MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad ($33.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a new, limited edition quad that will be available online on May 26th, and in select stores on June 2nd. The quad contains two permanent shades–Mystery and Carbon–and frankly, Sandstone is so close to Cork (permanent) that it might as well be an all-permanent quad (I imagine most readers will have a beige eyeshadow that would function similarly to Mother’s Milk). The colors work well together, and it creates a smoky, more neutral-toned look, so those who prefer pre-made quads and don’t mind that the pans are glued in might still prefer buying it already put together.

Mother’s Milk is a light beige with neutral-to-cool undertones and a soft, pearly sheen. It had semi-opaque color payoff with a slightly firmer texture, but it seemed to apply and build well on the lid–I didn’t notice the stiffness once I was using it. The color lasted for eight hours on me. Colour Pop Supermodel (LE, $6.00) is lighter (95% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Parisienne #4 (LE, ) is darker, cooler (95% similar). Anastasia Treasure (LE, $12.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (95% similar). Chanel Poesie #2 (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). Dior Eternal Gold #2 (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). MAC Phresh Out #1 (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). Viseart Kifu (PiP, ) is warmer (95% similar). MAC Pure Bred #1 (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Tarina Tarantino Elektron (DC, ) is more shimmery (95% similar). bareMinerals Air (PiP, ) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). Charlotte Tilbury The Rock Chick #1 (PiP, ) is darker (90% similar). Surratt Beauty Soie (P, $20.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Satin Ochre (Left) (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar). Rouge Bunny Rouge Rain Dove (P, $19.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel #1 (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar). Tarte Crystal Spark (LE, ) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma (DC, $6.00) is lighter (90% similar). Smashbox Flirt (PiP, ) is warmer (90% similar). Givenchy Tentation #4 (PiP, ) is lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Bones (LE, $19.00) is cooler (95% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Sandstone is a muted, medium brown with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was slightly dusty, but it was smooth and finely-milled, which resulted in a very blendable product in practice. It had semi-opaque, buildable coverage that adhered well to bare skin. On me, the color started to fade after eight hours. theBalm Flawless (P, $16.00) is darker (95% similar). Natasha Denona Flint (184CM) (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). Too Faced Fifi (LE, $16.00) is warmer (95% similar). Tarte Sweet Tea (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). Smashbox Taupe (PiP, ) is cooler (95% similar). Stila Warm Taupe (LE, $18.00) is cooler (95% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Lover #7 (LE, ) is cooler (95% similar). LORAC Brown (LE, $19.00) is lighter (95% similar). Becca Ombre Nudes #3 (PiP, ) is lighter (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Coco (LE, ) is darker (95% similar). Buxom Star Treatment (P, $12.00) is lighter (95% similar). Urban Decay Dare (LE, $19.00) is darker (95% similar). Tarte Jetsetter (PiP, ) is darker, cooler (95% similar). LORAC Dark Brown (PiP, $19.00) is darker (90% similar). Milani Smokin' Hot (PiP, $5.99) is darker (90% similar). MAC Soleil, So Lovely (LE, $17.00) is lighter (90% similar). Too Faced Cobblestone (LE, $16.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Cashmere Bunny (PiP, $16.00) is more muted, cooler (90% similar). Zoeva Lost in Thoughts (PiP, ) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Sephora + Pantone Universe Carob Brown (LE, ) is warmer (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Mystery is a medium-dark taupe-brown with cooler undertones and a matte finish. The texture was marginally dusty, though soft and smooth with good blendability on the skin. It had semi-opaque, buildable pigmentation that lasted for eight hours on me. Laura Mercier Earth (LE, $23.00) is cooler (95% similar). Anastasia Volatile (LE, $12.00) is lighter, cooler (95% similar). Persona Maverick (PiP, ) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Belladonna (DC, $25.00) is lighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Solar Exposure #4 (LE, ) is darker (95% similar). Clinique French Roast (PiP, $15.00) is darker, warmer (95% similar). bareMinerals Tide Pool (LE, ) is lighter, cooler (95% similar). MAC Drama in the Snow (LE, $17.00) is darker (95% similar). Too Faced Dolly (PiP, $16.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Sephora Roasted Chestnuts (DC, $10.00) is darker (95% similar). Too Faced Chocolate Cake (LE, $16.00) is darker (95% similar). Tarte Eiffel for You (LE, ) is darker (95% similar). Anastasia Mercury (DC, $12.00) is lighter (95% similar). Chanel Mystere #4 (LE, ) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar). Zoeva Beans are White (PiP, ) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Sydney Grace Enjoy the Ride (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Sweet as Candy #1 (PiP, ) is lighter (90% similar). Guerlain Les Cendres #3 (LE, ) is darker (90% similar). Fenty Beauty Henna Sea (PiP, ) is warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Chocolate Cake (LE, $16.00) is darker (95% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Carbon is a medium-dark black with a matte finish. This might be my most-owned eyeshadow ever, which means I’ve seen a lot of variations of it; it varies widely when it comes to quality–sometimes it’s so stiff that even sheer payoff is a challenge, and very occasionally, it’s quite good (I think I recall once or twice!). This time around, it yielded decent pigmentation, though the texture was still on the firmer, stiffer side. When I used it, I found the texture somewhat blendable, but it does take extra effort or building very gradually to minimize how much you have to blend out. Once on, it lasted for eight hours. Make Up For Ever #04 (DC, $20.00)(100% similar). MAC Bleuluxe #5 (PiP, )(100% similar). Kat Von D Killing Moon (LE, )(100% similar). bareMinerals Lights Down (P, ) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Filbuste (P, $28.00) is glossier (95% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Smokey Eye Beauty (Smoke) (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). Tarte Fashionista (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). MAC Nehru (Guo Pei) (LE, $17.00) is brighter (95% similar). Hourglass Black (PiP, ) is darker, warmer (95% similar). Tarina Tarantino Lovely #5 (DC, ) is more shimmery, cooler (95% similar). Too Faced Licorice Rope (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). theBalm Righteous (LE, $16.00) is lighter (95% similar). MAC Lune Noire (LE, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). Anastasia Noir (P, $12.00) is darker (95% similar). Too Faced Sin City (LE, $16.00) is lighter (95% similar). Kat Von D Hard Magic (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter (PiP, ) is darker (95% similar). MAC Overnight (LE, $17.00) is brighter (95% similar). Sephora Obsidian (PiP, ) is warmer (95% similar). Smashbox Blackout (PiP, ) is more shimmery (95% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Mother's Milk Eyeshadow
MAC Mother’s Milk Eyeshadow

MAC Mother's Milk Eyeshadow
MAC Mother’s Milk Eyeshadow

MAC Sandstone Eyeshadow
MAC Sandstone Eyeshadow

MAC Sandstone Eyeshadow
MAC Sandstone Eyeshadow

MAC Mystery Eyeshadow
MAC Mystery Eyeshadow

MAC Mystery Eyeshadow
MAC Mystery Eyeshadow

MAC Carbon Eyeshadow
MAC Carbon Eyeshadow

MAC Carbon Eyeshadow
MAC Carbon Eyeshadow

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Pillars Eyeshadow Quad

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
Explore Temptalia

We're here to help you make better beauty purchases that you'll enjoy and love! We recommend signing up to take advantage of personalized features like tracking products you own, viewing dupes that you already have, and more!

Here are some useful resources for you:

Compare Any Two

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

43 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Is it just me, or does every swatch look dry? MAC needs to just do great lipsticks, foundations and blushes, and call it a day(with the eyeshadows). Their track record(of late) seems to be terrible and there’s no point coming out with a new line every other month and adding (re-packaged eyeshadows) that aren’t the same quality as your other products. Just sayin’!

Am I the only one getting a listing of a whole lot of other products AFTER the glossovers of the 4 shadows? Creation, Energy, Sinner Red all the way through to Aristic (sic?)?

As for this quad, even before seeing the lower 2 shades, I thought “Wanna bet they stuck Carbon in this one too?” It looks so very ordinary and dupe-able, even if the rating had been A+.

Should be fixed! Sorry! I imported products into the database but forgot to remove the post # (of this post) so it created Glossovers for all of those shades. So sorry!

Not a problem at all, Christine. I only asked because I thought it was either computer problems at my end or that maybe this was one of the MAC “kits”, which included the quad and some lip products and liners….

These look soo dry/chalky/dusty to my eye. That being said these colors are perfect for a traveler with warm skin. This could make just about any type of look with one other pop shade or shimmer shade.

Yikes, the colors are SO dupe-able, the swatches look SO dry and weak, and this is the best Carbon I’ve seen, but it’s still a C+, it’s tragic 🙁

I love love the neutral eye look you created with this palette. It is quite dupeable and perhaps I shall make my own similar quad from the existing shades in the permanent line!

Livia

It kind of depends on your skin tone, as I wouldn’t say there is one exactly like it, but it is a beige and can look cooler/warmer depending on your undertones.

Surprisingly, I really like this quad! BUT; I am also 110% sure that I could easily and effortlessly dupe it with what I already have. Lorac Pro Palette immediately comes to mind! Plus, a bunch of MAC shades I already own across my stash. Nothing easily portable, though.

Hey goofed and the comment went in the wrong place. Oh, well. N you would definitely use NB. Surprised you don’t have it. Anytime a palette, MUFE e.g is lacking a crease/ transition/ whatever, out it comes to the rescue. If you have been doing without it, pick it up for upping your status somewhere, when you need the points. Sepho comes to mind….

I’m just as surprised, myself. Always talk myself out of it by telling myself that I already have a ton of MAC pro pan singles, including: Orb, Kid, Handwritten, Nehru, etc. Plus, Lorac Pro Palette. Yet, the NB looks like a staple, still.

This palette seems nice but not worth the money especially if you already own a couple palettes. It’s would be great for someone that isn’t really into makeup, it could be their everyday palette.

Totally agree — the colors are very dupable! I mean, beige and black? Definitely staple shades for many!

I’m weirdly missing and currently hunting for an all-matte, neutral (cooler-leaning) quartet (or trio and quintet) like this one, but Carbon’s inclusion (because of its infamous inconsistency in quality, as you noted) doesn’t quite sway me.

Are there similar palettes you’d recommend looking into, Christine? I may just jump for UD Naked Basics 1, otherwise…thanks!

Really hard to find anything truly cool-leaning, to be honest! I think Naked Basics is still one of the better short ‘n sweet matte-centric palettes!

This would be a nice, effortless quad, if the pigmentation were there.

Mystery is a really nice brown..and eureka, not a warm brown, but argh..a complete pita in the single version I have as well.

And eyeroll, Carbon is still being served up.

This is for the Brandt brother collections, yeah? Because leave it to them to come up with a creepy, incestuous sounding name like “Mother’s Milk” for a shade. That family is so weird.

It’s pretty par the course for their white collar antics. The one brother was pictured on the beach getting uncomfortably handsy with his mother, and then there’s the infamous Vogue article with the photoshoot of them lacing her up in S&M gear. I assume they think they’re AVANT GARDE, YOU F*CKING PLEBES, but I think most of us have watched the Kardashians long enough to recognize their ilk when we see it, regardless of the income bracket.

While we are starting petitions for MAC to have collections in honor of ones we’ve lost or even living…i think there should be one started to END CARBON!!!! Every time they add it to a palette or just alone n i see a swatch I cringe n immediately wanna jump in a jar of vaseline!! why mac…whyyyyyyyyyyy. By now it should’ve been reformulated or revamped to be a blendable n a true black (ie UD blackout comes to mind) **le sigh**

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