If you watch Marlena from Makeup Geek on YouTube, you will know that she recently launched a range of eye shadows.
It took a hot minute – aka 10 seconds – before I was ordering the Starter Kit.
The Starter Kit comes with eight eye shadow selected by Marlena to help launch her eye shadow range, with a mixture of shimmer and mattes included in the eight.
Read on to see what I thought, although I say from the outset that I am a Marlena Fan Girl, so this review will – no doubt – be a wee bit biased.
The packaging on these are bright and made me smile as soon as they came out of the package.
Each refill is packaged in its own card board casing.
Open up the outer packaging and you will find the refill sitting in loose card.
Each shadow comes as a refill pan. And here is my own complaint about these. I can understand that Marlena is used to moving shadows in and out of Z-Palettes but, in the world of Makeup Town, I am the official Village Idiot.
I find using palettes messy and I always seem to gouge chunks out of shadows when I move them around.
I would have preferred these to be packaged in a palette, but that’s just my own personal preference. I know some of you will love the flexibility of being able to move these around.
If any of you want to come to my place and fix these into a palette for me, I will pay you with Pepsi, Cheezels and Motley Crue playing out the stereo.
Whatever issues I have with the packaging, there is no arguing with the quality of these. Marlena took her time working on this project and it shows: these are an amazing debut from an indie makeup company.
Each of these feels almost wet when first applied on the eye. The ‘wetness’ makes them easy to work with and extremely malleable on the eye. I load up my brush with a small amount, pat it on (whilst revelling in the cool wetness on my lid – seriously, I actually get PHYSICALLY excited when using these because I love the coolness of these shadows hitting my lids) and then blend it out.
For the most part, these are super pigmented. There are only two shadows that are a little chalkier and take a little more effort in terms of building up the intensity: Purple Rain and Unexpected. The rest are one swipe shadows. One swipe with your brush will pick up more than enough product.
Longevity wise, these last all day so long as you use a good, sticky primer as your base. I haven’t noticed any creasing during the day or fading when using a primer. If I don’t use a primer, and sometimes I am lazy and/or forget, they will crease after around 6 hours.
In terms of standout colours, everyone is going to be different. For me, there are three that I love and find myself dipping into more than the others:
- Corrupt – if you’ve been reading reviews, you will have heard about Corrupt being blacker than MAC’s Carbon. I have no idea as I don’t own Carbon, but I can say this is one bad boy of a black. It’s densely pigmented. You only need the tiniest amount. I use this as a heavy duty eyeliner or as a shadow (where I apply it just along the lash line and then blend upwards to create an ombre smokey eye).
- Shimma Shimma – if you watch Marlena’s videos, you’ll know she loves her some shimma shimma. This reminds me of MAC’s Bare Study Paint Pot, except that it’s easier to work with and doesn’t tend to clump like Bare Study. I pair this with Corrupt or, if I’m feeling particularly steady of hand, some thick liquid liner for a simple, but dramatic look.
- Glamorous – is a gorgeous, bronzey gold. For whatever reason, I think of Beyonce in Baby Boy. You guys know the part – where she’s gyrating in the sand. It’s another one colour look: as in I can just apply this with some thick mascara on the lashes, and I’m done.
Here are photos of all the colours AND some finger swatches. I would have done a look but my eyebrows are currently a monobrow and NO-ONE wants to see an angry caterpillar mixed with beautiful shadows.