Monday, April 25th, 2011


A key element to reviewing a product is really understanding what it does (and doesn’t do). When I inquired with MAC, they put me in touch with MAC Senior Artist Romero Jennings, and I asked him a few questions that I knew were on my mind, and hopefully, a couple that you were wondering, too!

temptalia: How would you describe Big Bounce Shadow?
romero: Big Bounce Shadows are a colorful collection of 16 bright, wearable metallic watercolor shades that inspire you to instantly feel that Spring has arrived! Don’t let these beautiful buildable creme shadows fool you, they wear extremely well in extreme weather conditions.

temptalia: What do the Big Bounce Shadows achieve?
romero: These shadows will set and stay in place without creasing. Even though the shadows are metallic I love to layer a nude matte color on top (ie: omega or cork eye shadow) for a diffused metallic day to evening finish. The effect is like “sequins under chiffon.”

temptalia: How should we use the new shadows?
romero: I prefer the soft fluffy MAC #224 Brush for an almost air brushed finish. Start by stippling the shadow then finish with a slight swirl for blended perfection.  Bright is back and it looks modern when paired with jet black mascara like the Studio Fix Mascara. This mascara has the Carbon Black ingredients which means it is really allows the lashes to stand out looking longer and thicker with only one swipe of the wand. I love adding more lash than liner with this bold shadow look for an approachable sweet but sexy finish. If you want an edgier, fun look try pairing the Big Bounce shadows with the Zoom Lash Mascara in bold, complimentary shades! The must have color that is sure to please is called “Blue Charge” – a deep navy blue that complements every eye color.

temptalia: How could one wear Big Bounce Shadow alone as a wash without creasing?
romero: I recommend a small dab of Prep & Prime Face Primer on lids before applying for a long lasting finish.

The description of these specifically (apart from the press release) also reads, “Eyes are fresh and luminescent with beautiful sheen washes of vibrant color using new Flighty Eye Shadows. This spongy, mousse-like eye shadow is lightweight, lasts for hours, and imparts a cooling sensation upon application.”

I’m in the process of revising my review and will bump it up in the next hour or two. It doesn’t change any of the results or testing I did, but it does change how it is graded, what is important, and how well it performed relative to the claims.

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31 thoughts on “MAC Big Bounce Shadows Q&A with MAC Senior Artist Romero Jennings

  1. Christine, you are the most thorough reviewer on the face of this planet! I think I can speak for the whole beauty community when I say “where would we be without temptalia?” I was really going to pass these up, just because I didn’t think they would add much value to my stash. Now I may just pick one up to try and achieve that “sequins under chiffon.” look Romero was talking about.

  2. Great Q&A! Very informative. =]

  3. Steph x

    I love Romero but I think I’m going to skip these as I don’t think they will work well in the summer due to the heat and the fact only want to spend 5mins on my makeup.
    Thanks for posting this xx

  4. Nellie

    Thank you for the followup, Christine! You have just saved me a trip to my local MAC store (and some money!). I really appreciate your work in getting info on how these are supposed to work.

  5. Adah

    I don’t want to be mean, but….long wearing, my ass! We’ve all seen the swatches and these crease like a mofo. There’s no way a bit of Prep and Prime is going to make these creaseless and longwearing.

  6. ShannoninBC

    On the Makeup and Beauty Blog, the same MAC artist said to use a firm, stiff bristle brush? Either way, based upon your review I won’t be buying any of these. Thanks for the follow up!

    • I used the 242, which is the brush they repromoted with this collection specifically – it’s the best to apply the product, but it doesn’t improve the wear, which the real problem :(

  7. Mars

    I was told by my trainer it is made to wear for 4 (not for) hours. I didn’t get a lot of time to play with them although I definitely liked it better with a powder over the top. Prep & Prime Transparent powder kept it from creasing but didn’t change the color at all.

  8. BethM

    My lids are so oily, Urban Decay pencils slide, even with primer and set with powder. Gonna give Big Bounce a big pass!!

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rachel Rachel

    i can’t believe you got to interview romero! im so jelouss, you are so lucky girll!!

  10. Frances

    his comments were b/s. These seem lame to me. Thanks for posting an honest review.

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Evelyn Evelyn

    It’s almost as if he’s describing another product. Maybe on really really dry lids they wouldn’t crease but I guarantee you on me they would crease in a minute the way Christine describes them. The best on my lids are the paint pots and bobbi brown cream shadows. That’s it, I even make Benefit shadow/liners crease.

  12. Shawna

    I think the fact that you have to go through so much trouble just to figure out exactly what the heck these even do is enough of an indicator that they are a huge let down…

    Thank you for being so thorough, though!!!

  13. kate, the friendly MAC artist

    Christine,
    I dunno what on earth Romero Jennings was talking about. I went to update and our trainer told us explicitly we should not tell customers these are long lasting because they only last 4 hours on. Judging from a previous reader’s comment i gather this was stated at all the MAC updates.
    I would be lying if i said i wasn’t disappointed by what seems to be (at best) a lack of familiarity with the product or (at worst) an utter lack of integrity from this senior artist.

    • The description says “last for hours,” but it doesn’t quantify – based on my testing though, it doesn’t matter if it’s 4 or 8, because I couldn’t get any to last longer than an hour before significant creasing (with or without primer). Were you able to get it to last 4 hours?

      • kate, the friendly MAC artist

        christine, i had the exact same results as you did. the only way to keep these babies on is to use a brush (i like the 239) and set with powder (and in my opinion, prime).

        • Good to hear it! I’m definitely curious to hear how others manage with these wore as a wash/alone and if they find a way!

          • Kim

            When i went to check them out at my MAC counter for preorder the MUA was wearing one of them as a highlight on her cheekbones. It didn’t look bad there…and seemed a better purpose for some of the lighter, sheerer colors rather than an eye shadow.

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brittany Brittany CrazyHat

    im confused by what he said in the interview and the swatches. it seems likes hes talking bout a totally different product hmmmm

  15. I’m a little confused. I’ve seen this same guy recommend totally different brushes to you and to someone else. More than anything else that has turned me off of these and sort of at MAC in general. THEY don’t even know how these are supposed to work.

  16. andrea

    Have you read Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog’s most recent post about the Big Bounce Shadows? She talked to the same MAC artist, and it seems like her gave her almost opposite advice about these shadows? What’s up with MAC giving contradictory information??

    • It sounds like maybe he was describing different techniques – like using the 224 for an airbrushed look (since I specifically asked about wearing these alone). I only asked him a couple of questions via email on after I reached out to MAC for more info on Friday, though, so maybe I wasn’t asking the right questions, lol! I actually asked my questions before I had done much testing (just because I wanted to get some perspective on how I should be thinking of ‘em).

  17. Chantal

    Christine, I wonder if there is any chance that you received spoiled samples or something? The product you received had the texture of motor oil, slid all over your lid and took forever to dry down. Nothing like the “spongy” mousse in the description (and like in the Makeup and the Beauty Blog, as others have mentioned). Furthermore, Karen warns people to work fast with it because of the quick setting time! Too weird, right?

    Regardless, I think MAC has some explaining to do about this product!

    • I doubt it, since the samples were overnighted (I received mine the same day as Karen did – just later in the afternoon), and it’s by no means hot or humid here. Is there a chance? I wouldn’t say never, but I don’t think so. Based on everything I’ve heard from MAC artists who have played with these at update, these were prone to creasing.

      I don’t think I said they had the texture of motor oil – just that they happened to look like it in their pots. I would describe it as a watery gel (which I think is what I said in the actual review). It’s not thick or heavy like I’d expect motor oil to be (I can’t say I’ve ever touched it!).

      • Leslie-Marie

        I am gonna give thse a big pass too…It’s not like the MUA’s for MAC are gonna tell the TRUTH about the product anyway. I used to work for Estee Lauder Corporate too, it’s pretty much a fakefest every time a new product comes out, which is annoying. He could have just said what really happens with the shadows (which you have proved to all of us, Christine)! I can say from the 8 years experience with the Estee Lauder family, that alot of hype goes into alot of products and really it’s more helpful to be honest. Always! :o)

  18. Kelly C.

    Whatever these shadows turn out to be when they hits the counters, the promotion of this product is totally botched. All the MAC literature is vague at best, contradictory at worst. What the heck are consumers supposed to think? Sigh.

  19. Kathy

    Thanks, Christine. My MAC connection said what the other MAC artists are saying and I’ve had another one warn me off since. Too bad. I wonder why MAC would put something flimsy like that out. With this shadow and the ongoing Back2MAC controversies, I’ve got to wonder about them.

    I’m still buying ;-P, just not as happily.

  20. Nat

    “sequins under chiffon”–cool! I actually used to rock that look, clothing-wise, lol. Can you that with the nude matte shadow on top to show us what it looks like?

  21. Ruthless

    Dude just lost alllll credibility. I swatched them in my store, the MAC artist there (they know who I am, I’m a scary lady) was trying to talk about how pretty the colours are and avoid talking about application or wear time. Sometimes I think their marketing department thinks we are retarded and will just buy stuff because it’s LE…

    • Chantal

      I feel bad for the SAs. As a longterm retail worker, I know how you can feel betrayed when your beloved company releases a crappy product and you are so pressured to sell it. I’m so sick of getting in trouble for recommending the better product instead (and not being a “team player” for company contests and promotions). But I have regulars who have trusted me for years and I refuse to lie to them.

      Anyhow, I sympathize with the pros who have to walk the line between great customer service and keeping their bosses off their backs (and have to listen to their cheerful coworkers praise the new product and get kudos for it!).