A staple in my beauty site Rolodex since around 2007, MakeupAlley is a multifaceted website with something to offer all of their readers, regardless of demographic. It’s a consumer reports of sorts as well as an online community of (mostly) women who love beauty and fashion.
Their “About Us” section describes the site as follows:
“MakeupAlley was launched in 1999 as a small community of beauty consumers. Since then it has grown into one of the largest beauty social networks and information portals on the web. On MakeupAlley you can connect with thousands of other consumers through our message boards, user generated product reviews, MUA mail and other interactive tools.”
I most frequent the beauty product reviews which have surely saved me many dollars and beauty mishaps over the years. Members of the MakeupAlley community (you have to register as a member to take full advantage of the site…don’t worry, they don’t bombard you with emails) log on to rate and discuss their favorite and least favorite beauty products. Some well known products have thousands of reviews for you to sift through. ProActiv has 3,023 reviews and interestingly enough, only 35% of reviewers would re-purchase. I and most of my friends fall into the other 65%. How the hell do they keep paying their celebrity spokespersons?!
Each member has a profile which lists their beauty product relevant description: Age, eye-color, hair-color, skin-type, hair texture etc. This helps you decide whether to take their advice on a product, for example, I’m a 26 year old brunette with fair and oily skin. Therefore, I’m not going to run out and buy the facial moisturizer that a 50 year old dry-skinned member is raving about, no matter how amazing her skin may look (yes, there are user-pictures…yay! More on that below.).
I was relieved to find that MakeupAlley members agree with me on another cult beauty classic…
This stuff Bloooowws! Much to my dismay, important fashion and beauty magazines continue to list this product as a makeup must-have and I just don’t get it. It’s watery; it adds no volume and no length to my lashes. The best defense of this product that I’ve read is that professional makeup artists love it because it goes on very thinly to darken and coat false lashes. Well I don’t know about my readers, but I don’t wear false lashes on a regular basis and my naturals sure as hell won’t be fooling anyone for falsies. So no Great Lash for me. Makeup Alley members agree…out of 4,689 reviews, only 25% would repurchase. Suck on that, important magazines. But still hire me.
Now, in the spirit of positivity let’s move onto some products that rock. An alternate, inexpensive drug-store mascara that Makeup Alley (and I) love is…
Cover Girl Lashblast, one of the great new mascara successes as of late! Having the super-cool, ever evolving, interesting-celebrity-dating-track-record (remember Tom Green?)-wielding Drew Barrymore as a spokesperson doesn’t hurt, but this really is a great mascara! It’s inexpensive (around $8); it darkens, lengthens, thickens AND holds curl! Like any other mascara, it needs to be replaced after a couple of months, but at $8 a pop it’s very affordable to do so. Makeup Alley verdict: With 3,973 reviews, 65% of members would repurchase, which is actually a pretty high percentage by Makeup Alley (MUA for short) standards, especially for a makeup product.
Not just limited to makeup products, MUA reviews skincare and hair care products, anti-aging and plastic surgery treatments, beauty tools, nail polishes and more! I discovered Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque via MUA and it is a miracle product that had been sneakily lurking on my drugstore’s shelves for years before I was turned onto its mysterious ways.
It smells very nice, it dries up pimples, blackheads and oil like a charm, it can be used as an overnight spot-treatment and even on your neck, chest, back or any other acne prone areas without over drying your skin. The only slight pitfall is the “after-scent”. It leaves behind a slight sulfur smell that is a tad unpleasant…but trust me the pros are totally worth that one pesky con. Oh! And maybe the best feature of all, it’s $3 for 8oz of product! This one bottle will last you months. The MUA verdict, you ask? Of 3,647 reviews…81% of members would re-buy. That’s a monumental percentage in MUA land.
For those of you with larger beauty budgets than mine, this site has tons of reviews on high-end luxury products too, which may make this site even more valuable asset to you! If you buy a $24 mascara from Bobbi Brown that ends up stinking it up once you get it home, you’re going to be deeper in the hole than me and my $8 mascara from Rite Aid.
Along with beauty reviews, MUA offers different boards for members to discuss various topics of their choice, post personal photos of their latest “hauls”, hair styles, exercise results etc., ask for more details on certain products and more. You can even “swap” products with other members via mail. Check out some pics I lifted from various boards. They’re inspirational!
Image one of a MUA-er’s eyeshadow stash, posted on the FOTD (photo of the day) board…to be continued below…
Part two of the eyeshadow collection, this lady is either a makeup artist or slightly nuts. Or maybe an impulsive buyer. Either way, I feel slight envy.
This member changed her nail polish 15 times in the month of February..obsessive much? Although this is one of the more elaborate designs, the others were pretty detailed as well. She’s got a lot of polish and time on her hands. But I’m not hating…do you. You do it well.
So fresh and fun for Spring! These nails are a breath of fresh air and a little more attainable than the aforepictured nails.
Some members will share their look of the day, I like the young lady’s above. She listed this as her “lazy-day” makeup look. This makes me feel like quite the underachiever but inspires me to step my shit up at the same time, so I’ll take it. She’s lovely, no? Great hair, eyebrows, bold smokey-eye, not too subtle but still subtle lipstick…and I’m willing to bet she’s a natural knock-out underneath it all. Go girl!
I hope I’ve made a tantalizing case as to why you should visit MakeupAlley PRONTO! Whether you budget hundreds or singles on your beauty routine, this website will help you fish through the thousands of products out there to choose from and also help you maximize the potential for what you already have…in your makeup drawer, your imagination and your mirror! Happy Grooming.