Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mistake Purchase: Urban Decay Naked Palette

Gather around, my little pretties, and let me tell you the story of my brush with the most famous eyeshadow palette of all time.

There once was a cutting edge makeup company called Urban Decay whose much lauded eye shadows retailed for about $20 each. One day they announced the release of a Naked Palette, comprised of 12 neutral everyday shades, a brown/black duo ended eyeliner and a mini size of their famous shadow primer potion, all for the amazing price of USD$40-something dollars. Beauty addicts across the globe rejoiced! Swatches and blog posts abounded!

And I, the proclaimed reductionista, though tempted by the spectacular deal, looked at the palette in person twice at Sephora and declared a hearty "NAY."

Weeks passed and the palette flew off the shelves, in stores and online. Those who heard about the palette too late never even caught a glimpse in person. They could hardly believe that such a thing was real. More weeks passed and the shelves remained empty. Months passed. Rumours spread of the palette being sold out, forever discontinued, returning with different items and higher price. Some began to lose hope of ever seeing the palette.

And I, the reductionista, began to doubt my perhaps overhasty refusal to consider the palette a holy grail product. The seduction of the Naked Palette, now that it was out of reach, was too much even for me. I began to long for this palette, kicking myself now and then whenever I caught sight of blog posts rejoicing in the purchase of this elusive product.

'I must have this palette,' thought I. But how was I to obtain it?

Being a resident in the remote frosty landscape called Canada, where Sephora refuses to deliver without a minimum of CDN$125 worth of purchase, where tax, duty and price adjustment makes purchasing most products online a very costly exercise, I thought long and hard (really, only two seconds) before scouring the local Craigslist postings. It yielded results such as this post, leading to quick-witted lasses who were out to make a buck off the desperate beauty community. As someone who likes to write scathing posts to scalpers who sell hugely inflated amounts on the Tickets section of Craigslist, I was outraged and appalled.

I did not search very hard, for I was hoping to save myself the money and guilt by never having to see it in person again, when one boring afternoon during work, I stepped into a Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Toronto and beheld the glowing light of the sign U R B A N  D E C A Y at the far end of the newly renovated Beauty Boutique section.

'No way,' thought I, heart starting to pound and palms becoming sweaty. 'The shelves look fully stocked, so shiny and new. Dare I hope...?'

I did. I saw. And paid nearly $60 in Canadian after taxes for the Naked Palette at last.

I carried my precious cargo home and debated long and hard. Do I open it and make it unreturnable? Did I really need this palette after all, even after all this time of longing and pining?

I did what I usually do with a purchase. Tear it open and swatch immediately.

I thought that I fell in love, but alas, it was a delusion. For a few blissful days, I was happy with my palette. I kept it in a special place away from the other makeup so that the packaging wouldn't get destroyed or dirty. Sometimes I'd just stare at it or stroke the velvet brown covers (seriously, such nice packaging) and pondered whether together the palette and I were meant to be.

Weeks passed and new spring collections emerged. New palettes such as the Smashbox In Bloom began to catch my fickle eye. Soon I started to forget that I had the Naked Palette, taking it for granted.

'Were you really worth $60?' I started to question. 'Did I just want you because others wanted you so badly and you were unattainable?'

The answers to me were: no, yes, yes. And just like that, our love affair ended.

I put my poor Naked Palette up on the same Craigslist arena and it took less than 12 hours to reach a deal with an honest fan of Urban Decay who would treasure the palette in a way I never could. I packed it lovingly in its original box and bid it a fond adieu for a modest $40 due to it being used.

And somewhere, the palette and the new owner are living happily ever after, for so long as she does not hit pan.


Congratulations to those who made it to the end of the story. I know that the more concise a post the better, what with many of us subscribing to dozens of blogs and dozens of posts to keep up with. What can I say? I like to dramatize a bit. And was there ever a beauty product in the history of cosmetics that caused such a fervor and drama as this Naked Palette?

For those lost souls in Toronto who are scouring the earth, it's right here at the Shoppers Drug Mart in BCE Place, financial district. And their shelves are always fully stocked. While we're at it, I might as well tell you that they also carry the 24/7 Anniversary Set which has also been sold out for a long time at Sephora.

And you're welcome.


  1. Shoppers drug mart will take back used makeup items within a reasonable amount of time with receipt. I also got mine at shoppers in Toronto. I like it ok but am not really a neutral girl so I probably will never hit pan.

  2. Ooh, thanks, good to know! Well, I don't mind that it couldn't be returned since I used/kept the Whiskey/Zero liner and the mini potion. I didn't have room to mention in the post that the discovery of 24/7 liners was a revelation that I hadn't anticipated - such great liners! I've been missing out! It alone makes the exercise kind of worthwhile.

  3. That was nice of you to sell it for cheap to someone on craigslist, people buy it just to sell it for huge amounts since it's still so popular. For me, I prefer the natural eye from too faced over the naked palette, I don't really know why, I look at the naked palette and feel overwhelmed with all the colour in it. I like having it, but it's totally not essential you know. I like your story. :)

  4. You could always redeem for it for free with your optimum points like I did, if it turns out that you really want it!

  5. i liked the story too lol :D i'm sorry u didn't enjoy it but i love mine but im a big neutral girl

  6. LOVE your story. When I first got mine,I used it all the time. Now, I use it once a week. I like having the neutral UD shadows in one spot.

  7. @Justine - I also found the palette overwhelming for some reason! I know most people love it because it's very pigmented but it wasn't actually all that neutral on me and required too much blending. I don't think I'll get it again since I don't miss it.

    @sweetkiss - Thanks for reading and glad you're enjoying your palette. :)

    @Tracy - I think it's great for people who don't have many neutral shadows but all I have are neutrals. I much preferred the Bobbi Brown palette to the Naked.

  8. honestly I think ur expectations for the palette were way to high..this palette is really amazing and I got it when there was no hype at all about it..when it first came out and I could form my own opinions on it before the beauty community really had a TRUE voice in it..I use this palette A LOT but I am a TRUE neutrals lover..sorry it did not work out for each their own!! :)

  9. Hey Jess - Yup, the point of the story is that I literally bought into the hype! Should have stuck to my first decision. Glad you're enjoying your palette. :D

  10. Ah the power of hype - the adult version of peer pressure. I also managed to get this when it was still pretty new (i.e. before it completely blew up). I really love mine, but really am a neutrals girl at heart. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but at least you had the chance to try it out so you won't be left wondering 'what if...?'. Sometimes you have to actually date the guy to know you're not compatible! :P

  11. Hey Caitlin - That's exactly it! Had to try and didn't work out. We're still friends on Facebook. That kind of scenario. ;)

  12. I loved this post :D Thanks for your insight! I was in the exact position as you and just didn't grab it when it was available. Will go check the Financial district for it ^_^

  13. I love a good story! I followed immediately after I read this!
    I've been hunting for the UD Naked Palette for ages but at $60, it's too much. They aren't spectacular shades; just natural. We makeup junkies need to stop enabling each other!

  14. Thanks, Ashley! Part of the appeal of the palette is the money you save on it (considering the 12 shadows, full size eyeliner and mini potion) but it does seem steeper in Canadian dollars and not quite as attractive after the hike. I actually love the natural look but the high pigmentation of the shadows somehow didn't look all that natural on me.

  15. I admit, I did take a cursory look for this palette yesterday but of course it wasn't in stock. I feel EXACTLY as you did about it - at first I felt it was entirely unnecessary to have and didn't let the hype get to me...but over time, as it continued to be sold out and have people going crazy over it, I felt like maybe I missed the boat. But I think I would have come to the same conclusion that you did, that it was somewhat a waste of money and certainly not a 'must-have' as it seems to hold permanent status. At least you got some return on it! Not a complete loss :)

  16. I am so at peace with this decision to let it go because I don't miss it one bit. Glad you agree!

  17. Thank you for posting about this shopper's drug mart -- I've been wanting to find other alternatives to Sephora and glad that this Shopper's is so well stocked!

  18. Oh, you're welcome! I hear the one at Yorkdale also has a nice selection, though it's much busier and less likely to have full shelves. Glad to be of service.

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. Got to love your story!!!:) So nice to see another blogger from Toronto.:)


NO LINKS IN COMMENTS. Comments for posts older than 10 days will not appear on the page until they have been approved.