Morphe Brushes Eyeshadow Review

I’m really excited about today’s review! This post has been in the draft stage for far too long, but I want to finally put in my two cents about Morphe Cosmetics. I had been stalking Morphe Brushes’ site for a while a couple months ago since they get rave reviews from beauty bloggers, but I kept stalling because I don’t need any more eyeshadow. While that is still true, I eventually caved because the eyeshadow palettes are only $20, so I somehow justified it to myself.

So first of all, these palettes look suspiciously similar to the kind of palettes you can get from sites like bh cosmetics, crown brush and coastal scents, among others. While all of those companies have branched out into creating more of their own unique products, their original focus used to be importing those Chinese 120 color palettes that were once only available through eBay. I’ve reviewed the 120 palettes before and I really like them, but they’re generally best for extremely bright looks. The reason being that while those eyeshadows are typically pretty vibrant, they also have a somewhat dusty, chalky texture. I love them because they have a great range of pigmented brights and they’re very affordable which is good since I don’t use colors like that often, but they don’t feel as good to work with. For neutral colors that I use a lot, I prefer to go with higher end shadows that are nicer to work with and easier to blend.

These palettes are NOT the same as the eBay palettes. They are made in America and the eyeshadows are (mostly) smoother and better quality. This is also a female-owned small business, so I feel good supporting them. I ended up with the 35W palette for $19.99. Weirdly, it has the exact same shades as the 35N palette, except that pallette is all matte while this had some shimmers mixed in. I actually wish I had waited to buy this because they just released some new 35 pan palettes that look amazing (the 35P plum palette, 35K smoky neutral palette and 35O orange-toned palette), but whatever. For $20 I can always buy another. Let’s talk about the one I have for now.

Let’s start with pictures of the palette itself!

In bright daylight (quarter shown for scale):
MORPHE BRUSHES 35W eyeshadow palette

Artificial light.
MORPHE BRUSHES 35 color warm palette

The second image in artificial light looks closer to what the shades look like in real life, but I thought it was helpful to show both pictures to give a better idea of which shades have shimmer and which don’t.

I also swatched every single shade, so here they are, shown in the same order they appear in the palette. Each swatch is done over a strip of primer, so you can see how each one performs with and without it.

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 1

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 2

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 3

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 4

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 5

Based on my swatches, I made this chart indicating the best and worst performers. The shadows with the stars are really nice, smooth, buttery, and high-end feeling. The ones without any marks are decent, like higher quality drugstore shadows (think NYX or L’Oreal) and the X’s are for weak shadows that work like low quality cheap shadows.

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette eyeshadow quality

Only 4 real duds here. That’s not bad for the money I spent, right? I have had had a little trouble blending some of the shades, but overall I found the palette versatile and good to work with. The only problem I had was keeping track of which shadows I preferred working with over others. The really good ones are so smooth to work with, but sometimes I’d accidentally grab a muddier one and end up having to start my eye look over.

Here are a couple of looks to give you an idea of how they work in practice.

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette warm look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette warm eyeshadow look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette reviews MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette silver look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette eye look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette cool look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W look


Soft olive neutrals with the Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone palette

I did a makeup stash purge a couple months ago and a lot of palettes hit the trash.It was brutal, but I really needed to downsize. Urban Decay suffered a hit, so did my way-expired Nude ‘Tude palette that I lovedddd (that one was hard, but the eyeshadows were definitely starting to spoil). You know what actually made the cut? My cheapo Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone palette.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Comfort Zone palette

Even though it was by far the least expensive set I had (only $4.99!), it’s also extremely versatile and it has some unusual shades that seem so much more sophisticated that its humble pedigree would suggest. While the shades don’t feel quite as soft to work with as a higher end shadow, they look just as good once they’re applied and no one will ever know the difference.

The other night I had to meet a friend and she got to the restaurant way earlier than anyone expected, so I had to kick my makeup application into hyperspeed to get out the door so she wouldn’t have to wait any longer. I wanted a low-maintenance wash of color that could stand alone and wouldn’t require a lot of additional products, but I also didn’t want to go with a standard taupe or champagne shade. I thought the pale olive green/grey hybrid “browbone” shade from Comfort Zone would be perfect.

So here it is, with the grey-green all over. I also dragged a little bit of the bronze shade from the same palette along the lashline to punch it up just a little. In an unprecedented move, I didn’t do my brows because 1) I was trying to be quick and 2) I was worried it might overhelm the look.

grey green shimmer eyeshadow from wet n wild comfort zone neitral palettewet n wild comfort zone palette neutral look neutral makeup look from wet n wild comfort zone palette  golden olive eyeshadow from wet n wild comfort zone palette

Other products worn:

L’Oreal Voluminous False Fibers Mascara ($8.99)

Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Venice Beach Bronze ($29)

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist ($10)

Buxom Color Choreography Palette in Tango

I can’t stop. I held off on buying makeup for a few months, but my shopping addiction has returned with a vengeance as of late. I hope I can stop soon. I placed a few Black Friday orders, so mayyyyybe that will tide me over for the rest of winter? Fingers crossed.

Today’s review covers my new Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Palette in Tango ($36). It isn’t a new product, but that’s ok. I get around to buying things when I get around to them.

Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Palette in Tango

Here are the shades lightly swatched without primer (except for the red, which I layered to see how the color would build up):Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Palette in Tango swatched fair pale skin

My feelings about the palette: Ironically, the burgundy shade that initially caught my eye most was the only disappointment. It’s sheerer than anticipated (I really had to layer it on for the swatch) and more of a reddish-brown than the bright oxblood/burgundy shade that I was expecting. It truer to pan shade when applied wet, so I’ll probably use it most frequently as a liner. While useable, it’s not the star of the show, so this shade’s value is really a matter of perception.

Beyond that, the gunmetal grey and the silvery-taupe are sooo creamy and dreamy and lovely. They’re pigmented and multi-dimensional with gold micro-glitter and they’re gorgeous and I would have bought the palette for them alone. There is slight fallout from the glitter, but nothing unreasonable. The matte grey-brown is an excellent color for definition and also very pigmented. The white highlighter is somewhat sheer (especially on my very fair skin), but I think that’s on purpose since a super pigmented matte white would be distracting and wouldn’t work well to highlight. While not the most exciting shade on the palette, I’m glad they included a matte highlight shade (I’ve mentioned before how important those are to me for both highlighting and blending edges).

I think it’s brilliant how versatile these four neutral shades are. Red shade notwithstanding, the palette features two light and two dark shades in both shimmery and matte finishes and they work well in any combination together. A kit that versatile is a great find.

Sample look using all five shades (the red color is both blended into crease as a halo and applied wet as a liner). I’m also wearing Nyx Powder Blush in Angel ($4.99),  Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Courtisane ($22 individually or $48 for a set of four) and Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Fig ($15) on top (one of the only glosses that I can stand!).

Buxom taupe grey brown smoky eye black cherry burgundy oxblood eyeliner linerBuxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Tango smoky eye
grey taupe smoky eye laura mercier stick gloss courtisane juice beauty reflective lip gloss fig

Bottom line, this is a great everyday set with a good sized mirror and a small, but useable brush. The shades are neutral enough for work, but moody enough for a night out. However, if you were looking for something really dramatic with a bold pop of color, this is not the right palette.

Warm Neutral Eyes with Poppy Purple-Pink Lips

Tonight I wore a soft, neutral eye with a golden shade and a dark taupe from my BH Cosmetics 88 Color Tropical Matte Eyeshadow Palette ($12.50 – $19.95 depending on promotion) and did a thin cat eye with my new Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper ($18). I really like this liner so far, the tip is a weird hybrid of the typical felt nib and a brush tip. I can’t quite figure out what it’s made of, but I normally hate the inflexibility of a felt tip and this is much more precise. The tip is really fine and it lets me get perfect, tiny points on my liner. Pretty great.

warm neutral cat eye bright fuschia plum summer lipstick bh cosmetics 88 color tropical matte eyeshadow palette hot pink purple lips black liquid liner

For lips, I mixed my new OCC Black Dahlia Lip Tar ($22.50 in a set with a matching nail polish) with my hot pink Pretty Boy lip tar ($18 alone, or $49 in a set of 5 colors) to make a bright berry color. The Black Dahlia was still super thin and prone to feathering even when mixed, so I quickly realized I needed to use lip liner, but I still think the resulting color was worth it.

occ lip tars pretty boy black dahlia purple pink lips

Gothy Summer Makeup – Subtle Smoky Eyes and Dark Lips

Yeah, yeah, I know, I keep posting about dark lips even though it’s May. But whatever, I do what I want. Also it’s been kind of cold in Chicago lately, so I extra don’t care. Summergoth forever!


Today I mixed two of my Nyx Round Case Lipsticks ($3.99). I used Pinto Bean (a frosty brown color that reminds me of one of my favorite 90’s lippies) and Rapture (super dark plummy brown). It was a little harsh at first, so I blotted it down until I was happy with the results.

nyx round case lipstick pinto bean and rapture swatch nyx round lipstick pinto bean and rapture
“Yeah!” Is what that mouth is saying.

I was too lazy to dig out my eye primer today, so I actually smudged my Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Underground ($19) all over lids instead. It blended surprisingly well! These pencils are so awesome at everything. Then I patted “Shameless Shana” from TheBalm’s Shady Lady Vol. 1 Palette ($39.50) all over the lid, plus “Caught in the Act Courtney” blended into the outer corner and along lower lashline. I used the highlighter from the Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette along my browbone and in the inner corners. And of course, I lined the upper lashline and waterline with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Pencil in Zero ($19) and finished with L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Volume Building Mascara ($7.99). For some reason, the pictures make the shadow look lighter than it is in real life. Must be the shimmer.
neutral eye with thebalm shameless shana caught in the act courtney

I also used my Urban Decay Naked Flushed kit ($30) for its intended highlighting-and-contouring purpose and am still really happy with it. My chiseled cheeks are Blue Steel-ready.