MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains a copper and brown eyeshadow with a black eyeliner. The Studio Sculpt Shade & Line Eyeshadows can be used wet “for a defined look with super-saturated colour” or dry for “medium buildable coverage.” The copper eyeshadow was the least troublesome, though it wasn’t a boon of an eyeshadow, and the shade itself is one that so many brands do over and over again (MAC included!)–and they do them quite well. The eyeliner shade was stiff, dry, and a real nuisance to blend dry or wet. The brown eyeshadow as drier and stiffer, though not as tough to use as the eyeliner shade. When worn, they lasted eight hours on me.

Espresso Blend #1 is described as a “rich penny-copper.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned copper with a frosted sheen. It had semi-sheer color payoff when applied dry, while the texture was a bit dry to work with. Applied damp, it was nicely pigmented and much smoother. Kat Von D Dog Roses (LE) is darker. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful #3 (P) is less coppery. Makeup Geek Glamorous (P, $5.99) is similar. NARS Isolde #1 (P, $24.00) is also similar. MAC Amber Lights (P, $15.00) is slightly brighter. Guerlain Calligraphy #2 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Espresso Blend #2 is described as a “charcoal black.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned black with a satin finish. If you’ve been reading the last couple of reviews, you’ll notice that there’s a trend with the eyeliner shade: it’s very difficult to use dry, if you can manage to use it at all, as the texture is incredibly stiff and doesn’t apply with much color and is a challenge to blend. With a very damp brush, it can work with more color payoff, but the blendability is still poor. I tried using it as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow, but performance was the same either way. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Espresso Blend #3 is described as a “warm brown.” It’s a medium-dark, subtly warm-toned brown with a satin finish. It had semi-sheer pigmentation when applied dry, but the texture was difficult to work with as it didn’t want to blend–just kind of stuck where it landed and didn’t move from there. Applied with a dampened brush, it was more pigmented and slightly easier to work with, but only for the first couple of seconds. Divergent Bold Espresso (LE) is darker. Laura Mercier Rich Cocoa (P, $22.00) is similar. Sleek MakeUP Flora (P, $9.99) is more matte. MAC Dark Brew (P, $15.00) is slightly lighter. Dior Golden Flower #5 (LE) is a touch lighter, warmer. Chanel Seduction #4 (LE) is darker. LORAC Sable (P) is more matte. NARS Flowers 3 #4 (LE, $24.00) is redder in tone. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

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About the Reviewer

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 matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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29 Comments

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I don’t have a problem with the eye liner strips being hard to use dry – I remember decades ago when my fave eye liners were dry, cake ones from Max Factor and Estee Lauder (I’m talking back in the 70’s). I’m just not crazy for the colours of these but I’m eager to see the other shades.

I was trying to treat them more as a cake eyeliner, but I was surprised at the lack of ease in guiding/moving it along the skin even when wet!

This looks like the worst of the bunch so far which is really too bad. Another terrible liner shade and ridiculous that a liner shadow cannot be applied ‘dry’.. the wet version doesn’t look much better. No thanks.

Right? I could at least be more understanding if the eyeliner had to be used wet, but if used wet, it was really stunning/lovely/easy to use, but it’s just not the case.

This is such a neat idea, it’s a real shame that the formula wasn’t all that great. Of all the shades options, this combo would be the one I was interested in. But given your reviews of it, I’m going to have to skip out on it! Thanks Christine!

Once again, I like the eyeliner shade, and the copper eyeshadow is very bright and pretty in colour, but it’s sad that the whole thing is overall kind of ‘meh’.

Definitely tried it that way (using a really wet brush) – the left swatch is dry, right swatch is dry (for all three shades)! 🙂

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