MAC Black Diamond Big Bounce Shadow
MAC Big Bounce Shadow Review
MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a brand new product launching with MAC’s Flighty Collection (which will hit counters/stores on May 5th). I don’t have all sixteen at this time, and I will, of course, purchase the remaining shades as soon as they are available, but for now, I hope these five shades will suffice: Black Diamond (black with gold pearl), The Cool Elite (white with silver pearl), Count Your Assets (rich blue purple with multi-color pearl), Reward Yourself (bright peach coral with gold pearl), and Spread the Wealth (dirty olive with gold pearl.
Updated @ 6:00PM on 4/25: (Consider re-reading the review, as I changed up about 60% of it!) The hardest part about evaluating these new shadows is trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do (and conversely, what one shouldn’t expect them to do). After obtaining more information (see this Q&A), these are supposed to “last for hours” along with “luminescent washes that build from sheer to medium easily.”
Once you throw that little piece in, however, it really does change the efficacy of these, because they do not wear for hours on their own. I tried four of the five shades alone on the lid, and I spent three days working through them trying to find techniques that would make them work. I couldn’t find a way to make these work well all alone or as a wash. Over primer, they still creased (just less creasing than if they were applied to bare lids), but the real zinger is how quickly they crease. It’s not creasing after four, eight, twelve hours but within an hour.
To achieve the best wear alone, a brush (like the 242) seems to work the best for applying the product without sliding it all over the place. Just like with any really slippery product, you’ll want to work a little slower and pat the product on and gently smooth out the color or else it will slip and slide and result in uneven color coverage.
- Black Diamond is a dark charcoal black with teal and silver shimmer.
- The Cool Elite is a brightened white with a shimmery finish.
- Reward Yourself is a muted copper with a golden champagne shimmer-sheen.
- Count Your Assets is a cool-toned purple with silver and gray.
- Spread the Wealth is a dirty olive green with multi-colored micro-shimmer and metallic sheen.
The texture is very wet and more like a liquid than a cream or mousse–it has a watery feel, though not runny, but a bit like a gel. Initially, I tried applying it to the lid with my finger (but first getting product out with a metal spatula), but I found it did not work well to create a smooth, even layer of color. It’s so very emollient that it glides on easily, but the color slides around and looks rather messy.
The collection does promote the 242 brush (which is part of the permanent range), so I figured I’d try that, and it did work much better. I used other brushes (194, 239, 249), and the 194 and 249 didn’t work as well as the 239 and 242, so the key seems to be some fluffiness in the brush shape (as the 194 and 249 are flatter and firmer) and a patting motion.
Worn alone: I couldn’t wear the Big Bounce Shadows alone without experiencing creasing. I tried three different shades alone (Black Diamond, Reward Yourself, and Spread the Wealth), and Reward Yourself was the only one that didn’t crease immediately. Based on working with the formula for a few days, I think it’s the long dry down time that makes these difficult to wear alone. Unless you keep your eyes closed and lids perfectly taut, the product will settle into any creases while it’s drying down. The dry down time for me was about 45 seconds to a minute. Once they dry down, they do seem to hold on fairly well, but there is some shimmer fall out that occurs.
Worn over a primer: When worn over a primer but with nothing to set it on top, I still experienced creasing within the hour. I found that using it over more opaque primers like MAC Soft Ochre or Urban Decay Eden helped to avoid creasing as soon as it was applied, because the creaminess of the opaque primer helped to fill in some creases, but I still had creasing after an hour of wear.
Set with shadow: They work much better as eyeshadow bases–I had the nearly the same wear regardless of using the Big Bounce Shadow as a base or using an eyeshadow primer, then applying Big Bounce Shadow, and finally setting with eyeshadow. I would say that those with oilier lids may find that the primer, Big Bounce, and powder shadow sandwich would work better for them, as I have normal lids. After twelve hours, I noticed very slight creasing on the inner lid when used without a base, but used with a base, there was none of that slight inner lid creasing.
SET WITH POWDER. Like most cream products, to prolong wear, set with a powder product. USE A BRUSH. Fingers seem to create very uneven finishes, and it’s difficult to build up color that way–the color always seems sheer.
Pigmentation varies from shade to shade, and so does the buildability. For instance, Reward Yourself applies semi-opaque from the get-go, but Spread the Wealth needs two to three layers to achieve the same result. I found Spread the Wealth to be the most finicky shade of the five I tried, because it was difficult to apply evenly (even when using a brush!) and build up color.
The packaging is similar to Paint Pots, and the Big Bounce Shadows contain the same amount of product as Paint Pots as well (0.17 oz.). Big Bounce Shadows come with a thin, plastic insert, but I don’t know if you’d want to dispose of it, even though it is rather flimsy. The shadow does move around and lots of gets stuck to the insert, so it’s probably better to keep it than to toss it.
I just think the texture of these gives to more uneven application, and the dry down time is too long. I might consider grabbing shades that really appeal to you to use as a colored eyeshadow base, because they work well for that purpose, but with some of the texture issues, I wouldn’t necessarily feel driven to grab ’em all.
These wear well if set with powder and made to last all day (8-12 hours). Are they worth the effort? Personally, I don’t mind, because they work well enough as a colored base, which is how I would use them myself, but it’s not how I need/want them to work that plays into the actual rating but whether it works the way it’s supposed to.
At the end of the day, these seem to take more work/experimentation that most customers will want to put in. If you don’t mind some layering and really wanted to like these, buy from a retailer with a generous return policy–if they work for you, I’m a happy camper, and if they don’t, you can return.