Dupes will keep you from being Naked as discontinuation leaves store shelves bare

Brooke Sjoberg

Urban Decay shook the makeup world with the release of their original Naked 12-pan eyeshadow palette in 2010. The product went on to become one of the best selling, most widely known and imitated eyeshadow palettes of all time. After releasing nine more, Urban Decay rocked the makeup industry once again, announcing on Aug. 23 that the monolithic Naked palette would be discontinued. 

As Naked flies off the shelves, there is heavy pressure to go out and buy the last batch of this product. Retailers, such as Ulta and Sephora, and Urban Decay itself are offering the palette for half the price. But is it worth it? There are many successful duplicates of Naked’s formula and color execution. Simple trial and error separates the truly good dupes from lackluster imitations. Here is a breakdown of what makes the Naked Palette so famous and what alternatives are available.

Urban Decay —
Naked Palette, $27

Many brands have tried to replicate the Naked Palette’s quality, but only a few have come close. The original has 12 pans of eyeshadow ranging from Virgin, a pale pink satin, to Gunmetal, a gray-blue shimmer with silver microglitter. 

The matte shades, Buck and Naked, are soft in texture, requiring little pressure to lift the necessary amount of product from the pan. Matte shadows are some of the most difficult formulas to perfect, making this quality the shining achievement of the palette. It gave the palette a unique identity on the shelves back in 2010. 

The satins, Virgin and Creep, are worlds apart in quality. Virgin’s buttery texture has solid pigmentation in a swatch. Creep, a black satin shimmer, swatches goes on as a dark gray, leaving a void for those seeking a bold black eyeshadow. The shimmers are Sin, a pink nude; Sidecar, a rose gold; Half Baked, a true gold; Smog, a dark bronze; Darkhorse, a dark golden brown; Toasted, a rusty brown; Hustle, a dark rosy brown; and Gunmetal. These colors all swatch wonderfully, with the microglitter of gunmetal translating nicely in the swatches. 

W7 -— Lightly Toasted, $6

W7’s imitation of Urban Decay’s best-seller is spot-on. Lightly Toasted perfectly replicates each shade of the Naked palette, and matches their pigmentation while actually producing less fallout of excess eyeshadow when blended on the eye. The two key differences between this palette and the Naked Palette are Up in Smoke and Dawn, the imitations of Creep and Gunmetal, respectively. Up in Smoke has significantly better pigmentation than Creep, swatching and applying as a deep black. Gunmetal and Dawn swatch similarly, but the W7 formulation does not include silver microglitter. However, the W7 palette is packaged in a tin, rather than the cardboard and magnetic closure of the original Naked Palette, which offers more protection when traveling. 

Coastal Scents —
Revealed, $20

The first in Coastal Scents’ own series of palettes, Revealed, combines shades from the first two Naked Palettes, making it the ultimate dupe. The Revealed Palette does not name its shades, but it is fairly clear which is which. The formula is significantly different from that of Naked in that it is powdery and requires buildup of color over
a primer.

The difference in formula is not necessarily bad; it just necessitates a different approach to applying and blending eyeshadow. The colors swatch nicely, running into the same difference between Lightly Toasted and Naked — no microglitter and instead a decent black which can be used to smoke out the outer edge or as eyeliner. 

Ultimately, deciding which palette to purchase comes down to how much you are willing to pay for makeup. Coastal Scents and W7 offer substitutes for the more expensive option, but key formulation differences may be the deciding factors in your purchasing decisions. Act fast and act now — the Naked Palette will not be around for much longer.