MUA are an affordable drugstore makeup brand here in the UK and are exclusively available at Superdrug, but also have an online website too. The brand believe “great makeup doesn’t need to cost the earth” and promise “to bring surprising quality, colour, fun and innovation to each and every product“. MUA do ship internationally but not to the USA or Russia temporarily, after taking a quick look at their shipping and delivery page.
The MUA Luxe London Velvet lip lacquers have been talked about quite a bit since their release more than a year ago, and after finally testing two of the shades from their line of ten, I can see why. They retail at £3.00, a great price I think everyone would agree.
I have my lacquers in the colours ‘Kooky’, a very deep, dark true purple, and ‘Dare’, a bright fuchsia pink.
As soon as I got these home I wanted to give them a whirl. I decided to try ‘Kooky’. My initial reaction upon application was that they felt like a very thick lipgloss. The doe foot applicator ensured smooth application, but precision was an issue, especially with such a dark colour. Once on, your lips have a subtle shine to them which I really liked but not even minutes later the colour dries down to a complete matte finish. Very matte. I have to admit, I did prefer the shine, but what did I expect when these lacquers are alleged to be kiss proof! My mistake was to apply more than one layer and I found my lips stuck together quite a bit, and the product itself doesn’t taste all that great. Since having more of a play around with them my advice would be to apply the bare minimum to begin with, and if you find you need to add a second coating, go ahead. Don’t treat these like lip glosses, even though they might deceivingly look like they are.
The good: Credit where credit is due, MUA have ensured that these are intensely pigmented lip products. The colours are both stunning and what you get on your lips is definitely what you see present in the tube, which I appreciate. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve bought a lip product and the colour you see on your lips isn’t even close to the pay-off you expected. Speaking of packaging, the product comes in a plastic tube, that has a frosted glass look to it, with a sleek black twist top and gold lettering. They look expensive. Opulent, even. The long lasting claim I can categorically confirm is true. These lip lacquers once on won’t budge. I waited a good five minutes before rubbing my fingers over my lips to see if the colour would transfer and I saw nothing on them. Impressive. As for being kiss proof? Now sadly I had no one to test this particular claim on but I did kiss the back of my hand and, similarly as before, no transfer. Of course, the price is also a big selling point here.
The bad: These are very drying lip products. I realise any matte finish is commonly drying on the lips, but these incredibly so, almost to the point that they’re quite unpleasant to wear – it definitely takes some getting used to, especially if you’re used to more nourishing/balmy lip products. If you look at the images above you can disctinctively see the lines in my lips, the product settling in between them which I’m not keen on and if your lips are even in the least bit chapped, these lacquers will accentuate the fact. As long lasting as they are, it is actually fairly tricky to remove the product. I tried with a face wipe and it took some serious scrubbing and making my lips red raw to get the colour off. Ouch.
Overall, I would give these a 3.5/5. I do adore the colour ‘Kooky’ on me. It’s a beautiful, vampy, purple shade and is unlike anything else I own. I wondered if it could be a matte dupe to MAC’s lipstick in ‘Rebel’ but its more of a true purple, whereas ‘Rebel’ isn’t. I would definitely wear these again, but they aren’t something I’d reach for constantly due to the fact they’re very high maintenance.
Have you tried these? What do you make of them?