I let out a little squeal of delight when I saw everybody reposting the news – Makeup Geek would soon be available to buy on the Beauty Bay website. I have been a fan of the brand since ordering five eyeshadows some months ago from the Makeup Geek website but I heard horror stories about people having to pay for customs on delivery and severe warnings about keeping your order as small as possible to avoid this which just isn’t cost-efficient when you’re spending on postage from the US. I saw Marlena release her twenty new matte shades and filled my cart before chickening out and closing the tab. So when news quickly spread that they were live on Beauty Bay, I had researched swatches, added to my bag and entered my debit card details before I had even gotten off the bus. So let me reveal what I bought in that haul and a subsequent haul that happened on a Prosecco-fueled spree over Christmas as well as the original five shadows I owned. Here is every Makeup Geek eyeshadow I own with a full review.
Makeup Geek eyeshadows come in single pans so you must also purchase some sort of palette to hold them in. I chose a Z Palette as I like the way it looks but the pans will also fit into Mac or Inglot palettes.
These are my shadows in alphabetical order. Every swatch shows one swipe of product to show the level of pigmentation and then the colour built up so you can see it properly.
This is described as a dark brown with subtle purple undertones and a matte finish.
This is a gorgeous deep brown with some warmth to it. It is the darkest brown that Makeup Geek have released and while I reach for it often to add some depth and dimension to different looks, I wish there was a slightly deeper brown available. That doesn’t take away from the beauty of this shade though. It is a definite staple.
This is described as a very light brown with cool grey undertones and a matte finish.
Swatches of this online made me think that this could be a great base shadow shade for all over the eye area but in reality this is too dark and grey for me. It is similar enough to the skin colour on my arm which is why the swatch isn’t too apparent but when I have foundation on, this definitely shows up as darker.
Against my pale skin, this makes a very subtle crease colour which is ideal for a very natural look but if your skin tone is any darker than mine (which it probably is, considering I’m a Mac NW10) this could get lost and if you’re very dark, this will probably go quite ashy.
This is described as a medium sand shade with a matte finish.
This is a gorgeous warm taupe shade and its description as a sand colour is perfect. This is one that I reach for often to wear in the crease or blend out the edges of other colours. This is a must-have every day neutral.
Beaches & Cream
This is described as a creamy matte natural beige with just a hint of peach.
Bear in mind, most of my Makeup Geek eyeshadow research was done while I was either on a bus or fairly tipsy but I had it in my head that this was another taupe brown. When I saw how warm and peachy it is, I was actually pleasantly surprised. This works great to add some warmth to a very neutral look and I think looks amazing teamed with browns.
This is described as a medium grey with strong brown undertones and a matte finish.
I love a good grey eyeshadow which is why I couldn’t pass this one up. I love the added taupe tones to this one which makes it even more flattering than most. I would wear this in the crease or all over the lid with darker shades in the outer V for a classic smokey eye.
This is described as a matte deep maroon red.
Don’t let the swatches fool you. This is one of my favourite shades and an absolute must-have if you have green eyes. I love a red eyeshadow and this dark matte shade is incredible. If you’re terrified of colour, this may not be for you but I love how it adds a twist to a neutral eye and every time I wear it, at least one person comments on it. This is one of my most worn shadows.
This is described as a metallic muted burgundy with warm undertones.
I thought this would be a metallic version of Bitten from what I had seen online but there is much more brown to this which makes it even more wearable. This is one I can see most people falling for as it is a real beauty.
This is described as a deep brown with strong red undertones and a matte finish.
This is another red tone (I know!) that is like a darker version of Bitten. The pair work beautifully together and this may be one to consider if you like red tones but think Bitten is a little too out there for you. This is another top pick of mine.
This is described as a matte yellow orange.
Chickadee is a bit of a cult favourite and one Marlena herself uses in a lot of tutorials but I was quite surprised by how yellow it is. I thought it was going to be more of an orange. I have been using it to blend out oranges and while I like it, it is one I am a little more weary of.
This is described as a matte reddish brown.
This is probably the ultimate Makeup Geek eyeshadow and one everybody talks about – for good reason! This is stunning. This very warm brown is flattering on everybody and is unlike any other brown I have – definitely not something I say often! If you were to only purchase one shadow (but seriously, why would you stop there?!) it needs to be this one.
This is described as a deep grey with subtle purple undertones and a matte finish.
I bought this to pair with Bedrock but in reality, they have very different tones to them so I don’t think work too well together. This is more of a purple-grey which I think is more of a classic combination and is similar to many other greys that I own. If you’re looking for something more unique, I would advise Bedrock but if you want a classic, opt for Concrete Jungle.
This is described as a blush pink with very subtle grey undertones and a matte finish.
I have seen quite a few YouTube tutorials using the more pinky-purple Makeup Geek shades to create beautiful grungey eye looks which inspired this purchase. I think this is definitely a little too pink for my tastes to wear alone in the crease but I will use it to buff out other shades and add a little interest.
This is described as a matte black.
I heard this is the blackest black of all time and they aren’t lying. I have never in my life experienced a black as pigmented as this. However, that is both a positive and negative! This is so intense that I find you only need to use the smallest dab of product and then you will have to blend, blend, blend. The pigmentation of this means it takes quite a bit of work but I definitely think it is worth it for the result.
This is described as a densely dark purple with a shimmery finish.
Most of the shadows I picked up were mattes but I couldn’t resist this shimmery purple. As you can see from the state of my pan, the formula of this is quite soft and seems to move when you touch it with your brush. The pigmentation is one of a kind, however, and the swatch is almost wet-look. The colour is a beaut and this has definitely sparked an interest in me to try some other pearlescent shadows.
This is described as a medium maple brown matte.
This gorgeous orange-toned brown is another staple shadow to add warmth to a neutral look. I feel like I’m getting a little repetitive but to me, these type of colours are everything. A must-buy.
This is described as a matte medium brown.
This is similar to Frappe but more cool-toned. I’m a collector of matte neutrals so I think these are very different and both worth having. If you aren’t a big eyeshadow person, you still definitely need to pick one of them.
This is described as a deep matte brown.
This is another dark brown although this one is more cool-toned compared to Americano. I have swatches coming later in the post which will showcase the difference between the two. Again I think they’re both worth having for different types of looks.
This is described as a rich burnt orange with a matte finish.
This is an absolute stunner and one that those with blue eyes absolutely need. This is gorgeous all over the eye for a grungey look that that will make blue eyes pop or can be beautiful in the crease paired with browns to tone it down.
This is described as a light peach beige with a matte finish.
This is a very true buttermilk-peachy shade that I pair with Morocco to blend out the edges. This is an unusual one and I’m pretty sure I don’t have a dupe for it. This may not be for everyone but for collectors or those who like to create more complex eye looks, I think this is a winner.
This is described as a medium rose brown with a matte finish.
I have recoiled from purple shadows in recent years after a slight obsession when I was around seventeen, knew nothing about makeup and had a purple streak in my fringe. (I know, sounds stunning!) This mauve shade is so much more complex than the straight up lavenders I bought in those days and all over the lid, this actually looks grungey and makes a stunning smokey eye. This is very different from the eyeshadows I usually gravitate towards but is one I can’t live without now.
This is described as a pastel melon pink with a matte finish.
Sorbet is quite similar to Confection but is more of a neutral wearable one. This is lovely paired with Petal Pusher for a nice blend but is another that might not appeal to everyone unless they already have quite a vast eyeshadow collection.
This is described as a light shimmer with peachy beige undertones.
I bought this in my first ever batch of Makeup Geek eyeshadows but didn’t do enough research as I assumed it was a matte. I thought this could be an all over base shadow but it is too yellow against my fair skin and has quite a bit of shimmer to it. While it won’t do for what I originally intended, this makes a great inner corner highlight and works beautifully under the brow as a subtle sheen.
This is described as a medium brown with mauve undertones and a matte finish.
This doesn’t look like much in the pan but is one of my most reached for eyeshadows. It is a unique purple brown which this swatch is doing no justice for. Similar in tone to Petal Pusher but a little more neutral, this is another shadow that adds something a little different to an otherwise neutral look.
This is described as a matte pure white.
My final shadow is White Lies. With the intense pigmentation of the matte black, I thought that this white would blow my mind but it is a lot softer. While at first I was a little disappointed, I found that it makes it a lot easier to use. I buff this all over my eye area as a base shadow and it doesn’t make me look like a clown. Paired with a white base, you could also amp this up to pure white levels as well.
I really don’t think these shadows swatch very well and some of them look downright disappointing but I can assure you that these shadows are THE best eyeshadows I have ever used. They have incredible pigmentation, apply easily and blend beautifully. They are so easy to work with and the colours are beautifully unique too. Thhis is my favourite eyeshadow formula of all time!
Here are swatches of the shadows side by side for comparison’s sake. I swatched them in the rows in which they appear in my Z palette as I think that keeps them best in their colour families – browns/neutrals, yellows/oranges, pinks/reds and greys.
In both of my Beauty Bay orders, I spent over €71.60 so I was upgraded to Beauty Bay Premier. This service means I got to choose a free gift (I went for a Peter Thomas Roth Premier Mega Rich Body Lotion on my first order and a Mario Badescu Cream Soap and Facial Spray with my second) and my order got priority dispatch from the warehouse as well as free shipping. I like the idea of the premier service although I don’t intend on spending over €70 very often! Many other beauty websites offer free samples to everybody so the fact that you need to spend that much to qualify for one stings a little. In terms of priority dispatch, on my first order I ordered at 10pm and it was dispatched at 3pm the following day which I think is fairly average for most websites so nothing astonishing there either. While it is an alright bonus when you spend that much, I won’t be adding extra items to orders to bump it up and qualify in future.
Also I do have to mention price. Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans contain 1.8g of product which is bigger than Mac and Urban Decay (Both 1.5g) and retail from the Makeup Geek website for $6 each which is nothing considering the quality! Now Beauty Bay have bumped up the price to €6.90 each which – even considering the terrible exchange rate – is a bit of a pain as it pushes the shadows up to $7.50 each. ($6 would be €5.49 based on today’s exchange rate). Obviously Beauty Bay has to make a buck though so I think some of the outraged posts I’ve seen online are a little unwarranted! You also need to take into account the shipping costs – from the Makeup Geek website it’s $8.99 for shipping to Ireland while the Beauty Bay only charges €2.80 – or nothing at all if you spend over €22. You can also sleep easy knowing you’re not going to be stung with any extra customs charges on delivery so I will definitely purchase from Beauty Bay again rather than risk it on Makeup Geek.
There are around 90 shades available at the moment as well as duochrome and foiled shadows that I have yet to try and Marlena is constantly knocking out new releases. In case you haven’t noticed, I have already been talking in the future tense about my next order. These have knocked Inglot off the podium and have become my number one favourite eyeshadows. I get excited when I whip out the palette to use them. These are the best of the best and at such an incredible price point, you can’t afford to ignore them any longer.
Here are three of my favourite looks I have created with them.
For the first look I started with Petal Pusher in the crease using Confection to blend out the edges. I added Sorbet to the outer half of the lid with White Lies on the inner portion. I blended Drama Queen under the eye for a pop of purple and used Vintage to deepen the outer V and buff out Drama Queen.
For this look, I started by applying Vanilla Bean all over the lid, on the inner corner to highlight and underneath the brow for a sheen. I then applied Beaches & Cream in the entire crease area and underneath the eye, blending it quite high towards the brow and quite low under the eye. I then added Chickadee to the crease and lower lash line buffing it out but not as far as Beaches & Cream. Then I applied Morocco to the crease and under eye again – concentrating it closer to the crease and lower lash line than the previous two shades. Finally I added Cocoa Bear to the outer V for some definition.
For my final look I began with White Lies all over the entire eye area to brighten it. I then buffed Bitten all over my lid and into my crease as well as underneath the eye. I dabbed some Burlesque on the inner half of my lid for some shimmer and then used Cherry Cola to deepen the crease and add definition underneath the eye. I finished with a small amount of Corrupt in the outer V and drawn close to my lower lashline.
So tell me, have you taken the plunge yet?
Which shade is first on your shopping list?
Disclaimer: No press samples were featured.
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