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MAC PRO Chromaline Review, Swatches, Photos

Chromaline is described by MAC as:

A waterproof gel/cream liner that provides all the smooth graphic benefits of a liquid liner. Creates precise, long-lasting lines of intense colour with dense matte coverage. Versatile palette offers both vibrantly bright and blackened shades. Applies smoothly, sets quickly. Waterproof and smudge-proof. Best when used with professional tools and brushes.

Chromaline is available in the following shades:

  • Landscape Green Lust bright green
  • Bright Red Primary red
  • Black Black Deep black
  • Genuine Orange Bright orange
  • Pure White Whitest white
  • Marine Ultra Bright naval blue
  • Primary Yellow Bright clean yellow
  • Rich Purple Dense purple

What IS Chromaline? While the MAC PRO site described it as a gel/cream liner, I suppose you might think then it’s meant to be used as an eyeliner, much like fluidline. Well, you’d be mostly wrong, since the majority of the colors are not eye safe (and some aren’t lip safe, either). So then you’re left wondering, “What ARE these for, then?” I was chatting with Elessa from Pursebuzz about them, and she mentioned body art and body painting, which were both ideas I also pondered over. I think the only reason why it seems odd to use these for body is because both chromacakes and paintsticks are great for body art/painting and you get more product–these are the size of paint pots! Imagine using that to cover up a leg 😉 But I have heard that these are an extension of the chromacake/paintsticks line, which definitely means they are meant for body and painting rather than regular consumer day-to-day use–doesn’t mean you can’t try ’em out, though!

When I called up Los Angeles PRO to get Dame Edna stuff early, I figured I’d try a few of these to see how their texture/payoff/etc. was like. The texture is creamy, and all of the colors I tried were very rich and pigmented–all good things. As I mentioned, most of these are not eye safe, which is a bummer and kind of leaves me with no real usage for these. You can speculate on why they are or are not eye safe, but some reasons are staining or irritation from dyes (like red dyes).

Check out swatches and more product photos…

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About the 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 information, please check the FAQ.)

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41 Comments

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I saw a picture a few months ago in a magazine (it may have been InStyle or Allure) of a girl wearing the purple as a liner (it was mentioned that she worked for MAC), which leads me to believe it would be safe. I definitely would not TOUCH the red, most reds are not safe for around the eyes, but I would give the others a go. There are a lot of pro products with not safe for eye use warnings, but I think a lot of people forego the warnings. 🙂

Interesting! Though sometimes I think they list products that aren’t actually eye safe, because I know they’re used in shoots and the like 🙁

i agree…i once loved a shadow on a mac artist and she told me it was not eye safe, but she used it anyway. its a use at your own risk type of thing. and the FDA approves colors for lip and eye, so if its not listed for hose uses then cosmetic companies generally will not use them.

sometimes they just say its not safe for the eye to cover their butts as a precaution. a lot of pigments claim to not be safe for the eye, like fuchia, but many ppl can wear it with no problems.

This is true, but at the same time, if they don’t bother to test–then they probably *know* it wouldn’t pass.

Some pigments aren’t eye-safe because they have large glitter particles that can scratch the corneas of your eyes (and leave scars behind), actually!

If they’re not eye safe, why call them liners? Unless the clearly print on the package not to use them near the eye, it seems like MAC is just begging for a lawsuit.

That’s what I was thinking, but one reader did point out that these work to draw lines before you fill in with body paint. Seems kind of redundant (why not just use the body paint and a liner brush?), but it makes sense 🙂

I hope nobody gets too upset which I’m not trying to do at all…but, those colors are bordering on looking like clown paint. I dunno, probably nothing I would use regularly.

They are designed more for PRO use than consumer–so body paint and art 🙂 So the colors definitely make more sense to be primary for that purpose.

I was talking to the pros in my local store and they said they are designed to outline areas that will be filled in by the chromacakes. I think this stuff is easier for “sketching”, if you can call it that. *laugh*

Lil, they look like clown colors because they are designed for body painting. Most of the colors for body painting are custom-mixed from highly-pigmented sources like these. Plus, I think it helps to have strong basic colors because you can do a lot with them as is. It’s really interesting to watch body painters at work.

Well, the consistency would make it better for a smooth line when drawing with it. Has anyone tried drawing fine lines with the Chromacake or paintstick – yeah, not as smooth. So, I would imagine for detail work, these would be amazing and smooth. That’s just my 2 cents.

I use the chromalines as base and eyeliner. The colours can be mixed and i can get my own shades that i need. I love it! In September i buy the 2 new colours magenta and cyan.

These make amazing bases- much more solid than using paint pots or shadesticks etc, and they are so easy to blend whilst keeping the vibrant colour.

The other day, I used white all over, and winged out with the purple chromaline, and then covered my base with crystalled purple and reflects blue…it was so pretty and I loved it.

No creasing, no smudging- solid all night! I was a very happy lady!

P.s: No problems around my eye with the purple, however I’d previously used the eye liner mixing medium to stick the glitter as recommended by a member of staff at the PRO store- and that really stung (my friend found this too).

I just saw “Rich Purple” in the September, 2011 issue of Allure magazine. The model was wearing it, and it looked GORGEOUS! That’s why I looked it up on MAC’s website.

MAC describes this product as “Quickly give yourself a smudge proof pop of colour underneath your eyeshadow and have some fun” – So if they’re not all for the eye, that description’s pretty misleading.

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