MAC Eye Shadows To Begin With

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While I am no expert at eye makeup and definitely not a regular eye shadow wearer, there is something about MAC eye shadows that makes me want to (sometimes) get them out and make an effort. Could be the colors, or the blendability or may be just the brushes that I use! The other day I realized that for an eye makeup novice, I have a pretty decent stash of MAC eye shadows. So if you are like me, and love a good neutral and not sure where to begin, let me help you (read enable a purchase) with a few good options that MAC has to offer.

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My four favorites first! and of course they are some shade of brown, bronze, gold or their cousin. I have brown eyes and although the color theory may or may not suggest a different color scheme, I always pick the safe option! And who’s complaining? I absolutely love the effect of a nicely done brown smokey eye and have pretty much figured out how to do a simple one on myself!

Back to the favorites, in no order :

Arena (satin) : gold, with peach undertones and slightly shimmery finish which MAC labels as Satin. Great for someone with my coloring as an all over lid color or just as a highlighter. Its gorgeous, fail-safe and neutral. easy to blend and not chalky at all

Moleskin (matte) LE : This is a gorgeous neutral matte brown with slight pink undertone which deepens my crease, smokes my eye liner and  neutralizes my eye lids when I have had less sleep. This is my “sexy” “no-makeup makeup” eye shadow which looks amazing in real! Sadly this was limited edition and I picked up by chance but so glad I did!

Patina (satin) : When I bought this which was a long time ago this was relatively less known but had somehow caught my fancy. When I swatched it at the store I bought it instantly! This is my most worn eye shadow ever! Its duo chrome with slight green/grey/bronze/gold everything mixed in. I LOVE this one! Its an amazing shade for a variety of skin-tones! MUST HAVE

Mulch (satin) : Another gorgeous bronze from MAC which is very popular from what I know. This to me is MAC Teddy in eye shadow form. Similar effect, I sometimes use it to smudge a black eye liner and the effect is beautiful. Again a “one shade suit all” kind of color.

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I have one single MAC eye shadow 4-pan palette, and I keep rotating my eye shadow pans on this one. I have a couple of Z palettes which hold the rest of the shades which are not in use.

I got Tempting, after I saw it on Kelly. She in fact has enabled a LOT of my early purchases! I use it to smudge out a black or dark brown eye liner and its STUNNING. This is a glittery eye shadow, but fortunately the glitter is not as much and its a lot more pigmented than others in this category. Its a bronze/gold and is beautiful even on its own.

MAC Soba, is a neutral brown with slight sheen, another Moleskin kind of one wash shade which I used a lot last month. Its a lot lighter than it looks and might not show up on skintones darker than mine.

All That Glitters! This is another favorite which I have worn a LOT! A gorgeous gold with peachy, pinky undertones it brightens up the eyes and make me look brighter. I sometimes wear it just in the inner corners and it makes for a great highlight. This is a universal favorite!

MAC Espresso is my MAC Coffee eyeliner in powder form. It leans slightly warm and I use it to smudge that eye liner for a quick and sultry eye look! Beautiful for people with light brown eyes!

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Currently, Humid, Texture, Rice paper and Club are hibernating. I have them in my Z palette stashed away in some corner. Texture is a great crease color. Its a warm brown with orange undertones so it counteracts any blue veins on the lids.

Christine has a comprehensive roundup of all MAC eye shadows, with swatches and dupes which I always go back to when I need details on a shade. Definitely recommend checking it out for swatches and possible detailed reviews!

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73 thoughts on “MAC Eye Shadows To Begin With

  1. I’ve been drooling over your posts, so I felt the absolute need to comment 🙂
    I’m not an eyeshadow person. I’m so shabby with the application, that I feel like it ruins a great blush or a nice bright lip. But I’m trying to learn (again) to use the right tools and the right neutral shades. I love Satin Taupe – it looks better in broad daylight than indoors on my skin tone though. And Sketch – its a very wearable outer-corner+crease shade that ends up looking all feminine and pretty. My only regret so far has been All That Glitters – I just don’t know why it looks so chalky on me 🙁

  2. How do you make patina work on you? I have a similar skintone to yours and it almost seems to disappear on my lids! (or at least is not as impactful as it is when swatched on my wrist) I have managed to make it work by applying several layers (with my fingers, not a brush as the brush just seems to swipe it off) But I would love to know if others have to deal with this and also I would love it if you would maybe post a look with it 🙂

    1. Hi Aditi! I am not one for bold eyeshadows so I love the duo chrome effect Patina has at different angles! It doesn’t give too much color but just enough for a lovely polished look! I usually pat it with a MAC 239 brush and blend with a brown matte eye shadow in the crease. I would love to put a post with that.. its one of my faves! Thanks for suggesting! 🙂

  3. Oooo, this has got me excited! I only have one little MAC quad housing- Soba, All That Glitters, Handwritten and Cranberry. But I have now added Tempting and Espresso to my list… and Moleskin if I could! Also, definitely agree with what you said about the brushes… I wouldn’t enjoy these shadows nearly as much if I didn’t have my MAC 217 brush. Can’t be without it now. X

    1. I know right? That brush can turn anyone into an expert! including a makeup-idiot like me! 😛 I really wish they bring back Moleskin or something else with the same quality! Its a gorgeous shade!

  4. These are great starter shadows fo sho! Mulch is gorgeous – how do I not have that one already?! I’d love to see you rocking Cranberry; it would be ridiculously beautiful! I know you don’t rock the colorful eye too often, but that would totally be my vote if I was able to get my hands on your gorgeous eyes!

    1. Hey Kristen! I have seen Cranberry on so many people and it looks amazing! But honestly I wouldn’t know what to do with it! 😛 I suck at all kinds of eye makeup! Hopefully one day ill be in a chair and you can work it on me! 😀

  5. Can you believe I actually don’t own any MAC products?? I’ve been wanting their eyeshadows for the longest time, but there’s just so many to choose from, and so many I end up wanting! And it doens’t help that each pot is quite expensive, egh. I’d have to say of all the bunch here, Mulch and All That Glitters are seriously appealing to me.

      1. I can totally believe! 🙂 I stopped buying MAC eye shadows sometime last year.. and since then they have upped the price so much! I would definitely suggest Mulch.. its a beautiful bronze brown would look so good on you! 🙂

  6. hah! Why do I need this post when I have the pleasure of your company to help me select the right shades for my eyes :P?! Love the first four ya. Can you also touch upon the paint pots?
    And yes, I do hope to make the time to go MAC shopping with you soon <3. Promise 😀

      1. I know … My bad …! Will coordinate a meet-over-coffee soon. Possibly once you return from your long home trip 🙂

    1. Oh Indianwood is super pretty golden bronze! And easily among the best paint pots texture and blendibility wise! You’ll like it.. try it! 🙂

  7. MAC expresso is the color i would really want.. I have almost no neutral eyeshadows with me.. And i really feel i need to get some 😀

    1. Oh MAC does such great neutrals Purva! But you could also get something like the Urban Decay palettes and then you get a lot of neutral shades and not just a few! 🙂

  8. Hey Divya, what a great collection! You have some absolute classics there! My first MAC eyeshadow was Sumptuous Olive. I guess I skipped the neutrals because I had UD Naked already. I did end up adding some to my stash though, including All That Glitters!

  9. Divya…this really helps. I can’t tell you enough how much I like your blog. It is so different from other beauty blogs ( not that I don’t like them. I have learnt a lotfrom them too) and each post is full of quality content. Love your writing style too 🙂

  10. Hehe, you and your bronzy golden brown tones! It’s nice to have a good staple set of colours to work with, that you know always look good on you! 😀 Bonus points if you can use them for other purposes as well, like your brows or whatever 😉

    1. ha ha! I know I am going to be famous very soon! 😛 😀 Sadly none of these match my brows! I have one color from Bobbi Brown which does and even that gets very little use! 😐

  11. Great picks, Divya! All That Glitters always makes everyone’s favorite list! ;D Mine included! My favorite MAC shadows are Hocus Pocus, Satin Taupe, Bamboo, and Sumptuous Olive. ^_^

  12. I love this post! I am always so drawn to all Mac LE collections that I don’t own many eyeshadows from permanent collection but sable is one of my favorites.

    1. Hi Agata! Glad you liked this post 🙂 Except for Moleskin which was eons ago.. I haven’t been able to buy ANY LE item from MAC! Stuff just sells out in a couple of days.. and here I was thinking I was the only makeup crazy girl in the town! 😛

      1. Ha ha, of course not! But I know what you mean. I live in a fairly small town so I am always surprised visiting my Mac counter inside Macy’s to see that all the products sell out so quickly!

    1. I knew you’d love these! You love neutrals and so do I! <3 🙂 Tempting is definitely a beautiful shade although if you mind the glitter a bit Woodwinked is pretty close I think? I don't have it though but have been tempted enough times to get it! 🙂 Diana you'll love Patina try it in the store! 🙂

  13. Oh Divya!! You are the ultimate enabler here!! I often find my self daydreaming about the MAC counter.
    On another eye product note, I just bought another one of our beloved Chanel creams. I also rediscovered another cream shadow I think you’ll love- The Dior ones are really lovely too. These are on par with the Chanels.
    Another fabulous post, 10 more items added onto my makeup wish list (and a lotta fuel for my daydreaming)

    1. Ha ha! Thank you Amanda! <3 🙂 I have been drooling over the Dior ones for SO Long but they haven't been in stock for months here! Some problem with the franchise I guess because they don't have anything in stock! 😐

      Glad to have added a few to your list! Let me know when you get something also if you find something amazing! 😀

  14. MAC eyeshadows are so beautiful, but unfortunately so overpriced here! I’m pretty sure they’re at least $30 a pop!! I really want to try Patina though, I’ve swatched it and ugh it’s so unique and beautiful! I do own All that Glitters which is such a gorgeous all over lid shade!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    1. Ugh I know 🙁 MAC is very costly in Aus right? But see you have the best shade MAC does All that glitters! 😀 You wouldn’t need any other! 😉 Patina or Woodwinked should definitely be the ones to get if you ever decide to spend again!

  15. these are great picks! i’m trying to avoid getting more shadows since i have SO MANY singles from other brands that i can pull together any look now w/o owning a new shadow. (and yet i still want more. what is wrong with me).

    my favourites are da bling, and wood winked or patina.

    A Beautiful Zen

    1. Ha ha! I just read your post on your storage troubles! 🙂 Inglot does so many good eye shadows! I’ll probably look into that before I buy any other and also RBR! 🙂

  16. Great stash you have there! I stopped using my MAC powder eyeshadows (and eventually got rid of them, yes gasp!) only because for the last few years I’ve been using 99% only cream shadows. I have the MAC paint pot in Constructivist and I love it for a bit of a smokey eye in winter. Yay, I’ll restart using it again soon.

    1. I have contemplated getting Contructivist SO many times! Its a gorgeous shade for sure! 🙂 I have been loving the cream eye shadows from Chanel a lot this month and that has pretty much been my go to thus far!

    1. Hi Song! Yes Moleskin is gorgeous! So hoping they bring it back sometime also I feel so bad missing out on Carbonized.. thats one gorgeous shade I have been waiting to make an appearance again! 🙂

  17. I know you haven’t spoken about it here but it’s in one of your photos, so I feel obliged to say that I love the paint pot in ‘quite natural’. It is my answer to lazy days and is also the perfect base for everything! 🙂

    1. He he! Thats because its a MAC eye shadow so I felt obliged to include it but I don’t like it! It turns too dark on me and now its nearly dry 😐 I loev Indian Wood though.. have you tried it? You’ll love it Indu! 😀

  18. Hi, loov-ly! 😀 Here you have the only products from MAC that never failed me: the eyeshadows! So many colours to choose from, so many finishes!… I don’t like the paint pots though! 😀 xx

  19. This post came at such a great timing, for me. I still have 4 spots left in my MAC palette that I want to fill, so thanks for so many ideas! I have hit major pan on All That Glitters. Soba has been a recent love of mine–it’s definitely not a shade that I expected to like as much as I have. A couple other of my neutral favorites from MAC are Sumptuous Olive and Shale. Rubenesque is a lovely paint pot, but Groundwork is my favorite, hands down.

    1. Hi Audrey! Ooo the 15 pan palette!? I am so tempted to get one of those and get my favorites out of their pots! 🙂 I was the same didn’t think much of Soba but now I know whats the hype about! 🙂 I keep hearing a lot about Shale these days but I don’t like purple-ish eye shadows 😐

  20. I always go to Temptalia when I’m in the need for swatches – she has the ultimate swatch gallery!
    But this is a useful post for someone like me who is very much a novice when it comes to eyeshadows. I always like to read what people think are good “basics” – it’s always different from person to person. I’m thinking of making a duo in the near future and Soba looks like one I’d like to include.

    x beauty, style, life | bespectacled

    1. Hi Kat! I love Christine’s Swatch Gallery too! I wasn’t too sure about Soba it looked like brown dust but on the eyes and especially on a neutral base it is beautiful! I would love to get a duo too but then I think whats the point? 😛

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