This entry is part Untrieds and part review – featuring the Make Up For Ever (MUFE) Artist Shadows. I purchased a 3-pan customizable palette in early December last year to redeem my Sephora VIB $20 off coupon (minimum purchase of $50). I really wanted to maximize the coupon’s value – I had to spend just $50 so that effectively, I was getting 40% off. Lo and behold, a filled 3-pan MUFE palette is exactly $50. Take THAT, Sephora – you only got $30 out of me!
Then, during Boxing week, the MUFE Studio Case Eye Shadow Palette went on clearance sale for $45 – the regular price was $69 (the product value is actually $107). I had been wanting this set since it launched but was talked out of it… at 35% off the regular retail price (and 58% off the value of the product!), I couldn’t resist! This palette was a great way to add to my collection without too much commitment. It sat in my Untrieds pile until this month. I wore both the full sized and palette eye shadows interchangeably for 2 full weeks to see how they performed.
Of course I bought all neutral brown shades – this palette was intended to be my go-to for work or travel. It was quite daunting to narrow down the exact shades – I did a lot of online research and wrote down about a dozen shades I was interested in. Once I got to the MUFE counter though, I was overwhelmed by the 210 colours staring back at me. The helpful makeup artist at Sephora swatched about 20 shades on me and recommended ones that would be versatile but different from eye shadow colours I already owned.
There are 5 finishes in this range and the first letter of the shade names denote its finish: matte (M), satiny (S), iridescent(I), metallic (ME) and diamond (D). My favourite out of the trio is S632 Hazelnut.
Some people may not like the utilitarian design of the palette but I quite like it – the plastic is high quality and the compact is sleek. The trio compact measures 5″ x 2″ x 0.4″.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Studio Case – $69 (Sephora – Limited Edition) includes 12 Artist Shadows at 0.7g each: M530 Eggshell, S516 Sand, I544 Pink Granite, ME122 Snow, ME108 Steel, M100 Black, D236 Lagoon Blue, D926 Blueberry, I218 Indigo Blue, I524 Pinky Beige, D826 Fig, ME828 Garnet Black
The kit also includes a full-sized Artist Liner in black (shade M-10) – in Europe and Asia, this kit came with a #228 Precision Shader Brush rather than the eyeliner – I don’t wearing black eyeliners so I’m giving it to a friend. And of course, there’s the “train case” packaging (measuring approx 5.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″) which can house a myriad of makeup items (the bottom compartment is very spacious).
A tip about this palette is that the individual pans can be easily removed from the case itself (the divider is made of foam). I decided to remove all of the pans and put them into an empty small Z-Palette I had. Look at how much space I saved! The small Z-Palette measures 3.75″ x 3.75″ x 0.6″.
My favourite shades are I544 and ME828 (a taupe and a brown – how surprising!) and I could see myself buying them in full size pans if I ever run out (ie. never).
About the Artist Shadows themselves: I have mixed feelings about the formula. The revolutionary claim by MUFE is that these gel-based powder shadows contain an insane amount of pigment (88%) which makes them apply true to the pan colour. For me, this claim holds true IF the eye shadows are applied with a flat shader brush in a patting motion. Once I start to blend, however, I find the colours start to get muddy and dull. The pigmentation also isn’t very strong at first pass, like I would expect a pigment-rich formula to be – I find that I need to build up a few layers to get more intense colour. There is a learning curve with this formula. Where this product excels, for me, is the longevity of its wear. I would say this ranks in the top 3 of my longest wearing powder eye shadows – the colours stay true and do not crease even after 14 hours of wear (I apply my makeup around 7am and wash my face at 9pm). That alone, makes this eye shadow formula worth trying out.
s wide range of colours and finishes to choose from
s exceptionally long wearing formula
s a lot of product per pan (2.5g vs MAC’s 1.5g)
s customizable options (single, duo, trio, free-form)
s fairly accessible (Sephora or online)
s expensive (even broken down at a per gram price, MUFE is more expensive than MAC; MUFE = $9.60/g while MAC is $8.00/g)
s blending is challenging (muddiness)
s pigmentation needs to be built up
Stash worthiness: 8/10 [Edited Sept 2015: I originally had this rated as 7/10 but after using these eye shadows for longer, I’ve come to appreciate them more!]
Have you tried MUFE Artist Shadows? What do you think of them?