4 Ways to Build Your Own Eyeshadow Palette

Customisable palettes that I can build myself really have been a revelation for me! Although there are pre-made palettes I really love (the Lorac Unzipped, Urban Decay Naked and Too Faced Natural Eyes to name a few), I can say that in the last 6 months since I started building my own, they have become the most used in my stash. Although they generally cost considerably more, I much prefer customisable palettes to single eyeshadows or pre-made palettes. I thought I'd do a post on the ones I have so you can see the shades I've got and get an idea of which option might be for you.

The Budget Option: Makeup Geek 

Palette from £8.99, Eyeshadows from £4.95 each | post

My Makeup Geek obsession is REAL... And, as you may have noticed, my palette is now complete, so I will be doing an updated collection in due course! I have a mixture of the standard eyeshadow pans and a few of the foiled ones (which retail a little higher at £7.95). The first step is to pick your palette and the best option is the Z Palette, which is completely customisable and magnetic. It even comes with some sticky magnetic strips so you can add just about any pan of makeup you want. They come in small, medium, large and extra large. I started with a small (which fits 9 eyeshadows) but quickly upgraded to a large (which fits 27)! The quality of Makeup Geek eyeshadows is comparable to options twice their price. Though the shade selection isn't quite as vast as MAC's, for example, it's still pretty extensive.

Both the matte and the shimmer eyeshadows are of incredible quality and the foiled eyeshadows offer an even more intense, dewy metallic finish. Whether it's colours or neutrals, you'll be able to find shades you love in their range. The formula is just amazing; one of the best I've ever tried. They're some of the smoothest, creamiest, most pigmented mattes in my stash, which really is something as even premium brands often get mattes wrong. Overall the colour payoff of all the shades I have is incredible and they last so well.

Must-Have Makeup Geek Shades

Starry Eyed (Foiled) - a dewy champagne shimmer
Homecoming - a bronzey-brown shimmer
Grandstand (Foiled) - dewy rose gold shimmer
Frappe - a medium warm caramel-brown matte
Taupe Notch - a deep taupe-brown with a subtle shimmer
Brown Sugar - a reddish brown with a subtle shimmer
Cocoa Bear - a warm dark chocolate-brown matte
Bada Bing - a deep brown with gold glitter

The Pro Option: MAC

Palette from £4, Eyeshadows £10 each | post

This really doesn't need any introduction as it's probably the original custom palette! I have the large palette and the insert (which I bought for £2.50, though it works without it), and I also have a quad for travelling. It had the most extensive selection of eyeshadows I think I've ever come across, which is a little intimidating when you're first starting out. I googled lots of swatches and read around on blogs before coming up with a little shortlist of shades to swatch in store and finally choosing what I wanted to go into my palette. I did do a MAC Eyeshadow Starter Kit, so I won't repeat myself here too much but I definitely recommend starting with a quad that has a highlight, a matte crease shade, a lid colour and a deeper shade.

I do think they're pricey for what they are and there are definitely duds in their eyeshadow line that I've swatched and the quality varies between shades, however MAC is the makeup artist option due to the sheer breadth of their range. I do think Makeup Geek is as good (and in the case of mattes, better) in terms of quality for me but the shades I have in my MAC palette are so perfect for just about any look I'd want to create, which is why I reach for them over and over again. My favourite finishes are Frost and Veluxe Pearl as they're amazingly pigmented and long-wearing shimmers. They're not the texture I'm used to (they aren't particularly creamy or smooth in formula) but they do apply and last really well.

Must-Have MAC Shades

All That Glitters - nude-bronze shimmer
Woodwinked - antique gold bronze-brown shimmer
Patina - light brown with an iridescent sheen
Cork - medium matte-look brown
Quarry - light purple-taupe matte
Sable - red-brown shimmer
Mulch - warm dark brown with gold shimmer
Satin Taupe - purple-taupe shimmer

The Spendy Option: Urban Decay

Palette £8, Eyeshadows £14 each

If you can find a pre-made palette in Urban Decay's line then definitely go for that, as it's not the best value option by a long shot!  However after having loved the original Naked palette for a long time, I wanted another one. None of the others were really doing it for me though, so instead of buying a palette just to only use a fraction of the shades I decided to use my Debenhams Beauty Club points to build my own! You simply buy the Nirvana Build-Your-Own quad (they used to do a 6-slot version which I'd have preferred but this is currently the only option) and then purchase the single eyeshadows one their own. They then can be popped out of their external casing and slotted into the Nirvana palette.

I tried to choose shades that weren't in any of the palettes, though I couldn't resist Chopper (which I believe appears in the Naked 2). I'm sure you're probably familiar with it, but the Urban Decay formula is just the best in my opinion! It's so smooth, pigmented, long-lasting and is still the formula I measure all other eyeshadows up against. 

Must-Have Urban Decay Shades

Easy Baked - light gold shimmer
Beware - warm mid-brown matte
Chopper - bronzy peach with glitter
Lost - warm deep brown shimmer

The Underrated Option: Inglot

Palette from £8, Eyeshadows £5 each 

I first heard about Inglot through Mummy's Beauty Corner but I didn't actually realise it was available in the UK! Seeing Estee and Amelia's palettes really made me want them so I was thrilled when I stumbled across their store by chance in Westfield. It isn't a brand I've heard much about and walking into the store you'd expect the prices to be much higher than they actually are, however the insane number of eyeshadow shades are all available for just £5 each. I decided buying the 5-slot Freedom System was a reasonable place to start.

I think the quality and texture of the eyeshadows is extremely similar to MAC's; it isn't that creamy, buttery feel but they are very long-lasting and pigmented. The Pearl finish from Inglot is virtually identical to MAC's Veluxe Pearl finish. I think the matte shades are better than MAC's as they aren't as dry and have better colour payoff. I know they aren't as accessible but if you happen to come by an Inglot store or spend some time Googling swatches online, you won't regret it! I went for a warm reddish brown and gold themed palette with three shimmers, a matte and a glitter shade.

Must-Have Inglot Shades

11 - light gold shimmer
335 - warm red-brown matte
606 -  warm orange-toned gold metallic shimmer
406 - antique gold shimmer
52 - warm deep brown with gold glitter

So there you have it: 4 options for creating your own perfect palette!

Do you have a custom palette? If not, which brand would you go with?


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  1. I really want to build my own Inglot palette, Amelia and Estée made me lust after that so much! But I really can't afford one right now (I obviously want a big one) because I have so many other stuff on my wishlist for when I go to Manchester! Maybe some day ;)

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

    1. I might end up swapping this for a big one tbh! xx

  2. Such lovely eye shadows and I love the collection. I need to try a few of the Makeup Geek eye shadows. Thank you for the reviews

    Nashia | MakeupandBeautyMayhem

  3. I'm really curious about MuG eyeshadows. The gold/rose gold shades are really pretty!
    Have you tried MUFE artist shadow? They're really great as well but I see they're quiet underrated compared to mac's singles.


    1. I haven't actually - will have to look into if we have them in the UK :) xx

  4. MAC are amazing for their palettes I think as I love picking the colours I would actually use. Saying that, Inglot has always appealed to me! x


  5. The Urban Decay build your own palette is very expensive! I want to try MuG & Inglot this year! xx


  6. I have a customised MAC/Makeup Geek palette, and even though it's half full it's still the most used in my collection! I personally love lots of matte options alongside shimmers (probably like a 50/50 split) and most palettes are just full of shimmer! Your Inglot palette looks so warm and beautiful, definitely a brand I need to try :)

    Kat | www.kathorrocks.com

  7. Customised palettes are such a great idea! I really want to get a Z Palette and start collecting Makeup Geek eyeshadows- I'm obsessed!

    Katya | The Beauty Harbour

  8. Amelia and Estée really made me want to create my own Inglot palette! I'm glad to hear you love the formula as well! I've already swatch some of their shades and fell in love with their formula!


  9. Some beautiful shadows there and I would love to make my own palette but I am a bit rubbish when it comes to knowing what colours go together but yours are stunning :)

    Pams Stuff and Things

  10. I can't wait to see your updated makeup geek collection. Every shade looks gorgeous and they really are such good value for money. I may just have to buy a few!

    Jodie | Jodie Loue

  11. I've got almost the same colours as you in my MUG and MAC palette

  12. I love Inglot! Thankfully in Vegas we have two separate stores, so it's readily available, but I know it can be a hard-to-access brand. I'm not a huge palette person, but I love my freedom system (especially how they stack up). I also love their brushes as well. They are more expensive than I thought they'd be, but I've had them for a while with no issues.


  13. I really want to build a MAC palette. Your collection is amazing!

    xo, Liz


  14. This is a great post! I have been banging on for so long about Inglot! I honestly don't understand why they don't get more appreciation. I have quite a few of their shadows and I absolutely love them, in fact, I have an Inglot Vs Makeup Geek coming up on my blog really soon. Makeup Geek are also amazing. I have just put in another order for more of their shadows. Absolutely loving your Urban Decay swatches. I'm obsessed with building my own eye shadow palettes and now very rarely buy pre-made sets. x

    Kirsty - Life in Excess

    1. I'm exactly the same - my custom palettes get SO much more use! xx

  15. You've definitely given me some food for thought as I've been considering starting a palette for a while now!
    I think I would give Makeup Geek or Inglot ago as its more in my price range and from your review they are comparable to the higher end products!
    Thanks for sharing!


  16. Palette goals! The need to fill my Z palette is real, I have barely used my other eyeshadows since I got my MUG ones, I love them! Dagmara's blog always makes me want to try Inglot! I swatched them in Dublin once but didn't know where to start and the one time I wanted someone to come over and help they didn't ha!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  17. Makeup Geek shadows are just gorgeous! I ordered nine or ten last week, and I'm just waiting for them to arrive! I ordered Frappe, and I'm so glad I did! It's a stunner. I could see you really liking Morocco and Flame Thrower as well.

    brooke | brooke elise

    1. They were actually both in my most recent order haha great minds! xx

  18. Amazing post and love all of the swatches here. Makeup Geek have some amazing shades, I have never tried anything from this brand but it looks like something I would love xx


  19. I should really consider building my own palette too, no idea why I keep purchasing ready made palettes as I usually never use all the shades. I aim to finally purchase Makeup Geek eyeshadows this year, have read great reviews on them for years now.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  20. I can't get enough of both my MAC and Ingot palettes; I've amassed quite a collection and all the shades are amazing. I'm desperate to try Makeup Geek shadows, but I doubt I'd ever start a customizable Urban Decay palette though, as I have a lot of the shades in their other palettes.

    Alice / Alice Grace Beauty


  21. Ive be meaning to get my hands on make up geek eyeshadows, particularly cocoa bear but its currently sold out on beauty bay :( xx


  22. Your palettes are so beaut I could cry! I'm such a huge fan of makeup geek shadows, I love cocoa bear and grandstand and they make such a perfect pair for a grungy eye makeup look. Their foiled shadows in general are just a dream! I've never tried Inglot shadows but I've known about them for a long time so I don't actually know why I haven't tried them yet!

    Isabelle | www.isabellekategm.co.uk ♡

    1. They're well worth checking out! And I love the combination too :) xx

  23. I did NOT know Inglot were available in the UK - thanks for enabling me there Jasmine! ;)
    I'm really looking forward to seeing your updated Makeup Geek posts - I'm excited to put together a palette of my own at some point soon :D

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  24. I remember Inglot from highschool (I'm in my thirties now hehe), I got an eyeshadow trio and nailpolish for my first highschool party ;) It makes me proud that a Polish makeup brand is becoming more and more popular in the makeup world! ♡ Kisses!

  25. I have an inglot palette that I really like, and I also have a z palette with some shadows from MAC and other brands!

  26. Yey to Inglot eyeshadows! They're definitely underrated. Thanks for the mention :) You have created gorgeous palettes! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  27. damn, I am going to need an Inglot now! I have a full MAC palette, and a few UD shades, really tempted to do a Z palette with all my current singles in annoying Packaging... I love SEVENTEEN singles. They are fab for the price!


    1. I depotted a lot of random singles and use them way more now they're in a Z Palette! xx

  28. Thank you for your comments- hope this gave you some ideas :) xx

  29. Ahh all your custom palettes look so beautiful! I have yet to buy any makeupgeek eyeshadows but every time someone raves about them I get closer to buying them. KathleenLights mentioned grandstand in her 2015 favorites video and after seeing your swatch I want it so badly! Thanks for sharing all those swatches :)


  30. Really love this post I need to get my hands on All That Glitters by MAC it's so pretty!

    Lauren Ashleigh xx

  31. I don't think I like the inglot shades purely because their names are numbers, it makes it less fun!
    Charlotte // charlottespicks.blogspot.com

  32. I love my Mac palette but I do think it's so expensive for what it is when there are so many good pre-made palettes out there! I definitely need to get more use out of mine :)

    Just Little Things xo

  33. I love your palettes so much. I love every shade. Great tips as well. I really want to try out the Makeup Geek eyeshadows at some point. Grandstand looks so stunning.

    Anne | http://decanne.blogspot.com

  34. Lovely post! I think building a palette is one of the most fun things a beauty junkie can do! I am planning a Inglot palette soon. I will have to swatch my some of your recommendations!

  35. I made a palette when Kiko had their shadows/palettes available x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness


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