Friday, October 30th, 2009

Build a Quad: “Soft Fire”

Dubbed Soft Fire, this eyeshadow quad features four permanent shades of MAC eyeshadow: Amber Lights (a coppery frost), Antiqued (a reddened brown frost), Bronze (a rich bronze frost), and Grain (a lightly shimmered beige highlighter). All of these shades have warmer tones, so I would consider this to be a warm quad. (I say this to caution you if you dislike warm shades, this is probably not the one for you!) All four shades are colors I’ve been using for years without fail, because they’re pigmented, smooth, and easy to work with. Grain is more of a neutral highlighter, and I like the way it accents the rest of the quad’s stronger warm tones–it helps to balance everything out.

A few combinations to try with this…

  • Amber Lights all over the lid, Bronze in the crease, Grain to highlight
  • Amber Lights all over the lid, Antiqued on the outer lid, Bronze in the crease, Grain to highlight
  • Grain all over the lid, Bronze in the crease
  • Grain on the inner lid, Amber Lights on the outer lid, Antiqued in the crease

Build a Quad is a feature focusing on creating different eyeshadow palettes that are both beautiful and functional using permanent shades of eyeshadow.ย  We invite readers to suggest their own build-a-quads — just leave your ideas in the comments!

P.S. – As this is a new feature… tell me if you love it or hate it so I know whether to continue it! :)

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

252 thoughts on “Build a Quad: “Soft Fire”

  1. Jess

    Wow! this is great :)
    Thank Youโ™ฅ

  2. Toni

    Love it! I’m about to go pick these babies up…. Thanks girl!

  3. That’s awesome! My idea of building a smokey eyes quad is Silver Ring, Knight Divine, Carbon and Gesso. For a neutral quad, All That Glitters, Satin Taupe, Brun and Dazzlelight.

  4. Leah

    I love this new feature! I hope we see more of it!

  5. Erika

    I really like this idea, is very functional and pretty! :)

  6. Laetitia

    Absolutely LOVE this new feature. I really hope this one becomes a regular because I am always on the lookout for new quads!

  7. Megan

    I like this Christine. The only one I don’t have is Grain but I want to try some of the looks you posted. Do you think Femme-Fi or Arena are good subs for Grain?

  8. Odessa

    I really like this new feature! I wish I knew what colors would go well with each other, and this makes it so much easier! Thanks!!!

  9. Tekoa

    Ah, brilliant! Sometimes my perm items get neglected.

  10. Crystal

    I like this idea!

  11. Anitacska

    I think it’s a great idea (although I’m not much of a warm shadows person), and would find more combinations very interesting too.

  12. KyaLyn

    This is great! Very helpful for the permanent items and ideas for quads to take on vacation.

  13. Siledhel

    Nothing new to say, just repeat that I absolutely ADORE this idea.
    Great new feature Christine.
    I can always count on you to give me more ideas on how to go over budget on beauty products… but make my investment worthy.

    I think Amber lights was the first MAC shadow I ever bought. and a brownish one that was mislabeled; therefore I have no idea what I bought back then :P. It’s good to know new ideas on how to wear it.

  14. Anja

    I like this feature!

  15. Jodie

    I love this new feature, it will definatly give me more ideas on eyeshadow combination!!
    can’t wait to see more!

  16. Lindsay

    I love this new feature! I can’t wait for future quads in cool tones.

  17. Nadine

    I think this is an awesome idea! Some of the quads mac comes out with are just plain odd. I thik you’ll be much better at it!

  18. yen-ah

    I think it’s a great idea !!
    but i was hoping to see some swatches of those eyeshadows
    i know you have swatches on the site but it would be more handy if you would put them in this post

  19. Love Amber Lights! I don’t have Bronze though, so I may go get that today.

  20. LOVE the idea of this. gives us an idea of what works together, and what to get =]

  21. Ada

    I like this feature. Thanks for the ideas!

  22. Erin

    Great idea. I have some open spaces in my quads that may now be filled.

    I have one with Vex, Da Bling, Sumptuous Olive and Sable that I love. So many possible combinations.

  23. CoCo

    Best idea! This will make pulling ideas and pulling colors together so much easier! Nice job Christine

  24. j.

    LOVE it! This is the area I always stumble through – mixing up different colors in a quad.
    I’m newer to your site – do you post videos on how you apply your eye-shadows? Love the way you do it!

  25. Karen

    Great idea!!! I am all for it!! Christine, can you make a purple quad too? I can’t figure out which purple is best for my dark brown eyes…thanks!! Love


  26. BAM432

    This is so awesome! Please keep these posts coming. So helpful!

  27. LOVE this feature Christine!!!!I have 2 of those colors…gives me an excuse to go out and buy more MAC!!! Yay!

  28. Oh…and here is an idea for a stunning purple quad…cranberry all over the lid, Shadowdy Lady and Nocturnelle in the crease and Vex on the brow bone. This Look is LOVE!!! lol!

  29. Bunny

    Love this idea, great picks!

  30. Mary007

    Wonderful idea!!! Happy Friday!

    • Thanks, Mary! Happy Friday! Got any fun plans?

      • Mary007

        Not much fun stuff this weekend. I have a lot of work to catch up on (side business at home). I’d like to squeeze in some studying time too. I have a couple of godchildren visiting tomorrow, so I guess I get to buy some candy! The most exciting thing is dinner tonight with my boyfriend!! :)

        What are you up to this weekend?

  31. Nance

    Great idea ๐Ÿ˜€

    I would love to see one with Cranberry

  32. rashmi

    wowwwwww such a fantastic post plssss christine make this a daily post so that we all will be able to arrange our quads … i have only 1 quad and 1 quad with two empty pans hahahah i will buy 1 – 2 after getting inspiration from here
    pls show some with pink like – expensive pink , da bling , pink venus
    and yes yes GOLDS which is ur favourite…. :)

    • Thanks, Rashmi! What’s the quad you need 1 or 2 more to complete? What’s already in it?

      • rashmi

        thanks dear for ur reply i really need help with this …
        i have
        expensive pink ( my fav and first ever eyeshadow)
        da bling
        sushi flower
        naked lunch
        i have to 2 buy eyeshadows to arrange the above 2 quads
        and as i told u m just tryong to buy few mac so i will buy one more quad but now that u r posting so i will buy after reading from here
        my fav are golds and pinks
        and yeah i have 2 paint pots painterely and indianwood
        pls suggest an idea

        • I think these would be two pretty quads:

          Naked Lunch, Woodwinked, Shroom, and BRONZE!

          Expensive Pink, Da Bling, Sushi Flower, and CRANBERRY!

          I think those would be very pretty. The pink quad is pretty heavy on the pink, so you’ll still need a separate highlighter (Shroom from the other one).

          • rashmi

            thank you so much
            i was sitting in front of my laptop with my little box and i already did what u suggested and hopefully this sat or sunday m gonna buy the rest of two
            once again nobody is comparable to u on DOT COM

            • Girl, you’re too sweet! Thank you! I’m really just glad to be able to help :)

            • rashmi

              hahahhaa christine m glad u said girl hahaha m 31 yr old lady and just started doing makeup and to be honest i really wanna thank u in some or the other way
              whenever u r in india please be my guest and oblige me
              i will be relocating to mumbai next month
              i mean we are going back to india
              and i will really look forward for ur trip to india
              Sounds GREATTTT

            • I’ll definitely let you know if I’m in your neighborhood :) Thank for your graciousness!

  33. ashley

    Love it! such a great idea!

  34. Daina

    I love this idea Christine!!! I also agree with a previous poster who said that it would be very helpful to post swatches of those e/s in the quad :)

  35. Dee

    This is a great idea, would love to see more!! :-)

  36. Sarah

    Oh my gosh Christine I love this!! I’m still a makeup newbie so figuring out how to pair with what is still really hard for me. This is so fantastic and I’m going to go pick up these shades!

  37. SusyLovesMac

    I love this! It will greatly help put color combination together! Good work Christine! :)

  38. Roxanne

    This is PERFECT! I’ve always been tempted to build quads but I never knew which colours to put in them. There are so many, right? This really helps, Christine!
    It would be great if you could “label” them (ugh, can’t think of another word), do one in blue, green, pink, neutral, etc. (but I’m guessing you’ve already thought of that). I’m hoping you will use different e/s in every post, so there won’t be any “doubles” or “overlap” (sth’s wrong with my brain today).

    I can just feel my MAC/Temptalia addiction growing… My bank account’s going to hate me :) LOL

    • Thanks, Roxanne! I’m not sure what you mean by label them, and I’m definitely going to try to use different shades, but we’ll see how it turns out! I imagine I’ll overlap at least a few times on highlighters… but again, we’ll see!

  39. glitter princess

    loving the post and looks great x

  40. littlemissmagic

    would love it if there were a FOTD of one of the combinations!

  41. Rita

    This is a feature I’ve been longing for! I have many permanent shadows but for the most part I don’t know how to combine them with other shades (that’s why I also have mostly LE collections stuff). Keep them coming!

  42. Laetitia

    I’m thinking MAC will probably see a burst in sales for all of those eyeshadows because of this brilliant feature on Temptalia :) Can’t say enough how excited I am for this feature.

  43. This is such a great idea!!! It makes you think about how to use colors you have already and introduce you to colors that you might have never known about.

  44. Noa

    What a great idea, and fantastic colors to debut with too!

  45. Allison

    Please keep doing this! :]

  46. Tattoo Girl

    I LOVE this!! Great idea!! It will really come in handy for newbies and help some of us oldies have some new color combination ideas! Thanks!

  47. sandra

    I LOVE IT!!! I own 6 pallets which I made myself (with somteimes a little help of your blog) and most of the colors are brownยดs, goldยดs en `Shroomsยดs (naturals). I have Amber Light and Bronze (bought the last one 2 weeks ago) and pair them with Honey lust.

    Could you please advise me on this matter: I bought Knight Devine last Spring but I donยดt have an idea how to wear it? Iยดve tried it with Et Tu Bouquet (rose collection), but itยดs not really `smashing`…. Any ideas?? Thanks!

    • Ohh, try Knight Divine with one of your naturals like Shrooms – probably something with a little more shimmer than Shroom. Mix the two together and create a cool gradient of silver-gray :) It’s also nice with softer browns as well!

  48. Katya

    like the new idea – really helpful, one thing u need to add is the swatches of the actual colors!!! – i think it would help even more!

  49. P

    love this new feature!!! i am on my way out the door to buy these! THANK U.

  50. Wilcoa

    Great idea! I’ve really been looking at trying to get some more permanent shadows and this will definitely help me decide :)

  51. Amanda

    Awesome idea for those of us that need a little help combining colors. Hope it becomes permanent!

  52. Marisol

    Great new addition! I love this idea, but also hate it only because it’s going to make me go out and buy more eyeshadows!! LOL

    Your the best!

  53. mariepouliche

    I like that new feature!

    All that glitters on te lid, nocturnelle on the outer V, Cork on the crease with a bit of coppering… it seems like a colorful eye makeup but it’s actually a fun neutral.

  54. Teresa

    This post is amazing! It would be GREAT if it becomes a regular thing ๐Ÿ˜€ It gives such great ideas. I love how you incorporate possible looks as well. I imagined each one as I read through them and they sound awesome! Using other peoples ideas from the comments is also helpful.

    I’ll post mine, which I made by fluke but it looks so pretty!

    Expensive Pink, Nocturnelle, Beauty Marked, Shadowy Lady

    • Ohh, it does sound pretty! Thanks, Teresa!

      You should come up with a name for your quad ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Teresa

        Thank you, Christine! ๐Ÿ˜€ I can’t come up with a good name yet :( I hadn’t thought about it before! I swatched my quad and find that either Shadowy Lady or Beauty Marked can be swapped for a highlighter as they are similar in colour. But I’m keeping as is, it just looks too pretty :) Sometimes I look at it and am like ‘I made this quad?’, lol :p

        *I took one more look at it and thought of a name!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ PURPLE SKY :) ๐Ÿ˜€ *

  55. Sass

    Love this one! If only we can get rid of the drug store makeup posts…

  56. I’m really loving this new feature. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll definitely be trying out these combos.

  57. Jody Brown

    This is such a great idea. I always have trouble with deciding what colors would go good together. I may need to invest into these colors. I look forward to seeing more ideas. Especially the purple.

  58. I..LOVE…THIS.

    Quick question:
    I just bought ricepaper and coppering..what other two shadows would you suggest christine? thanks!!!

  59. Rachael

    I love this feature, what a great idea!

  60. Vlcatko

    This is a great idea! Love it :) Especially that it uses perm shadows <3

    And a great way to start it too – neutrals/browns are my favorite colors ๐Ÿ˜€

  61. Eva

    Love this!! Please do more of these!! :o)

  62. Cherie

    LOVE THIS!!!! please do millions more :)

  63. Andrea

    I love this feature! I think it should be a regular!
    Right now my neutral quad is Vanilla, Magic Dust, Wedge & Dark Edge.
    2 LEs though, I guess you could switch Nylon & Brun for Magic Dust/Dark Edge.

  64. Christina

    I like this feature as it will help me put together my colors!

  65. I love this idea! ๐Ÿ˜€

  66. calico

    Love it! Great to see them all together like that.
    Could you please put your blush recommendation too?

    Maybe some readers can post pics of the look on them.

  67. I love this Christine! Keep these build-a-quads coming, I love trying new color combos!

  68. Nicole

    ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC IDEA!!! This is such a helpful tool. I’ve got two empty quads and I’m trying to figure out which shadows to put in them. Love this idea, make it permanent!!!! PLEASE!!!!!

  69. details

    this feature is an amazing idea!!
    give some love and inspiration to the perm shades!

    my quad suggestions:

    all that glitters
    brown down

    I love tete-a-tint all over and in the crease – all that glitters layered ontop of tete-a-tint on the lid – brown down in the outer v – and vanilla to highlight…..
    tete-a-tint and all that glitters make a gorgeous peachy brown with shimmer… so pretty! great for eyes eyes or to bring out the green in warm golden brown eyes. :)

    Also –

    Blanc Type

    oh I’m so excited to see everyone’s combos!

  70. alana

    love it~! keep doin it!

  71. Tiana

    love love loveeee this post! can’t wait to see some more! neutral matte quads, dark smokey eye quads, weeee

  72. xKiKix

    loves it! love the new feature, i’ve always wanted you to do something like this and its a plus that these are PERM colors so we wont be like chickens without heads going crazy looking for them.

    please continue, and maybe if possible can you “build a quad” that consists of PERM shades that can be duped for an LE quad??

  73. Janette

    I LOVE THIS!!!
    I have lots of shadows and never know combinations to do!

    I have all but antiqued but i have glamour check so thats similar… whats a dupe for bronze?

    • Glamour Check! is definitely similar. I don’t really know what might be a dupe for Bronze, since it’s permanent. It’s a dark, rich chocolate bronze shade, though.

  74. scarlettholly

    I love love love this feature! I actually do it every sunday night with my neutrals so I have a work safe palette to go with every morning when I’m in a rush and can’t think.

    Right now it is shroom, style snob, smoke and diamonds, and woodwinked. (sorry, 2 le’s in there)

    I’ve also had one with shroom, satin taupe, smoke and diamonds, and knight divine or bronze.

    Another one is shroom, gleam, bronze, and satin taupe or style snob.

    I also pick out my lipstick and gloss combo so I don’t need to think about that either, and blush is always benetint on weekdays. You can tell I’m not a morning girl!!

  75. Ellen

    Love this new feature, hope to see more of it! I’ve been trying to build a great quad for awhile, thanks for the advice!

  76. julia

    absolutely love this new feature please keep it going!

  77. Kim

    This is THE best idea!! We could always look up the swatches but I think providing swatches would take this feature to the next level Christine! Bronze and antiqued are now on my christmas list :)

    I love golds so my quad would have : Goldmine, Coppering, Humid and Carbon… (Do all quads have a highlighter?) Looking forward to the purple quad

  78. Sasha

    I love this new feature :) It is so helpful and creative! Thank you Christine :)

  79. Miranda

    This is a great feature and I look forward to seeing it again!

    Today I combined 4 shadows that look really gorgeous together, especially for the fall season:

    Nylon, Pollenator (could use Paradisco), Bronze, and Coppering. I used coppering on the lid, bronze in the crease, nylon as a highlight, and used pollenator to blend out the crease.

    I am also fond of Violet Trance, Deep Shade, Pink Venus, and Dazzlelight. Not sure of a permanent dupe for violet trance. You could substitue deep shade for deep truth possibly.

  80. I bought many palettes…but later transferred all my colors into various quad…in combinations..i love quads waaay beter than palettes..esp whn it comes to travel…
    great feature….lokking fwd for more..

  81. OMG OMG! i’m so excited for this new feature :)
    Christine, I cannot for the life of me get bitter e/s by MAC to show up AT ALL! It’s a gorgeous green shade but it won’t show up. Only tiny little glitters. I’ve tried many bases, do you have bitter?! I’m thinking I should return it…

    • I have Bitter, but I don’t love it. It’ll do in a pinch, but the satiny feel gives it less pay off. I prefer Sour Lemon (PRO) for a chartreuse shade :)

      I’d try it over a chartreuse/light green/gold base for best results, though!

  82. VetTechDivaTN

    Fantastic idea! Love, love, love it! Keep it up!

  83. Carmen

    This is a great new idea for your blog! The pics would be great, but this is such a helpful new post!

    Thanks mucho!

  84. Karly

    Gorgeous quad Christine! I hope to see more of these articles in the future!

  85. Julia C

    LOVE this new feature! it would also be cool if you paired a look using this “quad” so we could see whether we really wanted to build a quad like this!

  86. Saira

    Love this post! I’m always looking for inspiration and new eyeshadow pairings, so really great to get some ideas from this type of post. I have Antiqued but haven’t used it for ages, so think I will have to use it in some looks this week – it’s such a pretty colour!

  87. Allysha

    Love this idea! Very helpful!

  88. Loving the quads idea. Brilliant for a newbie like me :)
    Also how the heck do you know if you’re warm or cool toned? This has always confused me :/

    I’d like to try silvers and greys but I swear everyone I’ve tried goes a weird shade of icy blue on me…….help!

    Looking forward to some more quads!

    • Look at the underside of your forearm – if you have green veins = warm, if you have blue veins = cool, if you can’t tell, you’re probably more neutral, LOL.

  89. Chrissy

    I’m thinking by the number of responses people, including myself, enjoy this feature. Thanks Christine! I need to check out Grain to complete this set

  90. jenny

    i LOVE the idea. awesome. thanks!

    i have a quad that i call my “essentials” palette, with colors that i wear everyday without fail, no matter what look i want. it includes carbon, nylon, brule, and wedge. carbon sets my black liner without fail. i use nylon in my inner corner and sometimes as my highlight. brule is my lid color and wedge is the blending color. then i can take whatever eye look that i want with whatever color, like humid, use that on the lid, use carbon to smoke it out, nylon in the inner corner, wedge to blend, and brule as the highlight. its a no fail palette that i use everyday. love it.

  91. Christina

    awesome idea!
    i try to do this myself but i get a little overwhelmed because there are so many shades i wouldn’t know where to start!

  92. sheryl

    great article…. can’t wait to see more combos!

  93. shelly

    Love this feature, thank you :)

  94. Anna Chin

    This idea is sooooo wonderful. I got into make-up pretty late (30s) and getting into MAC but utterly confused as to how to build my eyeshadow palette. This post is just so helpful and I do look forward to more. If you have suggestions for a neutral palette (15s) for NC42 skin, I would be grateful.

  95. Ooooh LOVING the quads idea :) Can’t wait to see more.
    I love all the shades you picked. I never know if I’m warm or cool toned though? How do you know? That so confuses me. I’ve never found a grey or silver that doesn’t turn a weird shade of icy blue on me…….also I’ve been having trouble with my browns as well, they don’t look right lately such as woodwinked used to look great, but I’m finding a lot of browns making me look really tired. HELP!!

    Thank you more quad ideas please!!

    • Hey Dani,

      Look at the underside of your arm – are your veins green or blue? If they’re green, you’re warmer; if they’re blue, you’re cooler.

      You might try using concealer or a neutral base on your eyes to see if it helps make you look less tired!

  96. Ooops didn’t realise I’d already posted lol!! Could use some help on the greys/ browns thing though x

  97. VJNS

    I love this idea!! I have over a hundred shades so I know the possibilities are endless. However, I get eyeshadow block (like writer’s block) sometimes so I think this is a great idea. Keep it up… lipstick suggestions would be awesome too :)

  98. LOVE this idea! I need all the help I can get to pair eyeshadows!

  99. Elle

    Late to the love-fest, but I also really love this feature. It’s great for those days when I’m staring at my 15-pan pallets wondering what the hell to wear! Thanks Christine!!