Juliette's Dressing Table

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future" Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

Tag: Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked Basics – Back to Basics.

Hello everyone.

Do you guys remember how excited I was when I found out that Urban Decay was releasing a (not quite) all-matte eyeshadow palette? If not, you can refresh your memory here. The Naked Basics palette did come out on 20th December in the UK and is exclusive to Debenhams (for now). I had to get it on the day! I grabbed one for me, and another one to gift.

I knew the palette was smaller but didn’t quite imagine it to be as small as it is. I have an iPhone 5, and though the palette contains six full size eyeshadows, it is smaller than the phone.


The packaging is very nice if you ask me, Naked Basics might be very compact, but it is heavy and sturdy. Could be because the plastic the packaging is made out of is quite thick but also because there is a full size mirror in the top half of the palette.


As mentioned in my previous article about this product, what I find appealing in this palette is that all but one shadows have a matte finish, this is something that I feel was lacking in Naked and the Naked2.


I did some heavy swatches of all six colours on my arm. Every colour was applied with a clean finger, directly on bare skin.


From left to right, as presented in the palette:

– Venus – soft, off-white. This is meant to be a demi-matte colour, I don’t find it extremely shimmery but it is my least favourite colour in the palette.

– Foxy – very light yellow/beige. This colour is available in the Naked 2 palette or can be purchased as an individual eye shadow. Colour is quasi invisible against my arm as it is so close to the colour of my skin.

– Walk of Shame – very light pinky nude. This colour can be bought to fit the Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette). I can only see it on my arm because it has a pink undertone.

– Naked2 – rosy taupe. New colour. I like taupe colours, this one is perfect to add a soft shadow to the crease.

– Faint – warm, dusty brown. New colour. I feel this one is very good for adding a more obvious shadow to the crease.

– Crave – deepest, darkest brown/black. New colour. Can’t say I see much brown in this colour, just reminds me of M.A.C. Carbon. It’s harder to get an even coat of this colour, but I’d say I always find black (extremely dark brown) matte shadows hard to work with. I suppose it could be used wet for tight lining though.

So what do I think?

I’m not really an eyeshadow girl, I kind of just stick  to drawing a very thin brown eyeliner line in the outer corner for my eyes for add definition and make my rather big eyes a little more feline-like. I keep this subtle and never wing the liner. So having these neutral eyeshadows is perfect for keeping the subtle eye makeup going. I like applying Foxy all over the eyelid as it evens out the colour of my eyelids. I then like blending a bit of Faint in the crease. If I do want something even more subtle (kind of not even there at all look), I replace Faint with Naked2.

The palette does contain basic colours indeed but they’ll only work with pale to medium skin tones. I feel like it is lacking in darker colours that would suit darker complexions. Saying that, maybe the palette can be used in a different purpose? Highlighting the brow bone or the inner corners of the eyes, rather than a full natural eye makeup?

I mentioned earlier in the article that I like the packaging, it’s a good quality product and compact enough that it could be put in a makeup bag for touch-ups throughout the day, or taken away on holiday.

Another positive point is the price. The palette retails at £20 ($27 in the US), this is a very good price for six high quality, highly pigmented, high-end eyeshadows.

The only not so positive comment I can make on this is that the palette doesn’t come with anything else, Urban Decay has always included, a shadow brush, a gloss or a sample of their famous Eyeshadow Primer Potion with any Naked palette, Naked Basics comes with no extras. This small detail doesn’t bother but I can understand why some customers might be disappointed.

All in all, I think this is an excellent palette to have, wether you are a beginner or a makeup addict. I feel like you can never have enough nude and matte colours.

You can get your Urban Decay Naked Basics palette at Debenhams, online or in store. Please let me know what you think of this palette, and tell me what your favourite colours are.


PS: Though, I wouldn’t go out and buy the first Naked palette, I did get it for Christmas and will have swatches and a review up very soon.

Christmas Gift Guide #2 – For Makeup Lovers.

Hello everyone.

This is my second ‘Christmas Gift Guide‘. Maybe you need a little inspiration with something to buy for a sister, a friend, maybe your mother, or even yourself? Well this guide will help if she likes makeup.

The nude eyeshadow palette.

If you’re thinking of buying eyeshadows for someone, remember, getting nude colours is a lesser risk than going for statement colours. I’ve got a couple of suggestions that I believe would be perfect for anyone.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – £20. This is a new product, already out in the U.S., still trying to figure out when it’ll be out in the U.K. (thought it was 20th December but my local Urban Decay counter has a release date for Boxing Day. But then, I went to another Urban Decay counter and the poor makeup artists seemed pretty clueless…). If it does come out before Christmas, it would make a perfect present. Read more about it here.


Stila Natural Beauty Eye Shadow Palette 13.9g – £14.50 (value £78). This is a steal! With 13 colours, everyone should find something they like, and I think this is a great starter pack too. Buy here.


The fancy palette

If you are after something special and fancy, then some of the following suggestions are limited editions palettes and they will make gorgeous presents.

Chantecaille, The Elephant Palette – £74. Four gorgeous colours, in a gorgeous palette, a little something special that will look lovely on a dressing table, plus some of the profit will go to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Buy here.


Nars American Dream – £39.50. Well… This is a Nars palette, the colours are gorgeous just be aware that they are rather shimmery, but again, who wouldn’t want to wear a bit of shimmer for New Year Eve? Buy here.


Something for the lips.

Why not get a lip product?

DIOR DIORIFIC Grand Bal High Fashion Lipstick – £25. This is a limited edition lipstick, it comes in four different reds. Just look at this gorgeous packaging. Buy here.


Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain L’Extrait Lipgloss – £29.50. This is actually a liquid lipstick, it’s super pigmented and dries almost matte, there are a few colours to pick from too. Plus it has an amazing packaging. Buy here.


Cheek products

It’s quite hard to buy face products for someone else, I personally wouldn’t want someone to get me foundation or concealer but bronzer and blush is always a good idea.

Nars Blush Bronzer Duo – £30. This small palette contains two of the most popular Nars product, the Orgasm blush and the Laguna bronzer. Both products are considered cult products so this is a perfect buy. Get here.


Nars Foreplay Palette – £39.50. Four cheeks products, three blushes and a highlighter, all in the classic Nars packaging. Again, a great present. Buy here.


Hope this second Christmas Gift Guide helps, check back for the third guide very soon.


New Product Alert.

Hello everyone.

I’ve just heard and read about a new product which I am rather excited about and I thought I’d let you know about it, if you haven’t heard already!

I’m sure everyone knows about Urban Decay‘s two bestselling palettes, Naked and Naked 2, well I certainly have. I own neither and for a few reasons : I’m don’t wear eyeshadows too often, those palettes have only a few matte colours and I probably would only use a couple shadows from these palettes.

Well my prayers have been answered. A palette with mostly nude colours with a matte finish is being released very soon! Urban Decay Naked Basics.


So this palette is small and compact, contains six shadows (five of which are matte) and it is going to retail at £20 ($27 in the US).

The colours included in the palette :

Venus – soft, off-white. This is meant to be a demi-matte colour but it looks shimmery to me from what I’ve seen so far.

Foxy – very light yellow/beige. This colour is available in the Naked 2 palette or can be purchased as an individual eye shadow.

Walk of Shame – very light pinky nude. This colour can be bought to fit the Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette)

Naked2 – rosy taupe. New colour.

Faint – warm, dusty brown. New colour.

Crave – deepest, darkest brown/black. New colour.

Whilst the palette will be coming out on 20th December in the UK, it’s actually already out in the US and so a few reviews and swatches are available online. I am very excited about this palette and I am looking forward to get my hands on one as soon as it’s launched here.

If you’d like to read an in depth review, see some swatches and a tutorial, I’d recommend you head to temptalia.com.

Are you excited about this new product?


Naked Skin anyone?

Hello everyone.

If there is something you should know about me when it comes to makeup, it’s that I am a firm believer that the skin is what makes or break a makeup look. If you wear the wrong colour of foundation, the wrong formula for your skin, then the rest of your makeup will look rubbish. There’s nothing I enjoy more than trying out new foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturizers. Though I’ve came across a pretty brilliant one recently (YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, review here), I am always up for trying more!

I’ve mentioned a little while back that I went to an Urban Decay counter and I was tempted to try their new foundation out. The makeup artist applied the Naked Skin foundation my face and it did look okay, but I wasn’t going to buy it without a sample, which she unfortunately wasn’t giving away. I am glad I waited as few weeks later I received a sample with an online order, it came in four shades and I was lucky enough that the shade 4.0 was included in the selection.

Now I don’t own this foundation but here’s some additional information that might be helpful.

– Packaging (I’ve seen and held the bottles): it looks quite similar to the YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation bottle but is a little ‘cheap’ looking if I’m honest. It’s made out of plastic rather than glass and isn’t very heavy. I was very disappointed with it but at least it does come with a pump, which is very handy and hygienic.

– Shades: they are eighteen shades on total, ranging from 0.5 (the lightest) up to shade 12.0 (the darkest). Shade numbers ending  with .5 have a pink undertone whilst the ones ending by .0 have a yellow undertone. I have a yellow undertone so haven’t really looked into the .5 shades but I must say that the .0 are rather yellow. The colour range is pretty good actually, you should be able to find a match wether you’re very pale or of a dark complexion. If you want to find out which shade you are, have a look on Urban Decay‘s American website, just be aware that the foundation looks quite dark in the bottles.

– Price: pretty good really. It retails for £27 in the UK and this is a very good price for a high-end foundation. I just can’t help comparing it to my YSL one which is an excellent foundation and has a gorgeous packaging and retails for only one pound more…

I’m afraid the first application didn’t go too well. As I mentioned above, the Urban Decay lady applied the foundation to my skin at the counter. I was very surprised with how much coverage it gave, actually no, I was shocked! After months of avoiding high coverage foundations it was weird to not see my skin peeking through. I wasn’t impressed but also thought she might have applied a bit too much and she actually didn’t bother taking my makeup off first, or prepping my skin. She also applied it under my eyes, which I avoid as I find foundation can sit in some of the fine lines I have there. I couldn’t wait to get it off to be honest.

Now for my first application at home, I prepped my skin like I would with any other foundation (see here) and though the product is actually quite liquid, I found it quite hard to blend in, I actually had to buff it in quite hard and quickly. After a few minutes, my face started to feel itchy and I actually ended up taking the foundation off after a couple of hours (I’m surprised I lasted that long!).

I was still determined to make it work so I applied it again a few days later and I’m glad to report that it did go a lot better. Though I did find it a little hard to blend still, it did look good. I think it’s a bit too matte for me, my partner (who doesn’t usually comment on my makeup) said that my skin looked powdery, I suppose it could be that he’s used to seeing me sans makeup or wearing foundations with a dewy finish.

I was led to believe that this foundation would be invisible. It isn’t. I’d say it has a medium to full coverage and I could definitely see I was wearing foundation, it honestly did feel like a step backward to when I was wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. My partner hadn’t commented on my foundation for months…

The foundation lasted quite well, but it did cling on dry patches, around my nose and the middle of my forehead were the most obvious places. I think this proves that it doesn’t suit my dry skin.

I think this foundation would be a lot more suitable for people with combination to oily skin. If you are looking for a higher coverage, it should also do the job. I personally won’t be buying it, not because it isn’t a good product, but just because it doesn’t work for me.

Have you tried this foundation? If so did your experience mirror mine or do you have another story?


My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets.

Hello everyone.

I just managed to get a few minutes to myself on a very busy day and so I thought I’d write a quick article about a new addiction on my dressing table. And no, it isn’t a planet from our solar system, just a new blush.

Heavenly Creatures was a M.A.C. collection for fall 2012. I’m always the last one to make up my mind on what I want to get and so I’m always left with very limited choice (which makes it simple I suppose). I wanted to get a a blush and while the collection had four (Solar Ray, Supernova, Stratus and Ring of Saturn) I only had the choice between Stratus (amethyst and gold brown, frost) and Ring of Saturn (terracotta and gold, frost). I thought Stratus looked a bit purple in the pan so went for Ring of Saturn instead.

Here is my review of M.A.C. Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Blush in Ring of Saturn.

I mentioned in my ‘Late-August/not-quite-September-yet purchases‘ article that I bought it online and that I thought the blush looked more like Stratus than Ring of Saturn. I looked into, I did get the right one (wouldn’t expect Debenhams to sell fake M.A.C. products anyway), it just looks darker than I remembered it. As a bonus I received two samples, a L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream and four shades of the new Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation.

It is quite hard to describe but I’d say it’s a pale pink with a golden shimmer with swirls of raspberry and golden shimmer colour. The colour in the picture below isn’t accurate, I’d say it looks a look more pink than in real life and it doesn’t show how shimmery it actually is either.

It swatches like a golden coral on my finger but then applied a lot darker on my cheeks, it was a terracotta. While there is shimmer in the product, I can barely see any on my face and it actually look a lot like the natural blush of my cheeks, just more intense. It was a bit too much for me so I had to blend it a lot, I personally like my blushes to look subtle and natural but if you are one to wear bright colours then this is worth a try. I think this will suit light-medium to medium dark skin tones better but again, it is a question of preferences.

Like other M.A.C. blushes, it came in a classic black packaging. I wore it all day and could still notice it after a few hours.

I don’t have any complaints really. M.A.C. blushes are pretty fantastic and this one is no exception. Only trouble is that MAC collections sell out pretty quickly and so I don’t think it’ll be very easy to get your hands on one of them now, although some online stores may still have some colours left. Debenhams has this blush in the colour Stratus left, you can pick it up here.

Do you own any M.A.C. blushes? Which one is your favourite?


May I have a sample please?

Hello everyone.

Sorry, this is going to be me rambling again, I’ll try to make it short. It won’t be short.

I just wanted to go more in depth on a subject I touched on in my last article, The Perfect Canvas?, asking for a sample before buying beauty products. Please bear in mind this article applies primarily to high end brands.

While in the US it seems like customers can return unwanted products for a refund, it isn’t the same here in the UK and so I think it would be wise to ask for samples so you get a chance to try the products before buying them.

So, how do I get samples?

1. The ladies at beauty counters are generally happy to help and to ‘demo’ de product on you. Just ask ‘May I have a sample please?’ when you feel like you might want to buy a foundation straight away. They should give you a sample and write down the shade and the name of the product on a card.

And because it doesn’t always go that way, here is an example of what shouldn’t happen :

I was doing some shopping with a friend a few weeks back, we walked by an Urban Decay counter. The lady stopped us and insisted on applying their new Naked Skin foundation on me. I was curious, I agreed. When she finished, she handed me a mirror so I could have a look all that while asking if I’d like to buy the foundation there and then. I asked for a sample, she said they didn’t give any out, she lost a sale right there and then.

I’m sure she was a very lovely lady, and she wasn’t rude at all, maybe she genuinely hadn’t been given any samples for her customers, the trouble is I really don’t think I (or anyone else) should be forced to buy a product after only having it on for a few minutes.

2. When you are buying some products at a beauty counter, ask for samples if they haven’t given you any. They always have moisturizers, perfumes, etc. to give out to customers.

3. High end brands often have deals, ‘spend £40 on skincare and get a free gift!’, generally a makeup bag with larger samples of makeup and skincare products. These free gifts do come at a price but I managed to avoid buying eye cream for a while that way!

4. There are always perfume and shampoo adverts with samples in magazines! And of course the monthly freebie.

5. Some online stores do have sell/give samples. I recently found zuneta.com, they have free samples that you can order for free, you will only need to pay the delivery charges. Just be aware that it is £3 for the delivery (if you spend less than £30)and each order can have up to three samples.

6. I’m sure many of you have heard of sample boxes like Glossy Box and Jolie Box, these are excellent ways to get to try new products. I would however point out that while they are good schemes, you still need to pay for them and you don’t get to pick which samples you get.

Below are samples I’ve picked up in the last few week. And yes, I did get my hands on a Naked Skin sample in the end, it came free with an  order I placed online. Ha!

Where do you get samples from? Can you think of any other way to get samples?