Mac Eyeshadow Collection: Swatches & Review

In the world of makeup, Mac eyeshadow has achieved cult status. In fact, from YouTube gurus to fashion runway makeup artists, Mac rules the cosmetic industry.

Not immune to this praise, I’ve collected 10 of the most iconic Mac eyeshadows and would like to review each one for you.

1) “Nylon” — Described on the company website as “pale gold with icy shimmer.” This frost eyeshadow is legendary as a highlight color, providing a strong white-gold sheen on the brow bone and inner corner. Truly beautiful shade, but it must be applied with a gentle hand since the swatch below doesn’t do justice to its high pigment.


2) “Satin Taupe” — Described as “taupe with silver shimmer.” It’s definitely a cool-toned taupe, with subtle grey and plum undertones. A nice neutral eyelid color for every day, although I was a bit disappointed in the pigment. The swatch you see below is the result of multiple applications.


3) “Mythology” — Described as “copper.” The brief description is apt — “Mythology” is the color of a penny, with warm rust undertones. The pigment is decent. Beautiful as a lid or crease color, and especially flattering for blue eyes!


4) “Quarry” — Described as “soft muted plum-brown.” The label is right — this shade is muted to the point of near-invisibility! The pigmentation is very poor, as you can see below. On initial observation, it seems perfect as a natural cool-toned crease shade. Unfortunately, it shows up no better on the eyes. You should definitely skip this shadow!

5) “Expensive Pink” — Described on the website as “pink with duochrome.” It is a classically gorgeous rose-gold shade, flattering on all eye colors due to its warm (gold) and cool (pink) undertones. This is a unique color, which sometimes appears pink and, other times, gold, depending on the angle and lighting. An incredible lid or crease color. Also, it’s stunning for a one-shadow eye look.


6) “Idol Eyes” — Described as “silvered violet with gold.” Sounds dazzling, right? Wrong. The pigmentation is quite poor — almost as bad as “Quarry.” In addition, it translates as a simple silver. The supposed violet and gold undertones are nowhere to be seen. This shade was another disappointment!


7) “Soft Brown” — Described as “soft golden peachy brown.” It’s a matte shade which is beautiful in the crease and/or as a transition shade (blended out to soften the edges of a darker shadow). Beautiful pigmentation and a terrific neutral color which I now use often!


8) “Sable” — Described as “gold-plum with bronze pearl.” This is a strong neutral shade, an everyday sort of color which can be worn on the lids for every occasion. Decent pigmentation — better than “Satin Taupe” in this regard.


9) “Twinks” — Described as “deep plum with pearl.” Unique, sophisticated shade for everyday. Great as a lid or outer V color. Looks similar to “Sable” in the swatch, but, in reality, deeper and more plum-toned. A more accurate label may be “plum brown.” Wonderful autumn color!


10) “Cranberry” — Described as “red-plum with pink shimmer.” My favorite of the bunch! This is fantastic as a lid color or outer V deepening shade. Everything about this shade reminds me of autumn and Thanksgiving — even the name! Extremely flattering on green and hazel eyes.


All in all, I found Mac eyeshadow to be hit-or-miss. I discovered some beautiful shades, including “Expensive Pink,” “Cranberry,” “Twinks,” and “Soft Brown.” Nevertheless, I was very disappointed with others, including “Quarry,” “Idol Eyes,” and even the famous “Satin Taupe.” The texture and pigmentation of these, even some of my favorites, were difficult to work with and inferior to the buttery texture of other high- end brands, such as Lorac and Urban Decay.

In addition, at $15 apiece, these shadows are not a good value. For example, the Urban Decay “Naked” palettes contain 12 shadows for $50 — that’s charging approximately $4 for each eyeshadow, which is a superb deal!

In short, I will probably not purchase Mac eyeshadow again unless I swatch it in the store — and am subsequently blown away.

It’s overhyped — in my opinion.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5 Stars

Available at Mac counters and for $15 per eyeshadow

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