MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) may sound new to some, but it originally debuted way back in 2007 (see my original “review” here–and I called that a review? For shame!) and were repromoted in 2008 as “Brushed Metal-x.” I kind of think the shades from the first launch were more fun–I still have Plum Electric (vibrant grape purple), though I don’t think I used it but a couple of times, because it looks nearly new. Cyber, Fusion Gold, and Virgin Silver have been relaunched as part of this year’s offerings.

In two separate posts, I will go through the individual shades regarding their pros/cons, possible dupes, and so forth, but I did as much testing as I could in time that I’ve had these, which is about 24 hours by the time this post is published. Lucky for me, because these crease nearly instantaneously, it was easy to test multiple shades.

Worn alone, none of the shades I tested (two are photographed below–Palladium and Venetian Tarnish–but I also tested Fusion Gold, Rusty, and Vintage Coin) could make it from application to camera (and I hurried!) without some creasing, and then, after fifteen minutes or so, significant creasing. Worn over an eyeshadow base (I used MAC Paint Pots and NARS Smudgeproof), it didn’t seem to make much of a difference–still creased within minutes and worsened by fifteen.

I did, however, have luck when I wore a single shade layered over an eyeshadow base with several powder eyeshadows on top. I used all MAC products, for the sake of giving MAC the best chance it could, and for me, everything managed to wear well enough for five hours. There was some fading of the colors overall, but I didn’t experience creasing up until that point. By eight, though, it had faded a bit more and had some noticeable creasing. However, a word of caution, I have drier lids, and I really packed on the powder products.

I also tested the wear on both cheeks and lips. They had a funny taste, so I don’t think I’d wear them again as a lip product, and they are very drying. They’re like a matte frost finish–the drying, clingy feel of a matte coupled with a really high frost finish. On the lips, I tried Red Hot Copper, which only lasted for an hour (no eating/drinking) before fading unevenly.  It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t wear well.

On cheeks, I used Rusty to highlight and Red Hot Copper to add color. Because of the higher frost content, it does emphasize pores somewhat, and depending on the temperature of your workspace, these may be difficult to apply evenly. I found fingers to be the best applicator with these in general, because the cream surface is very hard and almost powdery–it balls up and takes the warmth from your fingertip to be able to work it out into a smooth, even finish. The wear was so-so; it was noticeably faded and, unfortunately, patchy, after three hours of wear without a setting powder and five hours of wear with a setting powder. Of all the ways I tried it, I liked it best on the cheeks, just because I didn’t have to worry about creasing.  It wears similarly on the brow bone and decolletage.

This is really not a consumer-friendly formula; it will take some effort, work, practice, and the right skin type to get these to work well. In 2007, maybe it was acceptable, maybe other brands hadn’t created technology to yield this kind of finish and color payoff, but in 2011, I don’t think it is. If you have drier lids or tend not to have problems with your cream products creasing on you, these may work out for you. If you have oilier lids, I really do recommend–if these are just tempting you beyond belief–to try one and see how it works for you or else buy from a store with a good return policy. These weren’t well-received in 2007, so I’m kind of baffled as to why MAC would bring thes back without some reformulation. Sure, they bring back a product that seemed to receive mostly negative reviews, but last year’s Mega Metals (just as metallic as these) were a complete homerun and those remain a one-time wonder.

At $20 a pop, if the only way I can use it is as an eyeshadow base, it’s not the most useful product in my stash. When you use a translucent powder on top, while you retain some of the original shade, you do mute it a bit and definitely tone down the frosted/metallic finish, so it seems to defeat the purpose of these–which is that really high-shine, metallic-like finish (though some of these read frosty, less metallic).  I could see picking up one or two for editorial work, though I think MAC’s Metal Pigments have a much better metallic finish and work better, plus some of their pigments that have more of a frosted/metallic shine.  Like Big Bounce, I don’t know why these are marketed towards consumers, because realistically, I’m not sure how one would wear it except if you 1) wanted your eye makeup to crease or 2) you were only going somewhere for an hour or so.

We’ve seen MAC put out metallic fluidlines and paint pots, which work fantastically alone or as an eyeshadow base. I’d much rather put my money towards products with similar textures, finishes, and even shades, that perform better like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, Bare Escentuals Stay-There Eyeshadow, or L’Oreal’s Infallible Eyeshadows (which finally hit the states!)–the latter two don’t wear as well as the first two, but they’ll manage to six hours to eight hours or so without an eyeshadow base.  Even Estee Lauder’s new eyeshadows have a really cool, metallic-like finish, but they’re powder (and I suspect we’ll see something similar by MAC in the next six months).

So while MAC doesn’t tout these as long-wearing, they still fall short of just wearing.  I thought long and hard about that one, but if it takes both an eyeshadow base, plus packing of powder eyeshadows on top, to make it more than fifteen minutes–we’re just not functioning.  I’d let it slide if it just didn’t wear to six or eight hours, because long-wear tends to be more like eight to twelve hours, but I can’t even achieve eight with all the bells and whistles without both fading and creasing on the eyes; fading and patchiness on the cheeks (after four hours) and lips (after an hour).  A C- feels generous to me, personally, but that is how the numbers worked out–I’m sure you can sense my disappointment and frustration on this product.  Did we really need two collections of crease city products this year?

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, no base – 2 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, no base – 15 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, with base – 2 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, with base – 15 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Venetian Tarnish Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, no base – 2 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Venetian Tarnish Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, no base – 15 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Venetian Tarnish Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, with base – 2 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Venetian Tarnish Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow, with base – 15 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Fusion Gold as a base, MAC Nylon eyeshadow packed on two-thirds,
MAC Greensmoke eyeshadow in crease and outer corner, MAC Antiqued eyeshadow
on outer third of lid, with base – 2 minutes after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Fusion Gold as a base, MAC Nylon eyeshadow packed on two-thirds,
MAC Greensmoke eyeshadow in crease and outer corner, MAC Antiqued eyeshadow
on outer third of lid, with base – 4 hours after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Fusion Gold as a base, MAC Nylon eyeshadow packed on two-thirds,
MAC Greensmoke eyeshadow in crease and outer corner, MAC Antiqued eyeshadow
on outer third of lid, with base – 8 hours after application

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
Ingredients

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Red Hot Copper Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Red Hot Copper Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow