Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a purple-themed palette with a cooler tone overall.  It’s one of the more pigmented palettes of the four released for the holidays.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Silverwear (metallic lavender), Hold My Gaze (medium grey), To the Ball (dusty lavender), Magic Moor (purple grape), Altered State (blackened plum), and
Heather Belles (dark charcoal).

  • Silverwear is a silvery white with lots of frost in its finish. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in 2007 with the holiday palettes. Digit looks a bit similar, but it has a more obvious violet tinge to it.
  • Hold My Gaze is a grayed khaki green with soft copper sparkle. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. This is a shade that doesn’t bring to mind any dupes, but it seemed less pigmented compared to last year’s. (You can also check out a look I did with it here.)
  • To the Ball is a grayed purple. It has a satin finish. It’s similar to Poison Pen, which was discontinued in the past year or so, but it swatches really nicely–pigmented and smooth and buttery–just lighter and more muted. Also a more muted, grayer version of Purple Haze.
  • Altered State is a medium-dark grape purple with violet sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. It had good pigmentation, and it went on smoothly. It’s not quite as soft as most veluxe pearls, though. It’s’ similar to Satellite Dreams, which is a bit brighter and lighter.
  • Magic Moor is a nicely pigmented blackened plum. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it has the same buttery consistency and stays true to the finish. I can’t think of a great MAC dupe for it, but it reminded me of a similar shade in Chanel’s Enigma Palette.
  • Heather Belles is a darkened charcoal gray. It has a satin finish, and it’s a little hard to work with. It takes a bit of layering to get decent color pay off, and it’s not as smooth as the majority of MAC eyeshadows are. It’s like a sheerer version of Print.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

This palette is a bit similar to last year’s cool-toned, purple-dominant Sorceress palette (it actually shares two exact shades: Hold My Gaze, Altered State).  Overall, the pigmentation is decent throughout the palette, with the only real disappointment being Heather Belles.  I do wish Hold My Gaze was as pigmented as it was last year, because it does seem to vary, and I’m not a fan of inconsistency!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a look if you dig purples! It doesn’t suffer from lack of pigmentation like Dashing Lassies and Twists of Tartan.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
Top row:  Silerwear, Hold My Gaze, to the Ball; Bottom Row: Magic Moor, Altered State, Heather Belles

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
Left to right, top to bottom:  To the Ball, Heather Belles; Hold My Gaze, Altered State;  Silverwear, Magic Moor

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
Silverwear, Hold My Gaze, To the Ball

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
Magic Moor, Altered State, Heather Belles

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I buy the Eyeshadow Palette? How much is it?

It will be available at MAC stores/counters on October 28th, online at maccosmetics.com on approximately October 26th. $36.00.

When are you going to review [fill in the blank]?

I will review the face kits, lip bag sets, and a brush set today (10/25). I will review the eyeshadow and lip palettes tomorrow (10/26). I will review the color collection either tomorrow or the next day (10/26 or 10/27). I will review the miniaturized sets nearer to the launch date, as I haven't been able to buy them yet. I work as fast as I can, but the process takes time between photographing and cropping and reviewing. I appreciate your patience! I'm completely committed to school projects this week (midterms), so I'm doing everything as quickly as I can between those.

Any dupes?

Please see individual shade listings for potential dupes.

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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36 thoughts on “MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Ani_BEE

    Just an FYI you can order these Tartan Tale items now if you do a search on the maccosmetics.com site. ^_^

    • cmferrets

      i wishe they came out with hold my gaze and altered states by their selves. i dont understand why the pigmentation is diff in the hold my gaze e/s from the one from last year. that doesnt make sense?

  2. Sam

    This was the only one I had my eye on. It looks really nice. I just wish they had a larger selection of purple shades.

  3. Hilary♥

    I LOVE this palette!! Good to hear the colors don’t lack of pigmentations =) I think this could be a good purchase for me as I have blonde hair and brown eyes and purple suits me pretty well.

  4. Sam

    Yes. The color collection and part 1 of the Tartan collection is now launched online. Enjoy!!

  5. Ashlee

    I actually really like it. I’m probably the only person in love with muted purples.

  6. The only reason I’m interested in this is “Hold My Gaze” which I missed last year because I didn’t want to buy a palette for one shadow. Now I’m bummed that it’s less pigmented than it was last year.

    Which leads me to wonder how the holiday collection is manufactured. When I swatched the neutral holiday palette, for example, the shadows were ULTRA pigmented and smooth – but looking at your swatches, I can SEE that it’s not – Those don’t seem like the same shadows I looked at.

    Makes me wonder if these gift sets suffer from a lack of quality control and consistancy like the brush sets do (I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if they did). I wonder if these palettes come from the same places as their regular products?

    • I wish I had that palette! I felt like I had to really pile it on, digging off the top layer to try and see if underneath was smoother/more pigmented. I hate wasting $36, and I couldn’t believe how much trouble I had getting it to swatch!

      I remember when I first started buying MAC, I LOVED the holiday palettes. Loved them! But there seems to be less consistency or quality in the past couple of years.

      • Just checked and the holiday palettes are apparently made in China (like the holiday brush sets). So different manufacturing facilities probably yeild different results. Normally their stuff is made in Canada, Germany, etc.

        I ALSO found out exactly WHY the holiday brush sets aren’t as good. Aside from the hand made vs machine made…

        Apparently the regular brush sets use the entire hair (meaning the soft, somewhat pointed end as well) – The hair bundles are placed in a mold to shape them in place, then secured to the brush handle. The holiday brushes on the other hand are made by taking a bundle of hairs and then CUTTING them into shape – So you get a more blunt edge (meaning more scratchy) and the shape isn’t as precise. Interesting stuff.

    • nayeli

      if u have a cco near you, you should check it out for last years eyeshadow palettes, this one reminds me of the sorceress one from last year

  7. Lilly

    This is the palette I bought at the launch event last week! I hope Christine will do a look using this palette (fingers cross, lol).

  8. baby in a corner

    to me those colours are so so similar! On the eyes they would all blend into one me thinks!

    BTW tartan is not irish – its scottish! Just watched an american tv show where they were playing the bagpipes and wearing kilts for st patrick’s day! Cringe! (not directing this at anyone in particular – just a general comment!)

    • Michelle

      The Irish do wear kilts also. The kilt is traditional to the British Isles — so for both the Irish and Scotts. The tartan depends on the clan — and a clan isn’t unique to Scotland.

      • It’s more commonly known as the Scottish national dress (soldiers even wore it), I’ve never seen an Irish man wearing a kilt, but I have seen many Scots, especially at weddings and other formal occasions. I *think* the Irish tartan is dependant on areas of Ireland, not sure it’s clan based.

        It didn’t originate in Scotland either 😉

  9. Jennifer

    Still can’t get over how they changed the holiday palettes. The old ones allowed for more elegance and creativity in the design, imo.

  10. Courtney

    I kinda like these colors, especially since they’re coordinated for me (I’m terrible with color coordination), but I’m not sure that it’s worth my money if I’m not going to use it much.

  11. Perri

    I sort of like this but it seems so light :/ it reminds me a lot of the palette I used up from last year. Maybe I will get this…

  12. Sally

    Wow, I’ve got to say I’m super disappointed with basically all of TT so far! This is really a bummer.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m becoming less and less entranced with MAC lately. Brands like UD and Too Faced have great holiday kits at such a better value, and I think the quality is much better, too!

    • Leah

      I absolutely agree with this. Poor quality shadows, boring packaging and uninspired color collections… on the bright side, this means that I’ll have a bit more money in my wallet come Christmas : )

  13. Maya

    I have the Sorceress palette so I will skip this one, althouth I really want the “to the ball” eyeshadow. I d’ont think it is similar to poison pen, I have it and it is much darker and more purple.

  14. Carrie Ann

    This one looks gorgeous. It seems like the must-have of the eyeshadow palettes.

  15. Rae


    Maybe it’s just my monitor, but Hold My Gaze looks… really weird. I guess I’ll just have to check it out in person! 😛 As always, thanks for the swatches + review, Christine! (Have I ever mentioned that I ADORE how darn helpful you are when it comes to creating – or squashing- lemmings? Honestly; awesome.)

  16. Chrissie

    you had me at Chanel enigma dupe lol. I was going to buy Chanel enigma originally butin Canada it’s the round pan version so the pigmentation was ZERO. I could barely see anything when swatched and couldn’t distinguish between the colours – I was so disappointed because I had wanted it soo badly!

  17. Oooh thanks for the review. I was waiting to see swatches of this palette. It seems to contain the more universally flattering colors of the collection. Some of the color groupings this time around have nice shades, but I would never wear them all together. This one looks very pretty and mild though.

  18. Erin Louise

    Hi Christine,
    How does “To the Ball” compare with MAC Dovefeather e/s?

  19. Dana

    I think this palette would look great on people with fair complexions.

  20. vickie

    i really wanted to get this palette since i have nothing in my collection like these colors but the pigmentation isnt the greatest. i might swatch it in store and see cause i really do love the colors on this palette lol.

  21. Lindy

    I bought the sorceress kit from last year’s holiday collection and find this one to be too similar to bother. I would love to see Hold My Gaze come out as an individual Eyeshadow though! And it does look less pigmented than it did last year. I’m saving my money. I too am not particularly impressed with the TT collection.

  22. Val

    I love love love this palette! I am crazy about purple eyeshadows and this palette is great, it makes a great smokey eye. I bought 2 extras…haha

  23. Riri

    I swatched this today and the pigmentation of the darker colours was very bad, they were hardly visible on my hand and on my skin the two lightest colours looked identical. I planned to buy this palette but I think I’ll let it pass.

  24. Laura

    I just got this and I’m so disappointed. I don’t know if I got a dud or something but the pigmentation is awful, especially on Altered State and Magic Moor. My brushes just seem to swipe over them and I can’t get them to show up AT ALL :(

  25. Eileen

    Went to Mac today and got this palette because I love the packaging, I don’t have any dupes and above all these are colours that I’ll actually wear.

  26. Shu

    I went to MAC and these palletes are soo small!! with teeny squares of the eyeshadow lol. i didnt expect them to be so tiny