Friday, March 28, 2014

Makeup Academy (MUA) Heaven and Earth Palette and Undress Me Too Palette Review

Today I'm here to share my thoughts on two Makeup Academy, more commonly known as MUA, palettes. Unfortunately they don't sell MUA products at drugstores or any retail shops in the US, but I wanted to try out the shadows from MUA so badly so I ordered them directly from their website. You can purchase the palettes from Ebay but the two exact palettes I wanted weren't any cheaper than they would be if I purchased them directly from the site. Plus, I was looking to buy two palettes so if I had to buy them both separately on Ebay, it'd actually be more expensive. The total cost with shipping and tax for the two palettes ended up being $26 (and some cents) so about $13 for each palette which was still quite cheap (though not as cheap if I didn't have to order it online!).

The original Undress palette by MUA has been compared to the original Naked palette from Urban Decay while the Undress Me Too (love the name haha!) palette is said to be similar to the Naked 2 palette. However, I already own the original Naked palette and though it would be fun to get the MUA Undress palette to compare, the two palettes did look similar and I really was looking for more different shades of neutral shadows for creating different everyday looks so I decided to get the Undress Me Too palette (in place of getting a $50 Naked 2 palette!). I also chose the Heaven and Earth palette because that seemed to be the most popular palette from MUA and all the neutral shades from it looked nice and different from anything else I had.
Price: $6.62 each, if purchased directly from the site (on Ebay they sell for $5 - $11 not including shipping)
Amount: Each palette contains 12 eyeshadow pans, each about the size of a nickel and come with a double sided sponge applicator.
Packaging: I love how you can see the shadows from the outside of the palette due to the clear front plastic top and the closing clasp is very secure and tight so it won't just open up easily like some other palettes. The palettes are also a great size for travel or everyday traveling as they aren't too bulky or fragile to carry around.

I'll start with the Heaven and Earth palette, and let me say, I love it! I've been using it everyday for the last week because I love the neutral shades so much! I like how it has so many different shades of brown because I love creating new brown smokey eye looks for every day wear and don't really wear greys or blacks as often. The palette has a perfect balance of light shades and darker shades - there's one light beige shadow (top most left) that's perfect for highlighting the inner corners and browbone, 4-5 (depending on your skin tone) shadows that work really well as transition or crease shades, and the rest are different darker shades of brown that are perfect for the outer corners. Unlike the Urban Decay or Smashbox eyeshadows that I have, these MUA shadows aren't exactly the soft and crazy pigmented type but for they still work really well. You don't have to "tap off the excess" (which I've always thought was a huge waste of product) or be super careful so that you don't get one super dark spot from your initial application where all the shadow got deposited (admit it, we've all had that happen!). Even though these are more firmer/packed shadows, they transfer really well onto my lids in a smooth and seamless way.. it's hard to explain but I really love how easily the shadows blend. It makes creating natural looks even easier and more natural haha!  Another plus (for me at least)  is that all of the shadows in the palette are matte or have very little shimmer so that it doesn't show up when you apply it. I was quite pleased with this because I was looking for a palette that had less shimmery/glittery shadows as most drugstore palettes contain mostly shimmery shadows (I think it's because those are easier to formulate than matte ones but I don't really know why). Matte shadows are perfect for blending out harsh edges which is what I've been especially using this palette for.

Now onto the Undress Me Too palette! I think this palette must be quite popular too because on the website, it's sold out (sorry folks!) but you can subscribe to get a notification when it gets back in stock if you really want to get it bad! I can see how people would compare this to the Naked 2 palette but don't think it's THAT similar. As I mentioned before, it has mostly matte shades/shades with little shimmer while the Naked 2 palette has shadows in the same shade that are contain more visible shimmer. Don't get me wrong, there definitely are shades with visible sheen that work well especially for all over the lid (the shadows on the top row second and fourth from the left are both very nice colors with glitter flecks in them and look really nice) but I like the variety of lots of shimmer to less visible shimmer to completely matte. Like the Naked 2 palette, there is a matte highlight and matte black shade (top row most left and bottom row most right) and let me say, that matte black is REALLY matte and really pigmented too so be careful! I had the misfortune of dabbing my brush in about 2 times and getting way too much of that black shadow and had trouble blending it out (haha). The entire bottom row of the palette leans more towards the cooler shades of brown meaning they have more grey undertones and are more of a taupe color. Overall though, I do enjoy the palette and think it IS a good substitute for the Naked 2 (at less than 1/4 of the cost!). The colors aren't exactly the same but they're pretty close and though the Urban Decay shadows are softer and more pigmented, you still get really good color pay off and blendability with the MUA shadows.


My only negative thoughts about both the palettes I got are that I've seen slight creasing in the shadows after a day's wear (about 12 hours) but that was without a primer. With a primer (I use the Urban Decay original primer or the ELF $1 eye primer - both work equally well!), the shadows stay all day though so it's not too big of a deal in my opinion.

The two palettes I purchased are the only products I've ever tried from Makeup Academy but I have to say I'm very pleased and would definitely want to try out some more of their products. I just wish they would make them available in the US! Both palettes are great for beginners looking for a good amount of eyeshadow shades to play around with and experiment that are affordable and still good quality. The Heaven and Earth palette contains warmer shades of brown along with a few highlight shades while the Undress Me Too palette has cooler shades and contains a matte highlight and matte black shade, perfect for any makeup look. The Undress Me Too is agreeably similar to the UD Naked 2 although it doesn't come with a real brush and only a sponge tip applicator one. The shadows are a different constituency/formula than Urban Decay shadows as they are firmer/more pressed shadows which can reduce the amount of fallout you get when applying the shadows. However, they still have great pigmentation and blend very well and I would highly recommend all of you to check out these palettes if you can.

I hope this review was helpful and encourages you to try MUA if you haven't already. I know I'm glad I did! If you guys want to see any makeup looks using either of these two palettes, please feel free to leave a comment below! I've been feeling lazy and lacking of inspiration for videos or blog posts! >__<'