Makeup Geek was one of the very first makeup brands I came across on You Tube. Marlena, who is the founder of Makeup Geek, comes across as just one of the most humble and sincere You Tube personalities out there and she’s also a very talented makeup artist. She prefers to be known as a makeup educator as opposed to a makeup artist and she does the job so well that she makes every single makeup up tip or trick seem like a piece of cake.
After watching this video here and seeing Marlena compare her Makeup Geek eyeshadows to MAC eyeshadows, I was sold. Her “Smackdown” video sees her swatching her eye shadows side by side with the Mac “dupe” equivalent and I was surprised to see that her products stood up well to Mac, who are well renowned for the high quality of their eye shadows. They came out extremely pigmented without much effort and the formulation appeared to be buttery smooth and easy to work with. Some, dare I say, appeared to be even better than the Mac counterpart.
As I was on the hunt for a new eye shadow palette for my kit and wanted one that didn’t cost an arm and a leg and where I could customise the palette and select the exact shades I wanted ( I felt that my Zoeva Nude Matte palette, which I reviewed here, just wasn’t easy enough to work with, you really have to pack on the colour to get any real payoff).
You can imagine my excitement when I saw that the Makeup Geek eye shadows 1) came in a staggering 60 shades and 2) they were a mere $5.99 which is just under £4. Mac eyeshadows cost £10 (for the pan refills, £12.5 for the potted shadows) which is more than double the price! Overwhelmed by gorgeous selection of different shades and finishes, I eventually decided that I would buy 9 eye shadows, enough to fit into a small sized Z palette. You can imagine how long it took me to actually select the individual shades (a very long, long time!). The shades I finally settled for are listed below alongside their MAC dupe:
A metallic champagne shade which is great as a brow bone and an inner corner highlight.
Dupe: MAC Shroom (Shimma Shimma is more frosty)
A light neutral beige with a slight shimmer to it, makes for a great all over the lid colour or to highlight the brow bone on darker skin tones.
Dupe: MAC Brule (Vanilla Bean is more shimmery)
A metallic taupe shade, perfect on it’s own all over the lid for a subtle hint of definition or paired with a darker colour in the crease.
Dupe: MAC Patina (Patina is more pinky)
A warm medium brown shade which makes for a great transitional shade.
Dupe: MAC Wedge (Latte is darker)
A metallic brown with a red undertone and great for taking a look from day to night.
Dupe: MAC Twinks (Brown Sugar is warmer)
A dark matte brown shade, perfect for adding depth and definition in the crease and outer v.
Dupe: MAC Ground Brown (although Mocha is slightly more warm)
A soft matte lilac with pink undertones and one that would look great as a transitional shade.
Dupe: MAC Quarry (Unexpected slightly more purple)
A pretty metallic purple-grey shade which would look great on it’s own or paired with a darker shade for a sexy smokey eye.
Dupe: MAC Satin Taupe (Prom Night is slightly more lilac)
A metallic version of MUG Unexpected and more pink than MUG Prom Night, this pretty shade will add a touch of romanticism to any look.
Dupe: MAC Shale (Twilight slightly more pink)
For a full list of MUG eye shadow and MAC dupes, check out the MUG blog post here.
I selected a neutral palette with bridal makeup in mind, a mix of mattes and shimmer and light to dark shades. However, now that I have the palette in front of me, I think I could have done with another one or two darker shades (like I need another excuse to go shopping).
On top of the 9 eyeshadows, I also bought the small sized Z palette as mentioned earlier for $14.99 which to be honest I could have probably got just a tad cheaper over here but since I was already paying a shipping fee here I’d thought I’d make the most of it.
Now what I didn’t take into account was not only would I have to pay the shipping and handling fee which came up to almost £8, I would have to pay VAT PLUS a Royal Mail international handling fee on top of that (which I only found out when the package arrived at my local post office) which was another £16 or so. In the end, it cost me a little more than I had expected to pay. However, in comparison to Mac eyeshadows, if I had custom made my own palette, I would have expected to pay £90 for 9 eyeshadows which I’m sure you would agree is completely ludicrous. Ok, so I would have managed to get a small discount with my Mac pro card but I would still have had to pay quite a bit more compared to the Makeup Geek eyeshadows. You’re probably thinking that I could have probably bought a palette from another brand like the Urban Decay Naked Palette where I could get 12 eye shadows for £36 but then I wouldn’t have had the freedom of customising it to the exact shades I want (I often find with pre-made palettes that there are always a few dud shades in there). I guess, in this case for me, the luxury of customisation outweighs the extra cost.
So now that they have arrived and neatly placed into their new home (that would be the Z palette), are they as good as the MAC eye shadows? I would have to say yes they are. Every single shade is as it was on screen; smooth, highly pigmented and easy to blend. No chalkiness. No fall out. I was really impressed. I mean, I knew they would be good from what I saw in Marlena’s video so I shouldn’t have been surprised when they turned out to be really that good. Looking at the range online, I could easily pick out another 9 shades. The question is whether I need them. A girl can never have too much makeup right?
Have you tried the Makeup Geek eyeshadows? or any of the products from their range? If so, let me know what you think and whether you think they are as good as or even better than Mac eyeshadows.