I’ve always liked the idea of putting together a custom palette of eyeshadows but couldn’t justify the £10 each at MAC – that would work out to be one bloody expensive palette and, frankly, I haven’t found that all MAC shades are good enough quality to make it worth it. Makeup Geek, on the the other hand, are half the price of MAC and are, largely, excellent. They have a great reputation for a good reason; the majority are well-pigmented, easy to blend, smooth to apply, and really good quality. There’s one MAC shade and three Morphe colours in the palette, but the majority are Makeup Geek (MUG).
Over the last nine months of so, I’ve put together a collection that I use almost everyday, one way or another. It may not look like the most exciting palette, but it’s made up of shades that suit me and my colouring, and that almost all work together. I also think that the swatches show that several of the shades are more different that they look in the pan, especially the browns. It only occurred to me as I was taking the photos for this post, that I’ve arranged them in rows that would work really well as individual palettes of five – apparently I have a colour-coordinating subconscious!
Onto the swatches (this is a long one – grab a biscuit):
MUG Whimsical: one of the foiled shades, this is a bright, super shimmery, silvery pink. Pigmentation is intense but it definitely needs a primer.
MUG Pillowtalk: this is far more lilac on the skin than in the pan, and is has a shimmery silver flash. Not my favourite but good formula.
MUG Cinderella: another one that looks totally different in the swatch, Cinderella is a soft shimmery pink that looks great by itself all over the lid.
MUG Cupcake: a matte cool-toned pink that is less powdery than it looks in the swatch and works surprisingly well in the crease.
MAC Cranberry: the one MAC shade that I couldn’t resist, it’s a warm-toned shimmery cranberry red that can be built up to look far more intense than the swatch.
MUG Mirage: a great almost-matte vanilla shade which is so close to my eyelid colour that it makes a good base.
MUG Shimma Shimma: touted as a dupe for MAC Shroom, I think this is actually prettier. It’s a shimmery champagne which doubles up as a highlighter for pale skin.
MUG Prom Night: I love this one. It’s a grey/purple/taupe that works really well as a wash and does that awesome ‘you’ve only used one shade but looks like you’ve worked really hard’ thing.
MUG Mesmerized: the swatch really doesn’t do this one justice. Another foiled shade, this is a cool deep brown with intense shimmer and a metallic finish.
Morphe Blackberry: this doesn’t have very strong pigment but the dark burgundy with a bit of sparkle brilliant for using as liner with a damp brush – it really brings out the green in my hazel eyes.
MUG Bedrock: a cool-toned matte grey that’s a little chalky but blends out to make a decent crease shade. Not my favourite but not a disaster.
MUG Hipster: this is an odd one. It’s described as a ‘dark sand with slight shimmer’ – I’d say it was a nice cool sandy taupe, satin but with teeny glitter. I like it smudged under my eye.
MUG Ritzy: my one duochrome shadow, this is one of my favourites. It looks green/dirty gold in the pan but swatches as red/green shimmer and turns the brush pink. It’s a bit of a head-messer but oh so pretty.
Morphe Crème Brulée: this is far less pigmented than it looks in the pan but isn’t too chalky. Good for smudging along my lashes (are you sensing a theme yet?).
Morphe Birthday Suit: this is actually one of the most useful shades in the collection so obviously it would be the one I smashed. It’s the perfect cool-toned crease shade that has enough colour pay-off to work but not so much that it’s hard to blend.
MUG Grandstand: this is the foiled shade that people lose their shit over. It’s a bright coppery rose-gold that looks good with my brown eyes but would be amazing on blue eyes.
MUG Taupe Notch: I was really disappointed in this to begin with but it’s become increasingly pigmented the more I’ve used it. It’s a basic-but-useful cool mid-toned satin brown with a hint of shimmer.
MUG Barcelona Beach: this has the potential to be a go-to shade but it has next to no colour pay-off and is really patchy when blended. It’s going to be replaced with something more fun soon…
MUG Preppy: I bloody love this. It’s one of my most recent acquisitions and is a bit of an odd’un. It’s a sandy khaki colour which looks too yellow to work but is actually brilliant. It’s a matte version of MAC Soba – but better.
MUG Cocoa Bear: Last but not least, we have one of the most hyped Makeup Geek shades. It’s a very warm-toned matte reddy brown, which I like but don’t quite love. It’s just not quite pigmented or smooth enough, somehow.
Sorry to end on a bit of a negative! There are really very few shades in here that I consider proper mistakes – only Barcelona Beach, really – and lots that I absolutely love and reach for regularly. I keep mine in a Morphe Magnetic Palette and an Inglot Flexi Palette, but most people go for a Z Palette of some sort. I’d definitely recommend getting a few shades from Makeup Geek, and the Morphe shadows are generally worth a look too, if they have a specific shade you like. Otherwise, maybe go for a big’un…
Have you tried Makeup Geek shadows? Which shades would you recommend?
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