Saturday, June 10, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Urban Decay Naked Heat

The latest palette from Urban Decay recently launched, and it is also the latest in the "Naked" line: Naked Heat.

And I won't be buying. 

This is actually a really exciting post for me to make because it was one that was requested by several people. I'm a happily small blogger, but it is always very exciting to me when people request posts on certain items. I like feeling that we are building a community of thoughtful shoppers. 

One thing to note is that while I have cut my makeup shopping dramatically, I still occasionally buy products when I feel it would be additive to my collection and something I will love. As a result, if a product is requested as the subject of an anti-haul post, and if I am strongly considering purchasing that item, I won't write a post on it.

With Naked Heat, I went through three distinct phases.

Phase 1: Oh, I definitely don't need that. 
Phase 2: (Seeing a few colors swatched, hearing the hype): Maybe this is something I want.
Phase 3: Nope. I definitely don't need that. 

Let's look at the palette:

What I will say about this is that in terms of Naked palettes alone, this would be THE Naked palette for me. And several years ago, hell, even last year, I would have totally nabbed this palette. The above image in particular looks unbelievably appealing to me. And I'm sure that this will be a pretty big release for Urban Decay. This is the first time in a while that it feels (to me) that Urban Decay has stepped up their neutral game and focused on something "on trend." 

And had this palette come out last year or two years ago, it might have even been a favorite palette of mine. But here's the thing: it didn't. 

Let's look at the colors in the palette:

I've said it so many times before, but these are my favorite images of a palette when I really want to consider if I want to buy something or not. When I am able to look at colors as pigments, away from the packaging, I feel like I am able to more clearly see what I am really working with. 

And do you know what it feels like I am working with here? A whole lot of the same colors. 

This is something that will ultimately boil down to personal preference, but I am not a huge fan of having a palette full of colors with subtle differences. To me, that makes the palette not very versatile as most of my looks will come out looking the same. And I can absolutely see that happening with this color scheme. 

I see cream, tan, reddish copper, and maroon. Of course there are the subtle differences in color, and I'm sure I will see a review video soon that goes through all the shades and gives them unique-sounding but ultimately similar names, such as: cream, beige, warm peach, warm brown, grapefruit, burnt orange, copper, rust, sienna, maroon, deep eggplant, and bronzed copper. Sure, I can come up with a unique descriptor for each name too, but that doesn't mean that the colors will actually look unique on the eye. With this palette specifically, I can tell that most of the colors will look the same or very similar at least on my skin tone. 

I felt the same issue with the Moprhe 35O palette:

I personally bought the all-shimmer version of this palette (because I think Morphe mattes are not good and I think it is not hard to make a good shimmer or foiled shadow) and I ended up depotting it into a custom palette:

Since this photo was taken, I have decluttered/replaced the majority of these shadows that looked too similar. (Following the surgery I had last week, I am still unable to stand or easily move on my own, so I am not able to take of picture of what the palette currently looks like.) Only a few shades remain from the original Morphe 35OS palette, and I think my custom palette is now much more versatile since it does not have several repeated champagne, gold, and bronze shades. With that said, even looking at the state of this palette a few months ago, I can already see that Naked Heat would be redundant to my collection. 

Naked Heat also reminds me of Too Faced Sweet Peach:

Smashbox Ablaze:

And Viseart Warm Mattes:

I have already seen reviews of Naked Heat comparing the colors to shades in other palettes and saying that the shades are "different enough" to justify owning both. 

I find this to be a really problematic statement in a review, and here's why. I am an anti-haul / "makeup rehab" beauty blogger. And it is my objective to rein in my spending on makeup, be a much more critical and conscious shopper, and have a collection full of products that I love that are different and additive. If you are a person who wants to have five different variations of the same palette, guess what? That's totally fine. You are absolutely able to do that. I don't judge people who know what they like and are unapologetic about it. There are some people who collect every single palette that releases. It is something that so obviously brings them joy, and I think that's great. But most of us, I would say, are people who don't need or want so much, but get bogged down into thinking we need it all by all the hype. 

So, saying that the colors in the palette are "different enough" to justify owning multiple similar palettes, I think, is not okay because they are different enough to justify owning both for that particular person and their particular collection. When you broaden the scope to include the majority of people who don't want to own tons of makeup, I think it's helpful to acknowledge when something really can be redundant. 

Let's look at swatches of Naked Heat:

These photos were an exciting find for me because I have very rarely found swatches from more than one place that swatched the colors on multiple skin tones. I can't find the main source for either image, but it seems clear to me that the top photo is some sort of promotional photo, while the bottom photo looks supplied by an online beauty magazine. 

Very obviously the top swatches look incredible and the bottom swatches look lackluster. Also, what's interesting to note is that the colors look somewhat distinct in the top photo while they look really similar in the bottom photo. Finally, while the difference in color payout is drastically different on all skin tones between the two photos, I think the difference is most noticeable on the deeper skin tone. Looking at the lightest two colors, for example, they look distinct in the top photo and essentially the same in the bottom photo. 

I really love seeing swatch photos like the second image because I believe they are "fantasy" versus "reality." When I see the top photo, I get the hype and excitement, and my brain has a moment where it tries to justify adding these colors I know I don't need into my collection. And then I look at the bottom photo, get brought back to reality, and see that these are just normal warm shimmer and matte shadows that I've had in my collection for years. Obviously most brands don't want to showcase any mediocrity in their products, but when the difference in swatches is this stark, it really feel deceptive. 

In terms of my own collection, I have plenty of reddish orange, burgundy, and maroon shadows that make this palette essentially redundant to my collection. Added to that, of the Naked line, I have owned Naked, Naked 2, Naked 3, and Naked Basics. And guess what? I have decluttered every single one. Something I know about myself is that I don't really like the formula of Urban Decay shadows that come in palettes, especially the Naked line. I much prefer the single shadow formula as well as the more colorful palettes like the Electric Palette. 

Just because this palette is new and people are hyping it, it doesn't take away the fact that I don't like the Urban Decay palette formula. It doesn't take away the fact that I already own these colors. And it doesn't take away the fact that the shadows in this palette are not distinct enough from each other to warrant the $54 price tag. I'm sure this palette will get a ton of hype in the coming days, but I don't really care. People won't be talking about it in a few weeks to a month, just like they're no longer talking about the Morphe 35O, Too Faced Sweet Peach, or Smashbox Ablaze palettes. I'll let the hype train pass right on by with this one. I don't need it, and I won't be buying. 


  1. KInda over all of these warm tones now. What are your thoughts on the Too Faced Glitter Bomb palette? Looks identical to Urban Decay Moondust to me!

  2. Found your blog yesterday and already read almost every post! I love how honest you are. Keep it up I will be reading you for sure!

  3. Heya Ellie, I'm sorry I've been absent! I've been taking some time away from the makeup internet-sphere in all its forms to try to manage my No Buy. You are the first blog I've been back to! I wish you all the best in your recovery!

    That said, I had the exact same process as you on the Naked Heat. First immediately thinking no way, then finding it appealing, then rejecting it again. It's permanent, so it will eventually be back in stock, so there's no reason to jump on the "scarcity" of the initial launch. When I think of all of the incredible indie shadows I could get for the same amount of money, though, I know where I want to put my cash for the biggest bang for my buck, and right now it isn't Urban Decay.

    1. Hey Jaime, thanks so much for reading and for your comment. I feel so honored that mine is the first blog you've been back to! How's the no buy going?

      I heard about people's love of indie shadows for a really long time before I actually dug into them myself, because it was hard for me to imagine that they would be better than some of these mainstream brands. So I get why it's hard for people to seek out indie shadows when the majority of people don't hype them. But I completely agree with you. Putting $54 toward gorgeous indie shadows is a much better use of money, in my option, and you can guarantee that the colors will be distinct.

      Thanks for the well wishes!

  4. Omg. I was going to skip the gym so I can nap this up at the ulta early release party. Thank you for the post. I feel MUCH better now. Going to the gym. I don't need this stuff and I'm not gonna buy it!

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. These are the kind of comments that bring me a ton of joy. I'm glad my post helped, and glad you made it to the gym! Thanks for reading.

  5. The first i saw the release pics on insta i thought I WILL GO to this blog. In my heart of hearts i knew i didn t need it ( admitedly i went overboard with the decluterr that now i miss a darker brown and i will enjoy one with a redder undertones buut I am waiting for zoeva caramel melange to come. At ony 27 euros i thing i will get all the warm browns and golds i need . And always i got amber lights which i wear 90% of time ( just got a fresh one). I m thinking of buying the only dupe it s worth for me which is nyx prismatic golden peach/fireball for LUMBRE . And like always one color will be the story of the palette ( like nooner for naked 3 , the rest bein fairly boring). But i did manage my last 6 months with only 2 quads and a duo so i ll be fine,. ( those are - Quad 1. Amber lights , A light iridiscent white cream from mufe, peacock ( a dark brown with a green shift - also mufe - blended out - more brown . Patted you can see the green, and a lame transition color -beware from ud single) Second quad ( all my colorful shit depoted, mac plum dressing, langoon blue mufe, ud backfire and a ud pink which i never use but used to love? , and my other one with my standard evening look which is a silver mac shade and a black mufe one. coupled with my cuff ud pencil they make an exelent smoky eye look. I could have just kept the silver black the amber lights, a transition shade and MAYBE a brown. I crave a rusty red brown. And typing this made me realise I GOT enough anyway. I remember i also have the ud naked basics because i thought I NEED a work appropriate palete. Which i def do not

  6. Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful review. I haven't been a big fan of these reddish shades, myself. When I saw this I thought it also resembled that Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette that emerged last fall/this spring - all the rage in the Ulta store and I was like, "meh". Really, I am about done with buying any more of these since I have accumulated so much and how many days are there where I wear a lot of eye shadow, anyway? I have the Too Faced Sweet Peach and it works fine.

  7. It looks pretty but realistically I wouldn't use all of those colors. But, I think the Naked 3 would be a better fit. I didn't see a blog post where you wouldn't get it, so I was wondering your opinion on it. :)

    1. I decluttered the Naked 3 from my collection several years ago. There were two shades that I liked it in—Nooner and a mid-tone shimmery shade. The colors were just all so similar and didn't flatter me. I also wasn't a huge fan of the quality (I never really like Urban Decay palettes). But a good friend of mine loves that palette so much. She tells me that she could just have the Naked 3 and need nothing else. She is very cool-toned with red hair and dark eyes, and it really flatters her. Personally, I like the Lorac Unzipped more for similar tones. Thanks for reading!


    I bought Naked Heat, and saying that I was underwhelmed is an understatement. At least four of the colors are 90+% dupes for other colors on the palette, and the four lightest colors are 80% dupes of the standard greiges and taupes you find in almost every other palette. So what we have are six shadow palette with six filler shadows. While $9/shadow still isn't bad, I could have skipped this and just bought a copper, burgundy and deep purple shadow and fudged the rest.

    Even worse, although UD claimed the palette was vegan, they used Carmine (which is essentially ground beetles) to achieve some of the red tones. I'm allergic to Carmine, and rightfully assumed they used some other ingredients to achieve the reddish colors because Carmine is not considered a "vegan" cosmetic ingredient.