12 Mar 2012

Make Up Store Swatches and Review

I was recently invited to sample some products from a Swedish cosmetic brand called Make Up Store. The brand is not available in all countries yet, but in a few select cities in Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Denmark, Mexico, Indonesia, and several others. You can see where the brand is available on their website; however, some of the locations are not accurately listed, which is a bit disappointing. I briefly browsed through their store on my last trip in Berlin at the Alexa mall, but I was short on time so didn't have the opportunity to really check it out thoroughly.

Their cosmetic range is wide, including an entire makeup line in a plethora of bright and neutral colors, and they also offer skincare, nail polish, and hair products. Their makeup line is sold in free standing stores, and the prices are mid- to higher-end for European department store standards. For example, the suggested retail price for an eyeshadow is 13 Euros, a lipstick 17 euros.

I find their website a bit incomplete, as some prices are listed, others are not. There is currently no online shop for international delivery, so the only way to purchase their products is if you have a location nearby. I'm unsure if an online shop is in the works.

Here are some product pictures of what I have.

Clockwise from left: Microshadows in Diva, Ruby, Varieté, Sunrise, Satin

My first impression of the eyeshadows is good, they are well pigmented and the colors are very pretty. The ones above all have a shimmery finish. You get 3.5 grams of product per eyeshadow. What I dislike about them is the packaging, it's incredibly flimsy and the hinge is poorly constructed, so poorly that the lids easily pop off, as you can see in the first shadow on the lower left. They also look tricky to depot, and if you're more of a palette user like me, these shadows are quite bulky to store.

Left to right: Cybershadows in Ginger Leaf, Babydoll

I have no idea what the difference is between the Cybershadows and the Microshadows, and I wasn't provided with any PR pamphlets to teach me about the products, so my guess is as good as yours. The Cybershadows are smaller in size and offer 2 grams of products each, and have a frosty finish. The pigmentation seems nice again, but the packaging is again flimsy and poorly hinged.

Clockwise from Left: Eyedust in Paragon, Glitter in Luna, Eyedust in Hectic, Eyedust in Darkness

These are the Make Up Store's version of glitters and pigments, and I honestly can say I would not purchase these because the packaging is abysmal. I honestly think this is some of the worst packaging I have ever experienced with a cosmetic product. The lid opens, underneath which is a second lid that has a "stopper" to prevent the pigment from spilling. What seems as a great idea is actually so badly implemented, because you have to apply so much force to open the second stopper that by doing so, you spill the product all over your hands, your working space, and the pigment gets all over the lid. It is by far one of the messiest endeavors I have ever undertaken, that I can honestly say I will probably never use these because I don't appreciate having to clean up the entire area and wash my hands after each use. It's a shame really, because the colors look quite pretty. The only way to improve these is by completely changing the packaging, as is they are just unusable on a practical level.

Left to Right: Lipsticks in Yarn (metallic), Pout, Dare (matte)

The lipsticks were the stand-outs to me! They are incredibly pigmented, long-lasting and the colors are some of the brightest I have ever seen. The lipsticks go on very smoothly without feathering and are opaque in one swipe. Yarn is a slightly sheer mango color, Pout is a blend of hot pink and cherry red, and Dare is an almost neon orange that definitely lives up to its name. There was some staining of the lips with Pout and Dare upon removal, because the colors are so intense and pigmented. The packaging is sleek and elegant, and I had no issues with it. Here are some quick swatches on my lips.




Left to right: Pout, Dare, Yarn

Swatches of all the eyeshadows and the lipsticks, without a base.

I also have one of the cream highlighters, known as the High Tech Lighter in the shade Venus. This cream product is reminiscent of MAC's Cream Color Base in Hush. It is a peach shade with a pearlescent golden finish, very flattering as a cheekbone highlight, and a little goes a long way.

Lastly I have two nailpolishes to show you, neither of which I have worn yet so I can't give you a review yet. To be honest I am not crazy about either color, but here is a bottle picture to start. They are both from their Hologram range, but neither one looks particularly holographic to me. Aqua Fix is a pale white cream color, and Greta looks like a silver with multi-tonal sparkle.

(Update: I've been told the white is a base coat for holographic polishes, and that Greta is actually extremely holographic when applied. I will have to try it out and post a swatch later, as I'm pretty intrigued now!)

Left to Right: Aqua Fix, Greta

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

I have mixed feelings about this brand judged on the products I was sent. I think their range offers some really exciting and unique colors, and I remember feeling very impressed when I briefly visited the store in Berlin. The line reminds me of bold brands like MAC, Makeup Forever and Inglot, and if you enjoy bright colors, Make Up Store is definitely worth having a peek into.

The packaging on the shadows and pigments is sub-par, the technical issues especially on the pigments to me is unacceptable for the price point. Packaging should be user friendly on the first instance, and the pigments failed on this account completely. The eyeshadow hinges are flimsy and easily come apart.

Since this was a press send out, I wasn't able to pick my own colors, and some of the things I received just weren't my personal taste. I think that if I was in the store and was able to pick out my own products, my experience would be a lot different. The lipsticks and some of the eyeshadow colors are certainly very promising, and the quality of the actual products also seems very good. I am very interested to hear more from this brand, and I can only hope they seriously think about repackaging their products to make them more user friendly and sturdy. I'm really looking forward to incorporating these products in my videos.

For further information about Make Up Store and where to buy their products, please go their website: http://www.makeupstore.se/


  1. Danke für deinen Bericht! Ich war schon oft in dem Store im Alexa und habe doch nie was mitgenommen, weil ich keine Lust hatte relativ viel Geld für etwas auszugeben, von dem ich die Qualität nicht einschätzen kann. Nächstes Mal werden definitiv die Lippenstifte näher begutachtet!

  2. hi julia i recently moved to munich germany can you recommend a place to shop cosmetics hi end ones and cheap ones thanks :)

  3. Yarn looks lovely xxx


  4. I have used Make Up Store's Microshadows for some years now and I absolutely love them! Pigmention is awesome and they also blend very well. I also love theit liquid foundations, I personally use the matte one. It has a good coverage and smooth finish and it has never failed me. They also have very light colours in their foundation collection which is good for me 'cause ivory is usually way too dark for me but Make Up Store's foundation's colour Milk is just perfect. I would recommend at least the microshadows and liquid foundations. :)

  5. Anonymous6:30 pm

    The lids are supposed to pop off easily cause they have palletes in which you can put the rest of the packaging.

  6. Yay, MUS! One of the reasons living in Sweden is so darn good :) I find however that their holo polishes chip pretty easy, but they are gorgeous nonetheless. Looking forward to a tutorial featuring some of the eyeshadows!


  7. I heard that the packaging is supposed to be this flimsy and the lid should come off easily. It was what I complained about and a makeup artist told me it is so for the ease of use for the makeup artist. Then they can just easily remove the lid(s) and use on a client. The used to have lids that had to be twisted on and off and the makeup artists complained about that cause it took so long to open the package.

  8. I absolutely LOVE the Make Up Store blushes and I do own quite a lot of shadows and eyedusts as well...
    I think the quality is great and the prices aren't not too bad either.

  9. Gråpyre8:26 pm

    I totally agree about the packaging, it is total crap and kind of ruins the impression you get from the actual product. I used to shop at Make up store, but so many of the things I bought just broke in my hands, it got ridiculous.

  10. As someone has commented before me, the lids are suppose to come off easily because you can put the whole pot (without the lid) into a special palette that some of the stores sell.
    Personally i think that system is rubbish because the only palette-size avalible is HUGE and bulky but only 8 eyeshadows will fit into those palettes since the whole pot has to fit in the case.
    Also, it will only fit the larger sized eyeshadows, so there is no reason for the cybershadows, and eyedusts to have the same crappy lids :P

    Picture found on google: http://pygmeisk.blogg.se/images/2011/img_4494_147878576.jpg

    As for the difference between cyber and microshadows, the difference is supposed to be that the cybershadows have a more intense shimmer or frost finish than the microshadows, wich in my opinion is accurate with most of the colors. (but not all)

    And about their eyedusts...
    They used to be really good and similar to mac pigments, but around the same time as they changed to that ridiculous packaging, they must have also changed the formula of those products.
    Because now they really suck :P
    They used to be in a regular screw-top jar, and the formula were much more pigmented and alot easier to use.

    So i would suggest depotting the eyeshadows (Put them in Z-palettes or something) and staying away from the eyedusts :P

    I hope you will keep exploring this brand because it really deserves some more attention :)

  11. Julia, trust me, their holographic nail polishes are AMAZING. The white one is a base coat (similar to Nfu-Oh's Aqua Base) designed specifically for holos. Try swatching them!

    Here's what it should look like on the nail:

  12. I love the eyeshadows, easy to blend and stays beautiful through the entire day! The lipsticks are also long lasting and there are so many beautiful shades to choose from. The major downside though, is that both of mine snapped and fell out of the tube after only a couple times use. Disappointing!

  13. love Varieté's shade. and also pout and dare

  14. Honestly, they aren't that hard to depot, yes, a bit harder than MAC, but still easy. I've depotted all of my microshadows and cybershadows (about 70 of them) and when you get a hold of it it's easy. I dislike tha packaging also, mostly cause you can't see the product, but they have just launched a new lid which is see-through. The packaging for the eyedust and glitter still sucks though, since they haven't changed them (yet?). Over all I like MUS. They have also recently chanced the lipstick packaging to a more heavy and sturdy thing. The new ones doesn't brake as easily as the old ones.

  15. DAARE!! I must own this immediately D: The Lightener is also lovely!

  16. Hi,
    Just wanted to let you know that MUS is also located in Melbourne, Australia (Myer). I use their pigments (despite the mess) as i find the colour and staying power better than most of the others (MAC, Bella piere) that ive tried. I do ballroom dancing and the makeup required is even more extreme than some of your fancy looks & I have to recommend the pigment "mercury" even though I tend to favour other brands now because i was over the mess that one i will definitely keep going back for.

    Really appreciate all the great advice and want to pass on all the compliments i get for my make up skills back to you

  17. If you get a chance to try their lip and eye pencils you definitely should! They're the stars of the brand in my opinion.

  18. I bought a couple of things when I visited the Make Up store in Trondheim.One of the things I purcasedwas a holographic nailpolish in det color Siw(001). And its aboslutely gorgeous when you put it on! They also sell some beautiful, fun dramatic lashes!You should check them out if you get the chance!