Friday, June 24th, 2011

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) includes twelve, limited edition shades: Blue Sheen (melange of navy, black, peach), Clarity (melange of light pink, off-white green, gold, and black), Dark Indulgence (melange of forest green and black), Faux Gold (melange of coral, gold, lime, bronze), Golden Gaze (melange of gold and black), Hint of Sapphire (melange of pink, violet, teal, copper, blue), Jade’s Fortune (melange of bright yellow, blue, lime, black), Mineral Mode (melange of white base with copper and gray), Quartz Fusion (melange of soft pink, silver, deep pink), Rare Find (melange of violet, brown, gold), Smoked Ruby (melange of burgundy and black), and Unsurpassable (melange of green, teal, purple, and copper). This post features Blue Sheen, Clarity, Golden Gaze, and Hint of Sapphire. I will post Jade’s Fortune, Mineral Mode, Rare Find, Smoked Ruby, and Unsurpassable in the next post. I do not currently have Dark Indulgence, Faux Gold, or Quartz Fusion, and I will post those when I am able to purchase them.

  • Blue Sheen is a blackened navy blue with a blue and violet sheen when applied dry, and it takes on a much bolder, brighter midnight blue with a slightly metallic sheen when applied wet. This is the kind of blue MAC has released several times in the past. It is very comparable to Inglot #428 and Make Up For Ever #308, while it is deeper than MAC Deep Truth. Make Up For Ever #81 is very similar to the dry swatch. It is deeper and has a richer blue than MAC Blue Flame or MAC She Who Dares.
  • Clarity is a barely-there green-tinged gray with flecks of green and gold shimmer-sparkle when applied dry. It’s not very useful when applied dry–there is just so little color payoff. When applied wet, it’s a deeper charcoal gray with green and gold shimmer and slightly metallic sheen. The most comparable shade I could think of was Inglot #444, but it’s browner and has no real green shimmer/sparkle.
  • Golden Gaze is a dark, molten gold with a black base peeking through. It’s very similar in color whether used dry or wet, and when used dry, it still has fantastic color payoff. It tends to bind better and therefore have a smoother, more metallic sheen when applied wet. Urban Decay Rush is a little bronzer, less gold. I saw some readers mention Giorgio Armani Khaki Pulse, but this is nothing like it. It has some of the same qualities as Make Up For Ever #148, but it is deeper, darker, richer. This is one of the standout shades of the nine I’ve seen. It’s most comparable to MAC Gilt by Association, but it has a stronger gold sheen and a much smoother texture.
  • Hint of Sapphire is a sheer purple-casted gray with multi-colored flecks of shimmer when used dry. Like Clarity, there really isn’t much to it when used dry. When applied wet, it is a deeper silvered gray with a purple cast and teal and copper shimmer. I found it applied a bit unevenly, though. It’s a darker version of the purple side of MAC Midnight Madness, while MAC Polar Opposites is less silvery but rather similar in color. Inglot #434 is very similar, without the multi-colored shimmer, while Giorgio Armani #1 does it better with more dimension that actually translates on the eye (and far better color payoff).

Every year, I fall prey to mineralize eyeshadows. Truly, I do. They always look spectacular in their pots, but I’m nearly always disappointed with the actual end results. I wish I could say I was really impressed by these, but overall, they’re decent to good, but they’re not the best eyeshadow I’ve ever used. Whenever I use mineralize eyeshadows wet, they do dry down to a color that’s in-between the dry and wet swatches. The majority do not retain the dimension, color payoff, or finish of the wet swatch after an hour or two. It’s not like the go from hero to zero, but it’s not quite the same.

I did two separate eye looks so I could test more eyeshadows within the same time span. I wore Jade’s Fortune, Golden Gaze, and Smoked Ruby on one eye with Hint of Sapphire and Blue Sheen on the other eye. After three hours, everything looked a little faded, with Hint of Sapphire being the biggest culprit. I also had a fair amount of fall out, and for me, the fall out was more annoying than the fading. The fading was noticeable to me, but it wasn’t over-the-top and it didn’t get much worse by the eighth hour.  One possible method to combat some of the fall out of these is to use a stickier base (I used Urban Decay’s Eden) or when using them wet, wet with MAC’s Mixing Medium.

With mineralize eyeshadows, I think it’s appropriate to expect that color payoff will tend to be sheerer/softer and overall less intense compared to when they are used wet or damp.  (On the other hand, the majority of MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows have decent color payoff when used dry.)  However, Clarity and Hint of Sapphire are barely showing up when used dry.  Over an eyeshadow base, Hint of Sapphire came together a little better but still needed to be packed on.  On pigmentation, Clarity would earn 4 and 10 (dry/wet), so an average of 7, while Hint of Sapphire would earn 4 and 7.5 (dry/wet), so an average of 5.75.  Both Blue Sheen and Golden Gaze would earn 10s across the board, which ends up with an average for the four at 8.2, which I rounded up to 8.5, because two of these are exceptionally well-pigmented.  I chose to round-up because these are on the edge of C+/B- as an overall rating, and I don’t think these are bad enough to earn a C+.

MAC continues to improve the overall formula of their mineralize eyeshadows each year, and I think picking up some of the more exceptional/complex shades may be worth it, these don’t out-perform your regular pressed powder eyeshadows to make the price tag for “baked” worth it.  I found the majority of these to be too marbled to use shades individually, so I only used them mixed.

The Glossover


MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

Of these four, Blue Sheen and Golden Gaze are the best bets; Blue Sheen is more easily duped, while Golden Gaze may be harder--it also seems a little more complex. As much as I like the concept of Hint of Sapphire, I find it one of the worst in terms of quality. Clarity at least works when used wet.











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MAC Blue Sheen Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Blue Sheen Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Blue Sheen Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Blue Sheen Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Blue Sheen Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Clarity Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Clarity Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Clarity Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Clarity Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Clarity Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Gaze Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Gaze Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Gaze Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Gaze Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Gaze Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Hint of Sapphire Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Hint of Sapphire Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Hint of Sapphire Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Hint of Sapphire Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Hint of Sapphire Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow

Jade’s Fortune on inner lid, Golden Gaze on middle of lid, Smoked Ruby on outer lid/crease

Jade’s Fortune on inner lid, Golden Gaze on middle of lid, Smoked Ruby on outer lid/crease after 3 hours

Hint of Sapphire on inner half, Blue Sheen on outer half/crease —
Hint of Sapphire had already disappeared just by trying to blend out the color!

Hint of Sapphire on inner half, Blue Sheen on outer half/crease

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase this? How much is it?

The collection will be available in-stores on July 7th, and it will be online approximately July 5th (but possibly delayed because of the July 4th holiday), $20.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

See individual shade reviews. Don't forget -- you can compare products using The Swatch Gallery!

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76 thoughts on “MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

  1. SOOOOOO BUMMED! I was excited about these… *sigh* Thanks Christine… *cries*

  2. Martine

    Hint of Sapphire looks really cool in the pot but swatched it is really disappointing.

  3. Kristen

    Blue Sheen looks gorgeous, but I am going to be strong and pass on all of these! I know I will never have time in the morning to dink around with wetting eyeshadows.

  4. nmnikki

    most of them are pretty, though, hint of sapphire…wow…what was mac thinking?

  5. Mariella

    I am loving Golden Glaze. I have Gilt by Association and really like it so chances are I will totally love this. And to my surprise, I’m really loving the look of Smoked Ruby (usually I have no interest in anything that has even a hint of red in its name but this looks amazing). I think I may have to stop coming to this site – it’s really feeding my addiction!

  6. alicia

    these are disappointing. blue sheen looks amazing, but i don’t think it’s worth it. thanks for saving me some bucks!

  7. Carrie Ann

    Clarity and Hint of Sapphire sure look cool in the pan.

  8. Rae


    These look absolutely breathtaking in the pans – and your Jade’s Fortune/Golden Gaze/Smoked Ruby look? Gorgeous. But… fallout and fading? :s *Frantic and spastic hand gestures*

  9. hannah

    They are just SO pretty in the pan. I adore Hint of Sapphire, it’s such a shame it just doesn’t transfer in the actual shadows.

  10. Laia

    Golden Gaze is MINE!!! <3

  11. Lauren

    Thanks so much for the swatches, Christine! And you’re a lifesaver by providing dupes for these, especially the Inglot one. Most of the ones that I like from this collection seem to perform the worst, so it looks like I’ll be trying Inglot soon :)

  12. Stefani

    I have always wondered how they make those swirls and stuff in powder products. Do they start out softer and then dry?… You were at MAC…. did you see how they did that lol?

    • Hey Stefani,

      I believe the MSFs are made overseas – not all manufacturing plants make the same products. The MSFs are baked, so they aren’t dry initially :)

  13. nez

    Oh wow, that Hint of sapphire looks really bad dry swatched and on the lid. Loving Golden Glaze though!

  14. Brie

    Well that’s sort of disappointing…I pre-ordered six of them 😛 I really hope that over one of my Paint Pots that these babies will perform better!

  15. Lulee

    hey christine… thanks for the swatches.
    can you think of any shadow that is a dupe to ONLY the blue portions of blue sheen? like a super vibrant royal cobalty blue?

  16. Bethy

    These swatches irritate me. Not because they are of low quality (of course they aren’t) but because it makes me quite unhappy to compare the actual swatch to how beautiful the shadow looks in the pan. Disappointing! Blue Sheen is the only shadow in this collection that *might* make it into my collection.

  17. Amanda Dubs

    Blue sheen is pretty bur that’s about it haha

  18. Melissa

    The “Blue Sheen” is unbelievably pretty! I can’t believe they faded that much even with you using “Eden” as primer.

  19. Maureen

    The really rich ones are very cool, but I would NEVER wear them… and they look so ugly in the pot to me. D:

  20. oshin

    The product in the pan looks absolutely gorgeous, like an art work. I love your close-up pictures, Christine.

  21. Maryel

    Really like the first Look you did

  22. Jilliterate

    Only Smoked Ruby really impresses me, and I totally agree with what you said about mineral eyeshadows. They always look great in the pan, but I have yet to encounter a single one that hasn’t disappointed me. It’s a shame too — the theme of this collection really felt like a chance for MAC to come out with some brilliant, rich, hyper-pigmented colours, instead of some duds. Honestly, even the promo images of the lip products from the Glameglass collection suit “Semi-precious” more than the actual Semi-Precious lips, which seem nice but kind of generic.

  23. Roze

    oh boo, I was hoping I would love this :c I do, however, love Blue Sheen. I would love to use it for my theater makeup!

  24. Mo

    Blue Sheen, Golden Gaze and Smoked Ruby are calling my freakin name!!!!!! AAGGHHH!!!

  25. Serena

    Could you do a tutorial on how to use these wet? I have never tried using powdered eyeshadow wet and it sounds scary to me. lol.

  26. Josiane

    hint of saphire is so awful!

  27. Pamela M

    So over these dang mineralize shadows. Blah. Thanks Christine for your hard work!

  28. Chelle

    HAH. I knew it! I knew these would end up looking like crap when they were mixed/swatched. Glad I didn’t plan to spend any money on this collection.

    The blue and red ones are about the only I would consider purchasing at this point.

  29. Sydney

    Darn. I was so excited about these, and now I’m kinda bummed. I really loved the look of Clarity, but it really dissapointed me.

  30. Sara

    I keep coming back to look at these swatches hoping that I somehow just happened to look past one that I would purchase but it doesn’t change. I probably won’t be purchasing any of these eyeshadows :( super disappointing. My wallet will be happy though. Haha maybe I’ll get my first msf instead??

  31. mari

    this is so depressing :( :( gahhhhhh I just drool over your closeups and then…a bucket of ice when you see the swatch lol, dang

  32. Krista

    The Golden Glaze+Clarity combination is to die for! But I think I’d substitute the black for a golden coppery brown for an everyday look. :)

  33. divinem (Melissa)

    Like you, I’ve fallen prey to MES starting with Young Punk. I’ve never been satisfied. Not going there with them again. Why purchase something just because it’s gorgeous in the pan but disappoints in application? Not this time, MAC.

    • Every year, I have artists and others tell me how great they are, how much dimension and depth they have, but I don’t see it overall – there are a couple here and there that are worth trying, but by and large, as nuanced as they appear in the pot, possibly swatched, you can’t REALLY see it when you put it on your eyes.

  34. Laura

    Golden Gaze is GORGEOUS!

  35. rowan

    they look like little works of art, but the swatches are disappointing. blue sheen is pretty but NARS make a similar shade that’s better…

  36. Thanks Christine, is Golden gaze anything like Illamasqua pigment ore?

    I will get blue sheen and smoked ruby and maybe a msf. I like rose quartz.

  37. Is Golden Gaze similar in person to Gaelic Gold from the Rockers and Reelers Palette in the Tartan Tale Collection? That is my favorite shade and I’m bummed it’s limited edition!

  38. Tina

    blue sheen looks incredible!

  39. Heidi

    Eek, terrible! I was excited about this collection, especially the eyeshadows but I think I will be passing them up. Thanks for your honest reviews and photos!

    • I fall victim to these EVERY YEAR. WITHOUT FAIL. I tell you, even if I wasn’t a beauty blogger, I would STILL end up buying a couple because of how cool they look. I do it every time they launch these!

  40. Selenite

    Well, Blue Sheen looks interesting but you helpfully swatched a Milani baked shadow earlier that looks similar.

  41. Rachel

    omg these could not be more goregeous

  42. divinem (Melissa)

    After reading all these comments, I’m thinking MAC should have mass-produced “Jealousy Wakes”. They’d have made a killing. Instead, they’ll be stuck with overstock of disappointing MES. Se la vive.

  43. jilian

    blue sheen, golden glaze are DEFINITELY ON MY LIST!! thank you for swatching, i’m so excited

  44. Bree

    Blue Sheen l@@ks very similar if not exactly like the blue side of She Who Dares MES that mac released with the Venomous Villians….faux gold is what I was l@@kn forward to…mac L/S in this collex shouldn’t have been lustre oh well lookn forward to the blushes & 1 MSF(maybe) & the brushes!!!

  45. Mindy

    the golden gaze swatch looks really similar to old gold pigment.

    blue sheen is absolutely gorgeous tho!

  46. OMG I have to have these they are gorgeous

  47. mumtaza

    @lulee: radium from urban decay

  48. Agatha

    these look beautiful in the pot but yay I’m happy to hear they are sub par the best. PASS! Way over priced

  49. Jesica

    How disappointing was this collection. The colors are so great in the pots and then… get smacked for thinking that it was going to live up to the hype. Out of all 6 million pieces of this collection, I will only be purchasing 1 eyeshadow. Why not make quality shades and come out with a collection every 2 months rather than have a skeptical collection every couple weeks. It’s no reason that we should have to wait on Christine to swatch to see if it’s even worth our time. MAC, as money as they get from fanatics like myself, should be doing a lot better than this.


  51. I swatched Golden Gaze today at the MAC counter and it’s a gorgeous, rich, complex color. I’m looking forward to buying it!

  52. Chrissy

    I’m kind of glad that these aren’t amazing. I just spent a ton of money on the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense shadows and I was worried about having to spend more on these. I was really interested in Clarity and Golden Gaze. Clarity looks so unique. I’ll just go to the MAC counter and swatch them myself and see if I like them. Most likely, I think I will pass on these.

    • If you are a big MES fan, picking up a couple might be worth it, but if you’ve found them to fade on you before, I still had those same problems, and at $20 a pop, I don’t think I should have to sacrifice wear!

  53. Christine O

    So happy I can come here and check before laying my money on the counter. The one ES I was most interested in seems to have the worse payoff. Thanks for saving me another $20 Christine :o)

  54. E

    Clarity looks much better in person! Rainbow sparkles!

    • Sem

      I actually love clarity, but these swatches look awfull. This version of clarity is much darker than mine! mine looks like an pretty glittery mint-green and I’m so happy with that!

  55. MZahra

    GORGEOUS on you!

  56. taylor

    omg are you wearing contacts your eyes look like cheetah print that is extreme beautiful

  57. Jen

    I know some of these colors are sheer, as other mineralize shadows have been, but you just have to know how to use them. You need a sticky base–like TooFaced Second Base–not a dry one like shadow insurance. Secondly, you need to pack on the color–and for that I use a good old-fashioned foam tipped shadow applicator. If you do this, you WILL get an incredible result from colors like Clarity. I agree that blending out some of the chunkier shades will just wipe the out but I love a color like clarity with its complex shimmer and flashes of color, on the lid with a darker crease color.

  58. Im so jealous of your Version of Hint of Sapphire! The Colour of mine does look more like Dandizette…

  59. Adele Bradley

    I need a dupe Faux gold and Golden gaze in my life.