I recently purchased a Z Palette (still en route) and realized that in addition to the crazy depotting experiments that will be going into the palette, it would be the perfect time to buy some single shadows from Makeup Geek to put in it. I’ve read rave reviews about MUG eyeshadows and I really love their creator, Marlena, so I was also excited to support the brand. Of course the MUG shadows showed up before the palette itself, but that’s ok. I can still share some thoughts with y’all while I wait for a place to actually store these things.
(It’s here! Yay!)
First of all, the shipping was (clearly) fast. I placed my order Wednesday night and it showed up on Friday. This might be the quickest I’ve ever received anything other than from Amazon, which is pretty amazing considering Makeup Geek is a small business and Amazon is a huge mega-corporation. You do pay for your shipping with MUG, however it was only $1.99 to ship my 5 eyeshadows, so I don’t feel bad about it at all. The box was extremely well packed to ensure nothing broke in transit, which I appreciate.
OK, so eyeshadows. I got one matte shade, one with light shimmer, one full shimmer, and two of the foiled shadows. In other words, I got the sampler platter of finishes.
As I alluded to with the Z palette comment, the shadows come in pans without any outer casing. This is very efficient and saves a lot of space, which I love, but also means that the shadows are floating around loose and unprotected until my palette gets in. As soon as I get my Z Palette (an empty magnetic palette where you can mix and match all of your favorite makeup to create your own ultimate makeup collection) I’ll show you how they fit. The shadows arrive to you in cute little art deco-inspired envelopes (gold accents for the foiled shadows and white for the regular line). The foiled shadows are $9.99 each and the regular line are $5.99 each. All totaled, this mini-haul cost me $39.94 for 5 shadows plus shipping and the shadows promise to be high-end quality. So far so good!
Here are the individual shadow pans themselves and the website’s shade descriptions:
Flame Thrower ($9.99) “True brightened warm copper with a foiled finish.”
Starry Eyed ($9.99) “Light champagne beige with slight pink undertones and a foiled finish. Pinky-beige champagne.”
Cosmopolitan ($5.99) “Rose Gold with gold flecks and a shimmery finish.”
(FYI the ding in this shadow is my own fault- I scratched it when I was opening the pouch it came in. These shadows all arrived in perfect condition.)
Hipster ($5.99) “Dark sand and light taupe tan with slight shimmer.”
Bitten ($5.99) “Matte deep maroon red”
L-R: Starry Eyed, Flame Thrower, Cosmopolitan, Hipster, Bitten.
So I’ve heard rave reviews about the foiled shadows. I agree that they are very nice, but I think they have been overhyped a bit. In my opinion they aren’t some magical pixie dust the world has never seen the way some people have described, but they are still high quality, very pigmented metallic eyeshadows. I would compare them to the look of a loose powder pigment, but in an easier to use pressed format. I thought Flame Thrower was more intensely metallic than Starry Eyed, and Flame Thrower did have a slightly more slippy, silky feel than a traditional eye shadow where Starry Eyed’s texture was a little more commonplace. Starry Eyed wasn’t that different from most other champagne metallic shadows for me (very similar to Stila’s famous Kitten shadow). Again, that doesn’t mean they’re bad (at all!). I do think they are comparable in both color and quality to shadows that cost a lot more (Starry Eyed is similar to Stila Kitten, and Flame Thrower makes me think of MAC’s Amber Lights- both of which used to be fixtures in my makeup kit).
As for the other OG shades, Cosmopolitan and Hipster both blew me away with their initial swatches, but Bitten seemed a little under-pigmented and streaky. Part of the reason for that is that these are finger swatches. Ironically, finger swatches often look better than what you can produce with a brush (your finger’s surface picks up more concentrated color than a brush because a brush is meant to diffuse the harsh lines a bit), but I found that Bitten picked up far better with a brush and looked amazing when applied! I’m really glad, because that was the shade I was most exited about.
I tried swatching again this morning over primer to see what would happen and the difference was startling. You can see how Bitten wasn’t doing so well on its own, but comes to life over the primer. The other regular shadows benefited slightly from the primer and the foiled ones looked the same either way. This is all fine by me because I always use a primer anyway.
Swatched with no primer on top and a strip of primer on the bottom:
Enough about swatches, let’s see these bad boys in action.
I’m really sorry for how tired my eyes look in the first set of pictures. I look so tired because I was really, really tired. I took this set last night and it was way past my bedtime. I was just that excited about these shadows that I HAD to play with them before I could sleep. In these, I’m wearing a wash of Starry Eyed on the inner 2/3 of my lid with Flame Thrower blended from the outer third. Since it was late I just slapped this one with my fingers without primer or anything, but I still thought they blended really nicely (and as mentioned above, the foiled shadows do very well without primer).
Ok, here’s today’s look where I was actually awake. I did kind of a grungey, ’90s inspired mostly matte eye without much else going on.
I’m wearing Bitten all over the lid with Hipster just barely blended into the crease as a transition shade and Starry Eyed in the inner corners again.
Dat pigmentation tho.
I think I’ve told you guys before that I LOVE red tinged eyeshadow.
Comin’ at you straight up out the ’90s.
I failed to include a look with Cosmopolitan, but that will be coming in a post soon, so I’ll be sure to link when I put it up (update: here it is!).
As for my final thoughts, I want to confirm the hype (for the most part, since I mentioned earlier that some people have gone a little overboard). These eyeshadows were all great to work with, blended super well and had great pigmentation. MUG provides a variety of finish levels as well as really well thought out colors. They are all a great value, but in my opinion the regular old non-foiled shadows are actually the winner. They are phenomenal to work with (even though some require primer), they are pigmented, and they are only six bucks. All of the shadows are high end quality, but the regular line will give you the most bang for your buck. I’m definitely going to be placing a second order in the near future. Thanks for creating such an awesome product line, Marlena!