This week I’ve broken the mold and decided to use three palettes this week instead of one. This week, I’m featuring the Crown Brush Exposed palettes – or, more bluntly, Crown Brush’s Naked dupe palettes. Under Exposed = Naked 1, Pure Exposed = Naked 2, and Over Exposed = Naked 3. In looking up links for this post, it seems like these palettes have been discontinued, but you can find Naked palette dupes out there from many other brands, so I figure this is a topic worth discussing. Read on to hear my thoughts on these palettes.
I originally bought these palettes through a Groupon a few years ago. If I recall correctly, I think I paid $30 plus shipping & tax for all three of these palettes! That was absolutely a great deal, and had I used these palettes within the first year or two of owning them, I think my review of them would be very different. Unfortunately, the formula of some of these shadows seems to have declined from when I first purchased them.
I have stored these palettes properly and have other older palettes that have held up much better than these. While the shimmers in these palettes can look nice, they aren’t consistent. I would describe the formula of both shimmer and matte shades to be slightly chunky. This can sometimes be a good thing to help build up the pigment in a shimmer, but the mattes are just too difficult to work with in my opinion. (On the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of Urban Decay’s matte formula, so maybe this is what I should expect, but I have definitely seen a decline in the way the mattes perform in the Crown palettes.)
I do know that it’s intended that you’ll use your powder products within about two years before you can expect some decline in quality, so I’ll try not to judge these too harshly for the rest of this post.
I actually started out this week using this palette, but after two days, I knew I’d have a hard time using this for the rest of the week, so I decided to use each of the Crown palettes for two days (since I didn’t wear shadow on Sunday).
I love romantic pink and purple eyeshadow looks, but the mattes in this palette really took more time to blend out and build up than I had in the morning. My favorite shade in this one was the deep burgundy matte (#36). I’d like to try again with the shimmery purple (#29), because it’s a unique shade in my collection. The rose gold (#30) is pretty, but there’s a similar shade in the Pure Exposed palette that I like more.
Generally this look turned out okay, but it took some work to get there. Of the three, this one was definitely the weakest. I was able to build up the second shade, a light pink shimmer, on my lid nicely on the second day with the help of a little water, but it had mostly faded by lunchtime. I decided at that point to be sure to use better bases for these shadows when I used the other palettes.
Based on swatches I’ve seen online, this palette does the best job of a shade-for-shade dupe of the original Naked palette, complete with the sturdier packaging from the Naked 2 and 3!
This did a good job for me both days I used it, as it did whenever I’ve used it in the past. In this palette, I really like the lightest shade (#1), and the deeper brown matte (#5). I also like the shimmery nude pink (#9).
I’m not especially drawn to the shades in this palette, especially some of the darker ones. It’s always been a little perplexing to me that a palette called “Naked” (and all of its dupes with nude-themed names) would have more than one deep navy shade. That being said, I pushed myself to try those shades one day last week, and they applied very nicely.
The Naked 2 palette is the one I’m most drawn to generally, so I really wanted to give this palette a good try. Of the three palettes, this one has the best-performing mattes, but even the lightest matte (#17) is a little dark for a transition shade on me. The black in this palette (#24) is also very nice.
Two of the shimmers in this palette are my favorite of the whole collection – #16 and #18. I’ll let the swatches speak for themselves, but I do love a good rose gold and bronze for any type of look. The thing I appreciate most out of this palette is that it contains a light matte shade – however ill-performing it may be. I can make it work without having to reach for a single shadow to set my lids, and I am always grateful for that.
Generally, these palettes make an attempt to do a shade for shade dupe of the original Naked palettes, but the shades either fall short or exceed my expectations. I don’t actually own any of the Naked 1-3 palettes, but what I know from the Naked Ultimate Basics and Naked Smoky palettes, I know that I should be able to expect more from anything trying to dupe Urban Decay, especially at the price they’re asking. I got lucky with my Groupon, but the Pure and Under palettes from this line still available on the Crown UK site are 19.99 GBP (~$29), so I think you’re better off buying one real Naked palette. Ultimately, I think Crown’s made a good decision by phasing these palettes out. The good news is that I have 3 great dual-ended brushes that I can keep in my travel bag!
Now that I’ve hit a few palettes that haven’t thrilled me, I’m beginning to think about where this One Week, One Palette project will take me with decluttering at the end of the year. I definitely don’t want to make any rash decisions.
With this set, I can see myself getting rid of them and then deciding I must have the Urban Decay palettes, so I’ll have to set some ground rules for myself before letting go of anything. For now, I’ve swatched together twelve of the shades from these three palettes that I may patch together later for my own franken-naked palette.
How do you feel about dupe palettes? Do you have any that are better than the original? Share your thoughts below!
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