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Swatches: MAC Neutral Eyeshadows Photos + Swatches

MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

Here’s a quick look at swatches of the current, permanent neutral shades of MAC Eyeshadows ($6.00 for 0.05 oz. pans) — hopefully this helps some of you who have thought about picking up more singles with the price drop. This should cover most of the obvious neutrals in the range, and I’ll be posting the more colorful shades shortly. (You can also view swatches all permanent shades of MAC Eyeshadows here in the Swatch Gallery, which will include shades found in their permanent, pre-made palettes.)

Kind of funny/kind of painful… but I purchased about 75 of the permanent shades prior to the price decrease because I wanted to redo and review the range based on current productions, as some of my permanent singles are 5+ years old!). I did, however, make sure to confirm with MAC HQ that there was no discontinuation in sight for the range before I got busy photographing/swatching, LOL! I have mine in three Make Up For Ever XL Metal palettes, for reference.

MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

MAC Neutral Eyeshadows


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Rima Avatar

Thanks for doing this also would you know what’s the size of the shadows in the pre made palettes? I checked on the Macys website but they don’t give the size of the shadows.

Tiffany Avatar

This may be surprising to some people, but I don’t own a single thing from MAC. I live in the boonies, so it isn’t sold here, and I just never felt compelled to order anything online. However, since this significant price decrease, that may be changing. It does seem odd that they would lower their prices so much when most brands continue to hike them up. I am not complaining though! If anyone wants to make suggestions on some singles I should get, feel free!

Julia Avatar

Until now (the price drop) my MAC collection consisted of a single eyeshadow (Antiqued, for my outer corner) and a bottle of Fix+. I bought both for my wedding makeup about 3 years ago. But since they have such a good and extensive range, I am taking this as an opportunity to dive in! Just wanted to let you know you aren’t the only one ?

Mary Avatar

That’s so funny, Julia…Antiqued is MY only MAC eyeshadow! I do own the Viva Glam lipstick palette from Christmas 2014 and one Studio Fix Fluid. I’ll definitely be checking some of these out at the new price point, but need to make sure that I don’t already have the same colors in MUFE(which are the BEST!).

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh Christine, this is totally awesome!! Even though I’m a big makeup junkie, I’m pretty new to MAC. I have a number of their LE shadows, but only 1 in their permanent range. Every time I go to a MAC store, I get SO overwhelmed with the huge selection, don’t even know where to start. Now I can eyeball the swatches at leisure, read reviews, and at $6 each, put together my own palette of the best shades. Sorry you missed the price cut, the makeup gods are SO cruel, but hope you catch a lucky break the next time you buy something

Julia Avatar

Bless you, Christine! ? I am currently building a “Naked Julia” palette (get it? LoL) made up of 28 neutral shades to fill a Z palette now that I can do so somewhat affordably. I love the UD Naked palettes since I live for neutrals, but I never use the right 25% of shades because I rarely go darker than a midtone. So I am building my range of shimmery lights and mediums with glee… And the swatches are super helpful! I work near a MAC store and I actually still prefer to research my picks online first and then look in person. If the pots are brand new they tend to look a little light, but if they are well-swatched they are all smooshed down and hard from peoples’ dirty fingers (gross). Plus there is way less pressure when I can spend as much time as I want browsing around from my computer. Anyway, thanks again for providing such a great resource!

Michele @Binxcat4ever Avatar

WOW! Thank you so much for your work on this. I had been thinking of creating a couple of custom palettes as quick grab-and-gos. Hopefully I can get a $$$ break between the Spring and Summer launches to work on buying some shades. By the way, I just purchased the newly released MAC fragrance, Air of Style, this morning. Since their site didn’t list the notes in the fragrance, I got them through chat. If you care to share, the MUA told me it was white pepper, tuberose, dates, amber crystals, and I believe “something” woods (don’t recall exactly) and “something” orange (don’t recall exactly). [The Chat log hasn’t posted in my MAC account yet for me to double check.] The MUA was passing along my suggestion to actually post the notes on the site instead of just saying floral and sensual. The MUA thought the scent was sweeter than YSL Black Opium.

Ginny Avatar

Much appreciated, Christine. I, too, went on a MAC pan spree last summer, darn it! But maybe some of the colorful ones will catch my eye. My absolute favorites of this bunch are Malt and Copperplate.

Natalie Avatar

Wow, what a great post, Christine! Really helpful!
Btw, I couldn’t help noticing Nylon is not on this list. Was it discontinued? It’s one of my favorite inner corner highlight shades from MAC.

Chessie Avatar

Thank you so much for this post! This is super helpful because the website photos don’t do any of these justice and I’ve been wanting to pick up some more shadows since the price dropped. Do you plan on doing swatches of more of the brighter, more colorful shades? I hope you do! Your swatches are the best.

Wednesday Avatar

A great reminder of all the MAC shadows in the permanent collection that I absolutely love.

‘kay, but I’m jaded, right so I am entirely suspicious of all moves; and especially one that involves a price decrease. How did they warrant the price change? Did they change ingredients? Are they discontinuing and creating a new permanent line? So many possibilities… of course, it could just be pressure from competition…but….

xamyx Avatar

Ironically, MAC led the way in price hikes, LOL! Yes, every other brand did it, but it seemed MAC did it more frequently, and at a higher percentage rate. Between so many smaller brands breaking through, as well as major department stores beginning to carry many similar brands, demand is waning. Also, a few years back, MAC was the YouTube Darling, but their presence is nearly nonexistent.

Maggie Avatar

Same thoughts here. I was wondering if they were redirecting their manufacturing over to developing countries–where the cost of labor is much lower and laws/codes to protect consumers and laborers are much more lenient. It is the top reason why I don’t purchase or mention Anastasia or LORAC products even though both brands fit my aesthetic preferences.

Katie McGrath Avatar

This was great, specially to see what I want to add next to my collection. At least want 5 out of your collection, specially the soft browns and taupe which I don’t have in my collection. I love how you did this post !!! love the swatches.

Kalli Avatar

Literally the last thing I need is more eyeshadow, but I’ve always wanted to do a palette of neutrals with good crease and transition shades. Since the price drop, I’ve been trying to figure out which shades to get and this is so helpful! Thanks 🙂

A Little Dose of Makeup Avatar

Thank you for compiling this! I have many of these shadows but I never turn down a good nude!

Bookmarking this for later when I want to buy some more!

Nancy T Avatar

Just realized how many of these I already own, but also how there are still some more I need! Blackberry, Haux, Grain or ATG, Copperplate… Wow! Thank you for this nice catalogue to help one discern which ones they may want/need, Christine!

Mary Avatar

VERY excited about this! Will definitely be adding about 10-12 new shadows to my collection that I’ve been wanting to try. Thanks so much for the all of the swatches, Christine!

Hana Avatar

Hi Christine! Thank you so much for doing this! LOL I noticed online that MAC had dropped their prices and the very first thing I did was come to your webpage to look at your reviews/ratings of some colors I have had my eye on! 😀 Lo and behold, you put up 2 new swatch posts this completely made my Monday. <3

You said in the second paragraph that these swatches are from a new batch of eyeshadows you were planning on reviewing – will you be putting up new reviews in the near future? If so, I am going to hold off until I see what you think 😉

Bonnie Avatar

That is so infuriating that you bought 75 of these at full price right before a price drop!!! UGH i would die. Somewhat similarly (but not really) I just ordered my first custom MAC 15 pan palette last night, after looking for swatches and comparisons of all the shades for days. Then lo and behold, you have these up first thing the morning after! I wouldve ordered differently had i seen your swatches first. Life is so bizarre sometimes! lol!! Oh well, guess I’ll have to just buy another one! 😉

Kirsten Avatar

Ah, I thought Mystery had been discontinued recently. I wonder if I’ve got it confused with something else. Also I always find it interesting how shadows that look so similar in the pan can swatch so differently.

Genevieve Avatar

Thank you so much for doing this – as colours come and go, it’s hard to know what is available or not. Satin Taupe is such a divine colour – MAC should never get rid of it.
It would be completely lovely if you could do this for the MAC greens and olives……..

Maggie Avatar

Thank you so much for your hard work. Round-ups like these make it so much easier to look through swatches. I have only ever bought 3 things from MAC: Mac sculpt, a brush kit and an eyeliner. I have been looking to buy singles and it seems MAC has most of the right colors/finishes I have been looking for. Should be fun.

Anne Avatar

This is great! Thanks! I’m going to dip my toe back in the MAC pool now, informed from the amazing range of swatches and MAC saying these won’t be discontinued (three of my all time favorite eye products were MAC but then discontinued, and with that and all the LE’s, I’d basically given up on the brand). Thanks for the great info, Christine!

Nell Avatar

Love Love Love!
Thanks Christine! This is a textbook reference, and you’ve done a great job! The MAC shadows I ordered when the price decreased came in 2 days. Some of these are all time favorites of mine, some are new for me and some are better in different seasons. They are all fun to play with and use in different combinations.
Happy Happy Happy!

Fran Avatar

Ouch, Christine! It’s like when I hate paying full price for something only to have the price drop shortly thereafter!

But thank you for doing this — it’s so helpful! For some reason Mystery is not on MAC’s website this morning (I’ve been favoriting the shades that appeal to me from the swatches).

Arpita Avatar

Wow… Thank u so much Christine for this list. This a a neutral eye shadow lover’s dream. I donot prefer pre made palettes as i find some shades not usable in each of them. Rather i make my own palettes according to my needs and quality of the product. Mac has always been a favorite. Andi am so glad they r not discontinuing any of the shades. I was worried when u had earlier mentioned the price drop; that certain es might be discontinued. Feeling relieved now.

Emilie Avatar

Christine, how do you get your Mac eyeshadows to magnetize to the Makeup Forever Palettes? I have one that has Makeup Geek shadows in it and I wanted to add my Mac ones, but they don’t stick (they’re the pro pans that come with a magnet on the back, did you remove those magnets?) Thanks! I’ve already bought Saddle, Sketch, Aqua, Woodwinked, and Vex, I’m very happy with this new price 🙂

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