I am not a huge fan of compact powders because most of them tend to exaggerate the texture on my skin, but do not mind using one as a contour if the shade is deep enough for my skin tone. Until a few years back, most brands available in India marketed their shimmery bronzers as contour powders, which is why using a compact that was a number of shades deeper than my skin tone was the only solution I could think of at that time.
Luckily, we now get a few decent contouring products from brands such as Sugar Cosmetics and Wet n Wild, but I recently got to try out a dark-toned pressed powder as a contour purely by chance. I received the Makeup Academy MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder in the shade Cocoa as a free sample with my order from HOK makeup, and here are my thoughts on this product.
The Packaging of the MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder
The MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder comes in a pretty basic plastic packaging that is white in colour with a semi-transparent lid and no mirror. That being said, it is not so flimsy that it would break after a single soft fall. The pan is pretty huge though and it will take you several months to hit pan on the product even if you use it daily. While there is nothing fancy about the packaging, I personally do not mind it being quite basic since MUA is an affordable drugstore brand and the price of this product in the UK is £2.50 only, which is excellent value for money.
The formula of the MUA Pro-Base Pressed Powder is quite smooth, richly pigmented and blendable. If you are planning to use it all over your face as a compact powder then it will provide you a medium to full coverage on its own without looking cakey. Since I use a darker shade as a contour, I like to blend it to a sheerer finish which works fine too if I use a small amount of the product.
The brand describes the finish as a satin matte, which I quite agree with, as it goes on almost completely matte on my face but does have a soft sheen to it which ensures that it doesn’t look too flat. The product does have some kickback to it in the pan but it is not significant when you compare it to something like the Wet n Wild Contouring Palette that has a lot of kickback every time you go into the pan with a brush.
The Ingredients of the MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder
The MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder is a vegan product that is free of talc. It does, however, contain Mica as the first ingredient, and there are currently a lot of concerns being raised about how the mining of mica is unsafe for the workers, which even include children in some countries. That being said, I am not sure how the brand Makeup Academy sources their Mica because they are a cruelty-free and ethical brand in most regards. The formula also contains parabens (which I personally do not mind) and Caprylyl Methicone to give a smooth finish to the texture of the product.
List of Ingredients
Mica, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Caprylyl Methicone , Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499.
The Shade Range
The MUA Pro-Base Pressed Powder is available in 12 different shades on the brand’s website which range from fair to deep and span across warm and cool undertones. The shade Cocoa is a slightly cool-toned chocolate brown which is a little too deep and cool as a contour shade for my NC35 skin tone, but I can make it work if I use the tiniest amount of product and blend it well.
I think that the shade range is quite decent, but I am not sure how many of these shades would be easily available in India. Like I mentioned, I got this product as a free sample from HOK Makeup but it doesn’t seem to be in stock on the website at the moment. Keep an eye on HOK if you are wanting to grab this one!
My Final Verdict on the MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder
Aside from the lack of info regarding the source of the Mica used in the product, there is nothing else that truly bothers me about the MUA Pro Base Pressed Powder from Makeup Academy. It is not even a problem specific to this brand or product though, because most powder-based products contain either Mica or Talc or both, and I would love to hear your opinion on the matter. Performance-wise, this pressed powder is lovely and I really like its smooth finish, bendability, and rich pigmentation. If you do not mind the ingredients then I will recommend this product to you for its finish and even coverage.