Urban Decay For Fair Skin

Urban Decay made BIG moves in 2016 when they launched in South Africa. One of the first pop up beauty e-commerce stores in the country and gateway to an internationally known brand, Urban Decay was hot stuff in the last 6 months. I became aware of the brand through YouTube videos by watching beauty vloggers overseas who often used the brand. So I was definitely curious when it launched in SA.

Palette 1 or Palette 2?

Urban Decay started their launch off simply, by offering a limited number of products from their palette range. I knew I wanted in, but had no idea which palette would suit me best. I asked Twitterville and most people said, “2!”, but I thought that 1 looked better for my skin type. So I bought both and figured one would be the winner eventually. (And also because stationery shops, makeup shops and Mambo’s Plastic Warehouse all have the same effect on me…give me ALL THE THINGS!!!)

Colour Chart

I’ve been using MAC for the last decade, so this was really a new venture for me. When I started using UD I was quite surprised at the tones as they looked very different in the tray to how they looked once applied. I was used to a more bright tones that pop! UD tones are on the ‘cooler’ side. Here are similar colours side by side to show what I mean:

Cool Tones

I can only describe cool tones as being damp or dank. If you were mixing colours in a pot, you’d add a touch of black to pull the colour down a bit. That’s Urban Decay. The colours aren’t bright and don’t pop, but that doesn’t mean they don’t look amazing. It’s kind of like people who are ‘winter’ or ‘summer’. Some people can wear lumo yellow, some people not. It’s that sort of thing. Here I’ve tried to pair the most similar shades to illustrate my point. The MAC is more ‘red’ and the Urban Decay is more ‘green’ – if that makes any sense!

Urban Decay Naked Palette 1

This new ‘cool tone’ life took me a while to figure out. I had to adapt to the look of different shades as well as which of the two palettes worked best for me. I’m SUPER white, so I think palette 1 works better for me. It would also make sense as to why palette 2 did so well – most people aren’t super white like I am! Here’s a daytime look with MAC on the left and UD on the right, just to illustrate how they differ:

The eye on the left is more orangey, with the colour on the right being more deep dusty purple. The damp tones of Urban Decay make their colours more sophisticated and subtle. I think it’s great that this option is available. The brighter based shadows have always worked for me, but I dunno what all the other women in the world did (who it didn’t suit!).

7 Things I Love About Urban Decay

  1. The Packaging – I’m not going to lie, it’s nice to have everything in one place. Plus the metal cover on palette 2 is pretty awesome.
  2. Free Mirror – the palettes come with a free mirror, I’ve barely used it but it’s nice to know they thought their product out well.
  3. Smooth Finish – Urban Decay products blend REALLY well. I must say that they do apply really easily and I love the way they melt beautifully with a little blending.
  4. Animal Cruelty Free – Look, I don’t know how true this is. Yes, it’s on their packaging, but I don’t know who their parent company is and if their stuff is tested. But I do like that they’re conscious about this and want to ensure their products don’t hurt animals.
  5. The Free brush – Not the greatest blending brush in the world but still, it’s the small things! It applies colour really nicely and I used the smaller end to add the colour under my lids.
  6. No broken shades – Even in my image above you’ll see the MAC pot I dropped. Broken eyeshadow is such a drag! So far I haven’t dropped my palette and maybe that’s because it’s big and you have a better grip. I do genuinely like this because I’ve dropped SO many eyeshadows in my time.
  7. Long Wearing – UD really does last very long. The older I’ve gotten the better I’ve become at applying my makeup (thanks YouTube!). A primer 100% makes a difference and adding a touch of eye primer or concealer helps. I usually finish off with a MAC spritzer that helps keep everything in place and UD really does stay in place.
  8. Mix of Textures – It’s only in the last 3 months that I’ve even come to think about whether an eyeshadow is matte or shimmery. I usually just focus on the colour shade and go from there. The palettes include BOTH shimmery (metallics) AND matte so you can test and play around with what you like. I still combine both depending on colour 🙂

My Concerns

  1. Leftovers – Once you use all the colours you like, what will you do with the left overs? Look, this is a first world problem, but there’s truth to over some time. Do I keep having to shell out R850 when I only use some colours? The solution – get the palette that you use the most, it’ll be way worth the money.
  2. The Price – R850 is a lot of money to spend on makeup if you’re not a working women. Personally, I’m loving my dirty thirties and love splashing on these things. It’s like I’m finally living that Friends life! But if you have kids, this would be a luxury for most moms.

Urban Decay Naked Palette 2

As I mentioned, Palette 2 is the more popular option. The packaging is also better as it’s metal, not velt and has a much larger mirror. The brushes are still the same, no matter which palette you get. This is definitely a ‘step up’, but don’t just buy it because of the packaging!

In Closing…

Look, I could have this all TOTALLY and utterly wrong! If you’re a makeup guru then please leave a comment below and tell me how I have it all wrong – or maybe how I have it all right?! This is just the truth of my experience. If you got caught up buying palette 2 because everyone said it’s the bomb, but you’re not sure if it’s working, try palette 1.

Find limited Urban Decay palettes in South Africa on their pop up store or shop the full Urban Decay collection now at Foshini. If you spend over R500, shipping is free.

PS Anyone else feel like Foshini needs to change their name? They’ve often had really great brands like Oasis and now UD, but the name just feels so old school! #RantOver





  • Lol….love the honesty in the post. Like what is the hype about?? I have the LA Girl nudes palette that’s a dupe for Naked 3 and for less than R100 I can’t think why I’d need to spend an additional R750 when my dupe is really really good quality. I must admit, I’ve got major FOMO about owning an UD palette and I’ve gone back and forth on which palette I’d get (I think if I ever got one, 1 would be the one I’d choose), but yes, mom of 3, in her 30’s…I need to be obsessed!

    I recently bought a Tarte palette…such a splurge for me and I’m literally hiding it from my husband, BUT I know my 8yr old is going to open my makeup drawer and go: Um Mom, when did you get this one? My husband will be standing there, eyeballing me…and I’ll be a blubbering wreck….oh so busted! lol.

    Great review!

    • HAHAHA! Can’t we just have ALL the things for ourselves?!
      Luckily, no kids yet so I could afford to be a bit selfish and splurge.
      Great to hear about the LA Girl & Tarte – where did you get those?
      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi 🙂

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