Mac Eyeshadow Collection

It started with a 4-pan quad and ended with a 15-pan palette. Today I’ll be documenting the end of my Mac eyeshadow journey. I had decided a long time ago that it deserves a post of it’s own when all the pans are filled. I think it was back in October when I bought my last eyeshadow, Twinks. So here they are, some of the best and worst Mac eyeshadows! I’ve also included a little top 5 at the end.

My Mac Eyeshadows-1 My Mac Eyeshadows-2

The first couple of eyeshadows I purchased were all “fun” bright colours. This was waaay before I saw the beauty in neutrals. To be fair though, I did own the Urban Decay Naked palette at the time, so I had my bases covered. If you’re reading beauty blogs or watching YT, you inevitably get the Mac eyeshadow bug as I did. Past the initial crazy colour stage, I’ve been very sensible with my purchases over the last 5 years. Most of the eyeshadows will be in use for a long time and are colours that definitely suit me.

I do feel like buying these in 2016 is very different from buying them in 2010 though. Urban Decay Naked was out at the time but I didn’t have Lorac Pro, Too Faced, Tarte, Viseart etc and so many other options to consider. I definitely don’t see the value  in Mac now that I once did. However, if you’re buying makeup in India, Mac is still one of the better choices when it comes to eyeshadows in palette form, the other being Inglot (which is half the price).

Quality wise most of these are good but I do find that even with similar finishes, there are a lot of inconsistencies. I’ll talk more about this below but basically I don’t like the mattes but love the satin and pearly ones. Even without a primer, the good shades stay on me for 8+ hours and do not crease. They also blend very well together.

Also, if you’re wondering why some of them look tortured, it’s because I can’t depot eyeshadows gracefully.

My Mac Eyeshadows-6My Mac Eyeshadows-3 My Mac Eyeshadows-4

I’ll list the names with the official descriptions and finishes below. Swatches will follow along with my mini reviews on each. Also, the swatches are without a primer underneath.

  • All That Glitters – veluxe pearl – beige with gold pearl
  • Amber Lights – frost – peachy-brown with shimmer
  • Atlantic Blue – matte – bright violet blue
  • Carbon – matte – intense black
  • Contrast – velvet – purplish blue with blue pearl
  • Coppering – veluxe pearl – orange copper
  • Cork – satin – muted golden brown
  • Expensive Pink – veluxe pearl – pink with duochrome
  • Mulch – velvet – red-brown with bronze pearl
  • Nocturnelle – frost – pinked up chrome purple
  • Patina – frost – taupe brown with golden pearl
  • Phloof! – frost – frosted off-white
  • Satin Taupe – frost – taupe with silver shimmer
  • Sumptuous Olive – veluxe pearl – khaki with pearl
  • Swimming – lustre – hi shine sea green
  • Texture – velvet – peachy brown with shimmer
  • Trax – velvet – burgundy plum with shimmer
  • Twinks – veluxe pearl – deep plum with shimmer
  • Woodwinked – veluxe pearl – warm antique gold

My Mac Eyeshadows-7

My love for Coppering is a one-way street. As much as I love the using it for the vibrancy and quality, it’s not the best for my skintone. It’s too warm but I’ve learnt to use it more delicately now, placing it on a smaller area of the lid and pairing it with more browns.

If I had to pick just one eyeshadow from the lot to keep forever, it would be Expensive Pink, it might just be the best pink eyeshadow ever (in my opinion). It’s my go-to colour for occasions like Diwali, weddings etc. It’s not an everyday colour but it looks so festive and brightens up the eye. You can use it in so many ways. My favourite is to pair it with Amber Lights, a bright gold along with a shade like Mulch in the outer corner.

Texture is a surprise find that made me love warmer browns. It’s perfect for all over the lid and also great as a transition colour for smokey eyes. I love the satin but almost matte finish as well. Cork is another such shade that’s a much closer match to my very discoloured eyelids. I love this for evening them out.

My Mac Eyeshadows-8

I was once in Mac with the intention to buy Nylon but walked out with Phloof!. Nylon has too much of a green-yellow iridescence that I don’t quite like, while Phloof is more of a pearly white with slight pink iridescence. Amazing on the brow bone or inner corner as a highlight.

All That Glitters is an amazing peachy champagne colour. I can see why it’s so popular with people but in my opinion it looks better by itself on paler skin. I definitely need to use it with other eyeshadows and to make good use of it (which I do).

Satin Taupe is one of the rare cool toned shades I like on myself. It can subdue silvers or brighten up darker browns. But it’s the only eyeshadow that can make your lid look smooth like fabric, which is one of the inconsistencies I spoke about before because I have other ‘frost’ finish eyeshadows that don’t have this effect. It’s possibly because of the size of the shimmers but whatever it is, I love it.

I have the two purple eyeshadows Trax and Nocturnelle. Trax is a very unique shade, like a dusty purple with gold shimmer. I wish it was more pigmented though. Nocturnelle is one of those eyeshadows I’ve fallen out of love with. I was very much into purple and black smokey eye combos at the time but overall quality wise, I’d say skip it.

My Mac Eyeshadows-9

Woodwinked is one of those all over lid colours I love wearing just by itself. It’s a brown tone lighter than my lid colour and so it’s great at making that area a little brighter. There was a time my Mac quad was constantly on my top shelf and Woodwinked was all I would wear before heading out.

Patina is similar to Burberry Pale Barley and I don’t need both but it’s gorgeous nonetheless. I don’t find use for this on it’s own like Woodwinked but in conjunction with Satin Taupe and darker shades like Mulch, it works well as an in between.

I went through an insane olive/khaki eyeshadow phase last year. I should probably do a post on it but one of my best finds was Sumptuous Olive. I can’t believe it took me this long to buy it. It’s the best colorway to add “colour” to your eye without going too bright. You’re stepping out of the house but you’re still in the yard. It has a brown base and works really well with darker browns.

Speaking of darker browns, Mulch and Twinks definitely come under that banner. Both are very similar but Mulch is more of a yellow warm brown and Twinks is more red. Mulch is my go to dark brown but I use Twinks when I’m working with shades that have more red or purple to them like Trax or Nocturnelle.

My Mac Eyeshadows-10

I saved the duds for last. Carbon doesn’t swatch well but I do find it useful when it comes to smokey eyes. It would be difficult to mess up with that level of pigmentation, it’s a colour that needs to be built up. I now use the matte black from my Lorac Pro which is much more pigmented, Carbon doesn’t get much love anymore.

The gorgeous blue pearl in Contrast barely shows up and the eyeshadow also needs to be layered many times. I really wish the base was more navy than black though. Atlantic Blue is an eye popping cobalt blue that fails to show up on skintone. I did once recreate this eye look by building it up atleast 30-40 times. I’m not even kidding. That said, it’s a colour that makes me happy when I look at it, much like Urban Decay Woodstock is another, and so no regrets!

Swimming is a purchase that makes me question where my head was at. I was ultra noob when it came to makeup at the time and I was probably going for ‘colours that look nice’ rather than colours that suit me. This is also my least used Mac eyeshadow. I wish they did Back 2 Mac for refill pans.

Overall, if I had to recommend 5 Mac eyeshadows, I’d say go for Expensive Pink, Woodwinked, Sumptuous Olive, Texture and Mulch. I think they are all flattering on any skintone.

This brings the chapter of Mac eyeshadows in my life to a close. I won’t be buying any more unless I actually use one up. Please share your favourites!

PS. I also kinda wish I had the new palette with the transparent lid. Nope, not even going to think about it.

  • As you may remember, I don’t like premade palettes, which is why my love for MAC eyeshadows is still going strong. And even though my 15 pan palette isn’t filled quite yet, I don’t see me stopping new and exciting color any time soon. Out of your collection I own Satin Taupe, which is, just like you said, one of the few cool tones I like on myself, and Coppering. Other than that many light neutrals and very bold and bright colors that do get used when I recreate looks, but rarely for my everyday makeup.
    Satin is my favorite finish as well, and I have a few very good matte ones. Frost is the finish I struggle the most with, but that may be down to age and preference.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Yes! I definitely see the benefit with palettes but for a new buyer, I guess premade palettes are a good way to dip your toes in. I completely love glitter so it’s probably why I do like Frost. :p

      • If you start playing with shadows, premade palettes are a great way to start.

  • Rebecca Fletcher

    I love all that glitters. It was my first mac eyeshadow and I still love it!

    • That was a great first choice! It looks good on so many people! xx

  • It’s so funny how MAC has this hold on people. I wasn’t really into the whole beauty blogging/YT world back when MAC was the “in” thing but I’ve still also collected my own 15 pan palette. Admittedly I picked up almost all of my shades while I’ve been travelling in the US because the price in Australia is about 2.5 x what it is there, but even $10 US for a shadow isn’t great value considering things like the Naked & Chocolate Bar palettes. But here we both are, haha. I’ve got a lot of the same neutrals as you, and I also picked out Sumptuous Olive, I don’t even wear greens that much but I have a real soft spot for khakis with a gold shift to them and Sumptuous Olive fits the bill perfectly.

    jessica –

    • Very unusual phenomenon that can’t be explained! But we all have 15-pan palettes! I feel both, Sumptuous Olive and Expensive Pink are just very easy to wear non-neutral eyeshadows.

  • Bernadette

    All these shades look absolutely gorgeous and right up my ally!

    • Thanks, I generally tend to go for neutrals anyway. 🙂

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    This is one of the best post on MAC eyeshadows ever, I adore your swatches and the way you did your photographs! You really can’t go wrong with MAC eyeshadows, the shade selection is so gorgeous – I adore All That Glitters and Atlantic Blue! Thanks for sharing this awesome post, darling. x


    • Aww, that’s so kind of you to say! Thank you! 🙂
      I’m curious to know how you use Atlantic Blue!

  • This is sich a great collection! Love all shades, especially everything neutral ☺
    Nati xx

  • I just gave away my MAC palette, now I’m wishing I didn’t 🙂 I’m super intrigued by Cork now. Mulch and Twinks are my favorites! I wish I could pull off Satin Taupe. I bought it after seeing how great it looked on some of my friends, but it looked too grey and frosty on me.

    • I put off buying Cork for the longest time because ‘I don’t need a boring matte’ but I do use it a lot!
      I like using Satin Taupe with a darker brown or black on the outer corner, I can’t really wear it just by itself, like you said, it looks too grey that way.

  • The Sunday Mode

    You’ve got such a lovely collection of shadows here, there’s a couple of my all time favourites and some that I’ve never heard of before as well. I’ve love to get Sumptuous Olive as my next shadow, I think it would look really nice on my brown eyes.

    • Brown-eyed here as well and it definitely looks good, I’d highly recommend it! xx

  • I love all these colors, they complement each other so well too! I can definitely see what you mean about Expensive Pink, I love that name too. I’ve heard great things about MAC lipsticks, but I haven’t gotten a chance to try yet!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin’

    • I was originally thinking of doing a Mac lipsticks collection but that would taken longer so I ended up doing the eyeshadows instead!
      With Mac lipsticks, it really depends on the formula. I would really recommend the Matte formula which isn’t as dry as it used to be, also Lustre if you like sheer lipsticks. xx

  • Atlantic blue looks so beautiful in the pan though- such a dud. Maybe using it over a white base will help?

    • I know! Atlantic Blue is my makeup version of a bright sunflower, just makes you happy to look at it. Other than that both are quite useless. I really did love the electric blue smokey look I tried with it but it literally took me half an hour to do the look and build it up. Not ideal.

  • Nice read. Check out my Best Of Fashion Week article featuring AW16 runway hair and beauty trends!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

  • Coppering is so gorgeous; I love your collection! And omg, I can’t depot properly either 🙁

    • Thanks Whitney! They always end up flying across the room or with dents from whatever contraption I’m using to get them out! Mac really needs to make it easier like the Urban Decay eyeshadows.

  • AngeliePangilinan

    I am inlove with your collection! Lovely shades! 🙂

    Angelie // Sleek Makeup Base Duo Kit Review

  • Sumtpuous Olive is my all time favorite!! Coppering and Amber Lights are still on my wish list.

    • They’d both look great on you! I like Amber Lights just a little bit more though. 🙂

  • those colours are beautiful

  • Expensive pink looks like such a great shade, p.s your flatlay is so pretty ♥

    • Thanks Trishna! That’s one shade I rate highly! x

  • What a nice collection 🙂 I still haven’t purchased any MAC eyeshadows, but if I did, I’d probably pick up most of these shades you have (expect the last four swatches :)) I wish they were a little bit cheaper.

    Ela BellaWorld

    • To be fair, I’ve bought these over the last 6 years so they’ve been all spaced out. I’m glad the refill pans are cheaper though. x

  • I see we share the same taste! Definitely going to be checking out some of these that I don’t have, thanks for sharing!

    • Glad to see that, hope you find something you like! x

  • Trang Do

    Great collection! Love those shades!

    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Ok seriously dangerous that I’ve found your blog, I absolutely love the look of so many of these! I’m definitely jotting the names down, and who knows, maybe I’ll even end up starting to *finally* build my own palette!

    Cindy |

  • I must be the only one in the beauty world who has only tried one, yes one, MAC eyeshadow. LOL! I’ve always gone for Urban Decay but I think I need to change that soon. You have a brilliant collection!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Overall, I probably end up using more Urban Decay as well. The Naked palette is HG and single eyeshadows like Buck and Diamond Dog are baes. x

  • Haha at swimming 😀 I so want cork and patina like now!! I am kinda obsessed with woodwinked.. Just use it all over the lids and you are good to go. I also like all that glitters and expensive pink. But again they not my everyday option!

    • Yes, Woodwinked is perfect for our skintone! Yea, I wouldn’t wear Expensive Pink everyday but when I do I stare at myself more than usual. 😉

  • Your photos are beautiful! I love the look of Swimming – what a pretty shade xx

    Gemma ♥ Miss Makeup Magpie

    • Aww, thanks so much! I like the colour too but it just doesn’t look good on me.

  • Oh yay I’m glad I’ve now discovered your new blog! It’s funny how brands can be so inconsistent within their own lines. You’d think they would quality test to ensure consistency! You have so many gorgeous colors here in your collection.

    • True, I find Mac the most inconsistent though. Similar lines like Inglot, Urban Decay or Make Up For Ever are a lot more reliable.

  • Gorgeous photography, it’s a shame about Atlantic Blue it’s a beautiful colour in the pan. I really need to start using my Mac shadows again, especially Sumptuous Olive 🙂
    xxx Claire

    • Thanks so much Claire! You know, there are so many palettes out there now, Mac does get relegated to the end very often. I almost always have that ‘why am I not using this’ moment when I do! xx

  • Great collection! Woodwinked, Amber Lights and Expensive Pink are my all time fav MAC eye shadows. 😀

    • Oh yea, Woodwinked is so perfect for our skintone, it’s the perfect not too warm, not too cool brown. 🙂

  • Oh god
    This collection is like d best yar :-))
    I want everything what you have ??

  • Aditi

    Hi I just found your blog and have been lurking in your posts for a while… I had to comment how beautiful your pictures are! It’s an absolute treat for the eyes!