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Monday, December 12, 2011

Urban Decay Naked Palette VS. Physicians Formula Nude Palette

If you caught my previous posts about the new Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips collection, then you know that probably the most talked about item in this new collection is the Nude Eyes palette. Since I was asked by a few of you to do a comparison of the PF Nude palette to the Urban Decay Naked palette, I wanted to get this up as quickly as possible considering that CVS is running a sale this week on Physicians Formula. You get $5 Extra Bucks when you spend $10 on Physicians Formula this week, so you can get this palette for $5.99 (regular retail price is $10.99) through this Saturday, 12/17.

 Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Nude Eyes Palette
(retail: $10.99, 0.26 oz)


I love the little lace overlay on this hard plastic palette. The lace extends all the way across the back of the palette too:

As you can see, this palette opens lengthwise, as opposed to most rectangular palettes:

I swatched this palette on bare skin (no primer underneath) and honestly? I was NOT impressed:

On bare skin without primer it seemed like, with the exception of the black shade, all of the other eight shades in the palette had the same shimmery finish, and none of the colors really jumped out at me.

BUT THAT WAS BEFORE I TRIED THIS PALETTE OVER PRIMER. I swear to you, it becomes a whole different ballgame when you use primer first. In particular, there are three taupe shades that REALLY stand out:

These three colors are the 3rd, 4th and 5th shades in this palette, and in these photos I swatched them on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden. What was so interesting to me was that on bare skin, these all seemed kind of warm. But over UDPP Eden, their "taupeness" really came out. Also they're much more opaque than when used without primer. Without primer these colors are so sheer they barely show up on my NC20 skintone, but with primer they're awesome and the staying power's great too.

So let's take a look at how the PF Nude palette compares to the UD Naked palette:

 Top: Urban Decay Naked Palette (retail: $48)
Bottom: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Nude Eyes Palette (retail: $10.99)

The first thing you'll notice is the size difference. You get a total of 0.6 ounces of eyeshadow in the Naked palette, compared to 0.26 ounces of shadow in the Nude palette. the Naked palette contains 12 shades of eyeshadow while the Nude palette contains nine. And of course you get extras like a full-size eyeshadow brush and a mini bottle of primer in the Naked palette, while the Nude palette comes with one slanted sponge applicator.

A quick glance at both palettes and I think it's pretty obvious that the shades in the Naked palette lean more toward the warm end of the spectrum, while the shades in the Nude palette are split pretty evenly between warm and cool.

While obviously the Nude palette is not a shadow-for-shadow dupe of the Naked palette, I DID find some similarities between a few of these shades. I numbered the following photo to make it easier to reference each shade comparison:


First, I compared the black shades:

There is more silver sparkle in UD Creep, however there IS some sparkle in the PF shade. I think the PF shade is actually a bit of a deeper black, while UD Creep leans a bit more charcoal.

Next, a dark brown comparison (sorry, for some reason my camera wouldn't quite focus on these colors):

I have never liked the texture of UD Hustle (I find it dry and chalky) so I was happy to see that the brown shade in the PF palette was actually smoother and easier to work with. As you can see, the PF shade is warmer and has more shimmer.

This next comparison is actually a better dupe ON THE EYE than you would imagine. When I put UD Sidecar under my left brow and the PF shade under my right brow, I could barely tell the difference after I blended. The only thing that really tipped me off was that UD Sidecar has a lot of silver glitter in it, while the PF shade contains no glitter (sorry, for some reason the glitter in Sidecar isn't showing in my pics, but trust me it's there).

I know it looks like the PF shade is so much warmer, but when it's blended it really looks like Sidecar on my eyes. I just wish that the strip of color in the PF palette was wider. If you scroll up and look at the palette again, you'll notice that this shade, as well as one of those lovely taupes, are the smallest two strips in the palette. Such a bummer.

And finally, we have UD Sin vs. the 6th shade in the Nude palette:

Again, not an exact dupe, but on the eye they're quite similar. Don't get me wrong, I can tell them apart when I have them on my eyes, but I have to look pretty closely.

  • very affordable
  • nice balance of cool and warm shades
  • at least four nice dupes or "almost dupes" of Naked palette shades
  • three taupes
  • cute yet functional packaging
  • nine small strips of colors
  • must use primer due to weaker pigmentation
  • not much variety in texture (almost all shades are shimmers)
  • some strips are too narrow to be able to use an eyeshadow brush with ease
I'd also like to point out that I actually had better success using the sponge-tip applicator to apply these shadows on top of my primer. I used a fluffy brush to blend, but for application I find the sponge applicator works best.

I hope this post helps those of you who were wondering how close this new PF palette comes to the UD Naked palette. For me, it's obviously not a perfect dupe (not even close) but it has its own special qualities if you're willing to use primer and work with it a bit. It's not going to be as luxurious straight out of the box as the UD palette is, but with a little bit of trial and error, I think you might really enjoy it (especially if you like taupes).

All of the products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds.


  1. WOW!!! I have noticed that primer makes an incredible difference with these shadows. Great comparison. $$$ saved for many! I love both brands and will be definitely picking up more PF during the clearance and this week's ECB deal.


  2. You just sold me!! Im going to pick this up tomorrow morning because of the discount. Love it! Thanks Hun.

  3. Wow! I have the Naked Palette but the dupe is great! and comes in such pretty packaging! It would make a great gift, or travel Naked Palette!

  4. Awesome thanks G! My CVS had this display Saturday when I went but they were all out of the Nude Palette :( I'll have to try and go back to see if they have it! Thanks again for the great post!

  5. Love the nude! And it´s really small!!!

  6. Thanks for the swatches! Love the packaging on the PF one, so cute.

  7. Thanks so much for this review, G! I love how in-depth you went with the comparisons. Not sure if I would wear this myself (being a Naked palette owner) but can see myself getting it for someone as a gift and/or as someone else here commented, use for travel!

  8. Wow! this pallet it is BEAUTIFUL!
    Are the colors as shimmery as the ones in the Naked Pallet?

  9. Seems like the PF palette's cool and gray undertones more closely resembles the Naked 2 palette. Although the pigmentation of PF is just not there for me. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Wet and Wild came out with a cool or warm 6 pan neutral palette? :D

  10. Looking at it price wise breakdown...

    Physicians Formula = $1.22 per color. ($10.99 ÷ 9 = $1.22)
    Urban Decay = $1.42 per color BUT you get more weight wise. (Each color is 1.5g e 0.05 US oz)

    Basically, the whole Physicians palette (0.6 oz) equals ONE UD shadow from the Naked palette. When you it in that perspective, you're paying way too much for so little product.

    Hands down, for me, UD's palette is better price wise because you get a $9 travel primer plus a $22 brush (which makes the palette alone only $17 *IF* you compare just palette to palette). (Too bad UD doesn't sell JUST the palette or refills.)

    But that's just my opinion. Sometimes drugstore products can't stack up price wise with "high end" products.

  11. Thanks for the comparison. I have yet to get either of the UD Nude palettes and I am always looking for good dupes.

  12. Great comparison! Have you compared the Naked palette to the Wet n Wild one? I skipped the Naked palette FOR the Wet n Wild one and love using it... so I'm curious what it would look like side by side :)

  13. What a great comparison! I always appreciate that you show close ups of the packaging/ingredients/made in etc.
    I picked up the Naked palette in this last sephora F&F sale but havent used it yet and now I see Naked2 was released, can't keep up ! LOL!

    Thanks for the terrific sleuthing, so informative and fun! :)


  14. Supposedly the UD Naked 2 palette has more warm colors than its predecessor; since so many of these Physician's Formula shades seemed warmer than their UD counterparts, do you think the Nudes palette would be more comparable to the Naked 2 palette? Am I overthinking things again?

  15. I think i need to pick up the physicians formula palette.. i really like the pigmentation and its half the price great post.

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  17. Thanks so much for the great comparison and review!

  18. Great Review! I am so glad you took the time to compare these two palettes. I had started looking for the PF palette and was getting kind of antsy. Seeing this post reminds me of what I already own and I would have been seriously disappointed in the PF palette. Thanks so much!!

  19. Zadidoll... Check your math one more time. The UD palette is approximately 4 times larger than the PF palette, making them nearly identical breaking it down price wise ounce for ounce (in fact UD ends up being more $).
    In no way is the .05 oz you say each UD shadow weighs equal to the .6 oz that the whole PF palette is. .05 oz. does not equal .6 oz.
    Also, inclusion of other items (UD travel primer and brush) does not make the $48 the UD palette really only $17. UD would never sell the Naked palette for $17, and it is NOT $17, the price I'm paying is STILL it's $48.
    The PF palette is a great deal; great color dupes and price for someone on a budget :)

  20. I know its a little late, but no, You asked if I ended up buying it and I didn't. I wanted to get it for 5 bucks so I could blog about it. But since it was full price, I didn't bother. Plus the cashier said she did'nt know who I talked to, but you get the coupon after you buy it, even though I called ahead, as I am not familiar with CVS discounts. :) Thanks fo rthe post though. I found different products I love now.

  21. This is a great comparison!
    really good swatches as well =D

  22. Here is a tip: use the Maybelline color tattoo eye creams as a primer for these shadows. I have been using the taupe version as a base for my earthy eye tones and it works great...much better than eye primer, because it has tons of pigment already. Try it out. ~M

    1. Great advice, thank you. I've used the PF palette twice and am not happy with it yet so that Tough as Taupe (that I love) may help!

  23. Cool! I love my UD Naked Palette. While its kind of expensive, it is definitely one of the best eyeshadow palettes I own!!
    You do great reviews....

  24. WOW! Just one question -- which eye primer do you use? I need one. Thx

  25. So! That's what I'm doing wrong and why I didn't "get" this collection when I've been using it. Primer! Trying again very soon Thanks!

  26. Thanks so much!! This is exactly what I was looking for since I wasn't sure how close PF came to UD. Considering that PF had 4 shades similar to UD's at $11, that's a bargain. Will be purchasing soon. Thanks again for the great post!

  27. When I saw this palette on a shop (in France), I immediately thought about UD Naked! And I saw the price : 21€... BUT I found it on Iherb site, 8,65€ (11,47$)! What a difference!!! I want it! UD Naked is out of stock in France for some weeks, so...


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