Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Urban Decay neutral eyeshadow singles: Sin, Half Baked, Suspect, and Freelove

Today's post is a showcase of my neutral shimmery Urban Decay eyeshadow singles. Singles aren't a great value compared to a palette, but I love the simplicity of having the the exact shade you want without the bulk of a palette or the waste of owning a bunch of shades you won't use. If you are an Ulta Platinum member, they occasionally run a 50% off Urban Decay eyshadow single sale, which is a great price if you are patient enough to wait for a sale.

These singles are .05 oz (1.5 grams) and retail for $19. Like everything on this blog, I bought all of these myself.
I decided to take a different approach with the swatches - Urban Decay shimmer eyeshadows get a bad rap for being fallout prone, loudly metallic, and generally inappropriate for work or school. Certainly some of the micro glitter shades have fallout and the brighter shades aren't corporate friendly, but the smooth shimmery metallic neutral shades are more wearable than you might think.

Seeing as you can find pigmented, opaque swatches of these shades all over the internet, I'm showing these as I wear them most - soft and subtle. For a work or school friendly eye look, I lay down a matte base that matches my skintone (Urban Decay Walk of Shame is a great option), define the crease with a matte cool toned brown (Urban Decay Naked2 rocks), sweep a sheer layer of a shimmery shade all over the lid, and gently pat a lighter shimmery shade on the inner corner. Most of the time I use my fingers for the shimmery shades out of laziness, but brushes also work well. Voila - corporate friendly AND shiny at the same time!

Urban Decay Sin is a light pink champagne with a silvery pink pearl. A light layer looks brightening and surprisingly natural on my pale, cool toned skin. I find this shade beautiful as an all over lid wash paired with a crap ton of mascara and no liner. I also use this as a pop on the center of the lid for a halo eye or as a inner corner highlight. There are about a billion shades in this family, from sibling MAC Naked Lunch to cousin Stila Kitten (full comparison post on Sin vs Kitten here), but the smooth blendability and superb formula execution earn Sin top honors in my book.

Half Baked
Half Baked is the traditional Urban Decay yellow gold and is in about a zillion palettes. The yellow tones in this gold can be trickier on my cool toned skin, so I usually pair it with a warmer brown shade on the outer corner of the lid and smudgy brown or bronze liner. Half Baked always makes me feel glamorous and it draws attention to the eyes without being loud or tacky.

Urban Decay Suspect is in the same family as MAC Patina or Burberry Pale Barley - a boring nothing brown in the pan that turns surprisingly complex on the eye. I catch golden, olive, and pewter shine in different lights and this shade can be worn as a sheer wash that defines the eye or built up to a wearable daytime smoky lid. This is one of those eyeshadows that can look like three different shades on the eye by layering and building opacity strategically. Suspect flies under the radar because of how lame it looks on the display next to brighter offerings, but this underdog deserves a swatch in person.

Urban Decay Freelove is a cheerful coral peach with a golden shift. I love this shade paired with bronzer, lots of mascara, and a shiny peach lip for summer. Freelove has the capability of looking exactly as it does in the pan, but the surprise is how beautiful it looks worn softly. A light application shows more peach than coral and brings the gold shift to a subtle, mature place. Depending on how you use it, Freelove can go full on bright festival or natural romantic golden peach. If you have been passing up Freelove on the display because it looks too bright for you, try sheering it out in a swatch and give it a second chance.

As always, swatches are over bare, unprimed skin and are not edited except to add shade names and a watermark. The first swatches are shown in natural, indirect light to show the base color and the second swatches are shown in direct light and a little out of focus to show the shine in the finish.

I love the Urban Decay shimmer eyeshadow formula - it works well as a metallic pop or as a wash of color with a pretty sheen. I often pair these shades with mattes from my beloved Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. Which Urban Decay shades are your favorites?


  1. I recently used the color Sin all over the eyelids. I was really surprised by how natural and brightening it looked. In most swatch posts, the color always seemed quite pink and frosted and I'm glad that it's actually nothing like that. It's really much more like your swatch above.

    1. I was surprised by that too! I was a little scared of Sin being too frosty to wear to work until I swatched it softly in the store. Wearing it today, in fact :)


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