Friday, July 25th, 2008

I have a large amount of MAC products. I fully admit to my addiction, and I enjoy it to the fullest. Makeup is not just a hobby, but it is actually a job (you know, the blog, is now a semi-career that I’m carving out for myself) that I love and enjoy. Needless to say, to function as an addict, I no doubt need to have an insane-crazy-OMG! kind of amount of makeup. I’ve loved MAC since February 2005, just before Madame B launched. I bought every single shadow from that launch, which was twice as many shadows as I had originally (Amber Lights, Bronze, Goldmine).

The beginning of my love affair with MAC began with the multitude of beautiful, pigmented products; both eyeshadows and pigments had stolen my heart. I had never been into makeup prior to MAC; I didn’t even know what blending was when I started crushing on the brand! I was eighteen, and makeup appealed to me on an entirely new level. MAC does something no other brand had done to me: it caught me, and it caught me good.

There is something about the folks over at marketing that just know how to draw you into the store and give you something that keeps you coming back. I find so many are quick to fall for the brand once they’ve stopped in or bought a few products. I personally feel that a lot of it is their price point, which falls above drugstore, but still below the majority of high end brands (like NARS and Urban Decay). You can get the wonderful experience of talking to artists and playing with products before you purchase them, which you can’t get at most drugstores, but the prices aren’t outrageous (obviously, in comparison). But anyway, they had me hook, line, and sinker from the get-go.

This post is ultimately photographs of my eyeshadow collection, which I keep in 15-pan palettes. I do have a few pre-made quads as well as my staple smoky eye quad (containing Carbon, Casablanca, Ricepaper, and Vex) that are not photographed. I recently depotted 34 eyeshadows (and I need to do some blushes, too), so I had to rearrange my palettes and thought now would be a great time to take photos!

Here are a few answers to questions I’m sure plenty of you have:

  • How long? I’ve been buying since February 2005–that’s over three years of “collecting” so-to-speak. I didn’t get this much overnight!
  • Do you buy everything? No, no, no. If I did, I would have four or five times as much, not to mention I would be homeless! Over the years, I have swapped away shadows and products, so this has been very much an evolving collection. I never buy for the sake of buying; I buy what I like, and at this point, I do try to avoid getting 10,000 dupes of the same color (aka Deep Truth and its many, many variations).
  • Is this the biggest collection? NO! There are dozens of people who have posted photos of what they own, and what I own pales in comparison. I have a decent amount, but many have much, much more.
  • Why palettes? When I do a look, I like to open up a palette with a color family in mind, e.g. green, and then I can look at all the greens and pick what I think will work the best. I find this makes what I own much more accessible, in comparison to keeping shadows in their pots. I also find that this presents a much easier storage solution that takes up less room than individual shadows.
  • How can you travel then? I have about four or five empty quads that I have available to take with me. I usually go on short trips, so one or two quads is plenty. In the event of a longer one, I might take all of my quads, or I might take a full 15-pan palette or two (picking and choosing select colors, of course).
  • Don’t you feel this is a waste of money/overboard? No, not in the least. This is my take on it: makeup is my hobby of choice. Most people have at least one hobby, if not several, and they pour their money into it. Some like stamps, others are into crafts. Not all hobbies cost the same, and some even are more like investments. Makeup makes me happy, and I don’t buy more than I can afford. It’s only a problem when it interferes with you living a normal, healthy, and happy life–like when you get into disastrous debt as a result.

You can see close-ups of the seven palettes (updated with names!)…

Row 1: Limo, Cranberry, Antiqued;
Row 2: Til Daybreak, Expensive Pink, Coppering;
Row 3: Living Pink, Passionate, Post-Haste;
Row 4: Rule, Up-do, Pink Papillon;
Row 5: Evening Aura, Fab & Flashy, Firespot

Row 1: Going Bananas, Goldmine, Juiced;
Row 2: Rye, Gorgeous Gold, Rose Blanc;
Row 3: Summer Neutral, Tendermetal, Rye;
Row 4: Sable Wrap, Patina, Warming Trend;
Row 5: Flourishing, Femme Noir, Fiction

Row 1: Humid, Velvet Moss, Sumptuous Olive;
Row 2: Overgrown, Lucky Green, Wondergrass;
Row 3: Aquavert, Metamorph, Juxt;
Row 4: Shimmermoss, Gulf Stream, Newly Minted;
Row 5: Cool Heat, A Bluer Blue, Melody

Row 1: Deep Truth, Parrot, Stormwatch;
Row 2: Freshwater, Blue Flame, Blue Storm;
Row 3: Thunder, Climate Blue, Electric Eel;
Row 4: Fig. 1, Gallant, Cinders;
Row 5: Pearl of the Earth, Romping, Stars ‘n Rockets

Row 1: Sketch, Neutral Pink, Thunder;
Row 2: Satin Taupe, Magnetic Fields, Smut;
Row 3: Romp, Bronze, Embark;
Row 4: Taupe Note, Cork, Woodwinked;
Row 5: A Little Folie, Ochre Style, Elite

Row 1: Texture, Valet, Beautyburst;
Row 2: Motif, Say Yeah, Arena;
Row 3: Daisychain, Nanogold, Jasmine;
Row 4: Phloof!, White Tie, Rite of Spring;
Row 5: Grain, Hush, Pen ‘n Pink

Row 1: Performance, Bisque, Malt;
Row 2: Shroom, Femme-fi, Modest Tone;
Row 3: Clue, Vellum, Blanc Type;
Row 4: Silver Ring, Charred, Copperplate;
Row 5: Cloudburst, (empty), Cumulus

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94 thoughts on “Show Offs: Eyeshadow Palettes

  1. Shayla

    Whoa, Christine, that’s quite the collection! I myself have four 15-pan palettes (two spots left!) and one quad palette. I haven’t depotted my LEs like you have though…I’m too afraid to break them!

    • Hi Shayla,

      With Starflash coming out, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with all of them! (Hello, six sets of empties? Score!)

      My take on the depotting process and breaking them:

      1) I have so many eyeshadows, even if I chip or loose a little chunk, I will survive. I have too many colors to use, and most of them are barely dented.

      2) I can always press them back together with a little alcohol and parchment/wax paper.

      I usually start the depotting process with my least favorites, that way any oops should occur then. I depot like, once every year or less, LOL. I’m pretty lazy about it, so I always gotta be patient so I don’t ruin them.

      • claudine

        ohh im so looking forward to the starflash collection
        i wanna play with them haha

        • Me too! Sounds like some Nordies have it out already, so I’m anxious to call mine up to see if they have it. C’mon, why can’t they open already?

  2. Ada

    Thanks for a peek into your e/s collection. I really liked your comment about it being a hobby, and only getting what you can afford. My collection is teeny, but if I think of it as a hobby, there’s no reason I need to justify it to anyone.

  3. Sandy

    Hi Christine, I love your collection. Mine is not quite as big, but it’s getting there. I really really need to depot though. I have so many pots that I really don’t know where to keep them anymore. I’m just scared to ruin my eyeshadows while depotting :(

    • Hi Sandy,

      Like I told Shayla, I worry about it, too, but then I realize I have way too many shadows I won’t miss a chip or two in say, 2 of the 34 I depot, you know? You can always put it back together with some alcohol, too :) I’ve done this before, and it worked out well!

      I know a lot of people have GREAT success using a flat iron (which I don’t own), though. This past time, I used the oven (first time), which went pretty well as long as you are patient! I’ve previously only done the vicious flame method, LOL.

      • Sandy

        You are right. Off to depotting this weekend. I need some Starflash e/s and I could use some empties :)

        • Hi Sandy,

          If you have a flat iron, I’d totally go that route. I used the oven, which is not nearly as stinky or messy as the candle/flame method. I baked them at 250F for 5-8 minutes, and I put five in at a time. You have to work pretty quick to get all five out before they harden up again, so you may want to start off slower if you go the oven route. A lot of times, the shadow will start to lift out of the pan when the glue melts a lot.

          Oh! And get a glue remover before you start. This way, you can remove the glue beneath the pans (so they won’t stick in your palettes). Don’t forget to melt off the label at the bottom of the pot, too, so you can stick that under the pan. I got a roll of magnetic tape for $2 at the Container Store πŸ˜‰ I have plenty of depots without magnets that work and have no problems hanging out in my palettes, though.

          • Stephanie

            Hi Christine,

            Whats the method if u have a flat iron?


            • Hi Stephanie,

              I believe you take the plastic insert out of the pot, then you place the plastic insert between the flat iron. I *think* you wrap your iron with something to protect it. There might be a YouTube tut somewhere, so you could try searching :)

  4. claudine

    nice pictures Christine
    i have to go to MAC tomorrow and get Stars n Rockets thats a perm i never bought before lol
    oh and Make up is my Hobby too….the only hobby i have and its the only hobby i need because it makes me sooooo happy :)
    and MAC is a great brand im very happy with their quality and the prize (cheap compared to NARS or Chanel here)

    • Hi Claudine,

      OMG, I’m so glad you’re getting it. It is one of my favorite colors, it just has the best duochrome. Very like Pink Pearl, but more purple, and easier to use (love Pink Pearl, but eyeshadows are easier to use generally speaking!).

  5. Lovely collection Christine!! I soo envy it, but thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to build up that amount of MAC!

  6. Nana

    Your philosophy about makeup as your hobby and only getting those what you like shows that you are not only beautiful but also an intelligent gal. Thank you for allowing us to peek. I love your collection!

    • Well, thank you :) I think it’s a result of spending too long justifying it all to people that just made me realize, “You know what, I don’t NEED to justify it!”

  7. Amanda23

    Wow! You have a pretty well rounded collection. I too feel that makeup is my hobby. I love collecting it and using it of course, but sometimes I feel like I can be a lil extreme. I have over 150 different shades of MAC e/s, mostly in pots…. I am the opposite and although it takes a ton of room (you have no idea) I just like to open my drawer and look at all my shadows at once. Its crazy! But I love it! I wish I could get one of the e/s displays like they have at MAC, that would complete me!! ;o)

    • Hi Amanda,

      Oh, the pots look lovely all together, I know it! Although, I do like the way my palettes look, but maybe I’m biased πŸ˜‰

      Hunt ebay, sometimes the MAC units show up (how that happens, I don’t know, and I don’t *want* to know), but yes… there are a few floating in space.

  8. Ariele

    All the colors look so beautiful lined up like that :) Thanks for sharing! And ITA – you shouldn’t have to justify it. I’ve started considering makeup (MAC in particular) a hobby as well. I love it, I enjoy spending money on it and owning it and using it. Sure, it can get expensive but as long as you don’t go overboard, I think its worth it! I, too, only buy the things I think I will use… otherwise, what’s the point? I’m also another gal that’s scared to depot… I have two 15-pan palettes filled with just Pro Pans or depots I’ve bought off of sales online. But the rest are in pots – close to 100 by now I’m sure. Just think of all the B2Ms!! Ohhh.. maybe I should try this weekend, I could get ALL the Starflash shadows free :)

    • Hi Ariele,

      I know, right? I always love looking at palettes arranged by color. Something about it soothes me!

      Yeah, I’m pretty excited – I should be able to get at least 6 of the Starflash shadows for free. More if I manage to depot my blushes (I probably have at least 6 that need depotting!), lol.

  9. Lu

    OMG! I love all these colors together!
    What are your favorite eyeshadows?

    Hugs from Brazil.

    • Hi Lu!

      Oh gosh, the list would go on endlessly! Some of the shadows I reach for often are: Cranberry, Goldmine, Gorgeous Gold, Rye (LE), Humid, Sumptuous Olive, Lucky Green (LE), Juxt, Shimmermoss, Freshwater, Stars ‘n Rockets, Brnoze, Ricepaper, Say Yeah (LE), Grain, Carbon

  10. Nell

    Thanks for this great post, I loved reading about your addiction-history.
    I just wish the e/s colors were labeled in the pics, that would be so helpful!

  11. Chloe

    Christine, have you ever done any freelancing? Your palettes look just like mine! I agree with you when you say that it isn’t a waste. This is a hobby and my collection, like yours, wasn’t collected overnight. However, my husband has become supportive of my love affair since he knows it’s an investment. I do freelance work in my area and that’s how I get more money to buy more things to add to my collection! Genious! =D

    • Hi Chloe,

      Not really. I’ve done a few things for friends/family, but I really don’t LOVE applying makeup to others. I LOVE helping and teaching and basically love everything I do on the blog.

      Freelancing is definitely a great way to enjoy, use, and keep up your collection!

      • Chloe

        Well, you do an AMAZING job at helping and teaching others. You’re the best at that! It’s difficult to find people that can coach you in this field, most people want to keep their techniques to themselves but you are so helpful and generous. I just wanted you to know that you are helping ALL of us out here and we appreciate you tremendously for that!! Thank you, Christine. =D

        • Hi Chloe,

          Aww, thank you so much! I am happy to share any knowledge I happen to have! No desire to hoard any information over here πŸ˜‰

  12. cloudburst

    I love looking at my pallettes too – they are so pretty when you organize them by shades!

    I have one question – how do you depot the LE pallettes? I assume the square shadows come from the holiday type pallettes.

    And I have a suggestion to those who are afraid to depot (a MAC MA actually told me how to do it years ago) after you pop the shadow top off of the base of the container (I use a large x-acto knife), take a pair of tweezers or plyers & hold the shadow above a candle flame, once the black plastic starts to melt, take a push pin & push up from the bottom. I have had great success with this method and very rarely chip or crack my shadows.

    My only other suggestion is do your depotting somewhere ventilated, because the melting plastic is a little stinky.

    • I know, right? I love the gradients that form.

      For the holiday palettes, the plastic pan holds all 6 shadows (indented to fit 6 of them), and I just popped that out of the holiday case. Melted the tray, popped them out same as regular pots!

  13. Rubi

    I love your pallettes. I have tons of make-up mostly DIOR, Chanel, Nars. I also have a lot of Lancome quads. MAC is recent to me because I used to think it was “cheap”. I would go to the Pro store at Ceasar’s Palace just to get a special one time use color for an outfit and that was it. BUT, after reading your blog and really giving the brand a chance I have changed my mind. I actually color print the looks you do that I love and as dorky as it sounds, I have a little sheet protector binder with them in there (lame, I know) and I just take the printout to the counter and have the MUA grab all the stuff I am going to need. Since Feb I have gotten about 30 e/s, 8 pigments and a bunch of lippies.

    • Hi Rubi,

      I’m glad you gave MAC a chance and found out that they’re definitely not a “cheap” brand! I’m sooo flattered that you’ve done that, really :)


  14. OooI love to look at your collection!

  15. Elle

    Love this post, Christine. I haven’t done the depotting thing yet, but the more I buy the more I think it’s a good idea…

    And you’ll never have to justify your hobby to the fans of your blog. I love reading your posts/doing your tutorials and hey, whatever makes you happy, girl πŸ˜‰ If it’s makeup, it’s makeup. And you’re right, MAC really does have a way of turning people into rabid fans. I was talking to an MA last week while buying more of the ElectroFlash duos, and she’s like “Yeah we come out with a lot of stuff so you don’t get bored with us”. Like THAT could ever happen πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Elle,

      I got into pans pretty early on, which is why I need to depot. I don’t like having both, lol! I think you might get a chip or two here and there, but on the whole, I think it’s totally worth it. My pots always sit ignored, but I constantly use the colors in my palettes (which also explains why I use 50 colors in a look!).

  16. Nartian

    Your Bronze is well-loved/used!

    What I find equally fascinating is noticing the colors you *don’t* have in your collection (unless they’re in the quads/sets not photographed), specifically Bamboo (or the more intense Tete-a-Tint) and the redder colors like Trax, Sable, Swiss Chocolate, and even Parfait Amour. Sometimes I forget that your coloring isn’t exactly the same as mine.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Nartian,

      It was one of my first three shadows from MAC! It was also my first depot. It’s actually broken, LOL, and I really should replace it.

      You know, I’ve owned Bamboo, Trax, and Parfait Amour in the past. I swapped Bamboo and Parfait Amour away because they were similar (Parfait Amour is *very* much like Gallant – Gallant has a bit more pay off, so I figured if I ran out of Gallant, Parfait Amour is perm!). Trax I hated. Pay off stunk for me, LOL.

  17. Nicky


    This is such a great post. I love how you’ve organized all your colors–it’s inspiring me to organize my makeup collection better! Seriously, I’m just gazing at your photos with envy!

    I love MAC for the same reasons as you–nice price point and so much to offer. I think the powers-that-be at MAC know how to lure us into the store with their Limited Edition collections, which always makes me spend money!

    • Hi Nicky,

      Thanks! I’m really into ordering by color, LOL. I do it for a lot of things – clothes, makeup… shoes… ha!

      Yes, I do think the LE factor keeps us coming in!

  18. Christine! Your collection looks fab. You’ve inspired me to organize my own this weekend. What a mess I have on my hands :)

    • Hi Erika,

      Oh gosh, I do not envy you! I bet you have a whole lotta makeup πŸ˜‰ I keep organizing what I have, but then it grows like a weed and I’m all unorganized again.

  19. Stephanie


    I love your collection and I think you are right. There are people who spend their money on stamps and we spend on ours on make-up so no reason to justify it! I see here that you are saying you can get e/s as back to mac items? Is that a store to store basis? Pro stores only? Because the counters/stores I go to here (in Florida) say I can only get lipsticks and only perms so if I have to go to the Pro store to get e/s I will!


    • Hi Stephanie,

      Yes, so true! Freestanding and PRO stores are supposed to accept B2M for eyeshadows, lipsticks, lipglasses, lustreglasses, lipgelees… I have heard that even the mineralize eyeshadows are on the official B2M list!

  20. Don’t EVEN want to know what you went through to turn each shadow upside to write down the names….

    You have too much patience!



    • Hi Elke,

      It honestly didn’t take too long, but LAZINESS kicks my butt so often. It turned out I knew quite a few by memory (sad…).


  21. Kharina

    Hi Christine,
    I particularly liked your green collection. Quick question, are LUCKY GREEN and RYE Pro shades or LE shades?

    • Hi Kharina,

      Lucky Green and Rye were both LE. Lucky Green some time ago, and Rye was a good bit ago, too. Rye is similar to Patina, which is permanent – it is also like Warming Trend (came out with Cool Heat).

  22. Eva

    you have me droooooling over these palettes..
    They look great and I am so jealous of all the LE eyeshadows!
    Great e/s collection..I canΒ΄t imagine what your whole m/u collection looks like (and yes, I do remember the post from last year. :o))..

    • Hi Eva,

      Thank you! :) LOL, I took video of and some still photos a few months ago – not super detailed, but I think you can get the picture!

  23. Pquanda

    Christine! Love the post, and really appreciate that you put the names. Would you be able to do a look with Fig. 1? That’s my biggest lemming ever right now!

  24. Zsofi

    Wow Christine this is MAC porn :-DDDDDDDDDDD
    love Your collection and thanks for sharing with us.
    the story of You falling in love with makeup and MAC really touched me. now i read i for the second time,and this is not the last :-))))))
    i feel the same,love love love MAC!!!!!!

    • I am happy to share my tale with you all :) It has been such an incredible journey so far, I can only imagine what’s ahead!

      • Zsofi

        The fact that Your hobby is now kind of a job for You is so inspiring!!!!
        You always have been a role model for me,now even more. i want to work for MAC :-)
        someone famous once said,that the most happy life a person can have is,when he or she has a job,that is also their hobby .
        i am sure You learned about the Maslow pyramid,so i tell You You are on top of it now,You reached slf-actualisation,which is the greatest thing in life :-)
        i try to reach it myself πŸ˜€

        • Hi Zsofi,

          Aww, thank you! I’m so honored that you find me inspiring me :) Yes, it is quite exciting to have both the blog be my “job” and my passion!

  25. Carrie

    This is such a great reference, not just for the product photos, but also palette layout suggestions. I just expanded to 3 palettes and it took me a while to figure out how to organize everything. I like this layout.

    LOL, my Embark is exactly like yours, crumbled and re-put-together all funky and cracked.

    • Hi Carrie,

      I love having them organized by color and then by darkest to lightest. I do this with my clothes, too.

      LOL! How funny. Yes, Embark met with an unfortunate depotting incident!

  26. Monica

    Hi Christine! Thanks for sharing with us part of your collection.. Its great! I’m jealous..he,he..;D
    One question.. do you have plumage? if not is one color that I recommend you.. I don’t know as much of make up as you do, however a MA suggested it to me and I got it. Its a great color to mix with Teal, greens, purples, it goes with almost anything, and I really like the texture.. maybe you can give it a try (maybe you already have it).
    Thanks again.. I already wrote down my list of must haves based on your palletes!
    Have a great weekend!!

  27. Liz

    Where can you find the large palattes?

    • Hi Liz,

      You can purchase them at MAC freestanding or PRO stores. You can also call either a freestanding or PRO store and have them shipped to you if you don’t have one near you.

  28. I was wondering too!

  29. Ashley

    Great collection! I love the variation in your colours- not too many dupes to be seen there! And lucky you having a MAC that will take back depots!

  30. Awesome collection… I just depotted about 80% of my shadows this week to put into palettes… can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! I did take a huge chunk out of my Clarity though… but not the end of the world. Lol.

  31. karen

    My MAC history is only about nine-month long. Thank you, Christine, for sharing your collection and makeup experiences with us.

  32. Chantale

    Yeah! Let’s share the love! Love the palettes you created! Vewry pleasing to the eye when placed by family colours. To quote/paraphrase a different saying: Once you use MAC, you never go back! LOL
    Can’t bring myself to depot them. To me, it would be like desecrating a sacred artifact…
    I realise that it would make it easier for me to use more of my products because, when you have as much makeup as I have, it’s easy to forget a few and to just keep using the same ones because they are visible and not hidden in containers. So, in order to prevent that from happening, I do reorganize my makeup for my upcoming week looks (I usually play with my makeup on the weekends, clean my brushes at the same time as reorganize). I will set up on the bathroom counter, the paints/pigments/e/s/etc that I will be using for that week… I am sort of organized. I love to try looks while at home so no one else can see me if I mess up. It’s safe and I can remove it if I don’t like it. I also am an artist at heart and create my own makeup colors by mixing different colours/brands together. I have gotten the idea from some of my favs MAs. Like buying clear mascaras, nail polishes, and lip glosses and pigmenting them myself. Or mixing different blushes, e/s, finishing powders that I don’t really like anymore and that just sit there, collecting dust. I will mix them together until I reach a colour that I like and that I will use…

  33. Nicole

    Amazing collection. Could you please post some pictures, when you include your depotted e/s and rearranged your collection.

    I started my collection in Summer 1999 with Mulch and I own just about 30 eye shadows (including 2 premade quads).

  34. Saira

    Wow! Your collection is so cool! It’s inspired me to go and buy more make-up :o), hee hee. Been meaning to organise my eyeshadows for a while, so good to see how much organising them can help with thinking up new looks and colour combinations. I think the first Mac eyeshadow I bought was Beautiful Iris and then I got Goldmine after that – been hooked ever since!

  35. Patricia

    How do you depot your square pans? I have two pallets like that I wouldn’t even know where to start on depotting those. By the way, your collection is out of this world. I’m jeaslous. hehe!

  36. Jen

    Hey, just wondering… how come some of your shadows in the palette are square?

  37. enna

    hi, is there a great difference between post-haste and passionate? which one do you use more often? i was torn between them and eventually got post-haste

    • Not really. Post-haste might be a touch darker, but they’re basically the same. I have Passionate, because it came out before Post-haste, I believe.

  38. Lis

    Thank you make-up is my hobby too, and in fact it has caused me to stop drinking and too take better care of myself. It really fustrates me when people wonder why I spend so much on make-up when it is my hard earned money. XOXO