Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of three new shades and one repromote: Lithe Spirit (palest white pink), Inner Strength (light cool mauve taupe), Fabulous Fit (mid-tone cool grey), and Heatherbelles (deep charcoal).  This is a rather cool-toned quad, more so than All Woman, with the only warmth coming from Inner Strength, which isn’t all that warm, so if you like cooler tones, you’ll be in luck with this color composition!

Lithe Spirit is a cool-toned white with a matte finish. It is listed as a satin finish, but I didn’t see much sheen in it (or any). It had good pigmentation, but it was a touch powdery. Urban Decay Venus is a touch warmer and more shimmery. MAC Vanilla is warmer.

Inner Strength is a warm peach with subtle pink undertones and a barely-there sheen, though it is listed as a matte. It had good color payoff, and it was soft to the touch. Too Faced Peach Fuzz has gold sparkle. Urban Decay Freestyle has less pink. MAC Nubile is similar in color but is a cream product.

Fabulous Fit is a light gray with blue undertones and has a matte finish. It was a bit weak on pigmentation, and it had a drier texture that made blending harder. Estee Lasuder Modern Mercury is more metallic. MAC Scene is darker. Chanel Gris Exquis is also darker. Inglot #339 is somewhat darker but closest with respect to its cool undertone.

Heather Belles is a dark gray with a mostly matte finish but there’s a touch of sheen; the sheen becomes more apparent when blended out. It has a satin finish, and the color payoff is so-so–it is a stiffer, drier shade. Urban Decay Ace is more shimmery. Guerlain Les Gris is matte. Estee Lauder Black Chrome is darker.

The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average.  It’s not impressive, and it’s not the most heinous release we’ve seen from MAC.  It’s middle-of-the-road.  The problem with this palette is in the textures, which tended to be a bit dry and stiff (in the case of Fabulous Fit and Heatherbelles).  Lithe Spirit was somewhat powdery, which can have a tendency to make such a pale color look chalky on darker complexions.  Inner Strength was the best-performing shade here, as it wasn’t so soft that it was powdery, but it wasn’t too dry or firm that you couldn’t get color payoff out of it.  The shades lasted for seven and a half hours and looked just a smidgen faded after eight hours.

The Glossover


Inner Strength

The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average. It's not impressive, and it's not the most heinous release we've seen from MAC. It's middle-of-the-road.











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MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Lithe Spirit Eyeshadow

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Fabulous Fit Eyeshadow

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Eyeshadow

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Heatherbelles Eyeshadow

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics, $40.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

See individual shade review!

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26 thoughts on “MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Dominique

    I love it even if the quality ranges from below-average to average. I just love the colours and the combinations. The combination you are wearing is really pretty I think !

  2. Nicole

    I would like to buy that quad, but when I read your review, Christine, I think I will rebuild it with permanent colors. Maybe Vanilla, Quarry / Pen’N’Pink, Copperplate and Print will do a nice permanent dupe.

  3. Cat G

    $40!! Blows my mind, there’s nothing inspiring here. Not worth any money in my book!

  4. Mo

    Does Fabulous Fit compare to MAC’s Swell Baby e/s from the Surf Baby Collection?

  5. Nice review, I was considering buying those eyeshadows, but I’m not sure they are worth the price.

  6. Laura H

    I feel so unimpressed with the mac quads lately. The last time I actually felt like shelling out the money to buy one was the Call Me Bubbles quad from Shop Mac.

  7. Mariella

    This LOOKS like it would be a perfect matte palette of neutrals. What a shame that the quality is so disappointing but this is sort of what I was talking about in an earlier discussion. It’s like MAC is shooting itself in the foot with all the poor quality products they release. Couple that with their seemingly dismissive treatment of potential customers (selling out of things almost before they launch!) and it’s as if they want to commit corporate suicide.

  8. Sophia

    Now when ever I see a quad in a collection, I know that is will be okay or just down right terrible. Mac shouldn’t even put quads in their collections if they are not worried about the quality of them.

  9. Lisa G

    MAC at it’s very best again. Below average quality quad for $40.00. Again, totally dupeable colors. Want to like it so much, but not if shadows aren’t up to par. Plus, I am so tired of the LE collections and the ridiculous “sold out” products within hours. I have to buy MAC online, because I live 2 hrs away from the nearest counter. I’ve been moving away from MAC products and investing my $’s in other equally good or better brands.

  10. Mariella

    Christine, is Heatherbelles new? I thought it came out a few years ago in a palette (6 pans, I think) with Tartan Tales.

  11. MAC has so many great permanent products, I wonder why they always insist on making those horrible quads for collections…

  12. Andrea

    I bought it yesterday and played with it later that night and I completely agree, it’s super hard to blend. Guess back to the store it goes :(

  13. Jade

    MAC have really dug their own grave these last few years. I still hold out hope that they will pull themselves together, and start delivering great collections, but even if they DID, the damage is done. Their reputation is shot. I almost hate reading the comments on MAC reviews, because I find myself wanting to defend the indefensible! I have this strange loyalty to the brand. I feel that a C rated product by MAC gets crucified more than a C rated product by another brand, and I completely understand why – everyone is completely fed up. It really makes me sad.

    • I actually felt like I was trying to make a C rating sound good, so I had to stop myself — C is not a good rating, no matter the price or the brand (to me, a C is not even worth looking at unless you are in LOVE with the color, and that color is mostly unique).

      • Jade

        Sorry, Christine, I definitely didn’t mean that I thought you crucified it unfairly! I thought you were very balanced, as you always are. I mean the online community has had enough of MAC putting out inferior product, so they have no patience or leniency, and as I said, quite rightly so!

        • Oh no, I didn’t take it that way! :) I just caught myself as I was writing that I felt like I was trying to make a C sound like a good thing, LOL! I was like, “Wait, no!”

  14. xamyx

    As I said when I saw the promo shots, these are all dupeable, even within MAC, and many of us already have several of the shadows. Just pick up an empty quad (or better yet, an empty e.l.f. quad for a buck), depot the shadows, and there you have it.

  15. R

    OK, the look you did is lovely.

    But this quad is such a snooze!

  16. Jenny

    This is a large comment, but I need to say it: MAC should stop launching like 3 collections each month and just release for example 6 collections per year, because I am tired (and I know lots of people think like me too) of so many collections coming out with lots of repromotes or even permanent products, or like in this case, eyeshadows that are really normal, nothing special or unique, and really dupable. Hey, I don´t have lots of eyeshadows (1 UD palette with 6 shadows, 4 Stila eyeshadows, 4 MAC eyeshadows, and 8 NYX single eyeshadows) and I checked now into my little collection of makeup, and I have almost exact dupes for the shadows in this quad!

    So MAC (in my opinion) should start thinking of making more permanent products, for example, in the Fluidline or Paint pots line, where there´s not a big selection of colors, and stop launching so many (boring) collections with so many repromotes or regular colors like the ones in the quads of the Strength collection. Also, I´m so totally agree with Jade comment saying that MAC have really dug their own grave these last few years, every collection is a huge dissapointment for me (sadly)

  17. Indrani

    I have to say I have this quad and I am darker toned and it looks great on me. I think it would be great on other darker toned women as well. I think that might be a first in the makeup world!