|Top to bottom: Makeup Geek Fairytale, Time Travel, Typhoon, and Ritzy|
I'm going to show arm swatches of all four shadows, as well as photos of how they look on my eyelids. I swatched them on my arm with a good brush and without primer. The photos of the eyeshadows on my eyelid are over primer, because I have such oily lids that I never wear eyeshadow without primer. For each shade, I packed it on to my lid with a brush and then blended it up and out, into the crease and above. This is not necessarily how I would normally wear all of these shades, but it provides a consistent comparison. I also used a highlight shade on my browbone.
(I'll give you a cut here so you don't have to load a bunch of giant photos of my eyeballs if you don't want to.)
If you'll allow me a small rant before we get to the photos: I don't like reviews in which the blogger has clearly very recently got the product, swatched it with his or her fingers, and immediately declared that it's "really nicely pigmented and so smooth!" Of course it's pigmented and smooth when you use a finger to swatch it. I could show you compelling swatches of my shittiest powder products by using my fingers. Most people, however, actually use brushes to apply powder eyeshadow, and products perform different with a brush to the eyelid than a finger to the forearm. I also don't like recommendations without any clear evidence that the blogger has actually tested the product on their face. (That said, if the point is to provide as saturated a swatch as possible simply for shade/finish comparisons, for example, a finger swatch makes sense. It just doesn't help much with evaluating the typical performance of a powder product.)
I think that reviews like that may be partly what contributed to the recent controversy about the poor quality of the Becca eyeshadow palette in collaboration with Jaclyn Hill, which Becca decided to discontinue before its official release. Apparently several YouTubers showed nice swatches of the shadows and recommended it, when in fact the performance was not consistent with Becca's other eyeshadows. (Another explanation was that there were two batches of palettes, one good and one bad, but I'm not certain about that.) Like I said, finger swatches can make almost anything look good. So be cautious if all you have to go on in a review are perfectly even, smooth, saturated swatches. As always, evaluate the information you're given critically.
Photos! Here are swatches of Ritzy, Typhoon, Fairytale, and Time Travel, without primer, and then the last two over Nyx Eyeshadow Base in White (reviewed here).
|Swatches of Makeup Geek Ritzy, Typhoon, Fairytale and Time Travel|
I think the swatches above illustrate the trouble I had with these mattes shadows pretty well, but let me show you Fairytale on my eyelid to elaborate.
So far so good, though I will say that in person the purple in this shadow doesn't have a lot of impact. It also doesn't really serve as a replacement for Vintage Plum, but I returned that mess, so I can't directly compare them. All I can say is that I really liked how the color of Vintage Plum looked on my face, whereas Fairytale doesn't do anything special for me. Maybe Vintage Plum was more grey? Though from a normal distance, Fairytale tends to look more neutral than purple.
Where the eyeshadow is packed on above my lash line, the pigmentation is decent. But where I tried to blend it into the crease, it got very sheer and a little patchy. Rather than spreading and softening, it tends to wear away and fade. I actually applied quite a lot of product here, but the more I blended, the more it disappeared. You can see what I mean even more with Time Travel (which I chose because I love teal, and this is a pretty unusual shade for an eyeshadow).
Time Travel looks fairly green here, though I think you can tell that it's more grey on the eye than it appears in the pan. It often looks more like a navy than a teal--look again at the arm swatch, for example. I was surprised how nice this looked as a wash of color all over my eyelid, though. I'd intended to use it mainly as a liner or at the outer corner of my eyes.
Here again it became very patchy and faded once I blended it. Let me remind you that I applied these over primer, and I used my favorite Wet N Wild Fergie primer (reviewed here). I have never had this particular problem with an eyeshadow before. Sometimes they are just sheer to begin with, and sometimes they are so overly pigmented that they either spread all over the place, or they won't blend at all (like these Covergirl eyeshadows). But I hadn't encountered an eyeshadow that went on decently pigmented at first and then started to wear away while blending. It's almost as though it doesn't stick to itself.
I thought maybe a white base would help, and you can see above that the swatches over white above look promising. Unfortunately, on my eyelid, the same thing happened when I blended--worse, in fact, because the Nyx base is less sticky than the Wet N Wild primer.
|I promise you that there is actually a semi-opaque white base there.|
Okay, let's get to the good part! Duochromes! My favorite thing, whether it's eyeshadow or nail polish. I want them all. I limited myself to two, since I had never tried Makeup Geek before. Scroll back up to the first photo to check out some of the shiftiness in the pan by looking at the reflection in the mirror!
As someone who doesn't like to spend an excessive amount of time applying makeup, I really like duochrome eyeshadows because you get the effect of having applied two shades while only putting in the effort of one. In the crease, you get the less reflective base shade, and on the lower lid you get the shimmer or reflective shade.
From the swatches I found online, I was expecting Ritzy to be a neutral brown base with a gold shift. In reality, it's a more reddish base with a greenish shift. That's fine, though I was initially worried that I had mistakenly bought a dupe for one of the other duochromes I already had. You can see that I didn't, fortunately.
|Left to right: Makeup Geek Ritzy, Prestige Bewitched, and duochrome from Wet N Wild Comfort Zone palette.|
Nice, right? Typhoon is less SFW, unless you are a land mermaid, but it's totally stunning. (Here it is on my face, on Instagram.)
|Having a crinkly eyelid day.|
I am thinking about eventually picking up a few more duochromes, but I can't decide which. Anyone have recommendations?