|Left: MAC Club|
Right: MUA Shade #12
MAC Club is one of my all-time favourite colours. Described by MAC as a "red-brown with green pearl", it consistently scores highly on blogger and review sites. It's a dream to apply. It blends out well. It wears well. It's a fabulous all-in-one shadow that you can wear lightly during the day, or more densely for a darker and more smouldering colour, with or without a darker colour in the crease. I love it for a smokey eye. If I am short on time (when applying makeup) or space (when packing it), I will bring just one shade, this one. It's a duochrome, so it's got more than one shade in it. What that means is that you can use it (on a flat brush) on the lid, and it will appear grey-green-teal-ish. Then blending it into the crease brings out the warmer red-brown base to the shadow (a combination of the blending-out and the different angle that the light is going to hit it on your face gives this different effect). Because it's got this warm red-brown undertone, I don't need a separate warm shade to blend-out the crease (I usually reach for either MAC Cork, Saffron, Swiss Chocolate, Saddle or some other warm brown).
So I can get the appearance of two or three shades blended together, just from one shadow. Lastability-wise, it can fade after a few hours on me, so it will last for longer over a primer, and if you choose a more teal or green shade primer, you'll bring out the green tones of the shadow. This shadow and I go far back and I would never be without it.
Enter MUA's extremely budget-conscious dupe, their Number 12 pearl shadow. At about €1.50, it's just about eight times cheaper. Or thereabouts. For a larger amount of product too, I might add (MUA 2.0g v MAC 1.5g). But how does it compare?
It's pretty much the exact same shadow except it's like a more obviously amped-up version. As you can see from the fuzzy image above, it's greener when unblended, it blends out (see the edges in the image above) about the same amount as Club. It's got the same green overtones and same warm brown undertones as Club. It's very slightly softer in terms of texture, and the finished effect is slightly more chunky and frosted than the MAC shade, which is more of a subtle shimmer (so if you have dry lids or more mature eyes, Club is going to suit you better). I think the MUA offering is a much nicer shadow actually, and I will continue to use it very happily.
Wearability-wise, it lasted longer than Club - but - it did crease a bit more (as the particles are that bit bigger) than just fading away... the beauty of these duochrome shadows however, is that if they crease, you can pop out a blending brush and blend the creasing away, and they'll still look fine.
Recommended overall? You betcha... but taking the above caveat (dry lids/more mature eyes) into consideration.