Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette Review & Swatches

I am a huge taupe shadow fan girl (I giggle every time calling myself a fan girl of anything) so naturally I was pretty excited when I saw press images of the new Naked Basics Palette! The new palette, called Naked2 Basics, features various shades of cool taupes that, according to Urban Decay, are wearable by anyone and any skin tones. I was a little skeptical but decided to give it a try anyway. Want to know if this could be the taupe palette you’re looking for? Read on to find out!

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

The packaging of the Naked2 Basics is pretty much identical to the original Naked Basics save for the slightly paler color and darker lettering on the front lid. It even has the same suede-like feel and a soft golden sheen when light reflects off the surface. The palette has a full-sized mirror inside but lacks any type of applicator.

The palette features 6 eyeshadows — 1 satin and 5 mattes. The shades are arranged from the lightest (left) to the darkest (right) as shown in the photo below.

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

Now, Urban Decay touted that all 6 cool-toned taupes of the Naked2 Basics are wearable by any skin tones, be it pale, medium, dark, warm, or cool. I have to be honest here and say that according to my own experience, their claim is a little too optimistic. On my medium, yellow-toned skin, some of the colors are so close to my skin color that I have a hard time making them noticeable in my eye looks. I’ll go into more details later in the shade breakdown section.

The palette was supposedly designed to be a perfect companion to the Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette, which it is. I can see them working perfectly in harmony together. If you don’t already own the Naked 2 Palette and are planning to buy just the Naked2 Basics alone, it might be worth a trip to a store to have a swatch in person first before making a purchase, especially if your skin tone is medium or dark. :)

Texture-wise, these are some of the best mattes on the market (as you would expect from Urban Decay shadows). They are soft, smooth, super blendable (almost too blendable in fact!), and do not feel chalky or patchy at all. Some of the shades are a tad bit powdery and produce fallout but one can always work around these small difficulties.

The staying power of these shadows is great! I wore them on unprimed lids and was surprised to see that they did last throughout normal work days. However, the vibrancy of the shadows are not quite the same as when they are applied on primed lids. Speaking of unprimed and primed lids, does anyone still wear eyeshadow on bare lids anymore? I mean, I rarely ever do. It has become a necessary step in my eye makeup routine, regardless of how “natural” I intend to create my eye looks. :)

Shade breakdown

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette; L-R: Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal, and Undone
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette; L-R: Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal, and Undone
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette; L-R: Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal, and Undone
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette; L-R: Skimp, Stark, Frisk, Cover, Primal, and Undone
  • Skimp – a pale nude; satin (repromoted)
    This is the only satin shade in the palette. It has a very, very slight sheen to the texture so it is great for subtle highlighting of the brow bone, inner corner, as well as the center of the lid. It is soft and smooth and has a nice color payoff. It applies beautifully without looking stark against my complexion.
  • Stark – a nude pink; matte (new)
    Speaking of stark, this Stark shade is everything but stark! :) In fact, it barely shows up on me. The shade is so close to my skin that I might very well use it as a base and blending color. Its texture is really nice, though, soft and creamy without being patchy or chalky.
  • Frisk – a warm gray; matte (new)
    Frisk is very similar to Stark in the sense that it is a difficult shade for me to pull off. It is great as a base and blending color as well as a very subtle crease color. It is slightly powdery but still applies nicely on the lid.
  • Cover – a muted reddish brown; matte (new)
    Now this shows up much better! I can use it as a lid color as well as crease color. It has a nice color payoff and is very buildable. The texture is creamy smooth and blends really well. It is the warmest shade in the palette so I tend to incorporate it with every eye look I create with this palette.
  • Primal – a muted brown; matte (new)
    Primal is very very close to Cover on my skin, even though they look quite different on the arm swatches. It is more cool-toned so I like to use it as a lid color. It is also a good transition shade to blend Cover with Undone. I find Primal slightly powdery and can get kicked up a lot so a tap of a brush is necessary before applying the color on the eye. The pigmentation is decent and can be built with ease. It has soft texture and blends beautifully.
  • Undone – a deep smokey brown; matte (new)
    I’m still undecided whether I like the fact that Undone is not a complete black, but rather a hazy/smokey brown. It goes well with the rest of the palette, oh definitely, but I find myself wishing it to be a little darker. The pigmentation is on the sheer side for a dark shade and I feel that you can’t really create a strong outer V with it. Having said that, it is a great color to smudge/line the lower lash line! The texture is not as smooth as the rest of the palette. It is also quite powdery and produces some serious fallout.

The very basic look!

Wearing Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette
Wearing Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

I applied Stark as a base color underneath Primal all over the lid. I used Cover on the outer third below the brow bone and then created a soft V and smudged the lower lash line with Undone. The crease color is Frisk but you probably won’t be able to see it from this angle. I finished with Skimp under my brow and on the inner corner.

Lip color is Covergirl Lip Perfection in Temptress (400)! :)

Comparison to the original Naked Basics

The original Naked Basics is obviously warm-toned in comparison. The texture of the shadows on both palettes is very similar — soft and smooth with excellent blendability.

Regardless, both palettes suffer the same color selection redundancy — the original Naked Basics has Foxy (yellow-toned) and W.O.S (pink-toned) that show up pretty much the same color on my skin and the Naked2 Basics has Stark (yellow-toned) and Frisk (pink-toned) that also look very similar on my skin.

Urban Decay Naked Basics (top) and Naked2 Basics (bottom)
Urban Decay Naked Basics (top) and Naked2 Basics (bottom)
Urban Decay Naked Basics (top) and Naked2 Basics (bottom)
Urban Decay Naked Basics (top) and Naked2 Basics (bottom)
Urban Decay Naked Basics (top) and Naked2 Basics (bottom)
Urban Decay Naked Basics (top) and Naked2 Basics (bottom)

If I were to choose between the two, I’d definitely go with the original Naked Basics simply because warm-toned shadows look better on me. Having a true pigmented matte black, though such a simple basic shade, in the palette is always a big plus in my book so the original is also superior in this case. I also find the shimmery bright Venus much more interesting than the subtle Skimp. I just feel that you can do much more with the original Naked Basics due to its contrasting colors.

Having said that, if you are pale and/or cool-toned, you may prefer the Naked2 Basics over the original. And if black is not a necessity for you, or if you are just looking for a compact neutral palette that you can use to create the most minimal eye looks with a soft smokey/hazy effect, then the Naked2 Basics is for you.

Well, that’s it! I hope you find my review and comparison helpful! Let me know if you have any questions or comments! :)

Do you wear cool-toned shadows? What are some of your favorite taupes?


US$29 at SephoraMacy’sUrban Decay

฿1,250 at Sephora ThailandCentral

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  1. says: Erin

    Even though it’s cooler than the original it’s certainly not a cool toned palette. I do like that the shades are rather neutral. I wish there were more satins though. I like the way the first shade has just slightest hint of a sheen. I often find that flat matte shadows look bad on me.

    1. says: Jaa

      Same here, Erin! All matte doesn’t look too good on me, either. Another satin finish would have made the palette that much better.

  2. says: Laarni

    Thank you, Jaa! I’d like to get the original of this someday and thanks for pointing out the differences with this one and the first one. I also wear eye primer as an SOP to get the quality of my eye shadows to the fullest.

    Pretty, pretty FOTD as always!!!

  3. Oooh, that’s a lovely look you did there, Jaa! But this palette is not for me. The first four shades are all way too light and similar for me and I just don’t think I’d use the palette very often.

    1. says: Jaa

      I feel the same, too, Melissa! The first four shades are very similar (same goes for the original Naked Basics, too). They are right about using these palettes in conjunction with their big sister Naked palettes!

  4. says: Sunny

    Hey Jaa, I like the depth you created with the palette! I really don’t use matte eyeshadows all that much, so none of these is for me. I do really like Bobbi Brown Slate and UD Tease for contouring purposes though! I think that’s about all the matte taupes I have!

      1. says: Sunny

        Yup! To tell you the truth, I think BB has to stop making metallic or shimmery eyeshadows. Those never really impress me much. Their mattes on the other hand are really great!

        1. says: Jaa

          Actually I just looked at my stash and I have this one matte called Bone which I used so much in the beginning years of wearing eye makeup as a base shadow. I don’t know if the formula has changed over the year but it’s a very good and smooth matte! I haven’t been impressed with her shimmery shadows, either, but I suppose some people love natural, effortless, less pigmented kinds of shadows for everyday work? Those who are not makeup addict like you and me. LOL.

          1. says: Sunny

            I have Bone, too! I think the formula has stayed the same throughout the years. If you’re happy with that one, you’ll probably be happy with the rest :)

            I think this is a matter of preferences. I personally need some shimmer, but some people can’t do much without feeling it’s over the top. Also this might change as we age. I heard that shimmer could highlight fine lines…

              1. says: Sylirael

                I heard it too, but then one day I was talking to a lady from our department, and as she is in her sixties plus, she has a lot of, er, topography to her eyelid area. She was wearing the most beautiful taupe/mauve shimmer shadow all over her lids, and it looked gorgeous! To be more specific, it was actually very high shimmer, almost metallic, but it had a soft, glowing quality to it that was very flattering.

                I think thee’s hope, you guys! :-D

                1. says: Jaa

                  Topography … lol… very wise choice of word. ;D Did you happen to ask her what shadows was she wearing?? You must have!!!!

                  LOL. Cheers to the hope!!! I’ll probably get there before you guys. I’m so not ready!!!! I’ll keep you two updated. Haha!

    1. says: Helene

      I actually find that matte eyeshadows enhance uneven texture on the lids, a bit of shimmer, metallic or even glitter makes the skin appear smoother.
      I am old enough to be included in the “only wear matte” age group. Then I tend not to follow “rules”, not when it comes to makeup anyway.
      So relax, I think those of us so interested in makeup that we follow blogs on the matter, and a lot of you blog yourselves, we will see what eyeshadow finish looks the best on the lids and decide after that check up in the mirror.

  5. says: Alice

    Hi Jaa! Unfortunately I don’t have the hots for the Naked Basics palettes. The colours are a bit too light and I don’t use matte eyeshadows all that often. You do look gorgeous with the added depth you created there. Love the comparison swatches you’ve made. I will definitely pass on this review to my friends as they happen to adore naked basics! ;)

    X Alice

  6. I like the colours in NAKED2 Basics. Since the NAKED2 is way too shimmery, this would be great to have another with it. I do think that I like the original Basics more though. I would use that with my NAKED2.

    1. says: Jaa

      All these Naked palettes are getting so confusing, lol! I prefer the original Naked Basics as well and see myself using it more often than the Naked2 Basics. :)

      I actually don’t mind shimmery shadows. I love them! :D

  7. says: Sylirael

    First of all, I’d just like to mention how much I hate you for being so photogenic (and being so good at taking photos). Like, I really do ;-) I need to invent a special hate-hug for when you’re being too awesome for words. Maybe {{{{Jaa}}}} – like the arms are just that little bit spiky?

    LOL, I can’t keep a straight face writing that! :-P

    Anyway – If I were in the market for a compact, almost-all-matte neutrals palette, I’d definitely go for the Naked Basics 2 over the Naked Basics. I just like all the cooler colours better, and I actually like that the darkest one isn’t super dark. Obviously, since I am as white as a sheet, I don’t usually have problems with things not looking dark enough, LOL! If Venus were a little pinker rather than yellow, with no shimmer, it’s probably make a good foundation for me :-P

    1. says: Jaa

      Nooooooo no spikey hate-hug! LOL! Please don’t hate me. I love you! Only love-hug please!!! Hahaha. ;D

      I figured you’d like the second version better since your skin is much paler and cooler than mine. You’d totally rock any of these shades! Oh lucky you! Can I give you a hate-hug back now? LOLOL!

  8. says: Samantha Q

    They seem very similar but from looking at all the swatches, i think i’d prefer 2 over 1! (same with the naked palette haha) xx

  9. says: Helene

    I forgot to say thanks for a great review and compliment you on the look.
    Must be the advancment in age making me forgetful. Or, my defending of shimmery shadows on less young lids :)

    1. says: Jaa

      Hi Helene! Thanks so much for your insightful comments! I’m sure anyone of any age can wear shimmery eyeshadows, you just have to find the right texture that would not enhance the uneven texture on the lids. To tell you the truth, I’d probably be wearing a shimmery eye makeup until I’m 100 years old. :) I can’t do all matte; doesn’t matter what the rule says.

      Do you have any advice on how to choose the right shimmery shadow formula? What are you currently using?

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