Wednesday 24 August 2011

Budget Beauty Series - Make Up Academy (MUA) - Eyes and Lips

Last year saw the launch of the Make Up Academy (MUA) range at Superdrug - I have to say as soon as I heard about the line I became super excited make up items for just a £1.00 that can't be bad can it, well it could I guess but I was willing to take the risk. What I didn't know at the time though was that I was in safe hands, this was a professional company where the customers needs, and wants were paramount, nowhere is that clearer than with their attitude towards social media, they've embraced twitter, blogs and facebook to understand exacty what their customer wants. Originally producing make up for bigger brands. the founders became disenchanted by the big business that the cosmetics industry had become, it was no longer about supplying a top quality product to the consumer it had become all about making money, and producing expensive advertising campaigns. Born out of this disillusionment was MUA, a range that would allow anybody of any age the opportunity to experience the fun of playing and experimenting with make up, not just any make up though but good quality, affordable make up that was just as good if better than items costing 10 times the price. My question ever since day one has always been how can you afford to sell it so cheaply? well the simple answer is no fancy advertising, think about it when have you ever seen a billboard or a magazine spread on MUA, you haven't instead the money is spent on the providing a great quality product at an even better price.

The first stage of the "MUA Revolution" took place last year with  the introduction of the basic £1.00 line - of course I dabbled my toes in the water and bought a few things (click here to see the initial haul) - the first impressions I have to say were positive, the things I bought didn't disappoint so over the last few months I've bought quite a few things from the line. I haven't bought every single line they've introduced, the mascara, lipgloss, bronzers, eyeliners, and shadow dusts are still on my to try list but as part of my Budget Beauty Series I thought I'd tell you more about the items I have tried.


First up eyeshadows, MUA have a huge array of shadow colours in two finishes pearl and matte, the packaging isn't fancy but it's sturdy enough and with clear lids you can see clearly which colour you want -here are the 6 shades I own

MUA number their products rather than give them names, this is an increasingly popular trend and not one I'm that keen on, still if you going to try something new why not start at the beginning and that's what I did, one of the first eyeshadows I purchased was No1 - Pearl

I have to say that this is a lovely highlight shade, a lovely buttery soft creamy ivory - gorgeous
I also own No2 - Pearl - this looks pretty similar to No1 again it's a good highlight shade but in reality it's has less of the warmth, it's a much cooler shimmery white, again super soft, and pigmented

My first foray into colour in the MUA single shadows was with No3 - Pearl, again in the shimmery pearl finish, this is a beautiful silvery charcoal grey shade.

This really is a beautiful eye shadow super soft and pigmented, and really blendable - here are a few pictures of this one on my eyes, I've used the flash so you can see the shimmer to it's best advantage

Gorgeous isn't a real party or evening colour and much more impressive than the price tag would suggest!
The next shadow I have unsurprisingly is drum roll No4 - Pearl - this is a pretty shimmery lilac shade

Again the texture and pigmentation is superb, this is such a pretty spring / summer colour, again I've done a few pics to show it on my eyes

The final eyeshadow I own in the Pearl formulation is No11

This is probably my favourite of all the MUA single shadows I own as you can see from the dint, a gorgeous shimmery brown / taupe shade that is super wearable and pigmented - again a few eye pics to show you how it looks on the eye

From my favourite to perhaps my least favourite, I don't really think that this should be seen as a slight against the shadow itself , it's probably more down to personal preference - I'm just not that keen of matte eyeshadows still I tried one for you No16 - Matte

A very pale matte pink, it doesn't seem as soft as the Pearl formulation, and don't get my wrong it's still pigmented but not as much as the Pearl shadows, it also looks a bit chalky in my opinion :(

With an price tag of just £1.00 for around 2g of shadow and a wide range of colours to choose from you really can't go wrong, don't think of these shadows just as something to experiment with, the quality especially of the pearl finish shadows is easily comparable with shadow retailing at a much higher price - which is exactly what MUA's a aim was -well done guys!


Am I a lipstick junkie? well I wouldn't quite say that but like my mum I have a bit of a thing for the lipstick, I grew up with my mum constantly reapplying lipstick, one of her friends used to say it was like painting the forth bridge she was always at it, so it only natural I feel the same. I love designer lipsticks but I have to say more often than not I get my thrills from a cheap one. So it was inevitable that I purchased a couple from MUA when the basic line launched. The packaging isn't amazing but the black and silver gives it quite a sleek feel and I love the clear section on the base of the tube so you can see the colour of the lipstick without opening it, essential when you have lots of lipstick :). The lipsticks have a slightly synthetic vanilla taste, but it isn't overpowering or sickly.

I own 3 lipsticks from the range, 2 of which I bought when it was first released and 1 which I purchased more recently.

The first one I bought was No4 - I have to say this looks terrifying in the tube, a really vibrant almost neon pink but as you can see it's much more of a glaze formulation when it's swatched

You can see it on the lips here, it doesn't look particularly pigmented but it gives and gentle glossy pink look.

I also picked up No5 - again this looks quite a bright pink in the tube

but again when you swatch it isn't as pigmented as you would expect again its more a glaze type formula but this time with lots of glittery sparkles in it, which you can hopefully pick up better on the lip shot

I have to say I've actually nearly finished No5 since I took these pictures I am now using it with a lip brush to get it out of the bullet. I haven't been wearing it too often on it's own, instead of being using it over the top of other pinks such as MAC Snob to give them a more shimmery finish. I would definitely say though if you don't like glitter No5 isn't for you.

I have to say my initial impressions of the lipsticks wasn't that great the colours just weren't pigmented enough, so I left alone and didn't buy anymore, that was until recently I saw this colour on a few blog posts and with the summer on the way I bought it.

With a much creamier texture than the previous lipstick MUA Lipstick Shade 7 is a gorgeous corally pink

It's much brighter than it's appearing here but at the same time if you are scared of bright lipsticks this one is also pretty wearable. I've already put this in my provisional holiday make up bag as I think it will look even better with a tan.

I have to say I made a mistake with the lipsticks I judged the entire lipstick line on two purchases that didn't quite cut the mustard. In reality No4 and No5 probably just have a different finish, to No7, glazes for example as opposed to a cream of No7. There are plenty of different shades in the line so it's probably worth swatching them in store to make sure you get what you want - a hazard I guess with purchasing online. I have to say I love Shade 7 so much I will definitely be taking another look at the MUA £1.00 lipstick line.

This post is getting a tiny bit long and picture heavy now so I will do another post featuring the MUA face and nail products, which should be up in a day or so x Any questions please let me know and if you have any recommendations for MUA eye and lip products I'd love to hear them x

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