The 12 Best Urban Decay Products to Add to Your Makeup Kit

We all know and love the Naked Palettes, but these products are worthy of just as much (if not more) praise.

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The Best Urban Decay Products to Add to Your Makeup Kit

InStyle / Alli Waataja

I’ve been hooked on beauty products for nearly (gulp!) 25 years, and while I have many favorite formulas and companies — and discover new ones practically every day — few brands are as special to me as Urban Decay. As a New York City middle schooler, I was immediately drawn to the gritty aesthetic of the brand. In a sea of ultra-feminine or super simple shades in plain packaging, Urban Decay’s edgy metallic blue and bronze lipsticks, iridescent shadows, and bullet shell-inspired tubes and compacts influenced by subway tokens stood out. From that moment onward until I became a beauty editor, much of my carefully-saved money ended up going towards purchasing new launches from the brand. 

Urban Decay has evolved considerably over the years, with changes in packaging, discontinuations and resurrections of shades and formulas, and an acquisition by L’Oréal. I’ve mourned losses of favorites, and celebrated the debuts of new loves. (I still remember frantically making my first-ever purchase on a smartphone when the first Naked Palette launched during my morning commute.) This is all to say that my passion for Urban Decay has stood firm, and I’ve had the joy of trying pretty much everything it’s had to offer since I first discovered the brand in the very early 2000s.

Ready to discover the very best of Urban Decay? Here, with the help of the brand’s global makeup artist, Steve Kassajikian, I break down Urban Decay’s top 12 must-try formulas.

Most Universal

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil


What We Love: The range of colors is enormous and offers shades you won’t find anywhere else.

What We Don’t Love: It isn’t always durable on oily eyelids, and the pencil can be hard to sharpen at times.

I recommend this eyeliner to anyone in need of a new formula, whether they’re looking for a traditional shade like black or brown, or are in search of a more unexpected hue, like metallic teal or matte bordeaux. “These pencils have a super creamy formula infused with vitamin E that glides on like a gel without tugging on the eyes,” says Kassajikian. “You can use them as a traditional liner or as a base for shadows.” 

The liner is very blendable, but sets fully after 60 seconds to be waterproof and smudgeproof for up to 16 hours. (That said, if you have a very oily eye area, you may not get that much weartime. Be sure to use a primer in this case.) 

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this eye pencil is its extensive shade range — there are a whopping 38 hues to choose from. Of course, we have some favorite shades, including classics like dark brown Demolition and ultrablack Perversion, as well a newer go-to, Mushroom. This metallic taupe makes for a stunning all-over lid shade and a subtle lower lash line enhancer. Be aware, though, that once you get towards the end of the pencil, you’ll need a very firm grip to sharpen it because it can be a bit slippery.

Price at time of publish: $25

Size: 0.04 oz|Shades: 38|Key Feature: Lasts up to 16 hours

Best Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray


What We Love: Just a few spritzes can help makeup stay in place for up to 16 hours.

What We Don’t Love: The formula may not stand up to very oily skin.

When I need my makeup to stay in place all day (and sometimes all night) I can always count on this supercharged spray to keep it looking pristine for hours on end. The cult-favorite formula uses a patented temperature control technology that keeps makeup cool throughout the day, rather than heating up with your body heat, which can cause a makeup meltdown — especially in hot or humid weather. While I never leave the house without it, it’s an absolute must-have final layer for a special event look. 

“This setting spray works great on all skin types and can be used throughout the day to freshen up your look,” adds Kassajikian. He also offers this fascinating tidbit — it’s a liquid longwear booster that can be cocktailed with any of your favorite products. “You can use it to create liquid liner with shadows, intensify highlighter, mix in with foundation, set your brows, and more,” he says.

This product comes in many different iterations, including limited-edition versions (often scented!), a glowy formula, and travel-friendly sizes that are perfect for packing on vacation or tucking into your bag for midday touch ups. Keep in mind that if you have notoriously oily skin, this formula alone may not lock down your makeup in extreme climates for up to 16 hours. Instead, we recommend pairing the All Nighter Ultra Matte Setting Spray (which actually absorbs excess oil) with a setting powder for added insurance.

Price at time of publish: $36

Size: 4 oz|Key Feature: Makes makeup last all day and night

Best Concealer

Urban Decay Quickie 24H Multi-Use Hydrating Full Coverage Concealer

Quickie 24H Multi-Use Hydrating Full Coverage Concealer


What We Love: The double-ended applicator makes it easy to actually use this formula for multiple purposes.

What We Don’t Love: The longwear formula dries down pretty quickly, so you have to work fast!

For such a pigmented, full coverage formula — it even covers tattoos! — this product provides a shockingly hyper-realistic skin finish. We assume that’s due to the incorporation of vitamin E, which also keeps this concealer non-drying.

“This is a multi-use product that can be used to cover blemishes, brighten your under-eye, contour, or for all-over coverage,” says Kassajikian. We love the unique packaging, which has both a traditional doe foot and a firm, dense brush, so you can dab on targeted coverage or buff out the formula. Just keep in mind that because Quickie Concealer lasts for a whopping 24 hours, it dries down quickly to become budge-proof, so you’ll want to work quickly to blend — for example, when covering dark circles, we work one eye at a time.

Price at time of publish: $33

Size: 0.55 oz|Shades: 24|Key Feature: Double-ended applicator

Best Mascara

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Perversion Volumizing Mascara


What We Love: The fluffy brush grabs and coats every lash for a bold look.

What We Don’t Love: The formula dries down firm rather than having a flexible or soft finish.

If you want sickeningly dramatic lashes, look no further. This mascara creates a bold lash effect with a volumizing brush that separates, defines, and grabs every lash to coat them with buildable, ultrablack pigment. “It’s [also] formulated with marine collagen and honey extract to nourish and protect the lashes,” adds Kassajikian. We will note that this formula dries down firm rather than delivering a soft or flexible finish, which is a personal preference of some — but that characteristic is one of the reasons this mascara doesn’t smudge or flake.

Price at time of publish: $28

Size: 0.4 oz|Shades: 1|Key Feature: Ingredients promote healthy lashes

Best Eye Primer

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Eyeshadow Primer Potion


What We Love: This product helps eyeshadow look more vibrant and stay crease-proof for up to 24 hours.

What We Don’t Love: The doe foot applicator can get a little grimy depending on how you use and wear makeup.

If you’ve never used eyeshadow primer — and more specifically, Urban Decay’s formula — you’re missing out. While most people use a product like this as defense against oily lids (which it’s great at), that’s not the only reason it belongs in your makeup kit. “It’s translucent — which works on all skin tones — to ensure your shadow applies smoothly, goes on vibrant, and stays crease-free,” says Kassajikian. 

Trust us when we say that it’ll make any eyeshadow or liner color look richer and stay that way for up to 24 hours. If you tend to be lax about removing prior eye makeup before layering more on (no judgment), we highly recommend depositing a bit of this product from the applicator onto a clean fingertip rather than directly to the lid, as the doe foot can get a little grimy when used that way.

Price at time of publish: $27

Size: 0.33 oz|Shades: 1|Key Feature: Transparent formula

Best Face Primer

Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Glow Face Primer

Urban Decay Ultra Glow All Nighter Primer


What We Love: It leaves skin looking dewy and radiant without glitter or shimmer.

What We Don’t Love: It can feel a bit tacky upon application.

If you tend to mix a luminizing product into your foundation to liven up your complexion, give this product a try. It gives skin a radiant finish without line-highlighting shimmer for up to 12 hours, whether you apply makeup over it or not. Plus, when paired with the All Nighter Setting Spray, your makeup will still look fresh at the end of a long day. We just recommend applying the primer sparingly at first, as it can leave skin feeling a bit tacky if you overdo it. 

If you’re especially lazy about your AM beauty routine, great news: Kassajikian notes that this primer is formulated with hyaluronic acid and agave extract to keep your skin refreshed and moisturized, so you can skip a few skincare steps if you like.

Price at time of publish: $38

Size: 1 oz|Shades: 1|Key Feature: Delivers a glowy finish with up to 12 hours of wear

Best Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Mini Palette

Naked2 Basics Mini Palette

Urban Decay

What We Love: This palette features six wearable neutrals that can be used to create day or evening looks — and it’s pocket sized.

What We Don’t Love: The lightest shades in this palette may not work for very deep skin tones.

Everyone needs an everyday, ultra-reliable eyeshadow palette, and this is a worthy one. “It’s the perfect universal neutral matte palette and can be used to create soft to bold looks,” says Kassajikian. It’s rare that we find ourselves using every shade in a shadow palette (we often end up finishing one or two pans well before making a dent in any of the others), but this one features six indispensable colors. 

The best part is that it’s incredibly travel friendly — it’s smaller than most iPhones. While this palette is pretty flattering on most complexions, the colors may be a bit light on very deep skin tones, so be sure to test it out first if you’re not sure this one’s a match.

Price at time of publish: $33

Size:  6 x 0.05 oz  pans|Shades: 6|Key Feature: Travel-friendly size

Best Foundation

Urban Decay Hydromaniac Glowy Tinted Hydrator Foundation

Urban Decay Hydromaniac Glowy Tinted Hydrator Foundation


What We Love: This is a rare formula that both hydrates and lasts.

What We Don’t Love: There are only 12 shades, which may make it a challenge to find your best match.

Most longwearing foundations tend to be very drying, which makes sense — matte formulas usually last on the skin longer than hydrating ones do — but this is a rare product that offers coverage, glow, hydration, and durable wear. For up to 24 hours, Hydromaniac will keep skin covered and comfortable, thanks to nourishing and hydrating ingredients kombucha filtrate and marula oil. “You can apply it with your fingers for a soft wash of color or use a brush to build up the coverage,” says Kassajikian. There are currently only 12 shades of this formula; while many find that the hues are flexible, others have trouble selecting a match that has their exact undertone.

Price at time of publish: $33

Size: 1.1 oz|Shades: 12|Key Feature: Medium coverage with lasting wear

Best Traditional Lipstick

Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick

Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick


What We Love: For a long wearing formula, it’s extremely lightweight and moisturizing.

What We Don’t Love: The scent is a little plasticky for our tastes.

With 35 pigmented shades, a silky-smooth texture, and three different finishes (matte, satin, and shine), this lipstick collection has something for everyone. It’s one of the lightest traditional lipstick formulas we’ve ever tried, to the point that we forgot we even had it on (and because it’s so longwearing, that was a pleasant surprise). It’s also non-drying: “It’s infused with aloe vera and avocado oil to nourish and hydrate the lips,” says Kassajikian. Our only gripe is the scent, which is a little artificial, but if that doesn’t bother you, you’ll love this.

Price at time of publish: $21

Size: 0.11 oz|Shades: 35|Key Feature: Nourishing texture

Best Liquid Lipstick

Urban Decay Vice Lip Bond Liquid Lipstick

Urban Decay Vice Lip Bond Glossy Liquid Lipstick


What We Love: Once you get the hang of the unique application, this formula will not budge.

What We Don’t Love: If you apply too much, the longwear effect is lost.

Glossy lipstick tends to come right off, even if it claims to offer lasting wear. Not this one — the lacquer-like formula lasts up to 16 hours. “Once it dries, you get bold color with instant shine all day,” Kassajikian says. It’s true: We’ve found that even the brightest red shade lasted through a luxurious dinner date (including smooches throughout). 

To use it, shake the tube for at least five seconds to fully blend and activate the formula, then paint on a thin layer, building if desired. We recommend starting from the outside of the lip in, defining the cupid’s bow and edges perfectly before filling in the whole lip. You don’t need much product to get full coverage and a patent leather-like shine — so don’t overdo it — because that’s the key to success with Vice Lip Bond. The thin coats will allow the formula to fully dry down and become budge-proof; thick layers won’t set and will wipe off.

Price at time of publish: $27

Size: 0.2 oz|Shades: 12|Key Feature: Transfer-proof wear

Best Liquid Liner

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner

Heavy Metal Glitter Liner

Urban Decay

What We Love: This formula can be used to create more delicate details or packed on for a seriously sparkly punch.

What We Don’t Love: While this formula stays in place quite well for a glitter formula, let’s be honest — it’s still glitter, and it can move over time.

We get it, glitter isn’t for anyone, but those who love megawatt sparkle will adore this product, which Kassajikian says, “takes every look to the next level.” It features multi-dimensional glitter in a clear base that dries quickly and lasts for hours. “You can apply it across the lash line as a liner or sweep it all over the lid for the ultimate glitter look,” he says. Just be aware that like any glitter, you can experience some stray flecks now and again if you rub your eyes or sweat profusely (for example, if you wear Heavy Metal to a music festival).

Price at time of publish: $25

Size: 0.25 oz|Shades: 17|Key Feature: Buildable and dries quickly

Best Brow Formula

Urban Decay Brow Blade Ink Stain + Waterproof Pencil

Brow Blade Ink Stain and Waterproof Pencil

Urban Decay

What We Love: This product gives you two formulas in one, cutting down on makeup bag bulk.

What We Don’t Love: You may need to use a heavier hand to get more pigment from the ink stain side of the pencil.

This is a great pick for those who like to use multiple brow formulas to achieve the arches they desire. “This double-ended brow product defines and gives the illusion of a microbladed brow without the commitment,” says Kassajikian. He recommends starting with the waterproof pencil side of the tool to shape and fill in the brow, then using the ink stain to mimic the effect of hairs for added definition. The brush on this side is very fine, making for some very realistic results, but the pigment may not be as intense as you’re used to from some liquid brow formulas.

Price at time of publish: $27

Size: .01 oz of ink and .0018 oz of pencil|Shades: 9|Key Feature: Double-ended pencil

Your Questions, Answered

Is Urban Decay vegan?

Yes, for the most part, Urban Decay creates formulas that are vegan, which means they are developed without the use of animal-derived ingredients or by-products. “There is a special section on the Urban Decay website that gives the full lineup of vegan makeup, including setting sprays, eyeshadows, foundation, lip color, and more,” says Kassajikian.

Is Urban Decay cruelty free?

Yes. The brand is committed to being 100 percent cruelty-free, with zero animal testing. “As we like to say, be cool, not cruel,” Kassajikian quips.

Why Shop With Us

Emily Orofino is a freelance writer, editor, and consultant with over a decade of experience in the beauty industry. She has been a fan of Urban Decay since she was a tween; she started an eBay account 20 years ago solely out of a desire to buy vintage products from the brand. For this piece, she interviewed Urban Decay’s global makeup artist Steve Kassajikian.

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