Thursday, January 16th, 2014

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette ($100.00 for 0.68 oz.) contains fifteen eyeshadows with a cool-toned theme. Aside from some of the quality issues, one of the things I noticed as I used this palette was that it wasn’t that cool-toned. Not only is it labeled a cool palette, but it is the counterpart to the Warm Neutral palette, which was very warm-toned. I thought the pigmentation was weaker in this palette overall, and there were some shades with texture issues (most of them Lustres, though). In general, these shades wore well for eight hours without fading or creasing, but one of the Lustres did have noticeable fall out during wear. This palette also contained a few of repromotes/permanent shades: Blackberry, Brun, and Black Tied are part of the permanent range, while After Dusk, Deception, and Silver Fog were repromotes. I thought Cumulus was a repromote, but it’s a totally different shade than the past limited edition release (from several years ago).

Flounce is described as a “chalky white pink [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned pink–almost a little lavender to it–with a matte finish. MAC was right about a chalkiness to it, too; I’m not sure it will work well on deeper complexions due to the chalky, white base. The consistency was a little dry and powdery, but soft and blendable, and yielded semi-opaque color payoff. bareMinerals Velvet Lavender (LE, $14.00) is more lavender. Too Faced Strawberry Bon Bon (P) is pinker, less cool-toned. Urban Decay X-Rated (LE, $18.00) is darker, pinker. LORAC Light Pink (P) is similar. NARS Bouthan #1 (P, $24.00) is pinker. Benefit Pinky Swear (P, $20.00) is also pinker. Inglot #319 (P, $6.00) is darker, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Sweet Allure is described as a “soft light pink [with a Satin finish].” It’s a soft, pinky-beige with a soft, frosted finish and subtle warm undertones. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable but a bit powdery. Laura Mercier Sparkling Dew (LE, $23.00) is more beige. Laura Mercier Guava (P, $23.00) is warmer. Urban Decay Dope (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Chanel Delicatesse #3 (LE) is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Newport Nights #2 (LE) is darker, warmer. MAC Orb (P, $15.00) is less pink, more beige. See comparison swatches.

Sun Tweaked is described as a “soft frosty coral [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium orange with a frosted finish. It felt more like a Lustre, as it was soft but a little loose/powdery, and it didn’t bind together for great color payoff. This was a surprisingly warm-toned shade for a cool-toned palette. Too Faced Marzipan (P) is similar. Makeup Geek Cinderella (P, $5.99) is less frosted. LORAC Light Bronze (P) is more golden. Urban Decay Moonflower (P, $18.00) is darker. NARS Nepal (P, $24.00) is slightly browner. MAC Sweet Heat (LE, $19.50) is more metallic, browner. See comparison swatches.

After Dusk is described as a “mid-tone rosy pink with pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a warm-toned, muted rose with reddish-orange undertones and a pearly sheen. It had really nice pigmentation, and the texture was soft and buttery. Urban Decay Buzz (P, $18.00) is very similar. MAC Mineral Mode (LE, $21.00) is less warm-toned and less pink. Chanel Abstraction (LE, $36.00) is more frosted. Inglot #399 (P, $6.00) is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Blackberry is described as a “muted burgundy-plum brown [with a Matte finish].” It’s a muted, plummy brown with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and velvety, while the color payoff was really nice–it was just a little powdery but still adhered well to bare skin and didn’t sheer away easily. Chanel Quadrille #1 (LE) is lighter. theBalm Sexy (P, $16.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Pick Me Up is described as a “pale ivory [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned, white-beige with a matte finish. It’s not quite as stark as a true white, but it’s not too beige either. It had fairly good pigmentation, and it applied evenly overall. It’s a more basic shade, so there are a lot of shades very similar to it — see comparison swatches.

Cozy Grey is described as a “cool grey [with a Matte finish].” It’s a light-medium taupe with a neutral-to-cool undertone and a matte finish. MAC Camel Coat (P, $18.50) is a cream product, darker, grayer. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $18.00) is darker. MAC Brains & Brawn (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Inner Strength (LE, $15.00) is slightly darker. Inglot #390 (P, $6.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Crushed Clove is described as a “dirty gold olive [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium, golden bronze with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth overall. bareMinerals Hot Commodity (LE) is slightly darker. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #4 (LE) is very similar. Sleek MakeUP Court in Cannes (LE, $9.99) is also similar. Maybelline Downtown Brown (P, $6.99) is darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $21.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Deception is described as a “chocolate gold [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium-dark, plum-tinged brown with gold sparkle. It felt more like a Lustre finish than a frost–it was glittery, grainy, and dry with sheer color payoff. This one had problems with fall out during wear. Too Faced Amaretto (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. Too Faced Brown Sugar (LE) is warmer. Too Faced Yule Log (LE) is darker. MAC Damson (LE, $21.00) is more glittery. Disney by Sephora Chateau (LE) is similar. MAC Roasted Chestnut (LE, $32.50) is browner. See comparison swatches.

Brun is described as a “muted blackish brown [with a Satin finish].” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned brown with a matte finish. It was soft but powdery, and it had semi-opaque color payoff. Too Faced Triple Fudge (P) and Laura Mercier Espresso (LE, $23.00) are darker. MAC Midnight Hour (LE, $15.00) is also darker. bareMinerals Boardroom (LE) darker, cooler-toned. Benefit Quick, Look Busy (P, $20.00) is similar. Inglot #363 (P, $6.00) is cooler-toned, slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Silver Fog is described as a “white with silver pearl [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a pale, silvery-white with a frosted sheen. The texture almost felt emollient, and it had semi-sheer color payoff. It’s so sheer and light, there are a fair amount of very similar shades — see comparison swatches.

French Clay is described as a “dirty grey charcoal [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium, golden taupe with a frosted sheen. It seems to be slightly warm-toned–just slightly–but you’d expect it to run cooler in this type of palette. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable. Clarins The Essentials #5 (LE) is darker. Clarins The Essentials #8 (LE) is less frosted. Urban Decay Juju (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. MAC Vintage Selection (P, $18.50) is slightly warmer, cream product. See comparison swatches.

Cumulus is described as a “dirty grey charcoal [with a Frost finish].” It’s a subtly cool-toned, dark taupe with an olive-brown base. It had nice pigmentation, and the texture was really soft and buttery. MAC A Glimmer of Gold #4 (P, $21.00) is less frosted. MAC Silver Dawn (LE, $19.50) is warmer. Urban Decay Vaporize (LE, $18.00) is more glittery. MAC Shale (P, $15.00) is browner. See comparison swatches.

Pearled Earth is described as a “deep blue-grey [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a cool-toned, muted medium-dark purple with a frosted sheen. It had fairly good color payoff but could have been more intense. Urban Decay Darkside (P, $18.00) is darker. Too Faced Bluff (LE) is similar. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is grayer. MAC Dangerous Cuvee (P, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Electroplate (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. Inglot #420 (P, $6.00) is more metallic, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Black Tied is described as a “black with silver sparkle [with a Velvet finish].” It’s a matte black base with silver sparkle. This is the best Black Tied I’ve ever tried, including a permanent single I’ve had forever. It was really quite pigmented, and the texture was very soft and finely-milled. It can take some extra effort to blend just right, but it’s pretty intense. This combination of matte black and silver sparkle is really common, so there are several very close shades — see comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
palette

Cool Neutral

B
Aside from some of the quality issues, one of the things I noticed as I used this palette was that it wasn't that cool-toned. Not only is it labeled a cool palette, but it is the counterpart to the Warm Neutral palette, which was very warm-toned. I thought the pigmentation was weaker in this palette overall, and there were some shades with texture issues (most of them Lustres, though).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Flounce

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Sweet Allure

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
Click to Reveal More Glossovers!

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Flounce Eyeshadow
MAC Flounce Eyeshadow

MAC Flounce Eyeshadow
MAC Flounce Eyeshadow

MAC Sweet Allure Eyeshadow
MAC Sweet Allure Eyeshadow

MAC Sweet Allure Eyeshadow
MAC Sweet Allure Eyeshadow

MAC Sun Tweaked Eyeshadow
MAC Sun Tweaked Eyeshadow

MAC Sun Tweaked Eyeshadow
MAC Sun Tweaked Eyeshadow

MAC After Dusk Eyeshadow
MAC After Dusk Eyeshadow

MAC After Dusk Eyeshadow
MAC After Dusk Eyeshadow

MAC Blackberry Eyeshadow
MAC Blackberry Eyeshadow

MAC Blackberry Eyeshadow
MAC Blackberry Eyeshadow

MAC Pick Me Up Eyeshadow
MAC Pick Me Up Eyeshadow

MAC Pick Me Up Eyeshadow
MAC Pick Me Up Eyeshadow

MAC Cozy Grey Eyeshadow
MAC Cozy Grey Eyeshadow

MAC Cozy Grey Eyeshadow
MAC Cozy Grey Eyeshadow

MAC Crushed Clove Eyeshadow
MAC Crushed Clove Eyeshadow

MAC Crushed Clove Eyeshadow
MAC Crushed Clove Eyeshadow

MAC Deception Eyeshadow
MAC Deception Eyeshadow

MAC Deception Eyeshadow
MAC Deception Eyeshadow

MAC Brun Eyeshadow
MAC Brun Eyeshadow

MAC Brun Eyeshadow
MAC Brun Eyeshadow

MAC Silver Fog Eyeshadow
MAC Silver Fog Eyeshadow

MAC Silver Fog Eyeshadow
MAC Silver Fog Eyeshadow

MAC French Clay Eyeshadow
MAC French Clay Eyeshadow

MAC French Clay Eyeshadow
MAC French Clay Eyeshadow

MAC Cumulus Eyeshadow
MAC Cumulus Eyeshadow

MAC Cumulus Eyeshadow
MAC Cumulus Eyeshadow

MAC Pearled Earth Eyeshadow
MAC Pearled Earth Eyeshadow

MAC Pearled Earth Eyeshadow
MAC Pearled Earth Eyeshadow

MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow
MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow

MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow
MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow

MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow
MAC: Sweet Allure (inner lid), Cumulus (middle of lid), Pearled Earth (outer lid),
Blackberry (outer lid), Pick Me Up (brow bone)

MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow
MAC: Sweet Allure (inner lid), Cumulus (middle of lid), Pearled Earth (outer lid),
Blackberry (crease), Pick Me Up (brow bone)

MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow
MAC: Crushed Clove (inner lid), Sun Tweaked (middle of lid), Brun (outer lid),
Deception (crease), Pick Me Up (brow bone)

MAC Black Tied Eyeshadow
MAC: Crushed Clove (inner lid), Sun Tweaked (middle of lid), Brun (outer lid),
Deception (crease), Pick Me Up (brow bone)

The Dupe List: Flounce

See More Dupes

The Dupe List: Sweet Allure

See More Dupes

The Dupe List: Sun Tweaked

See More Dupes
Click to Reveal More Dupes!

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51 thoughts on “MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. The last four shades look wonderful and I wish that they’d kept things cooler toned throughout, because I would have grabbed this in a heartbeat. There’s a lack of neutral-cool shadow palettes around and I would love to have one for traveling. Mothbrown would have been an excellent addition to this palette.
    Kate Recently Posted: embracing our worst selves

    • Yes, of all the ways they could have differentiated and/or filled a void, it would have been to go very cool-toned and more matte – since those are probably the two biggest complaints I see about a lot of neutral palettes!

  2. Avatar of Jax Jax

    Thank goodness it’s not just me. I’m not aware of any good Cool Toned neutral pallets out there so I was interested to see how this turned out. Initially I wondered about the photos just making it look warmer but there are way too many warm pans too make it worthwhile for cool skinned gals like me.

    • I don’t really process a lot of the “big picture” stuff until I sit down and write out the review, because when I’m photographing/swatching, it’s all about efficiency and getting it done ASAP (even more so because this was one of manyyyy spring things to swatch), and I was really surprised as I went through and was like, “This is warm… this is warm… why is there even a description of coral in this palette…..”

  3. I can see why you scored this lower than the warm palette. I am not convinced by the swatches.

  4. Avatar of Cat CatG

    I usually look through the photos and then go up and read the general review on a product. Looking at the swatches, I also couldn’t help but think that the colors didn’t seem very cool toned. I’m definitely warm toned but I wear many of these colors and think they’re the kind of colors that look good on warm toned and cool people! So yeah, it didn’t strike me as very cool-toned either, though a few of the colors are definitely more flattering.

  5. Dea

    This isn’t cool at all besides one or two colors. It is more pink based then the warm which seems more yellow. I love them both… Won’t be able to justify the expense of buying both however so I’m going to have a hard time choosing. I have a medium complexion with auburn hair and green eyes so I’m in no mans land. If I had more definite light or dark coloring the choice would be much, much easier. Sigh… Which would you buy if you were me (I have an addiction to both MAC blush and fluid line eyeliner but have as yet to try their eyeshadow) ;-)

    • Do you like a lighter, more golden/bronze eye or a darker, more smoky eye? I think the warm palette does the first best, the cool does the latter better. The warm one is better quality, though.

  6. Carrie

    Sigh. Another “cool” palette that isn’t that cool :-/. Why is this so difficult to achieve?

    There are a couple of nice shades here, I think I’ll look for the dupes instead!

  7. Blackberry seems stunning…other than that the palette is a NO GO…just my opinion of course…
    Kayvid Recently Posted: LUSH Sandy Santa

    • I swear, it might be better than the permanent single I have, LOL.

      • Lisa

        I have this palette and it is indeed better than the single permanent Blackberry. Actually, it’s quite easy to make your own cool neutral palette by creating your own x15 palette with their permanent shades. I have noticed, however, that my palette does look somewhat dreary so maybe this is why they are making it warmer. Maybe a dreary looking palette wont sell well?

        • It’s possible that might be part of it, but I’m surprised they couldn’t figure out a nice way to visually present the colors – maybe have a few reflective shades that would add light/dimension to it at a glance?

        • The Blackberry in this palette *must* be different than the permanent single, because the one I have is most emphatically not “soft and velvety.” It’s rock-hard and I have to scratch the surface in order to get any color out of it. It’s too bad because I like the shade, although from your pic here, the new one looks warmer and browner than mine, which is more purple.

  8. Kate

    Could you recommend your favorite MAC shades.. Maybe your essential 15?

    • For neutrals, cool-tones, warm-tones, or just in general? I don’t know that I would have an essential 15. It’s more about a theme, I guess? that might work!

  9. Hmmm..I am liking this palette more than the warm-neutrals! Which is normal for me…always end up buying cooler tones though warm colors seem to work better for me :|
    Radhika Recently Posted: Today’s Makeup: Easy Neutral Wear-to-Work Makeup with Warm Browns

  10. I like some of the colours, but yeah, the warm one intrigues me more.
    Rikki Recently Posted: REVIEW: MAC Magnetic Nude Extra Dimension Skinfinish – Fairly Precious

  11. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    I don’t usually get annoyed with MAC, but I feel like this is a slap in the face to their customers. An eyeshadow palette should have the expectation of being an A-grade palette from the get-go. Quality shouldn’t even begin to be an issue; more importantly, the palette should deliver as advertised. A cool-toned palette should be cool-toned, not a mixture of shades. The warm-toned palette offered exactly what it stated, so I don’t understand why they would think it sensible to do the same with the cool palette. This is a wasted opportunity, in my opinion – a neutral, cool-toned palette of good quality would have been a major draw to a lot of people who find the market lacking in that regard.

    • I’m with you, in the sense that quality shouldn’t ever be an issue, lol! I guess if that held true, I’d be out of a job? ;)

      It did strike me as odd that the warm palette was SO SO warm and then this wasn’t very cool.

      • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

        I’m pretty sure the advent of Temptalia was met with cries of joy from bank accounts everywhere. :P

        I typoed a bit on my original comment – I meant to say that a $100 palette in particular shouldn’t be scoring less than an A grade. I was relieved to see that this was a press sample and not a waste of your own money. :|

  12. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    I do like most of the shades in this one, and several in the other, so I think both will end up in my stash. I still think palettes are worth $100, and since they’re permanent, I can save up for them.

  13. I’ve had this palette for a week and have been using it exclusively to determine if I’m going to keep it or not. I agree that on some shade the pigmentation and formula is just not great, and a couple of the shades are just too chalky with my NC30 skin tone. I’ll be taking this one back.

  14. I definitely like the shadow colours much better than the warm version; would def wear more of these. I also really like both eye looks you pulled together with the palette. Blackberry has been an old standby for years that I love and what I believe anchors this palette for me so I’m entirely undecided if this is a real necessity. Thankfully this isn’t an LE item so I have time to ponder.

  15. As a person who looks much better in cool toned shades, this one gets a sigh and an eyeroll. Why is it so hard for cosmetic companies to put out truly cool-toned palettes in this size?! Obviously there are cool toned things out there, but the big palettes always seem to lean warm.

    I guess I should be glad that the warmth here and the quality issues definitely rule out me purchasing it, but that’s not really much of a victory, is it? :-P

    Now that new purple Tarte palette, on the other hand *drool*…
    Sylirael Recently Posted: The Bigger the Loot, the Better! Clinique Chubby Sticks in Chunky Cherry and Grandest Grape

  16. Gisele

    Oh, no!! There’s a lot of really warm tones. Come on, MAC! You could do better than this! (Sigh)

  17. I agree with you Christine, this palette lacks the cool tones. They should’ve maybe included more grays and not so many cool browns.
    Kiara Recently Posted: Spring 2014 Makeup Trends

  18. Krista

    Are both cool and warm palettes available on the Mac website? If so, where can I find it?

  19. I LOVE Cozy Grey. I don’t know what it is about that eyeshadow but it’s so beautiful to me!
    alisa Recently Posted: Cinnamon and Chocolate

  20. Is it just me or does this palette look like more than half of it consists of highlighters?

  21. I think I like this palette a bit more than the cooler version. The colors are so beautiful and I would love to add this palette to my stash ^^

  22. I definitely prefer the warm palette over this one!

  23. Pari

    Hello great review as always,

    I just wanted to know if this Palette is limited or permanent?
    Couldn’t find this information anywhere..