If you've been around the online beauty community long enough like I have, you'll know that MAC was everyone's go-to brand some few years ago. Nowadays, we tend to pick and choose from a variety of brands, but MAC has always held a special place in my heart as it was what started this whole love affair with beauty for me. With their superb colour range and excellent quality, one of my favourite products from MAC is their eyeshadows, which I started collecting a long, long time ago in 2009 when I first discovered YouTube makeup videos. Over the course of time, my incomplete palettes have been through a few changes and declutters (I first documented my palettes here), but now, eight years in the making, I can finally say that they're officially complete and I am over the moon with the end result!
As an avid collector for many years, I realise some of these eyeshadows are quite old now, but as they're powder and I'm the only one using them, I'm not that bothered. My MAC eyeshadow palettes have taken me ages to complete because the markup of the brand is extortionate here, but over the years, I've bought them from work with my staff discount, overseas where MAC is significantly cheaper, Estée Lauder outlets and the MAC US website using a mail forwarding service (it's still cheaper even with shipping costs!). Yes, they are expensive as hell compared to pre-made palettes, but to me, my MAC palettes have been worth the splurge as I've been able to completely customise them to my own personal tastes. I've never been too big into pre-made palettes and even though there are other brands like Makeup Geek and now ColourPop that offer affordable single eyeshadow pans, I've always just wanted to be consistent and stick with MAC.
I've colour coded my palettes by columns, so I've listed the eyeshadow names below accordingly below from top to bottom. In italics, I've also listed the shade description that MAC gives on their website, followed by the finish of each eyeshadow.
My first palette on the left-hand side of the above photo comprises of my more cool-toned eyeshadows and slowly gets more warm on the right-hand side of the palette, then even more so as we go into my second palette. My first palette is also comprised of a lot of lighter shadows, which I use I use for brow bone and inner corner colours, and even though a lot of them look exactly the same, trust me when I say they all swatch differently! You know how it is with different undertones! Plus, the way I see it, I may as well stick to shades I'm going to love and use, rather than go for something drastically different that I know I won't touch.
Phloof!: Frosted off-white, Frost | Phloof! has an ever so slight pink undertone to it, it's beautifully shimmery and one I love for my brow bone.
Dazzlelight: Neutral with shimmer, Veluxe Pearl | Dazzlelight is one of my oldest MAC eyeshadows, one I also love using on my brow bone, as well as my inner corners. It's very similar to Phloof!, but with a more neutral-to-yellow undertone.
Kid: Beige cashmere, Matte | Kid is a neutral light brown and one my favourite eyeshadows to use in my crease as a transitional shade.
Brulé: Soft, creamy-beige, Satin | I mostly use Brulé on my brow bone if I don't want to use a shimmery colour or sometimes I used it mixed in with a shimmery eyeshadow just to tone it down a little. I'll also use it all over my lid as a primer shade and even just paired with Kid and winged eyeliner for a more classic look.
Femme-Fi: Frosty golden cream, Veluxe Pearl (LE) | Femme-Fi is another favourite of mine to wear on the brow bone. It was limited edition with the Neo Sci-Fi Collection released in 2008 and the closest dupe for it I'd say is Shroom, though a touch darker.
Wedge: Soft muted beige taupe, Matte | Wedge is pretty much an exact dupe for Kid. It's ever so slightly darker and cooler if you look close enough, but on first glance, they're pretty much the same thing. Again, I use this as a transitional colour in my crease.
Era: Soft golden beige with shimmer, Satin | Era is a beautiful light shimmery taupe and one I wear all over my lid. I team it up with Kid or Wedge as a transition, Charcoal Brown in the crease and Mystery in the outer corner and lower lash line to create one of my absolute favourite eyeshadow looks. It's a go-to look when I don't know what else to wear and also looks good with any of my other makeup.
Charcoal Brown: Muted taupe brown, Matte | Charcoal Brown is a great crease colour for adding a bit of definition and one I go to when I'm going for a more cool-toned look. I sometimes wear it in the outer corners too.
Mystery: Muted plum-brown, Satin | Mystery is a lovely dark, cool-toned brown. I love wearing this in my outer corners to deepen up a look, as well as on my lower lash line.
Naked Lunch: Minimal pink with shimmer, Frost | I'm not normally a "one wash colour" kind of person, but if I'm in a rush or just going to work, I love wearing Naked Lunch on its own all over the lid. It's a classic, must-have MAC eyeshadow!
All That Glitters: Beige with gold pearl, Veluxe Pearl | All That Glitters is another cult classic. It's quite similar to Naked Lunch, but slightly darker and more gold-toned. I love wearing this all over the lid with cooler toned shades like Kid/Wedge and Charcoal Brown in the outer corners.
Woodwinked: Warm antique gold, Veluxe Pearl | I'm not normally a fan of straight up gold eyeshadow, but I make the exception for Woodwinked. I love it because it's not so yellow-toned like most gold eyeshadows I've come across. It's a beautiful, rich, warm gold, which suits my skin tone a lot better.
Shroom: Soft beige with shimmer, Satin | Shroom is more or less the same as Phloof!, Dazzlelight and Femme-Fi and again, I use this on my brow bone. Occasionally, I'll use it in the inner corners of my eyes too.
Jest: Soft peach with icy shimmer, Frost | Jest is one of newest shades and I love wearing this all over the lid. It's within the same colour tone as Naked Lunch, but a few shades lighter.
Swiss Chocolate: Muted reddish brown, Matte | I haven't gotten a whole lot of wear out of Swiss Chocolate just yet as it's one of my more newer shades too, but I've so far been wearing it in my crease and outer corners when I'm doing a more warm-toned look.
In my second palette, we get into my more warm-toned and "colourful" shades. Well, as colourful as I'll get when it comes to eyeshadow, anyway! I used to stay right away from a lot of warm-toned shades as I didn't think they suited me, but now I think they actually help neutralise my yellow-toned complexion and I also just love that '90s grunge aesthetic. We've also got a few muted pink and purple hues in there and at the end of the palette are my darkest eyeshadows.
Soft Brown: Soft golden peachy-brown, Matte | Soft Brown is within the same tonal range as Kid and Wedge, so I love using this as a transition shade for my warm-toned looks.
Saddle: Golden orange brown, Matte | Saddle is a lovely warm medium brown shade. If I'm doing a lighter look, I love using this in the crease for definition and I also love it all over the lid for something a little grungier.
Brown Script: Warm chestnut brown, Matte² (not available in Australia) | Brown Script is the warmest shade I own and is probably the warmest I'd ever go on my eyes. Sometimes it even still intimidates me, but once it's blended out and I've got mascara on, it looks really good. I mostly wear it on the outer third of my eyes. Unfortunately, I don't think it's available in Australia as I didn't see it linked on the MAC Australia website, but I was lucky enough to have the lovely Jess pick this up for me from the US.
Bronze: Gold brown with gold-bronze shimmer, Frost | Bronze is one of my oldest eyeshadows and one I still simply adore. It's a rich, warm shimmery bronze that I love wearing all over the lid. When it catches the light, it even has a wet-look effect, which is just beautiful.
Twinks: Deep plum with pearl, Veluxe Pearl | When I'm going for a darker look, I like wearing Twinks all over the lids, while adding Embark in the crease for a bit of definition. It doesn't apply as dark as it looks in the pan, but I actually really appreciate that as I'm not one for anything super intense.
Embark: Intense reddish brown, Matte | Embark is a very similar colour to Twinks, only darker and with no shimmer. When I'm wearing a warm-toned look, I wear this in my crease and lower lash line for depth and definition.
Malt: Soft pinkish-beige, Matte | Malt is a great transitional shade when I'm going for a pinky-nude eye look. I pair it with Style Snob all over the lid and Haux in the crease.
Style Snob: Dirty pink brown with gold pearl, Starflash (LE) | Style Snob is a super pretty taupe-pink-purple colour with shimmering flecks of gold running through it. It was limited edition with the Love That Look Collection from 2009, so it's one of my oldest shades, but one I still love a lot.
Haux: Soft muted rosy brown, Satin | As I mentioned, I love wearing Haux in the crease, but if I'm wanting a bit of a deeper look, it's great all-rounder to wear as a transitional shade or even all over the lid too. Pink eyeshadow can definitely be wearable if it's a rosy-mauve hue.
Satin Taupe: Taupe with silver shimmer, Frost | Satin Taupe is another one of my oldest shades and another cult classic. I feel like it's not as popular these days as warm-toned eyeshadows seem to have become really trendy, but it's one of my favourite cool tones. Depending on the light, it can veer on the purple side and I usually pair it with Brown Down to warm up the look a little.
Sable: Gold-plum with bronze pearl, Velvet | Sable is a lovely warm brown shimmery shade, one I wear all over the lid with Soft Brown and Brown Down.
Brown Down: Teddy bear brown, Veluxe | Brown Down is another one of my oldest eyeshadows and one I like to wear in the crease, outer corners and my lower lash line. It's a pretty neutral brown shade on me, so it goes well with any eyeshadow, whether cool or warm-toned.
Club: Red-brown with green pearl, Satin | It was love at first swatch when I first discovered this MAC eyeshadow some few years ago. Not long after, it gained some traction in the YouTube beauty community, but that seems to have died down now. Nevertheless, I still love it as an all-over-the-lid colour and the green pearl running through it is positively dreamy. It's as dark as I'll go on my lids and one I usually wear to gigs for something really smouldering.
Smut: Muted black with red shimmer, Velvet | The red shimmer really isn't noticeable in Smut, it's more of a blackened-brown matte, to me. It's quite a dark, cool-toned shade, so I only really wear it on my lower lash line when I'm going for a darkish smokey eye look.
Carbon: Intense black, Matte | Carbon is another one of my oldest eyeshadows and it definitely doesn't get as much love as it used to. When I first started clubbing in my late teens, I used to love wearing black eyeshadow all over the lid, but now I'd never dream of such a thing! I've even stopped wearing it on my lower lash line as it's just a bit too dark for my tastes now. I keep it around for when I want a smudged out, worn in, smokey upper lash line, which I blend together with some black eyeliner. As I mentioned earlier, I love a bit of grunge style makeup and it's nice for something a bit different to a cat eye.
My little duo eyeshadow palette comprises of my go-to eyebrow and inner corner highlight colours. As they're two of my most reached for eyeshadows, I wanted to separate them from my other MAC palettes, which are a bit more cumbersome and less convenient for travel. You can tell they're both well-loved as they're the only two eyeshadows I've ever hit pan on! I am surprised I haven't hit pan on any of my other MAC eyeshadows though.
Brun: Muted blackish-brown, Satin | I only started filling in my eyebrows in 2013 and this was the very first product I used, long before I discovered the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and Anastasia Brow Wiz. It's a few shades darker than Mystery and I alternate between this and my eyebrow pencils just because it's fun to switch things up.
Grand Entrance: Frosty neutral peach beige, Starflash (LE) | It saddens me so much that Grand Entrance was limited edition (it came out with the Love That Look Collection in 2009, along with Style Snob) and that not everyone has the honour and privilege of owning this utterly dreamy shade. It makes me so grateful that I discovered the YouTube beauty community when I did! Nothing sparkles and glistens the way Grand Entrance does and nine times out of ten, this what I'll be wearing on my inner corners, even when I'm wearing eyeshadows other than MAC. It just makes my eyes pop and I feel like no makeup look is complete without it. Numerous people have said Stila's Kitten is a good dupe, but I hope MAC one day bring back Grand Entrance because I'm just so in love with this eyeshadow.
What are some of your favourite MAC eyeshadows?