Drugstore vs. High-End: Eye Shadow Palette Edition

In this week’s beauty battle: Maybelline vs. Urban Decay

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I don’t know about you, but I’m an absolute sucker for eye shadow palettes. As someone who doesn’t experiment much with different eye looks, it’s probably slightly ridiculous that I own (and continue purchasing) so many different sets, but alas, the heart wants what it wants. 

This week, I’ll be comparing Maybelline’s The Blushed Nudes palette to the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay, both of which contain a mixture of 12 matte and satiny shades of mauve, pink, brown, and rose gold.

While the shades aren’t 100% identical, the two palettes definitely favor one another in terms of packaging, shade selection, and overall theme. Keep reading to see who wins this week’s beauty battle! 

In this corner: Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette
Image Credit: Ulta

Price: Around $10

This gorgeous new palette from Maybelline has been a pretty big deal in the drugstore makeup world for the past few months, and it’s easy to see why. The small amount you pay for the 12 diverse shades is pretty unbelievable compared to most high-end palettes that offer the same amount of product (or less) for a much heftier price.

The colors in this palette range from shimmery and satiny light pinks, pastels, and highlighting shades on the top row to darker, matte, and bronzy colors on the bottom. 


When swatched or applied to your eyelids, the shades don’t really represent those pictured in the official product images, which appear almost 100% matte. In actuality, the palette contains six satin shades, three matte shades, and three shimmer shades. 

In my opinion, shades seven (a beautiful bronzy orange) and eleven (a silky dark pink/rose gold) are the true stars of the show in this palette due to their smooth application, unique colors, and bold pigmentation. I would recommend picking this up if you prefer lighter and more shimmery eye shadows rather than matte colors, since this palette contains more shades of that variety.   

And in this corner: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Image Credit: Sephora

Price: Around $54

This is a palette that I swore from the very beginning I would never buy simply because I hardly ever use my Naked 2 palette. Long story short, but I saw Naked 3’s gorgeous rose gold packaging staring at me one fine day in Sephora and the rest is history.

I normally have buyer’s remorse after purchasing such an expensive product, but I’ve consistently been impressed with this palette since the day I bought it. 


Naked 3 comes with a dual-ended synthetic brush and a mixture of matte, satin, and shimmery shades that are arranged from light to dark. 

My favorite thing about this palette (and all of Urban Decay’s eye shadows, in general) is that all of the shades are super-buttery and pigmented. With the Maybelline palette, I really had to put some effort into getting a majority of the swatches to show up on my arm, but with the Naked 3 palette, even the lighter shades such as “Strange” and “Dust” were an absolute breeze to apply.   

The Champion:

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Image Credit: Sephora

As much as it pains me to say it, Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette comes out on top in this battle; the average powdery and grainy consistency of a majority of the Maybelline shadows are no match to the smoothness and pigmentation the Naked shades have to offer.

This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for, and while $10 is an amazing price for 12 eye shadows, the $54 you pay for the Urban Decay palette is an investment in both quality and quantity.   

However, this isn’t to say the Maybelline palette isn’t worth a try, especially if you like more natural and lighter eye shadow looks. When paired with a good primer (e.l.f. is a great drugstore option!), a majority of the Blushed Nude shades would appear significantly more pigmented and would probably last much longer as well.   


Have you tried either of these palettes? What was your experience with them? Share your reviews and thoughts in a comment below and come back soon for another edition of Drugstore vs. High-End! 

15 thoughts on “Drugstore vs. High-End: Eye Shadow Palette Edition”

  1. I have both, I use both, and I love both. But for the money? Urban Decay, by far. I’ve had the Naked 3 palette since it’s release, I use it at least twice a week, and I have yet to hit pan on ANY of the pigments. The Maybelline one is great, but it’s not as pigmented, meaning I use more, which of course means that I go through it quicker. I’ve hit pan on four colors in the Maybelline palette.
    For someone on a budget, I’d suggest the Maybelline nudes line, but if you have a spare bit of cash, or maybe it’s your birthday/Christmas, or a present is on it’s way, ask for a Sephora gift card and splurge on the Naked 3 palette.

  2. Skip the Maybelline, even the best primer doesn’t help the top row of shadows in that palette enough to make them useful. Save the money from that and get a more expensive palette later.

  3. I bought the nakeds and have only used that eye make up for the last two and a half years. I absolutely love it and it stays on. I am cheapskate, when I can be, so when I happen to see the Maybelline palette one day, I bought it. This is definitely one of those you pay for what you get. The quality is definitely not the same. You have to apply the Maybelline Color several times for to even show up on your eyes. Now I guess you could use the Maybelline colors in the daytime if you want a very faint look. Bottom line, I’m sold on the urban Naked palette and I will not purchase Maybelline again.

  4. Skip the Maybelline shadows. Even on clearance.The ‘L.A. Colors Little Black Book Natural’ is not just a much less expensive version of the shimmery pallet, it’s better pigmented and holds on sans primer. In fact, L.A Colors shadows consistently perform better than any Maybelline eye shadow on hold and pigment, even though some can come up a little gritty. If you’re not going to splurge on the Urban Decay, go blow $1 on the book and get something that does what it’s supposed to without extra products. For that matter, get 2 or 3 if you like the shades, and still come out ahead on spending and quality. In my view, a $10 dollar pallet that’s out performed by a $1 pallet is a total rip off.

  5. Be awRe that alot of cheaper range makeup is made in China and as the quality control there is so bad it is totally possible they contain carcinogenic toxic products. China is known for having toxic fillers in their products.

    Forever21, elf and other cheaper ranges are made there so you could be eating. eg: lipstick or absorbing. : eyeshadow, base, primer , things that could make your health at risk

    • and things like lead are found in all brands of lipstick. There is no regulation of the cosmetics industry in the US. High end brands are still using toxic chemicals.

  6. I have naked 2, naked 3, and naked smokey….I am addicted….they are the best! And I hate spending that much money too but IT’S WORTH IT! I wasn’t really known for my makeup skills until I got these palettes. For my friends wedding I did my own makeup and I did a fellow bridesmaids makeup, and the bride wished I would have done hers too instead of paying for someone to do her makeup. This stuff can really turn a novice into an expert fairly easily. I highly recommend!!

  7. I love the idea of these palettes but can never justify spending anything since I barely use them. I am curious to know – how often does everyone wear eye shadow?


    • I wear eye shadow every day that I wear makeup. I don’t necessarily wear a full look; a lot of times it’s just a skin tone shadow all over the lid with a little bit darker color for my crease, but if I don’t wear eye shadow, you can see all the little veins in my eyelids and it’s not pretty. 😀

  8. I just bought the Maybelline pallete last week, and while you do have to work a little harder to get the colors to show up, I still really like it!


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