MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Chromagraphic Pencils & Paint Pots Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots:
Coral Crepe, Groundwork

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Chromagraphic Pencils & Paint Pots Review, Photos, Swatches

I am both a little surprised–but very delighted–to say that the Chromagraphic Pencils work wonderfully on the waterline. They look lovely–very fresh and awake–without being too light. I used NC/NW15 on my waterline as soon as I had finished photographing them (nobody likes to see used stuff photograph, yeah?), and here I am three hours later with it still hanging on.  I’d definitely say to grab one when you’re able to if you’ve always wanted an easy way to open up and brighten your eyes.

Chromagraphic Pencil ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • NC15/NW20 is a light nude with a creamy feel and look.
  • NW25/NC30 is a yellower, deeper nude with the same creaminess as the other shade.

Paint Pot ($16.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Coral Crepe is a reddened, darkened coral-orange with a slight golden sheen. It can be sheered out a bit, but it really goes on quite coral. I tried as a base, and it can definitely be worn on the eyes. I also tried it on the lips, and I’d vote nay on that in the future–very drying and chalky looking. Havne’t tried it on the cheeks, but you might be able to do that.
  • Groundwork is a softened brown with a yellow undertone. This is a permanent shade.

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Chromagraphic Pencils

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Chromagraphic Pencils

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: NW25/NC30 (left), NW15/NW20 (right)

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Chromagraphic Pencils:
NW15/NW20, NW25/NC30

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots: Coral Crepe, Groundwork

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Coral Crepe Paint Pot

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Groundwork Paint Pot

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots: Groundwork, Coral Crepe

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Groundwork Paint Pot

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Coral Crepe Paint Pot

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Hey Christine!

If you are around an NC30, how come you went for the lighter shade? Did you try the other one? Does the shade depend on what you plan on using it for?

I definitely want a chromagraphic pencil! Are the pencil’s LE? I’m also tempted by that coral paint pot, although it is quite bright and I’m unsure of how much I’ll be using it. Do you think its a must-have? 🙂

Hey honey,
Love the swatches but just to let you know that some of the picture titles are the wrong way round.
I can’t believe how quickly you got these up tho, very well done 🙂

i wish there were a couple of deeper chromagraphic pencils….
i think i’ll pass on the paint pots as well…already have groundwork, and think i can live without a salmon paint pot…

maybe even save my money for the summer collections…

do you feel that the coral crepe is necessary? would colors/look would you use it with…. i guess i’m intimidated by its opaque-ness and color

Yes and no — yes because you don’t see shades like this very often, but it might not be something you reach for constantly.

I would layer golds or browns over it 🙂

Thanks for the swatches and reviews, Christine!

I know you’re super busy at the moment but I got a question for you for when you have a spare minute or two. How does Coral Crepe compare to Rubenesque? Thanks!

Hi Christine,

Do you think the Chromagraphic Pencils could be used on brows? Specifically if I wanted to go for the pale brow look that popluar right now.


Whoa! I didn’t think Coral Crepe was going to be KA BAM! as in the color standing out. It is nice but I wonder if I will ever use it?

Oh btw what are exactly Chromagraphic Pencils? They look like concealer in a pencil form to me :/

hi christine!
i was originally going to get the stila eye kajal in topaz for the waterline but now i’m thinking about the chromographic pencils. how do they compare? what do you recommend?

thanks <3

In my experience with the kajal eyeliners they’re too creamy for the waterline. They go on easily, but they wear off real quick. Great on the lids though!

The Stila is definitely pinker and doesn’t look as natural as the chromagraphic does on Christine;s eyes in her lip photos (she’s wearing it in those).

Me too! Since I can’t pick up MAC pro stuff yet, i might have to go with the stila one… Hoping it’s worth ABOUT $20 😛 it just needs to last atleast 7 hours for me.

oh wow, so glad I didn’t pick up coral crepe. I don’t think I can pull that off without looking like the Heat Meiser 🙂 Thank you for the swatches!!

I’m loving the coral crepe paint pot! But i’m wondering what it would look like actually on the eyes, can you do a look using it???
Love your site christine!

Woot! I’ve been waiting all day for these swatches! =) THank you!

Do you think the lighter chromo pencil is better for the waterline?

I like it – I don’t see myself using it a ton, but it’s something you don’t see often, so I’d have picked it up if I was a normal consumer and not an obsessed beauty blogger, lol!

LoL thanks for your response.
I mean i dont see myself wearing it all the time but its definitely different! Before seeing your review and swatches for this collection, i had a list of things i wanted, and now after seeing it there isn’t a whole lot i want. It just sucks that when i talk to the MAC Makeup artists online they say i should get it (just not one thing, but almost everything) And sometimes i find that wrong because i knwo they are just saying it so we will buy it.

Christine, could you please post the chromographic pencil swatch on your waterline and give ideas of how else it can be used (in pics)? Thanks for the quick review!

I’ve been using the Naked Lip Liner on the waterline (Fascinating pencil seems too much for me), so the chromagraphic pencils would be a good substitute for that, or should I just skip them if I already have de Naked pencil? Thnx.

Oh gosh, the Chromagraphic pencils are just what I was looking for! I’ve been trying to find a peachy, skintone-like eyeliner for the waterline, like Stila’s Kajal in Topaz, but I find that too smudgy. I’ve got to check these out! Thanks, Christine!

Hi. This question may not belong here. But I just bought my first paint pot today in Soft Ochre.. and when I opened the box it came in today I noticed the jar wasn’t completely tight. I feel like the product is extremely dry and dries in less than 5 seconds when I tried it on my hand. Are all paint pots like that? or is it suppose to be creamy? it doesnt feel very creamy at all. I think I might try to return it or exchange it. Thanks for any help in advance.

The swatches of these paint pots look so creamy and the colors are so nice, so I definitely want to get more if they are suppose to be creamy.

Hmm, they should be creamy and not dry. Has the product separated a bit from the sides of the jar? I microwaved (remove the lid!) Soft Ochre paint pot once, which did salvage it (and I don’t feel it changed the product), because I forgot to put the lid back on and left it out for two days!

Coral Crepe looks gorgeous!! I wasn’t really feeling it before, but now I can totally see it spicing up shimmery neutral looks. Thanks, Christine!!

Do you think Coral Crepe would look weird as just an all over wash on the lid? ..Can it be sheered out. I thought it would be much lighter but it’s so intense. Love it but not sure if it’s practical (for me)..

To be honest… yeah, it probably would. I looked at it alone (before I put product on top), and it made me look like I had pink eye or had been crying all day.

I don’t think I’ll want any of these. Don’t see the point of these pencils and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t wear coral eyeshadows, I like coral a lot, but I prefer it on my lips and cheeks.

Hm, as others have said, I’m not sure about Coral Crepe. This was the product I was most anticipating, but I guess i suspected something less coral, maybe more pinkish, or just something less vivid. It’s pretty, but I doubt i’d really use it – I own Penny, Warm&Cozy shadesticks, which might be more coppery, but I think I could do the job with them instead. Also, I’m kinda sad it’s so shimmery – I much prefer paint pots that are matte, or satiny. But I’m not too sad, I do like 2 lipsticks, which I may end up getting instead (yeah, I’m bad like that – *instead*, not simply *not getting anything* lol… :))

@sandra: if you have doubt the product is not good I’d head back to where you bought it (or send it back). you should not be left with a doubt if such a high end product is or is not in impeccable condition…
if you go to sephora or similar stores they could show you what the product should look like in new condition..

Christine I have a question for the nude pencils.. is one meant for lighter skin, and one for darker? or could I as a light skinned girl also use the darker one? I am pale in winter but tan very well (naturally raven black hair, green eyes). I have a yellowish undertone – I do not have a MAC counter close so it will be hard for me to see the products before ordering! thanks a lot for all your reviews and swatches, they helped me SO much in the past!

You could use either, IMO. I find the darker one is too yellow for my skin tone myself, so the lighter one works better for me!

p.s. I own Topaz by stila and it is awesome on my eyes.. if that helps a bit in helping me to decide which colour to get 🙂 topaz a very very pale abricot colour.

To be honest, the darker one looks odd to me, on my lash line, and I’m on the lighter side of medium, but definitely more medium than light, so I’d say the lighter one.

I think that Groundwork would be gorgeous on the lid and Coral Crepe could seal the deal under the lower lash line. Coral Crepe is the perfect color to use in a neutral color pop look. The more and more I look at it, the more I love it. Now I seriously have to have it…

OMG I got the coral PP and I HATE it. The girl at my counter did a look using that and bomboo as the crease. Omg it was just awful lol! I am a mac lover but seriously it was weird. On my skin tone the coral looks like a fire red/orange color. It is very pretty but nottt on my eyes. it brings out all the red in my eyes and everything! I am SO dissapointed. Hope I can return =/ .

Hey MG,

Have you tried layering pinks over it? My fear with Coral Crepe is that anyone with red undertones and doesn’t like wearing pinks, golds, or bronzes will not find it very useful.

Well I am getting the Coral paint pot to put on my brow bone instead of lid because I like putting blush there as well and now I can have something that is made for the eyes.

Hi Samantha,
I used the darker chromographic pencil to spot conceal and I can say that it did work for me! I tried it under my eyes for undereye circles and it looked good but I was going to sleep in 1 hour so I don’t know how long or good it could have lasted. I should add that I already use NW25/NC30 as a concealer (the concealer that looks like it is in a PP container), so it wasn’t hard to match on me.

Hi Christine,

By any chance, have you tried Cargo’s Reverse Lip Liners???
The Chromagraphic Pencils looks so creamy; and I love that. And you mentioned they lasted you for 3 hours or so. The Cargo Reverse Lip Liner as a waterline pencil is okay but it doesnt seem to last long for me.


It is so hard to find good, nude eye liners for the waterline when you are pale. I can pull white off for everyday wear but I’m definitely going to try the lighter of these ones for a nude, natural look.

I love the coral crepe pp, I used it today and layered Hey eyeshadow, from Fafi quad, and it looks great, I also used the chomagraphic pencil in my waterline, lovin it:)

Ohh, how excited I was for Coral Crepe, but I went and swatched it in the store yesterday and it intimidates the crap out of me. It’s soooo pretty, but SO pigmented. The counter here was out of the Chromographic Pencils 🙁

Hi Christine! Love the reviews, so thorough.
I was wondering, I am considering purchasing coral crepe pp, but i have blonde hair, blue eyes and NW20 skin, (which can get quite red!) i was wondering if the coral would perhaps clash with my skin or do you think that it would compliment it nicely?
thank you!

To be honest, I probably wouldn’t grab it — you can wear it as a base and layer other shadows on top, but it’s going to pull pretty red/copper on your skin tone. I don’t have red tones, but it makes me look like I’ve been crying alone!

So as a base, yes, but alone… not so great.

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