MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 3 — Eye Basics

MAC Cosmetics:  Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 3

If I’m new, what are some good basics that I should get into first?

It is important to note that everybody is a little different, and their preferences for the type of makeup or kinds of products are not the same across the board. You should use this only as a guideline, but not as something that is universal to every person.


  • Primer | Prep + Prime Eye is MAC’s base for eyeshadow, and while it isn’t a bad product, many love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion more. Nonetheless, MAC offers several other products that can be used as primers/bases that are excellent. Paints in shades such as Bare Canvas and Untitled; paint pots in Bare Study and Painterly; and Shadesticks in Beige-ing and Fresh Cement are all great for getting a neutral base. You can always try other shades and hues for intensifying similar colored eyeshadows (e.g., Lucky Jade shadestick with any green eyeshadow over it will bring out the shadow color even more).
  • Shadow | MAC offers a diverse range of colors and textures in their eyeshadow department. It is hard to narrow it down to even ten must-have colors.  As a result, I would rather give you three top notch choices in each color family.
    • Blacks >> Black Tied, Carbon
    • Blues >> Deep Truth, Freshwater, Moon’s Reflection
    • Browns >> Amber Lights, Bronze, Woodwinked
    • Golds >> Goldmine, Gorgeous Gold, Juiced
    • Grays/Silvers >> Knight Divine, Print, Silver Ring
    • Greens >> Humid, Juxt, Velvet Moss
    • Neutrals/highlighters >> Dazzlelight, Ricepaper, Vex
    • Oranges >> Mythology, Orange, Rule
    • Pinks >> Da Bling, Passionate, Pen ‘N’ Pink
    • Purples >> Parfait Amour, Satellite Dreams, Stars N’ Rockets
    • Teals >> Aquadisiac, Shimmermoss, Surreal
    • Whites >> Chill, Crystal Avalanche, Gesso
  • Pigments | Melon, Naked, Tan, and Vanilla are all really versatile pigment colors that work well as more neutral bases.  I also love working with Fuchsia, Golden Olive, Teal, and Violet pigments as well.
  • Eye Liners | MAC makes a whole host of different kinds of eye liners, but my favorite versions are technakohl liners and fluidlines.  Blacktrack fluidline is a long-lasting black gel liner that yields good results for the majority of users.  Graphblack technakohl is the black liner of the technakohl family, and I find it is the one I reach for most.
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this is exactly what i’ve been looking for! i always wanted to get deeper into makeup and never knew exactly what to buy to start with, and this is amazing, thanks!


i recently bought urban decay primer potion and 2 hours in it was creasing (yuck/disgusting) i dont know what im doing wrong… this is how i do my makeup..

1st: moisturize(whole face *dove)
2nd: studio tech on my eye ( i use it as for concealer and red areas on my skin)
3rd: mineralized satinfinish (whole face, except eye’s) 4th: the primer potion (on eyes)
5th: pressed powder (on face not eyes)
then blush and eye shadows for the look i want

i really dont know what im doing wrong in my m/u application or is this product not good for me!
ahhh is there another product that can work? do i have greasy eyelids(eeww) hahah… i need advice/help anything!!!

Hi Courtney! My list is not the be-all-end-all of MAC by any means. MAC has so many shadows, that there are sure to be many left out that are great to use.

I can’t say that I would agree with Expensive Pink being a HG for people – I hardly hear anything about it or see it in looks; I’m curious to see what you saw yourself 🙂

Expensive Pink isn’t talked about much on specktra either but when I went to my local MAC counter they recommended it to me and I bought it. I actually like the pink in my FAFI Quad 1 better but it has a different finish. I’m guessing this list is a place to start as different shades work well on different people. It also depends on how you use it too.

usually i wait about 3 mins for my studio tech to dry b-cuz thats the first foundation that i put then after my mineralized foundation is on i wait another couple mins and so on…
after, i use powder to set my foundation but not on my eyes…so i dont use that much on my eyes besides studio tech & the primer before the whole eye shadow stuff.

and im not putting a thick layer of studio tech either so thats why im cunfused… and i feel a bit insecure w/o the studio tech… cuz i have daarrrkkk circles

anywho, do you think i shud put the primer before the studio tech? i guess im going to have to try diff methods or else udpp is a bust for me hahaha!!!

oh and yeah i im putting udpp after EVERYTHING *except the eye shadows. all the foundations and moisture lotion…
also i wanna say that i LOVE your blog!!!!

Hey Tatiana! It’s fine to use Studio Tech on your undereye circles, but I would probably avoid using it on your actual lid, which is where UDPP goes.

dang i meant to put, should i put the primer potion on before all my other foundation so that way it doesnt crease?
there, thats better… ahhaha

Thanks so much for the shadow suggestions. I just recently got into makeup and was thinking about stopping by my local store. I haven’t purchased any MAC products yet. I was a little intimidated since I wasn’t sure were to start, but I will definitely try your suggestions.

How do I remove the eye shadow dispenser in the compact container (single) to put into the palette container (4)? Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Wow I’m am overjoyed to have come across this site! I’m somewhat familiar with MAC products but this is great for ppl like me who want to start collecting! Thanks for sharing!

I was curious if you could recommend some basic highlighter shades based on skin tone. I’m a super pale NW15 (I think I may be even a little lighter. I use Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer in Porcelain). Ricepaper looked super dark on my forearm and I use Naked Lunch as a lid shade for a natural, no makeup look. I don’t like a lot of shimmer on my brow, so I was looking into Blanc Type. Right now I’m using Mylar, but I’m afraid it may be too warm-toned and too dark looking.

What different highlighter shades do you use for different skin tones?

Hey Anne! Have you tried Phloof! or Ricepaper or even Shroom?

Shroom is very neutral and low on the shimmer. I also like Grain!

I swatched Shroom and Ricepaper in the store and they were both dark on my forearm (I’m really fair). I’m interested in Phloof! and have it on my wishlist with Blanc Type. I haven’t tried Grain, but I’ll check it out. Thanks for your advice!

Hi, I want to start using MAC eyeshadows for my everyday neutral look. Can you help me choose which three shades I should start with. I will be using these mostly for the office, so it has to be really understated.

I’m Asian, BTW. I’m thinking Ricepaper and Amber Lights, what’s a good third color?

Hi Mel!

Try Soft Brown, Ricepaper, and Bronze! Bronze is what I’d recommend to compliment the two you picked out, though.

Hi, i must say that as a budding make up artist, this site has really helped me to try various combinations.. MAC came to India about 2 years ago (or less; not sure of that!)and I am so addicted to their colors.. Thank you for your tutorials.. They are very helpful.. ! 🙂

Hey Christine! Long time listener, first time caller (so to speak). Thanks for shortlisting the MAC e/s to your “top notch” choices for each color family. I literally printed it out and shopped like a grocery list. Don’t get me wrong, I have an imagination and opinions; however, the color spectrum selection is so daunting. Thank you for breaking it down.

I’m “new” to the new MAC, but I’m a dinosaur MAC-user. Started in early-1990 w/my employement at Nordstrom San Francisco Centre, and abruptly ended in mid-1998 b/c TOO many of my faves were being DC’ed…was this around the time Estee Lauder took over? ANYWAY, I know y’all a well-versed in MAC, so excuse my stupid questions/comments.

This e/s list was created last year. Since then, approx. 5 e/s have been DC’ed: Surreal (TEAL), Pen ‘N’ Pink (PINK, duh), Velvet Moss (GREEN), Juiced (GOLD), and Chill (WHITE). Since you created the list a whole year ago, w/the newly DC’ed colors and the newly released/newly made part of the permanent line (yea, right) colors, and your changing state of mind – what would you change on that recommendation list? Would you change any of your choices (or offer dupes/similars?) Would you look at any of them and think, “goodgod what was I thinking?”

Your NEW input / updated basics not only for e/s but for other products, as well, would be truly appreciated.

Thanks so much! You ROCK!

Considering MAC keeps taking away from the permanent eyeshadow line without really adding to it disappoints me. I still have no idea why they would take away Velvet Moss or Surreal, both are amazing colors. Velvet Moss has no readily available dupe from their line or even their LE colors released in the past year.

These are all colors I’ve loved for years, so no, I don’t think I’d change any at this time! You could try Tilt instead of Surreal, though it’s bluer over teal. Vanilla for another white color!

I will put it on my to-do list to update this guide!

P.S. Please disregard previous email address – that one is not correct (I’m on another PC with “autofill” or whatever). This is my correct email address. Thanks

Hey Christine! This is a random reply to this post but i was wondering about being allergic to eyeshadows? I love MAC but i just bought coppering eyeshadow and i think im allergic to the red dye in it? can this happen? im sooooo disappointed!

Yes, you could be. Red dye is known to be one of the more irritating dyes, so if you find it makes you react, then you’re one of the few people who are more sensitive to red dyes!

Thanks for the tips. I am little new to Mac. I looking to try pigments. The pigments you mention will they work on NW45 complexion?

Hi Christine
It me again…Can you recommend some Mac lipstick and blushes for NW45 complexion? I am also a NARS fan. I don’t how gone so long without trying NARS. Oh kept in mind I am 38 years old. I like colors but I don’t want to look like MiMi from Drew Carey show.

I love the blendability of the MAC Eye Khol pencils but I cannot wear them on my oily eyelids without a Paint Pot underneath them! What’s the difference between the Eye Khol pencils and the Khol Power pencils?

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