Medusa Make Up – A Review

Monday Phyrra suggested I check out Medusa MakeUp.  I had to laugh because I had JUST placed an order with them!  I had actually noticed them reading my latest issue of Nylon, although they have been in a TON of magazines including Alternative Press (AP), which I’ve been reading for over a decade.  Medusa was a name I recognized, they’ve been around since 1992.  Medusa is also available in stores all over the world.  While they do sell mineral makeup, I’m not sure I would go so far as to call them a mineral makeup company.

Ordering

Medusa sells a wide variety of products.  Eye dusts, glitter, pressed shadows, body shimmer, blush, brushes, bags, gloss, liners and a wide range of fixatives.  The site is bright and well organized.  It’s full of images of women in bright, imaginative makeup.

One thing that bothered me is the cart, run by Paypal, opens on a totally different page.

Most of the products (the Eye Dusts and Blushes for example) are all posted on a page with a black background with no color descriptions.  I think the only thing I found with any description was the glosses.

The prices were very reasonable, nothing was insanely overpriced, the Eye Dusts were 6$ which is really a competitive price for a loose shadow.

I ended up ordering:

Eye Dusts in Tiger, Red Baron, Purple Rain, Flamingo, and Helter Skelter

Mascara in Majestic

Gloss in Loverboy

Blush in Dangerous Liaison

A small cosmetics bag

Shipping

I ordered late on November 15 and my order arrived on November 18th.  Shipping is free on orders over 50$.  Everything was packaged very carefully in a bubble mailer.  Most of the items were packaged in small bags with information about the makeup included on the back of a product card.

Included was my invoice as well as a really cute Medusa Makeup sticker with their logo on it as well as a brochure.

Packaging

The packaging, featuring bold images and black and hot pink is eye catching. It’s original and creative and so bright.  It’s all pink everywhere.

The shadows come in stackable 5gram jars, minus the sifters and jam packed with product, so you could possible screw them all together, which personally appeals to me.  The mascara is in a bold black and pink tube and the gloss is in a really unique squared tube.  The blush I ordered is so eye catching.  It’s in a clear jar and the lid is domed and rimmed in bright pink.  The pressed shadows, which I didn’t get, sort of look like MAC shadows on the website, in black jars with clear domed lids.

Product / Colors

From top to bottom, left to right : Loverboy, Dangerous Liaison, Tiger, Red Baron, Purple Rain, Flamingo, Helter Skelter

Bottom row : Grape POP!, Pink, Blackstar Blue

The Eye Dusts
Oh, the Eye Dusts.  The swatches on the site are simply amazing.  Bright and shocking.  But not all of them have descriptions, so you really have to hope the colors on your monitor are right.

Tiger – I was expecting a nice bright orange, and it was what I got.

Red Baron – Am I crazy for expecting a red shadow?  It was more of a deep pink.  (By the way, if anyone knows of someplace I can get a nice true red mineral shadow, for the love of Dave, please tell me.)

Purple Rain – Sucked in by the Prince reference, I picked this one because it was bright.  Swatching it I realized with a bit of sadness I already had it.  It’s a match to Grape Pop! from TKB.

Flamingo – Again, on the site it looks BRIGHT pink, but in person it’s very soft.  And again, I found out I already had it in TKB’s Pink.

Helter Skelter – Can you see where this is going?  It was a match to TKB’s Blackstar Blue.

This in no way means they are simply repacking directly from TKB (or any other site, there are a dozen places to get mica wholesale), since two of their shades were not available on the TKB site.  It would have been more damning had I been able to match them ALL.  So while I know several were matches, I’m going to assume they sell a mix of unblended shades as well as original colors.  Nowhere on the site do they claim to custom formulate their makeup, though, so it’s a non issue to me since they don’t reply on it as a selling point.  However, they are NOT straight mica.  The Eye Dusts are made with a titanium dioxide blend, turning them from mica into an actual eyeshadow with blend-ability and staying power.

When Phyrra emailed asking if they make their own products they replied :

The majority of our products, eye dust, glitter, body shimmer/blush, lip gloss are all made in our Chicago facility.
Sincerely,
staff @
Medusa’s Make-Up

The Mascara

I picked the purple.  I am very predictable that way.  I already have a lovely purple mascara from Lauder, but I’m always willing to try a less expensive alternative.  This formula is waterproof and volumizing, just like it claims to be.  However the purple is a very light shade, so unless you’re looking for it, you might expect that I just have some regular mascara on, the tint is that subtle.

The Gloss

Loverboy is described as intense pink with a bubblegum flavor.  It’s a nice pink, but I wouldn’t call it intense.  I always wonder, though, if my idea of intense is different then most peoples because I am used to bright colors?  It’s however a very lovely Barbie pink that I will enjoy wearing.  I like the formula, it’s not sticky and it’s quite opaque, but I’m not getting a bubblegum flavor from it.

I’m sure there are many dupes out there available for the gloss, and at 9$ a tube this might be the only product I might suggest you find one for.  I might suggest Sephora’s Sweet Candy Gloss if you really want a flavored gloss, or maybe even something like Hard Candy if you’re looking for a drug store alternative.

The Blush

I adore the packaging.  It’s really cute and innovative.  The color, Dangerous Liaison, is a nice clear pink.  It’s not quite as bright as some of the other shades I own, but it’s also not ‘dusty’ so it’s a good alternative for a “less is more” look.  I suspect, however, it’s basically just the same blend as the eyeshadow, just mixed with a higher ratio of the base.

The Bag

It’s a bag.  Ummmm.  It’s a cute little transparent bright pink bag with the company logo.

Conclusion

Would I buy from Medusa Makeup again?  I might.

  • I didn’t try the pressed shades, so I wonder what those might be like.
  • I am willing to take a chance on a few of the other Eye Dusts.  I’ll look more carefully, though, knowing the pictures are not as accurate as I thought they were.  They are not prohibitively expensive that it would be too great of a waste.
  • I love the concept and the packaging, the bright colors and all the extras they sell, including brushes.

Phyrra has a couple of looks using Medusa here and here and a ton of swatches here. We’ve come to the conclusion your swatches may be brighter using TFSI rather then the UDPP that I used for my swatches.

Overall: /5

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18 Responses to “Medusa Make Up – A Review”

  1. That blush is so beautiful! Does it stay well and blend well on your skin?

    Hmm…perhaps this for a red shadow: http://www.fyrinnae.com/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=155 (It doesn’t stain on me, and I’m very pale)

    • It blends well, as for staying on I haven’t had it on all that long to be able to tell, but it’s still there 🙂

      Wow. That is a great red. I know I ordered a Pro shade from them in my last order, but I can’t remember now what it was and I can’t seem to figure out where to find that information…

    • You beat me to it! I was going to recommend Fyrinnae’s Bite Me. I have the sample (though I use it enough that I need to get a full size), and I absolutely love it. It’s a great true red, one of the few I’ve been able to find (most reds read as too dark, or too pinkish to me to be called a “true” red).

  2. I’ve always had good luck with Medusa’s Makeup – here’s the breakdown of the colors I have for your future reference:

    Passion is a bright hot shimmery pink, I think that’s probably what you were looking for in Flamingo.
    Big Bird is a really pretty, BRIGHT yellow that’s less shimmery and a little more flat.
    Agent Orange is actually not very orange at all (yeah, they could probably work on their names, haha), but is a really really pretty and very wearable sort of…orangey pink? salmon, almost? it looks more orange in some lights than in others, but is never ORANGE orange. it’s my favorite.
    Those I’ve never had any trouble getting a pretty high opacity with, especially if I applied wet. I’ve also got Atlantis, which is a shimmery, silvery blue, and needs built up a little more to get opaque.

    I’ve got their stick/pencil eyeliner, which is pretty basic black eyeliner but I like it because my eyes are RIDICULOUSLY sensitive and so I’ve had to be very careful about what eyeliners I use – MM’s doesn’t irritate my eyes. And I have their pressed shadow in Electro Kiwi – TBH I was never really impressed with it, it goes on very light and takes a lot of build up to get anywhere…but that might just be the color, since it’s such a neon green, and since I’m so pale.

    I might have a dig around and see if I can find some photos of me wearing the different shades I described so you can get a better idea…

    • Wow, thanks so much for adding your input to the review!

      • Oh, no problem! Just thought it might be helpful if you were considering buying any of those shades, yanno?

        ok, so, here is Atlantis:

        August 07

        this is Passion:

        half/half (Sept 08)

        (those were supposed to be photos of my hair at the time, which is why it’s not up close…)

        After trying to find other photos and giving up, I just swatched them on the back of my hand for you, but the lighting outside right now is realllly crappy and my camera likes to misbehave under indoors lights, so. No pictures. : / Atlantis and Passion are even more shimmery than I remembered, almost metallic; Big Bird is more shimmery than I remembered but not near as much as the other two, and Agent Orange is more of a duochrome (I think is the word?) than anything.

        This is off topic, but have you tried Wet and Wild lately? I picked up some new lipsticks at the grocery store yesterday, because I’d been wanting to try some new colors but didn’t want to buy the more expensive ones if I wasn’t going to wear the colors, and I’m quite pleasantly surprised…I remember their lipsticks being very very waxy and quite crappy overall, and they’re much nicer now!

  3. The pressed eyeshadows are repackaged…there are several other companies that sell the exact same ones.

    I do like the packaging on the blushes

    • I figured a few of her items were private label.

      • Can’t even begin to name how many retailers play off those glittery pressed powders—BITCHSLAP COSMETICS ESPECIALLY!!!!

        They’re made by a cosmetics company called LadyBurd cosmetics. They will slap their logo on their premade products.

  4. For red, seriously, Aromaleigh.
    She has several reds in her rocks line.
    Iseered, Helterskelter, and Vampira are my favorites.

    I do have all of my Medusa’s Makeup swatches in one place, let me know what you think:
    http://frescophyrra.blogspot.com/2009/11/medusas-makeup-swatches-and-thoughts.html

    • I think I have some of her reds, but I don’t think they were what I as looking for…. I’ll have to go back and look.

      Would you agree the swatches on the site are a little off from what you get?

      • Yep. I didn’t trust the swatches on the Medusa’s site, so I went elsewhere to find swatches. Bella Koola’s swatches helped me most recently:
        http://bellakoola.wordpress.com/medusas-makeup/

        But I also watched a youtube video with swatches of all the colors.

        I actually really like Pink Cadillac & Flamingo. Pink Cadillac is very bright to me.

        Vampira is the one I wear the most and it’s a darker red. But Iseered and Helterskelter are pretty good from my perspective.

        It used to be when I wanted red eye shadow I had to wear my MAC Paint in Flammable. Now, I use that for a base and then put on one of the Aromaleigh reds and I’m happy. I think I do have the Fyrinnae pro red shade too, and it’s really nice as well.

        As usual, I really love your review btw 🙂

  5. I have golden boy and flamingo, as well as Liberace glitter. I got these FOREVER ago at a local shop on 4th avenue here, for $8, before I was even really into makeup =D
    I like them, though I do wish they had some more complex colors, but what they do have is great and I do LOVE the packaging, the logo is brilliant and looks amazing.

  6. My fav true red is not a mineral shadow but still inexpensive and UBER pigmented. I’ve tried many, many mineral reds but the best one I’ve found so far is NYX Sunrise. I loves it! To make it extra red I use their cherry jumbo eye pencil underneath and primer too

  7. I actually have ALL of the pressed shadows from medusa’s makeup – they were selling them as a palette pack a few years ago and i ordered it, because i was just getting into colourful makeup and all at the time and thought it was a good investment, especially since i was kind of wary of loose powder.
    heres them swatched for you – this is my first time doing this so i hope this is alright 😛
    http://i50.tinypic.com/95yoia.jpg – flash
    http://i50.tinypic.com/kbuipu.jpg- no flash
    l-r: red, orange, yellow, kiwi, green, turquoise, blue, indigo, pink, purple, black, and white
    there isnt any natural light because its 3am so.. yeah 😛
    no bases, white might be a bit misrepresented because i use it the most so there was a lot more loose powder on the brush.
    to Michelle: kiwi is my least favourite out of all them because it honestly shows up the exact same as yellow. Very disappointing. :\

  8. I actually loved my medusa’s makeup pigments after I pressed them with coastal scent’s mixing medium-they got alot better that way IMO.

    Red Baron is a great shimmery dupe of bold n brash pigment by MAC.