Tuesday 21 May 2019


 ***Disclaimer: This post doesn't contain gifted items. Links used are affiliate***

UD Naked Reloaded vs ABH Sultry

Since its launch Urban Decay Naked Reloaded raised a few eyebrows in the beauty community thanks to its similarity to Anastasia Beverly Hills Sultry palette which launched a few months before. But are they really dupes of each other? We all know and come to expect budget beauty dupes, but are luxury brands given the same privilege? Now let’s have a closer look at both palettes together & decide: do we have a luxury dupe on our hands?

First of all, let’s start with the basics. A process of creating a high-quality product that can almost immediately be recognised as a certain brand is a lengthy one. The formulas must be just right, sure there’s a room for improvement but you want to ensure that it reaches both the new and existing fan bases. Simply by touch, you can call out a brand, there’s a certain finesse to each product that’s recognisable to those of us who spend many hours of their life swatching and comparing. With Sultry arriving first, Urban Decay faced some critique over the similarity of certain shades. Was it through duping or simply market research into what shades should be in their new flagship palette? Let’s not forget that Naked Reloaded replaced their cult Naked palette and replaced it for a reason. Naked palette with its shades have become outdated and the brand needed a replacement that would be worthy of the status. The question remains, is it worth your time?

Going back to a touch method, you can tell a massive difference in the way shadows are pressed in each palette. Both Urban Decay and Anastasia Beverly Hills have gone above and beyond to create shades that redefine neutral palette and I think we can both agree that both Sultry and Naked Reloaded get their place in your neutral classic palette Hall of Fame. Swatch wise both perform similarly but the biggest difference is that foil shadows are definitely softer and with more wow effect on ABH side. Having said that, the mattes are easier to swatch with UD. 

What seems similar in the pan doesn’t necessarily translate to similar or the same when it comes to swatches. Let’s take shades UD Retro & ABH Bloom as those have gathered a lot of discussions online. Both with peachy tones but clearly Bloom is more vibrant with a lot more red to it than Retro. That doesn’t take away from the beauty of the latter but both stand separately when it comes to the finished look on the eye or even when swatched. Another two to call out: ABH Pearl & UD Angel Fire are super similar on the photos but in real life and swatched Angel Fire is a lot more punky whilst Pearl has a lot more white silver in there. ABH Rose Quartz & UD Reputation look similar but perform completely different on the lid. Rose Quartz is a beautiful Rose Gold foil with a hint of white & silver and Reputation is a light copper shimmer. ABH Ember is a stunning dark vintage gold/bronze with almost green undertone whilst UD Distilled is a beauty in its own right deep bronze with a cranberry shimmer. The only 3 truly similar shades I found to be ABH Fresh & UD Bribe - both bone mattes, with Bribe being a little more satin in finish, ABH Birch & UD Bucked - muted camel mattes and finally UD Endgame which is a dark cool brown shade in between ABH Dystopian’s super dark brown and Twig’s medium brown taupe. 

ABH Sultry swatches (unfiltered/daylight)

UD Naked Reloaded vs ABH Sultry

UD Naked Reloaded swatches (unfiltered/daylight)

There are a few shades in each palette that made me go: yep, I want that. Let’s start with Sultry and I have to be honest here: I got it mostly for Cyborg - the stunning and unique taupe with silver shimmer foil, Bloom which I found to be endearing in the midst of mostly cooler tones, Fresh because  who doesn’t need the quality light bone matte shades and Noir as at a time I didn’t have Soft Glam and needed a quality black matte in my stash. Obviously, once I got it, I was in awe of more than that, but these are purely my first impressions. When it came to Naked Reloaded I was a lot stronger and it took me weeks before splurging. I’ll be honest here but this was due to my previous experiences with Naked palettes, where however brilliant they were, they simply didn’t perform as well as some others in my collection. What finally got me into it was a visit to the counter and swatching Dreamweaver which is simply the most glorious shade for every day (and night!) smokey eye. It’s dark taupe brown with so much micro glitter, my heart simply rejoiced. 

Whilst the palettes aren’t true dupes, do you really need both in your life? I guess only you know the answer. Urban Decay Naked Reloaded is perfect for anyone - from beginners to pros alike. As with any UD shades, these simply blend themselves, all you need is a decent blending brush and your fingers to apply. There’s some fallout experienced with it too, but nothing a quick swipe with a brush can’t fix. Shades simply aren’t too pigmented to cause a problem there. With Anastasia Beverly Hills Sultry you are getting two more shades and most importantly a black which can transform a look from daytime to evening in seconds. It’s also bloody good matte black if you know what I mean! You can pigmentation but whilst it can go all over in the pan, virtually no fallout on the face. You only need to touch most shades to get enough product, so just be careful not to use too much as with intensive pigment of Noir - it may be bloody difficult to dust off your face. Both aren’t too cool or too warm, a perfect everyday choice, whichever you opt for. I’ll let you decide. 

UD Naked Reloaded vs ABH Sultry

Get UD Naked Reloaded on DebenhamsFeel Unique, Look FanstasticSelfridges & Urban Decay for £38 now. 

Thank You For Reading.

With love,

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