Here's something I've been meaning to share with you for ages – my custom Makeup Geek palette, a delicious assortment of single eyeshadows from a brand that's great value for money. I started collecting these when MG was only available in the States, but thankfully you can now purchase in the UK without any customs charges. I got most of these shadows from Beauty Bay when they've had sales, and so the whole palette cost me half of what it's worth (the Z-palette they live in is from Amazon). Much like MAC and Anastasia Beverly Hills single shadows, the quality isn't consistent – some will be easier to work with and more pigmented than others, but the price is ever so slightly cheaper than those two brands, so if you want a lot of shades for less money, Makeup Geek is the one. It can, however, be dangerous buying single pans; you think £5 here, £10 there won't hurt, and before you know it you've spent £100 making a custom palette with only 18 shades, kind of what a Marc Jacobs large palette costs. As I say, mine wasn't that much, but it's still a slippery slope – only buy what you really need (I can almost hear the sarcastic lols from hardcore beauty fans). Hopefully this handy guide will help you select the best from this brand.
I'd definitely pass on Beaches & Cream (above). Maybe I had a duff one, but it's dry as a bone, and absolutely no use for anything. Peach Smoothie is its more pigmented sister, and a great colour for blending out other shades into the crease. Creme Brûlée is one of my favourite eyeshadows of all time, so soft and absolutely great as both a crease colour and a one and done lid shade. Oops, I swatched Cosmopolitan and Magic Act in the wrong order, but these two along with Glamorous are really nice copper/rose-gold/gold metallics.
As you can see, the neutral shades are giving me life. From this row (above) I love love love Homecoming, Pretentious and Grandstand for shades that work in a smokey eye or just pretty up daytime looks. They're all so pigmented and buttery smooth. As is Flame Thrower, though I'd probably pass on this one if I could do it over, just because I rarely wear such an intense orange-copper. Maybe I need to be more adventurous. I'd also pass on Mocha, a deep brown which is okay, a 5 out of 10. I find it a bit stiff to work with, and there are better browns out there in the world. Same with Cocoa Bear, I know it's a really popular Makeup Geek Shade, and it's definitely better quality than Mocha, it's just a bit meh. I've got better terracotta browns from other brands.
Controversial, but I'd pass up this whole row (above). The top three swatches, Shimma Shimma, Starry Eyed and In The Spotlight are all great champagne/ballet pink/light salmon pink colours, the kind you need to make your inner corner pop or have a nice subtle wash over the lid in a daytime look. And don't get me wrong, they're all great quality, they're just the kind of shades I have a dozen times over in other palettes. If you really don't have any shades like these, then I recommend. I had really high hopes for Unexpected, it's exactly the kind of matte mauve I like to wear in the crease with winged eyeliner and call it a day – but sadly it's chalky and doesn't last long on the lids. Buon Fresco by Anastasia Beverly Hills is exactly this matte shade, only more pigmented and creamy – sorry MG! Bitten is meh, and if you have the Modern Renaissance Palette by ABH you'll certainly have all the reds and plums you could wish for. Showtime is a fun, sparkly deep brown, but I was hoping it would be more maroon than it comes out. I mean… out of this whole row it would be the one I'd keep, but it's not one I reach for a lot.
I hope this helps a bit when it comes to spending and saving at Makeup Geek. What I should do next is compare shades from my ABH and MAC singles and see which are the ultimate bestest best. Generally, those latter two brands are about £10 per single pan and Makeup Geek is £5-£7 depending on which shades you get, though MAC and ABH do money-saving palettes, either pre-made or customisable. Singles are dangerous for makeup collectors, you feel like a kid in a sweet shop, but there's nothing worse than picking something you thought was going to be a lot more delectable than it is. That goes for sweets and eyeshadows.