Makeup Geek Eyeshadows: Worthier Than MAC?

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

I’ve been following Makeup Geek for goodness knows how long now. Many, many years I reckon. I strongly admire Marlena and how she made her beauty blog Makeup Geek to a booming cosmetics empire today. Gives wee bloggers like me hope, you know? 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to try out her eyeshadows for a long time now but never got around to deciding which ones I wanted until about a few months ago. Her eyeshadows are apparently comparable to those of MAC’s and while I’m just so-so on MAC eyeshadows, I was still keen to try the Makeup Geek ones out. After deciding what I wanted, I placed an order for 9 single eyeshadows.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

The ones I bought were just refills that comes in metal pans. You can buy them in proper cases but as they’re meant to fit Z palettes, I already had a couple lying around without anything in them so I figured it would be easier for me to just get the refills and customise my own palette instead.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

As you can see, I chose to create a neutrals palette (why so boring, Tine? 😛 ). The colours are beautiful but some, I have to say, are quite similar to each other despite the swatches on the Makeup Geek website. Twilight and Prom Night are close in terms of colour when you swatch them, even though they look quite different in the pans. The rest are fine.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

Colour me impressed with the Makeup Geek eyeshadows. Even though a couple of the eyeshadows were a tad gritty, the rest were buttery smooth. They’re highly pigmented, applies very well on the eyelids without any fallout and most importantly, with eyeshadow primer on, they don’t budge all day. I have an issue with very oily eyelids and very few eyeshadows will stay put for over 10 hours without creasing. That’s why I usually only stick to eyeshadows from Urban Decay or Maybelline’s Colour Tattoos because they’ve proven to stay put. This time, I eagerly give a big thumbs up to the Makeup Geek eyeshadows because I’ve found another brand of eyeshadows that don’t crease on me. Woohoo!

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows Swatches

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows Swatches

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows Swatches

My favourite shades in the entire palette would have to be Cosmopolitan (as seen on my eyelids in this post) and Corrupt. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off such bright golden peach on my eyes but good heavens, it’s a stunning shade. The gold reflects beautifully in the peach without my having to touch up with gold pigment. Corrupt is a matte black. It’s BLACK black, if that means anything to you. It makes a great eyeliner which is also what I used here.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

Would I purchase more eyeshadows from Makeup Geek and recommend to you? Oh most definitely! I’m very keen to try more vibrant shades and they’ve also recently launched their blushes too, which from swatches, are gorgeous. No more neutrals for me, no sirree! Well, at least, not so soon. 😛

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

The best part about the Makeup Geek eyeshadows is the price. Each eyeshadow is US$5.99 and given that they’re comparable to MAC eyeshadows (which cost AU$33.00 each. Crazy!), it’s a bargain. My set of 9 eyeshadows (excluding the Z palette that I purchased separately ages ago) cost me US$53.91. I also bought a couple of their eye makeup brushes which are also pretty good. Shipping to Australia cost me US$9.12 which isn’t too bad.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek has a comparison matrix of some of their eyeshadows that are somewhat dupes of certain MAC eyeshadows so if you’re interested in getting some dupes, do check it out. I only have a few MAC eyeshadows that Makeup Geek doesn’t have dupes for so I can’t compare them. I’d suggest you getting them not for MAC dupes but for Makeup Geek eyeshadows on their own, which I think are stellar anyway.

What I like about them: Most eyeshadows were buttery smooth and soft, very easy to apply without any fallout, good lasting power (only with eyeshadow primer on), very affordable for the good quality.

What I do not like about them: A few of the eyeshadows were a tad gritty.

Have you tried any of the makeup from Makeup Geek? What are your favourites?

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30 comments… add one
  1. Allison

    I’m eyeing the new blushes, and trying to decide between Romance and Bliss, two peachy shades. Love your neutral palette. I’ve heard it said that MUG is made in the same factories as MAC but I don’t know if it’s true.
    Allison recently posted..FOTD: Red and My First Attempt at False EyelashesMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Marlena mentioned many times in her videos that it actually cost very little for MAC to make their eyeshadows, which is why she only priced her eyeshadows at US$5.99 each. I don’t know if the MUG and MAC eyeshadows are made in the same factories though. I reckon MAC’s eyeshadows are marked up so significantly because of their brand and the amount of advertising they do. Still, it’s a 500% markup in Australia and that’s just ridiculous.

  2. Lilit

    I’m a HUGE fan of the MUG eyeshadows. I’ve got 9 as well and yep, in boring neutral tones but I love them all. My faves are Vanilla, Latte, Mocha, Frappe (coffee theme? LOL), and all the ones I chose are buttery smooth and blend way better than MAC. I’ve got my eye on Cosmopolitan now, and I’m creating a wish-list of new MUG shades so I can buy some more! Glad you love them too Tine.

    1. Tine

      Haha they’ve got you at coffee. Almost got me too! You will love the Cosmopolitan, Lilit, it will look gorgeous on you!

  3. Celeste

    Which ones were gritty? That peachy gold tone of Cosmopolitan is calling to me. I do believe it’d be a great addition for my kit. Mmmm.

    1. Tine

      Beaches & Cream and Shimma Shimma were a tad gritty to me. I’m not sure if it’s just mine because I’ve not read negative reviews on those from other blogs. If you do get MUG eyeshadows, make sure you get Cosmopolitan. It’s a breeze to apply and will look stunning on the eyes!

  4. Angie

    Such a gorgeous selection of shades you chose! I always end up picking neutral eyeshadows and save the vibrant colours for my lipsticks, I’m just not game enough to sport brights shades on my lids, I’m afraid I’ll end up looking like a clown and not anything like the amazing looks I saw people do with the UD Electric palette on Insta and Youtube. Love the price of these, will have to check them out 🙂
    Angie recently posted..Why you should get your eyebrows threadedMy Profile

    1. Tine

      OMG that Urban Decay Electric palette is gorgeous! I’ve seen many YouTubers create amazing looks with that vibrant palette. It’s not my style but I sure love looking at other people using it. 🙂

      I always end up picking neutral palettes too. These are the colours that can’t go wrong. 🙂

  5. Shirley

    Heard a lot of good reviews about these eyeshadows but never got to purchase it because I’m too lazy to find the swatches. Haha. You said you have oily eyelids, can you recommend liquid/gel eyeliner that is smudge proof? I tried different brands but sadly none worked. 🙁

    1. Tine

      I don;t use gel liners (although I’ll be getting the new Benefit They’re Real gel eyeliner to try out), but so far, very few liquid eyeliners stay put on my eyelids. The Hourglass Calligraphy is good and so are Maybelline’s Precision and that pink Dollywink one. Rimmel Scandaleyes liquid eyeliner used to work but not anymore. Started to smudge under the eyes. As for MUG eyeshadow swatches, the MUG website itself has good swatches. Don’t have to Google them individually. 🙂

  6. Samantha

    Your makeup of cosmopolitan and corrupt reminds me of mulan for some reason! Looks good 🙂 xx

    1. Tine

      Haha I’ll take it! Thanks. 😉

  7. Danielle

    I love MUG eye shadows. I currently have 9 with a further 10 on their way to me as I write. My absolute fav is homecoming all over the lid and lower lash line blended out along the crease with hipster. Great look perfect for daily wear and work.


    1. Tine

      Oooh I’ll try that combination out now, thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

  8. gio

    You put together a wonderful palette. I’m not into neutrals, but these ones are very pretty, especially Cinderella and Prom Night.

    1. Tine

      Thanks Gio! I played it safe with neutrals but I’m going to try a more daring one next. MUG has so many colours that it’s difficult for me to just choose another 9 to form another Z-palette! 😛

  9. east and west girl

    I recently bought 6 eyeshadows and I really like them. So smooth! Unexpected is a great colour for an easy everyday look. And then Twilight or Prom Night for a bit of shimmer.

    1. Tine

      They’re so good, aren’t they? Much more affordable than MAC too. I love how frank Marlena is when she talks about eyeshadow manufacturing costs and why she only priced her eyeshadows at US$5.99 each. I completely understand her level of markup but MAC’s markup? Woahhh.

  10. maria

    I adore Marlena, I bought some shadows, lipstick and gel liner. And I feel very strongly that anyone that claims the shadows are better than MAC is exaggerating. In terms of color variety maybe, but quality, not even close. Even with primer they creased. The lipstick felt cheap. It came off so quickly. Only the gel liner impressed me.

    1. Tine

      Unfortunately, every MAC eyeshadow I’ve tried (I don’t have a lot) have creased on me even with primer on (I use either Urban Decay’s Priper Potion or NARS Smudgeproof). So far, the MUG ones haven’t. Methinks even my eyelids are protesting against MAC@ 😛 I’ve heard great things about the gel liner. I’m not normally a user of gel liners but I think I’ll pop one into the shopping cart the next time I make a MUG purchase.

      1. Tine

        *Primer Potion and MAC!
        Excuse the typos; I was on the iPad. 🙂

  11. Cheryl from BusinessChic

    Tine, I don’t wear eyeshadow but you’ve seriously got me thinking about it – Cosmopolitan looks gorgeous on you!!
    Cheryl from BusinessChic recently posted..Read: ManRepeller, The Collective, #GirlBossMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha you surprise me woman! You don’t even need eyeshadow! 😉

  12. Beauty Box

    I had been following Makeup Geek for ages too! I really do admire how Marlena has turned her blog and Youtube channel into a viable business. She also lost a ton of weight and talks about stuff other than makeup and skincare. It’s nice to see that you have reviewed her eyeshadows and given them a thumbs up. I like your choices – neutral gal at heart too!
    Beauty Box recently posted..Sephora Haul In NYCMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I can’t wait to get some of her new blushes to try out. I’m sure they’ll be fantastic as well!

  13. Madame Eghiz

    I feel awful but I don’t like my MUG eyeshadows at all 🙁 I was soooo excited to get them but they disappear into my crease on my oily lids before I’ve even left the house. I use primer too, MAC paint pots which usually do the trick for me. I will stick with MAC as I now have a small z palette and eyeshadows I can’t use!

    1. Tine

      Aww that sucks! Nah it’s all right, don’t feel awful at all! I’m sure MUG eyeshadows doesn’t work for everyone. MAC eyeshadows don’t work well on me either. 😛

  14. Shay

    Can you tell me which MAC eyeshadows that Makeup Geek doesn’t have dupes for? Please and thanks 🙂

  15. Valerie

    Hi, I love your post it’s amazing thank you so much
    Also, I have a question, I live in Sydney and I’m very interested in getting MUG products but I’m still on defense about their shipping. Can you tell me more about your experience with their shipping, how long it took, etc. and also do you also live in Sydney so I can kind of estimate the shipping price
    Thank you so much

    1. Tine

      Thanks Valerie. I’m based in Melbourne. It’s been a long time since I bought those MUG products so I can’t remember how long it took for the products to arrive. I don’t think it was longer than usual; I’d say 2-3 weeks from the US? Here’s how I estimated the shipping cost: I popped the items I wanted into the shopping cart, checked out but didn’t complete the buying process until I knew how much I had to pay for shipping. All those MUG eyeshadows, including a couple of MUG makeup brushes ended up costing me US$9.12 in shipping, which wasn’t too bad.

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