Considering the fervor surrounding the much hyped and much desired Urban Decay Naked palette, it is not surprising that many companies have tried to create duplicate palettes, either to provide a cheaper option for the emptier wallets of some makeup fanatics, or perhaps to cash in on the allure of the palette by creating a similar product.  Belonging to the former faction myself, I purchased the Forever 21 version. For $6.80, how could anyone deny me the hope that this could be a great (and thrifty) alternative to UD’s legendary, sell-your-kidney-to-pay-for-it palette?

There are 10 shades.  UD Naked contains 12 shades.

The first 5 shadows:

 The swatches:

With flash:

My initial trial was with the first five shadows. I applied them over UD Eden PP. They were somewhat sheer (you can see this in the swatches) but I worked around that by packing on the product. There is a good mix of mattes and shimmers. I had some trouble blending the shades together. The eyeshadows were not as smooth as I hoped they would be, making the application a little difficult. The fallout was fairly disappointing, because I rarely have any fallout from eyeshadows and these were the worst I’ve experienced in years. Even when I tried not to waste eyeshadow and carefully patted it onto my lid, there was still an inexcusable amount of eyeshadow under my eye.

After all the time and care I took to blend and reapply, the eyeshadows faded rapidly, which really soured my feelings toward this palette. Just 15 minutes after I applied my eye makeup, I could barely see the crease and outer v colors, and the lid shades were disappearing quicker than I expected. It was frustrating, and I am not one who is easily frustrated with makeup. The newspaper delivery service, yes, but not makeup. I also noticed a strange scent coming from the makeup, like that weird powdery smell you get from The Color Workshop powder products and other cheap makeup.

The next 5 shadows:

The swatches:

The swatches looks a little more promising, right? I was happy to find that the second half of the palette was easier to work with and didn’t give me too much trouble. The shadows faded fast, but they did stick around for at least 2 hours, much longer than their colleagues in the first half of the palette.

The palette also comes with a small black eyeliner pencil, which lasted for all of 5 minutes on me. I don’t expect much from cheap eyeliners that come in cheap palettes, so I did not spill tears over this one. I get the feeling they just throw this in as filler. Kind of like MSG in Ramen Noodles. Not that anyone should really eat that stuff.

Pros: Very affordable price, good range of colors and textures, cute packaging.
Cons: Poor staying power, poor quality, difficult to blend, strange smell emanating from the makeup, bad fallout.
Grade:C+

This was a nice try on Forever 21’s part, but they fall short of creating a good dupe for UD’s bestseller. If you want an affordable substitute for the Naked palette, try the NYX Nude on Nude Natural Look palette. Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog did a great review on it, found here. I own NYX’s version, and let me tell you, it was the best $11.99 I’ve ever spent.

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