Review and Swatches // My Single Eyeshadow Collection


Single Eyeshadows were something I was a bit sceptical about purchasing at first, simply because I thought eyeshadow palettes were better for storage, convenience and cohesion in your makeup looks. I also knew once I started I probably wouldn't stop. Whilst all that is true, single eyeshadows are a brilliant way to build upon your collection, filling in possible gaps and finding a shade that really suits you without having to purchase an entire 12 pan palette to only use three shades. I think curating your own 'palette' of single shadows is a great way to have something unique, and specific to your undertone and makeup style. I also really like having colourful single eyeshadows, because you can build upon your existing collection, adding in the shades you are missing instead of buying multiple colourful palettes that might gather dust on your shelf. 

I store my single eyeshadows in a magnetic palette that I bought on ebay, simple because I'm cheap and I don't want to support a certain big brand magnetic palette producer. The palette is by no means full, but I am happy with the colour selection that I have. I'm able to produce some looks using the palette alone, but most of the time I use it in conjunction with a regular eyeshadow palettes. I actually take this with me when I travel back and forth between home and uni, simply because of a highlighter which I will get to later and is 100% my staple highlighter. Due to that, I actually find myself using the other shades in the palette frequently as well as it's always at hand, they are all shades that I have chosen and so I find I'm more likely to use them. Again that is a positive with single shadows, you can be very selective and pick out the shades you really love, unlike in a regular palette where we all know that each palette has at least one shade (or more) that's a little bit neglected. 

Single eyeshadows are also relatively cheap. I say relatively because if you break down the cost of certain eyeshadow palettes, you'll find each shadow to be around the £1-4ish mark usually, depending on the brand, some are cheaper some are more expensive. Stephanie Nicole on youtube is great for breaking down the cost of products, she does her's by gram of product so you can see the best value for money. It does get a little complicated when you are breaking down the price, but it can show you just how valuable a product is, comparing the amount of product to the cost of the entire piece. 

Now it's time for some Makeup Math!

If you want to find out the cost per gram of a product, you simply need to divide the cost by the amount of grams of the eyeshadow. You can usually find this on the package or on google. For example, a single Makeup Geek Shadow is 1.8g and costs £4.95 on BeautyBay (prices obviously may differ) which means it's breaks down to costing £2.75 per gram of shadow. Comparatively if we were to take a Zoeva Caramel Melange Palette, it has 10 shadows which are 1.5g each and the palette costs £18. So you could either multiply 1.5 by 10 to get 15 and then divide the cost by the grams, giving you £1.20 or you could divide the cost by the amount of shadows and then divide that cost by the grams. Either way you get the same answer and so buying a Zoeva Palette is actually cheaper per gram of eyeshadow than buying the same amount of product in single Makeup Geek Shadows. Of course this may not take into account the packaging cost but it gives a rough idea of what you are paying for. 

Now math time is over, this is the case for most palettes. The cost of creating a palette of eyeshadows is slightly cheaper and so costs less, because of production costs and also because a palette has to be priced realistically. It also depends on the quality of the shadow and who is selling the shadow as well. These are all things to keep in mind, because initially if you are only buying a few shades of single shadows then yes it will, usually, overall be cheaper, but you get less bang for your buck. It's just personal preference and you have to weigh up the cost of the product against having the option to pick specific shades for yourself. Also don't forget you can also depot makeup, so you can depot most makeup palettes, if you don't somehow break them in the process (i'm still a bit sensitive about that loss).

So those are some pro's and con's about single eyeshadows and after that ramble about general single eyeshadows I think it's time I tell you my thought about my little collection!


Here it is, a moderate but very lovely collection of mix matched single shadows, I'll be sharing my thoughts on each shadow and sharing swatches with you. To produce the most realistic swatches I will be using the Collection Primed & Ready Eye Primer and I will be doing a finger swatch with a brush swatch next to it, using the brush from the Urban Decay Tenant Palette which is a flat brush, shown below.





Beginning with something that isn't technically an eyeshadow, the ABH Contour Powders. Earth is a yellow, olive toned medium brown. Havana is a neutral medium brown and Terracotta is a pink orange medium brown. Champagne is actually an illuminator but still called a contour powder which is confusing, but it's a pale gold shade. I use these powders in many different ways, bronzer, a base for blusher, and of course eyeshadows. I find that they are really lovely crease shades, specifically Earth and Havana. As you can see in the swatches, these are actually a bit more pigmented using a brush, and for a face powder really pack a punch. When I use these shades for bronzer, I make sure to lightly tap into the product and remove the excess to avoid the dreaded orange stripe. Terracotta makes a very nice blush/blush base, and by that I mean I lay this colour down before my usual blush and it just slightly changes the colour of my blush. I like to do this when I'm wearing this shade on my eyes to make a more harmonious look. These also happen to have been on sale on Beauty Bay for ages now (as of July 2017 that is) so you can get a few for around £4, and they are larger pans so will last longer.

As for the formula, I think that these matte shades perform really well in anyway I use them, they blend effortlessly and last really well through the day. I haven't noticed any creasing with them when wearing them on the eyes. The thing I really like about these are the fact that they come in some many different tones, because they are meant for the face, that you can get one that really suits your undertones and make your looks suit you a little bit more. I will say that I don't actually reach for them all too often and I'm not entirely sure why because I always love how they look when I do.

Now for the one shade that out of the entire palette I use the most. Champagne is such a beautiful shade, it's swatch does not do it justice. I use this every single time I do makeup, it creates a lovely glossy sheen on the cheek bones but can be built up to be a bit more blinding. I think it's so appropriate for everyday makeup, it works with pretty much every makeup look I do and even though it looks a touch dark it isn't so pigmented that it create that odd stripe on the cheekbone in dim light. Sometimes I can get totally carried away with this powder and just highlight everywhere possible and it still somehow manages to stay wearable yet still editorial and glossy. I cannot sing the praise of this powder enough, if you are after a glossy powder highlighter, defo check this out.

Kiko Single Shadow (Discontinued)



Now I don't see much point in reviewing a product that is discontinued but Kiko is one of those brands that is constantly releasing collections and discontinuing them. There are a few products of their permanent collection that I love, but these shadows are slightly disappointing. I bought a couple of these, as they were very cheap if I remember correctly, but whittled down to these two shadows. You may ask, why are you keeping eyeshadows that you don't entirely love. And I'll tell you the answer. Quite simply these shadows are unique to my collection, I cannot find another shadow that is similar in all of my palettes. And although they may not be my favourite formula, I am willing to put in that little bit more effort to get the result I want because I just really love the colour of these two shades. 137 is a very nice rusty red shimmer shade, it's pretty much the only red in my collection. It's not too pigmented with a brush, I usually apply it with a finger on the centre of the lid for a red smokey eye. 111 is a light teal blue with a gold sheen. I really love this colour, from what I see it's similar to how Sugarpill's Lumi pigment looks over a black base, so I often use it in replace of that, it makes a really interesting pop of colour on the centre of the lid. The problem is that these aren't that pigmented, they are slightly chalky and hard to apply. I will say they are quite easy to blend but they aren't the sort of shade you want to blend into your crease so that quality isn't really necessary. Kiko is actually one of my favourite brands, they are brilliant at social media communication and I think they are really reasonably priced. If you want to check them out, I suggest their lip products.




Makeup Geek eyeshadows were some of the first single eyeshadows I bought, and I think they really do live up the the hype. I'll keep this bit brief because everyone in the entire beauty world knows about makeup geek shadows, there are many reviews on them and I don't feel there's anything I can really add. I will say I do love the formula of the mattes, and I really love the simmer and foiled shades. The only shade I'm slightly disappointed by is Cherry Cola, a dark burgundy. It's a very stiff eyeshadow so it's hard to pick up the product on a fluffy brush, probably the brush you want, and it's slightly hard to blend but it's still workable. Desert Sands is a lovely formula, really soft and blendable and is a lovely mustard shade, not too dark or light. Shimma Shimma is a supposed dupe for Stila's Kitten (which I'll mention in a bit), and I think it's slightly less shimmery but is a lovely formula. Take Two is the only foiled shadow I own but I really love the shade and the formula, I will say that shadow is very loose. I actually dropped my palette by mistake (in my sister's room which means she now actually has a stain on her carpet). It landed with the shadows facing up but this shade had just shattered. I love it so much I just pushed all the shadow pack into the pan and furiously scrubbed the carpet. Eyeshadow is the priority here. That is a slight negative, well kinda big negative but I still use and love it!




These shadows I have really conflicting feelings about. The mattes swatch absolutely horribly, they look patchy and not pigmented but they really don't perform like that on they eyes. I actually used a lot of these shadows in my rainbow series (here's a link if you want to see them in action!). I think on the eyes they can be built to a really pigmented and well blended finish. NYX is an affordable brand and I actually use these so often and I find them incredibly easy to work with which makes my purse very happy. I praise the amazing shade range, they have so many colourful ones and lots of wearable shades as well. The shimmer shades are very pigmented and blendable. The one let down is the blue shade Electroshock. I find it to be not very true to pan and it is slightly difficult to work with. However blue eyeshadows are notoriously hard to formulate so I am willing to forgive them. If you want to get into single shadows, I highly recommend these as they are very cheap and so you can buy a few and see if you like them without feeling a little bit guilty about your purchase. Out of these, Voodoo is my favourite. It's a blue brown duo chrome and it looks so stunning on the eyes. I've used this for a smokey eye, as eyeliner and for cut creases and I think it works so well with my eye colour. It's blendable, pigmented and lasts well without creasing on me. 





These are my one off shadows. Firstly, the Coloured Raine shadow I bought because I wanted to see how good the shadows are, and if they are similar to this shade then they are very nice. Clutch Pearls is described as 'an iridescent white with a purple sheen'. I think it is a duo chrome, and it throws a slightly pinky red reflect, not really purple. I used it in my Gabrielle Aplin Miss You look on youtube, if you want to see it used on the eyes. I really love this shade, and I use it as highlight sometimes. I think it look really cool on the cheeks, when buffed on the cheekbones, it become a really pretty duo chrome sheen, but the reflect isn't so strong that it looks odd. It also makes a really nice inner corner shade. It's pigmented, blendable so on so on, just a very very good eyeshadow, and vegan as well which is a bonus!

How do I even start to talk about Stila Kitten? If I could only use on eyeshadow for the rest of my life it would be this one. It is such a beautiful shimmer shade. I was first introduced to this shade from my Stila Soul Palette, and I hit pan and made the very hard decision to dish out the money to buy it as a single shadow. It is the same size as the ABH contour powders so it will probably last me a very long time. It's just such a pretty shade for the lid, inner corner, even highlighter with a very light hand. It's the perfect champagne shade, highly shimmery, not too pink, not too gold, just in the middle. Super pigmented, very blendable and worth the £12 for the single shadow. I say that but I wouldn't ever pay that for an eyeshadow but that is just how much I love this eyeshadow. I use it for the inner corner every time I remember to do that step, I honestly think everyone needs to experience this eyeshadow at least once in their life and that is a strong statement to make. Now that I'm done fawning over this shadow, I will let you know I don't know if it is worth the price tag. Shimma Shimma by Makeup Geek is a really decent dupe for this shadow, so I would say totally buy that instead. Do as I say and not as I do!

I thought, this post isn't quite long enough so I did a look using a few of my single eyeshadows. It's a bit grungy and smoky but I love how it turned out! I used ABH Earth, Makeup Geek Desert Sands and Cherry Cola, NYX Voodoo, STFU and Kush, Kiko 111 and Coloured Raine Clutch Pearls.

A post shared by Gemma (@hiddengemblog) on

So there you have it folks, a look into all my single eyeshadows and a review on all of them as well. I hope this helped you in some way, and if you have any questions don't be afraid to contact me! Have a great day!

Gem x

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