You know how Sephora tries to tempt customers with strategically placed cosmetics (usually travel size items and tiny gift sets) near the checkout area while they wait in line to pay? Well, I don’t know if it’s just my local CVS but I’ve noticed that they’re doing something similar with special boxed trios of NYX Butter Glosses, travel brushes, skincare and cosmetics too.
I was at CVS the other day stocking up on some shampoo and happened to glance over to my right while I was waiting in line and spotted a cute little MUA Makeup Academy travel palette. I’ve purchased directly from the MUA website before and although I know they have their fans I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of their full size palettes, so when MUA launched a makeup line exclusive to CVS a couple of years ago I wasn’t interested. But when I saw the Nude Eye Shadow Palette the other day I had to get it. The colors in the palette are exactly the types of color that I gravitate towards: very natural, very neutral, a mix of shimmer and matte, and no black.
The palette costs $9 which is on the pricier side especially for a drugstore palette of this size but CVS was running an MUA promotion that week (they’re running the same promotion again this week) and if you spent $12 on MUA products, you’d get $4 CVS Extra Bucks back. It was a good opportunity to try some new makeup products.
As cute as it is, this Nude palette is teeny tiny and some may consider that a major drawback. I think its slim size makes it excellent for travel because it slips easily into any purse, backpack, wallet, clutch, wristlet or pocket. It’s the length and width of a credit card and has the thickness of a packet of oil blotting sheets. If you own or have ever seen Smashbox’s Full Exposure Travel Palette or their Double Exposure Travel Palette, the MUA palette is almost exactly the same in construction. It’s the same type of plastic compact. The only difference is the Smashbox palettes come with a mirror and the MUA palette doesn’t.
Inside you get six eye shadows. Three are matte/semi-matte and two are metallic/shimmers. The darkest shade is mostly matte with a hint of barely there shimmer. The colors are perfect for an everyday, work appropriate neutral eye although a light smoky look is achievable if you concentrate on the darker shades.
I wasn’t impressed with the pigmentation of the MUA palettes I bought in the past; they went on patchy, sheer and powdery. The shadows in the Nude palette feel nicer and in my opinion the pigmentation is much improved. They’re still on the powdery side and kick up a fair amount of dust when I try to pick up product with a brush but they’re much easier to apply and look smoother and more even on my eyelids compared to the older palettes that I owned. The mattes in the Nude palette are a bit chalky and dry, particularly the lightest two shades, but the rest of the shadows are all pretty good especially the shimmers. It’s definitely not nearly as rich in color payoff or buttery in texture as Wet n Wild’s Comfort Zone palette, which many consider the benchmark of drugstore eye shadow palettes, but I’d say it’s decent and I think its size makes it a handy palette to keep in your purse or makeup bag for those emergency situations (e.g. impromptu meeting with friends or for work/class) when you want to look presentable and need to come up with a quick eye look on the fly.
Here’s a random comparison of the MUA Nude palette alongside some bareMinerals palettes in my stash. Common theme much?