Monday, January 25, 2016

What's In My Z Palette?

At some point, every makeup hobbyist needs a Z Palette. A part of me can't help but feel the practice of selling individual pans of eyeshadow is basically a rort, but what next is there to buy when one owns Naked 1, 2 and 3 (and Too Faced Chocolate Bar and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and don't make me go on...). Point is, I needed a place to collate the Makeup Geek shadows I finally decided to buy after years of hesitation. Then because I bought the medium size, I had extra space to store random bits and bobs that I could satisfyingly remove from their original, bulky or damaged packaging. A personalised Z Palette often serves as a revealing, fun peek into one's makeup preferences, so I thought to dedicate a post about what's contained in mine.



For the section of eyeshadows in the first half of the palette, we have:
Top row: Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma, Makeup Geek I'm Peachless, Makeup Geek Glamorous, Makeup Geek Desert Sands
Second row: Makeup Geek Cosmopolitan, Makeup Geek Grandstand, Makeup Geek Roulette, Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear
Third row: Makeup Geek Homecoming, Makeup Geek Pretentious, Makeup Geek Carnival
Bottom row: Benefit Call My Buff, Benefit It's Complicated, Benefit Gilt-y Pleasure, Benefit Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy

In the second half of the palette (which I dub "cheek and miscellaneous"), we have in clockwise order:
Makeup Geek Secret Admirer, Inglot 402 Pearl, Kiko 213 Mat Cocoa, Benefit Coralista, Essence Mystic Lemon


I've already written briefly about the first bunch of Makeup Geek shadows I bought (featured in my July 2015 Favourites). Now I've had a few months to play with them, I can say which were hits and which were misses.

l-r: Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma, Glamorous, Cosmopolitan, Roulette, Homecoming, Cocoa Bear, Grandstand

I'm not the hugest fan of Shimma Shimma, though not because it's poor quality. I'm just not crazy about the colour (too light and whitish for my liking). I usually have to be ultra-picky when it comes to shades that work as an inner corner highlight, and Shimma Shimma isn't one of them. It looks odd, jarring and unnatural when I place it in the corner of my eyes. It works better as a cheek highlight, but I have other products I prefer.

Glamorous, Grandstand and Homecoming are great all-over lid options. Three absolute winners. I was hoping to love Cosmopolitan but it didn't blow me away. I was expecting some iridescent gold-warm pink shade, but it's more a coppery coral. Roulette is a bit too dark, bright and reddish for my daytime comfort level. Pigmentation is insane though. Cocoa Bear is a good alternative to your typical dark brown as it's distinctly red-toned and warm. Works well to deepen any eye look with similarly warm bronze/copper/russet lid shades.

l-r: Benefit Call My Buff, Benefit It's Complicated, Benefit Gilt-y Pleasure, Benefit Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy

I managed to depot the four powder eyeshadows from the Benefit World Famous Neutrals in Most Glamorous Nudes Ever (full review here). The unnecessarily bulky box is now housing my unused, discarded mini brushes that come with the Benefit boxed blushes. I don't find the texture or pigmentation of these shadows to be on par with Makeup Geek, but the shades do work harmoniously together (along with the included mini cream shadows in Birthday Suit and My Two Cents) to create a very pretty eye look. I wish Gilt-y Pleasure were darker as it's too light for my skin tone to work optimally as an all-over lid wash. Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy also has a tonne of fall out. It's Complicated is the most pigmented of the four and has a gorgeous duochrome quality, though I tend to isolate it only to the inner third of the eye to brighten and create a gradient effect, combined with a medium shade on the centre of the lid and a darker colour in the outer corner.

After the overall success of my first Makeup Geek order, I was encouraged to make a second order when the brand had free shipping on the final day of their 12 Days of Christmas promotions. I had a few shades already in mind, so the process of checking out was relatively swift and free of agonising deliberation. I picked out four eyeshadows, three of which were already on the wishlist (Carnival, I'm Peachless and Desert Sands), one of which I bought just to qualify for the free shipping minimum spend of $25 USD (Pretentious).

l-r: Makeup Geek Pretentious, Carnival, I'm Peachless, Desert Sands

The only one I really love is I'm Peachless. It's seriously beautiful. Not just on the eyes, but as a cheek highlighter. Seriously, try it. It's an absolute stunner. More beautiful than my previous eyeshadow-as-highlighter discovery, Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Thunderstruck, which is saying A LOT.

Carnival is fun to play around with and not too "unwearable" (plus I was afraid it would be too similar to Makeup Geek Secret Admirer blush, but it's darker, not as cool-toned and more pigmented). It's slightly patchy on application, but nothing too problematic.

l-r: Morphe Deep Skin, Too Faced Salted Caramel, Too Faced Peanut Butter, Makeup Geek Desert Sands

Makeup Geek Desert Sands is one of the brand's cult shades, but I didn't know if I needed it. I finally convinced myself I did, because it was more camel-toned (i.e. yellow) than comparable shades I already had, which were more orange or pink. While that might be true, I'm not sure if the difference once on the eyes is that noticeable to justify having 4 separate eyeshadows that a normal, non-makeup inclined person would find indistinguishable.

l-r: Urban Decay Smog, Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made, Too Cool For School Golden Edge, Makeup Geek Pretentious

Same could be said for Makeup Geek Pretentious, though I guess the differences are more pronounced (in the scheme of minuscule differences). At least it's not as green-tinged as Too Cool For School Golden Edge. I still prefer ABH Self-Made as it's more warm gold, but Pretentious is passable in terms of not being too khaki-toned for a bronze shade, or muddy.

l-r: Too Faced Frosting, Urban Decay Smog, Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made, Too Cool For School Golden Edge, Makeup Geek Pretentious, Too Faced Hazelnut

A couple more shades to compare Pretentious against. Both Frosting and Hazelnut are more dark brown. I guess Pretentious is closest to a cross between Urban Decay Smog and Too Cool For School Golden Edge. I definitely could have done without it, but then again, I couldn't for the life of me pick what other shade to buy that didn't seem utterly dupeable or an ultimate waste as I'd never wear it. Makeup Geek fans, am I missing any shades that I'd love but am currently oblivious to?

l-r: Makeup Geek Secret Admirer, Essence Mystic Lemon, Benefit Coralista, Kiko 213 Mat Cocoa, Inglot 402 Pearl

Finally, we have all the leftover shades that primarily are there to take up space. Makeup Geek Secret Admirer was purchased in my first Makeup Geek order. I wanted a pale, pastel lavender blush to fill the place of my never-delivered BBIA Downy Cheek in Downy Lavender, but the colour disappointingly applies just like an ordinary cool-toned plummy/rosy shade to my cheeks. I'm still keeping Essence Mystic Lemon as my el cheapo NARS Albatross dupe (or so I tell myself). Benefit Coralista was depotted from the unwieldy TropiCORAL Lip & Cheek Kit (so glad to be able to chuck that out), but I still find it more shimmer than pigment for a blush. The Kiko Infinity Eyeshadow in Mat Cocoa (213) is unremarkable, but not a bad product. It just doesn't inspire any excitement and I rarely use it. There are better dark brown options if I need something similar (e.g. LORAC Sable or Espresso). Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow in 402 is a bit too cool-toned for my liking, but it's a solid satin-finish taupe with slight mauve/rose tones.


A pedantic part of me wishes I'd bought an extra large Z Palette and gradually aimed to fill it up entirely with neat rows of Makeup Geek shadows, but that would be an obscenely costly exercise for questionable reward. I guess that's the genius of Z Palettes — it's something you have to buy just to buy more of something else.

28 comments:

  1. I love your Z Palette. I recently purchased Grandstand and Roulette and have to say, I love them both! Pretentious looks amazing though and I'm kinda kicking myself that I didn't pick it up in my recent haul - although like you, I'm sure I have a tonne of dupeable shades. I'm now on my fourth large Z Palette - ridiculous, I know. You've definitely inspired me with this post. Great job!

    Kirsty - Life in Excess

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    1. Wooaahhh fourth Z Palette! That's awesome :) I'm not sure if I'll ever get there but sounds like something to aim for, haha.

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  2. I love your selection of colours in this palette :) I want a Z palette too~ I've heard so much about makeup geek eyeshadows and I'm definitley going to try them out sometime soon!

    Great post, Hope you have a lovely day ♥

    Ying | * Y i n g c b e a u t y *

    X x X x X

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    1. Give them a go - they're really great eyeshadows! Though buying them individually can add up.

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  3. My Z palette is still mostly empty, but I'm glad I bought a large one as I know i'll be buying more singles some time in the future! I kind of want a mini one too for travelling - not that I travel very much... I'm Peachless does look gorg! I really want to pick up a few of the duochrome shades. Coralista mini is sitting in my Z palette too. I have the same sentiments, there's so much hype and I just find it too sheer. It does give a nice glow but I'd rather go all out with highlighter if I want da glow.

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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    1. Coralista is the Benefit blush I like the least - and I love Benefit blushes (they're probably my #2 behind NARS). It's just way too shimmery! A much better alternative to Coralista is Edward Bess Quad Royale in Monte Carlo, though that is a bit pricey.

      You need I'm Peachless! It's so beautiful. Especially if you liked that Josie Maran water eyeshadow thing in the rose gold shade :)

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  4. Interesting post! I've been debating with myself whether it's time for me to try MUG eye shadows since they're now available from beautybay.com and your post actually just convinced me xD I'm Peachless and Pretentious are so pretty!! *_*
    I need to get Z palette too sooner or later , I'd like to depot my Benefit blushes from the Holiday palette I bought last year. The tin case is so bulky :/

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    1. Yes, some of Benefit's packaging is sooooo bulky! It would be so satisfying once you get rid of it and depot those precious pans into a Z Palette :)

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  5. I really want to try some makeup geek eyeshades, they look so similar to MAC! x

    http://abeautyromancee.blogspot.co.uk
    http://abeautyromancee.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Ahhh Makeup Geek is definiately on my list to try out soon! They seem to have a great selection of colours.

    www.tasnimjorna.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. I loved seeing your Z Palette :) It's really beautiful and your assortment of shades are the perfect ones. Shima Shima isn't all that bad. It looks beautiful =)

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  8. What an absolute stunning palette!

    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. I don't have a Z Palette - can you believe it? I must get some Makeup Geek Eyeshadows soon because I know they are stunning!
    www.rumbii.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. I really need to get one of these, I can't believe I haven't already! You've also convinced me to purchase some Makeup Geek eyeshadows ASAP!

    Alice / Alice Grace Beauty

    x

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  11. Loved this post! I recently got a small Z palette and filled it with a few Makeup Geek eyeshadows and the quality is insane! Thanks for doing the swatches too, I definitely don't need Pretentious as I have dupes but I still want it!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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  12. SO true, what you said about the personalised pans giving insight to what you like! Those warm shimmers and taupe browns are so you! I haven't seriously looked at MUG but you're making me want to! :P

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    1. I think you get sucked into buying a few shades if you watch a lot of American YouTubers as I have been for the last year or so. Definitely wait until they have a free shipping promotion if you ever commit to an order :)

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  13. You have so many pretty eyeshadows in your palette but I'm most drawn to Carnival! It's such a unique pinky-purple shade, I gotta remember to pick that and I'm Peachless up on my next order :s

    eightbitbeauty.blogspot.com

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    1. Carnival is definitely gorgeous! I'm happy to have that in my palette :) And yes, I'm Peachless is so stunning - I highly recommend it!

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  14. Gosh, I want to make a Makeup Geek order so bad but I don't think I could justify buying any warm neutrals now that I have the 35O palette. I do however want to try her duochromes and foiled shadows >:D ...not anytime soon though haha
    Haha I can't believe you have the Naked 1, 2 and 3 as well as both the Too Faced chocolate palettes!! I only have 1 and 3 and I'm hoping to get the Bon Bons palette when that comes out :D

    chloĆ©⎪ status.chlo

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    1. Haha I am such a palette whore. But I dunno, I really love all my eyeshadow palettes generally speaking. There's not one that I'm like "I regret you". I hear about people selling/giving away/returning some of their hyped palettes and I don't get it. I love all of mine :)

      Excited for Bon Bons! Can't wait to swatch and see if I need it. Also for the Peanut Butter & Jelly palette too - except I wish they added more 'jelly' shades.

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  15. Thank you for sharing this! I love the shades that you've chosen for your Z Palette - warm brown/orange tones, totally what I would go for too! I love the swatches you have included, I've been wanting to get myself some Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans for the longest time - and Cocoa Bear and Desert Sands are definitely top on my list! I've also been wanting the TooFaced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette since I've got the other Chocolate Bar, it's great that you've included a comparison of Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter because that was what caught my eye in the Semi-Sweet palette! I'm so happy I found this post, it's the most thorough review of everything - just what I needed! :) xx

    Kayleigh | http://kayleighmakesup.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yay, thank you so much for this comment! I'm glad you found the post helpful :)

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  16. It's a shame you don't love Cosmopolitan and Roulette, they're two of my favourite shades! I find that Cosmopolitan leans a little more golden if you get it wet and layer over a gold base, if that helps you any! I really love Cocoa Bear too, I just added that one to my collection yesterday! Will be adding Desert Sands to my list!

    brooke | brooke elise

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    1. Thanks for that tip - will keep it in mind! I was hoping Cosmopolitan would be more like NARS Orgasm for the eyes, but it's more like a redder Luster :p

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  17. I should probably think about deporing my eyeshadows as well.
    I own a palette like this, but from a brand called " Wild Peach Cosmetics" ( I really like it, because the palette comes with a mirror) and I have there my sugarbomb blush, hoola bronzer and benefit's eyeshadow in Thanks a latte. I should probably depot my MAC eyeshadows and some of my Korean eyeshadows.
    I also want to try out MakeupGeek's eyeshadow's! Specially because they are finally available at Beautybay. The first row of swatches made me want to get them even more <3

    Take care*

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    1. You can definitely buy cheaper alternatives to Z Palettes! So long as they're well made and do the job, doesn't have to be a Z Palette.

      I hope you get to try Makeup Geek eyeshadows sometime soonish. Overall, I find them excellent quality. Just do some research beforehand as I don't think all the shades are equally formulated. Grandstand is a must!

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  18. I'm filling up a Medium Z Palette at the moment so this post popped up at just the right time! Love seeing how other bloggers have filled theirs with x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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