It’s a good thing I don’t have more Makeup Geek products, because they almost didn’t fit in this picture…
Yep, that’s right, it’s time for another brand overview! In these posts I give my opinion on specific brands, both on the company as a whole and short reviews of each product I’ve tried from them. So often people ask me “What do you think of such-and-such brand” and these posts let me collect all these thoughts together.
This month we’re talking about Makeup Geek!
Makeup Geek (often abbreviated MUG) is a growing indie makeup business. Currently only available online, they sometimes have pop-up shops and there has been discussion in the past of an actual store front. Prices range from drug store to just below prestige cosmetic prices… Their higher-end products are about in line with the cost of the Sephora house brand.
MUG’s products read more fashion-forward than trendy. They stay on top of what’s happening in the industry but they aren’t as quick on the flash-in-the-pan trend releases as a brand like ColourPop. Makeup Geek’s cosmetics are made in the USA and cruelty free and some are also Vegan as well.
My Personal Experience
I’ve been purchasing from MUG for a few years now without any major issues. Because I tend to read reviews before I purchase products, I’ve managed to avoid most of the duds… except for one product we’ll talk about later. I did receive the wrong contour color in an order last year and unfortunately I was too busy to get around to contacting them about returning it (I think it was right before Waking Persephone) so I just gave it to a classmate.
I have heard complaints about bad customer service and about negative reviews being deleted from their site. I have also seen that sometimes after a new launch they have a hard time getting orders out in a timely manner.
Mainly though, complaints revolve around them releasing sub-par products like the recent Showstopper lip products.
Products I’ve Tried
I’ve tried a lot of Makeup Geek cosmetics, and many of them I liked so much I bought multiple shades of them.
Makeup Geek is possibly best known for their pressed eye shadows, which are available in individual pans at very affordable prices.
Mattes — I’ve heard their matte shadows can be pretty hit or miss but I like the ones I have, especially Dirty Martini, which is a nice drab olive.
Metallics and Shimmers — These tend to be more reliable, although as with most pressed eye shadow formulas, the dark ones usually don’t swatch true-to-pan. Mercury was one of the first MUG shadows I ordered and it is a nice soft silver.
Foiled — These are one of Makeup Geek’s best products, IMHO. The foiled eye shadow formula is really rich and metallic. Jester is one of my favorite colors ever, a yummy metallic olive.
Duochrome — These eye shadows are great when you’re in a hurry, because you can create a dimensional effect by applying them to the center of the eye and then blending out, which causes the two colors to show on different parts of the eye. Secret Garden is a beautiful deep green-brown shift.
Loose pigments are also a Makeup Geek staple and are available in several varieties.
Standard — Just your basic shimmery pigment. Afterglow is a beautiful on the lips.
Duochrome — Like the pressed shadows, these reflect two or more colors. Chameleon looks great with my favorite teal Superbootie skirt.
Sparklers — This is the one real fail I’ve experienced from MUG. These are a cross between a pigment and a really fine glitter and I bought them before they came with sifters and they are SO MESSY. And yet as I sit here looking at my tiny bottle of Solstice I can’t help but think what a pretty shade of green it is and how much I’d like to wear it.
I do have one of the foiled pigments but I actually haven’t tried it yet. Whoops!
This is a new arena for Makeup Geek and they seem to be really hit or miss. Ever since being burned by the Sparklers I’ve waited for Temptalia’s reviews before buying anything from MUG, so I avoided the worst of the new lip formulas and picked up a couple of good ones.
Iconic — These are just a basic slim-line creamy lipstick that dries down to a comfortable matte finish. Pretty good for belly dance because they’re well-pigmented, won’t stick to your veils and won’t leave your lips feeling parched… But I question if it’s worth the $15 price tag. I have Feisty, a cool-toned red that leans just a little magenta on me.
Foiled — A shiny, glossy liquid lip product… Does not dry down fully so maybe be careful with hair and silk props, but it is not grossly sticky or goopy. I have no patience for sticky, goopy gloss. Best of all, these are pretty opaque. I have Mixtape which is a gorgeous plummy color. More on that when I get around to doing the next Metallic Lip Round-Up.
Possibly the best thing ever from Makeup Geek, these are my holy grail of highlighters. I’ve managed to avoid every single new highlighting product that has come out since like, November, because I love these so damn much I don’t feel the need to buy anything else! Whether you go for the Foiled or Duochrome ones, you can’t lose. Glitz is a personal favorite. They have multiple shades each for four different skin color categories: Porcelain, Fair, Medium, and Deep, so there should be at least one for everyone.
And that is everything I have tried from Makeup Geek! If you’ve tried any MUG products, let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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