Nettle and Lily - Drugstore vs High End: Maybelline Face Studio vs Naked Flushed -

High-End vs. Drugstore: Naked Flushed or Maybelline Face Studio

Because you guys seemed to really enjoy my last “High-End vs. Drugstore” post where I pitted the Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Spray against the L’Oreal Quick Dry Primer (verdict? I repurchased the Redken spray, but L’Oreal’s was a great budget friendly option), I wanted to do another comparison post. Today I’m taking on the increasingly popular art of contouring.

I had my eyes on the Naked Flushed palette since it debuted, and I was particularly interested in the ultra-pigmented shimmery highlight included in the set. As soon as I got my hands on it, I fell in love with the colors (I’ve since hit pan on the bronzer). So when I saw that Maybelline released a new contouring palette that looked strikingly similar to the Naked Flushed, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Nettle and Lily - Drugstore vs High End: Maybelline Face Studio vs Naked Flushed -

Left: Maybelline Face Studio Palette in shade 10, right: Naked Flushed Palette in shade Naked

Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette comes in four shade selections, each with a bronzer, blush, and highlight. As far as packaging, Urban Decay always hits home for me, and this is no exception. The magnetic closure means I know it won’t slip open in my purse, and the palette is thin and sleek enough that I can easily slip it in any makeup bag on the go. And bonus: it houses a huge mirror that you can use on the go. I consider a mirror in a palette to be almost a necessity, especially with something like blusher or bronzer, because it’s not exactly something you can apply without looking.

Maybelline’s Face Studio Master Contour palette has a similar build to the Naked Flushed, with a powder contour, blush and highlight. But where Urban Decay’s shades all have a subtle shimmer, the Maybelline contour and blush shades are both matte. Unfortunately, the packaging isn’t up to the same level as Urban Decay’s: a plastic closure feels flimsier, and there’s no mirror included. The Face Studio palette does come with a brush, but it’s one of those cheap brushes that come with most drugstore products, so it’s essentially useless.

As far as the actual product breakdown, I have to say Urban Decay is the clear winner. Even though the bronzer has a slight shimmer and might not be the best product for contouring, the pigmentation alone sets it far and above the Maybelline set. Not only that, but the lasting power is incredible. I can apply this in the morning before work, and I’ll still have some product on when I do my makeup takedown at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, the Maybelline palette was just a complete miss for me in terms of product. The contour shade is really only useful as a setting powder for a cream contour, but the pigmentation is so lackluster that I wouldn’t ever try to use it on its own. Similarly, the blush and highlight are so lightly pigmented that you find yourself going over and over the same spot, with minimal results. The texture of the product itself is just too chalky to have any kind of staying power. And the final straw that breaks the camel’s back is the sizing of each element: the contour and blush have the largest pans, but the highlight (which actually performs the best out of the three shades) is limited to a skinny strip, which requires a tiny powder brush for application.

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette

Maybelline Face Studio Master Contour Palette

Price $32 $12.99
Shade Selection 4 Shades 2 Shades
Staying Power

Final Verdict: I can’t recommend the Naked Flushed enough. It’s highly pigmented, lasts all day, and has sleek high quality packaging. The Maybelline Face Studio might be a good option if you’re just starting out with makeup, but I think the extra $19 is well worth it for the extra quality you get from the Urban Decay option.


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