Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: MUA (Makeup Academy Professional) Nude Eye Shadow Palette

This was purchased for me, by my husband, at CVS

Swatch Picture:

The swatches were does over the e.l.f. eyelid primer, running the brush through the eye shadow once and then patting it on the primer until the color showed; this is important to keep in mind while reading the review.

The statement on the back of the packaging:

This set of artist-inspired shadows is everything you need to play up your eyes. Enhance your eyelid with base shades, intensify with crease shades, and add a luminous touch with highlighting shades. Palette hold 10 coordinating shades that apply with ease for fallout-free intensity. Build, blend and play for hours in this spectrum of supreme pigmentation. Featuring pearl and matte finishing to dress eyes up or down. Every enviable look stays put for hours on end, day or night.

To Apply: Prime eyes with MUA Pro No-Crease Eye Shadow Base. Then apply eye shadow with MUA Pro Brushes.

How it worked for me:

First, if you have not read my review of the MUA Pro No-Crease Eye Shadow Base, I would not recommend using that with this or any other eye shadow palette you might have. The longest I was able to get the eye shadow to last when using that primer was 60 minutes. But this is not a review of the primer, this is a review of the eye shadows so now I will go on and talk about how they worked with my standard testing primer and my every day primer.

When I did my individual eye shadow timed tests with the e.l.f. eyelid primer, they all lasted 8 hours before creasing. They were the most consistent eye shadows I have ever used in that regard. But there is a caveat for that lasting time and that is that you may not be able to build up the color to match that, that is in the pan. The more you try to build up the color of the eye shadow to match that as it is seen in the pan, the faster it will crease, as in, less than 2 hours in some cases, with the e.l.f. eyelid primer; this was less of a problem with the Wet n Wild Fergie Primer. This does not mean that you cannot get color on your eye lid, it just means it may not be as intense as you would like it to be and swatch pictures being done so that you can see the color, are not as reflective as how it will look on the eyes when using them. I did attempt to do swatches that were more reflective of how the shadows appear on the eyes, but found that I was unsuccessful due to the blending of the eye shadow that is done on the eye lid that does not really work the same on the arm; instead of blending in one area, it just kept spreading around the arm. The shadows all created very soft looks on the eyes because of not being able to build up the color as much, but this is not really a problem for me as I prefer softer looks.

When I did my blending tests, which are also timed, with the Wet n Wild Fergie Primer, I was able to get at least 12 hours without creasing, and then the eye shadow was only removed because I was getting ready for bed. During the blending tests I was able to build up the color a bit more than I had been with the individual timed tests, which I believe is more a reflection of the effectiveness of the primer than of the eye shadows. With the exception of the first blending test, I had no problems blending these eye shadows out and I think that first problem had to do with the brush used. I did get some fallout with the black eye shadow, but not with any other, and the fallout I did get with the black shadow was very minimal. I always tap off my brushes before using them, so please keep that in mind if you are using these and see fallout.

Brushes greatly effect how well these shadows last and how they blend. The first few timed tests did not go as well for the length of wear of the eye shadows as I was using a flat paddle shader brush and patting the eye shadow on my lid, and then if any blending was needed, I used a separate domed blending brush that was not very dense. As I was not having luck with my normal brushes with these eye shadows in application I switched to the Wet n Wild eye shadow brush my husband has bought several of for me from Dollar Tree to see if that would work better. When applying the shadows, the best method for me, seemed to be to pick up the shadow on the end of a fluffy, but dense brush, and sweeping it across the lid, using the fluffiness of the brush to blend out the shadow while applying it. This worked well for the individual shadow tests. When doing the blending tests, the same method was typically used, just confining the area of application with the fluffy yet denser brush to specific area, then using a separate fluffy yet dense brush that was clean to blend between to the two areas. I did use the very small MUA Crease Brush to place the darkest of the eye shadow in the palette in the crease and then would use the separate fluffy yet dense brush to blend it out. Because of the shape of my eyes and eye lid to brow area, running a shadow along the length of my crease is rarely the most flattering use of the eye shadow for me, so I generally confined it solely to the very outer corner with a tiny dot for an application, and then pulled it into the eye lid with the fluffy yet dense brush.

I tried several, though by no means all, combinations of eye shadows from this palette and my biggest complaint with it comes from the fact that, once on the eye lids, a lot of the looks ended up looking exactly the same and I often had to check and recheck which eye shadow I was using when trying to determine if any fading of the color was occurring. The two highlight shadows were essentially interchangeable, and the very first shadow from the left in the second row disappears completely into my skin tone so I would use it more to even out the appearance of my eye lids than as a lid color. The middle shadow in the first row and the second shadow from the left in the bottom row looked the same when applied on my eye lids. The last four eye shadows, the last two from the left on the two and bottom rows, all basically ended up looking the same or similar once blended out. The middle bottom row eye shadow was the only one that didn't really look exactly or very close to something else in the palette. This is of course one of the problems you run into with nude eye shadow palettes because there are only so many shades of tan/brown out there, but even when looking at the eye shadows in the pan, they seem very close in color to one another. Also, when blended out, the pearl shadows would generally look matte, or nearly matte, as well so if you like a bit of a sheen on the lid, you are not going to find much of it here. The good thing about how interchangeable the eye shadows are, if you run out of one, there is probably another already in the palette that you can use to take its place.

I did like all of the eye shadow looks that I created when using this separately and in combination with the metallic palette. If you are a fan of the no-makeup/makeup look and you have a skin tone that these colors will work well with, you will probably get a lot of use out of this. Do I think it is worth the $15 price tag? No, but if you can get it on sale, I did see CVS put this on sale at least once during 2015 at buy one get one, and it is the kind of eye shadows you go for, then maybe, if you also want something else from their line that is similarly priced. There is enough good about this palette that I am happy to have it and will most likely get more use out of it, but there is also enough that is unfortunate about this palette and the metallic palette which I also tested and reviewed, that I told my husband not to bother buying the smokey palette that is also available at CVS.