Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow

All That and Then Some on the Matter of Electric Cool Eyeshadows

There are twelve shades of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow ($18.50 for 0.07 oz.), which is a new formula (though rumor has it is the concept is Big Bounce Eyeshadows reformulated). There’s not a whole lot of information on these; the texture is described as soft and lightweight, it will deliver rich color, there is “sensational blending power,” and has “medium-to-high coverage.” The press release mentioned also wearing it as a wash of color. I think I managed to wear all twelve shades over eight different tests (a mix of with and without primer, different primers).

This post is only the review portion.  There will be two follow-up posts featuring a breakdown of all of the shades along with photos, swatches, possible dupes, and the like.  This post includes 26 photos from the tests I did to see how these applied and wore.

First, I don’t think I’d ever attach Big Bounce to these. From a texture standpoint, they’re nothing alike, and from the way they look and wear, they’re also nothing alike. No more than one eyeshadow to the next, at least. I think it does them a disservice and sets up expectations as being almost leery. When I originally tested out Big Bounce Eyeshadows, the only way I could get them to work was as an eyeshadow base, which meant they had to be set with a powder eyeshadow, and once that happened, they were fine.

The texture of Electric Cool is spongy; it’s more moveable than putty, lighter than sludge. These felt a lot like Buxom Stay-There and Chanel Illusion d’Ombre eyeshadows, both have a spongy, lightweight texture.  Buxom has more spring, as it returns more to its original shape upon pressure, while Electric Cool will just retain whatever shape you mold it into. When I stabbed at one pan with an eyeliner brush, there were all these little burrows where the brush had gone. MAC’s formula is more buildable, overall, compared to Buxom’s (which are supposed to be sheer). There is also a lot of shade overlap between MAC and Buxom’s ranges. Chanel’s formula feels similar but has a slightly wetter feel initially. There is less overlap with Chanel’s color range, but the few that do overlap, Chanel’s seem to have slightly more depth, which is going to be even more negligible once applied.  The texture is completely unlike products like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense and L’Oreal Infallible, which are very powder-based products.  You might liken the finish to them, as it has a very shimmery, sparkly end result.

The wear of Electric Cool was hit-and-miss. Some shades performed better than others, as not all shades were as dry or as wet as the next one. These actually don’t crease easily; for the most part, they didn’t crease over time–if there was any creasing, it seemed to happen shortly after application. What I did have problems with was fading–I routinely went back to pack on more product during application. I’d apply one shade to one eye, then apply the same shade to the other eye, and when I went to apply another shade, the original eye already seemed to have faded somewhat. This was particularly true with some of the brighter shades like Dynamo, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, and Switch to Blue. I did not experience fall out with the shades when I used them on the lid*; when I tried using Fashion Circuit on the lower lash line, it did have a tendency to migrate downwards.

These have a beautiful finish; it’s very sparkly and shimmery in an interesting way. It’s not frost, not metallic, but a complex combination thereof. I think the neutral shades are exceptionally lovely as a wash of color (and honestly, the best results with this product were when these eyeshadows was worn that way). Some of them play well with others; some really did not want to be in the company of others.

Applying them evenly, smoothly, and opaquely, was more of a challenge. I tried an assortment of brushes and tools, mostly firmer, flat bristled brushes, along with fingertips and sponge-tipped applicators. I liked MAC’s 242 the best, because it is just slightly fluffy at the edge, so it worked well to pat the color into place (and you must pat, don’t sweep, or else it will be a mess) and then using the edge to lightly blend the color into the next one or diffuse it for a wash.

Blending was also an area I found seemed to hurt these rather than help these. When you blend it out, you get left with mostly shimmer and not much; the color seems to bunch up a little, which creates a slightly patchy result. I do want to note that it was hard to see it with my eyes (and even more so from a distance), but it’s obvious in the photos. To blend two colors together, it’s a very gentle process, and you really have to use a light hand to do so.

I liked them best of bare lids, and second to that, over a creamy, opaque primer like MAC Painterly Paint Pot. I tried these over NARS Smudgeproof Primer (awful over this base–made applying the color difficult to get even!), Too Faced Shadow Insurance (better than NARS for these), and MAC Painterly (best results for over a primer). I think the color adheres better over bare lids, but you can get more even color application when used over an opaque base (again, Painterly is what I tested these with). With or without a base, the wear didn’t seem affected.

The biggest problem I had with these had to with packaging.  Six of the twelve shades had loose pans, which meant that the actual metal pan that houses the eyeshadow would fall out of the container if turned upside down–which meant a lot of product was caught on the lid and lip of the product.  Second, despite overnighting these, several had moved significantly during shipment.  They were delivered before noon, and here, it’s only been getting to 80 degrees in the mid-afternoon–it’s not that hot.  The formula isn’t that moveable.  I set several of these on their sides for 48 hours, and they didn’t seem to move away from the edges.

They absolutely can be pushed back into place, but for some of them, it seemed like shrinkage or drying occurred because it didn’t fill the pan when pushed back into place, which leads me to my next point: these are tiny.  For this product category, we have two competitor formulas that are very similar:  Buxom contains 0.12 oz. ($17.00 and comes in a glass jar) and Chanel contains 0.14 oz. ($36.00 and comes in a glass jar).  These come in shiny black screw-top jars with a clear plastic window on top.  I thought it was worth pointing out that MAC has about half as much product as two similar formulas on the market and comes in cheaper packaging.  MAC Paint Pots, for example, contain 0.17 oz. and come in glass jars.  Even MAC Big Bounce was 0.17 oz. and also came in a glass jar (and also $2 cheaper just a year ago).

Overall, I can see some people loving the sparkling, shimmering finish of these eyeshadows. They really can look splendid as the light catches and plays with the dimension of the colors.  They take some work, some practice, and aren’t flawless. I feel like they’re a quirky, finicky product that can work but it has to be worth the effort to the individual who uses them.  If you intended to use them together, they’re hardest to use that way; if you just wanted to use them as a wash of color and don’t need 100% opaque color, they’re a lot easier.  For example, if you wanted a beautiful wash of color, Pure Flash is magic.  No creasing, some fading with the bolder/darker colors, not-so-blendable, and the colors can apply patchy at times (Love Power was the worst; it clung to itself like you wouldn’t believe and made my lid look so crepe-y).

* Any fall out you see in photos of single shades being tested was actually sparkle that didn’t get 100% removed when I removed the multi-shade tests (I would do one test for eight hours, and then I’d remove that and do a second test for eight hours).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Tests

B-
If you really, really love shimmering, sparkling finishes, you might consider checking out the formula and seeing if it's worth the effort. If you want to wear them alone as washes of color, they're definitely worth a look.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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See more photos & swatches!

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Packaging

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Packaging

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Packaging

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Packaging

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – No Primer

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – No Primer (1 hour of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – No Primer (3 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – NARS Primer

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – NARS Primer (1 hour of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Brilliantly Lit, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, Switch to Blue – NARS Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Electroplate – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Electroplate – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Electroplate – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Blacklit – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Blacklit – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Blacklit – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – MAC Painterly (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – MAC Painterly (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – MAC Painterly (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit – MAC Painterly (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Fashion Circuit – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Fashion Circuit – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Coil – No Primer (Initial)

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
Coil – No Primer (8 hours of wear)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Nordstrom, $18.50 each.

Is it limited edition?

Yes.

Any dupes?

See follow-up posts.

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.

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46 thoughts on “MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Tests

  1. “C” Kudos to you for alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the effort … i am speechless to see the post … i am still speechless honey :D
    you took sooooo much pain to do this and yet 2 more post are lined up .. I again repeat I am sooooooooo sooooo lucky to came across your blog , thanks to my stars and the time I stumbled upon your blog
    XOXO :D :D
    i have never seen a dedication like this and am sure this is the only blog where I will see post like these in future too :D

  2. InterestingI I had no clue these had a spongey texture–I thought they’d be more along the lines of ETK and Infallibles. Now I’m just a little interested…I was curious to try the Chanel Illusion D’ombres but these seem like a nice buy for people who are unsre about the texture and want to play around with a more affordable version first!

  3. Sara

    How many hours does a Christine-day have? :-D And how many 8-hour-eyeshadow-tests can fit in one of your days?! lol 
    I am amazed by you, Christine! ;-)

    • At most, two back-to-back – 16 hours, then to bed for 8 hours :)  But I have two eyes, so I can do two on each, for a total of four, assuming I get my butt testing as soon as I wake up, LOL!

  4. corallista

    Thank you so much for the review Christine! Really appreciate the effort you put in!

  5. I’m taking a pass on these and will continue to buy the odd ETK or pick up L’Oreal Infallable at a better price point.  I already have a drawer full of MAC cosmetics I rarely reach for anymore.  They are purdy, I’ll give them that!

  6. GailFHendley

    Looks interesting but i can’t really tell if the clump is all of the product??

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

    Oh goodness, I just let out the biggest mental sigh of relief seeing this post.  I’ve been eying my copy of Pure Flash for about two weeks now, fretting over whether it was worth keeping.  For a B-, I’m willing to try it out.  Even if it winds up being too sparkly as an eyeshadow for me, I can always use it as a glitzy highlighter.  :)

  8. Missy

    Such little product! I swear they only bulk up the packaging to make it look like you’re going to get more. Definitely not worth the almost $20. However Coyle is INCREDIBLE! I just wish it was cheaper or at least had more product for the price. If it did I’d be all over that colour!

    • Yeah… it was really odd to see how they packaged these – I mean, when haven’t they put a cream-based eyeshadow into a glass pot? So then I saw the quantity and wondered if that was fine.

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

    So, per ounce, it’s the same price (actually a few cents MORE) than Chanel??!  $18.50 for 0.07 oz. – vs- Chanel’s $36 for 0.14 oz? I find that startling. Also, call me totally crazy, but somehow I see *more* fading in the post-1 hour photos than in the post-8 hr photos. Right at the middle of the lid. Am I mad?  I also think the colours have a bit more vibrancy *with* the NARS primer than without but, at this point, I’m questioning my vision.
     
    One thing I’m not questioning: your crazy dedication.  Woman, you are a machine! I imagine that intense Wagnerian “Ride of the Valkyrie” music (also known as the theme from Apocalypse Now) starting up as you face down the gauntlet of a giant pile of new makeup that you have to test.  Twelve shades, 8 different and separate tests, 16 hours at a time from the moment you wake up, thousands and thousands of photos and all in the space of a few days….  Valkyrie indeed!  If you haven’t heard Ride of the Valkyrie, tell Shaun to download or play it for you on Spotify.

  10. The finish of these are certainly bright but I’m so reminded of my Yaby Pearl Paint shades for it’s finish. For the $98 at IMATS this palette coats I’m really happy with all the shades I got in this formulation I just wish they make MORE. lol

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Bari Brjsmom

    Christine….you did a beautiful job blending but I’m guessing the average person would not be able to make it look as good as you did!

  12. Manderlay

    “When I stabbed at one pan with an eyeliner brush…” LOL, I didn’t think you were so aggressive! :P

  13. JacquelineScanlan

    The looks you did are very pretty, but overall I am not impressed by yet another Mac line.  I am gonna lay off Mac for quite a while.

  14. Some of them look quite uneven on your lids. Uneven shadows make me crazy!!
    And I already felt like Buxom Stay There were tiny, so I think I’d be really frustrated with these.
    Some shades, however, look really pretty.

  15. Oh wow, I LOVE the multicolored looks you did! Amazing!Not sure about the blacklit though.

  16. Ashley Holloway

    I won’t be getting any of these, but the color combo in the preview image is so pretty! I’ll definitely be trying something out like that!

  17. Tiffany Boomiepants Benzine

    love the green and taupe, but they’re half the amount of the Buxom ones for the same-ish price? I may pass :(

  18. completely bare spa Cindy Barshop

    Gorgeous! love the mix of bright colors.

  19. Cécilia Sieler

    Love it!!! Normally i dont like bright colos on the eyes but I have to test this look!!!

  20. Wantable.co, Inc

    Love that color combo!

  21. jjjjjasmine

    Where online can these be purchased? I don’t see them on the MAC website anymore..

    •  @jjjjjasmine As listed above and in the FAQ, you can purchase these at Nordstrom! :)

    • lilinah

       @jjjjjasmine My local MAC S.A. said they’ll be in MAC stores the 9th of August. I would guess that they’ll be on the MAC site a few days before – or maybe even a week before that. For now they are exclusive at Nordstrom.

  22. I love the look you did with Pure Flash, Dynamo, Infra-violet, Fashion Circuit. So gorgeous!

  23. mimigolitely

    I’m surprised these got such a so-so review. I actually got Fashion Circuit and Infra-Violet and really loved them. I wore Fashion Circuit yesterday over Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer and they stayed put, no creasing for about 12 hours. I think the trick is to pat the color on instead of sweeping it on the lid. By doing that I was able to build up the color and get a much brighter teal than in the swatch above. I even used a sheer was of the Infra-Violet on my lips like a tint (yay multipurpose makeup!). Overall, I liked these way more than MAC’s other cream shadows and paint pots.
     
    When I went to test a few more colors at my MAC counter some did dry out because they had been left open, I wonder if maybe mixing medium could be used to rehydrate them.

    •  @mimigolitely Hi Mimi! I did mention in the post that you have to pat or pack these on, you can’t do much sweeping because it doesn’t work well that way. I’m glad you like these!
       
      Paint pots are so much easier to apply for me and no fading at all. I didn’t really have problems with creasing, but the fading was a problem for some colors, even with patting on, which is the technique I used for all of the shades I showed above :)
       
      Is there a particular reason you don’t like paint pots? Most people do, so I’m curious to hear what your experience was with them!

      • mimigolitely

         @Christine (Temptalia) I think that maybe I’m trying to apply too much like a cream shadow, but I always get tons of creasing. I’ve tried with the burgundy and gold pots from Posh Paradise and the sheer glitter one from Glitter and Ice.

        •  @mimigolitely I didn’t like the ones from Glitter & Ice so much (whenever the paint pots have too much glitter, they tend to under-perform). The best ones tend to be metallic or cream-based. Thanks for sharing :) Sometimes a product that doesn’t work for one person, works for the others – so maybe it’ll be a case if you disliked paint pots, you’l love these, you know?

  24. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Brittany brittersrae

    I actually bought these about 3 weeks ago (we got them early in Canada) and returned them the next day. It’s just not a product I feel is completely…necessary? It’s not a paint pot, so there’s no primer advantage to it – and it’s not waterproof, which is why I’d purchase a cream eyeshadow in the first place. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really like my shadows to have more than one purpose if they’re not going to be your typical pan shadows. I need the bang for my buck.

    •  @brittersrae I think these would have done really well if they were pressed powder eyeshadows (or a knock off of the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense formula), then they would have been a little easier to use and more readily incorporated into products people already owned.

  25. Here’s my problem: I LOVE the look Christine did, but I know I’d have no chance in hell of duplicating it, so I’ll pass. ;) 

  26. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    While I commend MAC’s attempt, I’ll have to pass. Honestly, between my collection of NARS, L’Oreal, MUFE, & UD, I pretty much have all of these shades (or shades close enough). Also, the idea that these don’t play well with other types of shadows is off-putting, as is the bulked up packaging.

  27. Mae

    While I’m not keen on the product, I love the looks you did! Will have to try and copy them with something else, heh.

  28. MiettaReynolds

    I’m just grossed out by the fact they sort of melted…eww. I would definitely return them, it would break my heart to pay money for them and see them like that. I may be a weirdo but I treat my makeup as if I’m opening a treasure chest. Its almost the experience of it rather than the finished look that draws me to it. If I opened my little MAC package and saw that, I’d be appalled! It would completely ruin my calm. I’d probably go out and have to buy another new makeup piece to make up for the disappointment…but, that’s just me! Much love xoxo

  29. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Cathy Angelcat47

    That hot pink look is fabulous,Christine!!

  30. army_wife_in_alaska

    I received mine in the mail yesterday and thankfully it was in pristine condition. Can’t wait to try them out. I will probably get more if I like these.

  31. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Melissa mellopushniuk

    When the product slides like that you can press it back to place with a kleenex. Mine was like that when I got it.

  32. makeupmatters3

    MAC just sent me a cardboard flyer in the mail about these so I had to check your site because I knew you’d have the scoop. I think they look really cool on you but I’m not a big MAC fan believe it or not, plus ad much as I’d love to I don’t think I can justify buying more eye shadow lol. But this was a great review as always!

  33. Tura

    When I purchased these at a MAC store the items are called “Big Bounce Eyeshadow” on the reciept??

  34. Dana

    You only posted one side of the ingredient list. Can you post the other side? This is only one part of the formula. Thanks a bunch!