Sunday, September 9th, 2012

MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

What a Difference a Year Makes

This review focuses on four new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Always Sunny (light yellow brown), Ever Ivory (pale ivory), Fashion Fix (dark cool slate grey), and Linger Softly (light frosted grey blue).

Always Sunny is a muted orange with a matte finish. It had so-so pigmentation an felt soft to the touch, but it was on the powdery side. This was one of the “best” performing shades out of the four. Chanel Tigerlily is brighter, more tangerine. Inglot #368 is a bit lighter. MAC Samoa Silk is a smidgen lighter.

Ever Ivory is a pale white with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, but it disappears if you attempt to blend it out. It was very powdery. MAC Laundry Daze is darker, less ivory. Bobbi Brown White is cooler-toned. Inglot #351 is similar, slightly less beige.

Fashion Fix is a gray-tinged brown–taupe–with a mostly matte finish. It had some powderiness, but the color payoff was the best out of the four. Chanel Premier Regard is browner. MAC Satin Taupe is darker and frostier. Inglot #363 is darker and more pigmented–if used lightly, I think you would get rather close.

Linger Softly is a pale medium-dark blue with silver micro-shimmer. It had so-so color payoff, and it was rather dusty. This shade had a tendency to disappear when you applied and blended it. MAC Bright Moon is similar. MAC Frozen Blue has a more frosted finish.

Here’s how MAC describes these: “A unique longwearing Eye Shadow with a silky, creamy texture formulated for maximum colour impact. Easily blendable and buildable; lids are visibly smooth no matter how intense the application. Lasts 8 hours.” These should have a great texture, be nicely pigmented and blendable, while wearing for eight hours.

These shades are not very pigmented, and they’re barely buildable. Trying to layer the color on doesn’t intensify the color, but it does add a layer of powdery dust to your lid that serves to make the lid look drier and drier. I couldn’t yield visible color with the majority of shades without some sort of eyeshadow base/primer underneath, which is really a shame. To show you the products in action, I had to use them over a primer. When I tested the wear, I wore them without and with a primer. Funny enough, you wouldn’t even believe I had applied eyeshadow–after six hours, it looked like I had bare lids–so the reality is they wear for about three to four hours in sum. It was the same wear for alone or over primer.

I actually quite enjoyed MAC’s Pro Longwear Eyeshadow formula! Most of the shades from Styledriven were excellent–rich color payoffs, soft, blendable textures, and long-wearing. The previous shades lasted a full 12-hours (without primer!). I don’t know what MAC did here. The texture feels different; these have a very thin, dusty texture that kicks up so much powder. They’re prone to fall out during application (because it’s so powdery), and often with powdery eyeshadows, they fade once applied–and these do that. Entirely, completely. I’m so puzzled, because I thought I could count on these being pretty good, as they were a surprise to see last year.

At least, because of how soft and powdery the shades are, they are blendable. It could be worse; they could yield patchy payoff with a stiff, dry texture that didn’t want to budge (a la Carbon from Carine Roitfeld). But these are a poor showing after MAC seemed to do so well when they introduced the formula last year. The finishes of all of these is nearly matte, whereas last year’s were more satin to frost. I don’t know if they had to muck around with the formula to accomplish the finish, but something was lost in the translation. At this price point, you can grab top notch matte eyeshadows by brands like Make Up For Ever and Illamasqua (not to mention, at a lower price point, Inglot and Sugarpill).

Sheer eyeshadow has its place, and the most important thing that a brand has to do is make sure to let buyers know that it’s sheer. Then, they still need to deliver color that applies evenly, easily, blends well, and stays in place. Sheer eyeshadow doesn’t have to be bad eyeshadow–these just leave so much to be desired (but of course, these aren’t described as sheer). I’m devestated that what was once a great formula was manipulated into something very different. I don’t think these feel, look, or perform at all like the ones released last year (which are permanent, so you can still grab ’em).

The Glossover


MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

If you like sheer eyeshadow, you might consider purchasing some feathery brushes--most eyeshadows can be used sheerly, with the right tool. Because these disappear after six hours (as in, nothing remains), even as sheer eyeshadow, I could not recommend them.











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MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Ever Ivory Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Fashion Fix Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
Ever ivory, Always Sunny, Linger Softly, Fashion Fix

MAC Linger Softly Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
Ever ivory, Always Sunny, Linger Softly, Fashion Fix

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC, $21.00.

Is it limited edition?

Ever Ivory is limited edition, the other three are permanent.

Any dupes?

See individual shade review! :)

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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67 thoughts on “MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

  1. I am terribly disappointed. What the hell, MAC??

  2. Jazzy

    Thanks for the reviews! I was excited about this collection due to the pretty pinks and pro longwear side of it – but if they’re of “F” quality, i`ll be saving my money for better collections

  3. TygerKitty

    So glad for this review, now I know not to bother! What a snoozefest of colors and color payoff!

  4. Noga

    Man, when I saw those swatches I knew these can’t be any good! Well, less money to spend, I should be thankful :)

    Thanks for the review Christine! Can’t even imagine what a workload you have around this time of year…

  5. AnGeLwInGz

    BOO!! Highly priced poor performing shadows with rather dull colors. MAC fails at this launch.

  6. Gina

    Oh my god NO WHY?! How did this happen? The Pro Longwear eyeshadows are supposed to be a great range! This is so disappointing. I guess none of MAC’s formulas are immune to the loss of quality in their LE collections.

  7. blueraccoon

    *wow*. I thought they looked kind of sheer from the sneak peek swatches, but this is worse than I expected. MAC, what the hell happened?

  8. This is sad. I know Mac’s LE collections had been iffy, but are they trying to move themselves into the ‘consistently bad’ column? I can’t quote Dusty Hunter from his latest Mac YouTube video on this blog, but….yeah.

  9. Devi

    I’m sorry, but isn’t this line called “Office Hours” for a reason? As soon as I saw the name of the collection, I figured the things that we’d be looking at would have sheer pigmentation. It’s office-friendly- subtle and barely there. If these were more pigmented, it wouldn’t make sense to name the set “Office Hours,” because they wouldn’t be appropriate for the workplace. Sheer doesn’t always mean that it’s of bad quality. There are lots of sheer beauty products that are MEANT to be that way. While I do admit that MAC hasn’t been quite up-to par lately, these did not deserve an F.

    • Hi Devi!

      Check out the post – I copied and pasted how MAC described these shades! :) Even in the promo, she’s not wearing “work-friendly” makeup/colors (or outfit), either. I also wrote a whole paragraph about how sheer doesn’t mean bad quality – I said the exact same thing you did, but these ARE poor even if they were supposed to be sheer. I’m not sure if you just glanced at the rating, and if you did, please read the review as I went over both areas as well as explained why these were poor performing for more reasons than poor color payoff alone. :)

      • Devi

        Hey Christine, yes, I did read the review prior to that message, including the part where you talked about sheer products and whatnot. What I don’t understand is once you said that, these still got a 6/10 for pigmentation. I understand grading it down for being stiff or powdery, but what caused the low grade for pigmentation? I just feel that even with MAC’s description, it should be common sense that these are meant to be sheer, and therefore they shouldn’t be downgraded because of how they’re described.

        Then again, I guess it’s your site, your grading system. As long as it makes sense to you and most of your readers, that matters most.

        • Hi Devi,

          If a brand wants to put out a product, they better have the decency to write an accurate description of the product. It is even more imperative that they spend time doing so if they’re going to completely change the formula and its qualities. :) They absolutely should be rated based on MAC describes them. I prefer to avoid making assumptions – and making assumptions that makeup you wear at an office is supposed to be sheer is exactly that. From readers’ commentary, work-friendly is very fluid and depends entirely on your work place. Some are very, very strict and won’t permit even pink nail polish; others allow color or bold lips. The imagery associated with this launch is far from the “common” concept of that is work-friendly – latex/pleather pink skirt, colored eyeshadow up to your brows, fishnet stockings – so I don’t think that conveys a sheer look at all. There are many interpretations of their campaign to be made. The press release text for it calls the colors “soft and dramatic” – and in the pan, they are that. They’re subdued colors, but subdued doesn’t mean sheer.

          I go by what companies describe their products – that has been my philosophy for some time. It allows me to start from a set of facts, and it also allows me to explicitly tell you what claims exist and why a product did or did not meet them. Are there times when brands are ambiguous in their descriptions? Absolutely. If I don’t need to make assumptions or interpretations out of flowery marketing language, I’m happier for it!

          • Joanna

            For me, a product is deemed “office appropriate” by colour, not pigmentation.

            These colours, with the texture and pigmentation of the usual pro longwear formula, would be office appropriate in most cases. It’s a collection of greys, soft pinks and beiges, not magenta and chartreuse.

            It’s embarrassing how sheer and powdery these are.

            No one wants to pack on a ton of product to get something to show up. Not at 21 (25 in Canada) bucks. What’s the point?

            • I agree, I think that color often dictates that – as well as texture (something more matte/satin vs. glittery and shimmery), but it’ll definitely depend on the office you work in! It’s also in the application and how a color or product is incorporated.

      • Matthias

        So yet another let-down. I am still hoping for the MAC for Temptalia Collection… We could be sure that this would be quality!
        You would also include some matte eye shadows, would you?

    • Mary

      Did you actually read the review?

      • Devi

        Yes, I did. I like reading Christine’s posts, because she puts a lot of effort into her reviews and tries to be as detailed as possible. I just don’t get why it’s listed as 6/10 pigmentation when it’s supposed to be sheer.

        • Hi Devi,

          Can you tell me where MAC said it was supposed to be sheer? This is exactly what MAC lists on their website for these eyeshadows (specifically the page for these shades): “A unique longwearing Eye Shadow with a silky, creamy texture formulated for maximum colour impact. Easily blendable and buildable; lids are visibly smooth no matter how intense the application. Lasts 8 hours.” I don’t think you can make assumptions off of the collection’s title – especially when the imagery and accompanying press release text does not support that. That’s how I feel, so we’ll have to agree to disagree on that :) Luckily, that’s what’s so great about reviews – you can always write your own.

          • Devi

            If you approved the other comment that I posted in response to your reply, you’ll see that I stated that it’s more about relating the title of the collection to the pigmentation (office hours=work friendly=subtle and sheer)- not necessarily relying on promo images and descriptions to judge for pigmentation.

            Promo images are almost always deceiving (mascara adverts, for instance). I don’t think I’ve ever seen you grade a mascara based on promo images, where they clearly photoshopped the lashes and used falsies– basing your score off of promotional images doesn’t really make sense.

            As for MAC’s description, as I said in another comment which hasn’t been approved yet, I did say that it is your site, and that I while I didn’t agree with it, it made sense to others, and that was fine.

            • Hi Devi,

              We will have to agree to disagree :) I’m happy to explain my reasoning/logic, but I stand by my reviews and rating system. I did want to clarify: Promotional images do not have an impact on the rating, and I never said that they did. The rating is based on MAC’s description of the product and how it is supposed to wear, feel, behave, etc.

            • blueraccoon

              There’s still a difference between subtle and the awfulness that are these shadows. I agree with Christine that you can’t go by the name of the collection; what happens in six months when you’re just looking at these shadows online and they’re not associated with a collection at all? Especially since most of them are going to be permanent. MAC didn’t describe them as sheer or subtle in their press release, and “Office Hours” could mean just about anything. I work in an office where chartreuse eyeshadow could possibly work if you wanted it to; it doesn’t hold true that work-appropriate = subtle.

              Even if it did, the look Christine did showed the pitiful payoff of these shadows and the incredibly poor pigmentation. They’re just bad quality eyeshadows, period.

          • karen gonzalez

            Devi, please be mindful of the fact that Christine does her review based on the company’s claim and how well the product lives up to that. The company never claimed the colors were meant to be sheer, and they indeed suck. I think the overall F was well-deserved. I am super grateful and thankful that Christine takes her time and dedicates so much to this blog. I love it, and usually refer to it when I want to try new products. Keep doing what you do, Christine. If people don’t like it, then they can feel free to look elsewhere for product insight and can very well make their own blogs. I love yours!

  10. Barbie

    21 dollars for zero color payoff? lol wow

  11. Zulaikha

    hmm I didnt like the eyeshadow colours anyway, i wonder how the blushes would do.

  12. 18thCenturyFox

    I feel like Willy Wonka has taken over the helm at Mac. Although He had Oompa Loompas that seemed quite dedicated to quality control and he did consistently produce world class products, so perhaps that was an unfair comparison… I’m sitting here wracking my brain trying to figure out how it is that a company that used to e world. Lass with innovation and quality has become absolutely piss poor the majority of the time and contradictory to the point if absurdity. Maybe Captain Ahab is in charge but he’s too busy chasing a Cetacean nemesis to pilot the ship? It reminds me of a French film from the 80’s called Queen of Hearts or something like that where the lunatics take over the asylum, although again an unfair comparison. I think the severely mentally ill would make an especial effort to create quality products and have very imaginative collections ( and before anyone jumps on me I am a huge advocate for erasing the stigma associated with the aforementioned). Nope, it is sheer laziness and absolute inattention to formula and consistency. I thought maybe Two Face? But again he was dedicated to pulling off his schemes.. I continue to shake my head in confusion…

  13. Nicoco Chanel

    So, a bunch of eyeshadows that have decent dupes and don’t live up to the description of the product? Yeaaaah, I think I’ll be passing.

    If these were well-performing, still sheer, but at least acknowledged as so, I think they’d be really nice. Fashion Fix and Linger Softly could be lovely if they didn’t have the issues you mentioned.

  14. Kris

    Hahahaha! …No. Just no. I knew I probably wasn’t going to get any of the shadows (this is too subdued, and pastels are terribly unflattering on me) but wow are they uncaring of product quality.

    I wonder if they have totally different teams working on LE vs permanent formulations?

  15. Kafka

    I thought Always Sunny looked like a lovely colour, so it’s disappointing to see the results. I am actually starting to feel badly for MAC; it’s the side of me that always wants to champion the under-dog and the beaten down. I know that doesn’t make much sense, especially as MAC is rarely the under-dog and I normally have huge issues with its L/E thing, but… *shrug* I actually kinda want to give it a hug now. *goes to sit in the crazy corner*

    • xamyx

      The point I’ve been trying to make these past several months is that there is no reason for MAC to be the “underdog”, especially when they’ve proven capable of releasing *several* quality products. As others have stated, the Matte2 shadows are incredible, though most have been DC’d; why? Then they release so many duds? It just reinforces the idea (to me, at least) that they just don’t care, as they know people will *still* buy these. Now, I’m all for the free-market, but I also believe there should be, at a minimum, consistent quality before raising prices.

  16. Michelle

    I feel insulted as a customer that these eyeshadows are called “pro longwear” product.

  17. Carrie

    :-/ Looks like I was right on my first impression of these things. So glad you’re out here Temptalia! Saves a lot of us time, effort and money from not buying duds like these!

  18. adler

    Oh yikes! I liked the lipglass collection much more than I expected, but this is just outrageous.

  19. OMG, the eye look! When you say sheer, you really mean it! And yeah, they make your lid look dry… not something I’d buy.

  20. Laura

    What a shame! I have a couple of thePLW shadows from the last release and they’re great, so this is very disappointing. MAC is SO hit and miss nowadays!

  21. Mariella

    I am a real fan of the original Pro Longwear shadows that I have and was very hopeful for some great releases this time but these are easy to resist (good thing, since I’ve spent a small fortune in the past few days while on a mini-vacation). It’s really disappointing though – why does Mac undermine their own good name and good products?

    • AND MAC has an AMAZING matte formula under their belt (Matte2!) – why do they not bring that back? I think that formula could have worked well here!

      • Mariella

        Totally agree – Blanc Type and Typographic (both Matte2) are 2 of my most used shadows and yet MAC hasn’t expanded that line or done much to focus attention on it. On the Cdn Mac site, you can’t even search by the Matte2 finish, yet you can search by all other finishes.

  22. KaseyCannuck

    The majority of colors in this collection remind me of the “Cremesheen + Pearl” collection. Mlbb, mcbb (my cheeks but better), and mebb (my eyelids but better). Invisble make-up…new concept or waste of money?

  23. Sarah

    I work in health care and I thought this line was going to be very professional colors for work, but it seems like it is just a lot of shades that lack in pigmentation and quality. Just because it is pastel does not make it work appropriate.

    • Sarah

      And to be honest the e/s shades just have a dingy and powdery appearance. I would never wear a shade like that to work. The white one looks like a NYC e/s that I bought for $1, but with less pigmentation.

  24. The problem: too much talc. I had no interest in these so… money saved!

  25. I was wondering if it was just me picking out horrible MAC items, or if it was the quality of their products going severely downhill. They used to be great quality at an affordable price. I was peeved when they made the pigment jars smaller, but now I might just have to stay away from MAC. The past three purchases I have had to return(all from collections I was excited about) because I was so unhappy with the quality. MAC used to be my go-to for everything.

  26. AZSunshine

    Is it bad I’m actually glad that this collection is really bad so I can save my money for the Marylin Monroe comming out later?

    MAC isn’t going to have many people rushing to the stores to get their hands on these products.

  27. Bea

    Wow. So disappointing. What more on the blushes, Christine?

  28. Kira

    Thanks for the honest review Christine! I was waiting for you to review these before I completed an order I was making :)

  29. Michelle

    MAC is going dooooowwwnnn on the eye makeup! It’s been so long since a good eyeshadow! I hope they don’t do the same thing with their blushes and lipsticks… And I also think they should read all the comments left here lately! Because there’re a LOT of costumers who have been extremely disappointed and they keep doing the same things! I don’t get it… I agree with the Matte2 comment! They are AMAZING!!! Can you imagine a Naked Palette dupe by MAC only with the Matte2 formula? That’s my dream product!!I wish they would do the next collection with them! It would be a huge best seller…

  30. Oh my god, these sound terrible! :( It’s such a disappointment to hear that a formerly-dependable formula has been reduced to something this sheer — shame on you, MAC.

    (Christiiiine. We need you to take all of your beauty & market knowledge and put out your own line! 😛 I’d Kickstarter that project so hard.)

  31. Calle

    Does “Fahion Fix” compare with urban decay “Tease” at all??

  32. Rose

    This is a joke, right Christine? The quality of the eyeshadow as seen on your eye looks like the quality from a kids play makeup set. Shame on MAC.

  33. Amanda

    So glad I didn’t buy these. I had about 4 in my cart and decided to see your review before purchasing! The last time I bought shadows/eye products from a collection that I actually liked and continued to use were the Shop MAC, Cook MAC products. I went to the store on Electric Cool shadows and left with a refill of BRUN! Come on MAC! This is devastating! I was so excited about these coming out, and they have let me down. I didn’t bother with the last set after seeing that brown come out more like dust then Chestnut! Now these have no pigment…. I want to know HOW you can get to these from those Styledriven colors. Those were so beautiful! Well lucky for my wallet, now I can save for Marilyn Monroe. REALLY hope Marilyn Monroe isn’t a bust after all of these horrors they have produced recently.

  34. Abbi P.

    The color of these in the pan are so very pleasing to me, they’re comfortable and “pretty” :) Def a big shame on the quality because while I am willing to pay $21 for a single shadow it better be so darn amazing I can’t stand it, lol! But these really do look like other readers have stated, toy makeup, powdery and lacking pigment, it’s really obvious in the pics even if you had said nothing!

  35. Ra

    Fashion Fix reminds me of Copperplate actually.