Marlena Stell is probably the most famous person you may not have heard of. But if you love makeup, then you're probably familiar with her brand, Makeup Geek. MUG, as most insiders know it, is known for affordable, high-quality eye shadows in an endless range of shades. Stell started her career as a teacher, but having minored in stage makeup, the Michigan-based artist decided to launch MakeupGeekTV as a way to educate women everywhere about makeup. From that venture came the launch of her cosmetics line in 2011, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast-forward to present-day and the now Sacramento-based mogul has built a $10-million brand, making her one of the most successful YouTube beauty gurus. The brand most recently collaborated with makeup artist and YouTube star Manny Gutierrez on a limited-edition MannyMUA x Makeup Geek Palette ($45)—which MUG can barely keep in stock—and come August 3, the core line will get nine additional shades with a super awesome foiled finish. We got the exclusive scoop on the new collection, which we're almost positive will sell out (just saying), and everything you need to know about the formula, the wear, and which shades to choose.
Read on to get the details about the latest Makeup Geek foiled eyeshadow collection, hitting the site in September.
BYRDIE: You're known for creating a variety of eye shadows in single pans. Why did you choose to specialize in eye shadows to begin with?
Marlena Stell: "That's where my passion was—creating different eye looks and sharing them with the Makeup Geek community. Eye shadows were what I knew best at the time and a natural place for me to begin my cosmetics line. I wanted to create eye shadows that were as high quality and affordable as possible, and that offered colors for everyone."
Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow ($10 each)
BYRDIE: MUG's foiled formula is known for its pigment-packed lustrous finish. Can you tell us about it and the new shades you're about to debut?
MS: "Our foiled formula is unique because it has a super high shine—you get the metallic (foiled) effect without having to use a foiling technique. Texture-wise, they’re very creamy—like a hybrid between a powder shadow and a cream shadow. With this recent addition, we chose colors that our customers had requested and made good additions to our existing range. They offer the same intense, opaque pigmentation that our fans have come to expect, and are truly a dream to work with. Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows are the benchmark for metallic shadows in the industry, and one of our most popular products!"
BYRDIE: What is the easiest way for a newbie to play with such fun colors?
MS: "A super-easy way to wear our foiled eye shadows is to smudge them (we suggest the bright colors!) along the lower lash line. You can keep the lid natural or neutral—just that little bit of color and a couple of coats of mascara will have you looking totally put together. It’s a really fresh look that's perfect for summer."
Opening Image: @makeupgeekcosmetics