Sunday 15 April 2012

The Best Mac Everyday Shades: from the pan to the eye!

I began trying Mac eyeshadows and building up my collection quite a few years ago. I've generally favoured neutral shades since I started wearing make-up, with the exception of a few of my teenage years where I experimented with crazy colours for fun. I am not denying that the more exotic colours offfered by Mac draw me in like the next magpie. On the contrary, I own some bright shades which I will look foward to showing off in a future post. But for everyday in my profession, I steer clear of anything that will make people double take.
Left: Malt; Right: Quarry

For those who prefer not to spend their time or money on make-up, I can totally see that many of the shades I will talk about lovingly and in detail are very similar, perhaps even clones of each other in some cases. If, like me, you have ever debated for minutes, hours, days over whether to go with one colour or its sibling, considering undertones, pigmentation and consistency, you may like this. The photos were taken at different times so the lighting may vary, I'm afraid.

I will start with my favourite: Quarry.


 Amazingly, this cool, light brown-taupe with a hint of purple undertone is not mentioned very often compared to the more known shades. It is a matte shadow which some people are turned off by when it comes to this brand, favouring the softness of Urban Decay or the Matte Squared formulas by Mac.

Left: Quarry; Right: Malt

This colour is perfect for an all over wash or crease definition when teamed with an even lighter lid. Its pigmentation is excellent if you have fairly light skin, and for medium skintones as a blending colour. With grey eyeliner Quarry looks so effortless and classy: the perfect put-together look.

 You can see that this one has been loved and I will not hesitate to re-purchase when its used up.

Malt is the next shade that I will talk about. In the pan it looks nothing special, but it is a really useful, everday colour to have. The reason for this is that it imparts a rosy-beige matte colour to your lids, which brightens up your look without doing anything that requires much effort.

Yes, for many it is a light, nothingy type of colour, but for me it's all in the subtleties here! Malt can be used in the crease to give a pop of colour (to blue and green eyes in particular) or you can use it to blend out a darker eyeshadow.

Next is Patina. What a beautiful shade both in the pan and on the lid!

I would describe it as a light brown with gold reflects which are shimmery rather than chunky. It has a frost finish, but does not glare you in the eye with a metallic finish; it kind of 'glows' rather than flashes like a christmas decoration on the lids. Because of its light colour, it can be worn on a day-to-basis, at any occasion. The pigment is good and it doesn't take long to build more intensity if you want it. Like Club, Vex and Satin Taupe, this colour has depth and interest. 

All That Glitters is another favourite and one which some may consider less neutral due to its gleaming rose-gold hue. On me, it definitely makes an impact because I am paper-white, whereas if you have darker skin it could look 'barely there'. It is a veluxe-pearl formula so it is soft, shimmery and blends wonderfully. Its blendability is what makes it work for me. It can go from looking vibrant and attention-drawing, to more laid-back and pretty with a bit of brushwork. Behold:

The rosy feature of this shadow is not so evident in the lid photos, but perhaps you can see it in the swatch above?

Left: Club; Right: Satin Taupe
Finally I have to mention Club and Satin Taupe.

These are much talked about shades that are popular for a number of reasons.

1. The texture and pigmentation of both are fabulous.
2. They both have a depth of colour to them which makes them beautiful in the light.
3. They are very wearable colours.

This is where I apologise for my inconsistent photography skills! I am getting the hang of it slowly, and will continue to experiment with the best lighting etc.


Can you see that green duochrome?


Club is one of the more fascinating Mac eyeshadows in the pan. It's a muddy brown colour from one angle, but just as you walk away and disregard it, it winks sapphire-green at you seductively. On the lids it again seems to translate as a mid taupe-brown, but it shimmers green in a subtle yet somehow magic way! It is the conjurer of the eyeshadow world.

Satin Taupe is one of the most popular shadows Mac has to offer. It is a lovely purple-toned taupe; pigmented, blendable and  shimmery, it blends to create a smoky eye.

On my eyes, it shows up darker than it appears in the photo and needs to be blended carefully to avoid it looking too heavy. For a night time look, this would be a great shade to use as a base, with a darkened out crease.

Satin Taupe

Having taken you through some of my favourite, most-used eyeshadows I must now take my mascara off and get some shut eye.

Thanks for reading.

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