Makeup Geek ‘Power Pigments’: Review and Swatches

This week Makeup Geek launched 10 brightly colored Power Pigments. The pans are $9 each and contain 2 grams of product. Or there’s a bundle option for $90 ($118 value) which includes all 10 shades, their mega vault magnetic palette (check out my review of the palette) and a holographic MUG makeup bag. So basically you’re paying for the shadows and getting the palette and bag for free. I titled this post a ‘review’ but it would be more accurate to call it my first impressions as I’ve only used them a handful of times.

Makeup Geek’s website has this to say about the Power Pigments:

Highly-pigmented eyeshadows that will maintain their vibrancy on any skin tone

1% pearl formula helps create a matte formula, that is not flat or muddy

Change color and opacity with light blending

Intense saturation and high pigmentation with a simple swipe of your finger

They differ from the MUG signature mattes because they’re pressed pigments. Meaning that they have a higher concentration of um… pigment and less of the fillers and binders that are in a standard eyeshadow. They tend to have a drier formula because they have less dimethicone and other emollient ingredients. The high level of pigment along with a drier formula doesn’t always translate well in swatches but can look great on the eyes. Another thing I wanted to point out is the 1% pearl. If you look at some of pans, you’ll notice small flecks of shimmer. This helps tremendously with blendibility while still maintaining a matte appearance. A lot of Sugarpill shadows, Poison Plum for instance, are the same way. I thought that it was good move on MUG’s part to formulate with a hint of pearl.

You’ll notice that these come in square pans which is meant to distinguish them from their regular shadows in the round pans. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about this but it doesn’t bother me, personally.

I’m not some one who does a lot of super bright looks. I’m definitely not scared of color but instead of creating a look using just these shadows, typically I would use one or two along with some neutral tones. So, for me, one of the most important factors was how well these pigments play with regular matte shadows. And I’m happy to say that they perform really well in combination with other shadows. This is not to say that you couldn’t do a look with just these shadows, of course you could. My point is that you shouldn’t feel intimidated by these bold colors. You can incorporate them into a primarily neutral look for a ‘wearable’ hint of color. I hate saying wearing wearable because you can and should wear whatever you want but I’m tired and my mental thesaurus wasn’t churning out any better word choices.

Okay. Let’s so through each shade and I’ll give ya my thoughts thus far.

Of course we’d have to start with Potential. This was the one shade that I was little disappointed with. Okay disappointed isn’t the right word because it’s a very pretty color but it isn’t as bold as the rest of the line up. It seems almost pastel in comparison. Also it requires some building on the eyes unlike the other shades.

Dynamic is a bright, bold orange. The pearl is a little more apparent in Dynamic than the other shades. It still looks matte on the eyes but you can see a hint of shimmer in the pan. Although it performs well, I’d probably say you pass on this one. Only because bright matte oranges are a dime a dozen and you probably already own several similar colors.

Untouchable is an intense red. You’ll want to tap off your brush to avoid fall out. If you use it sparingly, it buffs out to a red orange or pink depending on how pair it. Or you can pack it on for that true to pan red. I don’t know if I would recommend this one either for the same reason as with Dynamic. It’s dupeable. It’s nearly identical to Sugarpill Love+ and I know that Juvia’s Place, Devinah and ColourPop have similar shades (although probably not exact dupes).

These next four are my personal favorites.

Unleashed is a mid-toned rosey pink. I like it because it’s not your typical hot pink like Sugarpill Dollipop, UD Savage, the bright pink in that Jeffree Star palette etc. It’s still bright but it’s deeper and more rich. It would be pretty as a transition color on tan or brown skin or for adding definition on lighter complexions. The first time I used it, I started with the pinky mauve from the Venus 3 palette as a transition color followed by Unleashed and they looked really pretty together.

Courageous is a mid-toned berry pink. It’s a shade or two darker than Unleashed with purple undertones. I love this one. I have green eyes so I’m always drawn to the pinky purples that flatter me. If you’ve got green or hazel eyes, get Courageous.

Dedicated is a deep matte eggplant. I had to include two close up pics to show you how it can look red or purple depending on the light. This one swatched kinda patchy but I LOVE it on the eyes. It’s the perfect shade to add quick definition to a warm or cool toned look. I had no issues with blending but you have to remember that it’s a pigment. You’ll make your life much easier if you use it sparingly .

Invincible is a true purple. It’s not too red or blue, just the perfect mix of the two. I want to use this one again before I make up my mind. I love the color and I liked the formula upon first use but I washed my face after an hour. I want to test it’s longevity before I co-sign as purples are notoriously difficult.

Indestructible is a deep royal blue. It’s one of the deeper shades in the bunch so you’ll want to tap off your brush and use a light hand.

Tenacious is teal but it leans more blue than green. I’m not much for blue eyeshadow but Tenacious is really nice. The formula feels slightly more emollient than the others. Even though it’s not my cup of tea, I can see a lot of people loving this one

Transform is a bright Kelly green. This is another color that I wouldn’t ordinarily use. If I do greens, I tend to go more olive. So I used Transform with a yellow toned transition color (the one in subculture. I don’t remember what it’s called) which made it much more to my liking.

Final thoughts… I don’t think I would recommend these for beginners. Or at least not the whole bundle. Maybe get one or two that you really like to test out the formula. Not that they’re difficult to use per say but you could buy a Juvia’s Place palette for $20 and get some bright colors that are extremely user friendly. For those with more experience, I would recommend the shades that you don’t already have in your collection. As I mentioned, pressed pigments are lacking emollients so they have a more dry texture. This isn’t a bad thing, just something that you should be aware of. So far I’m enjoying them very much and I know that I’ll get a lot of use out of the pinks and purples.

What do guys think of the Power Pigments? Will you be picking them up or passing??

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6 comments

  1. This thing about the square pans just struck me as so odd. Why is it we want round pans when every pallette we put them in is square??? Things that make you go hmmm…

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  2. The only shade here that I really want is Unleashed. That’s a gorgeous and fairly unique pink. I love it. The rest of them I have dupes for from Sugarpill AND inglot. I kind of hate that the pan is square so I can’t stick it in with my other MUG shadows if I get it. Thanks for the honest review Ang!!!

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    • This was a tough one for me because I feel such a strong sense of loyalty to MUG that it would be easy for me to be biased. But $90 is a lot of money to spend when most people already own half of these colors. I do like them a lot but I can’t co-sign at $9 a pop

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      • Agreed. I think if they were 5 or 6 dollars each they’d be an easier sell. Even $7 like inglot. I don’t like it when MUG gets pricey bc I think of them as an affordable brand. Their attempt to break into the mid range market this last year or so by changing their packaging and pricing level was a turn off.

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