Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

thebalm Meet Matte Nude Sleek Urban Decay Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

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.

theBalm Meet Matte Urban Decay Naked Basics Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

COLORS


 

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.

sleek numbered Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

 

SHIMMER HIGHLIGHT

UD Venus and Sleek Shimmer Swatch Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

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

Midtone Pinky Peaches Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

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.

 

MID-TONE BROWN

Midtone Browns Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

 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

dark purple tones Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

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.

 

LIGHT GREY

greys Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

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.

 

BEIGE YELLOW

yellows Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette Comparison: theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Sleek Au Naturel

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.

 

FORMULA


 

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.

 

PRICE


 

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?


  • http://MyLuciteDreams.com/ MyLuciteDreams

    Ooh look at all these neutral beauties! Your photos look really great btw. Is Lorac cruelty free? If it is you really need the Pro. The matte shadows in that palette are the best texture ever!

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Hi Taylor! Unfortunately, LORAC isn’t cruelty-free anymore… I remember double-checking after your post on that palette, it really is stunning. ♥

      • Christine

        I’ve been wondering about Lorac, but keep forgetting to check into it. Thanks! Too bad because the Pro palette looks AMAZING!

  • http://willworkformakeup.blogspot.com/ Tiffany

    I really like the look of theBalm palette here! I have the Sleek one but I don’t use it very often….I just find several of the shades a bit…odd? Like, too peachy or orangey or something. I can’t pinpoint the reason why. And like Taylor commented already, I rely on my LORAC Pro Palette for a lot of my matte shadows :)

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Hi Tiffany! I know what you mean about the Sleek palette, particularly the lighter shades. I find that I use them in conjunction with other colors a lot, but many of them aren’t that flattering on their own (on me, at least). Like the orange and yellow – love them for blending out/softening a crease color, but they’re too dark/orangey for an all-over wash of color on me, but not dark enough to give crease definition. I do love the mid-tone brown though! ♥

  • TracyBeautyReflections

    Love this! My fave neutral palette is the matte one by Stila-I can’t remember it’s name for the life of me-but I use it a lot!

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Hi Tracy! I have some single matte shadows from Stila, there are so many pretty ones! I think I know the palette you’re talking about, I a “sample card” of it from Sephora – just enough of each shadow to try once. ♥

      • Christine

        I want to say it’s In the Know. I’ve had my eye on it for ages! :) I hate those little shadow samples from Sephora. They’re worse than foil packets!!! :)

  • http://mostlysunnyblog.com/ Sunny @Mostly Sunny

    Thanks for the comparisons, Catherine! I don’t wear matte too well (at least not on the inner half of my lid), but I do love a good matte for the outer half and contouring! Don’t have a favorite matte palette yet, but I regularly reach for the couple of Bobbi Brown palettes I own for the great mattes in them!

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Hi Sunny! Bobbi Brown seems to be a favorite for mattes for a lot of people, I haven’t tried any of their shadows. Despite my love of mattes, I tend to like a tiny bit of shimmer or satin on the inner corner too ;)

  • Makeup Matters

    great review! I love The Balm eyeshadows they are my favorite formula, well Hourglass too. I have both Balm matte palettes and I really love them. I haven’t seen anyone do a side by side comparison like this before. great idea. NYX also has 2 awesome all matte palettes a larger one and a small travel size that are great too :)

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Thanks so much, Liza! I have a NYX travel size palette, not an all matte one, but it’s so cute, I love it. And actually really good quality too. I like theBalm formula a lot. I haven’t tried the Hourglass… yet ;)

  • Martha

    Great review! I don’t own any of these, but out of the three I think I like The Balm’s palette the best. The others are a little TOO neutral for me :D

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Thanks, Martha! Haha I know what you mean… I’m a neutral fanatic but I can see how some of these palettes could be a bit boring if you’re not! ♥

  • Shirayuki’s Beauty

    I have the “Au Naturel” and the “Naked Basics”, and now I need the Meet Matt(e) xDDD.

    Lys, from Shirayuki’s Beauty.

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Hi Lys! Let me know how you like it! ♥

  • Lily

    Thanks for the comparisons! I don’t have any one of them, but they do look great :-)

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Thanks, Lily! ♥

  • moxiereviews

    This is great. I have to try theBalm!

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Thanks, Moxie! I’ve heard so many raves about their shadows ♥

  • Christine

    Love seeing just how different neutrals can be! :)

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      Thanks, Christine! ♥

  • Rachel

    Thank you for doing this swatch, its very useful!!

    • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

      My pleasure, Rachel – so glad you found it helpful! ♥

  • http://buyingcrueltyfree.com/ Catherine

    My pleasure, hope you love it! ♥