MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a colorful palette with a slight cool tone running through it.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Lady’s Prance (clay), Rolled Gold (gold), High Spirits (shimmered avocado), Vainglorious (metallic maroon), Set to Dance (dark royal blue), and Bows & Curtseys (metallic hunter green).

  • Lady’s Prance is a dirty gray-beige. It has a matte finish, but it doesn’t look like 100% matte to me.   The pigmentation on this shade was really nice, as it went on solid without having to layer on a ton.  It’s a lighter version of Omega.
  • Rolled Gold is a smooth antique gold with subtle green-gold flash.  It has a lustre finish, but it feels a lot smoother and integrated than other lustres.  Patina would be the closest in the permanent range, but it’s not that close.
  • High Spirits is a medium grassy green with darker green shimmer.  It has a frost finish.  As pretty as this looked in the pan, it just didn’t swatch very intensely for me.   It’s like a darker version of Swimming–like a cross between Swimming and Humid.
  • Vainglorious is reddened burgundy with soft sheen. It has a frost finish.  Now, this was originally released as part of Venomous Villains, but the one in this palette swatched on the sheer side.  I barely had to get any product when it was sold individually to get a really rich, pigmented swatch, but I felt like I had to work hard to get it to show up from this palette. What gives?  It’s pretty close to Star Violet.
  • Set to Dance is a dark indigo blue. It has a matte finish, and it does suffer from some chalkiness and overall sheerness.   Naval (PRO) probably comes closest to this shade, but it’s bluer.
  • Bows & Curtseys is a darkened green that leans quite gray-black. It has a satin finish.  For as dark as this shade looks in the pan, it swatched something awful.  I just could not get it to show–it reminded me of Deep Blue Green pigment, except, you know, with 10% of the pigmentation.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

Despite loving how colorful this palette is upon first glance, the pigmentation leaves something to be desired.  There is just a lack of it in the majority of these shades (all but the gold and beige), and I really can’t understand why.  I had some textural issues with half the shades–Lady’s Prance and Rolled Gold have a lovely smooth texture, but Set to Dance and Bows & Curtseys had a much chalkier texture.  Overall, I’m not too keen on this palette.

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  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s definitely a palette geared towards those who love to wear color, but the lack of pigmentation makes it more appropriate to those who prefer their color sheer!

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
Top row: Lady’s Prance, Rolled Gold, High Spirits; Bottom row: Vainglorious, Set to Dance, Bows & Curtseys

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
Top row: Lady’s Prance, Rolled Gold, High Spirits; Bottom row: Vainglorious, Set to Dance, Bows & Curtseys

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
Left to right, top to bottom:  High Spirits, Bows & Curtseys; Rolled Gold, Set to Dance; Lady’s Prance, Vainglorious

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
Lady’s Prance, Rolled Gold, High Spirits

MAC Tartan Tale:  Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
Vainglorious, Set to Dance, Bows & Curtseys


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NeutraKris Avatar

I haven’t been personally “wow”‘d by any of the Tartan Tale items so far. I do like this palette though because of the color variety. I would say this is the first “love it” that I have done for this collection, haha!

Katie Avatar

I never bought a MAC palette because I think they skimp on the pigmentation. I’m more of a neutrals kind of girl, but even the ones with neutrals are way too sheer. I’d rather buy the pro pans and just make my own.

Amy P Avatar

This was originally near the top of my list for this collection, but I went to a preview event/presale this weekend and was underwhelmed by all of the gift bags and palettes, despite the CUTE packaging (I was so tempted to get a brush bag JUST for the bag, but good sense won out). Instead I just got both of the plaid eyeshadows I wanted rather than just choosing one 🙂

Wendy Avatar

You are such a help! I have been going back and forth on this and the Dashing Lassies palettes… saw some really pigmented swatches and others not so good. Now I’m gonna pass for sure on these and can save some money 🙂 Just waiting on your single e/s and lip swatches now!

Bellcheria Avatar

Wow thanks for your review on this one! I actually wanted it because of vainglorious and set to dance, but hearing your opinion and seeing these swatches, I’ll pass it up!

tg Avatar

I haven’t bothered with their holiday stuff since Antiquitease, and even then I only got a palette because of the packaging. I ended up giving it away because the shadows were also not pigmented.

I wonder if MAC decides to have these made up in China or somewhere. Why else would the quality be so different?

Shontay07108 Avatar

Wow, Christine. I am surprised this palette didn’t work for you. I am wearing it right now and I adore it. I didn’t have to dig into it at all. It swatched fine for me also. I was prepared to be disappointed because I read your review before I tried it out. Maybe it’ll work better for you in a look? Maybe it works better for me because I am considerably darker(nc50)?

Erica Avatar

Thank you for your review and pics and swatches! What a bummer too, all that work and time and effort with such disappointing products! I’ll be skipping most of Tartan Tale – I want the 2 pigments, just because I collect them, but otherwise, I’ll look to other brands’ goodies this holiday season.

LorraineER Avatar

I had that same problem with my full-size Vainglorious. I noticed when I got it home that it didn’t come out looking like it does in the pan- It looked more muddied, brownish and slightly more matte. I’ve tried using it a couple ways and nothing has changed. I’m only keeping it because I don’t have any other color like it.

LorraineER Avatar

I think something may be wrong with mine then. I have to pack it on and even then it looks matte and not true to color. It’s easy to blend the color away completely…weird! Is it even possible to get a “defective” eye shadow? lol. If so, I must have. It’s been over 30 days or I would return it for sure after hearing that it’s not supposed to look like that.

Sara Avatar

You must’ve gotten a dud because my full size Vainglorious is super pigmented with one swipe. It’s one of my favorite shadows now & reminds me of swatching Urban Decay shadows-extremely rich and pigmented. It’s not too red, not too brown and has just the right amount of shimmer. A pure winner in my book and I’m very happy that I got this LE shadow from the Venomous collection. It makes my green eyes sparkle!

LorraineER Avatar

That’s what I was hoping it would be like but it has no shimmer at all when I swatched it and when I’ve worn it, even after using a lot of it. I used a q-tip and really rubbed it around trying to kick up product and then experimented with it and no luck :/ I guess I did get a dud.

Suzanne Avatar

Is it just me or are all the names of the the colours in Tartan Tale bleh? I usually look forward to the names as much as the hues. This one looks like it was christened in a hurry.

SiaM Avatar

I really wanted to like this one!!!! But when I read they lacked pigmentation I just don’t want that , the words chalkiness and sheer shadows turn me off immediately

Phung Avatar

Thanks so much! Your reviews are excellent! I bought this one and Sweep me off your feet brush set! Do you know if the Chapter 2 Pigments are available for Pre-order on Oct. 28th this Thursday at MAC Counters? Thanks again! Cuz I want some new pigments for the holidays!! =o)

Brigette Avatar

Out of all of the palettes in this collection, I am geared more towards this palette because of the variety of colors it offers. 🙂 I don’t know…it’s just my opinion.

auroragyps Avatar

I was going to get this palette for Vainglorious, the two greens, and as my first foray into MAC shadows, but not after reading your post. Thanks for the heads up.

Adelina Avatar

I got this of all the palettes. And I think it swatched better in stores when I got it. I could barely get any color payoff and am quite disappointed. Wish I’d checked here first before getting it. Was totally sold by the in-store make up artist.

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