Must-Have Mustaev Shadows

AS PROMISED, a more detailed post on the two shadows in yesterday’s LOTRT!

WHAT THAT IS :

Two pressed powder shadows from new-to-me brand MustaeV — which, if you’re not familiar with them, is a Korean beauty brand whose stuff is available … well, not very many places. Right now I’m only seeing it at their own MustaevUSA.com and at CameraReadyCosmetics, which is where I ordered mine. (That’s “Aura” on the left and “Nightmare” on the right.) The line does have a full range of products — liners, palettes, brushes, lip stuff — and is mostly in the higher-middle range of prices ($18 lip gloss, $33 foundation, $20 powder blush). These particular shadows are available in 56 shades on their own site and CRC in a black standalone / single compact for $13, or on CRC as a refill (no compact) for $7. Obvs that’s what I did, since A) I’m super into the whole build-your-own [small] palette thing now, and also CRC has free shipping for orders over $50 (MustaevUSA has no free shipping threshold — it seems to be a flat rate of $6.95).

WHAT’RE THEY LIKE?

The shadows are housed in a pretty easy to open clear plastic clamshell — the usual. Fine for transport, but I wouldn’t let these rattle around in a drawer without putting them in a palette. Oh look, you can clearly and easily see the shade names on the back of the packaging! Oh shit and damnation, that’s because the label is stuck to the PLASTIC PACKAGE, NOT TO THE METAL SHADOW PAN. Wtaf?

The shadows themselves, however, are pretty good! Here’s macro shots of Aura (lavender/hyacinth with strong golden shimmer) and Nightmare (smoky blackened plum-bronze) :

Mustaev eyeshadow in "Aura"

Mustaev eyeshadow in "Nightmare"

I picked these two kinda blindly/randomly — neither Mustaev’s own site nor CRC provides actual product swatches, so I just kinda grabbed two that looked like they might be wearable for me (i.e. not warm-toned) and that didn’t look identical to stuff I’ve already got. Which, success! I’ve had things vaguely similar to Nightmare in the past, I think, but Aura is definitely unique in my collection.

HOW DO THEY DO THO?

Hyacinth-gold “Aura” feels a little stiffer/drier/denser in the pan. It applies okay over bare skin, and is light/airy enough (on my skin tone, anyway) that any creasing doesn’t look too bad. It definitely applies better and is easier to build up when used over primer. The lilac-ish base color is almost overwhelmed by the golden sheen (which is more like something between pearl and metallic, rather than “glittery/sparkly”), but they work really well together to make an interesting complex shade, and one that’s easy to blend and combine with other stuff.

Mustaev eyeshadow in "Aura"

Plum-bronze “Nightmare” feels more velvety/silicone-y in the pan, a good bit softer than “Aura.” It applies quite quite sheerly over bare skin, and is nigh impossible to build up to pan color. Over primer, however, it builds up very nicely indeed, and is also surprisingly easy to blend/sheer out. This one seems to be made up of a variety of mica-type pigmented shimmers, if you know what I mean? Depending on the lighting, it shows up bronze, plum, near-black, with a faint brownish or golden-bronze or plummy sheen. The shimmer in this one is more low key, like a pearly dust, rather than a strong metallic or sparkle. I applied this to my lid and crease with a medium-density fluffy-ish brush, but also just used my finger to really build up the color on my mobile lid — that worked much better for maximum color-packing than any of the brushes I tried, or using a wet brush.

Mustaev eyeshadow in "Nightmare"

AND HOW DO THEY WEAR?

I don’t think I’d ever use these without primer. Maybe “Aura” as an allover lid wash if I’m in a hurry? But they really both need a good primer base to perform well, especially “Nightmare.” Over my basic as hell Wet N Wild primer, these still looked great after seven hours, including a night out, a couple cocktails, and some shenanigans — minimal (if any) creasing or fading was apparent. Woo!

OBLIGATORY ARM SWATCH BONANZA

“Aura” over bare skin then over primer, “Nightmare” over bare skin then over primer (TOLD YOU THERE WAS A BIG DAMN DIFFERENCE). From top, in natural light, coolish interior light, warmer interior light, and crazy-ass fluorescent light.

Mustaev shadows in "Aura" and "Nightmare" over bare skin and over primer.

Mustaev shadows in "Aura" and "Nightmare" over bare skin and over primer.

Mustaev shadows in "Aura" and "Nightmare" over bare skin and over primer.

Mustaev shadows in "Aura" and "Nightmare" over bare skin and over primer.

Bonus swatch video, because of course :

THE VERDICT : PRETTY GOOD! Seven bucks is a decent price for a standard-sized shadow pan of good quality. I feel like many/most ColourPop shades could beat these for ease of application or performance/wear-time without primer (plus they’re only $4/$5 each instead of $7/$13), but I’m quite pleased with these and would definitely consider buying more of them … particularly for shades I couldn’t find elsewhere. (Dybbuk, Pekoe, Silver Medal, and Dust Off might find their way over here at some point.)

Tried anything from this brand? (I hear their brushes are nice!) Gonna? Discuss!