As you’ve probably noticed, I have a lot of neutral, matte eyeshadows. A lot. I rounded up three of the popular nude/neutral palettes I own that are all or mostly matte. If you’re trying to decide which nude palette to buy, or are debating whether to add to your collection, hopefully this can help.
- Urban Decay Naked Basics | my review
- theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude | my review
- Sleek i-Divine Au Naturel
At first glance, these palettes all look pretty similar. But there’s actually far less color overlap than you may expect. In fact, aside from the white and black, there aren’t any colors close enough to call dupes.
The Sleek shadows don’t have individual names, so I gave the ones I swatched numbers.
L-R: Urban Decay Venus, Sleek #5
Urban Decay Naked Basics and Sleek Au Naturel both contain one light shimmer shade. Au Naturel also includes three other shimmers, but for this post I’m mostly focusing on the mattes. Venus, the light shimmer in Naked Basics, is actually described as a demi-matte, and it’s quite a bit less shimmery than Sleek #5. Both these shadows are incredibly buttery smooth, the Sleek even moreso than Venus. Venus is ivory while Sleek #5 is a peachy, gold champagne. Sleek #5 would also make a beautiful cheek highlight.
LIGHT PINK OR PEACH
L-R: Sleek #4, UD W.O.S., theBalm Matt Singh
These aren’t actually very similar in color, but I do find I tend to use them similarly. They’re great “transition colors” for blending out other shades and softening darker shades. W.O.S. is light enough that it works as an all-over nude lid color on me.
L-R: Sleek #2, UD Naked2
Naked2 is darker, cooler, more grey and more pigmented than Sleek #2. Swatched next to each other, they actually look quite a bit like the NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Portobello. I love these sort of medium browns, a la original Naked shadow. These are cruelty-free options for MAC Kid and Omega. They’re multitasking – perfect for natural crease definition and for brows on a wide range of skin tones.
PURPLE & DARK GREY GRADIENT
L-R: Sleek #7, Matt Hung, Sleek #6, Matt Johnson
Sleek #7 has more red, mahogany tones, while Matt Hung is more purple. Sleek #6 and Matt Johnson are both greys, but compared to each other, Sleek #6 pulls much more olive-brown while Matt Johnson is more navy.
L-R: theBalm Matt Abdul, Sleek #1
Matt Abdul is darker and more slate grey while Sleek #1 has a light, almost robin egg’s blue to it. These two colors complement each other nicely.
L-R: theBalm Matt Lombardi, UD Foxy, Sleek #3
All three palettes include a yellow shade, which unfortunately are barely visible in swatches. Matt Lombardi is peachier and darker than the other two. Foxy is lightest and nearly transparent on my eyelids – it doesn’t have enough pigment to cancel out redness. Sleek #3 is between the two in depth and more of a mustard yellow.
Each palette has individual shades that stand out or fall slightly short, but overall all three formulas are top-notch. I’m partial to Urban Decay’s formula because it feels particularly buttery smooth, but you can’t go too far wrong with any of these palettes.
I couldn’t find the exact size of theBalm or Sleek’s pans, so here’s my very unscientific price comparison:
- Urban Decay Naked Basics: $27 for 6 x 1.3g
- theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude: $42 for 9 large shadows – total weight is 25.5 g
- Sleek Au Naturel: $9.99 for 12 small shadows (plus international shipping outside the UK)
Do you have a favorite neutral, matte palette? If you own any of these three, how do you like it?