MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: Review, Photos, Swatches

Last week, MAC PRO launched a full collection of Chromagraphic Pencils. Each retails for $14.50, and all the shades are permanent at PRO stores. This collection is only available at PRO stores, but anyone can shop at a PRO store. You can even call up your nearest PRO store, and you can place a phone order for a flat-rate shipping cost. Keep in mind that these are PRO products, which means they were designed with the makeup artist in mind, not necessarily consumers.

These may seem familiar because MAC released two of the flesh-toned shades with Pret-a-Papier (NC15/NW20 and NW25/NC30). The other eleven shades are new. Chromagraphic Pencils are creamy pencils that glide on easily and smoothly. According to PRO, they are meant for lining and defining, which makes sense as they have other products (like Chroma Cakes and Paint Sticks) more suitable for larger areas.

I do really like the flesh-toned shades for use on the lower waterline to open up the eye. I find that the NC15/NW20 achieves that the best (the others being a bit too dark on me) myself, and I’m about NC25. Black Black is really intense, and it is safe for usage everywhere but the lips, and that’s the one I chose to test-drive first. It stays pretty well on the waterline and lash line – it looks intense and dark from a normal viewing distance, but up close, I can see that it looks a little faded–but it hadn’t faded any more after the initial inspection and stayed on for about six hours for me (on the waterline, over eight on the lash line).

The following shades are not to be used in the lip area: Black Black, Marine Ultra, NC15/NW20, NW25/NC30, NC42/NW35
The following shades are not to be used in the eye area: Basic Red, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta
The following shades are not to be used in the inner rim of eye: Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow, Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple

The darker, more pigmented shades will stain the skin a little if worn for prolonged periods of time. I did not wear the swatches of these for very long, but it took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove them entirely.  I think these are certainly a quick and easy way to put detail on body/face painting efforts.  I’m not necessarily sure how much use most of us would get out of these, though (which is just fine–these weren’t made for us!).

  • Pure White is a crystal clear creamy white.
  • Basic Red is a primary red, subtle orange undertones.
  • Process Magenta is a brightened pink, not quite fuchsia, definitely magenta.
  • Genuine Orange is a rich, almost neon tangerine orange.
  • Primary Yellow is exactly that–bright yellow.
  • Landscape Green is a medium grass green.
  • Marine Ultra is a darkened medium sea blue.
  • Hi-Def Cyan is a creamy sky blue.
  • Rich Purple is a darkened, red-toned purple.
  • Black Black is an intense, almost wet-looking black.
  • NC15/NW20 is a light beige/fleshy shade.
  • NW25/NC30 is a darker version of NW15/NC20. Almost looks like a darkened peach.
  • NC42/NW35 is darker version of NW25/NC30. It looks a bit peachy/orange on me.

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Warning sheet!

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow, Landscape Green

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow, Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Primary Yellow, Landscape Green, Marine Ultra

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Black Black, NC15/NW20, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black


NC15/NW20, NW25/NC30

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Swiped once with a MAC Makeup Removing Wipe… tough suckers!

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About the Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). (For more information, please check the FAQ.)

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68 Comments

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These are very, very appealing. I understand most of them, but have no idea how one would use the yellow or orange in a wearable-in-real-life way. Maybe that’s why they’re Pro products? What would people do with these [open question to anyone…]

I would get a lot of use out of Primary Yellow (as well as Marine Ultra) as I am a student at West Virginia U. I love doing more intense make-up for game days, and since our colors are blue and gold, these would be perfect. In my head, these would be great to outline to the flying “WV” symbol that is so common. Next semester, I hope to make a little cash doing friends’ makeup 😀 GOSH I WANT THESE!

Most PRO products aren’t officially safe for use on the waterline (as aren’t most products!) – but the rule of thumb is reds/pinks are never safe!

Gorgeous!
I wonder, so apart from the three shades: Basic Red, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta all others can be used as eyeliners? just not on the waterline? 🙂 the green and purple ones are amazing!

Too bad we don’t have a PRO store in Hong Kong. I’d love to get my hands on Black Black, Landscape Green and Rich Purple…

Have a very theater, high definition look and appeal to them! I don’t see them being very popular to loads of others! Especially since they aren’t trustworthy on the eyes

I think if you want to use them as eyeshadow bases, you’re probably better off getting MAC’s Paint Sticks!

I got them ALL when they were first released a week ago. They are amazing as lip liners and eyeliners (waterline), and also for doing body art and drawings. Amazing.

The colours are amazing! I hate how some are suitable for eyes, and others aren’t, with the same for lips. I’d find it hard to remember which I can use where. 🙁 I’d want to use them all on my eyes and lips, though!

I LOVEEEEEE Process Magenta for lips, I also wish they made True Chartreuse in these pencils, cuz i have some shadows like bitter and rated R that it would be perfect for.

Christine,

Do you think black black would work well on the waterline?

I tried using Feline Kohl on waterline and it would not stay!

The Basic red & Marine ultra isn’t eyesafe? Ahw ._. Well, thats leaves me with Black black xD

And I lol’d at the last pic XDDDD Oh well, you can do that to soften up the look huh???

nice to look at for sure…but i think not really suited to my use…i find it too stressful to have to remember what cant be used where…they DO look nice for face/body art however…

I went to the Mac pro store by me 2 days ago to pick up a few things and the MUA asked if she could try High-def cyan on me since it matched my dress…I have to say, it looked amazing!She applied a thick layer of it on each eyelid (like you would use eyeliner) then she applied a thin layer of black liquid eyeliner close to my lashline over the blue so I had 2 strips of eyeliner, it was so pretty, I plan to recreate that look!

All I have to say is WOW. I’ll keep a mental note to pick these up with my next costume makeup. the look smother then the Chromaline.

i LOVE LOVE LOVE my NC15/NW20 to line my waterline! it gorgeous and way more subtle then white liner. people say i look awake and i think it defines my lower lash line eyeliner. 🙂

Hi there! So I bought the black chromagraphic pencil because of this review and i find that it smudges a lot on me. Do you have any smudgeproof black eyeliner recommendations?
thanks!

I swear by the chromaline in black black. i use any black pencil to dip into the product and then apply to the waterline. that stuff doesn’t budge or smudge. chromagraphic pencil smudged on me pretty bad too.

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