The £8 Spend That Will Change Your Mind About Drugstore Eyeshadow Palettes

I’ll admit it, when it comes to eyeshadow palettes I can certainly be considered as a “makeup snob”. I rarely ever go out of my way to try drugstore branded palettes as I never feel like they live up to their higher-end counterparts. So sometimes I feel like a need a right kick up the butt to be reminded that it’s not all about that flashy price tag or glitzy packaging – it’s what’s inside that counts, right?

A while back, Make Up Academy (MUA) sent me over two of their massive eyeshadow palettes to have a play with, the Burning Embers Palette* and the Tropical Oceana Palette*. Each contain 25 pigment eyeshadows which complement each other, so you have the potential to create some seriously pretty looks at only £8.00 a pop!


With product packaging, you really do get what you pay for. For £8.00 for 25 shadows, I really couldn’t care less about how this product looks, if you feel me. Weirdly enough, I really do enjoy the simplistic, plain clear packaging with black base – it’s perfect for this product. The palette is quite large, but I don’t find this to be inconvenient since I’d usually store a palette like this away in my beauty stash until I need to use it. Nothing fancy, just good shadows for a good price – and I’m loving it.


I didn’t expect much from a mere 32p per shadow, but the quality is pretty darn good for the price guys! The shadows seem to have a consistent quality throughout both the range of shades, and range of palettes (keeping in mind that I haven’t actually played around with the green/blue shadows all that much).

The matte shades are generally quite blendable, with only the lighter shades being a little bit chalky and hence giving more of a powdery kickback. Whilst the shimmer shades are much better when applied with a finger, rather than a brush, to get a more “packed” look on the lid without getting fall out on the lower lash line. Obviously, if you’re using some MAC Fix + or a glitter glue you’ll get a lot more pigment, and the shades will last much longer on the eye.


 Burning Embers Palette* 

Warm toned lurrrrrvin’ – omg guys, I love the shade range of this palette. You all know that warm shades do things for me and this palette ticks all of my boxes. There are 9 matte shades and 16 of the shimmery variety to play with – with plenty of transition, crease, and outer v shades. Plus, I have noticed that the shade Glint is actually a sneaky duo chrome! It’s a frosted white with a pink & purple shift – dyingggg. It’s beautiful, huns. It’s a lovely shadow topper, or works as a quirky inner corner highlight too.

My fave shades out of the lot?

Sparks, Wildfire, Spark, Torch, Warmth, and Blush.

I only wish there were some deep warm burgundy/pink matte shades so the shimmery versions like Flame and Blaze would be easier to incorporate into a look. Hmm, and I guess this palette is in fact missing that matte black which really adds depth to any eye look, so if you’re into that sort of look this palette can be quite limiting.

Tropical Oceana Palette*

Yup, there are a lot of scary cool toned shades in this palette – I sort of freaked out. Even though blues and purples are apparently the most complimentary shades for big browns, like my eyes, I tend to drift away to the warmer side of the shadow spectrum.

Due to being a bit scared of delving into the blues and greens, I’ve mostly experimented with the top half of this palette and I’ve even surprised myself with the looks I’ve managed to create. I’ve actually really enjoyed doing a neutral winged eye and adding a dash of a bright colour such as any of the blues with a lil Fix + to my lower lash line for a really edgy, high fashion look.


My overall thoughts are as follows: cheap af, amazing quality for the price. No, you’re not going to get an unbelievable product formula nor does MUA claim for this palette to have amazing colour pay off and last something ridiculous like 24 hours. But if you love experimenting with makeup, or are on a pretty strict budget – you can’t beat the value for money.

Have you tried any drugstore palettes recently? What did you think?



  1. Isabelle Collins
    March 18, 2017 / 4:10 PM

    I'm the same with drugstore eyeshadow palettes but these really are gorgeous! I love MUA makeup but I've never tried any of their shadows so I'll deffo have to put these on my list

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:31 AM

      Thanks for reading Isabelle!

  2. Wanderlust Girl
    March 18, 2017 / 4:32 PM

    I think I've seen MUA before, but I certainly don't remember them being this cheap!! The more neutral palette loOKs so pretty omgg

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:31 AM

      I know right, those blush neutrals thoooo

  3. Shay Holly
    March 18, 2017 / 5:05 PM

    These look fab and I agree with the packaging I like how simple it is!

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:37 AM

      Thanks so much Shay! xo

  4. Alicia S
    March 18, 2017 / 5:42 PM

    I need that Burning Embers palette in my life, I'm obsessed with redy orange eye looks at the moment Alicia

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:38 AM

      I know right, the burnt oranges are perfect! x

  5. Jess | The Indigo Hours
    March 18, 2017 / 6:45 PM

    I think I need the Burning Embers palette, they all look like beautiful shades! ♥

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:38 AM

      Such an amazing shade selection, I totally agree

  6. Yiotou_La
    March 18, 2017 / 8:33 PM

    Both palettes are beautiful but Burning Embers is my favourite, I love the pink and purple shades and I wear lots of them at the moment. Added on my wishlist :)Yiota

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:38 AM

      Thanks for reading Yiota! x

  7. Steph Hartley
    March 18, 2017 / 10:04 PM

    I haven't bought a new eyeshadow palette in SO long and these sound pretty darn good for their price! I'm not a big fan of cool tones either, I think they make me look super washed out, but the Burning Embers palette sounds fabSteph –

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:39 AM

      I totally agree, warm tones all the way! x

  8. Em
    March 18, 2017 / 10:35 PM

    I need to add some colours to my eyeshadow collection, maybe I should finally give MUA a try!

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:40 AM

      Totally, they have such a selection! xo

  9. Parie Joshi
    March 19, 2017 / 11:18 AM

    These are incredible! So much colour choice tooParie xClass and Glitter

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:40 AM

      Thanks so much for reading Parie! xo

  10. Nai Brown
    March 19, 2017 / 9:45 PM

    I think I might have to pick up the Burning Embers palette… trying to save money and not spend so much on make-up, £8.00 can't hurt right?

    • Holly Ah-Thion
      March 21, 2017 / 9:41 AM

      Haha well it probably won't break the bank! xo

  11. Leanne Saunders
    March 27, 2017 / 6:07 PM

    I have a MUA palette stashed away somewhere which is probably all manky now but I remember it being great for some drugstore shades but as you said, yes don't expect them to be 24 – That warm toned palette though !! i'll remember this when A/W rolls inLeanne |

  12. Natalie Redman
    March 29, 2017 / 1:59 PM

    These sound good. Will have to have a look when I'm next in a

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