Cosmetic Review: Urban Decay NAKED Ultimate Basics

It's here. Urban Decay's first ever all-matte palette, NAKED Ultimate Basics Eyeshadow palette. 

We wrote about this after it was announced a few weeks ago. The buzz around the palette was at a high, and it's the star of the 2016 holiday line up for the brand.  Well, it's been a week after it's release, we're ready to release the verdict: 

Is the Ultimate Basics worth dropping $50? YES.

Cosmetic box review for Urban Decay Ultimate Basics

NAKED Ultimate Basics Palette Review

Let's start with the fundamentals: 

  • Packaging
    Moving away from the more capricious and fanciful design of the recent palette, but still not quite as stoic as the other Naked palettes, Ultimate Basics features a golden burst. It's shiny and eye-catching, a delicious compliment to the matte shades inside, and an interesting companion to the other more, well, *naked* shades on other palettes. It's luxury packaging on another level.
  • Features
    One complaint from other palettes is the mirror of questionable functionality. That is remedied in Ultimate Basics, with a full size mirror inside. The applicator is double edged: one for layering, the other for eyeliner or blending. 

There are 12 shades included in the Ultimate Basics palette. While Urban Decay is touting these as never-before-seen, some of these are very similar to shades we've seen before. But, that aside, test out the shades (if you can) prior to purchasing to make sure that these shades work for you. Matte is a funny beast; these shades are denser and richer than your average drugstore brand, per Urban Decay standards, but they're far from universally flattering (without a little help).  Luxury brands should feel luxurious, and this packed powder packs a mink-gloved punch.

Matte Shades Included

  • Blow (Light Nude Demi-Matte)
  • Nude (Soft Pink Nude Matte)
  • Commando (Light Taupe Brown Matte)
  • Tempted (Pale Brown Matte)
  • Instinct (Medium Pink Taupe Matte)
  • Lethal (Reddish Brown Matte)
  • Pre-Game (Pale Yellow Matte)
  • Extra Bitter (Burnt Orange Matte)
  • Faith (Medium Warm Brown Matte)
  • Lockout (Rich Neutral Brown Matte)
  • Magnet (Smoky Gray Matte)
  • Blackjack (Warm Black Matte)

While the colors alone aren't universally flattering, that doesn't mean that a little blending won't remedy that. Bustle has put together a list of tutorials to assist in this.  Matte is everywhere this fall, and it's ideal to ramp up your look from work to night without a total redo. 

Visible Blister Packaging

The visibility offered by clear plastic packaging is extremely useful in retail cosmetics sales. Blister packs are one of the most common solutions used for cosmetic application products because of this factor. Until a shopper has the chance to really examine the colors, application features, and personal benefits of the item, you have not convinced them yet. Blister packaging is easier to open than secure plastic clamshells, which will come into play when the consumer needs to return for more. Branding is easier than ever with blister packaging because you have the opportunity to apply your logo, graphic design, and product information all on the blister card- this serves as the back to the formed plastic cavity. Because many cosmetic products are displayed in-store on racks or pegs, blister packaging offers display features as well as the ability to add tab for hanging. With shelf appeal and tamper-evident security, custom blister packaging is an ideal solution for retail cosmetics.

Skincare Company Uses Bamboo for Eco-Friendly Packaging

One industry that has been slower to adapt to green packaging has been the cosmetic industry. Many cosmetic companies put the emphasis of elegance first when it comes to packaging. This posts focuses on a company who combines elegance with green packaging.

TAY’s Natural Skincare Products have a great eco-friendly packaging strategy using bamboo! Eight of their affordable skincare products are organically made and packaged in 100% bamboo and recycled PET plastic containers. The bamboo packaging really emphasizes the organic nature of this skincare line and communicates its importance to consumers. Because bamboo is used, the packaging is long-lasting and can be reused over and over again.

Top “Loyalty Leader” Brands

Consumer Loyalty- the act of showing faith and allegiance to a product or service.

For the second year in a row, the iPhone topped the New York consultancy’s “Loyalty Leaders” list. The list compiles the top brands that consumers show loyalty to. It demonstrates that in a time where products are lacking in differentiation, brands need to establish an emotional connection to consumers to earn their faith and trust. No one does a better job at this than Apple thus, their momentum continues to intensify and their connection with the consumer market grows deeper.

Brand Keys conducted the interviews which provided the data for the list. In August, they polled 35,000 consumers about 501 brands in 71 categories. The age range of the consumers was 18-65 years old. 80% of the surveying was done over the phone while 15% were personal interviews and 5% were done online.

The iPhone was followed by Samsung phones with Apple computers and Blackberry scoring high. Other notable moves on the list included BP going from the leader of gasoline retailers to the bottom of the list for obvious reasons. Toyota dropped a little bit but it’s position remains #2 among autos. Beer brands dropped in the survey as vodka brands climbed. In fact, Three Olives vodka jumped 64 positions on the list landing in the top 25.

New additions to the list includes Bing, which was second among search engines to the respondents. Google is still ranked very high although, it dropped to #11 this year from #3 last year.

Progressive Insurance claimed the highest increase on the year with spokeswoman Flo into her second year of campaigning through advertising channels.

Nearly 75% of the Top 50 brands on the list came from three categories: cosmetics, technology, and retail. The emotional connection derived from cosmetic brands impacts self image, technology changes the way consumers live their lives, and retail improves quality of life.

Here’s a look at the Top 15 Loyalty Leaders:

1. Apple iPhone
2. Samsung phones
3. Walmart
4. Grey Goose
5. Apple
6. Hyundai
7. Amazon
8. J. Crew (catalog)
9. Blackberry
10. Avis
11. Google
12. Mary Kay
13. J. Crew (retail)
14. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
15. Bing

Sustainable Packaging Flourishes Despite A Weak Economy

Most sectors of packaging have been taking a hit during these tough economic times, but not sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging has experienced positive growth over the past two years and it’s not expected to slow down. According to “Sustainable (Green) Packaging: A Global Strategic Business Report”, the green packaging market should to be worth $142 billion by 2015.

What sectors of packaging are the key developers of sustainable packaging? Cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, shipping, and healthcare packaging have all embraced green packaging to a large degree.

There are key driving forces that account for the growth of sustainable packaging. Growing concerns of the environment around the globe is number one. Also, stricter government regulations are making it mandatory for companies to adhere to sustainable practices and production. Other drivers include increased awareness about recycling of packaging wastes and companies cutting costs by using recycled and reusable materials in manufacturing.

The United States and Europe currently cover more than 70 percent of the global green packaging market. Recycled material is the most important packaging category in the US, accounting for 90 percent of the total demand.

The fastest growing region for green packaging is expected to be Asia-Pacific with 10 percent annual growth over the next 5 years. The fastest growing segment of the packaging industry are biodegradables with the highest demand coming from bioplastics.