Urban Decay Smoked palette – reviews, photos, swatches & tutorial

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A close up image of an eye wearing an eyeshadowphotos: we heart this

Fall into Sephora’s COLOR VISION for the season’s hottest hues

I heard the early rumblings of the Urban Decay Smoked palette ($49) being the new “must have” palette. But after succumbing to both Naked palettes, I thought maybe I could skip this one. Thought being the operative word!

I should have known better – a smoky eye is the ying to a natural eye’s yang. Both are essential in the makeup lover’s bag of tricks. Leave it to Urban Decay to provide the tools necessary to create beautiful ones. All you need to add is some quality brushes and fabulous mascara.

Five different brushes and sizesI used these brushes for the look, plus my favorite mascara Urban Decay Lush Lash Mascara.

Urban Decay Lush Lash Mascara

Urban Decay Smoked palette

There are 10 of their newly formulated, richly shaded matte and shimmer shadows within the sleek zippered case (five are exclusive to this palette). You also get a full size Perversion eyeliner (one of the richest blacks around), a mini original formula Primer Potion and an AMAZING Look Book with 12 well-explained tutorials on various degrees of smoked eyes in a range of shades.

This book is so helpful, it’s like taking a class with a makeup artist. I was in a bit of a smoky eye rut – same shades, same techniques. So I learned a lot from this book (here’s a hint, it’s all in the blending and layering!)

Urban Decay Smoked palette

Urban Decay Smoked palette

Here’s a look at the shadows
Kinky – matte soft cream (Smoked exclusive)
Freestyle – matte warm nude (Smoked exclusive)
Mushroom – shimmery warm grey leaning taupe
Back Door – matte dark chocolate brown (Smoked exclusive)
Blackout – matte blackest black

Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom , Back Door, Blackout swatchKinky, Freestyle, Mushroom , Back Door, Blackout

Barlust – shimmery dark golden chocolate (Smoked exclusive)
Rockstar – shimmery dark grape/aubergine
Evidence – shimmery dark navy blue
Loaded – shimmery blackened emerald
Asphalt – shimmery dark gunmetal with silver micro glitter; the only shade with glitter! (Smoked exclusive)

Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt swatchBarlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

Sephora’s promoting nouveau purples for fall, so I happily choose to test the Rockstar tutorial from the Look Book, starring their popular shadow of the same name.

A collage tutorial applying the Urban Decay Smoked palette

Step 1: Apply Freestyle from crease to brow.

Step 2: Highlight brow bone with Kinky, tracing just along brow arch. Blend with Freestyle.

Step 3: Using Perversion Pencil, line upper lash line about halfway across, from the outer corner toward the inner. Smudge.

A collage tutorial applying the Urban Decay Smoked palette

Step 4: Sweep Rockstar all the way across upper lash line blending it into the pencil. The shadow should be thick and smudgy. Make sure the edges look soft and fuzzy.

Step 5: Repeat step #3 and #4 for lower lash line (note: I did this for the intro image, but not the full face shot shown below. Generally, I don’t like anything on my lower lash line).

Step 6: Apply Rockstar all the way across upper lid, winging it out a little at the outer corner.

Step 7: Join the Rockstar shadow from the upper and lower lash line at the outer corner.

A collage tutorial applying the Urban Decay Smoked palette

Step 8: Blend Asphalt into Rockstar on upper lid, then work Asphalt into and out of the crease.

Step 9: Apply just a little bit of Blackout right into the crease line. Blend seamlessly into Asphalt.

Step 10: Downblend (UD explains this very well in the book, but it’s basically using a lighter shadow over a darker shadow’s edge to make it seamlessly blend.)

Step 11: Trace a thin line of Blackout tightly along upper and lower lash lines. Go from outer corner about halfway across.

Step 12: Reline outer 1/3 of eye with Perversion Pencil. With a brush, fuse it into the shadow along the lash line. Seamlessly blend pencil with shadow.

Step 13: Line the lower waterline all the way across with Perversion Pencil.

Step 14: Line the upper waterline all the way across and into the inner corner with Perversion. Make sure the upper and lower lines meet.

VoilĂ  – a smoky purple eye and you’re ready for fall!

A blonde woman looking at the camera wearing the A collage tutorial applying the Urban Decay Smoked makeup

we heartsters, are you feeling the heat of the Smoked palette?

Buy the Urban Decay Smoked palette HERE
Or shop all of Sephora’s fall COLOR VISION selections HERE

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also may contain an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Stef Andrews

    Stef is a plethora of things. Amongst them: co-founder of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She also has a touch of wanderlust and, arguably, the cutest dog in the whole world... skin tone: NC 25/30 skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products

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  1. The smokey-eye can be tricky (fine line between cute and not that you do not want to cross!). Great how-to–can’t wait to try it this weekend!

  2. I’m a huge fan of the smoky eye and loved your photo tutorial, @stef ! I don’t know how I’m going to be able to resist this palette, especially with its mix of mattes and shimmers (and hardly any glitter).

  3. I have wondered about this palette! I am sure that it’s hard for UD to release a palette after the Naked palette being in the spotlight for so long. They seemed to have executed the perfect all-occasion smokey eye palette!

    1. Seriously, after the success of the Naked palettes it must have been daunting to create the next collection! They did a great job – and I love that they went in the opposite direction of natural and made a case for the smoky eyed girls.

    2. They really did. Like I said, I was convinced I wouldn’t need this. And I so did! Get ready for a lot of colorful smoky eyes on me this fall and winter. Plus, the book is AMAZE! I seriously learn a new trick from it everytime I try a new look. You can buy it alone for $9 on the UD site (but it was out of stock last time I looked). But personally, I think everyone should chip in the extra $41 and get the palette too.

  4. I thought to myself, I have so many Urban Decay eye shadows already. I really don’t need another. And then I saw your gorgeous eye makeup on the intro of this post. WOW, @Stef! It’s probably my favorite eye makeup look that you’ve ever done.

  5. Gorgeous palette! I’m so bad at creating the perfect smokey look but this is a great tutorial!

  6. I love that this has more than just a black or a grey shadow to create a smokey eye. I MUCH prefer using a color–my eyes pop more. This palette had me with that Loaded shade. Blackened emerald? Yes, please!

    1. Agreed @krista – a little bit of color, in the smoky eye looks makes it just that much better!

  7. Urban Decay always seems to amaze me. Just like @lipglossandspandex – I thought how much eyeshadow do I need? Well, I know I do not have a palette quite like this. Plus, it has a cute zip closure that is perfect for when you are on the go.

    @stef — I love how you break this look down step by step.

    1. thanks @hao9703 – but I can’t take all the credit. It’s UD’s tutorial, I just took the pics!

  8. That is one gorgeous palette! Thanks for the lesson on how to do the perfect smoky eye @stef! You NAILED IT, as usual! I like using color too @krista when making a smokey eye.. this one looks just right for this..

  9. I own this set already, I actually own quite a few eye shadow sets from Urban Decay. The instructions are so easy to follow here, and in some of their sets. I am so glad to spend the money on something like this I use from day to night. It is so versatile and not too glittery!

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