Filed In: Urban Decay

Urban Decay · Naked Illuminated Trio Shimmering Powder

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Urban Decay wants you to get your glow on (and on, and on, and…you get the picture) and has just made it even easier with the release of the limited edition Naked Illuminated Trio. Complimenting the armada of Nakedness that the brand has become known for, these are not highlighter shades for the shimmer-phobic; think of the effect instead as being about faking it, and faking it well.

Previously reviewed Urban Decay highlighters:

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Naked Illuminated Trio, limited edition (CAN $49.00) | Housed in a cardboard box with a magnetic closure and full-sized mirror on the inner lid, there’s also a dual ended brush included with the set. The formula is baked on a terracotta disc for 24 hours then finished by hand; this results in a powder that not only holds a high level of shimmer, but will “provide the colour payoff of a loose powder, the convenience of a pressed powder, and the feel of silk”. The shade breakdown:

  • Pyrite – gold-champagne
  • Oasis – marbled frosted taupe
  • Twilight – iridescent pink

The size of each shade is more than decent enough to work with, and while there may powdery kickback upon swirling a brush across their surfaces, any fall down is easily eliminated by simply tapping excess off your brush first first. Of the three hues, Pyrite displays the smoothest application with Twilight a close second, but Oasis definitely leans more along the chalky side. One option is to try buffing it in thoroughly, but you’ll take away pretty much most of its glow that way; instead, try using it on other areas apart from the face such as the collarbone, décolleté, shins – this way you get to not only use the shade, but add a nice touch of holiday sparkle to skin.

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Urban Decay · Naked Illuminated Trio Shimmering Powder swatches

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I wanted to see how this trio compared to previous released UD singles, although I couldn’t find anything close to Oasis. The swatch below shows that Lit is warm leaning like Pyrite, but with more of a coppery undertone and even though Aura appears very similar to Twilight, it doesn’t apply as pigmented.

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Urban Decay · Naked Illuminated Trio Shimmering Powder & comparison swatches

 

If shimmer is your thing, then go ahead and dive head-first into this Naked Illuminated Trio. Another bonus for highlighter fans, is that you also happen to get three distinct hues all in one conveniently sized palette plus with a good-sized brush. Well priced, especially when you consider you’re getting three shades in total, I think this is yet another example of a thoughtful gift for the beauty fan on your list. If on the other hand, subtlety is your style, you’ll probably want to keep on looking (although I hear that loads of shimmer can be such naughty fun …)

Available at Sephora and online

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Press sample/As always, all opinions are my own

Urban Decay · Naked Ultimate Basics

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We can thank Urban Decay for making Naked part of our beauty vocabulary, and just when you thought things couldn’t go “nude-er”, along comes the latest addition to the family: Naked Ultimate Basics. Filled with 12 of the brand’s most popular matte shades, none of these hues have ever come together in one palette before, which means that this palette also has the honour of standing apart from past iterations as well.

Previously reviewed Naked palettes:

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Urban Decay · Naked Ultimate Basics

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Urban Decay · Naked Ultimate Basics

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Naked Ultimate Basics (CAN $68.00) | For starters, honourable mention has to go to the packaging; housed in a square rigid plastic case which includes a full-sized mirror on the inner lid as well as a dual-ended brush, the cover almost steals the show with its rose-gold hue and precisely etched radiating lines along with the raised lettering on top. STUNNING. Moving on …

There’s a good mix of hues that range from pale neutral to darker nudes, as well as some colour thrown in that might stretch one’s concept of “Naked” but somehow still fit in well with the overall theme. The shades in this palette also have the added bonus of being workable, as well as suitable for a broad variety of skin tones, from the fairest to quite dark. With nary a shimmer in sight and while have a matte finish, it’s not of the flat variety but rather rich in hue and each throughly pigmented. Easy to blend and without any fall down upon application, staying power — over primer — is excellent as well.

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Urban Decay · Naked Ultimate Basics (brush detail)

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  • Blow – light nude demi-matte
  • Nudie – soft pink-nude matte
  • Commando – light taupe-brown matte
  • Tempted – pale brown matte
  • Instinct – medium pink-taupe matte
  • Lethal – reddish brown matte
  • Pre-Game – pale yellow matte
  • Extra Bitter – burnt orange matte
  • Faith – medium warm brown matte
  • Lockout – rich neutral brown matte
  • Magnet – smoky grey matte
  • Blackjack – warm black matte

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Urban Decay · Naked Ultimate Basics swatches, direct sunlight & natural light (below)

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Pulling out both the Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics palettes for comparison, it’s fairly obvious that we don’t have any real duplication, and while a couple of shades might appear to be similar, there’s still enough variety in Naked Ultimate Basics to turn into a well-worth investment.

 

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Urban Decay · Naked Ultimate Basics, Naked Basics & Naked2 Basics swatches in direct sunlight & natural light (below)

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For neutral-fans such as myself, you’re going to absolutely love this palette. And even if you’ve held off from Urban Decay’s Naked frenzy until now, you should still check the Naked Ultimate Basics palette out, as it has a grouping of colours that are not only all totally wearable, but one I’m fairly certain you’ll be turning to more often than not. This is very, very good naked …

Available at Sephora & online

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Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own

Urban Decay · Full Spectrum

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Urban Decay has been on one helluva roll lately, releasing enough products to make your head spin, but I’d have to say that none have been anywhere near as eye-catching as the Full Spectrum palette (Holy Rainbow-Colour-Wheel, Batman!). The brand’s largest palette to date, it includes 21 shades — 18 of them new and 3 exclusives from past releases, with a variety of finishes to sweeten the deal even further. For those who simply live for colour, if this doesn’t get your motor running, I don’t know what will.

For reviews on other products from this brand, click Urban Decay 

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Full Spectrum (CAN $80.00) | Housed in a black rigid plastic case that includes an oversized mirror on the inner lid plus a dual-ended synthetic fibre brush, the case is etched with lines of alternating thickness in both matte & shiny finishes and adorned with a colourful faceted UD “jewel” on top. Ugh…so pretty, am I right?

Organized by colour family in vertical trios (although for convenience, I’ve opted to show them in 3 horizontal rows), there’s a nice mix of finishes that range from matte (which also includes matte/satin & matte with pearl) all the way to über-metallic, and while highly colourful at first glance, there are still enough ‘normal’ shades to keep things grounded as well. I experience absolutely no pigmentation issues with any one of these hues and they all appear to blend effortlessly. There will be some powdery kickback seen upon swirling brushes across most, but that’s easily solved by tapping any excess off first – bonus: no fall down upon application. Staying power over primer is excellent, without any noticeable fading.

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Urban Decay Full Spectrum (brush detail)

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  • Alchemy – deep fuchsia satin
  • Warning – deep metallic copper
  • Midnight Blaze – black matte with yellow/gold pearl
  • Hundred – deep metallic forest green
  • Minx – deep nay matte with floating tonal pearl
  • Delirious – deep plum matte with subtle floating pearl
  • Platonic – black matte with iridescent glitter
  • Gossip – bright metallic pink with subtle floating pearl
  • Seize – bright metallic coral with subtle floating pearl
  • Calavera – bright yellow matte with subtle floating pearl
  • Hatter – vibrant green with tonal micro-sparkle
  • Blindsided – bright teal blue matte with floating pearl
  • Sketch – metallic medium purple
  • Iced – oyster silver with shimmer
  • Paranoia – soft metallic blue-pink
  • Jones – metallic orange with subtle floating pearl
  • Goldmine – metallic yellow-gold
  • Mean – bright metallic lime green
  • Metamorphosis – vibrant periwinkle blue with micro-sparkle
  • Faded – lavender with gold shimmer
  • Bump – white matte

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Urban Decay Full Spectrum swatches (in sunlight & natural light, below)

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Neutral shades are my comfort zone, not to mention the fact that I feel they’re much easier to work with and definitely more flattering as I’ve gotten older. And while I may be a tad colour-phobic when it comes to my makeup, I can’t deny the allure of opening up a palette like Full Spectrum and staring in slack-jawed wonder at all its colourful beauty. After some experimentation, I’ve discovered that I like injecting some unexpected colour into my looks … but in baby steps, please. What makes this palette a winner in my opinion, is the quality: each and every shade totally delivers. In spades.

Just a thought: When Urban Decay released their Urban Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette in 2015, it sold out in a heartbeat — you might want to get on board with Full Spectrum while you can. And yes, this too would make an awesome holiday gift. Just saying …

Urban Decay products are available at Sephora & online

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Press sample/As always, all opinions are my own

Becca · Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector

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The latest from Becca, a brand that has become known for using ‘light to amplify the features you love’ comes their latest, Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector, a limited edition pale pink highlighter that launched without any buzz or fanfare, yet instantly sold out on day 1 on Sephora’s website (but has since been restocked & will become available in store next month). I usually don’t fall for hype and buy sight unseen, but my beauty radar was telling me to go for it, and I’ve learned to listen to that instinct. So happy I did, as this shade is like nothing I already own.

One of Pantone’s two colours of the year for 2016, rose quartz is a mineral and has been called the ‘Stone of Love’, having been also used as a love talisman as early as 600 B.C. Also synonymous with beauty, this stone is purported to have a nurturing and calming effect on those around it. Regardless of whether you believe or not, I love the positive message just the same.

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Becca · Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector

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Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector, limited edition (CAN $46.00) | Housed in a flying-saucer shaped compact (right?), it differentiates from Becca’s usual casing by its metallic rose-gold colour that’s just so pretty. The surface of the pattern is in raised geometric shapes that I’m sure will eventually wear down with continued use — not that I’ll ever get to that point (I think), and which shouldn’t affect how the product applies in any way.

The formula is apparently enriched with ‘ultrafine luminescent pearls that absorb, reflect & refract light’, and can adjust to your skin’s natural undertone. The texture is fine-milled and can be applied as a lighter dusting for just a touch of radiance (a fan brush works best for this), or layered for a more editorial-like brilliance. Longevity (over foundation), seems to be excellent and remains visible until removed.

This pale pink hue is quite unique in that it bears neutral undertones, thus making it workable on all skin tones across the spectrum. As someone with a light-medium complexion that has a golden undertone, I tend to avoid pink anything — but I was totally surprised by how Rose Quartz seems to adapt to my skin, and just seems to look better & better with the wearing.

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Becca · Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector

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Becca · Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector

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Becca · Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector swatches

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Apart from the cult-fave Champagne Pop shade shown above, I actually own another Becca coppery highlighter with the same pattern as Rose Quartz, but it seems to have gone MIA and I couldn’t find it to compare. As the swatches show, these two are nothing alike although surprisingly, the pink hue of Rose Quartz appears more wearable than the more golden colour colour of Champagne Pop.  I totally did not expect that, and it further backs up the ‘neutral undertone’ part of the claim.

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Becca · Rose Quartz  & Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector swatches

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Pulling out a few more pink-toned highlighters to compare (although something tells me that I probably have more lurking about, but I was just too lazy to hunt them all down), it’s clear that none are a match for Rose Quartz, leaning either too pink or too shimmery.

Note that all have been swatched with a heavy hand in the photo below, in order to show their differences and/or similarities. Press samples are marked by *

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Becca · Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector & comparison swatches

 

Even though I trust my gut when it comes to beauty products, I still had hesitations about Rose Quartz … until it arrived and I swatched it. After that, it was all “hello beautiful & welcome to the family”. Somehow Becca managed the impossible: getting a colour usually reserved for the fair-complexioned, and making it universally wearable. Bottom line: totally worth picking up, especially if you happen to have a bit of a fetish re: highlighters (guilty).

Available at Sephora

 

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Purchased Item/All opinions my own

Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

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As Frankie said, “fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars … ” 

Totally on trend with all things sparkly and magically delicious, Urban Decay has just launched the Moondust Eyeshadow Palette, consisting of eight vibrant shades that will rocket your look into orbit faster than you can say “blast off”.

Ok… I’ll try to keep it under control but I’m sorry: the name lends itself to a spacefleet of metaphors. Plus, it’s fun.

 

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Earthrise as seen from the moon (credit)

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

UD Moondust Palette

Moondust Eyeshadow Palette (CAN $70.00) | Housed in a gunmetal case with a diamond-textured exterior and the Moondust logo carved into the lid, there’s also a full-sized mirror on the inside for convenience. Displaying an ultra refined feel and no pesky/chunky glitter, these eyeshadows are not only supernova brilliant but can be worn either dry for a soft wash of shimmering colour, or applied with a dampened brush for an intense metallic look. All shades even boast a complex iridescence to sweeten the deal further, as if just looking at them wasn’t enough. Note: applying a primer or your preferred eye shadow base first and making sure to tap off any excess from your brush before application, will help minimize any potential falldown.

Top Row (the fun brights):

  • Specter – soft pink with tonal sparkle
  • Element – peach with pink shift & sparkle (with hints of copper too)
  • Magnetic – purple with blue sparkle (and strong on lavender tones)
  • Lightyear – vivid saturated green with a bonus strong aqua side

Bottom Row (the sultry gang):

  • Granite – black with multi colour sparkle (I see it as more of a complex steel)
  • Lithium – brown with iridescence; my eyes find this to be a stunning pewter
  • Vega – bright blue with tonal sparkle
  • Galaxy – smokey blue grey with iridescent 3D sparkle (and so perfectly named)

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette, top row swatches

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Urban Decay | Moondust Eyeshadow Palette, bottom row swatches

 

I’ll be the first to say that even though my comfort zone is neutrals and usually matte neutrals at that, I am also incurably drawn to all things sparkly. That said, shimmer is not always easy to pull off as one gets older but strategically placed it can serve to really brighten the face and detract from what you want kept hidden (i.e.: lines. Sigh). What I’m loving about the Moondust Eyeshadow Palette is A) the nicely compact size B) no brushes added that only get tossed anyway C) the almost creamy texture of the shades D) how beautifully everything applies & blends and E) the chance to wear colour in a new, fun, yet still sophisticated way. I’m especially crushing on the bottom row and in particular the ‘Galaxy’ shade which is truly otherworldly and must have had input from alien technology, it’s THAT original.

So spill fellow neutral-zoners….who else is as intrigued by this palette? Share your thoughts!

Available now at Sephora and online

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Channelling my inner moonchild/As always, all opinions are my own