From the very beginning, we made a commitment to our students that we would provide them with the best tools available and not compromise on quality. Today we stand by our commitment and continue to build our line of cosmetics with the same integrity we started with over twenty years ago.


MADE IN  THE USA - BATCH BY BATCH: At a time of economic uncertainty, in a world and marketplace dominated by large corporations, it is nice to know that there are still independent companies who put the needs of their customers, partners and employees first. While most cosmetic companies are owned by large conglomerates or investment groups, Make-up Designory is one hundred persent independent. Although independence can be limiting, it allows us to make the best possible products at affordable prices.

In 1997, MUD was created by a few friends who had a passion for make-up education. With a couple of classrooms and a handful of students, MUD was on the verge of becoming something big. As we outgrew our small school in North Hollywood, California, our needs for our own branded cosmetics line also grew.

NO Animal Testing:
Mud products are never tested on animals. The reality is that no colour cosmetics need to be tested on animals to determine toxicology and safety.

" It is an antiquated form of testing and laws such as the European Cosmetic Directive forbid it. When it comes to animal testing there is some confusion regarding China. While China does not require products produced in China to be tested on animals, it does require products imported into China to be tested on animals. We will never produce our product in China, so for this reason, we do not sell our products there.

THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS: The way in which products are manufactured is crucial to the way they will perform. As with baking, having the correct ingredients does not mean the finished product will bear the same results each time. Therefor, we do rigorous testing of each batch. We look for formulation integrity, and also ensure the product does what it is supposed to do. Once a batch is approved, the composition is used to make the individual products. During the assembly phase the products are carefully examined and thoughtfully place in their appropriate packaging. The final step is to send the finished product to a third-party lab for micro-testing. The five day test guarantees the product has not been contaminated. One the batch passes the micro, a certificate of analysis is produced and the product is ready to be sold.

THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: We developed out first product over 15 years ago. Not surprisingly we started with cream foundations, the staple of any professional make-up artist. We needed a system that worked for our educators, matched any skin tone, and could withstand the demands of professional environments - from the runway to film and television - as well as weddings and everyday sue.

Since the first product was developed, not mush has changed. We continue to develop product based on the needs of our larger MUD family. While the demand for particular products originally came from our educators, calls for new product now come from students, artists, our retailers and our family of MUD studios and Partner Schools.

When we receive a request for a new product it goes through an assessment period. The first step is to determine where the product fits in to the existing line and whether there is a long-term need for the item. Packaging research begins shortly thereafter, along with marketing strategies. Sometimes the requests are simple. For example a new eye colour can be produces in a couple of months. Other times we are asked to develop new categories of products with new ingredients. These new product categories can take up to a year to bring to market. In all cases, we must determine that a quality product can be made within the restrictions of the price level.

Once a product is cleared for development, we begin working with chemist to create the formula and develop the first production samples. We start with a base formula and then proceeds to shade matching.

Next comes the sampling phase. We approach all product development from the perspective of a make-up artist. All products must perform at a professional level and the only way to determine if it will pass these standards is to survey it throughout our schools. The sampling phase can take up to six months.

Once the formula, shades and packaging have been approved, we begin the testing phase. Compatibility, stability and challenge tests are performed by a third party lab. These test determine whether the product is compatible with the packaging, how stable and long of a shelf life it will have and its preservative efficacy. If a product fails any of these test we go back to the development process and begin the sampling and testing again. Once the new product has passed the testing phase we submit a substantial amount of documentation to our European compliance consultants, who register the product with the European Union.

NOT ALL COSMETICS ARE CREATED EQUAL: At MUD we produce our cosmetics with high-quality ingredients, always focusing on the balance between the two primary elements, pigment and vehicle. Pigment gives the product the colour and vehicle makes it move. The higher the pigment concentration, the longer the product will last. We don't use excessive fillers to cut costs we create a product that last.

The price and quality of the ingredients are the primary cost factors associated with the product. Beyond these ingredients, the quantity used also figure into the cost. The next factor is the size of the manufacturing run and eventually, the packaging. Not only does our packaging reflect the quality if our products, it is appeasing to both consumers and professionals because we truly understand the need to cater to both markets.

SKIN CARE: For a make-up company skin care represents a unique challenge but also an opportunity. While most skin care is designed with active ingredients in mind, we design skin care to complement the make-up application and removal process. For us, preparing the face "canvas" is a must. Safely removing the make-up is as important as preparing the face. Rich ingredients and moisturising properties are enough to ready the face for make-up. While colour and strong active ingredients are not a concern in the process, we still need to be mindful of the production mixture, ensuring that the viscosity is correct.

Good cosmetics are created batch by batch. We have been fortunate to watch over the creation of a cosmetic line with passion and conviction for the product and the make-up artist and consumer. With quality and purpose in mind we look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.


VISCOSITY: Another important element to consider in the development process is viscosity, which refers to the amount of flow a product has. Lipsticks and other cream products have high viscosity, while items such as liquid foundations have low viscosity. Lotions and lip glazes fall in the middle.

Suspending pigment in a cream foundation is mush different than creating a dry product. When developing a product, we must get the vehicle or the cream that carries the colour right before we can think about colour. Once the pigment has been mixed and refined, the colour is introduced to the vehicle nd the two are mixed together. The mixing process can be a challenge, because the product is mixed in heated vessels and then moved along a heated path to the container or jar. Often you will see swirls in the product. this is perfectly normal and just illustrates the drying product.

Suspending pigment in a liquid product is also a challenge. The pigment is normally heavier than the vehicle, which gives the product the ability to spread. However, the heavier the pigment and the lighter the vehicle the more you will see settling. Anyone who has ever painted a wall is familiar with this process. As paint sits, the pigment settles. With enough time the pigment can become a solid mass. The same principle applies to make-up. For example, a liquid make-up with al lighter vehicle will normally experience some settling and will need to be shaken prior to use. A lip glaze, on the other hand, has mush thicker viscosity and suspends the pigment more effectively.

IT's ALL ABOUT THE PRESS: Pressed products, such as eye and cheek colours, contour powders and dual finish powders, share a common process. At the centre of that process is a machine that applies enough pressure to form thousands of individual granules into a solid mass. The press must be hard enough to prevent the product from cracking or crumbling, yet light enough to allow the product to be transferred to a brush.

Pigments vary from shade to shade, which can alter the amount of pressure used to form the product. For example, shades that contain a large amount of pearl tend to crack easily. To achieve that perfect balance between pressing the product to hard and not hard enough, binder are added to the formula to help keep it together.

Finally a drop test is performed to determine the weight at which the press should be set. The newly pressed product is dropped from a few feet up, if it breaks or cracks the product fails. If it does not break, it passes. Basic, yet effective.


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