If you are a fan of Jaclyn Hill on Youtube, you will have heard of Morphe Brushes before. Morphe Brushes are a makeup and brush supply store based in California. I have watched loads of IMATS hauls over the last few months and the feedback surrounding this store and their eyeshadow pans in particular was enough to whet my appetite and have me place an order online for some shadows. These shadows are a measly $2 a piece which is really rather silly because the quality of these is really rather special. These have been compared to Makeup Geek eyeshadows (and you know I am a huge fan of Makeup Geek eyeshadows) but they are one third of the price. I chose 15 different eyeshadows pans for my first order (yes, there has been a second order since and there may well be a third order also!) as I wanted to get a feel for the different finishes of eyeshadow available from Morphe Brushes.
So when I was placing my order on the Morphe Brushes website, I didn't really do much prep on the different eyeshadow finishes, I just picked a selection of colours and finishes and popped them into my basket. Each of the eyeshadows is numbered and has been given a name also, and on the website you are given a description of the colour and the finish. As I mentioned, each eyeshadow, unlike the Makeup Geek eyeshadows, are the same price irrespective of the finish- which means each individual eyeshadow is just $2. I didn't really have the highest expectation for these- after all, I wasn't very impressed with the Gerard Cosmetics lipsticks despite all the hype these have gotten on Youtube, so I was naturally a little skeptical. These took 2 weeks to arrive to me after I have placed the order. The shipping was quite reasonable- around the $12 dollar mark if my memory serves me correctly, and I was not hit with any customs fees on these. The eyeshadow pans are the exact same size as MAC and Makeup Geek eyeshadows and I popped them into a large Z palette.
The shades that I picked out are:
|Top Row L-R: New Moon, Mysterious, Sassy, Gravity, Midnight Kiss|
Middle Row L-R: Radiance, Blackberry, Barbie Girl, Sapphire, I'm So Fancy
Bottom Row L-R: Bronzed Ivy, Glisten, Marbelized, Nuts For You, Golden Glory
And this is how they collectively swatch:
|Top Row L-R: New Moon, Mysterious, Sassy, Gravity, Midnight Kiss|
|L-R: Radiance, Blackberry, Barbie Girl, Sapphire, I'm So Fancy|
|L-R: Bronzed Ivy, Glisten, Marbelized, Nuts For You, Golden Glory|
Pretty impressive on the pigmentation front, eh? In a nutshell, I've been playing with these for the last week and I don't think I could be any more impressed with these eyeshadows for the most part. I debated over how best to describe these eyeshadows and I decided I would break them out by finish so you could hear my thoughts on the various formulas. I adored some formulas more than others, so keep reading if you want my honest opinion.
The Shimmer formula was probably one of my favourites. The eyeshadows were insanely soft, buttery and pigmented, you can see the pay-off above with a single swipe. These are extremely high quality and are so pigmented and soft that they leave almost a metallic, creamy finish on the lids. I picked out New Moon (a shiny pewter), Golden Glory (a shiny gold-rust) and Midnight Kiss (a smoky, greyed out dark purple) and these are just phenomenal. There were plenty of Shimmers in my second Morphe order than I made- I don't really have any higher commendation than that. I found that these were extremely comparable to Makeup Geek eyeshadows.
I also really rated the Pearl finish eyeshadows- these too were soft and pigmented, albeit a little less creamy than the Shimmer eyeshadow pans. The two Pearl eyeshadows that I picked out- Bronzed Ivy (a gold with a touch of green) and Radiance (a purple with a touch of blue)- also happen to be slightly duochrome- so I would be interested to see if this applies across the board also. And, in terms of dupes, Bronzed Ivy reminds me alot of one of my favourite MAC eyeshadows in Woodwinked- I'm not saying they are identical but they are pretty damn similar and Bronzed Ivy is a great single wash of colour over the lid.
Well, you know all makeup brands, expensive or inexpensive, ride and fall on their matte eyeshadows as these can be so hit and miss globally. I'm very pleased with the formula and payoff of Morphe's matte eyeshadows. They are soft but not too talcy, pigmented but easy to blend and work with. The shades I picked out - Barbie Girl (a raspberry pink) and Nuts for You (cool mid brown) are equal in terms of blendability and colour payoff and I would definitely would (and have!) pick up more matte shades from Morphe.
I was almost tempted not to pick up a Lustre as the only MAC eyeshadow finish that I despise are Lustres- so where the MAC equivalents are poorly pigmented and hard, the Morphe Brushes Lustres are soft, creamy and pack a colour a colour punch. Sassy is a gorgeous purple shade with a pink pearl running through (does this remind anyone else of MAC Stars and Rockets eyeshadow?!) and Glisten is pastel gold (is that EVEN a colour?) with some shimmer running through it. I definitely much, much prefer these to MAC Lustres so don't be fooled by the name if you are making an order.
Again, the Frost finish eyeshadows are absolute winners in my eyes also, I don't have a single complaint about these. I would say they are frosted without being too metallic but definitely deliver on the colour front. Sapphire is a vibrant royal blue, I'm So Fancy is a smoked silver and Marbelized is a mid tone warm gold brown. that reminds me somewhat of MAC Sable. These apply beautifully with first touch of a brush and they blend seamlessly on the lid and retain their colour over wear. I honestly still find it hard to believe that they only cost $2.
As far as I am aware, I believe there is only one Veluxe Pearl shadow available on the Morphe Brushes website, but my oh my isn't she lovely? I used to absoltely despise red tones on my lids but over the last few months, I've been particularly embracing the burgundies and reds and coppers and Mysterious is a gorgeous shiny orangey-red-copper colour that is just soft as a cream eyeshadow and applies beautifully to the lid. This really is a standout in my eyes in terms of a unique shade and a great formula so I really hope Morphe will be adding to their Veluxe Pearl collection in the near future.
I've left my least favourite formula until last, and even though it was my least favourite, the shadows were not awful, they just took little bit more work than the others to build up colour intensity. Blackberry is a purple/burgundy hybrid with little red shimmers running through and Gravity is a purple/plum colour. Both very nice and can be blended out nicely in the crease but just that little bit harder to work with than the other finishes available. Blackberry in particular looks absolutely stunning on so I would say the work justifies the end result, and I have included a few more Velvets in my second Morphe order.
So there you have it- my Morphe brushes eyeshadow collection to date- and as I said, I was so impressed with these so early on that I ordered another 11 shades to fill up my Z palette and I will report back on those when they arrive and I have had a chance to play with them. Now- in terms of packaging etc, these arrive in little cardboard sleeves like the MakeupGeek or MAC single eyeshadow pans too, and they are extremely secure and protected in their packaging, and also bubbled wrapped and sent in a bubbly envelope for good measure. The fear with ordering eyeshadows from the other side of the world is that they will get broken in transit but I would be as confident as I can be ordering from Morphe Brushes that the products would be in good condition on arrival. I already mentioned that, unlike my MakeupGeek orders, I did not get stung for customs charges for these eyeshadows. These took ten working days to arrive which is not bad at all. I had to call Morphe Brushes customer service because my Paypal account seemed to lose half of my address as soon as I paid for my order and they could not have been any nicer- for my second order, I used the online customer service chat method and again it was very efficient and helpful.
I have to reiterate again, particularly for any of my newer readers, that I under no circumstances automatically buy into Youtube hype easily, I take things as I find them and I judge them on my own experience, and I really like these eyeshadows a heck of a lot. As I keep mentioning, they were only $2 a piece- in FACT, they were less than that because I used the coupon code 'JACATTACK' to get 10% off my order at the checkout. I can't really hammer home how impressed I was with these but I did make a second order in quick succession so that's a pretty good indication of how I feel about them.
Are you tempted to try these eyeshadows out? What colour stands out to you?