January 8, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review & Swatches

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

As you know Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm launched late last week. Urban Decay’s first ever BB Cream leaves a little to be desired in the pigmentation department and acts more as a tinted moisturizer than a BB Cream. This alone had me worried whether I’d rant or rave it, love it or hate it.

However, after trying it out for the past several days I can honestly say it took me by surprise.

Put aside what you know about traditional Asian BB Creams because this is not a BB Cream formula that would comparable to those. It’s very sheer, nearly transparent. That alone will disappoint a good deal of people who are seeking extra coverage to conceal major problems on their face.

I had to ask myself who could get the most use out of a product like Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm and the answer to that question would be those who already have fairly smooth, blemish-free skin. This is a my skin but better type of product. Perhaps you suffer from some dullness, smaller pores, a little redness, maybe a tiny bit of uneven skin tone….but overall your skin is smooth, you don’t have a ton of acne, acne scarring, or blemishes. You don’t suffer from major redness in your cheeks or face and your pores aren’t huge nor do you have major aging lines and wrinkles.

Urban Decay markets Naked Skin Beauty Balm as a balm that will minimizes pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness while instantly and giving you significantly firmer, more-lifted skin in eight weeks. It’s a universal shade of color according to them that will work with most skin types.

Naked Skin doesn’t technically offer coverage but acts as a light diffuser using high tech pigments to give skin a natural, naked skin look. They say with continued use this “naked” look will continue to get better.

I like that they market it as a “retoucher” product. But they ruin this a little bit by calling it a “BB Cream”. The lack of coverage and the sheerness of the product does not make it a BB Cream sadly. However, the retouching benefits and naked, natural skin look are promises that they delivered on in my opinion as after a single use I was ecstatic with how beautiful my skin looked. It was my skin but way nicer….the balm eased my dullness, gave my skin a smoother appearance, and was virtually weightless. This is exactly the type of thing I want in a base/foundation product.

It contains an SPF 20 which is a little low in my humble opinion so I do use my own sunscreen prior. Other ingredients include Pepha-Protect which helps inhibit DNA damage. Vitasource and Glyagefirm skin, improve elasticity, and provide measurable anti aging benefits. Unfortunately after almost two weeks use of use I can’t really speak for any anti-aging benefits. That would be something you’d have to ask me in a few years….!

The formula is extremely blendable and provides a smooth, almost satiny dry down on my skin. I was worried at first as the texture reminds me of Too Faced Shadow Insurance a little bit….it has that silicone-y separation issue that TFSS suffers from. I also don’t particularly like products like Urban Decay’s Naked Foundation or Benefit’s Oxygen Foundation and this was somewhat greasy like both of those. Texture is a cross between creamy and runny….I know contradiction there but it shares both characteristics of being a creamy yet running formulation. I find that as I apply it, it seems to go creamier. It hydrates very nicely and leaves my drier skin very nicely moisturizer without being greasy or oily. However, if you have oily skin I think you might find it feels greasy to you. Even on flakier areas it seemed to smooth over these areas without accentuating them or making them worst. If anything those areas appeared smoother after application. It does have a unusual almost peppermint-y fresh scent. I liked the scent but I think it might not be terribly appealing to all noses.

The shade is sheer but not completely transparent depending on how much you apply. I’d say it falls in the MAC NC 25-40 range but I’m not a huge expert on MAC colors so don’t quote me. Fairer/paler skin might not see any major differences after application however if you have medium or medium fair skin like my own I think you’ll be very happy with the color.

What exactly did it do for my skin? I have smooth, blemish-free skin and I suffer from dry, sometimes flaky areas and dullness. I do not have larger pores but do have smaller ones on my nose. I do not have fine lines or wrinkles on my face just under my eyes. After application pores on my nose seemed to disappear, dullness was considerably better, and my drier skin definitely showed improvement. So it took my already good skin and made it look great. Evened it out, brightened it a little, eliminated the dullness and lacklusterness I suffer from, and gave me a healthy, natural look.

The really good news? That natural look lasted all day…..

My second round of testing I used it as a primer with a BB Cream and a foundation. I actually didn’t like it as a primer. It excels at creating naked skin so using it as a primer sort of defeats the purpose and your own foundation and/or BB Cream will provide more coverage should you need it where as Naked Skin Beauty Balm will simply offer moisture to ease the way for those products.

Overall, Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is a surprise hit for me. At first I thought it would be something I disliked due to the texture. It just seems runny plus it has separation issues here and there. The sheerness was also a let down. After trying it, well, I’m impressed. Their claims about providing natural/naked skin are actually very true.

I don’t think everyone is going to love this product unfortunately. If you have problematic skin, skin in need of a ton of coverage, or oily skin it might not work for you. I also don’t think fair or paler skin tones will see the benefits. However, I do urge you to try it. Sephora has such an excellent return policy so there’s really no risk.

It might just surprise you the way it surprised me. This could very well fall onto my HG list.

A most excellent product!

Tried it?

Do share your thoughts!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is available now at Sephora, ULTA, select Macy’s stores and online at sephora.com, ultra.com, macys.com, beauty.com, and urbandecay.com

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Agata

    Thank you for a thorough review. My skin doesn’t have any major problems either, just small pores on my nose (that are almost gone to my Mia2) and some redness on my cheeks so I might have to try this one out since I am addicted to BB creams!

    • the Muse

      my pleasure agata if you have decent skin, this is def for you! It’ll take your already good skin and boost it up to great ;-D I thought I would dislike it but I’m actually very pleased with the natural finish it gives! if you try it let me know…! I’d like to hear what you think!

      • Agata

        I def will let you know. Speaking of BB creams, have you tried the new Physicians Formula Super BB cream? I really like it!

        • the Muse

          testing now! I’m actually reviewing the concealer shortly ;-D glad to hear you like the BB! It seems promising so far!

  • kimkats

    Hmmmm…. this sounds like it just might work a treat for me! Granted it sounds like its really just another TM (as are all the US made “BB”s) but it sounds like it would be a decent thing to check out!

    Thanks for the very thorough review Muse! Glad to hear you’re all well again! 🙂

    • the Muse

      dunno if I’d call it a tm or a bb cream, it’s kinda something entirely new and different they got going on here ;-D my pleasure, if you try it, update me, I’d like to hear your thoughts! <3! I am feeling GREAT this week compared to last thanks ;D!

  • Elena Torres

    I have oily skin and was looking forward to trying this. I love the benefits it offers, currently I am using Still hydrating primer and I love it!

      • Elena Torres

        So I tried it today, my skin looks amazing!!! I used it as a primer, I cant really tell its too light for me..it seem to blend in with my tone.. I’m med olive tone but I did apply the UD Naked Foundation over it…my skin looked more flawless…my acne is less noticeable…so far, I’m in love!!!

          • Elena

            Just wanted to check in to say, right now I should be super oily but I’m not. Except for the morning, I have had very little oil in my t-zone all afternoon. Doing the happy dance!!!

  • Deeds

    I got a sample of this from UD and I’m wearing it today. Initially I didn’t think that I would like it because it is so sheer, but I’m actually loving it! I don’t look too “made up.”
    I’m a MAC NW15, so it seems to work on a pale girl like me too.

    • the Muse

      deeds, that’s how I felt, I swatched it and was like, mmm meh not going to really be impressed. proceeded to use it and loved it ;-D I’m GLAD to hear that. I wasn’t sure if it would work well on fairer skin!

    • christi

      Ooh if it works on a nw15, then it will work on an nc15 like me! I have already decent skin, so I love products like this. They don’t compare to real Korean Bb’s, but I’ve accepted the fact that there are eastern & western bb creams, the western ones being tinted moisturizers. Lol. Since I get a 40% pro discount from UD, I guess I don’t have a whole lot to lose..I can use it on clients as well as myself! Hehe.

  • christy

    Great and thorough review. I do love my Urban Decay but think I might skip this one if its really sheer. I find the sheer ones dry out my skin more than the thicker cream ones. So glad to see you’re reviewing all of the new BB creams that this fad has started, its saving me a lot of money as I look for the “holy grail” of BB creams (that are available to me anyways, I haven’t ventured into the Asian ones yet). I just got some Diorsnow and I must say I am LOVING it so far but its only my 3rd brand (garnier and maybelline were both a bust), I found a sample size on ebay so I didn’t have it take a huge bite out of my wallet for a test drive.
    You mention that you do your own sunscreen before applying this (or any) cream, which sunscreen do you use? I am reliant on whatever sunscreen is in my moisturizer etc as I can’t use any sunscreens for face as they make me breakout like crazy. Also I’ve only managed to find one with an SPF higher than 20 (one of the Aveeno moisturizing creams is 30) and luckily it doesn’t bother my skin but it can be hard to find in my area sometimes.

  • gracie

    You said this may fall on to your HG list… do you have a HG list? I would love to see it! It would be awesome if it was broken out by category and listed out your favorite products!

    • Christy

      I would love to see a HG list or even a HG tag so I can search everything 🙂

  • Olivia

    How would you compare this to the tarte bb tinted primer? They both seem to throw in the word BB even though they’re not!! (Kind of annoying!)
    Which one would you recommend?

    • the Muse

      depends on what you are looking for as both products are vastly different in texture, formula, and pigment olivia…hard to compare them to be honest.

  • Alanna

    I will DEF have to grab a sample for my mum, she was a fan of perfekts perfection gel and this is a much friendlier price tag. :]

  • Cindy Ramirez

    I’ve got large pores, uneven skin, and blemishes. This product is all wrong for me. :'[ Oh UD, why do you get my hopes up?

    • the Muse

      cindy try it anyway who knows might be completely awesome for you ;-D I’m just making assumptions on my experience with it, you never can tell me might just be a life saving product ;-D plus sephora has such a great return policy why not try ;D

      • Cindy Ramirez

        I FINALLY Caved and ordered the Cinderella Story Book palette online from Sephora (I looooove it! It’s so purdy) and I got a sample of UD’s BB Cream. I was planning on trying it out today (It’s laundry day, I can leave the house without makeup for laundry day).

    • Elena Torres

      I also have big pores and blemishes with oily skin..I tired it today…it looks awesome!!! I don’t feel anymore oily as usual..Im glad I bought it!!

  • Lexa

    This sounds interesting. Only one shade though? I would really love to see an ingredients list somewhere!!! I’ve been looking all night.

  • Jasmine

    This looks super interesting! I was wondering how you would compare this UD’s BB cream to Stila’s BB cream?

    • the Muse

      there isn’t any comparison jasmine, products are very different…! 🙂

  • Vickie

    I received a sample of UD BB cream too. I will try it out tomorrow when I go to my GS BB game. The only real problem I have with my face is “Oily”. That is why I use mainly BE matte foundation. But as I get older I’m soo tired after shower/hair that I wanted something to put on my face to “liven” it up some. Plus, being disabled I need something “quick” now..Hope this works for me. Will let you know tomorrow evening….”going out on a limb here”

    • the Muse

      vickie please update me after you tried interested in your results with it!

  • meg

    I’m trying to take a break from heavy foundation, and although it seemed to sheer at first I think I’m in love.

  • Vickie

    Okay it’s been awhile since I have been back here….I’ve been using UD Naked Skin BB cream and since the last time I was here I have bought a tube from Sephora…..my “Oily” skin was a problem the first day…but the next day I put a little of my HG primer–Laura Geller Welcome Matte Skin Enhancer on and I haven’t had any problems at all…I love it…my skins looks so much better while I’m wearing it…I’m trying the 8 weeks due to my age (not telling) but I want to see if ALL of UD claims are “on spot” or not…
    So the 8 weeks will tell the story for me….I will let you know if it works on all it claims to work on…..I’m keeping my fingers crossed b/c I like the product very much….

    • the Muse

      thanks for updating vickie ;-D!!!!!!!!!! glad to hear it’s still a love and looking forward to your 8 week check in :D!

  • GramsyinVA

    Hello, I am a 62 years young grandmother that was looking for something that would give me a little coverage but not settle in the fine lines around my eyes and OK, maybe a few on my face. This is just what I was looking for! It made my face look so smooth and even without that “made-up” look. I just love it!! Can’t wait to see what it looks like after using it for a longer period of time.

    • the Muse

      hi gramsy delightful to hear it worked so well for you ;-D that’s fab!!!!!!!!!!

  • Beth

    I totally agree with (great) post! It feels really goos, but it needs to have coverage.

  • Jennifer

    I have dry skin, but I still get breakouts on my chin. Has anyone had any problems with breakouts? I used it once, last weekend, and now I have bad breakout this week. Could it be related?
    Also, I noticed it left a wierd, whitish residue on my fingertips and on dry patches of my skin. What is that?

  • Kaia

    I’ve been using this product for over 3 months. And I love it. If I need more coverage, generally a mineral foundation works very well on top of the Beauty Balm.

    As a side note, I’m incredibly pale (occasionally I buy translucent makeup for coverage because the color is closest to my skin tone) and that orangey tint never bothered me. Blend well near your neck, but other than that you’ll be good to go.

  • Danielle Eskdale

    Glad to of found this review before I forked out and bought it!
    I’m a huge UD fan and have been looking for a BB cream with medium sort of coverage from a cruelty free company.
    Unfortunately I need more coverage than this but as I said I’m glad to of found out before I spent the money.
    Thanks! xx