A High-End Eye Look on a High-Street Budget


Makeup is a fun and creative mean of expression for many of us. But with that student budget and life’s amenities (i.e. food) to buy, how can you spare it on top beauty brands?

Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes have become somewhat of a cult beauty product in the makeup world and it’s clear to see why. The eyeshadows are very unique in colour, extremely pigmented and easy to blend… And that brush is to die for! But the palettes come at a cost, a £40 one which is pretty expensive, especially for us students. That’s enough to buy 40 pot noodles after all! I’m a firm believer that you don’t always need to spend your life savings to get high quality products. And many swatches and baby wipes later, I have created a high end look on a high street budget that you can all try for yourselves.

Even though I own higher end eyeshadows like the Naked 3 palette, Sleek will always be my most-loved brand for reliable, go-to eyeshadows. For a product that is under £10, the pigmentation is incredible and you get a wide selection of really beautiful and vibrant colours. The browner colours of the Sleek Vintage Romance palette Lust in L.A and Court in Cannes are definite dupes for the Naked 3’s Factory, Mugshot and Liar.

I created a brown smokey eye look, devoting Urban Decay to one eye and Sleek to the other. And when I compared them, I could not see a real difference. In the photo, Urban Decay’s Naked 3 is on the left and Sleek is on the right.

The trick to really achieving a similar look to the Urban Decay eyeshadow is to layer, blend, blend, blend, and repeat. If you find the Sleek shade to look a little sheer, blend a small amount of a matte brown eyeshadow to the colour until you achieve the desired look. I like to use Sleek’s Eye of the Storm from the Storm palette but any matte brown will do. Obviously, this look can take a little while to achieve as a lot of blending is involved. But if it means we can achieve a high end eyeshadow look at a budget price, who are we to complain? More pot noodles for us.

With a little experimentation, it really is possible to find dupes for high end eyeshadows. More often than not, you’re paying for the brand instead of the eyeshadow itself. It’s best to spend a little longer swatching eyeshadows and finding those high quality colours. You’ll come out of Boots like you’ve attempted multi-coloured camo, but you can spend your student loan on more important things…like Sambuca shots.

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