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Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette Smokes The Competition

You’ve likely perfected a traditional smoky eye, with its dramatic black, gray, and white tones, and even toyed with a softer, more daylight-friendly version of the look using neutral shades ranging from creams to espresso and rust browns. But now, with the help of avant-garde makeup brand Urban Decay, you can reinvent the smoky eye with everything from blackened midnight blue and glistening forest green to shimmering gunmetal and deep bronze shades. If its best-selling Naked and Naked 2 palettes were the solution to all your nude eye look desires, then the Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette ($49 at UrbanDecay.com) is the answering to your yearning for smoldering, mysterious, rockstar chic eye makeup needs.

Packaged inside a zippered case with the word “Smoked” printed in gothic letters, the Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette flips open to reveal a silver-toned case with inky, Rorschach-ish illustrations of wolves, butterflies, snakes, cockroaches, roses, dahlias, and foliage in a chaotic cluster. A versatile mirror is placed on one side of the palette, underneath the top lid, while ten eye shadow pans are arranged into two separate rows along the other side, a full-size 14/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, a matte black hue, tucked into a slot dividing the two rows of shadows.

The eyeshadow shades in the Smoked Palette are:

  • Kinky: a soft creme brulée shade with a matte finish and a velvety smooth texture
  • Freestyle: a peachy nude with a matte finish that’s reminiscent of the color traditionally used for nude undergarments
  • Mushroom: a pewter-tinged brown shade with hints of copper shimmer
  • Backdoor: a dusky, black pine shade of brown with a matte finish
  • Blackout: a deep carbon black with a matte finish
  • Barlust: a deep bronze with an all-over metallic sheen
  • Rockstar: a blackened violet color with slight reddish undertones and shimmering purple micro pearls
  • Evidence: a metallic sapphire blue with blackened, midnight-worthy undertones and a sprinkle of clean tonal cobalt and aquamarine glitter
  • Loaded: a woodlands-worthy, near-black dark green with emerald shimmer to yield a magical forest effect
  • Asphalt: a rock-n-roll gunmetal color with silver shimmer

Not only do the blue, purple, green, and metallic shades in the palette add an unexpected sense of excitement, but they are perfectly balanced by the softer shades of brown and cream, plus the interplay of matte and shimmery textures really allows for multi-dimensional looks. I do wish the palette included a matte gray hue and perhaps a taupe hue, but beyond that, this is as close to perfection as a smoked palette gets.

As an added bonus, the palette comes with a booklet written by Urban Decay founder Wende Zomnir and featuring step-by-step instructions on how to create twelve different looks with the eye shadows in the palette — among them a classic “Cat Eye” look; “Enigma,” a lovely pairing of purple and green; and “Midnight,” a captivating midnight blue smoky eye with a rounded shape.

In true Urban Decay form, these shadows are saturated with pigment, allowing you to create powerful, unforgettable looks.
Below, check out swatches of the shades in the top row of eye shadows within the Smoked Palette:

As you can see, the basic hues — including all the matte shades — are concentrated in the top row of eye shadows, allowing the bottom row to incorporate the more adventurous, colorful tones. Check out the magical eye shadow shades in the second row of the palette:

Next, check out a look I created using some of the hues in the Urban Decay Smoked Palette. To create the look, I started by sweeping the Freestyle shade all over my lids, extending the color all the way to the brow bone. Next, I applied the Rockstar hue among the lower lid area, working it up until the crease line. To add some contrast, I then swept the Barlust shade along the outer third of the eye and worked it into the crease. Once I had blended the two shades together along the crease, I softened and diffused the colors with the Kinky shade, using a rounded brush to essentially buff the edges of the look. For greater intensity, I lined my upper lash line with the Perversion 24/7 Glide-On-Eye Pencil and then completed the look with two coats of black mascara.

And since I’m loving the mulberry lip trend this season, I went for the gusto with the YSL Rouge Volupté 12 shade.

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