MakeupGeek Eyeshadows! Review, Swatches & Looks

mug1Many of you have been asking about the MakeupGeek eyeshadow line from the lovely Marlena; what I think about it, how it compares to my beloved MAC, so you know I couldn’t help but try them! Quite honestly, these eyeshadows have met every expectation I had, as well as some I had for some of MAC’s shades!

What I love the most about these eyeshadows is there is little to NO fall-out associated with a great majority of them. They transfer to the brush effortlessly, go onto the lid seamlessly (no blotchy applications, ahem, MAC), do not contain chunky glitter (ahem, Urban Decay), and blending them out and into one another is an absolute dream.

And let’s not forget to mention the price difference – HALF the cost of MAC and some are actually better than some of the MAC comparables. Click here if you’d like to purchase, or check out the eyeshadows from the MakeupGeek line.

So far I’ve created looks with 9 of them during my experimental week, and I am anxious to continue going with them. I am most excited about ‘Razzelberry’ (the red shade)! I have always wanted to try a red eyeshadow and I have the PERFECT look in mind for it in an upcoming YouTube tutorial. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eyeshadows, Swatches & Dupes

shimmashimmaShimma Shimma is an exact dupe for MAC’s Shroom, although I feel it’s a touch lighter and not as ‘dirty’ looking as Shroom has always appeared to me.

cremebruleeCreme Brulee is next to near identical to MAC’s Soft Brown, but easier to blend away when used in the crease. A softer application of color.glamorousGlamorous is a dupe for MAC’s Amber Lights; I didn’t see any real difference between the two. Very easy shade to work with, blends away beautifully.cocoabearA beautiful red-brown shade, very dupeable with MAC’s Brown Script. Beautiful blender, easy to work with, just like MAC’s version.mochaReminds me of MAC’s Brown Down but not as stubborn of a blender. MUCH easier to blend away and into other colors, which is an awesome find for me because I despise Brown Down for its hard-to-work-with application in the crease.chickadeeAppears mustard in the pan but when applied to the lid, it turns into a beautiful yellow-leaning orange color. MAC’s Rule is a very close dupe, but a little more orange. moondustGreen-leaning brown shade, highly reminiscent of MAC’s Patina but lacking some of the gold. Moondust leans more brown compared to Patina.promnight

Prom Night is an interesting color! To me, it’s a silvery-taupe with a hint of a cool purple mixed in. There is nothing like it comparable in MAC’s line that I can think of.unexpected

Another gorgeous matte, light purple shade; beautiful when used lightly in the crease. I want to compare this to MAC’s Quarry, or Urban Decay’s Tease, but it’s a little more purple.sensuous

When I first saw Sensuous in the pan, I was reminded of a mixture between MAC’s Trax and Star Violet. I don’t personally like Trax because it has that weird gold shimmer mixed in with the purple, which to my picky artist eye doesn’t match. However, Sensuous has that gold tinge to it but its MUCH more toned down, and more wearable (in my opinion), compared to Trax.dramaqueenDrama Queen is a dark purple with a subtle amount of sparkle in it. While I couldn’t think of anything in MAC’s collection resembling this one close enough, it is an exact dupe for ‘Ever After’ from Too Faced’s Romantic Eye palette. No difference except that Ever After is matte and Drama Queen has a little bit of glitter. Other than that, they’re the same color.


Stunning blue shade! This is so beautifully unique and not comparable to anything in MAC’s permanent collection. If you were to look outside into the limited edition shades, MAC’s Cool Heat is a dead ringer, but Poolside has a little bit more glitter in the formula.unicorn

Unicorn is a bluish-purple, very similar to MAC’s Parfait Amour or Urban Decay’s Psychedelic Sister. I feel Unicorn is slightly more blue than purple compared to those two though. This one takes a bit of layering to build the color up, but it’s so beautifully vibrant when you get it there.shimmermintShimmermint is a beautiful light green with just a small hint of gold in it. The very second I applied it, I was instantly reminded of MAC’s Juxt. So if you’re looking for something similar to MAC’s discontinued Juxt, I’d highly recommend giving Shimmermint a try.envy

I LOVE a good dark forest green and Envy is no exception. MAC has really missed the boat by not putting a true, deep green in their permanent collection like this. Once again, an LE shade I would compare to Envy would be MAC’s Bows & Curtsies. Envy is a little lighter than Bows & Curtsies when you look at the two in the pan, but after application, you get the same effect.razzleberry

Wow! A red eyeshadow! Be still my pink eyeshadow loving heart! If you were going to get a red eyeshadow from MAC, you would probably need to look to one of the limited edition pigments like MAC’s Basic Red. And even still you wouldn’t be getting this shade. It’s a shocking red, true, but it’s more toned down in my eyes and placed right can REALLY add a lot to a look. More soon with this one!corruptDupe for MAC’s Carbon; hey, once you have one black shade you have them all! Very pigmented color, doesn’t take much to build it at all. A little easier to work with compared to Carbon.

The Looks

Look #1

  • Shimma Shimma (inner two thirds of lid)
  • Chickadee (outer third of lid)
  • Creme Brulee (crease)
  • MAC Blanc Type (blend)

Look #2

  • Shimmermint (inner half of lid and line lower lashline)
  • Envy (outer half of lid)
  • Glamourous (crease)
  • MAC Blanc Type (blend)

46 thoughts on “MakeupGeek Eyeshadows! Review, Swatches & Looks

  1. Thank you soooo much for this post, after not being able to get Soft Brown in the UK anymore I am so pleased that MUG has got a dupe! just ordered it and about 6 more, all their shadows look great, hope you can do looks for the whole collection, love from the UK Xx

  2. Oooh, these look awesome. And for half the price. Have you tried to fit them in the MAC palette, does it fit nicely?

    1. Zabrena I am so so glad you tried and liked these shadows!!! I cannot wait to see the rest of the combos you create (especially the one with Razzleberry)!

    2. Oh yes! They’re identical in size! Fit in there just perfectly. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the price of these too!
      So funny you said that – I had them all laid out as I was doing the pictures last night and hubby comes by and says, ‘Are those smaller than MAC’s?’ LOL! I never expected to hear that out of HIS mouth, how observant! Ha!

  3. Zabrena
    How does Drama Queen compare to MAC’s Beauty Marked? I wanted to order Drama Queen but I already own Beauty Marked.
    Thanks for your great posts & pictures!

    1. Hi Sharon! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Beauty Marked is more red-based whereas Drama Queen is more purple based.
      Depending on what you apply Beauty Marked with, it can change colors between looking more red or more purple whereas Drama Queen is always going to be that deep purple. The deep color of it reminds me a LOT of Shadowy Lady actually, but MUCH easier to work with! I think you’d be real pleased with it. Hope that helps a little bit more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. SO many beauties in this review – shades I really covet! Alas, part of why I covet them is that they’re similar to shadows I already have and love but one of these days, I may well place an order at MakeupGeek (she seems to have a LOT of great products – brushes too). Just from the look of the swatch and your description, I’m thinking Prom Night is a lot like Chanel Taupe Grise, though for a fraction of the cost! Shimmermint, Moondust and (aptly named) Envy are all calling my name!

    1. Haha! Yes! Oh I bet! I’ve never purchased a Chanel eyeshadow but I’m sure they are high up there on the price list!
      I will have to look into her brushes next; heard great things about them too!

      1. I only bought the one I have because I had a $20 off coupon. And it is a LOVELY shadow but I do think a lot of the price is just “prestige” and so many companies are coming out with reasonably priced shadows that are excellent quality and unique in their colours and stuff, just like the “high end” products. Some of Sephora’s new products are right up there with the really high end/high price ones and it sure looks like Marlena’s shadows are the same – awesome quality and colour and not insane prices.

  5. OH WOW!! These are amazing! I will DEF.have to check these out! i love “Glamourous” and “Unexpected”. How is the price compared to UD & MAC?

    1. OMG, TEN times better! Half the price at $5.99!! And you lose nothing in quality, actually gain a little more compared to MAC in some cases of dupe comparisons I did!

  6. Hi Lindsay,
    UD Individual eyeshadows are $18. MAC eyeshadows in there regular cases or compacts are $15. The MAC Pro palette pan refills are $12. MUG compacts are $7.99 or $5.99 in the pan refills. I hope this helpful!

    1. Never tried them! But I have looked over their way once or twice in the past.
      Now that I’m branching out, maybe I should get a few just to test them out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Hi,

    What primer are you using on these looks? What primer do you recommend for most of the looks you create. The shadows look extremely pigmented.

    1. Hi Jennifer! For a lot of the looks you see on the site I use Too Faced Eyeshadow Insurance. On a day to day basis though I usually use NARS because it keeps my lids crease-free for upwards of 20 hours, whereas Too Faced tends to crease on my oily lids after about 16 hours. ๐Ÿ™

    1. Hi,
      The closest dupe I saw was MAC’s Kid LE. It’s not the same but close. Unfortunately, MAC is discontinuing Kid.

  8. Z, I was at Mac today buying Soft Brown in the palette refill, which I will now return as I have MUG Creme Brรปlรฉe as I realize I now own a dupe…just found that Mac has lowered their Pro Palette refills to $10. A nice surprise.

    1. Yes! Wasn’t that?! I found out about that last night too! They’ve never lowered the prices on their eyeshadows before; maybe they are becoming more humble in their pricing …?

    2. I did exactly the same today! Brought home mac soft brown only to realize it looked and swatched like mug creme brรปlรฉe! Back it goes… Now what to get?m

  9. I’m trying to find an omega dupe..(cruelty free)..does m.u.g. have any like that? it’s such a good crease shade for fair skin but I don’t want to buy anything that isn’t c.f. :S i know nyx taupe blush is similar but it’s shimmery and I’m looking for something matte! thanks for the list!

    1. Hi Catie! The closest you could come to an Omega dupe in MakeupGeek’s line is Hipster. It’s a little bit more shimmer-y compared to Omega, which is more matte. I featured the two side by side in a video today on the YouTube channel; you’re welcome to check it out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. moondust, prom night, unexpected and sensuous look beautiful! i’m hoping to get those next together with homecoming once that’s back in stock. i currently have shimma shimma, shimmermint, pixie dust and cosmopolitan and they are all so amazing to work with!

    Do you have swatches and reviews for the 18 other colours you got?

  11. I just signed up for this site and I cannot get enough. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can you please do more Makeup Geek looks. I now have 3 large z palettes full of Marlena’s shadows and would LOVE to see what looks you can come up with.

  12. Hi Zabrena! Thanks for another informative post. I have been in the process of making a plan to build up my MAC collection but after reading this and seeing other reviews I’ve been going back and forth. I just recently started a serious makeup collection. I had makeup but it was very old and I rarely used it. I just got four more MAC shadows to add to the four I’ve had forever! I told myself I would get some MAC neutrals since they will probably get the most wear and then do cheaper color shadows. Now I’m contemplating just going with MUG for all my shades (but that changes every second (lol)). What do you think about building a neutral collection with MAC and reserving the more fun colors to MUG. Specifically for someone trying to improve their makeup collection? Thanks again!!

    Just to give you an idea I was planning on buying these MAC shadows: Satin Taupe, Saddle or Texture (as a crease color, I have a warm caramel skin tone, I’m not sure my shade in MAC, but I wear Rich Caramel in EL Double Wear), Red Brick, Cranberry, Bronze, Antiqued, Swiss Chocolate, Coppering, Twinks, Sketch and possibly Cork (for the crease).

  13. You are amazing!! I am about to restock my MUA kit and have been dodging between urban decay/sleek/mac shadows for 1 1/2 yearsnow, but haven’t stopped hearing about M.U.G shadows online and through Youtube channels, so I needed a good all round review/blog about these and you hit the nail on the head. I’m so excited about building some palettes up with these colours and putting them to work 2015!!

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