Friday, 8 August 2014

Top 10: Permanent MAC Eyeshadows.

I'm currently sitting out on a back garden patio in the french countryside on a beautiful Thursday evening tapping and typing at my laptop - oh, I missed France! Anyway, enough of that... MAC. MAC are kinda one of those brands that a lot of people think it's the end all be all of brands.. and for certain products, in my opinion, it is. If you ask any man on the street (or my boyfriend) to name any makeup brand I'm pretty sure the first one he'd mutter would be MAC. I'm probably not alone in saying that as a makeup lover, I get asked a lot of questions from friends and family about "the best MAC this or that" ... which can be frustrating because even though I love the brand, there are other companies out there making better products! Nonetheless, I thought that it would be a helpful post to refer back to if you're thinking of buying a couple of good quality, key MAC shades or building a quad/palette for yourself. MAC eyeshadows aren't the cheapest and I think people are always kinda interested in knowing someones MAC favourites be it lipsticks, blush or eyeshadow so, here are mine!

I have to stress that MAC are definitely not my favourite brand for eyeshadows, but they do make some of my favourite eyeshadows... does that make sense? Overall, I think MAC could do a lot better in terms of quality.. especially with other brands like Inglot producing incredible shadows. That being said, there are MAC gems among several misses that I would repurchase again and are some of my most used and well loved shadows. Honestly, I haven't bought a new MAC eyeshadow in ages because they just don't interest me too much anymore. If I ever feature MAC shadows in my FOTD's etc, they're usually always the same colours! In terms of shades, I don't think that this is the most exciting colour palette and the reason for that is because I think MAC do neutrals very, very well! Their bright colours could use a lot of work (and a lot of NYX Milk Jumbo Pencil) but they make great bronze/brown shades. If you're a beginner and wondering what shades to put in your palette, realistically these are probably the shades you're going to reach for most. With all that said, I wanted to include 1 or 2 brighter colours that I think are great and can be incorporated into a lot of different looks - even neutral ones. Some of these are cult classic MAC shades, and some I don't see mentioned too often among favourites (I honestly have no idea why!) All of these shades are permanent and can be purchased at a MAC counter/store any time of year... I wouldn't be that mean and include limited editions! ;) All shades were swatched with no primer, in case you were wonderin'

1. Vanilla.
Ah, Vanilla. It looks in the pan like it sounds in ice cream form, doesn't it? Boring? Bland? Among all the Parfait Amour's and Stars n Rocket's, Vanilla can be lost among a sea of crappy shadows. It's just what it says on the tin - a creamy vanilla shade. However, this is one of my favourite and most used highlight shades (this is actually my second Vanilla!). The colour is great for anyone from NC/NW10-NC/NW25-30. It's very light against my skintone, so keep that in mine when looking at the swatch. I recommend everyone own a good basic highlight shade with minimal shimmer for under the browbone. The velvet finish means it's not completely matte and chalky.. there are subtle shimmers in the pan but they don't transfer onto the eye. In fact, they're a blessing when Vanilla is used as a blending colour (yano, for when you take your blue eyeshadow right up to the browbone, look a little too 80's cray cray and need to tone it down a little? We've all been there... and that's okay) because the subtle shimmer on the brush allows you to blend the shadow underneath seamlessly. Looks boring, but honestly, get it! As a side note, if you're looking for an uber shimmery inner corner/lid neutral colour I love nylon, phloof and shroom!

Vanilla (Velvet)
2. Texture.
I don't see too many people talk about Texture, but it does get some love on the internet. I LOVE this shade, as you probably already know if you read any of the products used in my FOTD posts. Texture again, seems a pretty boring colour but it's absolutely brilliant. Its another Velvet finish, super soft and pigmented. I like Texture because it can be worn on the lid, in the crease, or both buffed out softly to give that sort of light and almost grungy eye. I use this mostly in the crease and as a transition shade to help blending. It's a very warm toned orange brown with subtle gold shimmer. The shimmer is barely noticeable when swept into the crease but can be made more apparent if you stamp it on the lid. The shimmer really helps the blending, again and it just a great all round shade that you can use for a couple of different things. If you have blue eyes, you NEED this orange toned shade!
Texture (Velvet) 
3. Woodwinked.
Ah, Woodwinked. I won't spend too long on this one, because everyone and their mother owns it if they own a few MAC shadows. It's an antique bronze colour with a gold duochrome... super glowy and Victoria Secret-esque and looks great all over the lid and subtle buffed into the crease for an easy shimmery smokey eye. It really isn't the most unique shade, but it is like buttaaaaaah... it goes on so smooth and creamy, and although it's packed with a tonne of shimmer, it doesn't make the eyes look wrinkly or crepey. It has a Veluxe Pearl finish so you know it's gonna be a good one. Something to be aware of with Woodwinked is that it looks different on almost anyone. I've used this on a few different skintones/eye colours and it pulls differently on everyone. On me, it looks very much like an orange gold which I like against my blue eyes. This was one of my first MAC shadows... look at dat pan!

Woodwinked (Veluxe Pearl)
4. Sumptuous Olive.
Another one of those "ah I've seen it mentioned on blogs before but it's not an All That Glitters shade" kinda shade. Sumptuous Olive is a weird one. It's in the neutral family, that's for sure. But, it's a really good way of adding colour into your neutral looks, particularly if you're older/work in an office job where you can't have glitter brows and neon green lids/just feckin' want a nice olive eyeshadow. It's a very unique shade, it almost looks like a goldeny olivey browny (all the -y's) when it goes on but you can definitely see the subtle flash of a brighter green duochrome. This can be subtle by simply adding it to the outter corner or lower lashline. Another way I love to use this is by putting it over a black base on the lid as a smokey eye - the green really shows through! Super creamy and buttery like Woodwinked, a really unique colour and one a lot of people can get away with. Something that isn't your everyday bronzey browny neturaly taupey thingy... and sure isn't that the main thing?!
Sumptuous Olive (Veluxe Pearl)
5. Satin Taupe.
Another one that unless you've been living under a makeup free rock for the past 6 years, you've probably heard about this one. I don't actually own it in a single pan form, I got it in a holiday palette years ago but it is permanent and available all day every day! Satin Taupe is kind of one of those "how do I even begin to explain Satin Taupe/Regina George" colours. It's cool, but slightly warm. And it's a taupe but it's also a bronze if you look at it at a certain angle in a particular light. It also gives off a grey/purple vibe depending on what you pair it with. This is a fantastic shadow to have no matter what your eye colour or skin tone is - I promise this will work for you... and your mammy, and your granny, and yer wan down at the post office... everyone! Satin Taupe is a frost, but it's very pigmented and smooth. It's one of MAC's best selling shades, and I can see why. Another shimmery tone that works on a lot of different eyelids and age brackets. It's a great colour to experiment with between neutral, plum and purple looks!

Satin Taupe - Centre Left (Frost)
6. Embark.
Another pretty popular one. It's a very dark warm red toned chocolate brown with a matte finish. Some people complain about it being chalky but this is my second Embark and I have never experienced that problem. There is honestly little I can say about this... kind of a staple shade, don'tcha think? Dark brown, outter corner or crease type job and you're sorted. Texture in the crease, Woodwinked/Sumptuous Olive/Satin Taupe/anything else on the lid, Vanilla to highlight and Embark on the outter corners/used as a liner on the lashline and you're sorted! You literally have a custom made MAC quad right there! I'm not sure if you can tell by the photo, but this is another one of my older and more well loved MAC shadows, it's honestly fantastic!

Embark (Matte)
7. Sketch.
If you've made it this far, I applaud you. Next up is another popular one, Sketch. This is in my top 3 favourite MAC shadows if I'm honest. It's one that a lot of people love and with good reason. It's the perfect deep plum toned purple that can be used in any neutral eye or a purple one and still works. I use this shade constantly and I can't even see signs of hitting pan... it's like the never ending gobstopper of eyeshadows. Sketch is a Velvet finish but it's slightly drier than the others. It still has good colour payoff but the swatch doesn't quite do it justice - it applies better on the eye with a sticky base and a good crease brush. Like I said, I love using this in the crease with bronze/creamy neutrals, a bright purple or a smokey burgundy look. It can be made really dark when concentrated in the deep crease/outter v, but can also be buffed into the transition area very lightly and that works well too. I hate to be a product enabler but... BUY ITTTTT.

Sketch (Velvet)
8. Plumage.
Plumage, "Plooom-age", however you choose to pronounce it (the asshole language student in me is compelled to do so in the Frenchiest way possible) I rarely see people mention this one and I have no idea why. Similar to sketch, this is actually a really great colour to incorporate in a lot of different looks. I'm not actually sure how MAC describes this one, and I'm probably not going to sell it to you in my colour description but the closest thing I can compare it to is "a deep peacock teal/blue mould shade" Honestly, blue mould is the only way I can accurately describe it. But it's the kinda blue mould I wanna wear on my eyes all day so it's all good. This is a matte shade but is really buttery as far as mattes go. It's a very dark shade so the teal is quite subtle. This means it works really well as an alternative to black in a smokey eye, but also goes great with any blue/navy/turquoise or teal eye look for some definition (another nice change from black). I love to use this as a liner close to the upper and lower lashline for a special pop of (sort of) colour? It's dark, but adds something a little more subtle than a bright turquoise or teal, in a similar way to Sumptuous Olive or Sketch would. Another one of my top 3 because it's so unique and doesn't get a lot of attention from others in my opinion.

Plumage (Matte)
9. Shadowy Lady.
Shadowy Lady is another pretty unexciting shade in the pan, but I did say that MAC do their more neutral shades the best! It's a very dark blackcurrant colour and is a great alternative to black. You've probably heard talk of MAC's Carbon but I can safely say that it is not the deepest darkest black available and quite frankly, it's not really worth buying. If you want something softer and a little bit more interesting than a black or dark grey, but still pigmented... I present to you, Shadowy Lady. Another shade where the swatch doesn't do it justice but it applies really well onto the lid. I actually have this in 2 different limited edition palettes but it is part of the permanent line. I like to use this in the same way I would plumage, but for purple looks (or blues, whichever!), in neutral makeup and as liner. A really good smokey shade to have and if you were looking for a dark shade, I'd suggest this one over Carbon any day

Shadowy Lady (Matte)
10. Shimmermoss.
Last, but certainly not least. Finally an injection of colour. Shimmermoss is stunning. It's that perfect mermaid aqua-teal with a silver shimmer running through. It's (you guessed it) another buttery and pigmented Veluxe Pearl finish and looks amazing all over the lid in a colourful look. It also looks amazing on the lid with a brown in the crease or on the lower lashline for subtle colour. I'm sure MAC do a (very small) handful of good vibrant shades. Of course, I haven't tried them all but Shimmermoss is one of the brights I've tried that I think is just stunning. Again, it doesn't appear to be the most unique shade but the silver sheen actually works in a way that the colour almost glows and glistens when its on the lid, unlike a lot of teal/turquoises that I've seen. Shimmermoss is definitely a nice one to get if you want something other than an everyday brown. As a whole, I think MAC do better blue and green bright shades than they do purple so if you want something colourful, I'd stick with the likes of Shimmermoss!

Shimmermoss (Veluxe Pearl)




Sumptuous Olive

Satin Taupe



Plumage... WHYYY isn't the beauty of this picking up on camera?! :(

Shadowy Lady

Thought I'd include my view :)
That's everything! I hope this post wasn't too long. I'd love to know if you found it in any way helpful or interesting, and if you guys would like to see my top permanent MAC lipsticks maybe? Please let me know what you think of MAC shadows below - do you think they're worth the hype? And what are your favourite shades? Perhaps I'll find some new ones that will make me want to get back into MAC eyeshadows! ;) Follow me on Instagram (@LongHairAndLashes) and Twitter (@GraceyOConnell) for more makeup chat and things! x