Affordable Drugstore Nude Palettes: Maybelline and Makeup Revolution

Today I’m looking at two affordable drugstore eye shadow palettes that I’ve been trying out for the past couple of months:

Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette – C$17.99
Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette in Iconic 2 – C$14.99

I received both of these from Rachael of Helpless Whist Drying blog who included both of these in her epic giveaway. I suspect that she’s a palette pusher and wants me to come over to the dark side… 😉

As most of you know by now, I am not a massive fan of pre-made eye shadow palettes. I just prefer smaller eye shadow formats – singles, duos, trios, quads, and quints are my comfort level. In fact, up until 2016, I may have owned just 4 “bigger” palettes (Shiseido Eye Color Bar with 9 shades and Kat Von D Ladybird palette with 8 shades were daunting to me). Now, suddenly my stash has exploded with all these BIG palettes, I’m not even sure where to begin! I’ve had these 2 palettes in my stash for months – they contain whopping 12 eye shadows each! 😮  That’s 24 shades to deal with.

Also, a baseline: I do not own any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes so I do not have a point of reference. Clearly, both of these palettes are meant to take advantage of the success of all the “nakeds” and “nudes” at a cheaper price point. This post will be just looking at these 2 palettes in isolation – I won’t be comparing them against the UD palettes.

Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

At first glance, I couldn’t comprehend the layout of this palette. I’m used to seeing all the lighter shades on the left hand side, and the shades should gradate to the deepest shade to the right hand side.

Turns out the Maybelline eye shadow palette development team had a few tricks up their sleeves – this palette actually can be broken down to be used as quads, trios, and duos (well the palette doesn’t physically snap apart into those – that would be a neat trick though). Here’s how they envisioned the palette to be used:

I like their way of thinking, and it helped alleviate some of the anxiety about how I was going to combine the colours. I didn’t adhere strictly to their “rules” but it did provide a good guidance for a starting point.  I decided to use the palettes as quads:
I have worn each of the “quad” looks – I named them: Neutral quad (left), Warm quad (middle), and Cool quad (right). My favourite look is the left section, the Neutral quad.

Neutral quad (left side)

The formula is decent. The shadows feel smooth and plush, and apply with medium pigmentation and blend out nicely. As is the case with most eye shadow formulas, the shimmers / metallics outperform the mattes. There are 5 mattes, 4 shimmers and 3 metallics in the palette.

Warm quad (middle)

My favourite shades are #1, #4, #7, #10, and #9 in that order. Although there are a couple of mattes that could pass for transition shades, I found one too muddy looking (#5), and the other to be too dark (#8).  The main challenge I found with these eye shadows is that they tend to fade and crease on me – by the 6 hour mark I see noticeable breakdown.  I do wear my usual eye primer and base daily.

Cool quad (right side)

The palette does include a very lame dual ended sponge-tipped applicator:

It’s so short relative to the space provided. Why didn’t you provide TWO of them Maybelline? There’s enough space. 😛

The Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette contains 9.6g of product in total (0.8g each shade). And this palette is made in Italy!

Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette in Iconic 2

This palette is more obviously “inspired by” the Urban Decay ones (I’m assuming Naked 2 or #200 or whatever version they’ve released now).

The long skinny pans had me concerned about whether my brushes would fit, but it turned out not to be an issue at all.

Shown with the Shu Uemura #10 brush

Unlike the Maybelline palette, there was absolutely no indication on how to create looks out of this palette. I just had to wing it!

There are only 3 matte shades in this palette which meant I usually have to supplement other single shadows from my stash to create an eye look.

Most of the shadows are metallic so a light application was required – sometimes metallics cross over to frost territory on my lids.  The mattes in this palette are quite patchy, and a big miss for me was the lack of a matte transition shade.

The formula of these were “thinner” in the sense that they had to be built up, but once they are, the colours were true to pan and lasted well on my lids. Some of the colours look very similar to each other once they were blended out on the lids.  I did like that a few of these shades are what I’d call one shade wonders: I could sweep just one colour across my lid, blend out the edges and be done. 🙂

My favourite shades are #4, #6, #10, #2, #7, and #11.

This palette also came with a dual ended sponge-tipped applicator but Makeup Revolution was clever, it made the handle super long so it looks more impressive. XD

The Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette in Iconic 2 contains 14g of product which means each shade is 1.17g – this is close to a standard full size individual pan. It is made in China (PRC = People’s Republic of China).

While they’re both great palettes, I ended up preferring the Makeup Revolution palette slightly more than the Maybelline. The eye shadow formula of the Makeup Revolution just lasted better on my lids. I also found more shades that I would use regularly out of that palette. The plastic packaging on the Maybelline does feel a bit more sturdy, and its smaller size would be more suitable for taking for travelling.

One weakness in both palettes was the lack of a good mid-tone matte transition shade. To all the eye shadow palette developers out there – the transition shade should be the FIRST colour you put into a palette, it is the anchor. After that, add in your highlight colour, deep tones, pops of colours, whatever. 😛

Here are a few comparison swatches between similar colours from the 2 palettes:

Highlighter shades (Maybelline #1, Revolution #3), metallic golds (M9, R2), and shimmery taupes (M9, R10)

Golden bronzes (M4, R6), dark browns (M10, R11), matte blacks (M12, R12) [It’s funny – I hardly ever use black eye shadows, and now I have added 2 more to my collection. :P]
For me, neither of these palettes are “go-to” complete palettes but they do contain some “de-pot-worthy” shades: that is to say I’d consider taking the effort (and risk!) to de-pot some shades to put into a custom palette. Those colours are: #1 and #4 from the Maybelline The Nudes palette, and #4, #6, #2, and #10 from the Makeup Revolution Redemption Iconic 2 palette.

What are some of your favourite affordable drugstore “naked” type palettes?

77 thoughts on “Affordable Drugstore Nude Palettes: Maybelline and Makeup Revolution

  1. Since I included the maybelline in the favorites I pretty much stopped using it, not for any particular reason it just fell out of the cycle weirdly the shade you found too muddy works really well for me as a more subtle smokey eye!
    I did have the 1 & 2 UD palettes but ended up getting rid of them after I bought the MUR ones, I found the same issues with the matte shades in both the palettes and if anything I preferred the Revolution ones slightly more. Here the MUR palettes are just £4, where as maybelline seems to be around £10 ish if it’s not on sale, interesting to see the difference price wise between the two is much narrower, but i guess it’s the one homegrown brand we benefit from having a bit cheaper here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw on the TAM Beauty site that they sell this for $7 CAD but shipping is $15 USD. There is a drugstore that sells this in Canada and they listed it as $14.99 CAD so I guess that includes all import duties and shipping charges. The Makeup Revolution palette is made in China though… so the labour costs alone should be much less compared to the Maybelline!

      The shade that surprised me the most was the Maybelline shimmery highlight – it has pink and blue shimmers in it. Really hard to capture on camera but I love the effect. It reminds me of much higher end brands like Shu Uemura – so pretty!

      Thanks again for both of these! You palette pusher… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard a lot about the Morphe ones – they’re so daunting! I did pick up a BH Cosmetics 28 palette. Have you tried the BH Cosmetics? I wonder if the quality are similar.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have all 3 of the Iconic palettes and all the Naked palettes and LOVE all of them. I find myself reaching more for the Iconic ones though haha. They’re only £4 each in England. I’ve never tried any of Maybelline’s eyeshadows before so might give their palettes a try

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The quality surprised me – most of the shades are shimmers so they tend to be easier to produce pigmented formulas than matte finishes. I still maintain that UK drugstore brands have much better affordable selection compared to our North American ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I purchased the Makeup Revolution palette and gave it to a friend when I went home and he loved it! Makeup Revolution is the affordable version of the Naked palettes and other high end brands which is such a cool idea. This way people can have the same look at a very affordable price. And again.. I LOVE your comparison on every shade.. #amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw next time you keep a palette for yourself! The Makeup Revolution surprised me – based on photos of the UD Naked 2, the colour copies look very spot on!
      Glad you liked the comparison – I enjoyed seeing them side by side.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t normally buy something that I know I can buy anytime.. and I’ve been shopping a lot non-makeup related stuff lately.. it’s more for the house now.. yay!! I feel old.. hahaha but I’m sure I will give in and will buy the palette.. 👍🏻👍🏻


  4. I always think drugstore palettes don’t have great matte shadows in it. They don’t have a lot of matte shades and the shades that are matte, are often too light or too dark. I need a transition colour!! But the maybelline palette looks pretty to me. I have the blushed nudes by maybelline. Very pretty and a bit comparable to the naked 3. Eventhough I like the naked 3 better. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t understand why drugstore palettes can’t seem to get it right? Is it that difficult? Or are they not aware of what makes a good palette / what consumers want? So weird.
      Yes, I’ve seen that Maybelline has another version of the nudes now – I do like the looks of the pinky tones. It reminds me of the Cover Girl one in Roses (which I love!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Totally agree with you – I hate it when a palette doesn’t have a good mid-tone matte transition shade! I don’t understand the logic with that.

    I’m shocked that you don’t have any of the Naked palettes! I just have the original and I love it. That said there’s only going to be 2 shades that I don’t use up by the time I’m done with it so I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.

    I’m intrigued by MR but it also kind of bothers me that they just seem to rip off other brand’s ideas and are completely blatant about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was REALLY tempted to get the original UD Naked when it first launched but it sold out so quickly, my interest kind of waned waiting for it to come back in stock. Now, I just don’t see any need for it. Plus, having used Urban Decay eye shadows in the singles – I’ve decided that I don’t LOVE the formula. They tend to fade / crease on me faster than other brands even over the same base / primer.

      True about MR – it’s a sense of integrity, I suppose!


  6. I haven’t tried any of MR’s Iconic palettes but I own several of their Salvation palettes. The Girls On Film & Run Boy Run ones are probably my faves.

    The Coastal Scents Revealed palettes are pretty decent too. The Revealed 2 is my fave of those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember when Coastal Scents released the first Revealed palette – I was curious about it. Good to know the quality is good.
      I’m definitely keeping MR in mind to try other palettes from them – very impressive!


  7. I feel like beauty brands these days are getting better at including a transition shade in their palettes. Whether or not that shade works for you is an entirely different story.
    I’m so sick of seeing golds in nude palettes. They are usually superb quality in every palette, but…I’m still sick of it. haha.
    The MUR looks like a total dupe for the Naked 2! The quality of the shadows looks really nice.
    I have yet to own a nude drugstore palette! I bought the Naked 1 YEARS ago, and then got the Naked 2 from Robyn of Lipstick on the Lake…that’s enough neutral palettes to last me my entire life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re such a palette snob! 😉 Actually, I feel like the drugstore palettes are a recent thing so if you already have the original, it makes no sense for you to get the alternatives. I was late to the palette game so it makes sense for me to only have the cheaper “dupes”.

      I guess that taupey matte shade in the Maybelline palette is their attempt as a transition shade but it’s way too dark and grey!
      I know what you mean about the golds – they register as frost on me if I”m not careful.

      Yeah I googled the UD Naked 2 and the MR one looks nearly exact! Those sneaks…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re totally right, drugstore palettes ARE more of a recent thing! If I were to go for another neutral palette again, I’d probably do drugstore instead of high-end (eg. the CoverGirl Roses palette instead of Naked 3).
        Plus I feel like the golds in every palette look the same! I don’t need 10 of them. At least with taupes, there are different variations…


  8. I have the Naked 1 and 3 (used to have 2 but looked awful on me) and it is fantastic but there’s plenty of dupes too. I actually really like the MUA palettes I used the Heaven and Earth regularly which is a shimmery palette but super wearable and pretty 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Nudes palette is my absolute favourite and is my go to! The only shades I don’t tend to use often are #6, #10 and #12. These shadows don’t crease at all and I actually find the Makeup Revolution shades to crease and last less on me – weird! I don’t reach for the Makeup Revolution palette enough but maybe that’s because I’ve got a few ‘nude’ palettes and I sometimes forget about it lol. Great comparison – I loved seeing your favourite shades 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So interesting we have experience the OPPOSITE from these 2 palettes! I was sure that the Maybelline would perform better just because of the brand and the fact that it’s made in Italy. I was quite shocked, actually.
      I’m wearing the Makeup Revolution palette today – using shades #4 and #10 (and supplementing with a matte transitional shade). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! I guess it all comes down to personal preference. I do agree with you about the four shades on the left hand of the palette being the best, those are some of my faves too! Interestingly I don’t often use the palette in quads, trios or doubles, I just mix and match. #3 is such a good base shadow btw 🙂 You’ve made me want to use Iconic 2 more now to see if my opinion changes.


  10. The MUR palette dupes the Naked 2 palette. All of their Iconic 1, 2, and 3 are dupes of Urban Decay Naked palettes. Their Chocolate Bar palettes (by I Heart Make Up but it’s the same company) dupe the Too Faced palettes and they also do a line that dupes Lorac palettes.

    I always go for the original. I just prefer the quality. Shadows are smoother, finishes are more refined and shades are much more distinct. But then again, I’m an eyeshadow junkie and love Urban Decay’s shadow quality overall (it’s hands down the brand I own the most by).

    While I like MUR quality (their Fortune Favours the Brave palette is amazing), I do find them more powdery and easier to blend into nothing. And I prefer their unique palettes, so the ones they make without duping more expensive brands. The I Heart Make Up Chocolate Vice, Naked Underneath and Golden Bar palettes are some of my favorite affordable palettes.

    And if you’re nervous about large palettes then steer clear of the 32 pan palettes that MUR does. Those even give me a headache. But I’m still tempted to buy their Mermaid palette. And I have the Maybelline Blushed Nudes and dislike it with a passion. There is only one shade in that palette that works for me. Just one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve discovered through a bunch of UD singles that their eye shadow formulas just don’t work well for me! They tend to crease and fade on me – even on top of primer / base. That’s why I don’t bother with them any more (the only shade that I use regularly is UD Naked in the single which I use as transition shade – no creasing in that area of my lid since it’s not in the fold).

      I did receive the Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours the Brave no long ago – I cannot wait to test it!
      Ooh how terrible about the Maybelline Blushed Nudes – 1 out of 12 is terrible.


      1. It really depends on the shades. Many older, original UD shades don’t work for me either as they have a ton of fallout. But UD really stepped up their game with the Vice and Spectrum palettes. I really like those.


  11. Rachael = “palette pusher” *LOL* What a description! Wahaha Hard work on all that swatches. The black shades doesn’t look bad on the pigment side! The colour look solid. I’m impressed.

    Palettes are just not that attractive, I don’t know why. I have bought the Too Faced chocolate palette, but I bought it just for the smell? The whole sensation of applying makeup from a huge box doesn’t feel that fab? Okay, I maybe weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm the way you phrased it “applying makeup from a huge box” – yes, that’s what it feels like. It’s not special. I like the petite cases rather and a buffet style makeup BOX. 😆

      I’ve had that Too Faced Chocolate palette recommended to me often and it’s on my wish list. My friend loves hers…. yeah the smell is enticing though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The smell is the best part, but the overall performance isn’t that fab. The chunky glitter in some are weird and most get muddy in the course of the day. For the amount of colours + packaging, it’s value for money?


  12. The way Maybelline divided their palette into quads/trios/duos was a smart move and I wish more palettes were formatted that way! I haven’t tried any drugstore palettes, but I’ve had my eye on the CoverGirl Tru Naked palettes.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I only own the Naked Smoky so it isn’t the same shades at all but I think I have enough drugstore shades to make do and not need an expensive nude palette. My personal fave is the Covergirl Nude palette – great formula and a good drugstore price!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The only Maybelline products that I absolutely adore are their concealers – especially the Age Rewind one. I’ve not been wow’d by their eye shadows or blushes. But I’ve heard good things about their lipsticks.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Does the Maybelline The Nudes palette cost like $30 down there though?
      I don’t HATE those applicators, they have their place, but these are lame.


  14. Wow, that was very comprehensive! I remember first having bought the Maybelline palette and going MEH! But I kept on reaching for it because it kinda have everything you need to do basic makeup. If I am requested to do makeup for a fellow actor who wants just a basic look, this palette is a good go to. 6 hours is decent actually. I believe you guys are luckier because we don’t have much options at the drugstore here and this palette is a Godsend!
    By the way, the #1 shade swatches completely different on my skin! It turns out a nude (my skin tone nude!) iridescent sparkly shade! I love it! I’ve actually dug into it because it kinda does what the Pat McGrath highligthers seem to do (from the videos on YT).
    Oh, and you should get the shade names from my review on the palette for the Maybelline one!
    I got he MUR palette from Rach too! Haven’t really dug into that yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s true, we do take for granted how many options we have at the drugstore. Eye shadow palettes weren’t that common even a couple of years ago and now every brand offers something.
      I absolutely LOVE the #1 colour from the Maybelline palette! It has some blue shimmer in it that was impossible to pick up on camera. It’s probably the most surprising find from that palette – reminds me of a Shu Uemura shadow I have.
      Haha did you give names to the individual colours? XD

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re just starting with makeup, I recommend trying out some drugstore palettes to start off with. One of my all time favourites is from CoverGirl – their TruNaked palette in Roses. Here’s my review of it:
      I own the other colours from the same series but the Roses is my favourite. If you’re in the UK, the Max Factor Masterpiece palettes are the same!

      Liked by 1 person

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