Thursday, February 14, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm: Swatches and Review

Urban Decay recently launched a new product in their ubiquitous Naked product line, the Naked Skin Beauty Balm. It is billed as a "five-in-one beauty balm that minimizes pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness instantly and gives you significantly firmer, more lifted skin in eight weeks." Sephora.com says it "is like an instant retoucher in a tube," and also claims that makeup will go on smoother over it and skin will be more hydrated.

What really sold me, though, was Phyrra's review. She is as fair as I am, and despite how orange the Naked Skin Beauty Balm appears in swatches, it seemed truly wearable for her and I could see a marked improvement in her skin's appearance between her before and after pictures. So, of course, I ordered it from Sephora.com.

Here is the Naked Skin Beauty Balm in a blob on my hand:


And here it is blended out:


You can see that it completely disappears into the skin - there is no orangey tint whatsoever. With that said, I also saw no difference in the skin on my hand from before I applied it to after. The slightly red, blotchy spots are still there, the skin's texture does not appear any smoother, etc. So next, I tried it on my face. Here it is dotted on completely unretouched, bare skin (I've only done my eye makeup and brows here):


And here is my own before/after comparison, with the "before" on the left and the "after" on the right. I still have no other makeup on my skin in the "after" picture - just brows, eyes, and the Naked Skin Beauty Balm. As you can see, it blends into my skin well and is clearly not too dark-looking. Click to view full size:


In the pictures, I do see about a 10% difference in the evenness and brightness of my skin. My slight redness, which this product is supposed to diminish, is still visible to me. However, in real life, I was unable to discern any visible difference in my skin at all after applying - it looked exactly the same to me, even inspecting my skin mere inches from the mirror. I tested this out worn alone and worn under foundation for several days each and found that it did not make my foundation apply any smoother (if anything, it was slightly more difficult to blend over the Naked Skin Beauty Balm), nor did it make it last any longer on my face. I also did not find that my skin got any more dry, oily, or hydrated while wearing it. The product's mint scent did make me concerned about possible skin irritation, but I experienced none of that either, nor any breakouts.

The Naked Skin Beauty Balm does have an SPF 20 rating from octinoxate and zinc oxide, but I don't know enough about sunscreen to know if it's in a stable base or not (whether it will be effective, or break down quickly on the skin). If anyone knows, I'd love to hear whether you think it is or not, and why.

Honestly, readers, this product just didn't wow me. It didn't seem to harm my skin in any way, but from what I can tell, it didn't benefit it either (my skin OR my makeup application/wear time). According to Urban Decay, I'll see improved skin after eight weeks of use, but I just can't bring myself to use a product for eight weeks when it's done absolutely nothing for me that I can tell after one. This doesn't affect my feelings about the product's performance, but it also irks me that Urban Decay jumped on the "BB cream" bandwagon and labeled this product a Beauty Balm when it is so far from what a true BB cream actually is like. In my opinion, the Naked Skin Beauty Balm is nothing more than a face primer with supposed skincare benefits!

So - if you really want to try this, I'm not going to say, "no, don't waste your money." Give it a try if you want, and maybe it'll impress you more than it did me. But I would advise that you buy it from somewhere you can easily return it, because I will be returning mine. I just can't live with keeping a product I spent $34 on that is utterly useless to me!

8 comments:

  1. It's crazy how orange it looks before you blend it in! But, once blended, it matches your skin tone perfectly! Honestly, you don't even need makeup! Your skin is fantastic!!! *Jealous* Great review :)

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  2. i've just tried a sample of UD's beauty balm, and yes, it works like primer.. no coverage, but it does help reducing my big pores appearance, so i'm quite like it.. if it doesn't tagged with $34.

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    1. I'm glad to hear it's working for you! I have smaller pores so I didn't notice much difference in the appearance of mine. Did you decide to buy despite the price, or is it too much for you?

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  3. I don't want to be in the habit praising every negative review you do, but I will repeat a second time that it's nice to see honesty! Anyway, I thought the BB Cream thing was so tiring when everyone was yammering on about how much better they are in Asia. I was pretty unimpressed, and remain unimpressed, overall. But of course then I visited my brother in Tokyo and picked up a pile of things, including a BB Cream from Canmake (a middle-range drugstore brand). All they say is true!!! And so I am even less impressed by what they're selling here... but now I'm just hoping I can get my brother to send me more when I run out!

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    1. Haha!! Well, yes, honesty is important to me.

      What do you love about the Canmake one? I've actually only tried one true Asian BB - Holika Holika Peach Girl - but not used it consistently enough to notice any kind of skin improvement from it... would love to hear your thoughts!

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  4. In your comparison pic, it does look to me like your skin is more smooth, but honestly, if you feel it isn't a big enough difference, then it's defintely not worth it to you. I like the product but I've ended up mostly using it as a primer. If I'm having a rosacea flare up it can't cover the redness in my face like a bb cream or foundation can.

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    1. Thanks, Phyrra! I didn't know you read my blog :) like I said in the post, I also see a slight difference in my skin in the pictures, but I wasn't able to discern that difference in real life - funny, huh? Usually it's the other way around, and we're telling people "pictures don't do this product justice!" And since it didn't seem to increase the longevity of my foundation used as a primer either, it just doesn't make sense for me to keep using it.

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