Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

Not Quite as Tempting as Touted

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades: Look at the Eyes (light violet), Stay Sultry (deep navy), Naval (navy blue), and Carbon (intense black).  It’s a limited edition palette that will launch with Taste Temptation, due for release in-stores on December 13th.

Look at the Eyes is a pale lilac with a frosted finish. It has decent color payoff, though when I used it, I really packed it on to get it to show up. It was the best performing shade out of the four. MAC Creative Whim is similar–a bit purpler. MAC Silverwear is lighter. OCC Datura is more iridescent, brighter.

Stay Sultry is a blackened purple with a bluish shimmer. It’s supposed to have a satin finish. It had a stiff, dry texture when I attempted to swatch it, and it performed similarly on the lid. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is purpler. MAC Indian Ink is also purpler, but it is similar. MAC Spellcaster is a touch redder.

Naval is an indigo blue; there’s just this purplish tint that keeps it from being as blue as it seems. It seemed even less blue when I was working with it on the eye. It looks like a matte, though it is listed as a velvet finish on the label. OCC Technoir is brighter, bluer. NARS Self Portrait 3 is lighter. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is shimmery. NARS Self Portrait 1 is more vibrant. This shade is part of the permanent (PRO) range.

Carbon is a matte black. It has sheer color payoff with a stiff, dry texture that makes blending difficult. It’s part of the permanent range, and it’s been repromoted more than a few times recently. Shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine, NARS Self Portrait 2, Milani Pitch Black, and other black eyeshadows are all similar. Matte black is a basic enough color, so it’s really about finding the texture and richness of black that you like best. Carbon is a softer black (I’d describe it as a medium black).

The best part of the quad was inviting one to use the set of four shades together. It’s a very dark set of colors, aside from the one light one, so it was interesting trying to come up with something that used all four. The best shade was Look at the Eyes, which was softer than the other three, and it proved to have the most color payoff. You might say to yourself, “But it looks pigmented in the how-to,” but since the images are static, let me tell you that in order to develop the intensity of the crease color (Naval), I put brush to pan five times. Then, three times a piece for all three shades I used on the lid (Stay Sultry, Look at the Eyes, Carbon). In comparison, for a good eyeshadow, once is usually enough.  I’ve been wearing all four eyeshadows over a primer as well as on bare lids–and you absolutely need a primer to get decent color payoff–for the past six hours, and everything looks good thus far. If I experience any fading/creasing, I’ll update the post later tonight to reflect that.

I don’t think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don’t need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow.  There’s absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.  For a similar (but these are not exact dupes!) composition by MAC with higher quality shades from their permanent range, try Beautiful Iris, Indian Ink, Atlantic Blue (for a brighter blue) or Contrast (slightly darker), and Typographic (or your preferred matte black).

The Glossover


Taste Temptation

I don't think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don't need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow. There's absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.











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MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Look at the Eyes Eyeshadow

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Stay Sultry Eyeshadow

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Naval Eyeshadow

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Carbon Eyeshadow

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics on December 6th (online), December 13th (in-stores), $40.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

See individual shade reviews! :)

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55 thoughts on “MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Lacey J.

    These colors look so pretty in the palette, but on the eye and in the swatch it is just so ugly. Sadness beans.

  2. fabiola

    Thanks for this review Christine. I won’t waste my money on this quad.

  3. Teresa

    Someone at the quality control is trolling mac, otherwise I dont understand why would they sell such a disappointing product :/
    Im seriously thinking about buying anything from mac again, they’re increasing prices every year and they keep releasing worse and worse products. Urban Decay is my go-to make up brand right now and I think it will be for a long time from now :(

    • xamyx

      I just don’t think MAC cares. They know these will fly off the shelves, regardless of quality. There are actually people who think bloggers have some sort of “axe to grind” with MAC, and deliberately give poor reviews, and tey continue to defend the products. I’m just grateful there are those willing to show swatch photos, which show the true result, so I don’t waste my time.

      As for UD shadows, I would use Blackout, Frigid, & Chaos, although I can’t think of anything off-hand for the lilac shade.

      • Teresa

        I really should thank Christine for all the money I am saving lately. My boyfriend bought me one of the Fabulousness palettes for 50€, which is quite precey for that little, d rated eyeshadows. I couldn’t believe my eves when I saw how expensive it was.

        Thank god he changed his mind and switched it for naked 2 and too faced shadow insurance (both things for only 6 euros more!) because paying 50€ for such an horrible palette would have been a total waste.

        I feel sad. I really do. I fell in love with make up thanks to products like Ruby Woo, Rebel, Vegas Volt, Pattisserie lipsticks. And for Antiqued, Sketch, Satin Taupe, Humid, Expensive Pink, shades that really stand out and are actually hard to find in any other brand. Not to mention their brushes or their former price point that actually made anyone able to buy really good quality make up without going bankrupt. It makes me feel really disappointed that MAC just does not care anymore and is putting out collections every two weeks wich have the same quality has the worse drugstore brand I could find here, and three times as expensive.

        By the moment I’ll stick to UD. Bye MAC :(

    • Vitória

      Frankly, I feel like they’re just living off of mac’s brand recognition and just don’t give a crap about quality anymore. I’m sure plenty of women out there would buy this quad just because it’s from MAC.

  4. Joanna

    I’m pretty sure there is already a MAC Pro shadow called Naval…. it’s a pro matte, so the texture and pigmentation is already much better. And my Contrast shadow is much more pigmented, too. So get the feeling of this quad with Beautiful Iris or Vellum (Pro) instead of Inside the Eyes. Substitute Contrast or Indian Ink (also pro, also gorgeous) for Stay Sultry, Naval (the Pro version) instead of whatever this quad Naval is. And just avoid Carbon in a quad (which seems much crappier than regular Carbon, which is already pretty crappy.) Christine is right, Typographic (one of the few MAC 2s left) is much, much better. With these suggestions, you will have a heck of a lot more quad fun.

    Silly MAC.

    • Joanna

      I’ll edit to add that the Pro version of Naval is actually supposed to be this Naval. But the out of quad Naval I have from before swatches much better than this one.

  5. shocking. i really don’t understand why mac continues to do this. one could only conclude that all they care about is rushing out/banking off of the next collection.

  6. Are ya’ havin’ a laugh MAC??? Unsurprising but still gobsmackingly bad… Christine summed it up in the glossover beautifully.

  7. The swatches are pitiful. I really like the look you have devised with the palette which is a type I go for, but as you mentioned; who wants to work that hard or for that long for that matter.

  8. virginiaisforluvrs

    Perhaps they should put out less collections with better quality!

  9. Kafka

    I know these step-by-step tutorials add a lot of time to composing/posting each review but they really are invaluable. Not just when a product is amazing but perhaps even more so when a product is BAD. You are so talented that your finished product photo may lead one to think, “Well, it can’t really be THAT bad. Look at how great the final look is on Christine!” But, to me, seeing the step-by-step for a product like this just serves to emphasize the points in your review. The 2nd through 4th photos in particular show the dry, stiff, patchiness in application. As you’ve noted for some products in the past, they swatch badly but actually look good and go on well. (NARS Daphne is one that you said this about.) These photos show that it’s not just the swatch on your arm that are not great.

    Bottom line, your tutorials are not just invaluable as a way to show less talented people like myself how you create your final look but, as in this case, I think it really shows & proves the overall substance of your reviews. Thank you for all the hard work, Christine!

  10. xamyx

    I really love the idea of this quad, but I can pretty much “recreate” this with what I already have, and with a much better result.

  11. Laurence

    There really is no reason for MAC to be putting out products this crummy, partiularly with the increses in their prices across the board, at least here (Europe).They have enough money that research and development of at least more than passable products shouldn’t be an issue for them.
    Having said that I am looking forward to trying this collection out in person!

  12. Vitória

    Thanks for the honest review. The swatches and the look you barely managed to put together speak for themselves… I’m pretty sick of MAC’s latest offerings, I feel like I often need to screw up my brushes AND eyelids just to get a little bit of color on – and I’m pale as a ghost!

  13. MAC used to be my favorite brand, now I just roll my eyes at whatever limited edition products they come up with. :(

  14. Well…it looks pretty enough on the eyes, but those swatches are pathetic. It’s a shame that the MAC duds are seemingly becoming more and more frequent :/

  15. Mirian

    why is carbon constantly terrible lately? i thought it was supposed to be more pigmented. i would be so mad if i had to work that hard to get any color payoff. you did us all a favor with this review.

  16. I just truly do not understand why MAC doesn’t realize that they can’t keep putting out products like this without driving away customers. Imagine how bad you’d feel if you didn’t read any reviews and you actually wasted your hard-earned money on this.

  17. I’m glad that I only planned on picking up the lipsticks, glosses, and blush from this collection because those swatches are so disappointing! I dont know WHAT is going on over at MAC with the eyeshadow but they have really been dropping the ball lately.

  18. Z

    At this point MAC limited edition collections are resembling the cheap chinese bullshit I find at my local knock-off stores. Worse, actually.

  19. kari

    wow that’s so horrible 😐

  20. Lisa

    I was a huge fan of MAC years ago when the makeup bug 1st hit me since getting back into makeup last year, I’ve found other brands that are far superior to MAC. MAC is constantly putting out collections and this in my opinion brings down the value and quality that they once had. They know they can get collectors to purchase it regardless of how good the collection really is….sad.

  21. Cami

    Wow these are pretty disappointing, the color payoff is horrible. I hope the Passionately Tempted blush in this collection is a lot more pigmented. Do you know if you’ll be getting the rest of the collection so you can do a review and swatches for it?

    • Hi Cami,

      I will purchase the other items when I am able to purchase them online (sorry, the nearest Macy’s is quite a trek and I don’t even do Black Friday 12am kind of shopping, lol! Not even for Temptalia!).

      • Cami

        I don’t blame you, Black Friday shopping is dangerous anyway! Thanks for responding, I’ll be looking forward to the rest of the Taste Temptation collection review. I want that blush!

        Happy Thanksgiving :)

  22. Mariella

    Carbon AGAIN? (they seem to trot it out in some LE palette about once a month!). Distressing that MAC is releasing products that are so mediocre that they earn D rating. No wonder so many of us are moving to brands like BareMinerals, Urban Decay, Tarina Tarantino and Stila, to name just a few….

    • Some of the holiday products are nice but their LE eyeshadows in a standard pan have been lacking for the past 2 years. You wonder how they could EVEN say this was good enough to sell and passed testing. >_<

      I really loved the Extra Dimension eyeshadows but again that was a trickle down from Estee Lauder and made in Italy. 😉

  23. Renee

    I told you that you’d hate it.

  24. Ashley Seme

    I love your photo collage of the “how to” to create this look! Very helpful and concise!

  25. YellowLantern

    While this palette has many flaws your eye look is absolutely flaw free. This is my favorite eye look you’ve done with a how to so far. It’s sad that at this point it surprises me whenever these premade palettes from MAC actually have decent quality. I now just expect MAC palettes to be horrible unless told otherwise.

  26. Alexandra

    This makes me glad that I never jumped onto the MAC bandwagon. Sorry, but why does a brand so popular keep getting consistently poor reviews? I only have 2 MAC products, a mineralize blush and a Dazzleglass and I rarely use either. There are much better quality products out there, many of which at a fraction of the price of MAC products.

  27. Veronica

    I’ve been looking for a cool-toned purple quad for a long time. It depresses me that this is the second time I’ve seen MAC release something close to what I want and have it turn out to be a dud. :(

  28. Denise

    I love the look you did with this less than spectacular palette! I’m going to copy it using other eyeshadows.

  29. MichelleChefNYC

    I find myself more and more disgusted with MAC… every release seems to be an epic fail designed to attract business by putting out large collections without any quality… I haven’t purchased a thing from MAC in ages and have moved on to more expensive brands that have more consistent quality… I mean, wet and wild can put out pigmented palettes for a fraction of the cost of this! And MAC’s prices have only gone up! I used to be excited by their creative collaborations and unique collection themes… but the quality of the product has to play a part, what happened MAC?????

  30. Melody

    Wow, that is pretty horrible. I tend to have success even with some of the less popular mac quads but this is just a straight up no.

  31. Jasmine

    That’s disappointing, especially since the colors are so pretty. Even the product quality of some drugstore brands are better and more consistent than some of the products MAC has been releasing. Wet n’ Wild has a couple of 8-shadow palettes that would give you a better range of blue & purple colors and better application while only costing about $10 all together.

  32. Dominique

    Very cheap, I will not purchase this quad and I’ll skip the whole collection.

  33. It’s a shame about the quality ofthe eyeshadows, because I love the colors. I’ll definitely try your other suggestions. :)

  34. Kris (kmk05)

    Haha! No. I was actually really looking forward to this, particularly because I don’t have any purple/blue/lilac combos. I think I’ll check out the ones you mentioned, Christine, to maybe recreate a similar quad.

    By the way, have you seen the new Burberry quads? They’re to DIE for!

  35. Lauren

    Your look is lovely but those swatches are terrible. I can’t stand shadows that aren’t pigmented enough. I don’t really do drugstore shadows – I know there are great ones, but I hate the cheapie packaging that breaks really quickly. I’d rather pay more for a product that will list a long time. However, there are so many great products at the same or similar price points that are FAR better than what we’re seeing from Mac. I still buy the occasional Mac single, but only for permanent collection colors that are tried and true. I’ll shell out $15 for Satin Taupe but there’s no way I’d pay $10 or $5 for a palette with that type of pigmentation, let alone $40. For $36, you can get 6 colors of high quality shadows from Urban Decay in their Fun/Dangerous/Feminine palettes or for $8 more you can get the Smoked palette with 10 high quality shadows. For $36 you can get 9 shadows from Too Faced that are much more pigmented. For $36 you can get 6 Smashbox shadows too that all swatch better than that.

  36. furandlace

    LMAO…or you could pay an additional $19 and get a phenomenal quad from Burberry. Tough choice? Not really.

  37. I’m sure there’s a pigmented dupe for LatE SOMEWHERE and I WILL FIND IT, GDIT.

    read: I really like it but jeeeeeesus.

  38. Andrea

    Wow, those swatches photos unfolded like a nightmare! There really is just NO excuse for a brand like MAC to release such crappy quality products.

  39. Sagehen

    Thank you for saving me from this mess of a palette. I don’t know what happens to the quality of MAC’s shadows when they put them into a pre-made palette. I will be skipping this one.I feel sorry for anyone who sits in the Macy’s parking lot at midnight tomorrow night trying to get this.

  40. jenn

    argh the look has so much potential but the quality totally undermines that.

  41. Allie

    Meh. The quality (or lack thereof) is off-putting, and I find this quad pretty basic color-wise. Also, Carbon. >.>

  42. Wow, thanks for showing how to put them. The finished look is absolutely stunning. It sucks how it’s too expensive for its quality. :(

  43. Stephanie t-p

    This is such a shame especially since owning naval (pro) and carbon and having those products be perfect. In my opinion it doesn’t make sense to have such crappy payoff especially when two eyeshadows in the quad are permeate colors…