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.