These are swatches only! I am in the process of re-swatching a ton of products, because the Swatch Gallery is designed so you can compare individual products, so all of the swatches have to be done in a way that each swatch can be photographed and shown individually. I’m going through various brands, so there is some variety as I journey through it all, but here are fourteen MAC eyeshadow swatches, along with my descriptions of the shades and any notes on performance if it was below average. Unless noted otherwise, shades are part of the permanent range.
Beauty Marked is a blackened burgundy with multicolored shimmer. It has a velvet finish. It’s also a real pain in the behind to use, because it tends to apply unevenly. A lot of the sparkle doesn’t translate as well on the lid as it does in a swatch. Cranberry is a berried red with a frost finish. Post Haste is a pinked red with a Matte2 finish. It has been discontinued. It is slightly darker and redder than Passionate. Passionate is a raspberry pink with a matte finish. Sushi Flower is a medium-dark pink with a satin finish. It’s hard to build-up color and applies rather sheer. Swish is a lilac shimmered pink with a frost finish. Da Bling is a medium pink with subtle yellow undertones. It has a veluxe pearl finish. Rose is a mauve-tinged pink with a slightly frosted finish. I have no idea what the official finish is, as it is now discontinued and was only a PRO shade before then (there is nothing on the label of mine that indicates the finish). My guess is frost. Pen ‘n’ Pink is a pale, pastel pink with a Matte2 finish. It has been discontinued. Coppering is a rich copper with a veluxe pearl finish. It is one of MAC’s best-textured eyeshadows. Red Brick is a dirty orange with a matte finish. It’s darker than Orange. Expensive Pink is a dirty rose with peach and gold. It has a veluxe finish. It’s one of MAC”s more complex shades. Free to Be is a coral-pink with a matte finish. Orange is a medium-dark orange with a matte finish. It is part of the PRO line.
Overall, a few of these are excellent eyeshadows (like Cranberry, Coppering, and Expensive Pink), while some are total duds (Beauty Marked, Sushi Flower). Several of these have matte finishes, and my experience with MAC’s matte formula is they tend to perform infinitely better on the lid than when swatched. They are a drier matte, and they’re not a buttery or powdery formula, so you don’t end up with any fall out or fading, but they can be finicky.
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
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Summer Makeup: Molten Lava Goes To the Beach, v. 2
I had a few tutorial requests for a coppery look I did last week, so I decided to modify it a bit so it used only permanent products on the eyes rather than limited edition ones. This is the modified version, and the tutorial should be up on YouTube shortly :) I layered Free to Be and Coppering to get pretty close to Firecracker–though you could certainly use one or the other and still get something quite pretty out of it! I was also all out of the NARS base I had used in the original look, so I used UDPP instead.
By the by, theBalm will be featured on MTV’s Hired tomorrow at 6:30pm! I’m kind of excited, because it would be fun to see the inner-workings of a beauty brand. theBalm will be looking at three final applicants to fill the role of their office assistant.
Substitutes: Firecracker = Paradisco; Get-Away Bronze = = Format; Thrills = La Prairie Rose Bronze; Easy Lounger = Prr
For eyes, start by applying Primer Potion as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply Free Love eyeshadow on the inner half of the lid and blend upwards into the tearduct. Lightly blend Free to Be eyeshadow on the middle of the lid with the 239, then layer Coppering eyeshadow on top to darken. With the 239, apply Amber Lights eyeshadow into the lower crease and then blended towards the outer corner and lid.Next, apply Bronze eyeshadow into the crease with the 226, lightly blending outwards and upwards to fade to the brow bone. Blend Nylon eyeshadow with the crease shade and highlight the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Lucky eyeliner on the lower lash line and Black Black pencil on the lower waterline. Line the upper lash line with Rich Ground fluidline applied with the 208; then pat Goldmine eyeshadow on top to lighten. Finish by sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.
For cheeks, apply Get-Away Bronze blush on the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.
For lips, apply Thrills lipstick first, and then layer Flurry of Fun lipglass for a complementing lip.
This is probably my last look dedicated to MAC’s Warm & Cozy Collection. I’m pretty sure my next look is going to use some *color* as the past few have all been fairly neutral, given the theme of Warm & Cozy. I’ve never been a huge fan of using super dark bases overall, just because I’ve always found they have a tendency to eat color and not enhance it as much as lighter bases can do. Relaxed seemed to work best when layered with shimmery eyeshadows, rather than softer, more satiny shades.
Directions: Start by applying Relaxed shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Modelette eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Mulled Cider eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Coppering eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Antiqued eyeshadow with the 226. To add more depth, tap and lightly blend in Embark eyeshadow in the crease with the 219. Lightly tap and brush Modelette eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Feline kohl power on the lower waterline and Goldmine eyeshadow on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with DiorShow Extase mascara.
For cheeks, apply Imprevu blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. To highlight, apply Empreinte de Chanel lightly over the cheekbones with the 165.
For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer Feelin’ Dreamy lipglass for a lighter lip.
There’s one look that I do often, even if the shades themselves are interchangeable, and it’s what I’d call a “sunset eye.” Like it sounds, it includes the colors you might see in a sunset: bright yellows, fiery oranges, coppers, and reds.
Build a Quad is a feature focusing on creating different eyeshadow palettes that are both beautiful and functional using permanent shades of eyeshadow. We invite readers to suggest their own build-a-quads — just leave your ideas in the comments! Don’t forget to name your quad!