MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches

If you remember my December 2012 Haul Post, you would have seen these cuties. When I placed the order at MUA, I was only going to order Amaretto Crush but ... aham! Anyways, find out in the post how these £1 nail polishes worked for me.

MUA Nail Varnish:
This might be the best thing you see on the Internet yet. (Unless you've been watching cute animal videos on YouTube!) Why?! Because our amazing Nail Varnish retails at just...wait...£1! Changing your nails isn't only the nicest feeling ever, it's also the easiest way to accessorise an outfit as well as adding a little dash of on trend colour. You can wear an all black outfit, but jazz it up with our bright pink in shade 16! You could be wearing a cute pastel dress and want to add to the theme with our gorgeous turquoise pastel in shade 5. The possibilities are endless and our Nail Varnish is long-wearing, chip resistant and well, amazing. We can't even pretend we're not a little smug about this one...

Product Description & Packaging:
This nail polish has a transparent bottle with a black plastic cap. The applicator is the usual one. This nail varnish comes in 32 gorgeous shades. Each bottle contains 6.2ml of product.
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches
(Left-Right) All Nude, Shade 6, 16, 3, Amaretto Crush & Shade 5
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnish - Shade 6
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnish (applicator)

These swatches have been taken on a nail wheel and have no top and base coats to show the exact results using just MUA Nail Varnishes. 

MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes (swatches)
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes (swatches)

Overall Experience:
The packaging and applicator for the price is quite good but the quantity might be an issue for people who are buying these nail varnishes from re-sellers. When I first took these bottles in my hands (sounding like the mommy of these bottles =P), I felt that the grip on the cap would be a problem and the brush applicator would be bigger for precise application. But upon application, I found the grip pretty comfortable and the applicator did a precise job as well. The scent in this varnishes is not irritating but it is not too mild either. You get what you pay for right? I personally don't use nail polishes with irritating scents because I get allergy but these nail polishes worked good for me.

The formula is quite opaque and two coats give full coverage except for shade 5. In my being-lazy-and-a-mommy-case, I prefer to apply one but a bit thick coat to achieve full coverage. One thing that I noticed was, I get tiny bits of clump or bubbles. They are rare and not in every nail polish but when it happens, I have to re-do that nail.

Drying time is also not too much, it takes about 2-3 minutes for the first coat to get completely dry and solid and for the second and third coat, it takes about 4-5 minutes for the nail polish to get completely hard so it won't budge if my nails touch anything.

As for longevity on these nail varnishes, without any top and base coat, they last on my nails for good 4-6 days (2-3 coats) and my daily routine includes; cleaning, washing, cooking etc. I have noticed in almost every nail varnish I tried, that single coat lasts the longer and really sticks to the nail. Adding a top coat increases the wear time to extra one or two days.

Continues use of nail polish without a base coat definitely stains (make them yellow-ish) no matter which nail polish you use but if I talk about these nail polishes on occasional bases, I did not notice any staining.

These are also easy to remove with a nail varnish remover but darker shades are always a bit tricky for me. I just take a clean cotton pad at the end, pour some remover and quickly wipe all the nails and fingers.

Being budget friendly is also another plus point of MUA Nail Varnishes especially if you are able to avail MUA's discount offers.

Shade selection for me was a bit tricky but staying at the safe side I ordered some shades by looking at the swatches on web which I have found always helpful. But still, I thought Amaretto Crush would be a nude shade but it looks exactly the same as you can see in the swatch above. It is more like a rusty shade. My personal favorite among all these shades are shade 6, 16, 5 & Amaretto Crush.

Overall, I am in love with these nail polishes and I literally could not dislike them even for that rare clump/bubble problem. I am indeed really happy with my purchase. I really like to buy mono shades as I can mix them up to create new shades and I love layering shimmery/glittery top coats on mono shades.

MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes - Review & Swatches
MUA - Makeup Academy Nail Varnishes

To Summarize:


  • Nicely pigmented.
  • Cute and sturdy packaging.
  • Applicator works fine.
  • Scent is not too irritating for this price.
  • Comes in lots of shades.
  • Drying and wearing time is good enough.
  • Formula is quite opaque resulting in less usage of product.
  • Does not stain nails.
  • Budget friendly.
  • Rare tiny clump and bubble problem.
Cost & Availability:
Each Nail Varnish costs £1 on MUA - Makeup Academy's website and is available in 32 shades. MUA currently accepts payments via PayPal only, therefore their shipment is limited to the countries where PayPal works. It is also available in drugstores. For Pakistan, you can get these from

Have you tried MUA's Nail Varnishes? Which one is your favorite shade? Check out my reviews on MUA's other range here. You can also have a look at my reviews on more nail polishes here.

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