The Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette is available exclusively at Sephora for $55. This pricing puts it in line with the Naked palettes, so I was expecting equal quality to those. In actuality, I found this palette to be equal or better. And you get a nice variety of both neutrals and colorful shadows, making it very flexible – I can’t count how many looks you could do with this palette.
This palette comes in a plastic box with a silver top and purple bottom. The surface is highly reflective and holds onto fingerprints like nobody’s business. Despite this, it’s pretty gorgeous, and I love the fact that you can pop the eyeshadows out to find a very shallow compartment underneath, where you could maybe stash a few very thin eyeshadow singles – like, depotted or refill shadows. Or some “get the looks” cards, or some papers.
The new formula
These shadows are from the new Urban Decay formulation. That means they apply even more silkily, blend more easily and seem more saturated in pigment than older Urban Decay shadows, making this definitely one of the best formulas out there. The only issue that remains is the glitter: the newer formula’s glitter shades perform better, but they are still Fallout City if you don’t have oily lids, so you’ll need to apply special primers over and under them, tap excess off your brush and gently pat them into place just to minimize fallout (you’ll still have some).
This collection contains one glitter shadow, one matte and lots of others in between.
Midnight Rodeo is the one seriously glittery shadow in the bunch. It’s a medium beige-brown with pink undertones and silvery glitter. It’s fussy on normal to dry lids, and you’ll need a lot of effort to minimize fallout. If you have oily lids, you may not notice any fallout at all (that seems to be how it breaks down among people I’ve talked to). If you’re wondering if maybe it’s just not possible to do glitter shadows without fallout issues, I would say Too Faced glitter shadows aren’t nearly this difficult to work with. That said, the pigmentation is great and in all other ways this shadow works beautifully.
Midnight 15 is a light beige with pink undertones and very fine silvery glitter. While this shade definitely has the glitter look (which you may or may not personally like), it doesn’t have fallout issues and is easy to work with. It makes a nice highlight color (if you don’t mind glitter in a highlighter) or lid color.
Vanilla is a shimmery pale buttercup yellow. It’s very rich, so it makes a great inner corner highlight. It’s also great on the lid, or as a base to mellow out and blend other colors.
Flow is a very shimmery light peach. I love pairing this one on the lid with more colorful ones in the crease or outer V for daytime looks that are subtly colorful. This shadow can be a highlight or lid color – it could even be a very subtle color in the crease, paired with Midnight 15 or Vanilla on the lid.
Chase is a highly shimmered golden beige – a cross between Half-Baked and Suspect (from the Naked 2 palette). It’s an awesome lid color, and would make a lovely highlight colors on deeper skin tones.
Tainted is a matte pinkish lavender with a gold shimmer. This is an unusual and beautiful color that can be part of a soft, neutral look or a bright, bold one. The pink tone makes it work well with the more colorful shades, but the gold shimmer looks great with the more brown and gold shades.
Junkshow is a bright fuschia that’s lightly shimmered – it’s almost a satin finish. It’s a vibrant pink and I had my doubts that it would play well on my skin tone. But it has enough of a rosy tone that it actually does look good. You can sheer this out very evenly for a softer pink, or wear it full-strength. Junkshow is a little bit stiffer than some of the other colors, but considering how excellent the others are, that’s not a problem. It’s just something you might notice.
Omen is a metallic purple that shifts to shimmering blue. This color works beautifully with pretty much every other color in the palette. Its purple tones work well with Tainted and Junkshow; the blue tones make it beautiful with the gray shades and Evidence (blue). And of course it’s lovely with the neutral shades.
Evidence is a matte navy with a metallic royal blue shift. The overall effect is low shimmer, which makes this one very versatile. Like Junkshow, it’s just a tiny bit stiffer than some of the others, but not at all difficult to work with. This is a great lining and defining shade, but if you’re brave it can be beautiful all over the lid.
Deep End is a metallic teal, equally green and blue. This is a super-rich, silky color that’s an absolute joy to work with. It’s pretty bright on the lid, but beautiful; if you’re uncomfortable with it as a lid color, it’s gorgeous in the crease or outer corner with Chase or Flow on the lid – just a subtle pop of color.
Deeper is a shimmerly golden bronze, but it has an almost greenish gold patine, like antiqued gold. The tone reminds me a little of Patina by Mac. For a brown shade, I find this one unique. For daytime, on my light skin, I use it in the crease or outer corner, but it’s beautiful on the lids or right against the lashes for a smoky brown eye. It’s also a wonderful liner color (and as a liner, it reminds me of Teddy by Mac).
M.I.A. is a satin finish deep brown – it’s just a shade or two deeper than Deeper, and without the gold patina. It may seem like these two colors are very similar, and they are – and yet when you wear them, there’s a visible difference.
Ace is a metallic deep gray. This is a strange color that likes to pick up tones from other nearby colors – I’ve even seen it pick up a greenish tone when it’s next to brown colors. Don’t let that put you off, however – it’s a great color that works in a variety of looks.
Blackout is a deep velvety matte black that’s so pigmented I use it as a liner all the time, and it applies just as dark as the average pencil liner. It was in the Naked 2 palette, too, but this is one color I don’t mind having a dupe of, because it’s so useful. In addition to lining, it’s great for deepening other colors or transforming a day look into an evening look.
Half-Truth is a metallic deep gray with purplish undertones. It’s a soft purple that strikes me as a romantic color – like the sky during a storm or something. This is another color that’s at home with most of the rest of the palette – the purple in it works with the pink and purple shades, but it’s also beautiful contrasted with the gold shades.
This palette exceeded my expectations. The colors were more wearable than I thought they would be, and the browns more interesting. If you already own Naked 1, the browns in this one are cut from the same cloth (warm with yellow to pink undertones), so you may not feel the need to own both palettes. But the colors in this one are something else, and since I like to pair bright colors with neutrals to keep them from being overwhelming, the mix in this palette feels about right to me – I expect to hit pan on the neutrals before the colors, and maybe need to dip into my Nakeds to complete some looks at that point. It’s also worth noting that this is the new formula and Naked 1 is not – I do notice a difference, though I think Naked 1 is still pretty awesome. If you only own Naked 2, then I would definitely recommend looking into this one, because the browns are warmer than Naked 2s. All in all, this is a fantastic palette that I think I would pick over either of the Nakeds, because I love my colors and neutrals together.