Hey friends! As you probably know by now, things have been very hectic for me lately between house hunting, packing, getting ready for a friend’s wedding, and preparing to start at a new school and a new job. Early on in the craziness, I realized that one of the tasks that slows me down the most when I’m trying to get ready is trying to decide which eye shadows I want to wear. I love changing my look up day to day, but realistically, I just don’t have that much time to put into it right now (well, that and I don’t wanna scare our realtor away with one of my glam grunge smoky eye looks, she’s pretty traditional). In order to keep myself from digging through my palettes, I put together an assortment of eye shadows in my Makeup Geek Travel Palette that would allow me to do a range of eye looks and give me everything I needed to accomplish a quick look with just one palette. Today I’ll be sharing my palette with you, as well as the logic behind my choice of shadows. Swatches are at the end of the post!
First up is MAC Blanc Type (Note: I was only able to find this in a compact as of 8/10/16, but when I purchased it back in the spring, it was available as a pro palette refill, not sure why it’s only in the compact now). I finally gave in and purchased a few MAC eye shadows after they dropped the price to $6 for the pro palette refill pans. The few MAC shadows I own were purchased specifically to fill certain gaps in my collection, which is why there are several in this palette. Blanc Type was purchased because I was searching for a matte white shade to use as a brow bone highlight and an all-over base color to tone down the stickiness from my eye primer. I couldn’t seem to find anything that was pigmented enough and applied smoothly, so I caved and grabbed Blanc Type. I’m glad I did because it’s exactly what I was looking for. In comparison to some of the other formulas I’m used to working with (Makeup Geek, Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills), it’s a lot drier, but it goes on exactly the way I want it to: pigmented enough to hide the discoloration on my eyelids, but not so pigmented that it looks as stark as if I had put White Out on my eyelids. It’s also more of a creamy bone white, which makes it work well for a matte brow bone highlight. I almost never do a look without this eye shadow, so when I was putting my palette together, this was a no-brainer.
Working from left to right, the next shadow is MAC Malt. I purchased this shadow hoping it would be a dupe for one of my all-time favorite ColourPop shades: Bill. Bill and Malt are both pinky beige shades that look extra awesome in the crease if you have green eyes. They’re not exact dupes, Bill has more of a dusty purple undertone that Malt lacks. Malt is also more brown. Both work as neutrals with a little somethin’ extra. As much as I love Bill, I wanted something I could pop into a magnetic palette so I wouldn’t always have to dig through my singles drawer for Bill. I’ve also noticed that the ColourPop formula doesn’t always play well with normal eye shadow formulas, it seems like the ColourPop shadows occasionally develop a satin texture that makes it difficult to blend them with other shadows. Although they’re not identical, I use Malt and Bill in essentially the same way: as a transition or crease color for cool-toned looks, especially with purples and taupes.
Continuing on, we have MAC Soft Brown. Soft Brown is a matte, muted warm brown. You would think this shade would be easily dupe-able, but there’s something about it that puts it in the Goldilocks zone. It’s warm without being too warm, blends easily, and is pigmented without being too bold. I reach for it on a regular basis, especially when I’m doing a more minimal look because the muted brown makes it easy to use as a “one and done” crease color. Even though it leans warm, it’s probably the most neutral matte brown in this palette, which makes it easy to pair with various other shades of brown, copper, and gold.
Next up is Urban Decay Twice Baked, which I depotted from one of my Urban Decay palettes. Twice Baked is a deep, cool-toned satin-finish brown with gold microshimmer, but I treat it as a matte. The microshimmer tends to get swept away when Twice Baked is blended, so I’m able to use it as a crease color without looking like I have glitter in my crease. I believe the formula has been updated since this shadow was made, so there may be a difference in color and/or texture. The texture of this shadow is actually what I love most about it. The pigment isn’t packed as densely into this shade as the typical Urban Decay formula, which makes it much easier to create a diffused look. That’s what earned it a space in this palette. It can be used to easily deepen up the crease or outer-v without having to spend a ton of time blending it out.
Moving on to the next row, we have Makeup Geek Creme Brulee. Creme Brulee is a matte, peachy brown. I use it as a transition when I’m doing warmer looks. It’s actually similar to MAC Soft Brown, but whereas Soft Brown leans pink, Creme Brulee leans orange, and is also a little bit lighter. it may seem odd to have both of these in the same palette, but I use them differently, so for me it makes sense. I use Soft Brown when I want to keep a look neutral, and Creme Brulee when I want to make a look warmer.
Following Creme Brulee is MAC Texture, which has quickly become one of my favorite shadows. Similar to Twice Baked, Texture is a satin-finish eye shadow with gold microshimmer that doesn’t really show up once the shadow is blended out. In comparison to Makeup Geek Creme Brulee, MAC Texture is deeper and more of a true brown with a warm yellow undertone. I love this eye shadow because I can use it as an all over lid color, blend it into the crease and add way too much mascara two coats of mascara and have a one-shadow look that perfectly walks the tightrope between sultry and everyday “pulled together” makeup. I also use this in the crease when I want a neutral gold look, or with copper tones to create a look that really brings out the golden brown flecks in the center of my eyes.
Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear is a warm matte brown that reminds of hot chocolate with a bit of cinnamon mixed in. I mostly use this as a crease color or to deepen my outer corner, sort of like the warm counterpart to Urban Decay Twice Baked. I also love to use this along the lower lash line because the warm tones really make my green eyes stand out. This and the following shadow were also the closest I could get to putting one of my beloved orange eye shadows in this palette and still have it be a neutral, everyday palette.
Now we’re getting to the more fun shadows #glitterbomb4lyfe. Urban Decay Chopper is one of my favorite copper shades, especially because of the silver microglitter. When it comes to makeup, I love mixing metals because I love the contrast. Copper tones like Chopper are even better because they bring out both the green and the gold in my eyes. Chopper + Creme Brulee + Cocoa Bear = heart eyes. Add Estee Lauder Tiger Eye on the lips and the heart eyes of warm-tone loving makeup addicts everywhere will be exploding. It puts the warm tones on its skin.
Now we take a quick jaunt over to the softer shades that I often use to highlight my inner corner. Urban Decay Virgin is a soft white satin that adds a ton of brightness to a look. It also reflects the light nicely without having any shimmer to it, which would be great for people who prefer a soft-focus inner corner highlight. Although I find this shadow kind of boring, it’s a very silky, pigmented shadow that pairs well with nearly any eye look. It could also double as a highlighter on very pale skin. I’ve used it that way a few times when I was in a hurry, but I prefer a stronger, more golden highlight most days.
While the name Missionary sounds boring, this shade from Urban Decay is actually the perfect pale taupe that should be in every neutral eye shadow lover’s collection, which makes it extra tragic that it’s not available as a single. Missionary is a highly reflective satin with gray, silver, and a touch of pale brown. For whatever reason, something about it reminds me of the moon. It doesn’t look like much when it’s swatched, but on the eyes, it’s magic. The reflectiveness of this shadow really opens up the eyes without screaming for attention the way a shimmery or glittery shade does. It enhances the eyes in a very subtle way, very ingenue or “girl next door.” This looks especially beautiful with Malt and a touch of gray-brown, such as Urban Decay Naked2 or Makeup Geek Bedrock right in the outer part of the crease.
This next shadow was featured in my favorites this month, so obviously it’s something I’ve been using a lot recently. Urban Decay Sidecar is an eye shadow that, for whatever reason, I kind of overlooked until recently. Sidecar is like Chopper’s laid back but equally beautiful cousin. Both are satins with silver microglitter, though the microglitter in Sidecar is more subtle because it is smaller and contrasts less with the cool taupe base of Sidecar. I’d pair this with Malt + Twice Baked for a low key glitter addicts anonymous glam look.
Ahh, here we have the magical, glorious, Pink Champagne from Anastasia Beverly Hills. This eye shadow makes me want to sing Lana Del Rey songs to it. If this eye shadow is not on my corpse when it goes up in flames, so help me I will haunt every surviving friend and family member I have (yes, I am going to make someone do my makeup before I’m cremated). This cool-toned pink shimmer/glitter hybrid is quite possibly the prettiest eye shadow in existence, especially if you’re a fan of glittery eye shadows. Seriously, this eye shadow is like “hey, we heard you liked glitter, so we put glitter on your glitter.” ABH calls it a titanium finish, and I definitely agree with that description. It’s like Makeup Geeks foiled eye shadows on steroids. I wear this with some variation of Creme Brulee, Soft Brown, and Texture. I’ll also add in Cocoa Bear and/or Twice Baked for added drama.
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is the ultimate glitter bomb. There’s absolutely no way of wearing this eye shadow without having flecks of silver glitter all over your face (seriously, even after I clean the fallout off of my face with tape and do my foundation, I still get glitter all over because it rains silver glitter every time I blink), but for me, it’s worth it. It’s been reformulated since I last purchased it, and I actually have the reformulated pan in another palette, but it’s just a slightly less explosive glitter bomb. This eye shadow is in this palette partially because it’s a beautiful, fun, neutral gold that makes my heart happy, and partially because I’m trying to finish off this pan. The same goes for Grifter, which I’ll talk about at the end of this post. I wear MCRA (not to be confused with its less glittery relative, Midnight Cowboy) with any of the matte shades in this palette except for Malt.
On to the final row. Starting with Urban Decay Vert (discontinued), which actually is just in this palette as a space-filler for the most part. Vert is a green duochrome with a subtle blue flash. I used to wear it quite often, but haven’t done so much recently. However, I had a spot left open in my palette and the pan size was right, so I tossed it in here yesterday. I’d wear it with Creme Brulee and Texture on a day when I was craving color, but didn’t have time to dig through the rest of my eye shadows.
Urban Decay Cherry (discontinued) is another classic shade. I use this almost exclusively for highlighting my inner corners, especially when I’m doing a cool-toned look. Cherry is a reflective satin with a hint of pastel pink, and some silver microglitter. Cherry is comparable to Virgin, but Virgin is more neutral, doesn’t contain any microglitter, and is significantly less reflective.
I use Urban Decay Blunt as a golden alternative to Cherry. Similar to Cherry, I find that I never really reach for Blunt as a lid color, just an inner corner highlight. Blunt is a reflective pale gold satin.
The final neutral shade in this palette is Anastasia Beverly Hills Treasure (not available as a single). I use Treasure all over the lid as a less glittery alternative to Midnight Cowboy Rides Again or a more neutral golden alternative to Blunt on the inner corners. It’s slightly more reflective and less yellow than Blunt.
Rounding off the palette, we have Urban Decay Grifter (discontinued). Grifter is a silvery pale purple satin with silver glitter. It’s great for adding a bit of color without being too in-your face, which is why I had to have it in this palette to keep me from dying in a neutral eye shadow induced coma. As I mentioned before, I’m also trying to use this one up because I have another pan of the reformulated version that’s less of a glitterbomb.
That’s it for this palette. It’s not quite my perfect palette since I was limited by purpose, palette size, and pan shape, but it works great for what I need it to at the moment. I hope this post was helpful to you! Let me know which eye shadows you keep in your go-to palette or which eye shadows you reach for the most in the comments down below.
|All swatches are done with a flat shader brush. Top row is over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, bottom row is on bare skin.
Left to right: Urban Decay Twice Baked || Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear || MAC Texture || Makeup Geek Creme Brulee || MAC Soft Brown || MAC Malt || Anastasia Beverly Hills Treasure || Urban Decay Blunt || Urban Decay Cherry || Urban Decay Missionary || Urban Decay Virgin || MAC Blanc Type (blends into my skin almost completely)
|Left to right: MAC Malt || Anastasia Beverly Hills Treasure|| Urban Decay Blunt || Urban Decay Cherry ||Urban Decay Missionary || Urban Decay Virgin || MAC Blanc Type
|Left to right: Urban Decay Twice Baked || Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear || MAC Texture || Makeup Geek Creme Brulee || MAC Soft Brown || MAC Malt || Anastasia Beverly Hills Treasure
|Left side over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, right side over bare skin. All swatches done with a flat shader brush.
Top to Bottom: Urban Decay Chopper || Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again || Anastasia Beverly Hills Pink Champagne || Urban Decay Sidecar || Urban Decay Grifter* || Urban Decay Vert
*note: There was still brown eye shadow on my brush when I did the bare skin swatch of Grifter, so refer to the left side for accurate color representation