The Lowdown on All the Naked Palettes (& Why You Need One)

It seems like everyone on the planet owns an Urban Decay Naked palette—everyone but me, that is. As a beauty junkie, this almost seems unreal—but I just never got around to snapping one up.

Lately, though, palettes inspired by this groundbreaking collection of eye shadows seem to be everywhere. From the drugstore to the department store, they’re popping up all over the place, and they’re calling my name. I’m finally convinced I need one. ICheck out the 6 most popular alternatives to the Urban Decay Naked palette, and see why you need one right now too.

ulta-gilded-gold-natural-eye-shadow-palette1. They’re versatile.

Just a glance at nearly any of these palettes is enough to convince me that they’re extremely wearable. That’s their inherent beauty, after all—versatile, flattering, and feminine shades that enhance anyone’s natural beauty. The Ulta Gilded Gold Natural Eye Shadow Palette ($20) illustrates that well. Several shades are flecked with a hint of shimmer, but not so much that you’ll feel like a disco ball at the office. They’re balanced by a handful of neutral mattes that add contrast and stability to the more adventurous, gleaming colors.

maybelline-the-blushed-nudes-eye-shadow-palette2. They’re experimental.

You can’t escape the girlish quality of the Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette ($9.98). A flattering combination of soft pinks, warm browns, and edgy grays, the colors all marry in perfect harmony. Even if you prefer a toughened up look, you can accomplish that by creating a smoky eye and enhancing it with a lighter shade to open up your brown bone. The lesson here? Don’t discount a palette if it doesn’t look immediately wearable; the fact that they have so many colors makes them great for experimentation.

makeup-revolution-stripped-and-bare-salvation-eye-shadow-palette3. They’re portable.

I think we’ve all experienced a lack of time—I know I have. Those busy mornings often don’t allow us even a spare minute to apply clear lip balm, let alone full eye makeup. Fortunately, these palettes are perfect for slipping into your bag or desk drawer at the office. Look for one that features a mirror inside, like Makeup Revolution Stripped & Bare Salvation Eye Shadow Palette ($11.99). Replace the standard applicators inside with a more solid, reliable brush of your own. In no time at all, you can discreetly apply a light color as a base and add a neutral brown or tan shade to your lids for a little perk-me-up.

the-balm-nude-dude-eye-shadow-palette4. They’re classic.

Sure, all of these brands have hopped on the bandwagon following the success of the original. But what was once considered a mere fly-by-night trend is now here to stay. If your goal is to own just one of these palettes, opt for one that’s packed with neutrals that flatter your skin tone, plus a couple of darker shades to mix things up a little. (I love The Balm Nude Dude Eye Shadow Palette, $36.) You’ll always have classic looks on standby, whether you’re headed to the office or meeting your significant other for date night.

urban-decay-naked-palette5. They’re lean.

These palettes boast a long, lean silhouette that makes them super convenient for travel. Unlike boxy palettes, Urban Decay Naked Palettes ($54) and similar styles are sleek. Their fashionable design alone makes them appealing—and who doesn’t love showing off something pretty?


6. They’re sexy.

Usually you hear words like “taupe” and “brown” and you’re ready to settle in for a nice long nap. But then you come across certain palettes that contain those very colors, and suddenly you’re ready to party. Case in point: The Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita 206 ($59), a dazzling collection of deep nudes that run the gamut from soft and shimmery to rich and coppery. With that kind of lineup, you can easily create head-turning looks that give you red-carpet glamour.

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