I promised I would do a full review of these products this week and here it is!
The whole collection is very closely based on Gwen’s own look rather than being based around her records or work (the names of the shades throughout the collection do however come from her body of work). Gwen’s look is very classic, very screen siren with actually quite simple contoured eyes, loads of lashes, well defined arched brows, a natural cheek and a bold lip.
“I wanted to do something that was real, that I would wear, so that’s what that palette is.” – Gwen Stefani
The eye shadow palette was the first to be released and I believe may have been made a permanent product now. The packaging is gorgeous, with a generously sized mirror and magnetic closure. UD obviously learned from the ‘Naked Smoky’ palette that sturdy packaging with a magnetic closure is a thing we like! The palette it’s self is nicely compact and would be fairly easy to travel with. I haven’t swatched them all as that’s probably been done a thousand times already by every beauty blogger on the planet, I have instead gone through each shade individually and given how UD describe the shade and my opinion on it. The shades inside are as follows:
- ‘Blonde’ (described as a pale beige with pink iridescent shift.) This one had great pigmentation straight away and was fabulous to work with, A+
- ‘Bathwater’ (described as a pale beige with gold pearl) A looser shimmer than ‘Blonde’ but still applied very well, A.
- ‘Skimp’ (described as a pale nude satin), very very nude on myself this shadow is very finely milled and silky soft, A+
- ‘Steady’ (described as a medium rose with metallic gold shift but looks a satin tan in the pan until you swatch it and then the pink tone is revealed). Again very smooth, good pigmentation, A+
- ‘Punk’ (described as a reddish brown matte) Often the mattes are the shades that let down a mixed palette but the mattes here a good, this one is very soft and well pigmented, A.
- ‘Baby’ (described as a cool metallic rose, again very brownish/taupe in appearance) not as smooth as the shades before it but not ‘bad’ either, wore well. A
- ‘Anaheim’ (described as a light taupe-brown matte) Good pigmentation but a little on the powdery side, A-
- ‘Stark’ (described as a nude-pink matte and this does indeed blend into my skin perfectly!) I found this one quite hard to judge as it disappeared into me so entirely. Shadow was very soft and finely milled.
- ‘Zone’ (described as a medium brown matte) Good pigmentation and blended well A.
- ‘Serious’ (described as a smoky gray with iridescent floating pearl) Not as soft as some of the other shades but has good colour pay-off and blended well, A
- ‘Pop’ (described as a pale coral with iridescent sparkle but seems to me like a pale pinkish beige and nothing even close to what I would call coral) For me this is the palettes bum shade. The glitter is strongly grainy leaving a gritty feel to the shadow and while if you swatch onto your finger the shadow looks great as soon as you try to transfer it to you arm (or eye) it just powders away and pretty much none makes it across. Very hard to apply with a brush also, loads of fallout – and during wearing as well as during application! This one gets an F.
- ‘Harajuku’ (described as a metallic blue-pink with iridescent micro-shimmer) I’m often not a fan of pink eye shadows as they can be very hard to wear without ending up looking like either a lab mouse or a person with a horrible eye infection. This one however I do like! I think the blue undertone to the shade and the hint of sparkle will help make this a wearable accent shade B+
- ‘Danger’ (described as a deep metallic royal blue with blue micro-sparkle) This one is almost like a navy with a brighter blue glitter in it and I love it, I think it would look great as part of a smoky eye look, A.
- ‘1987’ (described as a bright metallic yellow-gold but actually strikes me as having a slight hint of green to it) Great colour pay-off, soft and easy to work with – just wish the shade suited me more. I’ll find a way I’m sure! A+
- ‘Blackout’ (blackest black matte) Everyone needs a matte black be it to darken your corners or even tightline and this one is very well pigmented and fairly blendable. When I used this shadow to line my eyes it looked great but I did notice that some of it very quickly migrated into my eye and onto my lower water waterline which I had to remove with a cotton bud so fallout is an issue while wearing, I’m going to give this one a B+.
Three of the shades are from the regular UD collection but the rest were made specifically for this palette. I think UD have done very well to create a palette with twelve brand new shades and only have one of them that is, in my humble opinion, a failure.
Overall this palette this great for pale to medium toned skins but I’m not sure it has much to offer for any of you darker skinned ladies. It’s quite pale-but-warm neutral with just a couple of pops of colour. If you can’t decide whether to buy it (“I mean do I really need another nude palette?”) they’re not quite the same tones as in the Naked Palettes to my eye, however, if you have all three of those already you could probably do some very similar looks.
“I went through all my make-up and was like, OK, what are my must-haves? Not, like, fashion-shoot-type stuff, but just what I’m legitimately wearing every day. There’s not one colour in the collection that isn’t true to who I am.” – Gwen Stefani
The packaging of the blush palette is complementary to that of the eye palette. The eye palette has the black circles and the gold edge while the blush palette has the white circles and white edge. All of the packaging designs are inspired by Gwen’s love of black and white prints and gold accents. They remind me quite a bit of things we thought looked futuristic back in the 80’s, especially the white blush palette.
All of the blush and bronzer shades work so well on my pale skin – it’s as if they were designed by a person as pale as I am! A good bronzer for pale ladies is a rare and precious thing – I hope they think about adding such a shade to the permanent line-up.
There are six shades in the ‘blush’ palette ranging from a delightful pop of pink to a delicate matte bronze all made with the UD Afterglow formula we already know and love. All of the shades have pretty good pigmentation and can be built up for a stronger look depending on how you like your blush to look or if you’re going for day or evening. The shades are as follows:
- ‘Cherry’ (light pink satin),
- ‘Easy’ (deep rose with gold shimmer),
- ‘Angel’ (champagne-nude shimmer),
- ‘Lo-Fi’ (soft bronze matte),
- ‘Hush’ (medium pink with gold shimmer) and
- ‘OC’ (soft pink with peach shift)
Again this is not really a great palette for darker skinned ladies (we have to remember it is based on things Gwen herself would wear after all) a couple of the shades might be usable as highlighters on darker skins however, ‘Angel’ and ‘Hush’. You can’t see the shimmer in my swatches as it didn’t seem to come across on camera (which is a good sign that you won’t get heaps of flashback in photos.)
Overall I think this is a very handy travel palette for us paler ladies, all of the face powders you could need bar a plain ol’ setting powder in one box! A choice of blushes, a bronzer and highlighter all in an easy to carry sturdy palette. Well done Gwen and UD.
Last but certainly not least are the lipsticks. I bought three of them in the shades that attracted me the most. ‘Ex-Girlfriend’, which is a very sheer nude cream – sort of a ‘my lips but better’ kind of deal. From what I can gather this is the best selling shade so far out of the whole range. ‘Plaid’ (which is available online only), is a semi-opaque berry-red cream lipstick with good colour pay off. Nice pop of bright colour – I absolutely love it! ‘Rock Steady’, is a wine red cream lipstick, again great colour pay off, this is totally opaque on me.
The formula itself feels good on the lips and is very buttery so may feather if that’s something you suffer from (there are matching lip liners available in the range) I also found that the cream formula doesn’t survive eating and drinking very well and requires reapplication immediately after a meal or drinking. After trying these three shades I think I may have to go back for more and try the matte shade ‘714’ at the very least… what can I say, I’m a lipstick junkie! Matte lipsticks usually have better staying power than their cream compatriots. Over to my swatches, for some reason with the two brights either side ‘Ex-Girlfriend’ looks very brown-nude but it’s actually more of a pinkish-nude. It’s a shade that’s quite hard to capture on camera perfectly!
Also available are matching lip liners for all of the shades bar the online only colours (they even have the same names) and a ‘Brow Box’ in an ashy blonde shade which fills a hole in their brow box collection.
I have just enough space here at the bottom to show you the freebies that came with my UD order, you always get two samples but I had a code too!