest thing I’ll ever get to a nude palette is how well all the shades in here went together. You can pretty much pick out any random three colours and build them into a relatively wearable look. I used the palette pretty much consistently for a week without feeling the need to reach for one of the greens, blues or purples that are my typical eyeshadow colours – hey, perhaps these themed palettes will take off!
If I’d been doing this experiment properly I would have written down the shades I actually used together, but that’s an extra five minutes I just don’t have while I’m getting ready for work in the morning so instead I’d like you to imagine something like Lumbre (copper shimmer) on the lid with He Devil (burnt red matte) in the crease and Ounce as a bit of a highlight at the browbone. I haven’t been brave enough to break out the deep matte shades like En Fuego (burgundy) or Ashes (deep reddish-brown) yet, but Ember is wonderful, surprisingly wearable shade and also one I’d probably have never looked at otherwise.
Would I recommend you buy it? Well, as with all Urban Decay palettes, when you break down the cost per shadow what you’re getting is decent value for money – it just depends whether you see yourself wearing them. I’d highly recommend you pop along to your nearest Urban Decay counter (that’s Debenhams or House of Fraser in Glasgow) and having a play about for yourself before committing – you might just be pleasantly surprised.
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.