Palette Smackdown: MAC vs. UNII vs. Z Palette

.UNII Palettes

The quality of these palettes is absolutely amazing!  They’re sleek, very sturdy, include a mirror, and hold your eyeshadows in tightly so that you can travel with no worries.  My only complaint is I wish they were a bit bigger to hold more shadows in one case, and the price is a little steep, BUT….the quality is worth this price.  If I had to choose a palette to travel with, I would choose these as they are so incredibly sturdy!

They come in 6 colors:   pink, blue, yellow, purple, white, and black

Price: $24
Where to Buy: . UNII . Amazon . eBay


Z Palettes

These palettes are what I currently use to hold all my eyeshadows as they are a great size, sturdy, AND have a see through top so I can see what’s inside!  Plus you have to admit, the patterns are so cute :)

They come in 4 patterns:   black, pink, zebra, and leopard

Price: $19.95
Where to Buy: Makeup Geek Store (more in stock soon!). Amazon . eBay


MAC Palettes

Although I have had my eyeshadows in these palettes for years, I will say that these are not the best for holding your precious makeup… The packaging is cheaply made, does not protect your shadows, and you cannot see through the case to see what’s in it.   (Sorry MAC!)

Price: $14
Where to Buy: . MAC . eBay

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CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


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Marlena, pleaseeeeee share with us “how to do ” the make-up you are wearing in this video….it’s lovely !! It’s sexy ,but still romantic….. PLEASE:) thank uuuu

Marlena, could you list the products you used for this look ( and where you applied what)? I know there’s no time for a tutorial, but I’d love to do this look for the Holidays. TIA

Yess, please do a toturial, Marlena. Please Please Please. I’m going out with my girls next week and I want to try this look. And I’m also going to a birthday party next tuesday, so I hope You do some beautiful and sexy look by that time.

I agree,that the MAC-palettes are not the best quality- on the other hand they are also the cheapest out of all the pallettes mentioned. I like the MAC ones. I can get them easily,they are magnetic (dont know that about the others) and cheap. Just my 2 cents on this. :)

Awwww! The tutorial is very useful, thank for sharing it with us… And I looooved the snow flakes decoration very unique as your personality, are you missing the snow? LOL.. just kidding.. I now you don´t like that kind of weather. The Best Holidays wishes for you Marlena!!

Hi Marlena! I love your tutorials and articles and I am on this site for hours. I wanted to know what eyeshadows you are wearing in this tutorial? The look is gorgeous!

I can’t remember exactly what I’m wearing here :( I taped this a bit ago… but I’m pretty sure it was MAC’s Down Brown in the outer V, Texture in the crease, and I’m not sure what’s on the lid :( You can wear Naked pigment or even Tan on the lid and it would be pretty!

hey marlena i have a question about something else, i have heard that NYX products may not be sold any more to germany next year, now my question is, is it real and can you still send to germany next year ?? do you know something about this ??


Yes, the look you’re wearing in this tut is great. I’m starting to miss your tuts where you teach us how to do different looks ;)

dear M

i hope you could also upload channel other than youtube as we couldn’t see youtube in china. in some of your previous tutorial there is another channel we could check it. we love you and your tutorial very much. you are just gorgeous

as you said, wish you all the best, always staying happy and healthy

with warmest regards,

The look you have in this video is great , could you tell us what shadows your wearing? Also I know how much you love NYX, and I was wondering if you could do a vid of NYX LIpsticks that are dupes for MAC. Thanks so much.

hey marlena-babe, loved this tut, but i have a different question…. so i have been struggling with mascara. since i’m a gingey with dark blue-green AND i’m also whitey mcwhiterson, black mascara looks wayyy to harsh. but sadly, all my favourite drugstore come in black and black-brown. i would love your help to maybe find ANY brown mascara. thanks, much love marlena!

ooh.. that is tough as I never use the brown mascara! The black-brown ones are too harsh also? I will try to find one, but I can’t think of any right now :(

maybe i haven’t tried enough brown-black ones, but ill keep lookin! stay beautiful and amazing girl, much love.

I was wondering if you knew how many of the NYX shadows and blushes the z palette and unii palette could hold?

You are doing a great job on maintaining your health. Keep up the good work, you look great! Question regarding the palettes, do they have magnets to hold the eyeshadows in place? If they do not, do you know any palettes that do? I have been looking for a palette that has magnet. Thank you!

if you go to the z palette website they actually sell pre-cut magnet stickers. 40 pieces for $4.30 but im pretty sure the z palette has a magnetic bottom.

Hi,Marlena, how are you? I need your help, I want to buy a pink lipgloss. How can I choose it? I like MAC,NARS….THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
YOU ARE THE BEST ;) :) ;) ;)

Can you list what makeup you are wearing…….eyeshadows, blush, etc……..when you are not doing a makeup tutorial????? Hope you have a wonderful holiday!!!!!!

Hi Marlena :)

like you tutoral,
but im waiting for you to do some great looks
for this holidays!

keep up the great work
take care.!!

I LOVE your make up in this video. PLEASE do a tutorial on it, soooo beautiful.
I have an eyeliner question. My eyes can be a bit oily. I want to wear eyeliner, but it always smudges. I’ve tried the pencil/liquid then putting powder eyeliner on and it still runs and smudges. Help?

Love your videos! Thank you! :)

Hi Marlena,

I also love the makeup you’re wearing in this tutorial, especially your eyeshadow, can you tell us what products you used??!!!

I know this is a random question & apologize if it has already been asked but what did you use to curl your hair? It looks great! I have been trying to do something soft like that for a long time!

Thanks!! :)

Hi Marlena, first of all thanks so much for your great tutorials. Ever since I saw your first tutorial on youtube I haven’t been able to stop watching your tutorials on this site. I bought the tarte jewellry box pallette since you suggested it was your favorite and I loved the tutorial that you have for that palette. I was hoping you could please post some more ideas with that palette soon :) thank you. have a great holiday :)

Wow, those uni palettes look great. I was wondering if you have taken a look at Motives cosmetics’ custom palettes, or Motives Cosmetics in general? Looks like they have some great, quality products!
But I’d love to hear your opinion– here’s the site :

Also– by any chance have you tried any of the Ulta exclusive Palettes, such as : Smashbox’s Wish for the Perfect Palette, or Tart’s Holiday Collection Palette?

You look like a celebrity! I agree with everyone, your makeup is great, Im requesting this look for an everyday sweetheart look. Also, I tried the ELF smokey eye book because it was $5 at Target, had 12 mostly matte full sized shadows, I tell u go get one! the shadows have great pigment and Ive had mine on for about 11 hours and its still in place( of course I used primer and mac fix+).

I loveeee your tutorials, they’re great ;)
How ever I love the Mac pallets, I do wish the large Mac pallet had a clear lid..

Marlena, I ran across you on youtube looking for makeup tutorials. Now I’m hooked. I LOVEEE this website and its very helpful too. You have inspired me to take my makeup to the next level. Now I get compliments on it. Thank you for who you are and what you do. By the way I love your make up on this clip. Please OH Please do a tutorial on it. I would definetly Rock that E/S. LOL!!

Great review,good info! I love how cute the Z pallettes are! Marlena, you are so upbeat in your videos, they really are fun to watch. I look forward to watching new ones. You can tell that you are very passionate about what you do. You seem like such a genuine, sweet person.

Goddess Marlena … Mistress to the Ring!

Yes Mistress Marlena cracks that Lunge whip as shes the ring mistress to the circus of the paletts,

as the MUG Smackdown commences .. its like Stonecold Steve austin, the Undertaker, and Kane all going in the ring at once but this time replaced by Goddess with her bootlicking geek slaves as she demands our attention to her demands of which is the best palette!

Yet another 1st class presentation from the Empire of Marlena mansions, … Goddess have you ever thought of being one sexy low cut blouse newsreaders? to tease all admirers xxxx i think you would do a great job!


I love your background!! Plus, I know I’m like, the 1,010,000 person to ask this, buuuut….

thx for ur this vdo.but my thng is this palate does nt hv all the colors.i am looking for a palate that has shimmery eyeshadow and maximum in number but minimum in price.i like to learn ur this make up.thnx a lot n take care.

Thank you so much for sharing that! I am currently in the process of revamping the supplies I offer to my students in their kit, and I will now be choosing the z-palette. Does the z-palette come in another size, because the ones I saw on other sites seem smaller? Good to know I can fit 25 shadows in that one. :-)

I soooooo want to see you do a video on the makeup you are wearing in this video!!! It really pops and looks amazing!!!! Please do a Video!!!! Want it gotta have it doll!!! lol ;-)

It seems like everyone loves your look in this tutorial. You MUST do a tutorial for this look. PLEASE!!!

I want to say that I watch every video you post and that I have learned I lot since I discovered this site. Thank you very much for everything you do. Take care. I hope that you are doing well and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Keep doing what you have beeing doing so far. It’s wonderful and you really changed my life.

Hei Marlena!

I hope you’ll see this message :-) First of all, I love what your doing and I think you are very good at it! I love all your make-up looks, and I always have to try them out ;)

Second, I was hoping that could you perhaps do a Tutorial of Selena Gomez in her video “A Year without Rain” :-) I think it’s really pretty weekend look when you’re going out and since I can’t figure out how to do it by myself, I hoped that you could help me =) I’ll put the link here:

Thank you for everything you do & Stay happy and healthy :)
A Very Merry Christmas Marlena! ?
Love, Anna

Oops sorry I put there “?” after the “merry christmas” by mistake! Sorry :D And i forgot a couple of words there ! I meant: “A tutorial of Selena Gomez’ look in her video”. I hope you still understand it! Lova, Anna =)

Hey Marlena,
I was trying to find an answer for this but wasn’t able to. How on earth do you get the mac eyeshadows out of their cases so that they will be in the silver holders like you have? I ordered a Z Palette and would like to have the individual eyeshadows like you do. Thank you

I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for guiding us with your makeup tutorials! I have seen other videos on YouTube and you are by far the BEST and most professional presenter. I am happy that your business has become so successful… definitely well deserved!! I have been a subscriber for a year now and your advice and product recommendations have helped me immensely! Keep up the great work! You are fabulous! :)

omg ur make up looks beautiful here please please do a tutorial of it!
thnx for the video its very hepful :-)

hi!! i love your page you have given me lots of tips lol…but a have a ddoubt, im just starting to buy diferent make ups but i dont have the money to by expensive ones so do you know if bh cosmetics products are good? they have great prices and tonz of eyeshadows and brushes!!!