So recently I discovered the MUA (Make Up Academy) £1 lipsticks, and by the sounds of it they’re pretty decent quality when you consider the tiny £1 price tag! Naturally I jumped in the car the next morning when my dad was taking my younger brother into town and popped into Superdrug whilst they were doing their stuff. Unfortunately this smaller store didn’t have the largest selection of shades, and in particular didn’t have Shade 14 ‘Bare’ – the one I was actually after! I’m in search of a nice nude/’my lips but better’ shade and thought if it was a complete bust then I’d have only wasted £1! However, I did pick up these three shades…
This first lipstick is a beautiful deep glossy red – and I really can’t resist trying out a new red lipstick! It’s pretty similar to the Kate Matte by Rimmel in ‘107’ that I reviewed a little while back, though the MUA shade is a little more blue toned and very clearly not a matte finish. If you’re new to red lipsticks I try this is a really nice shade and even if it doesn’t work for your skin tone, etc, it’s not as if you’ve forked out for the likes of MAC or other high end lipsticks. There is some slight feathering but it’s not the worst, and only really noticeable close up, so not a major problem. It’s a nice glossy red to add to my collection!
Left – Kate Matte by Rimmel ‘107’. Right – MUA Shade 1
This one’s a more purple/berry colour and has the most sheer finish of the three though can be built up slightly (think the Lustre finish by MAC), and is also quite the dupe for an old, now unavailable, MAC lipstick ‘Total Wow!’. This one in no way lives up to the MAC wear and quality, but the colour is pretty similar if you, like me, also were a lover of ‘Total Wow!’. I also wanted to see how it compared to the likes of my favourite MAC ‘Captive’, but Captive is much deeper, and a more pinky plum. This was the most difficult colour to work with and if I intend to keep using it I will definitely have to get a lip liner to match just because it’s difficult to create a sharp line around the lip line without having to tidy it up.
Left – MAC ‘Total Wow!’. Centre – MUA Shade 2. Right – MAC ‘Captive’
Shade 16 ‘Nectar’
This is a darker coral/orange shade that I was positive would be my least favourite of the three, but in fact I was surprised. It definitely shows up dry patches on the lips, so in the future i’ll be ensuring I give my lips a scrub before hand, but I really liked the way it looks on me! I think it actually looks better on camera than it does in real life, but I do think this is one I might wear out. It’s definitely not as scary as it looks in the tube, and for me it’s a transition into the world of coral and orange lipsticks (maybe a little late as summer is ending…).
Generally all these lipsticks come out on camera a little lighter than they are in person – so that’s one thing to bear in mind. But also, whilst they aren’t initially drying, they’re quite slippery and a little bit difficult to work with. I had to blot and tidy up quite a lot, so perhaps in the future I might wear it over a lip liner or something to help them ‘stick’, or maybe I’ll just get used to the texture. They do actually smell quite nice as well, sort of sweet and ‘cupcakey’ (that’s definitely a word…), which was a nice surprise because I was expecting either no scent, or a horrible chemically/plastic scent. From what I’ve noticed they last a few hours before fading away, and will definitely need re-applying after eating/drinking. Unfortunately, from what I’ve experienced they didn’t fade evenly and so left me with that ‘lip liner’ effect which definitely is not attractive, so they’re not the most low-maintenance of lip products for throughout the day. But for me this isn’t a deal breaker as I’m always checking whether my lipstick looks good and reapplying constantly!
The packing does feel quite cheap though, and the product doesn’t smoothly roll up as you twist, but what can you ask for at only £1?! So if you’re looking for a cheap way to try out a new shade then I would definitely give these a go. I don’t know if they’ll get the most wear out of my collection but I would for sure try more shades because the texture and finish seems to differ over the range. Also I hear they have a matte finish collection (also £1 a pop) so I’d love to try those out since I am definitely more of a satin/matte finish kinda gal. The bottom little ‘pot’ also twists off with additional product inside, though I don’t know if I’d use it after hearing that the NYX ones (that do the same thing) are treated and not really safe for use. I also like that they’re sold in additional plastic packaging, so you’d know if it had been opened and used at the store, which is a thing that not a lot of drugstore lipsticks in the UK (maybe not just the UK?!) have. I don’t like the idea of buying something that’s already been used and you can never be too sure unless it’s properly sealed.
Lovely colours and quite good range
Smooth and non-drying
Sleek packaging with obvious indicator of shade
A little difficult to work with
Not the most long lasting
Would I recommend? Yes! Would I repurchase? Yes yes yes! I’ll be going back to find Shade 14 ‘Bare’.
Please do let me know of any nude lipsticks I can get in the UK that are suitable for fair skin. Drugstore, high end, I don’t care! I just want a nice ‘my lips but better’ shade that isn’t too pink or blue toned and that I can wear every day for work, and also maybe pair with a smokey eye.