Knowing that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay, I wondered just how closely L’Oréal’s much less expensive $19.99 10-pan La Palette Nude 1 palette of neutral powder shadows would imitate its $54 Naked superstar cousin. Would La Palette’s three mattes be as easy to blend as UD Naked’s matte shadows, and what about pigment, shimmer and fallout? How would they compare? And what would I miss with only 10, instead of 12 shades?
I decided to find out.
The $19.99 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 vs. the $54 Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
Briefly, what’s the idea behind L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1?
Well, it’s basically the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette with 10 neutral powder shadows instead of 12. Seven of them are shimmers — a warm beige, a peach, gold, bronze, chocolate brown, silvery taupe and a cool-toned white — and three are matte browns — a medium taupe-brown, medium tan brown and a dark neutral brown. La Palette Nude 1 is one of two eyeshadow palettes that were added to the L’Oréal permanent line this spring, and it comes with a dual-ended brush with a sponge-tip applicator on one end and a small flat eyeshadow brush on the other. There are also four simple how-to tutorials for four different eye looks on the bottom/back. It’s available now online and at drugstores and Ulta.
What makes it interesting?
First, for me, the price. It’s $34 less than Urban Decay Naked.
The 10 shadows work out to $2 each, versus Naked with its 12 shadows, which work out to $4.50 each. So it’s less than half the price.
Yes, I can see your big saucer eyes from across the keyboard, ’cause that’s tempting stuff. 🙂 Seriously, I’m the last person in the world who needs another neutral palette of brown and beige shades, but when I saw La Palette Nude 1 at Ulta last week, I had to go there. I couldn’t stop myself.
What is this compulsion I have to try all of the brown eyeshadows…? It must come from the same place that makes me want all of teh kittehs. The struggle is real, my friend.
So, is La Palette Nude 1 as good as Urban Decay Naked?
In some ways, yes, I think it is. Like Naked, it has a good variety of matte transition shades (which are also highly pigmented! *thumbs up*), and a perfect balance between warm and cool color-temp shades.
The shadows also feel silky and soft like Urban Decay’s, which I guess isn’t a big surprise, considering that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay. Maybe there’s some crossover between the formulas, or maybe not and it just worked out that way. La Palette’s shadows also last seven to eight hours for me.
But there a couple of ways in which I think UD Naked trumps L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1…
Nude 1’s mattes, while fabulously pigmented, take longer to blend.
This first time I wore the Nude 1 palette, I used my trusty NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I layered the shadows on top of it, and I felt like I had to work pretty hard to buff out the edges and transition shades into each other. The overall look turned out a little choppy. Then I tried the mattes on top of a creamier base (MAC’s Paint Pot in Soft Ochre), which I hoped would give the shadows a more slippery surface. It seemed to help a bit, but things were still a tad choppy. It required more passes with my fluffy blending brush to get my gradients worked out than I could count, so if you’re going to invest in this palette and plan to give these mattes a daily workout, I highly recommend also having a cream shadow on hand to use as a base, along with a healthy dose of patience.
Nude 1’s shimmers aren’t all that shiny.
Compared to the shimmery shadows in UD Naked, Nude 1’s pearlescent shadows don’t shimmer as brightly, so I get more of a soft shine than a mirror. The shimmer also doesn’t seem anywhere near as pigmented or refined. In fact, I feel like it looks pretty chunky on my lids. It reminds me of the shimmers in the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette.
I don’t know if it’s something that companies do on purpose to cater to the drugstore makeup crowd, or if it’s just a consequence of a lower price, but it is still possible to reach the point where Nude 1’s shimmery eyeshadows shine bright like diamonds. You may just have to wet your brush first and do a lot of layering.
It’ll take some effort, not gonna lie.
What about fallout?
There is some…
Actually, quite a bit — similar to Urban Decay’s eyeshadows.
Honestly, though, it’s not a deal-breaker for me. If you get in the habit of tapping off your brush to unload the excess product before applying these shadows, you really should be fine.
Also, since Nude 1 has 10 shadows instead of 12, it’s not quite as flexible as Urban Decay Naked, and the shadows that are missing are two of the darkest shades. Just something else to keep in mind.
Oh…and the brush that comes with Nude 1 is pretty lame. It’s scratchy (like a cat’s tongue). I’m going to ditch it.
For $20, is L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 worth it?
If you don’t already own a good neutral palette, I think it is. La Nude 1 is a perfectly respectable Urban Decay Naked dupe, and one of the better ones out there.
I do think that it helps to go into it expecting to have to do more blending and layering than you would with Naked, but because of the price difference, you’re saving a lot. As long as you’re cool with the extra blending, you’ll be able to do a lot with this palette. While a little pricey for a drugstore product, it’s still quite a good value.
AVAILABILITY: Available now online and at drugstores, Ulta and L’Oréal counters
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+
Additional makeup worn in this look…
Lips — MAC Matte Lipstick in Men Love Mystery
Lashes — NARS Numero 2
Eyes — MAC Costa Riche Eye Kohl, MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre, Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen in Deeper
Cheeks — BECCA Damselfly Blush, Smashbox Fusion Lights in Baked Starblush, Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons in 03 Naturel Brunettes
Face — Dior Diorskin Nude Air Serum in 040, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,