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MAC Dark Desires Studio Eye Glosses Reviews, Photos, Swatches

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Studio Eye Gloss ($22.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is one of those products that really mystifies me, because I don’t know why it’s launched and included in consumer-geared collections. I wish they were touted as lipglosses, because at least they might be wearable (though the texture is like glue). You can read my in-depth review of the formula here, but I’ll also summarize here. The formula is incredibly sticky, glue-like, and is so tacky that as you apply the product, you can feel your skin lift off of your eyeball, because the eyelid is sticking to your fingertip or a brush and snap back in place. On the lid, my eyelid gets stuck against the skin above my crease. It creases within five minutes (and I’d even just apply it to the lid, but it’s such a jetsetter that it finds its way well past the crease line anyway). The color goes on unevenly and migrates around. It transfers to the lower lash line (from the eyelid). It gets into the inner corner and causes the upper and lower lash lines to stick. I’ve tried barely a dab and a full glob, and the wear is always the same–disappointing and futile. It is more comfortable to apply a similarly-colored eyeshadow and apply a gloss or petroleum jelly on top for a glossy effect that is far more comfortable and less painful to use. MAC says they’re a “gloss for eyes that provides high shine with buildable coverage” and can be used to enhance pigments (which just causes them to crease, migrate, and move everywhere) or worn alone.

If you are so brave as to try, from all the attempts I have made using this formula, my best have been using downward strokes with a flat, synthetic brush (but only in one direction and never repeating over the same area), though this has not solved wear issues, only minimized the pain of applying. I think this, at best, a PRO product, and it would have been great if MAC made it for all-over – so it could be used on lips or cheeks, not just the eyes, which is probably the hardest and least practical area to apply something that feels like thick glue.

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss ($22.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “violet with multi-coloured glitter.” It’s a muted, navy blue with fuchsia, blue, and violet pearl in a glossy base. It creased within two minutes, was incredibly thick and tacky (like applying glue to your lids), made my skin stick to my fingertips/brushes and then later my lid stick to the skin above my lid, or my lash lines to stick together as the gloss migrated into my inner and outer corners and below the lash line. Makeup Geek Nautica (DC, $6.00) is less shimmery, less glossy (90% similar). MAC Banafsaji (LE, $17.00) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). ColourPop Baby T (LE, $6.00) is less shimmery, darker, less glossy (85% similar). Le Metier de Beaute Sapphire (LE, $30.00) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). Givenchy Bleu Soie (4) (P, $23.00) is less shimmery, darker, less glossy (85% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Siren #6 (LE, ) is lighter, brighter, less glossy (85% similar). Urban Decay Beat Down (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery, less glossy (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss ($22.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “black with multi-coloured glitter.” It’s a dark black with warm, olive undertones and multi-colored pearl–a lot of green, pink, and blue–paired with a glossy finish. The color is gorgeous in the pot and swatched, but it is a nightmare applied and in use. Buxom Black Lab (P, $18.00) is less shimmery, darker, less glossy (90% similar). Sugarpill Stella (P, $13.00) is less shimmery, darker, less glossy (90% similar). Urban Decay Baby Hair (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (85% similar). MAC Jet Couture (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, less glossy (85% similar). Make Up For Ever D104 Black Diamond (DC, $21.00) is less shimmery, darker, less glossy (85% similar). Urban Decay Scorpio (DC, $20.00) is lighter, warmer, less glossy (85% similar). Givenchy Inattendue #2 (PiP, ) is more shimmery, lighter, less glossy (85% similar). Chanel Mirifique (P, $32.00) is darker, less glossy (85% similar). MAC Dark Soul (PiP, $21.00) is less shimmery, darker, less glossy (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Erogenous Zone Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss

MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss
MAC Spank Me Studio Eye Gloss


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Ginny Avatar

I definitely remember the goopy, gluey glitter pots of the late 90s early 00s. Clear gloss with glitter. I think we wore them more on the outer corner of the eye toward the temple than on the lid.

Jet Avatar

We did the same in the 70s too – outer corner. Though back then we went glitter crazy (hey, it was Glam Rock!) putting it above eyebrows & glittered our eyebrows too (if we had eyebrows, many shaved them like Bowie did), very high atop our cheekbones, and even under our eyes, again outer corners as well (thank goodness I had access to theatrical glitter and glue, so many took chances with the basic craft type!) Shame, I’m looking at the Brooke Candy ones that look lovely (searched for general product reviews, found this, DUH I know I should always check here first!) and now I’m really more in love with “Spank Me” but totally bummed by the reviews!? I have a Mac GC burning a hole in my pocket…don’t *need* anything but wanted to try something new. (Plus I’m a sucker for promotions, $10 off $50, probably over soon…have a feeling it’s for Mother’s Day) Thanks to all for saving me the bother and disappointment! ? Jet

Ginny Avatar

MAC glitter pigments are really great though and you can probably mix them with a glitter glue or even a clear lipgloss if you want a glossy look.

Kelli Avatar

Bless you for trying these out. I had never heard of them before now, but they seem quite ridiculous. And I’m no prude, but the product names are a bit of a turn off as well.

Vincent Avatar

I love a good glossy eye that I know is going to crease, but you’re right, these are too thick and uncomfortable to wear on the eyes. You are honestly better off using a regular lip gloss or eight hour cream and adding pigments to them to create a glossy eye

Irene Avatar

I have one MAC eye gloss in the shade Money Honey, and I love wearing it as an inner corner highlight on my eyes, it looks beautiful this way! I’m probably gonna get both of these glosses, they would be great for a photoshoot or a for a very messy-grungy eye look. It’s just such a unique product, I have to have them, plus I don’t really mind the stickiness of them!

Irene Avatar

I don’t really, though I always try to apply a very thin coat, so in the end the gloss does crease on me, but it doesn’t ever transfer to my lower lid. Also, after about 3 hours of wear gloss kinda “dries” a little bit, it becomes a little less glossy, but it completely stops from moving. “Only” 3 hours of wait, LOL. But at least the gloss stays in place when I apply it only to the inner corner, cause I apply just a tiny bit.

Vanessa Avatar

Why do they have to suck so bad!!! The colors are absolutely gorgeous and they remind me of space! I have yet to buy anything from MAC and Dark Desires was the only collection I was interested in, but now I’m so bummed. ? They would’ve made such beautiful powder or cream shadows! Even nail polishes or lipglosses would’ve been awesome. Anything but this. How did you take it off?

dorit Avatar

They look soooo pretty in the pot, like a sky full of stars, but I swatched them once and couldn’t understand at all how people could put something this sticky on their lids. The texture totally creeps me out. But then I’ve a friend who used them and likes them for a messy party look.

Katherine T. Avatar

LMAO….that picture of your eye with the gloss is priceless! I don’t know why on earth MAC keeps making this horrible, useless product. Can you imagine these on my oily lids? I would have eye gloss dripping down to my chin in no time! MAC should be spanked for making these….bad MAC, bad MAC

Ashley Avatar

I really wish MAC would go back to their days of releasing quality products. Instead of releasing so many launches or re-promotes during the year, they should take note of other brands who release fewer new items but are of quality so people actually buy them! I’ve moved on to better quality brands quite some time ago and wish people would stop thinking MAC is a holy grail of brands.

Ginny Avatar

I really like the concept of eye gloss. In my preteen days I would put a bit of vaseline on my eyelids, it actually looked cute and dewy in the summer. But… I don’t really see how they can work with pigment, glitter, or any other kind of product really (unless they are for a photo shoot and the model keeps her eyes closed the entire time). Moving the lid will cause any pigment or glitter to gather in the crease and likely liner and mascara will break down and smear. They look so cool for ten seconds, though! They should totally be a multi-use product–they would work much better on the cheeks (fun!) or lips.

X. Avatar

I’ve had no problems layering other product underneath an eye gloss. Wore a full smokey eye (with kohl eyeliner, even) with no primer the other day and it didn’t smudge until I forgot I had anything on and rubbed my eye. πŸ˜›

Christine Avatar

There’s definitely a place for the glossy, creased eye (certainly not everyone’s cup of tea!), but it’s a pretty high maintenance look, so it tends to be most seen in photoshoots or the runway, though I know some achieve it just by using Vaseline!

snm Avatar

I remember these Mac glosses being used in an old tutorial of Pixiwoo sisters on their youtube channel. I believe they are meant to be used in photoshoots, high fashion make up or some other professional stuff. There are several goth-punk etc. themed catwalk makeups that comes to my mind in which the glossy eyes looked super cool. Wish they were more useful for the average makeup fans like myself . The shimmer looks super pretty, especially the black one’s. It’s kinda what I hoped Chanel Mirifique would be like, the more multicolored shimmer, the better.

Andrew Avatar

As soon as I saw these in your earlier post announcing the collection, I was waiting for one of two things to happen: either they changed the formula up a bit due to public outcry, or they’re beating a dead horse and still trying to push this awful formula.

Obviously, they’ve murdered the horse, beat it into a pancake, then crushed it into a fine powder. Just stop it! It slips and slides all over the place, it looks awful, and the one I tried irritated my lids to the point that they were sore all day (NYX’s formula does the same thing).

They could be an interesting product if, ya know, they didn’t suck so terribly.

Julie Avatar

Maybe they included these in a BDSM themed collection because they are sadistic??? I expected these to be bad from your description, but I actually laughed when I saw the picture…,even worse than I imagined!!! So sorry that you had to endure these…if they were that bad on your eyes, I can only imagine how horrific they would be on my completely hooded eyes..,would they be glued open??? Truly a mystifying product.

WildDove Avatar

My experience with the extremely sticky texture was the same as yours — completely unworkable to dangerous. This fail was so bad that I would extend the rating scale into negative numbers.

StrangeOne Avatar

I think this is meant to mimic a trend in Asian markets… Or at least I remember reading about something like this. It could be a brain fart for all I know.

They were trying to make a new trend I guess and flopped because that’s literally what my eyes look like without primer

szlamizita Avatar

I feel like I’m the only one here but I really love these mac eye glosses, I use them regularly on photoshoots. I layer it thinly and then I apply a little bit of vaseline and ask the models if they feel anything when they blink. This way its very comfortable AND it doesn’t move anywhere,because of the sticky base, I don’t have to check on it every other second. One of my models actually went to a party after the photoshhot and I asked her how did it hold up and she said some came of but not too badly. So for me its a winner product but I really see why a lot of people don’t like it,because on its own….no way.

szlamizita Avatar

As little as possible! My experience is that it works best if you just put a tiny bit so it doesn’t feel sticky anymore and it doesn’t start to move around because of too much product. I think with these dark colors I would definitely layer it over a dark eyeshadow, I’m excited to try it πŸ™‚ Someone asked here what a mua would prefer. The reason why I prefer this over something like mac clear gloss (which is a well loved product for its shine) is because the gloss base sticks so much it doesn’t move around and it doesn’t breaks down eyeshadow or mascara. With normal gloss you really need to fix it from time to time….or all the time lol πŸ˜€ Well look at my essay at 4am…….Hope I helped Christine! I always look forward to your reviews! πŸ™‚

szlamizita Avatar

Yeah (0.: maybe some eyeshadow) 1.: thin layer of eye gloss 2.: very thin layer of vaseline! πŸ™‚
How great would it be if we didn’t have to use these tricks…
I’m rooting for you from the other side of the world! πŸ˜€

Lisa Avatar

Lol!!! The swatch of the black one on your eyelid was horrendous. Sorry you had to go through that. But thank you for doing it for the love of makeup! That was the most memorable swatch to date. ?

Helene Avatar

Eye glosses aren’t practical for normal use. I think they work really well on photo shooots, or perhaps the catwalk, when there are MUA’s to fix the look as often as needed.
I do love the colourrs of these in the pan and the swatches. on your poor lids, not so much, Christine. You are one brave girl, though! πŸ™‚

Mariella Avatar

The multi-coloured glitter in these made them look so interesting but what a MESS!!! I’ve see makeup artists use vaseline on the eyes to get a glossy and “grungy” look but it’s not a look I like at all (the glossy bit, sure, but creased, greasy and grungy – yuck!). I also wonder what MAC was thinking.

Christine Avatar

They look sooo cool! That’s what’s interesting – I feel like the glossy look is one of those very specific looks that you’re probably better off just achieving with a gloss or petroleum jelly, which seems to be what a lot of artists do, as you’ve pointed out! Oddly enough, MAC also has Mixing Medium Shine, which adds shine!

Hex Avatar

I tried one of these from the Cinderella collection. It was sold out but they let me try on the tester for fun. Which was cool cuz I was going to a rock concert that night. I had no trouble with the product. It looked great on me and wasn’t that uncomfortable. I wonder how these darker ones would look with a black or navy colour tattoo or shadow stick or liner underneath. Then u wouldn’t have your skin colour peaking through. I would love it.
I would like to say how it annoys me how people buy things cuz they are cool and then they don’t use them. Then it gets sold out and I’m here going But I ACTUALLY WANT TO WEAR IT while others let it rot in their drawer. Ladies please don’t buy this if u won’t wear it.

Christine Avatar

I’m so glad it worked for you, Hex! If I wear much longer than two hours, the gloss starts blurring my eye, lol! I couldn’t get anything to stay on – if I used this over OR under another color, it would just cause the added product to also crease/migrate.

Claire L Avatar

I love the deep blue of Erogenous Zone but your description of the application process made me wince in sympathy. You do suffer for your art, lol! I don’t understand why they didn’t make it more like Vaseline rather than glue?! Better greasy than super-sticky when it comes to your eyelids, right?

Zoe Avatar

This looks terrible and I applaud your grace describing it as objectively as possible. That’s what sets you apart, Christine. So many bloggers would have said “this is gross!” (or about a better product: “this is great!”) without explaining WHY, or attempting to make it work. Bravo.

BonnieBBon Avatar

My eyes actually hurt in sympathy for you! You have done your due diligence. The next time they release these horrors just refer readers to old reviews. Its not worth it! I give you props for suffering in service of makeup junkies but….but… Yeah just not worth your eye pain!

Cat Avatar

I haven’t seen anything that looks that horrible on the eyes since my youngest daughter, after sharing an eyeliner during her freshman year in high school, had to use a salve because she ended up with pinkeye. Her lids were shiny and goopy, and her long lashes were clumped together… =( Christine… thank you for your sacrifice! I bet you couldn’t wait to remove that from your lids. <3

AnnaLiese Avatar

It’s like your poor lashes are saying “Get me the heck away from this goop!!” in the bottom pic. Is there really that big of a market for something like this?

Nell Avatar

Noooo!!! Damn, i was so looking forward to trying these but it is simply a fail with capital F! And i really don’t know how come they didn’t test these pre-production.

Is there something you could recommend to achieve this wet glossy eye look? I dont want shimmery, i was really drawn to the wet look and now i am just saaad

Arianna Avatar

This is awful, I understand how some would say it’s for pro use only, photoshoots editorial work etc BUT, you can achieve that result by mixing ANY pigment / glitter / powder shadow with ANY clear gloss – even simply with 8 Hour Cream!!
And mixing is SO much cheaper! Any shade you want at literally 0 cost!
I don’t see how even pros would splurge to buy such useless a product?..

Gabriella Avatar

Maybe they’re supposed to be geared towards makeup artists doing abstract/fashion photoshoots? I honestly have no idea. It would be cheaper for someone in that position to do what you said and just mix some eyeshadow with petroleum jelly. Who knows anymore with Mac? LOL

Sara Avatar

Oh my, what a tragedy! Looking at the photos of you (so bravely) wearing it above made me laugh out loud! Looks like they’re strictly for some runway somewhere…not the real world.
Thanks for showing us Christine!

X. Avatar

As an actual professional makeup artist, it pains me to see these released as simply whatever new eye product is in vogue when the idea of an eye gloss was definitely conceived as a high fashion runway product. They look great in that kind of environment, but in real life…they’re a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. In addition to having all of the same issues you’ve outlined here, Christine, I actually had an allergic reaction on the lid where it was applied! Nothing too serious, just some minor swelling that went away with Benadryl, but I’ve never had that happen before. Ever. With anything.

Why, MAC. WHY.

X. Avatar

So, I have to eat my words now. This is really, really weird.

I have yet to duplicate that reaction on my eyes, no matter what shade I use, as long as I use my FINGERTIP and not a brush. I haven’t tried using a brush again, but I’ve now applied all three colors in various amounts to my lid with zero reactions whatsoever. Unfortunately, that makes me wonder if the friend who sampled them on my eyes that day was using less-than-clean brushes.

Since this reviews, I’ve fallen head over heels for “Spank Me,” and plan on getting “Erogenous Zone” soon, too. The glosses are a lot easier to work with if you blend (or in this case, tap) them closer to the lash line since they’re going to slide around as it heats up with the skin anyway.

They’re perfect for my new androgynous-leaning, high-fashion winter aesthetic. Eye gloss, washed-out lip, slicked-back hair, lots of highlight on the cheekbone, and a little kohl eyeliner. Boom. Done.

That being said, I don’t think this product is for everyone. Those of us who like our haute couture and avant-garde will appreciate it more.

Charlotte Avatar

I’m surprised by all the negativity. It’s gloss, of course it’s going to move around and crease. That is what happens when you put cream on the eye. As you wear them they do warm up to the eye as well and that stickiness will lighten up. The eye gloss is to create either a messy grungy look, or a high shine on the lid. You see these looks all the time on runways or in fashion editorials. Obviously they’re not for everyone, but as a lover of a more artistic makeup look I adore these πŸ™‚ I rather enjoy that Mac isn’t afraid to put something out like this. It keeps it interesting instead of putting out the same thing you see in every other makeup brand.

Charlotte Avatar

I’m sure if Kim K were to put them on these would be selling out and the comments would be a whole lot different. I think people are just used to the standard look and doing something different scares them.

Christine Avatar

Please be respectful of myself as well as other readers. This is a community that accepts ALL types of beauty and allows for people to like AND dislike what they may without being judged either way. The community here is passionate about beauty and is knowledgeable about their purchases, and they don’t need a celebrity to tell them what to like or dislike as they are smart, savvy individuals who can make up their own minds about what they like and don’t like based on their own needs and preferences. You are welcome to enjoy the product however it works and appeals to you, just as others are welcome to dislike it. It is absolutely uncalled for to insult others because they don’t agree with you.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!