The Big Drugstore Palette

Maybelline The NUdes case

Drugstores tend to follow the trends of high-end makeup brands: Clinique-style jumbo lip pencils, Urban Decay Naked Skin-style foundation, and now, a big nude palette.

Palettes larger than a quad or a quintet are tough to find at the drugstore. There are the Wet & Wild eight-pan palettes – the Comfort Zone Palette stands out in terms of shade selection and formula. But bigger than eight is hard to find.

closeup maybelline nudes palette

That’s why I was really excited to hear buzz about Maybelline’s The Nudes palette. From first looks at it online, it looked like a better-than-UD-Naked-palettes palette for two reasons. The first is that it offers a mix of warm and cool tones; the second is that it includes both shimmer and matte shades. And then there’s the price – at around $15, it certainly doesn’t carry the cringe-worthy UD Naked price tag.

In addition to shade and finish selection and price, the packaging is quite nice too. It’s reasonably slim but still sturdy, and it travels well.

Maybelline Nudes top row swatches maybelline nudes bottom row swatches

Unfortunately, that’s where the the good news stops. There are a few things that Maybelline do incredibly well – for example, mascaras and cream eyeshadows. However, they’d be wise to reformulate their eyeshadows. Most shades are dry, not pigmented, and a pain to blend. As you can probably tell from the swatches, the shadows lack pigmentation and are super chalky and powdery – some of the lighter shades hardly show up on me, and I have to really smush my brush in the darker shades to get them to show. Once I do get it to show up, the blending process is very difficult and I can wind up with something like an accidental cut-crease…which is pretty, but not cool when I’m going for a very soft, diffused look.

Some shadows are not like this; the shimmers tend to behave a little better than the mattes. I especially love shade 7, which reminds me of MAC Patina, and shade 4, which is like a cross between UD Dark Horse and Smog. Even on these slightly-better shadows, the wear is particularly unfortunate. Even with a primer and a cream base, by the end of the night, I find myself wondering where my shadow went.

Before you start to think that only high end shadows perform well, I ought to assure you that this is not the case. Wet & Wild eyeshadows are some of my favourites – probably more so than MAC. If you’re looking for a decent-sized nude palette at a price that won’t break the bank, their Comfort Zone palette is amazing…for only $5. You’d be better off buying a ton of W&W shades before you pick up Maybelline The Nudes…which is unfortunate, because I had such high hopes for this one. Sigh – I was rooting for you.



  1. I’ve heard a couple of bloggers rave about this palette and now that I’ve read this, I’m really wondering what makes them like it so much (or talk so positive about it…) Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll definitely try some wet’n’wild shadows.

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