I have always been fascinated by MAC eyeshadows… like any other beauty blogger, obviously! wink
It started when I was studying beauty many moons ago… I have told this story so many times, but we had to buy makeup for our exams and I chose to contain myself in the amount of makeup I bought so I could buy some MAC makeup that I would keep all my life (I hope)(but let’s be realistic, let’s say it lasts several years at least).
Well, I had a discount as a beauty student, which helped me a lot at the time! (oh, how I envy this discount now!!!).
Before we start, I want to warn you that this is a long article. Like really, really long. But I think (hope) the information here will be a helpful! smile
Why did I choose MAC eyeshadows and not those from other brands?
Well, because it’s simply THE reference amongst eyeshadows. When people are talking about this or that colour in any makeup brand, it’s often a MAC shade that is given as a reference.
MAC cosmetics are also usually the ones used by professional makeup artists.
Regarding the overall quality, they got almost everything:
– an insane shade choice (144 eyeshadows in the permanent collection)
– a perfect pigmentation (most of the time)
– the “blendability” (is it even a word???): they apply and blend very well (especially with good brushes of course!)
– the lasting power (especially if you apply a base underneath, they don’t budge)
I spoke of brushes earlier, because of course these type of professional makeup eyeshadows are really suitable for brush application. My 2 favorite MAC brushes to apply are:
– the 217 aka the King of eye brushes: a brush that applies smoothly and blend the colour (I own two of them) (and I’m thinking of buying a third one lol)
– the 239, a shader brush I use to dab eyeshadow on my eyelid (and I usually blend it after with a clean 217)
On the other hand, even though I love collecting eyeshadow palettes (it’s a real addiction, I need to stop !!!), I realize that what I love even more is to compose myself my very own eyeshadow palette that I spend endless time choosing, comparing, trying out…
With the numerous swatches I can find on the internet, it has become much easier than before. Some sites like Temptalia for example are a blessing for makeup addicts like myself.
Most of the time, I buy my eyeshadows in refill rather than individually and I put them in one of my (many) palettes, ready to fill. It’s also cheaper in this format ($10 compared to $16).
It’s very embarrassing but I really have a lot of eye MAC eyeshadows. A lot… I think I have something like 50. Yes, I know, it’s crazy.
I don’t use them the same way. Some are more neutral, some others are very colorful and not always wearable for everyday.
But today, I wanted to introduce the MAC eyeshadows that I use the most, my true essentials.
What is strange is that these are not necessarily my favorite MAC eyeshadows (although some are!), but are the ones I really use often, almost on a daily basis. Those where I dab my makeup brush, without thinking about it.
They are all part of the MAC permanent collection.
My Must-Have MAC neutral eyeshadows:
Yes, these are mostly neutral shadows… Obviously, because they are the easiest colors to wear for a natural and pretty eye makeup!
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly:
I included Painterly even if it’s not a powder eyeshadow because it’s really a great product that I use quite often.
This is a Paint Pot, an eyeshadow cream that can also be used as a makeup base to make your eyeshadows last longer.
It’s a matte eyeshadow and a true “flesh” colour, barely darker than my own skin colour. It’s almost like a foundation for your eyelid… wink
It’s just the perfect color to unify the eyelid and sometimes, especially if I applied a fine line of black eyeliner, it would be the only color that I apply. It really refreshes your eyes and makes you look far more awake. For those who have small veins or differences in pigmentation on their eyelids, it erases everything!
To apply, I’ll share 2 tips:
– use a suitable brush, namely with synthetic bristles and wide enough (the MAC 252 is ideal for this). Well, of course you can also apply it with your finger, it also works very well! But I love applying makeup with a brush, it makes me feel like a real make-up artist, even in my tiny bathroom.
– don’t apply too much product because you only need the smallest amount. If you use too much product, it tends to make your make-up crease instead of setting it.
MAC Painterly Paint Pot is available on MAC website for $21. (and it lasts 1000 years)(well, so I’ve been told)
The highlighting eyeshadows:
MAC Brulé, Orb, Vanilla and Naked Lunch eyeshadows:
These four eyeshadows: Brulé, Orb, Vanilla and Naked Lunch, are really essential for me. These are eyeshadows that I have already repurchased twice for some of them.
This is my palette of “base” eyeshadows (I apply them mostly on my eyelids to unify them) but they can also be used as highlighters (applied under my eyebrow and in the inner corner of my eye).
This type of eyeshadow is also super useful to clean a smoky eyes and blend a darker color.
Brulé: it’s a true must-have from MAC.
It is a flesh color, creamy with rather warm undertones. This is an almost matte eyeshadow, a luminous mat (although in MAC’s chart, it’s classified as a Satin, it’s not really a satin finish on the skin though). It unifies the eyelid and illuminates it, but in a very natural way.
Personally, I use it a lot in summer, because the color is very close to my skin color when I get a little tan (my tan is more a golden/yellow one).
Orb: same principle as Brulé, it’s a flesh color eyeshadow but with colder undertones, almost pink. It’s also an almost matte eyeshadow (a MAC Satin again). I apply it the same way as Brulé, but this one is my winter base eyelid makeup.
Vanilla: a MAC best seller.
Vanilla is an ivory shade with very fine gold glitter, so fine it barely shows on the skin. It’s a MAC Velvet, so it has a sheer finish. This eyeshadow is perfect placed under the tail of the brow to brighten the eyes, but also in the inner corner to make your eyes look more awake.
Naked Lunch: this is really one of my favorite MAC eyeshadow.
Naked Lunch is a frosted beige/peachy pink. It’s a MAC Frost, so it has a pearly finish. This shade is so versatile, I use it both to illuminate the inner corner of my eyes (the effect is less natural than Vanilla, but I don’t mind, it looks so nice) and also on my eyelids. It refreshes the eyes immediately. This is a superb highlighter. The color is pretty universal, it fits many different skin tones.
The natural smoky-eyes eyeshadows:
Now, let’s talk about the colors that I use to do my everyday smoky-eyes. These are mostly neutral colors, so they are easy to wear during the day, but some of them are quite dark and allow me to intensify the makeup and add a more dramatic effect that can be perfect in the evening.
You will see, I prefer color rather in brown tones, moles or plums, because these are the colors that fit best with the color of my eyes (light blue-green).
There are both matte and iridescent eyeshadows. You will need both for a smoky-eye because they don’t have the same purpose:
– Matte eyeshadows are perfect to give depth to the look. Usually, I put them in the eyelid’s crease or the outer corner of the eye. They can also be used as a transitional color, it helps to blend different shades between them (it avoids ending up with kinds of “colour banding” on the eyelids)(I had a teacher who never blended her eyeshadows on the eyelids, looking like small flags, it was quite traumatizing).
– Iridescent, frosted or glitter eyeshadows are highlighting and bring some volume. It helps your eyelids appear bigger for example. This is very appealing makeup, it’s often what I want the most. But I find that paired with matte eyeshadows, they’re even more gorgeous on the eyelids.
MAC Quarry, Jest, Corduroy and Sable eyeshadows:
These four eyeshadows are rather warm colours. These kind of shades bring out the blue in my eyes.
Quarry: it’s a soft browny pink eyeshadow with a matte finish. In MAC’s chart, it’s in the Matte category.
For me, it’s perfect for the crease or to blend, used as a transition shade. Since it’s quite light, it remains discreet and very natural. I often associate it with Sable.
Jest: one of my favorites. For the record, Jest is the first MAC eyeshadow I purchased (with Sketch). I’m already on my third pan (yes, I love it that much).
It’s quite similar to Naked Lunch, but it’s slightly more pinkish. I would describe it as a soft frosted peachy pink. For MAC, it’s a Frost.
I just used it like I’m using Naked Lunch, in my inner corner or on my eyelid. This is my “fresh and awake” kind of shade, I love it.
Corduroy: it’s a rather warm dark brown, with a red undertone. It’s a matte finish. For MAC, it’s classified in the category Matte.
I love using Corduroy in the outer corner of the eye or along the lash line (top or bottom). As it’s a rather dark color, it adds the perfect amount of definition to the makeup.
Sable: Another favorite of mine. (quite recent, oddly enough. Where have you been all my life?)
Sable is a bronzy plum, with a shimmery finish (it’s a MAC Frost). This eyeshadow is absolutely sublime. It’s like a mix of all my favorite colors in one shade. I usually apply it on my entire eyelid or in the crease with Jest on the eyelid. And sometimes along my lower lash line… Anyway, I put it all over the place! It’s also one of the only makeups that has my husband say “Hey, I like your eye makeup today.” smile
MAC Satin Taupe, Blackberry, Shale and Haux eyeshadows:
For these four shadows, it’s rather a combination of cool undertone colors. Perfect to make the green in my eyes pop.
Satin Taupe: a real famous MAC eyeshadow!
This is a taupe (a beige-gray) with bronze and purple undertones. Yes, it has so many different shades in one colour! It has a rather pearlescent finish (it’s a MAC Frost). It’s a beautiful shade, it’s totally understandable that this is one of MAC’s best-sellers! It fits everybody, in my opinion.
I love it in the outer corner of the eye, on the eyelid or along the lash line. It’s really beautiful. It intensifies but without being too dark. All in all a very easy makeup!
Blackberry: it’s a plummy brown matte eyeshadow. For MAC, it’s in the category Matte.
This is really a perfect eyeshadow to use on the crease. It’s also very convenient for blending with other colors. I associate it a lot with Shale.
Shale: it’s an iridescent plum/purple shade. (it’s a MAC Satin)
This shade is so easy, it’s a no-brainer. I often apply it to the entire eyelid and I blend the crease with Blackberry. It can also be applied in the outer corner with a lighter color on the eyelid (like Jest for example), emphasizing my lower lash line. It’s not too dark and the result is still very wearable during the day.
Haux: it’s a matte pinky brown eyeshadow but with very fine iridescent particles (for MAC, it’s in the category Satin).
Yes, I know, it looks like Quarry. These two eyeshadows are extremely close. However, I find that Haux has a pinkier undertone than Quarry, which means that I pair it a lot more with my mauvy eyeshadows. But I don’t think you would absolutely need both. Well, I do but as you know, I’m kind of obsessed! wink
I apply it especially on my crease, or to blend shades like Satin Taupe, for example. It’s not very dark, so the effect is very natural.
MAC Soba and Espresso eyeshadows:
I love these two! I paired them very often for a golden brown eye look (one I wear the most).
Soba: What a beauty! It’s one of my favorites!
This is truly a unique color, I love it: it’s like an antique gold shade with a brown undertone and it’s a satin finish. For MAC, it’s in the Satin category. It’s much more neutral and easy to wear than a classic golden eyeshadow, but it really highlights the eyes. Usually, I wear it by applying on my entire eyelid.
Espresso: it’s a neutral dark brown eyeshadow (without those warm undertones like Corduroy) with a matte finish. (it’s a MAC Matte)
I would say that espresso is a very useful shade. It’s perfect to intensify the outer corner of the eye or along the lash line and it can be used with so many different colors! A real must-have!
MAC Omega and Coquette eyeshadows:
I’m using these two eyeshadows for different purposes: they’re my go-to shades for my eyebrows but they’re also very useful to intensify my crease in a very natural way.
Omega: it’s a beigy taupe eyeshadow with a matte finish (for MAC, it’s a Matte). I’m wearing it a lot mixed with Coquette, because these two shades are a perfect match for my eyebrows. It’s also perfect in the crease, applied on top of a fleshy shade. It just gives depth to the look without giving the impression that you are wearing makeup. Perfect no-makeup makeup! wink
* A small hint about the choice of your eyebrows makeup if you have blonde or light brown hair:
I never use a real brown shade for my eyebrows because it’s not natural at all!
I found that all the taupy shades, whith gray or almost khaki green undertones work so much better on my eyebrows (the hair from my eyebrows have a cool undertone). So a brown shade would appear orange in my eyebrows.*
Coquette: it’s a gray taupe eyeshadow with an almost matte finish (it’s very slightly iridescent but it doesn’t show when applied on the skin). This is a MAC Satin. It almost has some green in it. It’s an eyeshadow that I use mostly for my eyebrows, mixed with Omega. It’s slightly darker than Omega, so it’s perfect to slightly intensify the color of the eyebrows.
And there you have it! These eyeshadows are not all my favorites, but these are really the ones I use the most, especially when I don’t want to think a lot about my makeup (let’s say almost every morning ;)).
All the MAC eyeshadows are available in the MAC counters or online, in MAC website.
And you, what are your must-have neutral eyeshadows (in MAC or in other brands)? Some recommendations (just in case I would “need” more eyeshadows^^)?
Photos credits: bonnie-garner.com
Cet article est aussi disponible en français: Mes fards à paupières MAC neutres indispensables