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


Dramatically Naked (3)

I know, Naked 3 is old news by now and I’ve already posted about it a ton. However, I’m really trying to test it’s versatility, so here is another Naked look. Sorry not sorry.

This time I tried a dark, moody, dramatic smoky eye using the darker brown and taupe shades from the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($52). I layered Darkside over Liar, concentrating the darkest color on the outer half, then fluffed Nooner just above the crease and swept Burnout along the inner half of the upper and lower lashlines. This palette is so versatile that it’s the only eyeshadow I packed for a three week stay out of town (that I am still on)! UD Naked 3 forever! ❤

urban decay naked 3 smoky eye black messy topknot bunurban decay naked 3 shades darkside burnout liar nooner  urban decay naked 3 smoky eye darkside burnout liar nooner urban decay naked 3 dramatic smoky eye darkside burnout liar nooner

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.

Neutral Smoky Eyes with Red Lips

It was a lazy Sunday and I felt like pulling my hair up into a rockabilly rat’s nest because IDGAF. I’ve been dabbling in some sort of weird, modified retro revival thing lately. I think it’s because I have gotten (pleasantly) plumper through the years and vintage-y style celebrates my curves. It’s my way of self-acceptance now that I’m through beating myself up for being unable to rock the tiny clubwear of my youth.

But anyway, makeup.

rockabilly retro red lips lipstick yellow headscarf messy updo

My BH Cosmetics 120 Color Pro Palette was way past its expiration date and probably kind of funky, so I tossed it and ordered a new one. After agonizing (no really) over which version to get this time around, I finally settled on the 120 Color Eyeshadow Palette 2nd Edition ($16.95-$29.95). The second edition has a fantastic mix of brights and neutrals in a variety of shimmer, metallic and matte finishes. Look at how pretty!

bh cosmetics 120 color eyeshadow pro palette second edition bh cosmetics 120 color eyeshadow pro palette 2nd edition

As you can see, one blue shade did crack in shipment, but I can deal. It’s a good excuse to try one of the many tutorials on fixing cracked eyeshadows! Beside all that, I am kicking myself a little, because BH just rolled out its new (frickin’ amazing) Take Me to Brazil Eyeshadow Palette ($9.95-$19.95) that I wish I had also ordered. If only I had known to wait a week, but the 2nd edition palette IS pretty phenomenal, so whatever.

I blended a few metallic shadows on the ball of the eye, swept some dark brown into the crease and below the lashline, then blended just a touch of bright plum shadow into the dark brown to give it a little depth.

In an effort to keep the eye slightly less dramatic, I skipped my usual heavy cat eye and applied just a little bit of a dark, matte navy shadow as a smoky liner. I finished with a couple coats of  Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16) and lined the inner rim of my eyes with my flesh-toned NYX wonder pencil ($4.49).

neutral smoky eye bh cosmetics 120 color palette vol 2 2nd editionneutral smoky eye bh cosmetics 120 color palette vol 2 2nd edition pink lips nyx round case lipstick spell bound
Originally I paired it with a more playful, pink lip. This one is NYX Round Case Lipstick in Spell Bound ($3.99). Of the roughly 800 hot pink lipsticks I own, I think this shade is the most wearable for everyday use.

rockabilly retro pink lips lipstick yellow knotted headscarf wrap updo modern vintage pinup makeup neutral smoky eyenyx round case lipstick spell bound spellbound hot pink fuschia lips swatch rockabilly retro pink lips lipstick yellow headscarf messy updo modern vintage neutral smoky eye

Then I decided I wanted to take it up a notch, mainly as an excuse to try out my new e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red ($3). I’ve had mixed results with e.l.f. products, but I’ve been in the market for a true red lipstick and this one knocks it out of the park. The texture is extremely lightweight, almost like a liquid tint, but it has the even coverage of a creamy product. It’s a lot like one of those ubiquitous chubby pencil/gloss stain sticks, but it has a finer point for greater precision. It went on semi-sheer and built to an opaque finish after two coats, then lasted through a vegan taco lunch (don’t judge) without disappearing. I also have it in Natural, and both colors make an excellent base for layering sheer lipsticks or glosses. Such a great impulse buy! FYI, if you’re interested in more e.l.f., their neutral eyeshadows are also good, but the vibrant colored shadows are kind of weak. My other favorite e.l.f. products so far have been the Essential Regular & Waterproof Mascara Duo and Zit Zapper for only $1 each(!). Seriously, snap those up.

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red lip stain pencil e.l.f neutral smoky eyes bright red lips true red lipstick

Dark Nude Smoky Eye

neutral smoky eye bh cosmeticsdark neutral makeupToday I played with my 88 Color Cool Matte Palette ($11 – $19.95 depending on promotion) again.  I did a light smoky eye using two of the brown shades plus a burgundy shade blended into the outer corner for depth.  I swiped a little Benefit BADgal Brown Mascara ($19) on lashes, buffed CARGO BeachBlush in Sunset Beach ($30) onto cheekbones and up to temples and slicked some Korres Cherry Full Color Lipgloss in Fuschia 54 ($17) on lips.  Simple, but effective.dark nude smoky eye bh cosmetics closeup