Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes these four shades: Stratus (light pink), Bruised Sky (dark lavender gray), Interior Life (mid-tone gray blue), and Heather Belles (dark charcoal/carbon).  It’s new and limited edition for MAC for Daphne Guinness, which will launch in-stores on December 26th.

  • Stratus is a pale iced pink with a matte finish. I couldn’t get this product to swatch at all–I literally took a metal spatula to the pan and gouged product out to just get enough visible color in the swatch so you could see it. The swatch you see is the equivalent of swatching something five times, if not more! I later tried to apply this to the lid–over primer–and it was invisible. Maybe on the lightest and on the darkest of skin tones this will show up better, but the texture is still unforgivably dry and difficult to use. MAC Taupeless is a little warmer and shimmery. MAC Seedy Pearl is shimmery but similar in hue. Inglot 319 is more blue-based.
  • Bruised Sky is a mauve-brown with a satin finish. This shade was a little dry, but it yielded decent color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off has a more shimmery version of this shade. It’s similar to MAC Tendersmoke. MAC Shale is much browner.
  • Interior Life is a blue-tinted medium-dark gray with a veluxe finish, which means it has a mostly matte finish but the texture is different from their matte finish. This is one of the best matte eyeshadows I’ve come across by MAC, and ironically, there are only two veluxe finishes available in the permanent range (Samoa Silk and Brown Down). This feels much more like a Matte2 than a veluxe–it’s so dense and buttery that’s nearly creamy in feel. The color payoff is really good, too, though it does easily blend away so go easy on blending.  I don’t want to say this, but this fades a lot when applied.  It was half faded after five hours.  It’s a matte version of MAC Howzat. Chanel Gris Exquis is more neutral.
  • Heather Belles is a charcoal black with a satin finish. The good news is this shade is the same as it was when it launched with Tartan Tale; the bad news is that it’s still just as terrible. I got a little smarter with this shade, so I managed to scrape product off and apply it to the middle but left some parts still in their original, disappointing state. It’s sheer, dry, and nearly chalky because of how dry and stiff it is. Nehru is a little blue/teal. It’s a bit like theBalm Serious. It ended up looking a lot like MAC Black Tied, since neither works well. I tried applying this to the crease, but it just wasn’t applying or blending well, so I ended up using Nebula (pigment) instead.

I’ve been underwhelmed by MAC’s eyeshadow quads for quite awhile now, and I had some hope after Cindy Sherman, Interior Life really disappointed. Many brands come out with quads and palettes, and there are few high-end brands that seem to flop as spectacularly as MAC has in the past year when it comes to their quads/palettes. MAC can do an excellent eyeshadow, so I don’t know why this doesn’t translate into their eyeshadow quads any more.

The Glossover


Interior Life

There are too many problems with this eyeshadow quad: poor pigmentation, drier/stiffer textures, and fading. At $38, there are so many better options out there. Build your own MAC quad of proven eyeshadows!











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MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Stratus Eyeshadow

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Stratus Eyeshadow (this is layered 5+ times after gouging product out of the pan)

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Bruised Sky Eyeshadow

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Bruised Sky Eyeshadow

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Heather Belles Eyeshadow

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Heather Belles Eyeshadow (middle section is, again, extremely layered after gouging product out of the pan)

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life on lid, MAC Heather Belles (attempted) in crease, MAC Nebula in crease,
MAC Aurora in inner tear duct, Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy eyeliner on lower lash line

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics on December 26th, $38.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

See individual shade review! :)

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70 thoughts on “MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. edith

    muy lindo 😉

  2. Dayna

    Wow and from the pan, the eye quad looks SOO pretty :( M.A.C’s eyeshadow quads have been disappointing me a lot too. It’s ashame I was really hoping this one would be great..

  3. Karyn

    This is so sad to hear. MAC have really really gone down the tubes. I wish they’d put out less collections and more quality!

  4. Ohh MAC, what’s going on with you? Why must you release so many awful e/s quads? :(

  5. Kaitlin

    This is just too sad! I think the colors look so lovely in the pans – it’s a shame they don’t actually perform well. Thanks for the heads up!

  6. I want to think that maybe the second to last color–the grey–is somewhat salvageable? Even then, that wouldn’t justify the quad. I’m so saddened by the poor quality of the MAC quads as of late. Even more, I’ve been somewhat depressed by their LE collections. The last collection I remember being excited about was Surf Baby. Maybe I’m burnt out, but when I was bored with the Gareth Pugh collection, I knew there was something wrong–either with me or the products being released.

    Probably me 😉

    • I thought it was, but the fading was :( I was so sad. I was like, “YOU ARE ALL THAT IS LOVELY” when I swatched it, but when it was totally faded after five hours *over a primer* it was no good.

  7. Ana G.

    I was leaning towards this one but not any more!!Thanks Christine!!

  8. Nikki

    Does this mean this collection has hit PRO stores?? :)

  9. Avril

    It’s too bad the quads always seem to turn out so bad, I liked the look of this one. At least interior life worked out, and you don’t have to reuse products much anyway.

  10. Maya

    This is the first MAC collection quad that interested me. I loved the soft, cool shades. I’m glad I read this review first!

  11. You’re breaking my heart, but I find that I almost always agree with you on shadow texture. I was so hopeful for this one, because the colours are just the sort that I love. The second and third colours are gorgeous, but I can get Nars duos for cheaper if I want two shadows I like. Totally agree with you about Mac quads this year. Other than Lady Grey, I haven’t bought a single quad since Fabulous Felines. And I bought almost EVERY quad that came out in 2010.

    • MAC’s eyeshadows do tend to have a drier texture, though a lot of them have always had decent to good color payoff – not quite as stiff as these – but at the very least, they’ll often perform better applied than swatched, which wasn’t even the case here. We all know MAC can knock it out of the park with a formula – just makes one wonder why they don’t!

  12. K7P*

    Pretty colors from a far… oh well… i will have to skip this! I love eyeshadows that actually have pigmentation! =)

  13. NeenaJ

    When I saw this swatched on another blog, I couldn’t wait to read your review! Why can’t they do better? MAC is completely capable of knocking it out of the park but puts out this crap – and ties it to someone’s name, no less. It’s completely disappointing. I’m starting to think that MAC now stands for Mediocre Attempt at Cosmetics.

  14. Gina


    Not sure what else to say!

  15. Mo

    MAC’s quads used to be soooo good. Of such great quality back when they were like $30. Don’t know why they seem to keep sucking now. Sucking more and getting more expensive.

  16. Cath

    OMG what is wrong with mac eyeshadow quads!

  17. shiny

    Christine, even at first glance, I thought: ‘trouble!’. Why? Because according to some, MAC’s purples can be quite troublesome. Can you comment on this? What’s your experience been?

    • Purples, in general, are seemingly harder to do, though the more matte the texture, the harder it can be to deliver the color. Fig. 1 (by MAC) was always a favorite, and that is a Matte2!

      • Liv

        I own a LOT of purples and rose tones from MAC and they are all very decent in my opinion. But this quad is really a sucker.

  18. You know it’s terrible to work with when you give an F. The swatches but have been a pain to build.

    Off note: the Gareth Pugh Metal X shadows are for sale one the MAC Canada site for $38.50CAN

    If I spend any money on MAC this winter season it’s on the Metal X shadows.

  19. Oona

    I’ve grown accustomed not to expect much from MAC’s pre-made eyeshadow quads… Kinda sad ¬¬

  20. Nicole

    It’s a shame we can’t just steal the Interior Life shadow from this quad and nothing else. And improve Bruised Sky

    Stratus’ swatch reminds me of me trying to swatch UD’s Naked. Except, you know, Naked isn’t a nightmare to get out. It just matched my skin too well.

  21. Maureen

    This actually reminds me a lot of the first actual makeup palette I started wearing regularly in high school. Ladies, if you’re looking for a good intro-palette for your niece/daughter, this would be a good one.

    • There are so many better (and even more affordable, if you want to keep your daughter/niece within her own budget rather than helping her gain expensive taste early on!) starter palettes out there! Even Wet ‘n’ Wild, which is $2-4 a pop, is much, much better overall and would give someone new to makeup plenty of products to play with.

      • Angie

        Well said Christine! :)I. My daughter loves to sit and watch me do my makeup and she loves to admire my hig-end stuff, but she know thats her collection will only consist of drugstore and the. 99 store until she can buy her own stuff. She’s only 12, so its not like she can wear a whole lot anyway LOL!! I do have some friends whose 13, 14, 15, yo daughters have drawers full of high-end and will actually demand MAC products. Wow.. anyway, guess thats a story for another blog 😉

        • I think it’s important to spoil when we can but to always do our best to instill a sense of worth and value as well. I think giving some higher-end gifts (particularly from moms who already know their beauty stuff!) is a great idea but definitely not 24/7. Otherwise, she’ll be in for a huge shock when she has to pay for that expensive beauty habit herself, LOL! I was very fortunate and my parents covered pretty much all my expenses except for makeup, so when I had my part-time job during college, I used that money to primarily cover the beauty expenses. But my dad got me hooked on gadgets and my mom made me love Le Creuset! She blames herself for my expensive taste in those respects!

  22. Nicole

    Oh my god. This quad looks really nice and I definately would have bought it, but after your review I will skip it.

    I can’t believe, that the last MAC quads have such a bad quality. No wonder, people are buying Inglot, MUFE, Urban Decay, Armani and so on.

  23. Alyssa

    More F reviews. I love them the most!

  24. Is it me or do MAC eueshadow quads usually underperform? I don’t really have overwhelmingly positive experience with MAC shadows in general to be honest. It’s hard to find a shade that I’ve got to have which happens to have decent pigmentation and texture.

  25. Mariella

    Yikes. I am so glad I read your review, Christine. For that price, I can have another Tarina Tarantino palette that will actually DELIVER and be wonderful. The last Mac quad I bought was Caviar Dreams and while it’s not the greatest, I do like it enough and I use it. But I’ll pass on this one for sure.

    • Haha! It’s funny – I went through and looked for quads I liked, but nothing jumped out at me – the ones from Fall Colour came closest but not totally amazing.

  26. Caroline F.

    I would say that the name ‘Interior Life’ probably suggests that it is supposed to be extremely light makeup ?!

  27. so sad! I was actually interested on this particular product from the collection!

  28. Marina

    So disappointing.

  29. Nadia

    I’m not disappointed at all. To be disappointed means you had to have some expectations to begin with. I’ve none left where MAC is concerned.

  30. Sinah

    Wow, sad how bad these eyeshadows are. I am in love with Interior Life and Bruised Sky .. :/

    • Nicole

      IA. Maybe MAC will have some sense and decide to improve – oh wait release them separately? And UD will improve and release Tease by itself and I will die and go to heaven.

  31. Brenda

    Whats going on with MAC? Don’t they love us anymore?

  32. Marisa

    Thank you for your truly honest reviews. It’s nice to know that the PR products don’t get an “easy A”. Oh, and I love your blog!

  33. Natsume

    Oh, MAC… :[

  34. Laura

    Just look at those colours – this quad could have been amazing! How disappointing :(

  35. shelly

    This sort of reminds me of the Evil Eye quad from the Fall/Cindy Sherman collection: both are stunningly gorgeous in the pan, but they suck so bad! :( MAC, I am disappoint!

  36. Veronica

    As soon as I saw the picture, I said “I would totally go for this quad.”

    And then I saw the rating. :(

  37. Amy

    The only thing surprising to me about any of this is how many people continually get excited over their next collections. Like, don’t you get it yet? You can pretty much count on the collections being crap now, no matter how pretty they look.

  38. Abby

    I’m actually kind of glad this palette didn’t work out because it’s going to save me $40, but glad in a sad way…

    It boggles my mind when MAC puts out underwhelming eyeshadows. It seems like the folks in the lab really fuss over getting the colors JUST right based on your Bloggers’ Obsession entry, so I can’t believe they’d let a quad like this through where half of the colors aren’t up to snuff. It makes me wonder if something gets lost in translation between the lab and the factory– or if MAC is pushing out too many “limited edition” collections per year.

  39. Lirael

    What a shame! Those colours looked gorgeous in the pan :(
    Thanks for swatching them. My purse is happy at least.

  40. Elle

    Guess the quad quality for MAC went down when the packaging changed…at least that’s how it seems to me. Remmeber how awesome the Cult of Cherry quads were? I bought all 3 of those quads. Looks like those days are over…

  41. Liv

    I’ve stumbled over this LE today at my favorite department store and I really LOVED the colors and the color combination of the quad. It would have been the perfect quad for me. But then I tried to swatch it on my hands and the pigmentation is really, really bad!
    What a pitty and what a shame for MAC!

  42. Meerschweinchen

    WOW, WOW, WOW, it launched here in Germany now, and I thought you were exaggering a tiny bit on the Stratus-topic, but I never ever had the experience of tossing the shadow and not having even a HINT of color showing up on my finger. Amazing!

  43. sable

    really appreciate the honesty and thoroughness of your reviews. i’ve experienced this problem with other MAC limited quads as well, which i’d stubbornly purchased cos i liked the colors. just not worth the trouble cos most of them sit unused! (or they just look unused cos i could barely get anything off the pan)

  44. jen

    F?! Really!? I LOVE the colors even swatched.

  45. I’m very new to the wonderful world of MAC items, but I was counting days till this collection was being sold in my country. And I have to admit…I love the quad. For some reason it works perfect with my skintone :)

  46. April

    The pigmentation is horrible. I had to do a lot of blending even using the UD primner in Envy, my fav., it still didn’t pop until I used the darkest of the quads with my mac 217 brush btw I was disappointed in my 239 with this quad hoping it would save its life lol. Very difficult quad to used but combine the darkest even the pin and use the Feline Mac Eyeliner which is so pigmented! I do still like this palette even if it takes to get used to