Scared of coloured eyeshadow? Here’s our guide on how to wear Urban Decay’s Naked Ultraviolet palette

From my time working as a makeup artist in store, there is one thing that always seemed to be intimidating to the average person: coloured eyeshadow. ‘I wouldn’t know where to start or what colours would work for me,’ they would say. ‘Every time I’ve tried it just looks like my eyes have had some sort of reaction,’ others told me (with surprising frequency). If any of these sound like you, I finally have a solution; an eyeshadow palette where half the shades are neutral, and half the shades are a universally flattering colour – purple.

The new Naked Ultraviolet palette from Urban Decay bridges the gap between versatile neutrals and stunningly vivid colours in a way that compliments any skin tone or eye colour.

Since there are a balance of warmer and cooler tones, this palette is incredibly versatile; they can be worn alone or layered together in different ways to suit each individual.

But what exactly are these ways? To figure it out, I blasted ‘Ultraviolet’ by the Stiff Dylans from the 2008 classic ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ and tried out every shade of this palette in a number of combinations. Here’s what I found:


To those of you blessed with sparkling baby blues, you have a variety of options for subtle day looks or dramatic evening wear.

‘Mind Slip’, a matte peach shade, is the ideal colour to sweep through the crease on the fluffier end of the included brush to create depth. The orangey base of the shade solidifies and exaggerates the blue of your eyes while still being wearable during the day.

The same can be said about ‘Dazed’, a rich rose gold metallic shade that works great on the eyelid when patted on with a flat eyeshadow brush that’s been lightly spritzed with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long Lasting Setting Spray (my favourite application method for impactful metallics and shimmers). Wear these together with champagne shimmer shade ‘Trippin’’ as an inner corner and brow bone highlight for a natural glam look. Or, for a pop of colour, use the shade ‘Euphoric’ on the inner corner instead – this holographic violet shimmer is a great way to dip your toes in the purple water.

For a more dramatic look, my favourite shade has to be ‘Purple Dust’. It’s a cool-toned smoky purple that has specks of holographic glitter throughout that are pure magic with blue eyes. Pack this on using patting motions with the dense end of the included brush, either just in the outer corner or all over the lid for a smoky eye, and gently blend it out (I was shook at how easily this shade blends). Then, use ‘Euphoric’ all over the lid or just as an inner corner highlight and finish off with some lashes – this holographic purple look is set to stun.


There’s a shade in this palette that I firmly believe was made for green eyes, and that’s ‘Lucid’. It’s a holographic green shimmer that can be used on top of other shades to transform them or on its own for a captivating sheen. My favourite way to wear it is as an inner corner highlight (or even a cheekbone highlight if you’re feeling a little extra) and it can be applied easily with a fingertip.

If it’s a daytime shade you’re after, look no further than ‘Hacked’ – a matte mauvy brown that has just enough warmth to offset green eyes and make them pop. Use it with the fluffy end of the included brush either through the crease on its own to create depth or to blend out a shade you’ve used on the lid. An excellent option for a natural-tone lid shade with some oomph is ‘V.R.’. It’s a warm bronze metallic with a silver holographic finish – complex and different yet flattering and wearable.

Moving onto the purples, my pick for green eyes is the warmest of the bunch, ‘Warning’. It looks incredible all over the lid when applied with a finger, especially with ‘Cyber Punk’ or ‘Digital’ blended into the outer corner for added depth. Plus, when ‘Lucid’ is blended lightly over ‘Warning’, the result is a dazzling aqua shimmer that can bring out the same tones in green eyes – a seafoam sparkle.


To me, brown eyes and purple eyeshadows are a dream combination. As someone with brown eyes, this can be verifed by the ridiculous amount of purple eye looks I’ve done in the past. I just love how purples bring out the lighter amber tones in my eyes, like glistening pools of honey (and just like that, I’m hungry).

As such, my favourite purple in this palette for brown eyes is ‘Cyber Punk’ – it’s a true, deep purple shimmer and it’s to die for. You could wear it all over the lid or as a smoky purple eyeliner when applied with a flat angle brush. Pair it with the shade ‘Optimized’ on the inner corner to add a flattering lilac highlight with subtle pearl finish.

When it comes to the natural shades, brown eyes can pull off a wide range of combinations. A particularly stunning one can be achieved by swiping ‘Dazed’ on the lid with a clean finger, then adding depth with ‘Digital’. This deep and smoky metallic shade has a bronze shimmer that makes brown eyes truly sparkle. Pat it on the outer corner with the dense end of the included brush and gently bring it across both the upper and lower lash lines for definition. Add a dark pencil in the waterline and several coats of mascara for a sultry, smoky look that is irresistible.


To get the most out of these eyeshadows, light skin tones can simply use the Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion all over the lid before application to ensure your eye looks last all day. If you find that veins or redness show through your eyelids, try using a concealer as a base instead.

For a natural daytime look, lighter skin tones can use the shade ‘Trippin’’ all over the lid as their base shade. You could also try lilac shade ‘Optimized’ all over the lid for a light lilac haze, but this may look ashy on medium or dark skin tones. Air on the side of caution with darker shades like ‘Digital’ and ‘Purple Dust’ as they are strongly pigmented and can get very dark very quick – best to build them up gently.


Medium skin tones may want to only use the shade ‘Optimized’ as an inner corner highlight as is it can look a bit too pale on anything but a super light base like Urban Decay’s Freebase Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Using either ‘V.R.’ or ‘Dazed’ as an eyelid base colour works great on medium skin tones and can be deepened with ‘Purple Dust’ or ‘Digital’ along the lash line or in the outer corner to make sure your eyes have enough definition.


To make sure some of the lighter shades stay true to colour, darker skin tones may want to use either a lighter concealer as their eyeshadow base, or Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden which has a light flesh tone. Shades such as ‘Optimized’ and ‘Mind Slip’ may still look ashy even on a lighter eyeshadow base, so make sure to test them before trying an eye look.

If using some of the lighter shades all over the lid, make sure to bring back some definition with either an eyeliner or with some lashes. The shade ‘Dazed’ is an incredibly beautiful inner corner highlight on darker skin tones and compliments ‘Cyber Punk’ on the lid in a way I can’t even describe – it’s a must-try.


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