I’m lucky that a significant number of close friends had children before I did—so, while they think I was doing them a favour when I would visit, little do they know that they were doing me a favour by preparing me for a lot of things I otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
One thing that took me by surprise was the emphasis a couple of them put on taking care of themselves physically. I always thought that breastfeeding mothers of little babies just glowed and were beautiful, so they must feel beautiful, right?
Ha. I wish.
Thankfully, there are a couple of simple things that a breastfeeding mom can do to feel just as beautiful as they seem. One of them is taking advantage of the magic of makeup. I teamed up with my sister, the brain behind the beautiful Elle Is For Love, to figure out what products might come in handy for tired mothers of young babies. In today’s post, we take a look at eye shadows palettes.
Quite simply, having a palette means that someone put thought into what colours work well together so that you don’t have to do the work yourself. On top of that, a palette is easier to find—one big item rather than 2-3 smaller ones—and to handle—again, one big item rather than 2-3 small ones. Another interesting nugget: a palette usually comes with a mirror large enough to provide entertainment for a little baby.
What Kind of Palette?
There are a lot of funky palettes out there, but my sister and I figured that most moms would rather have one palette that they can use with any look they will throw together. So we figured it would be best to have something with a set of neutral colours, rather than anything with funky colours that might not suit every look or even, every mood.
Urban Decay’s first matte eye shadow palette, Naked Basics, features six neutrals—including four originals—that can be used alone or as base coat. The palette itself is small, but each eye shadow pan is the same size as that in their full Naked palettes. Urban Decay also uses the same formulation for these shadows, making them just as smooth to put on, vibrant, and long-lasting—according to the product review on their website as well as to many an UD fan. Colours included are: Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (cream bisque matte), Walk of Shame (very light nude matte), Naked2 (taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte), and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).
For breastfeeding mothers, there is the fact that Good Guide gives the palette a 4/10 score, meaning that there is some amount of ingredients in it that are potentially toxic.
Like many other UD users, both my sister and I really appreciate the very things the company claims their product does; it is very smooth and velvety, the colours are matte, neutral, and pigment-heavy, and they go on like a charm. The mirror included is large enough, the palette just the right size to fit snugly in your hand (a necessity when baby is trying to grab it…), and the almost velour-like texture of the palette’s exterior increases its grip factor (again, a necessity for moms!) I also appreciate the fact that the palette is made in the USA.
This would have been a great palette were it not for the lack of a brush and Good Guide’s rating.
If you prefer cooler tones, UD created Naked2 Basics, featuring colours that complement the palette’s older sister. Just like with Naked Basics, this palette features six neutrals in a small palette featuring large pans filled with shadows that are as smooth to put on, vibrant, and long-lasting—and made in the USA. Colours included are: Skimp (pale nude satin), Stark (nude-pink matte), Frisk (warm gray matte), Cover (muted red-brown matte), Primal (muted brown matte) and Undone (deep, smoky brown matte).
For breastfeeding mothers, this palette rates a little better with Good Guide (5/10), but not significantly more.
Yet again, the shadows are very smooth and velvety, the colours are matte, neutral, and pigment-heavy, and they go on like a charm. The same comments as above apply regarding the mirror, the size of the palette, as well as its texture. And yet again, this would have been a great palette were it not for the lack of a brush and Good Guide’s rating.
A Little Bit More About Urban Decay
The company behind these two palettes was born out of the desire to create makeup that appealed to women outside of the mainstream. Urban Decay’s website talks about “beauty with an edge” that is “feminine, dangerous and fun”. Having “always stood for the empowerment of women,” the company is behind a “global initiative to empower [them].”
The company is certified by PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program as cruelty-free and committed to ending animal testing, to the point of stepping out of the market in China, a country that apparently tests all products on animals as part of the process of getting approval to be sold in the country (I have to find more information about this!) The company also has product that are vegan, and is working on converting their products into 100% vegan-made.
There doesn’t seem to have been many controversies related to UD; the two that I found were both quite recent. The fist was regarding a campaign ad said to be glorifying self-harm, and the second, diminishing the devastating effects of drugs by naming a colour “druggie.” The company’s reaction to the first controversy was to withdraw the ad campaign, stating that their glorification of self-harm was completely unintentional.
Urban Decay was purchased by L’Oréal in 2013, which includes brands that are more toxic than these palettes and that are certified neither by PETA nor The Leaping Bunny Program.
Other than that, I haven’t found much else about UD. I’ve emailed the company but I don’t have much hope of getting any sort of answer.
Despite this header, I don’t think I am well-placed at the moment to share a verdict on these palettes as a go-to or not for new Moms. I haven’t found anything on the environmental impact of UD’s production process, nor do I know enough about the toxicity of eye shadows in general to be able to appreciate the Good Guide’s rating. So for now, it will have to remain neutral on this matter—which means more product testing! Yay!