5 nude eyeshadow palettes every brown girl must own

Classic Nude Palettes

Ever since The Naked Palette has been given an official social media farewell by Urban Decay, I realised that the world of Classic Nude Palettes has changed forever. It had so much history for me even though I no longer reached for it very much. This having said, in a business full of new launches, I wonder if we are forgetting those Original Gangsta’ Palettes aka Holy Grail aka a CLASSIC PALETTE . My list contains 5 Classic (Holy Grail) palettes  Urban Decay, Nyx, Smashbox, ABH, Huda of course there are more, but these are my top 3 reasons for choosing the above.

  • Most ethnically diverse shade payoff /  Pigmentation ie- brown girl friendly 
  • Availability, all ( except the Naked palette are easily available either in counters or reputed online beauty retailers)
  • Variety in the same palette; ie: you can make them work for a number of occasions

These are my top 5 choices:

  • Urban Decay Naked Palette: 
Urban Decay Naked Palette

Cruelty Free: Not cruelty free as they sell in China

Number of Shadows: 12 (2 mattes, 2 shimmer and the rest are glitter)

Mirror: Yes

Brush included: Yes a double ended blending brush (no sponge thank goodness!)

Outer Packaging: Lightweight cardboard with a felt covering.

Review:I don’t even know if its ok to mention a palette that has been discontinued, but I didn’t want to leave out the palette that started it all and spawned a gazillon dupes.  Not to mention spurred an entire industry to change paths. ( Blue frost eyeshadow was norm then! 😀 )

It’s a classic eyeshadow and a cult fave for a reason. Everyone knows the Naked Palette, with its  warmish toned hues, browns, pinks, shimmers, and mattes. Most deeper toned people will be able to use this palette.  There are always exceptions…but despite being the exception myself, I find that there is always a look I can do with this palette. 

Shades:It goes from pale to dark, and like I mentioned earlier its got great shades that are classic nudes as opposed to trend driven. They are mostly brown, light pink, gold, copper, bronze type shades with the exception of the last two shades which are a pale and a navy shimmering blue. They kind of don’t go with the other shades even if they make great shades by themselves.

My opinion was that they lost an opportunity to create something even greater by this inclusion. This having said, my favourite shade for my crease is Naked or Buck, and for a pop of shine ( or as a last minute highlighter ) I do so love Half baked. People have complained of fallout, so this is something to bear in mind. However it is intensely pigmented and buttery, but easy to blend.

Another the drawback is its felt packaging, it attracts dust and is always grubb. The cardboard exterior feels cheap ( they did improve upon this and the following point in their subsequent offerings) I’m also not the biggest fan of its mirror. For a palette that claims to be good to go, you expect the mirror to show you at least a bit of your face. If you’re relying solely on the mirror for application, it’s a bit of a palaver, I can tell you that.

The Naked palette brand has a few variants: it  has a cool toned Naked 2, and a rose toned Naked 3 and between these three, you will never need another palette ever again. They also have a confusing one Naked Smoky, a warm brick toned Naked Fire, and their newest offering the reddish/ pinkish Naked Cherry.

Rating : I’d give it a rating of 7.5/10 ( I deducted one point for fallout, and 2 for the fact that its been sadly discontinued. 😦 )

Price: ££…If only it was still available I’d say this would fall in the mid end category,  retailing at £39-42.

  •   Nyx Ultimate Warm Neutrals Palette

NYX Ultimate Warm Neutrals Palete

NYX Ultimate Warm Neutrals Palete

Cruelty Free: Yes and much of the range is vegan too.

Number of Shadows: 16 with a mix of 9 mattes and the rest being shimmers. I do really like the choice of shadow shades and the gradation from light to dark.

Mirror: Not included

Brush included: Not included

Outer Packaging: The shape of this range is square, and made of plastic with a transparent plastic cover in the the front. It has a click type packaging.

Review: This is a relatively new nude palette in the offering of nudes, at drugstore pricing its also relatively affordable. but price is no indictor of quality as the palette contains every shade one needs to put together a great day look, and like its name stays on this side of neutral so its more a subdued hue. They have a variant for wild colours, this is a more corporate look I’d call it. Though I have done a few day to night looks with this. It doesn’t contain a mirror, but its smaller and good enough to chuck into a handbag.

Shades: I love that this goes all tonal from light to dark, it doesn’t contain a black( both a positive and negative ). The shadows almost seem to be arranged one matte next to one shimmer, which is quite pleasing to the eye.  The shades don’t have names- this could be a grouse for a vloggers or pro MUA’s who’d want to describe the shades they’ve used. But personally the lack of shade names doesn’t bother me as this takes up space and I do like the size and shape of this palette. I especially love the bronze shimmer shade ( 3rd row from the top, third row in) and the berry brown matte shade right next to it. This having said, there isn’t a dud shade in this palette in my opinion.

Rating: I use this palette all the time, I’d give this a 8/10 ( it loses a point for the lack of mirror and two for its lack of a black shadow…though the latter is debatable as a lot of people complain when it’s in)

Pricing: £… retailing at £16 at the time of writing, this palette is drugstore pricing but don’t let that fool you, it has outperformed many an expensive “it” palette.

 Huda Beauty Textured Shadows Palette Rose Gold Edition

Huda Beauty Textured Shadows Palette Rose Gold  Edition
Huda Palette

Cruelty Free: Cruelty free

Number of Shadows: 18 ( 8 pressed shimmer pigments and 10 matte shadows)

Mirror: None

Brush included: Not included

Outer Packaging: The original Huda has been criticised for this very point, the packaging is flimsy for the price, its cardboard, has no magnetic click, and gauging it by this very factor alone it is a let down.

Review: This inclusion may come as a surprise, but apart from some of the most beautiful pressed pigment glitter I have ever used, I do feel that the association of nude with brown is a bit dated. Granted the shimmers are a fancy festive addition, but the rest 10 matte shades are day time appropriate which is my idea of  Nude. Plus women of colour and often people of any ethnicity have pigmented lids. Not forgetting undertone…so there isn’t one colour that can be termed as Nude.  

Onto the palette, when the Rose Gold palette came out, it was literally the first foray of influencer Huda Kattan into the beauty market, sure she had the lashes game on the side, but this was the big time. It opened to mixed reviews, to the extent that Huda had to demonstrate that fingers were the best application tool for the pressed shimmers. There is a bit of fallout, but these are pure pressed shimmer pigments so this is to be expected. The palette is a real mix of colours ( the name gives it away) the tones are all in the Rose Gold family.

The texture is hard but highly pigmented. Now I’m reviewing the original Huda Rose Gold Palette in this blog.  The Remastered palette has taken on board all the criticism hurled at it. Huda 2.0 has a mirror, the shadows are  buttery, and the shimmers can be applied with a brush. The shimmers are finer and a lot easier to work with, it’s been said. ( I would still use my fingers to apply shimmer shadows.)

Shades: The Shades are distinctly laid out so that you know that the shimmers are at the top of the palette but the shao don’t flow from light to dark. My biggest bugbear with this palette is that isn’t cheap… in fact the words spendy AF describes this palette. So the flimsy cardboard packaging no click nor magnetic closure either and not to mention the lack of mirror is very annoying. The shades are gorgeous and are pigmented because they are harder in texture, you have to work to get  great payoff. It is brown girl friendly and the palette has just about every shade you need for an eye, lip, highlight and eyebrow look if you want to get the best use of your palette. 

Rating: I’d give this a 7.5/10, It loses one point for the lack of a mirror , It loses another for cardboard packaging, its loses a third for the hardness of the shadows and half a point for the chunky glitters. The new Remastered Palette would be an 8.5. 

Pricing: £££- £56 at the time of writing. I know expensive AF!

Smashbox Double exposure 2.0 palette ( This has a different range of shades to the older one, and doesn’t promise the wet shadow double effect)

Cruelty Free: Not cruelty free

Number of Shadows: 14 ( 7 shimmers, 7 mattes)

Mirror: yes

Brush included: Yes, a single sided contour brush

Outer Packaging: Cardboard, no click nor magnetic clasp. It does have a mirror.

Review: This palette has a range of warm and cool neutrals, which is brilliant as it means that it is a neutral palette for warm and cool skin tones, and pigmented enough for deeper toned ladies amongst us too. A true classic eyeshadow palette indeed! They are buttery, yet don’t have much fallout. They are beautiful and are often on special offer in Boots or their own website.

Shades: The new Double Exposure shades are equally divvied between 7 shimmer and 7 matte, they have a lovely cobalt blue shadow that’s mysteriously called Navy ( it’s more cobalty) the first shade, a purple shimmer shade called Backlit.

Rating:  This palette does get an impressive 9/10 from me just for the fact that it manages to cater to all skin undertones and tones. Thats a hard task, and and they’ve managed to do this extremely well. They lose one point for the the cardboard packaging.

Price: ££ but at the time of writing, I bought this at £20… so look out for deals and offers. Or Boots points too!

 Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette


Cruelty Free: Cruelty free.

Number of Shadows:  14 including shimmer and berry shades ( 3 shimmer, 2 pearlised shades and the rest are mattes)

Mirror: Included

Brush included: A double ended contour and blending brush.

Outer Packaging: Felt, heavy cardboard packaging with a magnetic click fastening system

Review: This palette should be renamed Classic Renaissance. All the shades have a theme running through them, they have so many variants including an all nude palette. This palette has a gorgeous berry theme with orangey browns and shimmers. Whilst it has warm tones, the pinks and the deep orangey shades do look amazing on neutral toned skin tones.

Shades: The shades are buttery, so you might find that blending cane tricky or you can blend them all into muddy nothingness. There is a slight amount of fallout which is expected given their butteriness and powdery texture. This having said, the pigmentation is insane and they are brilliant for people of colour. My favourite two are Love Letter ( a gorgeous pink…) and Raw Sienna ( a great transition crease colour)

Rating: I’d give this a solid 8/10. It loses one point for the felt packaging which attracts so much dust! It also loses a point for its intense buttery formula. It’s not a grab and go palette ie- you have to invest your time when you are using this palette. This having said however, these shadows never fail to deliver. The colour payoff is intense and amazing.

Price: ££… at the time writing this was £43.20. This having said, there are flash sales on the ABH site and/or other beauty sites.

NOTE OF DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own. I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and most of the products on here( full sizes ) have been purchased by me. If some samples are kindly gifted by a company, I will declare this. But this does not affect my opinion, nor sway it . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please know that allergies can happen suddenly, even with known products. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

I’ve listed all the Eyeshadow palettes that I love and consider them to be my Holy Grails . These would tick the Classic Eyeshadow box for me. They would suit most skin tones, especially brown ones. I’d love your thoughts on my edit, also what is your Holy Grail nude palette ? Do let me know, I love hearing from you~ Love Elle xx

Price Rating explanation:£- £10-£20|||||££- £20-£40|||£££- £50- £70…any spend beyond this is insane imo…

(Did you like this post? Have you read about my post about moisturisers for dry skins….I have friends with oily/normal skin who swear by one or two in that list)

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Published by Lav Mell

Beauty Musings, Makeup reviews, Skincare lover, I am a self confessed makeup and skincare magpie and this is my little corner of the blogiverse.

2 thoughts on “5 nude eyeshadow palettes every brown girl must own

  1. Great blog, as always! I adore the Nyx warm neutrals and my Morphe Summer of Soul small palette is gorgeous. Probably my two most reached for (and possibly cheapest palettes!) xxx


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