Duochromes are pretty much my kryptonite. As I've always said, I love the art of makeup because it really IS art, and one of my favorite things about it is ALL THE COLORS. I really believe that makeup can be magical, and to me, there's nothing quite like the magic of a good duochrome eyeshadow.
For the uninitiated - what is a duochrome? It's an iridescent eyeshadow - it can look like two different colors, depending on the light you're in. Move one way, and it's blue! Move another way, and it's gold! Voila! MAGIC!
I've never used Makeup Geek eyeshadows before, but I've followed Marlena of Makeup Geek off and on for years, and I've heard only good things about her stuff. I've never gotten around to purchasing any, but when I heard about her duochrome collection (meaning, not just one shade!!!), I knew it was a good time to jump in.
MUG has released 12 eyeshadow pans and 8 loose pigments. I opted for the pans because I can use them more easily, and it was a pretty good value. I like that they are sold in magnetic pans, because then I can just pop them into whatever magnetic palette I already have.
From left to right -
Top row: Ritzy, Voltage, Karma, Phantom
Middle row: Havoc, Secret Garden, Mai Tai, Rockstar
Bottom row: Steampunk, Typhoon, I'm Peachless, Blacklight
Duochromes can be hard to swatch and photograph because their magic is in their dynamic nature - they change depending on movement and light. For really good basic swatches, I'm going to refer you to Marlena's video, where she films her hand moving and you can see how the colors reflect.
Instead, I decided that I wanted to swatch them over different bases - one of my favorite things to do with a duochrome is to apply black pencil or black eyeshadow on my lid and then pat a duochrome shade on top of it and blend it out so that it looks like I'm wearing many more eyeshadows than I really am. In that way, duochromes really give you bang for your buck :)
In the photos below, I have them swatched over NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk and Urban Decay's Perversion eye pencil, with of course my bare skin between them. I apologize that they aren't tidy swatches - I patted them on gently, and therefore they're not neat, narrow little rows. I wanted to do my best to showcase all the colors that each one shows, and hopefully you can get a sense of that from my swatches.
L to R: Ritzy, Havoc, Steampunk, Voltage, Secret Garden, Typhoon
- Ritzy has a warm red-brown base with green and gold reflects.
- Havoc has a warm red-brown base with teal reflects.
- Steampunk has a black base with rich copper reflects.
- Voltage has a vanilla base with champagne-yellow reflects.
- Secret Garden has a deep espresso base with bright teal reflects.
- Typhoon has a deep teal base with green and gold reflects.
L to R: Karma, Mai Tai, I'm Peachless, Phantom, Rockstar, Blacklight
- Karma has a golden base with yellow-green reflects.
- Mai Tai has an apricot base with orchid reflects.
- I’m Peachless has a buff base with peachy-pink reflects.
- Phantom has a white base with violet purple reflects.
- Rockstar is pale silver with purple iridescence
- Blacklight has an electric purple base with icy blue reflects.
As you can see, they don't look super exciting in the pan, but once you put apply them, especially with different bases, they really seem to come alive.
The quality of these shadows is great - smooth, buttery, and highly pigmented, which is what I've been hearing from the blogosphere. The shades and combinations are mostly unique to me - I've seen many other makeup brands (including Urban Decay) do a pink/gold duochrome, or a purple/blue, or a red/teal, but you know what? I never get tired of these. DUOCHROMES FOR EVERYONE.