Saturday, March 20, 2010

Part 1: How to use Makeupalley (for beginners/new users!)

(This post started out as a post about swapping & tips, but I started writing more in detail about the website itself. So, the post about swapping will be Part 2. This post will just talk about what makeupalley is, and some useful tools.)

What is makeupalley? Makeupalley is a beauty social networking site. There are users located all around the world all sharing an interest in Beauty. Makeupalley is free of charge and is loaded with helpful advice & information to make shopping for beauty products much easier! There are many things you can do on makeupalley.

If you don't have an account already, create an account by clicking Join Now! on the left sidebar of the homepage. Verify your email.

Get started by clicking "My MUA" at the top of the screen. Then, on the left hand side of the screen, click "Change Profile". Fill in your Name (If you'd like to remain somewhat anonymous, you can put a nickname), Location, Birthday (All of this is optional of course, but recommended) . It also asks for your Hair Color, Hair Type, Hair Texture, Skin Type, Skin Tone, Skin Undertone and eye color. Why?? You ask? Because if you write a review, let's say for a foundation, readers will see what type of skin you have and it will help them relate to your review.. they may notice you have dry skin and they may have dry skin as well. They will better relate to your review than someones review that has oily skin. Or possibly you're looking at reviews for a certain lipstick. You are olive skinned and you see that other reviewers with the same skin coloring rated this lipstick 5 stars. There are many factors why a certain product worked for you and not someone else. It can be your skin type, coloring, etc. Also, If you ask questions in a board, anyone will be able to see what type of skin/hair you have and it will make recommending a product to you easier.

You can view ratings and reviews of products you're interested in by clicking "Product Reviews" at the top of the page and selecting the Category (ex: Eye Shadow, Foundation, etc) the Brand and the Name of the product (ex: Blacktrack Fluidline, Smolder Eye Kohl, Last Blast Mascara, etc).

Then, click Find Products.

You will see a rating (out of 5), the number of reviews for the product, and the Buy back percentage rate (Each reviewer was asked whether they would purchase it again. When more reviewers select Yes, the percentage is high. When more reviewers choose No, the percentage is low. I would consider 70% and higher being a product to consider trying. And, 80-90%, I personally would consider items definitely worth trying. (Based on many reviews of course).

If you would like to see what products have the most reviews, leave the Category, Brand and Product blank and click Find Products.

A bunch of random product reviews will pop up. (This is what came up for me. Yours may be different.) Then, click reviews.

The products with the most reviews will show up. You can do the same for Rating & Buy Again. I only click reviews because if you click ratings, it will list items rated 100% first, and typically it will be a large list of items with 1-10 reviews. I prefer reading reviews with over 100 reviewers. Most of my favorite products were discovered this way! I get questions all of the time saying "How do you know what's good?" "How do you know what to buy?" I never purchase a product without checking the reviews first.

This is what came up after I clicked reviews. The list will be in order from the most reviews to the least. As of this moment, Maybelliene Great Lash Mascara has the most reviews. You can add your own review by clicking "Product Reviews" at the top, and then click "Add a Review" on the left sidebar.

Other than reviews, there is a Forum (Boards) with several topics (Makeup, Nails, Hair, Fitness, Etc) I always post questions in Makeup Boards. They are always extremely helpful! Another tip is, you can research to see if anyone asked the same question you would like to ask. When you click on "Boards" there will be a small search box. Write the general idea of your question. For example, my question is: What is a good blush for a NC40 skin tone? I typed in "NC40 Blush". 

My Results:
I found pages of results! This question has been asked several times by many different users.

Create a question in a board by clicking the category that relates to your Question/Comment and click "Post a Message". Subjects can only be 100 characters long. So if your question exceeds 100 characters, cut it short and place "ROP" (Read on Please) OR "+" at the end and continue your message in the message box. Readers will know to click on your post to read the full question/comment.

There are LOTS of abbreviations for phrases to cut messages short. You can view a list with the meanings by clicking "Abbreviations" at the top on any of the message boards. Here is the direct link:

Any messages or replies you post, will copy to your profile.

Besides the boards & reviews, you can view thousands of members pictures. Lots of members post pictures of products, fotds, etc. I find makeupalley incredibly useful in searching for pictures of products. I always check MUA's member pictures before purchasing a product. For example, I'd like to see pictures of MAC California Dreamin lipstick so I can get a better idea if I'd like to purchase it. Click on "MY MUA" at the top and click on Search (Pictures) on the left sidebar. Type the name of the product in the keywords. You don't always have to be specific. I typed in "california dreamin".

Great Results! I found loads of pictures and swatches.

You can upload your own pictures to your profile and write descriptions so they will be searchable in member photos. You are allowed up to 200 uploads.

You can add any photo/review/board messages/users to your makeupalley favorites by clicking on the little red heart. Anything you favorite will save to your favorites section. Find it by clicking "Favorites" at the top of the screen. You can create groups for your favorites and file them all. You have the option of having your favorites public (will be listed on your profile) or private (only you can see them).

Another fun tool is the Diary! A diary is basically a list where you can keep track of all of your purchases. Add all of the beauty products you purchase, each time you purchase any, and you can keep tabs of how much money you spend on makeup! You don't have to limit your diary to makeup, you can put all of your expenses if you'd like. Click "Diary" at the top of the page, and "Add Entry" on the left sidebar. You can make your diary private (for your personal records) or public (members can search for it, and it will show on your profile). To update your settings, click "Preferences" on the left sidebar.

I just started mine this month! I haven't updated it though in a couple of weeks.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me! You can also contact me on makeupalley via messages. My username is nattyngeorge.

Part 2 of the post is on it's way!


  1. I love Makeupalley! you did such a great in depth coverage of how to navigate through MUA!

  2. Wow, this is amazing! OK I have a really silly question but I don't understand how to use the forums. Like how when other people respond to a thread it shows each response and you have to click on it individually. Some of them have a ton of responses, is there any way to expand it to make it easier to read?

  3. wow this is super informative. i only started swapping a few months ago even though i've had my mua account for years. it's so much fun!! it has saved me so much time and $ when looking up product reviews!

  4. I love makeupalley and this post is so in depth! You did a great job explaining how to use it Natty!

  5. Wow girl, this is such an awesome post!!!! I've been reading MUA forever and ever, but just signed up this year! I'm sure I'll be reading this post again soon enough!

  6. random question: what camera do you use?? i love the quality and i need to go buy a new one!

  7. I always be aware about the last beauty product launched to the market. I really love it. I must to say the beauty products for me are very important because i like to see my self sexy and attractive to the men and i love to feel this sensation.
    To the men i just advice them to buy viagra and then all will be great.

  8. This blog is abosolutely wondeful, i like the new ideas introduced here, it catched my attention since the first time that i saw it. i must to say i usually like the good products specially the ones whic can give a lot of benefits. That is why i am proving
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  9. Pretty, pretty website! It's like a shopping mall, a beauty forum, and friends all in one place. Now girls can ask for recommendations about the best products like those for the face, nails, and even stuff like spa treatments and cosmetic surgery topics. This is the website that has it all!

  10. Its really superb post. Thanks a lot for sharing this information. Keep it up!

  11. really makeupvalley is very useful site for people like me who are conscious about makeup and always want to look good by taking care of their health

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  15. Thanks for the great tips! Any idea how to get my profile picture right side up? I've the edit feature and it seems to work from my end, but then when I go "live" it's rotated again and I look ridiculous. :) love your hair

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