Friday, October 26th, 2012

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

Fabulous This is Not

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette ($39.50 for 0.14 oz.) contains five eyeshadows: Blonde Mink (grey taupe frost), Magical Mist (metallic taupe), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Enviable (cool mint green with pearl), and Smut (muted black with red shimmer). Heads up–Brun and Smut are both part of the permanent range, and Magical Mist has made its way into a couple of past holiday palettes, too.

Whew! There is not a lot of product in this palette! For reference, MAC eyeshadow quads ($38.00) typically contain 0.19 to 0.20 oz. (about 0.05 oz. per eyeshadow). Last year’s holiday eyeshadow palettes contained 0.21 oz. (and retailed for $38.00). The prior year’s holiday palettes contained 0.19 oz. (and retailed for $36.00). You used to get six shades, but with this year’s design, you’re getting five.

Blonde Mink is a sheer, cool-toned, pale white-gray with a soft, frosted finish. It is supposed to have a Lustre finish. It looks grayer in the pan, but swatched, it’s very light and looks rather white. It had a very stiff, firm texture and didn’t yield much color. NARS Vent Glace is similar. Chanel Fantasme is a little reminiscent of this color, but Fantasme is more sparkly.

Magical Mist is a medium-dark brown with copper sparkle. It’s just barely warm. This shade has a lustre finish. The color payoff was decent, but it does have some loose sparkle, so it may be prone to fall out. Urban Decay Nevermind is warmer. MAC Earthly is more cool-toned. Buxom Mutt is barely warmer.

Brun is a dark black-brown, but you wouldn’t know it based on this palette. The texture was so, so dry and stiff. The finish is satin, though Brun tends to look more matte to me. I have it in the full-size, permanent pot, and it’s a dream to work with. Even when I applied this to the eye, it wasn’t easily blended out, and I definitely had to pick up the pigment, place it, and go back for more. For a real look at Brun, check out this swatch. MAC Diamond Dove is similar. MAC Twilight Falls is more taupe. theBalm Matt Ramirez is similar.

Enviable is a smoky forest green with a very subdued quality to it, color-wise. The texture was softer and smoother than the four other shades in the palette, and the color payoff was good. NARS High Society is similar but matte, so it appears darker. Tarina Tarantino Very Wicked is greener, darker. MAC Lady Grey is warmer. Make Up For Ever #84 is darker.

Smut is a red-toned, medium-dark brown with a satin finish. Here, too, Smut is a pale imitation of the permanent version (seen here. I was able to get a little more bang out of it when applied with a brush. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar. MAC Legendary Black is cooler-toned. Tarina Tarantino Saw Dust Heart is similar but has no shimmer.

I had to use an eyeshadow primer to get the colors to show up in a look. When I tried to use and test them without a base, there was so little color payoff.  I had some fall out with Blonde Mink when I used it on the center of the lid, but it was not terrible.  Out of the palette, I used Enviable on the inner lid, Blonde Mink on the center of the lid, Brun on the outer lid, and Smut in the crease.  The reality of this palette is Enviable is the best shade, but on its own, it’s just a so-so shade. The other four eyeshadows are sheer, dry, and stiff–and two have some fall out during wear.  I will go ahead and say that of the three eyeshadow palettes, this one was the worst performing (this just happened to be the one that came alphabetically, so it was the first to be reviewed!).

I’m actually just really sad when it comes to MAC holiday palettes now.  There are so many options for palettes during the holidays, and I’ve already tested at least a dozen of them (reviews are still forthcoming for many) and MAC’s wouldn’t be where I’d go this year.  I’d take my money and check out brands like Bare Escentuals (the Ready palettes for the holidays are incredible!), Tarte (reader reviews have been very positive), and Too Faced–just to name some comparably priced palettes.  Not to mention, Urban Decay released three palettes recently for $36 each with more product than these.

The Glossover


Fabulousness Neutral

I'm actually just really sad when it comes to MAC holiday palettes now. There are so many options for palettes during the holidays, and I've already tested at least a dozen of them (reviews are still forthcoming for many) and MAC's wouldn't be where I'd go this year.











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MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Blonde Mink Eyeshadow

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Magical Mist Eyeshadow

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Brun Eyeshadow

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Enviable Eyeshadow

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Smut Eyeshadow

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
Enviable, Blonde Mink, Brun, Smut, Mystery Kohl Power

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62 thoughts on “MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Disappointing! I was really excited about these. I’m hoping the other palettes/face kits are better, I love the packaging!

  2. Laura

    Wow, I can’t believe that’s Brun! I’ve used it before for my nearly-black brows, but it’s just sad in this palette.

  3. Sher

    This is definitely a bummer, the packaging is SO cute.

  4. Queenielizzie

    I guess you’re really paying for the packaging with these. Which is cute, but so very expensive!

  5. I swatched this yesterday and based on that, I concur 100% with your review. The neutral shades with that unexpected spruce green touch looks beautiful in the pan and the two permanent colours- Brun and Smut- are normally ones I find very easy to work with. (Smut is one of my favourite “more interesting than just black” shades.)The packaging is adorable. They should have saved it to do a little traveling/ storage case.

  6. This is such a bummer! When I saw that the Glamour Daze collection had some good performing eyeshadows, I was hopeful that the holiday palettes would be better this year… I mean, they’re so cute!!

  7. Barbie

    that’s so sad. my wet n wild comfort zone palette has more pigmentation then that

  8. Bari

    I preordered this at Nordstrom. So glad I waited for your review before picking it up! I will pass on this. After seeing you swatches and reading your impressions I know I will wind up just taking this back!! It is a real shame they can’t get the holiday eyeshadows right, I just don’t get it.

  9. again another one I wasn’t to impressed by when I saw it in store but really wanted it until then. >_< Plus the pan size… so tiny!

  10. Chiara

    This makes me feel so, so sad … :(

  11. blueraccoon

    Wow, the swatch for Brun is just…wow. So you’re paying more, you’re getting less, and the quality is crap. Is there *any* reason to buy this other than the sort of cute but impractical packaging?

  12. Pat

    I’m really really looking forward to those holiday palette reviews! These past few years has been a MAC holiday palette disappointment. The packaging is quite lovely but besides that and those colors are really really cute!

  13. alisha

    I will say that regardless of quality, you did happen to get a VERY pretty eye look!

  14. Teena Marie

    How disappointing.. I adore the packaging so much that I wouldn’t mind the lesser amount of shadow, but if they’re that terrible what’s the point? I really hope at least one of the shadow palettes are worthwhile.

    Thank you so much for saving me some money; this palette was one that I was looking to pick up. Your reviews are always so helpful to me and I really appreciate all of the effort that you put forth in covering so many different, important categories of quality. <3

  15. This was the palette I was most likely to be interested in, but I’ll take a pass.

  16. yellowlantern

    Enviable reminds me of the loreal infallible eyeshadow in golden sage I just bought.

  17. Noga

    I just don’t understand Mac’s strategy over the past couple of years – tons of LE collections that contain products that simply suck. Even when they put great permanent e/s in them they suck.

    I’m getting the same vibe I’ve been getting, on a totally different subject matter, from EA Games lately – they know they’ll get the hype, so they’re gonna release products that won’t cost much to bring out (cut down on research, testing, etc.), and tons of them, to maximize their revenue. This is just turning me off as a consumer.

  18. Rachel

    Tsk tsk, MAC, I really expected more.

  19. Roxana

    This is seriously impressively awful. Thanks for sharing, Christine. and really, I wish I could ask MAC, “What is the point of releasing so many holiday products when they’re going to be disappointing?”

  20. xamyx

    I have Brun & Smut, which I love, as well as Nevermind & Vent Glacé; the green I don’t find to appealing (especially with the browns), so I can easily pass on this one. Also, as adorable as the packaging is, it seems terribly impractical; with as many complaints I read/hear about NARS packaging getting “dirty”, you can wipe those down. The pale fabric on these will just be a magnet for prints, makeup, etc.

  21. nubian_queen15

    Thank you Christine for all your hard work. I was so sure i’d pick this up, but once again, you’ve saved me $$$. i wonder why MAC doesn’t seem to care that much about the quality of the products they present in their collections ?

  22. Cat G

    Disappointing but so glad you keep reviewing them so we know what products to choose from Mac now.
    I guess this is off topic, but I’m really interested in the holiday gift sets Tarte has and they seem like great deals, will you be reviewing any of those Christine?

  23. Sarah

    Such a shame, I feel like I’ve really missed out over the years. I first got into MAC a few years ago when their holiday collections were actually, you know, decent. I was broke then, so I was lucky if I could even get one item. Now I actually have money it’s a huge ass letdown.

  24. Kristin

    :( I bought the Warm palette from Nordstrom and it arrives Monday. I’m really hoping it’s much better than this one!

  25. The colors are SUPER pretty and so is the packaging, but darn it with the poor pigmentation AGAIN. What’s up, MAC?!?

  26. Mariella

    The look you did is so beautiful, Christine, that it’s hard to believe you could achieve something this attractive with such inferior shadows. I have Brun in a pro pan and it’s a great shadow. I am finding more and more that some of the permanent line products, when put into holiday and other LE palettes, are really of inferior quality to the “original” form of the product.

  27. Arianna

    mac is really just becoming such a sad brand

  28. Ack, I have this one sitting here right now… maybe a sticky primer might help? or is it just going to be dresser decor? Nerts!

  29. I always hesitate to buy special edition type palettes for this exact reason…I don’t think the products are the same quality as the full size singles.

  30. Celia

    Ack! I went off of another blogger’s swatches which made this palette look okay & bought this one out of all of them. I should’ve waited for your review, but I never know when all the MAC fiends swoop down on a collection the first day & leave nothing for us more casual fans.

    • Maybe it will work out for you, and if it doesn’t, you’re able to return. Hey, if it’s bad and it’s returned, maybe that will send a message :)

  31. Ginny

    Not very flattering colors…

  32. My theory that a product is always best when first introduced then slowly gets worse….and here is an example…..also less product for the price is one of the case….This is so so shameful and embarassing. I do wonder if the permanent products (shadows, lip color, etc) are not as good now as when they first came out.

  33. Diana

    So disappointed to see that the one palette I bought out of this collection had the worst rating. I generally use both a primer and sticky base every day due to my oily eyes, so I’m hoping I can still get it to work reasonably well. I should have waited for the reviews as well, but I was also worried about everything I wanted selling out.

  34. Lulu

    The MAC collections have been real stinky lately…I always expect a lot from the Holiday Collection, and this one just stinks

  35. Brenda

    ACK!! NOT impressed by these swatches. I really wonder what their R&D and marketing depts. are thinking (for the last few years)….

  36. sad, these shades look so pretty in the pan~~and the bow pkg is just so adorable!

  37. Lark

    Sadness is right. Last years pallets were color interesting but use impossible, such teeny pans!
    I ordered a Fluidline and two shadows online, and that’s it for MAC Holiday this year. Forty bucks for unusable is ridiculous! I have an Antiquitease pallet that blows these away; Holiday has been sliding down hill at MAC since that year.

    • I’ve gone back over the years to the older palettes, just in case it’s a case of nostalgia, but no, they were way better :(

      • Amanda

        If you even go back to the Tartan palettes they are better then this. This is horrible. I was going to buy this palette having Smut and Brun for the other 3 colors because they look beautiful in the pan. After seeing them swatched its a no go for me! :(

  38. Kelly

    I have this and it’s crap. I am so disappointed, I want my money back. I am surprised Christine got as much colour for the swatches as she did. With the two lightest colours all you get is glitter fall-out everywhere that you don’t want it. In New Zealand I paid $98 NZ Dollars for this one compact and I feel utterly ripped off. This is utter rubbish. I am really annoyed about this palette and I’m sorry you have to listen to my little rant folks but seriously DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

    • I’m sorry you got burned on this, Kelly! :(

    • Veronica

      I actually let out a sound of horror just now when I looked up the conversion to US dollars. They seriously charged you TWICE what we pay for this? I feel like I should never complain about prices here in the States again. 😐 At least we can return things.

      • Kelly

        Yea, we do pay crazy prices here for things like Mac & Bobbi Brown etc? I think I will ring Mac tomorrow and see about exchanging it for something else. The store is a good hours drive away so I will definitely ring first.

  39. HeatherSA

    MAC just makes me angry now. LOL I just feel like they have become totally arrogant. “Oh, we are so big and popular we don’t have to take the time to make good quality products anymore! People will still buy it! MWAHAHAHAH!” GRRRRRRRR! I don’t even buy them anymore. >:-|

  40. Veronica

    I am the saddest sad panda that ever sadded due to this review. When I saw it in stores, I almost grabbed it because I loved the colors so much. A shame they’re all so underwhelming. :(

  41. Orlane

    I’m so disappointed! :( that’s the palette I REALLY wanted :'(. Well, I guess I’ll wait for the pigment srts and other compacts :). I do want something form this collection, other from the color collection :).
    Thanks for your hardwork Christine!

  42. Wow. I’m so sad about this. I was literally just about to order all 3 of the holiday palettes because I thought they were just the cutest thing!! Oh well, I guess I’ll stick with Urban Decay and Too Faced holiday this year. :(

  43. BeckBeck

    That swatch of Brun made me say “Dude.” Out loud. To my monitor. My cat just gave me a weird look.

    Also, now that you’ve teased us by name-dropping the BE palettes, I’m dying to see swatches. (They were out at my Ulta but no testers, and I can’t blind buy shadows.)

  44. I know the colors are not exciting and fall out is not a big deal to me. I have a good primer. I got this palette purely based on the cute packaging.

  45. tea-chan

    How strange. The Muse swatches actually made this palette look good but yours make me question the quality and consistency of the product. :/ I’ll have to try to check this out in person I guess- this was the one palette/product I really wanted this Holiday. Mostly because of Enviable. I’ll have to hold out for something similar if it doesn’t turn out great in-store…

    Your eye look is lovely, by the way. :3

  46. An

    Dang, I liked the shades when I saw the full palette view, but the swatches are so disappointing.

  47. Nancy

    I have magical Mist in the dashing Lassie palette from Tartan set and it swatches a bit better than this one,I’m so disappointed, I really like the Enviable color too. Maybe it will come out in a similar shade in a pigment. Pigments seem to be the only thing mac makes that shows up on the skin Lol!