Makeup Geek Eyeshadow • Worth the Hype?

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow • Worth the Hype?

Makeup Geek eyeshadow is touted as being creamy, buttery, smooth, blendable…all the positive descriptive words eyeshadow can possibly be. Is Makeup Geek worth the hype? For some reason it took me several years to pull the trigger. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because there’s no brick & mortar store? Maybe it’s because they have to be ordered from the Makeup Geek website and can’t be ordered from an online store and combined with other purchases I wanted to make or with an Ulta or Sephora points program.


What plunged me into the Makeup Geek abyss was my last BoxyCharm which contained a 9-pan z-palette and two simple shadows, Creme Brulee and Bitten. I actually didn’t even use them for a while. They sat in the pan while I continued to use my other palettes and single shadows until one day I eyed up Creme Brulee, thinking it might be a good transition shadow. Boy was it! It swiped across my crease with such ease and blended so easily. Described as a soft medium sand color with a velvety matte finish, this was perfect…not too dark, not too light. It was the goldilocks of transition shades…the shade I’d been wanting all this time. What appeared as a plain shade in the pan was anything but plain on my eye.


It was a week or so later, when I used Bitten, a deep maroon with a matte finish. Again, I expected a lot of fallout but found it applied and blended so easily. In the past when using cranberries and maroons, I felt like they made me look tired or sick. Yet this one really enhanced my eyes. Cut to the following week when I placed my first Makeup Geek order to fill up the rest of my pan.

makeup palette on countertop

I love the fact that Makeup Geek shadow pans are so inexpensive. $6 per pan makes it easy to try new shades and create new combinations. It’s easy to see in the Makeup Geek swatches below that I was going for mostly browns and warm shades. But the selection on Marlena’s website is endless. (Note that I always use an eyeshadow primer. Doing so will enhance the application, as well as increase the wear and longevity of any eyeshadow)


Bitten (described above)

Bada Bing: (Gold-flecked chocolate brown with a subtle sparkly finish) This is the one where I thought the pigment was just OK. However, I bought this one mostly to line with (dry or damp) and to enhance my outer v  slightly. For that purpose it’s been PERFECT. 

Cocoa Bear: (Matte reddish brown) I love this shade in the crease and outer V. It’s warm and really makes my eyes pop. I think this can be flattering on anyone!

Frappe: (medium maple brown with a demi-matte finish). Frappe has microscopic shimmer particles but functions as a matte when applied. It applies very silky and smooth. There’s just enough difference between Cocoa Bear and Frappe to justify owning both. I like to use this in the crease and sometimes on the lid too as a wash! I can’t do that with Cocoa Bear because it’s too deep for me.

Vanilla Bean: (Light Shimmer with peachy beige undertone) I’ve been using this light warm beige shade as a browbone and inner corner highlight. I don’t notice a ton of shimmer. This seems to fall between a satin and shimmer for me.

Peach Smoothie: (A soft peachy orange with a matte finish) I use this as a warm apricot transition shade if I use a light all over shade beforehand. Sometimes I use it on the lid. It’s very nice and brightening to the eye.

Moondust: (Metallic silver taupe) Exactly as described. This is gorgeous on the lid or in the crease. It has just enough warmth in it for me. I love the way it applies with a dense flat brush or my finger. A primer is essential for this or the next two shadows…using one will not only help them stay but look stunning!

Homecoming: (Medium brown with gold shimmer) Another gorgeous lid shade that I think is so much more than what the description says. To me it’s more of a deeper champagne than a simple brown.

Pocket Change: (soft bronze with a shimmery finish) Stunning bronze that’s not too harsh on the lid or crease. The finish is shimmery yet not over the top.

MAC All that Glitters: (beige with gold pearl) Yes, this is here on purpose. I included it for comparison purposes. You can see that it seems to fall somewhere between Peach Smoothie and Homecoming in terms of color. It seemed appropriate to include it for reference.

Creme Brule: (described above) I liked seeing this near Peach Smoothie. I had a hard time finding swatches online of these two transition shades near each other. They seem very different with the finger swatches yet they both do work well when applied with a brush.

makeup swatches on arm
(L-R) Bitten, Bada Bing, Cocoa Bear, Frappe, Vanilla Bean, Peach Smoothie, Moondust, Homecoming, Pocket Change, MAC All that Glitters, Creme Brulee
makeup swatches on arm
Alternative Angle

I’m extremely happy with my first Makeup Geek Eyeshadow purchases. I love the shades I bought and can get a variety of different looks with the palette I created. I hope the eyeshadow comparison swatches are helpful. If you have favorite shades or thoughts about Makeup Geek in general, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Swatches



  1. June 7, 2023 / 2:04 am

    Stephanie, I adore your blog! This information is essential and beneficial. I read a lot of blog posts, but your page stands out as one of the few that offers such superior content.

  2. Sarah
    April 17, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I totally copied you on this Stephanie and bought 3 for my Tarte Pro Palette. Love the texture and pigment! Such a bargain too. I bought, Moondust, Pocket Change and Creme Brûlée. Tempted to try the contour colors next, your video encouraged me to give contouring a chance. lol

    • Stephanie Marie
      April 19, 2017 / 11:03 pm

      Aren’t they great?! You picked some wonderful shades!

  3. timibit1
    April 10, 2017 / 6:08 am

    Thanks so much for posting the colours! I received Cherry Cola and another one from Boxycharm and haven’t used it but these colour are great and I am going to try them. I also have never used MG before but I have a Z pallet to fill up?

    • Stephanie Marie
      April 19, 2017 / 11:04 pm

      Be careful! You may get addicted to them! 🙂

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