I'll admit, when I first heard and saw promotional material for this palette, I wasn't interested. The first reason being I think Urban Decay is milking their "Naked" range for all its worth and the idea comes across as stale by this point. The second reason I wasn't swayed by the palette was because the shades seemed TOO PINK. All the swatches I saw on other blogs showed mauve and frosty pinks which I don't find particularly flattering on me. Hello inflamed looking eyes! The sturdy, metal package was a nice upgrade though. I'll give credit where credit's due.
With all that grumpy negativity aside, I still gave this palette a fair and square shot by starting off neutral. I was determined to consistently try out different looks for a full month using only this palette to see how I felt about it. After a month's use, I have mixed feelings. I discovered some shades I really enjoyed while others left more to be desired.
URBAN DECAY NAKED 3 PALETTE
URBAN DECAY NAKED 3 SWATCHES
FROM L to R: Strange, Dust, Burnout, Limit, Buzz, Trick, Nooner, Liar, Factory, Mugshot, Darkside, Blackheart
STRANGE: One of those invaluable, MAC Brule-like shades. I enjoyed this. I liked using it all over my lid to blank it out and make other colors show up and apply much richer.
DUST: Urban Decay always has to include at least one glittery shade in their palettes and for Naked 3, Dust is one of them. Rarely used this due to the glitter but when I did, I either dabbed it in my inner corners or patted it lightly over the center of my lid on top of a more subdued shade, just to emphasize the shimmer.
BURNOUT: Similar to MAC All That Glitters which I am actually not a huge fan of. Nonetheless, I know people go crazy for shades like these so it is bound to be a hit for most. I rarely used this as I find shimmery pinks like this make me look funny. Washed out? Surprised when I'm not? Hmmm I'm not sure how to explain it .
LIMIT: One of my most used shades, as it is a matte transition shade. It is a light mauve that takes quite a bit of layering to even show up to the party. If it wasn't one of the crucial shades in the palette, I wouldn't have even bothered using it. Alas, colors needed to be blended out so I had to use it. Also, if used alone without the help of Nooner, it made my eyes look inflamed. Darn pinks.
BUZZ: Another glitter shade. I used this the same way as I did Dust.
TRICK: By far the worst shade in the palette. Looks terrible on me, which I proved in a look below. I have yet to find out how to use this shade properly to make it work. Inner corner highlight?
NOONER: Another essential transition shade. I liked this one better than Limit as it doesn't make my eyes look like I had an allergy attack. Still, I prefer my transition shades to be more of a mid-toned brown like MAC Cork or Wedge, but this was a nice change. I combined it often with Limit in the crease for a simple daily look.
LIAR: Easily my favorite shade in the palette. Duh, it's a taupe (my favorite eye shadow color to wear) so you shouldn't be surprised. Reminds me a bit of Urban Decay Toasted which is one of my favorite eye shadows of all time. It swatches frostier than how it applies on the eye. It's one of those shades that becomes softer and more complex as you blend it out. Very easy to use for a one eye shadow only look. My most used after the transitional matte shades.
FACTORY: Another taupe so I enjoyed it. I didn't use it all over the lid though, it was too dark for that use and it didn't blend out into a softer color. What you swatch is what you get. Deepening the outer V was a good job for it.
MUGSHOT: Yet another taupe, but plummier and cool toned. Of course I liked it, noticing a trend here? I used this more for smudging out my lower lash line as it did a spectacular job at it. Quite a cool taupe, so I didn't use it all over the lid (Cool taupes make me look tired).
DARKSIDE: I actually used this shade often. When my eye looks were turning toward pink-inflamed-why-God-why territory, I blended a little bit of this over it and it made things bearable. Also excellent at deepening the outer V or smoking things out. It looks scarier in the pan than when actually used on the eye.
BLACKHEART: I feel like this is what most expected MAC Beauty Mark to be. Blackened base with purple shimmers, but the shimmers actually stick around when you apply it instead of disappearing like Beauty Marked. Good to have a very dark shade like this in a palette. It helps with smokier looks and you can use it as an eyeliner. Some days when I wanted a more natural look, I skipped eye liner and instead smudged this on my upper lash line. Nice effect. Especially helps that it is a easy to blend shade.
ORIGINAL NAKED PALETTE
L to R: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal
I thought I'd include the original Naked palette in case you wanted to compare. I do enjoy the original, it contains many shades I would pick myself for a palette besides Half Baked and Sin. I have given it quite a bit of love since its first release.
Look at the REAL transition matte shades: Naked and Buck. My favorites. Also, Gunmetal is the king of making brown eyes stand out in smoky eye looks. It is my go to smokey eye shade that I pair up with Creep. And I already mentioned Toasted is a very pleasurable shade to wear. If I used it up I'd buy the single, if that gives you an idea of my love for it.
Here we have a look with Trick all over the lid, a mixture of Limit and Nooner to blend into the crease, and Darkside to deepen the outer V. Blackheart was used as a liner, smudge into the outer half of my upper lid.
Ugh I did not like this look and I blame it entirely on Trick. Such a weird shade, I didn't know what to do with it but I took photo proof of it for you guys. SO THERE.
My daily look for about 2/3 of the whole month. Easy, fast, and looks like barely there makeup. Strange all over the lid to blank, mixture of Limit and Nooner in the crease, Mugshot blended into the lower lashline. Add a simple flick of some liquid liner and a quick coating of the lashes and I'm out the door.
On an unrelated note, Burberry Copper Lip Mist FTW! That's what I'm wearing in this look, if you were wondering. It's a staple lip color.
TAUPE, OF COURSE
Ahh this is more my territory. Liar all over the lid, little bit of Nooner to transition, Factory to deepen the outer V, and Mugshot smudged under the lower lash line. See how different Liar ends up looking so complex blended all over the lid? I won't say I told you so. More liquid liner with copious amounts of kohl liner to the lower waterline. My signature look.
I don't think this is a terrible palette. The textures and blendability are of fine quality like Urban Decay's standard. Pigmentation isn't an issue if you don't count Limit since it needs extra layers to show up. The colors are neutral so you have many options to work with to make countless looks. You can be glittery, you can be smokey, you can be natural, etc. Some of the shades are real stunners, like Liar. Others are invaluable such as Strange, Blackheart, and Nooner.
However, I don't think this will suit everyone's tastes. I definitely don't think it is worth $52 USD since not all shades are universally flattering. Make sure you find the two mauvy transition shades to your liking or else you will have to reach for better options from your stash which defeats the purpose of an eye shadow palette. Also, most of the left side of the palette screams PINK so if those types of shades tend to make your eyes look inflamed or irritated, this won't be a great choice.
For an alternative perspective, my older sister loves this palette and every look she has done with it looks great on her. She has a browner complexion than me and her favorite shades to wear are mauves so this color palette definitely fits her tastes. I have tried replicating the same looks she does and they don't turn out quite as nicely or flattering. To each their own...