Urban Decay's Naked Ultimate Basics Palette + Swatches

I'm certain that over 50% of my blog posts start like this, but yes, I'm late to the party once again. But listen, when you're a student/recent graduate, it can be difficult to find space in your budget for pretty things like this! I remember absolutely drooling over this palette when it first came out, and I was watching YouTube videos of people swatching, reviewing and creating looks with it constantly. I stuck it on my Christmas list, not really expecting to receive it, so I was shocked to find out that my grandad had bought it for me! I was so thankful (and still am) and I'm just in total awe of it.

Of course, as with every UD Naked palette, there was a massive amount of hype around this guy (I mean, Urban Decay announced that they were going to be a totally matte Naked palette - who wouldn't be excited?), and for good reason. This palette is just utterly stunning, and that's without even looking at the product shades. The packaging itself is absolutely gorgeous - unlike it's sister palettes, the Naked 1, 2, 3 and Smoky, it's a square instead of rectangular, and I think this results in a very luxurious appearance. It's also fairly thin, so it doesn't feel clunky or weighty, making the palette feel more compact to me, so I can definitely see myself travelling with it in the future. The outer packaging is probably my favourite of all the Naked palettes, as it's a metallic rose gold with the name debossed in the centre, surrounded by kaleidoscopic lines that are ridged, giving it an expensive look. It's made entirely from plastic, I think, but made to look like metal, so it just feels and looks great. It's very easy to open, as it has a magnetised closure, meaning the chances of it accidentally opening in your bag is quite slim! But that's enough of me cooing over the outside, let's open it up.
Just look at those colours. Seriously, I know that there are far too many neutral palettes in the world and I'm certain that each of us own too many, but just LOOK AT THEM. I feel like UD have taken regular nude shades and just flipped them on their heads - turned them into new-trals, if you will. As you can see, unlike the other Naked palettes where the 12 shades are lined up next to each other, the Ultimate Basics has a grid of shades, with two rows of 6, and this absolutely works! There is no wasted space at all, and I feel like having shades above others allows you to easily see which shades would make perfect pairings. As well as the eyeshadows, you get a double-ended brush, which I think has become the standard with the Naked palettes. I really tend to use the brushes they provide, but if I'm in a bit of a fix, it's handy to have. You also get a full-sized mirror on the underside of the lid, and I don't know how the magic wizards over at UD have done it, but the lid can stay propped open on it's own! Gone are the days of having to balance the lid against something while you awkwardly use the mirror! Now, let's take a look at the colours a little more closely.
The first shade on the top row is Blow which is a lovely highlighting shade, as it's a very pale peach, shimmery shade. It's odd that UD included this colour, as it was meant to be an all-matte palette, but I feel like absolutely everyone will get use from this shade. It's one of those eyeshadows that is pretty multipurpose - it can be used as an all-over wash on the lid, used on the brow bone or put in the inner corners for a highlight.
Next up is Nudie, and I think this is my ideal nude. It's a light peach shade, and it applies quite sheerly. While it isn't my favourite shade in the palette, I just feel like it really works with my skin tone and looks great over my whole lid. I know a lot of people aren't impressed with how sheer this shade is, but I quite like it and think it works well at cancelling out any redness or veins on my lids.
The next shade is Commando, which works perfectly with Nudie. it's a dark, warm beige shade and I just feel like the two complement each other so well. I can see myself using these two together for no-makeup makeup looks.
Next up is Tempted, which is a medium brown with a slight pinky blue undertone, that can be used in warm or cool looks. This colour is pretty versatile, so I think it could be paired with a lot of different shades and can really finish a look off.
The second to last shade is Instinct, is a dusky mauve and is the kind of colour I love to wear on my nails, but I think it'll complement my stony blue eyes quite well. I'm excited to give it a try!
And the last shade of the row is Lethal, which is a deep, plum that looks stunning with Instinct. Much like Nudie, it applies quite sheerly but it can be built up to a solid, dark colour. It's absolutely beautiful and one of my favourite shades in the palette.
On to the second row! The first shade is Pre-Game, a yellow matte that reminds me a lot of the Ben Nye banana powder. I'm not a huge fan of this shadow because of how yellow it pulls on my skin, but I feel like I'll get the odd use out of it, here and there.
The next shade is my absolute favourite and it's called Extra Bitter. It's a gorgeous terracotta, burnt orange sort of shade, and it fits in perfectly with the current beauty community trend. It's super pigmented and earthy, so it would work amazingly with brown or green eyes. It's a real standout in the palette!
Next up is Faith, a warm medium brown. I think this looks a lot like Commando when applied, only a lot more intense, so those two could work really well together, with Commando as a transition.
Another shade that could work with Faith is it's neighbour, Lockout, as it's a darker warm brown. This is also perfect for deepening Extra Bitter even further.
The second to last shade is Magnet, which is a dark grey with a bit of a purply-blue undertone. It isn't a colour I would usually associate with a neutrals palette, but it is really beautiful and shade that you didn't know your signature smoky look needed.
And last but not least is a true, matte black called Blackjack. Every palette needs a good matte black and UD didn't skip out! This guy is well pigmented, so you can go in quite heavy or you can use a light hand to develop a gradual colour.

Overall, I would say that each of these shades is extremely soft, but because they have been so finely-milled, you do get a little bit of kick-up when you swipe your finger or a brush. Some are a lot more pigmented than others, and while this works for some shades, it just doesn't for others. I absolutely love how bold Extra Bitter is, but I wish I got the same kind of pay off from Tempted and Instinct. Despite this, I'm enjoying using this palette, especially the bottom row, and the types of looks I can create with it are endless. With primed lids, I find that the shadows last all day, so if that's something you're looking for, give it a go! If you're an Urban Decay fan, this may be something that you want to pick up, or if you're looking for a higher end palette to introduce you to the world of neutrals, it might be worth having a look. I'm definitely still loving my Naked 3 more, but who knows, this may become a staple for me!

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