Saturday, March 27, 2010

Make Up For Ever and UNII empty palettes - LONG POST!

Ever since I got back to Sydney, I have been obsessed with organising my makeup. When you build up a considerable amount, you need to start organising your eyeshadows/blushes etc by depotting and putting them into empty palettes. Well, OK, I like to do this anyway!

I found out about the Make Up For Ever Magneted palettes from a YT guru (gossmakeupartist - check him out) who said it one of his 2009 favourite products. I already purchased a few empty palettes (no brand name) from ebay and a few empty MAC palettes from Rock the Catwalk.

Now, how can I purchase Make Up For Ever magneted palettes in Australia? I couldn't use my US postal agent because I couldn't find a US online store that sold them. I had no choice but to finally test out Media Makeup. Media Makeup is a makeup academy in Adelaide, South Australia. They also have an online store selling Make Up For Ever. Since Mecca Cosmetica stopped selling MUFE, as far as I am aware they are the only retailer that offers MUFE products in Australia.

They sold the MUFE empty magneted palettes for $25 Australian each - more than double the US price of the palettes ($10 RRP each). I ordered 3 palettes and paid $15 Australian dollars for express post shipping. I ordered on Friday night and when I didn't receive the palettes by Tuesday, I sent an email to Media Makeup asking about my order.

I received an apologetic phone call from someone from the store saying that for whatever reason my order did not come through properly on the computer and was unprocessed. I gave her credit card details etc and that was that. Soon after I received a phone message from Media Makeup saying that there was a problem with my credit card. I called them back (interstate phone call btw!) and it turned out the SA had inadvertently written down the wrong number. Okay, problem solved - item shipped and I was going to receive the palettes on Wednesday.

When the products arrived - they looked like this.

Each palette was quite severely dented. I noticed that the SA had wrapped the palettes in 2 very thin layers of bubble wrap which someone had already popped all the bubbles out of - and that was it! This offered very little protection for the palettes during transit - it was very poorly wrapped.

Oh no, the saga hasn't ended. I emailed Media Makeup and attached pictures of the palettes. They asked that I return the palettes to them because they could only send me replacement products after they received the damaged goods. Sounds reasonable so I go down to the post office and paid for express post to return the items to Media Makeup. I actually put the items in a padded postage bag PRIOR to putting this in the express post envelope. Something Media Makeup did not do for me btw.

The express post envelope costs $11.30. I sent Media Makeup yet another email stating that I had put the palettes in a padded bag and could they please use the same bag to send me the replacement palettes. Yes - very patronising isn't it? I agree but for an experienced online purchaser like me - this crappola bubble wrap really annoyed the heck out of me.

I also stated that I should be reimbursed for the cost of postage - the $11.30 for express postage. I got a very polite email from them stating no, they couldn't do this because this was not store policy.

Well, by this stage I was pretty annoyed. I wrote them a very long email outlining the history of this purchase and why I should be reimbursed the $11.30. On Thursday I got an email from the MD for Media Makeup saying that yes, she got the packages and the palettes were dented from something heavy being on top of them. She would send out the replacement palettes today and reimburse me for $11.30 cost of postage. She also sent me a little MUFE cosmetics purse as an apology. I received this item 10 days after paying for express postage. Pretty pathetic IMO. All my Gmarket purchases AND my ASOS purchases arrived faster than this - and they were overseas items. Not to mention properly wrapped!

In the end, I got what I paid for. However, the whole thing was such an ordeal that I seriously don't think I can bear to buy from them again. And yet, they are the only retailer for MUFE in Australia so I guess never say never right?

Make Up For Ever empty magneted palette

Okay, let's get on with the MUFE review. Well, I surely was surprised to see the size of it. Baby, this sucker is BIG!!

I took out my ruler and measured it up. Please note that for the depth of all palettes reviewed I measured INSIDE the palette. This is so you know how deep your eyeshadows can be before you place them inside the palette.

The entire base of the product has got a magnetic insert. It also comes with a plastic film that covers the eyeshadows to give some protection during transit. This entire palette is made out of tin - and pretty thin tin at that!

The Good

* Relatively cheap!

* Unlike MAC palette - there is no pesky plastic sheet that fits all your eyeshadow/blush etc. It is completely an open space you can easily mix and match whatever you like in this palette.

* Big in size. I don't just mean the length and width - the depth is great. This means you can place large magnets on the bottom of your eyeshadows and they will fit nicely into the palette. You know, the cheap magnets you can get from the dollar store. Note - you can't do this with MAC palettes!

The Bad

As you can see from the dented palettes I first received - these palettes dent fairly easily. I already have some scratches from the top of my palettes that have scraped off the black paint.

Also, I think there is a very good chance that the eyeshadows inside may crack and split during travel. I can't test that theory - but that's my vibes anyway!

Hard to buy - not available in Sephora stores or Sephora online but apparently available in MUFE stores in the US.

Slightly heavy - this palette loaded up with eyeshadows is pretty heavy. I mean, it isn't tonnes of weight - but it feels a lot heavier than my other palettes because of the tin design. This is probably a minor complaint really.

UNII Palettes

I first read about these on A Beautyful Sentiment and I really liked the look of them! They are not available in stores and must be purchased online here. They are specifically designed for travel and are very durable. They are also very pretty - that palette has a lovely metallic shimmer. I purchased 3 of these palettes because I really do like them a lot.

NOTE: I just noticed I made a mistake with this. The depth of the UNII palette is 1 cm and not 1.3 cm in fact. Sorry about that guys!

The Good

* It's pretty as heck! I love this design. Please go to the UNII website for better pics, colours and all the deets you could possibly want.

* It's sturdy! It snaps shut and has a rubber enclosure all around it making it the sturdiest and most travel worthy of all three palettes.

* The top of the palette contains a large mirror - what a fantastic idea!

* It also comes with a sheet of adhesive magnets so you can depot and put magnets on the colours you want to take with you.

The Bad

* It's pricey - the prettiness and durability of this product comes at a cost. It is considerably more expensive than either MAC or MUFE.

* Small size - I just wish this was bigger in size - that's my only beef - aside from the slightly high price!!

MAC - 15 eyeshadow palette

I don't really want to review the MAC 15 eyeshadow palette because I think most people know this. I did add the measurements for completeness and so you can see how they compare to the other palettes in size. Excuse the daggy stickers - I got bored one day and well... yeah I regret it now!

I took out the plastic insert for the eyeshadows so I could put whatever I wanted into this MAC palette. I have no idea how much this retails for in US or Australia because I just bought this online for about $15- 20 Australian. I imagine it is about $40 RRP in Australia.

Size comparison - all three palettes lined up.

Personally, I don't really want to give a rating for these palettes. Each serves a distinctly different purpose for me so all have their good and bad points. I cannot say I would want just one type of palette.

UNII - I would use for travel and to store my makeup in my handbag on a day to day basis. The depth is enough for you to also insert brushes etc into the palette so it really is perfect for travel.

MAC - Good, sleek plastic design. No mirror but hey, I label my shadows there. I like the size of this palette for travel but have no idea if my shadows would all smash if I travelled with this. I think if I had left the plastic insert in the palette it would make the shadows less likely to shatter. I don't regret removing the plastic insert because I like putting things that are all different sizes in there.

MUFE - Great large palette. I depotted my Ben Nye, Tarte and Urban Decay eyeshadow colours into this and I really love having all the colours there. My eyeshadows that are in larger more cumbersome palette, I find I "forget" I had the them and don't use it as much. Now Ben Nye, Tarte and Urban Decay all get the consideration they deserve when I decide what colours I use for the day! Not good for travel but great for organisation and my make up desk.

Hope this review has been informative for you!

Over and out



jojoba (My Makeup Reviews) said...

that's ridiculous!!! I won't buy a thing from this company knowing this was what you went through.They are unprofessional IMO and it will only ruin MUFE's name. I recommend you to forward this link to MUFE in NYC, seriously. The NYC store has always been good with its customer service and the real MUFE people need to know about how another online etailer is destorying their reputation by doing this. you know very well that I am just about the biggest MUFE fan that's ever existed.:) I am gutted by what happened to you. I wouldn't buy a thing MUFE if I were you. However, I really don't want you to be shy away from this awesome brand as its products are fantastic and reliable. It's who handled this brand in this part of the world's killing its name, and you have to warn the company.

MUFE didn't do well here and withdrew itself out of Australia and now this. I don't blame them moving out as makeup in general is overpriced here and so it's not as an in-thing as in other countries. But having crap customer service as such is just unthinkable.

I feel for you. and if you move on, I totally understand.


BV said...

Thanks Jojoba. Do you know that your reviews of MUFE got me interested in their products? I seriously ADORE their Star Powders and wish I could buy more. I might have to go back to Media Makeup for another run at this... mind you they are $32 Australian each!

I noticed that they have colours that are not available on the Sephora website - some of the older colours that is. I may order again just to see what they do service wise this time!!

I almost always buy makeup online - I can tell between the poorly wrapped and the well wrapped. I think the original SA was so shocked by not fufilling my order they rushed it by just quickly wrapping it and sending it off. They did reimburse me for the $11.30 and they sent me a cosmetics bag. The thing is, I had to do a whole lot of emailing to sort it out. Lesson learned!

Thanks for commenting!

jojoba (My Makeup Reviews) said...

i just spotted their new GOLD collection with lots of star powder. OMG! i found someone in NYC to check them out in the store for me. wait for my updates!

BV said...

OMG I'm getting excited!!!! I did a google search just now and while I can't see any swatches I did read that it was based on Klimt! Talk about inspired... I'm really curious about it now.

Thanks for letting me know.

KeLLStaR said...

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the MUFE palettes. :(

A quick question, I was wondering how much it cost for the 3 UNII palettes to be shipped to Australia?

BV said...

Hi Kellstar
It was so long ago - maybe $15-$20 US? It was a promo deal at the time.


farah said...

could you place MAC eyeshadows in MUFE palette?

BV said...

Hi Farah

You could put anything in the MUFE palette because it is not limited to size.

KeLLsTaR said...

Hey BV, just wanted to say a belated thanks for your reply. I got a UNII Palette (the same colour as yours actually) on a promo deal in December & it's really cute. Have a great week! :D

BV said...

Nice work KeLLstar! The UNII palette are the most expensive but the cutest and probably the sturdiest of the bunch.
Toodles - you have a great week too.

spongeee said...

Awesome post!
I was trying to see a difference in the inside depth. I was just wondering if the UNII palette is 1 cm height or if the inside is 1cm. I have a benefit bronzer that I wanna put in!


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Harsh but fair. NC 25-30 with problem oily skin. Fighting both pimples and wrinkles is a TOUGH job. I hope my reviews help. Still looking for the "perfect" beauty products for me. Unfortunately for me but fortunately for the beauty industry, this quest is unlikely to be over soon.