TheBalm’s Nude ‘Tude palette (available at theBalm or Amazon) is a neutral palette of twelve eyeshadows. TheBalm has one of the best eyeshadow formulas I’ve come across, and that quality holds true in this palette. The colors are gorgeous, and a lot of thought has clearly been put into making this different from the Naked palettes.
This palette was sold in “naughty” and “nice” versions. The naughty version opens to feature cartoon drawings of naked ladies covered up by the shadows. I actually like the nice version which I got through HauteLook – it’s got a sepia scene of a room in the background, which gives it an old Hollywood sexy glam feel.
The quality of the packaging is great. It’s cardboard with a strong magnet that makes it travel safe. It’s thin and lightweight, too.
Inside, there’s a nice mirror and a not-so-impressive brush included with the shadows. The brush is literally the only negative thing I have to say about this palette. And it’s not a bad brush, it’s just not as easy to work with as it might have been.
The colors & formula
As I said, theBalm’s formula is great. Pigmentation is very similar to Urban Decays – ranging from “very good” in some shades to “wow” on others. They glide on like silk and melt into your skin. Every shade is easy to blend without sheering out (though you can sheer it out if you want to – just use very, very little to begin with). You can also mix colors on your brush or on your lid (by layering) to create new shades. This palette has four matte shades, seven shimmers, and one gold-flecked color (Silly).
The variety of colors is what sets this apart from a lot of other neutral palettes on the market. You get warm pinks and yellows, a plummy, almost reddish matte, and some warm and cool toned browns. The colors are grouped according to tone: the four on the left are light toned, the middle four are medium and the four on the right are deep.
Sassy is a shimmery white that works great as a highlight or to lighten up another color and/or add some shimmer to a matte. It looks in the pan like it might be over the top as a daytime brow highlight, but if you just get a tiny bit on a fluffy brush and sheer it out, it looks great.
Stubborn is a shimmery pink with warm undertones that make it very wearable for many skin tones. This is a great lid color, but can also be used as a highlight.
Selfish is a medium-deep taupe with a shimmer finish. This one works equally well as a lighter or darker color, depending which shadows you use it with.
Sophisticated combines a medium shimmery tobacco brown with gold flecks. The result is a glamorous warm brown with a lot of sparkle.
Sexy is a deep plummy-red-brown matte that’s unlike anything else I’ve seen. TheBalm really needs to sell this one individually. It’s wonderful anywhere you want to use a deeper shade – including as liner, because the red tones aren’t strong enough to make you look tired.
Serious is a matte black that’s very opaque and pigmented with brown undertones. If you use it to deepen other colors, or sheer it out, it will blend with the brown tones from the rest of this palette – no gray in this color. But if you apply it full strength, it’s just black. Awesome as a liner.
Snobby is a shimmery buttery yellow. It’s the least pigmented shadow in this group – you can build up the pigment by applying a good bit, but whereas the other shades just sweep on gloriously, this one takes a little effort. This one definitely looks like a bright pale gold when you apply it full strength. You can also sheer it or blend it with other colors to soften it.
Stand-offish is a pinkish shimmery champagne that reminds me of Stila’s Kitten in terms of color and texture. It’s beautiful as a lid or highlight color.
Sultry is a matte medium brown with warm, golden-orange undertones.
Schitzo is a shimmery caramel with gold undertones. It’s lighter and yellower than Too Faced’s After Hours, but has that same warm golden brown tone.
Silly is a medium-deep warm matte brown with gold flecks. This makes a great liner as well as a beautiful deep color. As you can see from the swatch, it applies lighter than it looks in the pan and does not build up to the pan color with additional layers. It applies evenly and blends easily, it just doesn’t look quite like you’d expect from the pan.
Sleek is a matte dark chocolate. It’s very much like the brown version of Serious, and makes a great liner of deep color.
Nude ‘Tude is an exceptional neutral palette. The shadows themselves are excellent overall, and compared to similar sized palettes, it’s a good value for the money. The color variation is broader than in most neutral palettes, and yet still as wearable as you would expect from a palette claiming to be neutral.