Thursday, 18 August 2011

Urban Decay Naked Palette .v. MUA Pro 'Heaven & Earth' Palette

*Warning - photo heavy!*

First, the make up loving ladies (and men?) of the land went mental over the Urban Decay Naked Palette... packed full of neutral toned shades, with a few darks thrown in, it was the ideal palette for everyday make up.  It sold out at Urban Decay counters, it sold out online... now the dust has settled, and UD counters, plus websites, seem to be well stocked and meeting the demand (even if the price has went up).

Then, around June this year, MUA - a brand best known for selling all their items for £1 in Superdrug - released their Professional range, which in includes palettes of 12 eyeshadows. The Heaven & Earth palette, with its neutral shades, was immediately likened as a bargain version of the Naked palette, and lo and behold, H&E soon sold out in Superdrugs across the country, and online!

I think a lot of make up companies are missing a rather glaring, obvious, elephant-sized bandwagon here.... Ladies love the neutrals.

So! Is the MUA H&E palette as good as the Naked palette?

Both palettes are packed full of beautiful shades... but a dupe, it is not.  However, there a few lookalikes, and lots of lovely alternatives. If you are wary about spending so much on the Naked palette (I know all too well the feeling of post-make up indulgence guilt) for any reason, then I suggest you try the MUA H&E. At £4 you really cannot go wrong!

OK, so let's get on to some comparisons...

UD Virgin
(L - R) UD Virgin, MUA 1, MUA 4 and MUA 9
1 is definitely too white to compare to Virgin. 4 is slightly more peach in tone, and 9 is a slightly paler pink in real life (photo couldn't capture it exactly!) and much more shimmery.  I would say that 4 is the closest, but not a dupe.

UD Sin
(L - R) UD Sin and MUA 9
Sin is more pink in tone, while 9 is slightly paler and looks peachier in comparison (I know, this totally contradicts what I said about 9 above; I don't make the rules, I just wrote down my observations!). Both shades are very shimmery and it is quite a good match, though not exact.

UD Naked
(L - R) UD Naked and MUA 8
Obviously, Naked is a matte shade, while all the MUA shades are shimmery. I would say that 8 is quite a close match, except for the shimmer!
Side note - I have seen a few posts on the MUA palette where people have loved the palette, but wished there were some matte shades, like the Naked palette... but the Naked palette only has two mattes, out of 15 shadows?! Hardly a huge loss.

UD Sidecar

(L - R) UD Sidecar, MUA 2, MUA10 and MUA 12
Sidecar is not a shade I venture in to very often... it's just too damn glittery and flaky for my liking! Side by side, 2 is too coppery with less shimmer, 10 is slightly blue toned, and 12 is too dark a brown. I wouldn't say there is a Sidecar dupe is this palette.

UD Buck

(L - R) UD Buck, MUA 8 and MUA 7
With Buck, I would say that 8 is the closest match... even though it's the closest match for Naked too! However it's definitely not a dupe, as it is paler and shimmery.

UD Half Baked

(L - R- ) UD Half Baked, MUA 6 and MUA 3

The first thing I noticed when I swatched these shades side by side was how intense the sheen of Half Baked is compared to 6 and 3... yet this doesn't show up in the photo. Of course! Although Half Baked is supposed to be a coppery bronze shade, I would describe it as a true gold. To my eye, 6 was more copper in tone, with less of a sheen. 3 seemed more bronze, with slightly more sheen than 6.  Basically, these are not dupes, but are very nice alternatives.

UD Smog

(L-R) UD Smog, MUA 2, MUA 3 and MUA 11
Smog is a chocolate brown with a slight touch of shimmer. 2 is too red toned, and 3 is more bronze. 11 is, again, too red, and warmer than Smog. These are the closest you will get to Smog but they are not dupes, but nice alternatives.

UD Darkhorse

(L - R) UD Darkhorse, MUA 5, MUA 11 and MUA 12

To my eye, Darkhorse is a dark, chocolate brown with a small amount of shimmer. 5 is too red toned to be a dupe, while 11 also is too red and coppery. 12 is similar, but warmer toned and very glittery.  There's no dupe here, but all the colours are still lovely, and would be great in the crease or for a smoky eye look.

UD Toasted

(L-R) UD Toasted, MUA 2, MUA 5 and MUA 11
Urban Decay's Toasted is described as a medium, pink toned brown with a shimmery finish. It is a lovely colour that I often neglect, to be honest. 2 and 11 both lean slightly too copper in tone, while 5 is a smidgen too brown. Really though, to me this seemed a seriously close call. To me, somewhere in between shades 2 and 5, lies Toasted!

UD Hustle 
(L-R) UD Hustle, MUA 5 and MUA 7

Hustle is a chocolate brown with purple undertones; the plum tones are much more obvious in the pan than when swatched. Shade 5 is definitely too red, and while 7 is closer in tone, it's still too coppery. Both are too wishy-washy (i.e.: weak) to be dupes, as neither is a deep enough brown.

Of course, the MUA H&E palette doesn't have dupes or lookalikes for Gunmetal or Creep... but would you believe that the MUA Starry Night Palette does?! Less glittery, but good colour matches. So even if you bought both MUA palettes, you would have 24 eyeshadows in total for a quarter of the price of what I paid for the Naked Palette (£32 in May 2011, it's now £35).

I hope you don't mind the long, photo heavy post, but I wanted to give as much information as I could.  I am no expert, and all these views are from my own observations, but I found it an interesting experiment to try. If you made it to the end, here's an imaginary medal!

Let me know your thoughts!


Sophie - Country girl said...

I think the MUA palette looks like something I would use a lot. I know the quality of the UD one is probably miles ahead but its not something that would worry me.
Great in-depth review x

Yu said...

This is a great post! I personally never saw the two as dupes either and it's great to get a confirmation! I personally would prefer the Naked Palette - not because I believe what people say about the quality of the eyeshadow but because of the shades! Great post Lauren :)

daisychain said...

What a great post! I wish I could afford the Naked Palette, so gorgeous, but I'll be content when my local superdrug gets the MUA one in!

Caroline said...

Great review! I love the shades in the UD naked palette, but don't think I can currently justify spending so much on it! I will be on the lookout for the MUA one in superdrug! x