My MAC Eyeshadow Collection + Review & Swatches

Purchased by me


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When I uploaded a picture of my MAC eyeshadow collection on my Instagram and Facebook Page, I honestly did not expect such good feedback! I suppose it's a good thing because it really pushed me to sit down and re-organize my entire collection. The purpose of this review is to give you a quick overview of each formula and to provide swatches of every color to help those who may be looking to customize their very own MAC eyeshadow palette. I have also created some Pinterest-worthy pictures in this post so that you can save or pin them to your board for future reference. :)

How I store my MAC eyeshadows

MAC eyeshadow refill pans in the Pro Palette Large/Single with x15 insert

MAC eyeshadow refill pans in the Pro Palette Large/Single with x15 insert

I buy MAC eyeshadows in refill pans and store them in a Pro Palette Large (“Single“; US$8) with a 15-well insert (US$2). The refill pan format is much cheaper than the full compact (US$10 versus US$16) and eliminates the need to “depot” the shadows. The Pro Palette is magnetized and has a clear window so you can identify the shades inside right away. MAC also makes a Pro Palette Large “Duo” which is a double-sided Pro Palette that fits 2 inserts; each side is separated by a clear window.

Brief formula review

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

MAC offers their eyeshadows in several finishes. Below are 8 in the permanent line that I have had experience with. I find that some colors can perform so differently even when they have the same type of finish, so please use this quick formula review as a general guide only.

Frost

Frost finish has ultra fine shimmer particles infused throughout. It can range from slightly shimmery to moderately shimmery to full-on frost. The texture is soft, smooth, and highly blendable. They are great for highlighting purposes and/or all-over-the-lid color.

In my collection: White Frost, Vex, Ricepaper, Naked Lunch, Goldmine, Amber Lights, Patina, Bronze, Satin Taupe, Electra, Deep Truth, Humid, Steamy, Swish, Creme de Violet, Lala, Nocturnelle, Moth Brown, 100 Strokes, Canter, Luscious, and Psyche

Lustre

Lustre finish has loose glitter particles infused throughout. I'm not very fond of this texture in general because they are dry, sheer, and produce lots of glitter fallout. It's a little tricky to get them to stay on the lid so they are best applied over a cream base. Once they are on, they leave such an intense sparkly effect on the lids!

In my collection: Honey Lust and Swimming

Satin

Satin appears mostly matte with very subtle sheen. The texture is very soft and satiny and basically such a pleasure to apply. They usually have good color payoff, go on smoothly and blend beautifully on the lids.

In my collection: Shroom, Brule, Hocus Pocus, Shale, Pretty, Clove, and Lofty

Velvet

Velvet has a matte base with either shimmer or chunky glitter particles in the texture. They are usually quite pigmented but the texture is rather thin. The application isn't the smoothest and without proper blending it can result in patchiness.

In my collection: Mulch, Contrast, Beauty Marked, Smut, Black Tied, Trax, Sketch, and Pepper

Matte

Matte has a 1-dimensional texture without any shimmer or glitter particles. The majority of them are soft, smooth, creamy, and blend really well. They are mostly base or crease color to add definition to the eyes. I really like most of the mattes that I have except Carbon.

In my collection: Yogurt, Malt, Wedge, Soft Brown, Espresso, Carbon, and Persuade

Matte2

Matte2 is basically an improved version of matte. They appear flat without any shimmer or glitter particles. They are buttery smooth, incredibly soft, and effortless to apply and blend. They don't feel powdery or patchy in any way. The color payoff is also excellent.

In my collection: Copperplate and Typographic

Veluxe

I have only one color in this category so I'm going to base my review on this particular shade that I have which is Kid. It has a creamy, smooth matte finish that applies and blends beautifully. The texture is very soft and does not produce fallout or excess powder at all.

In my collection: Kid

Veluxe Pearl

This is my favorite finish! Veluxe Pearl has excellent texture and color payoff. The application is soft, smooth, and most shades leave a gorgeous, multi-dimensional semi-metallic finish. They pair well with other formulas but they also look just as beautiful on their own in a single-shadow makeup look.

In my collection: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Gorgeous Gold, Expensive Pink, All That Glitters, Woodwinked, Antiqued, Mythical, Coppering, Carbonized, Sumptuous Olive,Knight Divine, Plum Dressing, and Plummed

My collection

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

My collection with corresponding swatches

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection*

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection*

*The last three rows are from the Gravitas palette (see in-depth review here).

Shade breakdown

Shades marked with * are limited-edition or discontinued shades that are no longer available. Everything else is permanent and you can buy them in refill pans.

L-R: White Frost, Crystal Avalanche, Shroom, Brule, and Dazzlelight

L-R: White Frost, Crystal Avalanche, Shroom, Brule, and Dazzlelight

L-R: White Frost, Crystal Avalanche, Shroom, Brule, and Dazzlelight

  • White Frost – shimmery white; frost
  • Crystal Avalanche – pearly white; veluxe pearl
  • Shroom – off-white beige; satin
  • Brule – vanilla beige; satin
  • Dazzlelight – shimmery champagne beige; veluxe pearl
L-R: Vex, Gorgeous Gold, Ricepaper, Naked Lunch, and Honey Lust

L-R: Vex, Gorgeous Gold, Ricepaper, Naked Lunch, and Honey Lust

L-R: Vex, Gorgeous Gold, Ricepaper, Naked Lunch, and Honey Lust

  • Vex – beige with pink-green pearl; frost
  • Gorgeous Gold – muted yellow gold; veluxe pearl
  • Ricepaper – shimmery peachy gold; frost
  • Naked Lunch – pale shimmery peachy pink; frost
  • Honey Lust – peachy bronze; lustre

L-R: Yogurt, Expensive Pink, All That Glitters, Goldmine, and Amber Lights

L-R: Yogurt, Expensive Pink, All That Glitters, Goldmine, and Amber Lights

L-R: Yogurt, Expensive Pink, All That Glitters, Goldmine, and Amber Lights

  • Yogurt – soft pale pink; matte
  • Expensive Pink – coppery peachy pink; veluxe pearl
  • All That Glitters – beige with gold pearl; veluxe pearl
  • Goldmine – intense shimmery gold; frost
  • Amber Lights– intense shimmery peachy brown; frost

L-R: Bamboo, Malt, Kid, Wedge, and Soft Brown

L-R: Bamboo, Malt, Kid, Wedge, and Soft Brown

L-R: Bamboo, Malt, Kid, Wedge, and Soft Brown

  • Bamboo – peachy beige; matte
  • Malt – pinkish beige; matte
  • Kid – peachy brown; veluxe pearl
  • Wedge – muted beige brown; matte
  • Soft Brown – golden peachy brown; matte

L-R: Woodwinked, Patina, Bronze, Mulch, and Antiqued

L-R: Woodwinked, Patina, Bronze, Mulch, and Antiqued

L-R: Woodwinked, Patina, Bronze, Mulch, and Antiqued

  • Woodwinked – warm antique gold; veluxe pearl
  • Patina – taupe brown with golden pearl; frost
  • Bronze – shimmery gold bronze; frost
  • Mulch – pearly brown bronze; velvet
  • Antiqued – reddish brown bronze; veluxe pearl

L-R: Mythical, Coppering, Satin Taupe, Espresso, and Carbonized

L-R: Mythical, Coppering, Satin Taupe, Espresso, and Carbonized

L-R: Mythical, Coppering, Satin Taupe, Espresso, and Carbonized

  • Mythical* – orange brown copper; veluxe pearl
  • Coppering – bright orange copper; veluxe pearl
  • Satin Taupe – silvery purple taupe; frost
  • Espresso – muted golden brown; matte
  • Carbonized* – shimmery bronze brown; veluxe pearl

L-R: Electra, Parisian Skies, Deep Truth, Contrast, and Beauty Marked

L-R: Electra, Parisian Skies, Deep Truth, Contrast, and Beauty Marked

L-R: Electra, Parisian Skies, Deep Truth, Contrast, and Beauty Marked

  • Electra – bluish silver; frost
  • Parisian Skies* – darkened sky blue; satin
  • Deep Truth – dark royal blue; frost
  • Contrast – plum purple with blue pearl; velvet
  • Beauty Marked – black with red sparkle; velvet

L-R: Swimming, Humid, Sumptuous Olive, Steamy, and Hocus Pocus

L-R: Swimming, Humid, Sumptuous Olive, Steamy, and Hocus Pocus

L-R: Swimming, Humid, Sumptuous Olive, Steamy, and Hocus Pocus

  • Swimming – shimmery sea green; lustre
  • Humid – forest green; frost
  • Sumptuous Olive – pearly khaki; veluxe pearl
  • Steamy – teal with gold pearl; frost
  • Hocus Pocus* – shimmery silvery gray; satin

L-R: Copperplate, Smut, Knight Divine, Black Tied, and Typographic

L-R: Copperplate, Smut, Knight Divine, Black Tied, and Typographic

L-R: Copperplate, Smut, Knight Divine, Black Tied, and Typographic

  • Copperplate – muted mid-tone gray; matte2
  • Smut – charcoal brown; velvet
  • Knight Divine – blackened gray with silver pearl; veluxe pearl
  • Black Tied – black with silver sparkle; velvet
  • Typographic – asphalt black; matte2

L-R: Swish, Trax, Creme de Violet, Plum Dressing, and Lala

L-R: Swish, Trax, Creme de Violet, Plum Dressing, and Lala

L-R: Swish, Trax, Creme de Violet, Plum Dressing, and Lala

  • Swish – icy pink; frost
  • Trax – burgundy plum with shimmer; velvet
  • Creme de Violet – pink violet with gold pearl; frost
  • Plum Dressing – reddish pink; veluxe pearl
  • Lala* – bright pink with blue undertones; frost

L-R: Nocturnelle, Shale, Moth Brown, Sketch, and 100 Strokes

L-R: Nocturnelle, Shale, Moth Brown, Sketch, and 100 Strokes

L-R: Nocturnelle, Shale, Moth Brown, Sketch, and 100 Strokes

  • Nocturnelle – burgundy pink; frost
  • Shale – mauve plum with subtle shimmer; satin
  • Moth Brown* – shimmery purple gray; frost
  • Sketch – burgundy with red shimmer; velvet
  • 100 Strokes* – burgundy brown; frost

L-R: Pretty, Soft Brown, Expensive Pink, Clove, and Satin Taupe

L-R: Pretty, Soft Brown, Expensive Pink, Clove, and Satin Taupe

L-R: Pretty, Soft Brown, Expensive Pink, Clove, and Satin Taupe

  • Pretty* – pale peach beige; satin
  • Soft Brown – golden peachy brown; matte
  • Expensive Pink – coppery peachy pink; veluxe pearl
  • Clove* – mid-tone golden brown; satin
  • Satin Taupe – silvery purple taupe; frost

L-R: Canter, Luscious, Antiqued, Psyche, and Carbon

L-R: Canter, Luscious, Antiqued, Psyche, and Carbon

L-R: Canter, Luscious, Antiqued, Psyche, and Carbon

  • Canter* – pale neutral gold; frost
  • Luscious* – neutral bronze; frost
  • Antiqued – reddish brown bronze; veluxe pearl
  • Psyche* – medium golden olive; frost
  • Carbon – intense black; matte

L-R: Shroom, Persuade, Plummed, Lofty, and Pepper

L-R: Shroom, Persuade, Plummed, Lofty, and Pepper

L-R: Shroom, Persuade, Plummed, Lofty, and Pepper

  • Shroom – off-white beige; satin
  • Persuade* – cool gray brown; matte
  • Plummed* – pink berry plum; veluxe pearl
  • Lofty* – cool blackened brown; satin
  • Pepper* – dark charcoal; velvet

Even though I own a multitude of eyeshadow palettes, I still like the idea of customizing my own palettes filled with only the colors that I like and see myself wearing. MAC eyeshadow refill pans are affordable but not inexpensive so I would advise you start customizing with a few colors at a time. That's what I did (and still do) anyway. It took me years to have come this far but to me, it is more fun to pick out a few colors here and there and slowly build my palette than buying all at once because it makes me appreciate each color more. :)

Well, I hope my review was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions at all! Please also feel free to suggest your favorite colors so that I can take a look and possibly add them to my palettes!

BUY ▶ Eye Shadow Refill Pans US$10 I MAC
BUY ▶ Pro Palette Large/Single US$8 I MAC
BUY ▶ Pro Palette Large/Duo US$8 I MAC
BUY ▶ Pro Palette Eye Shadow X15 Insert US$2 I MAC

34 Comments So Far & Counting!


 
  • Laarni says:

    Whatta massive collection, jaa! I am so impressed!

  • krithi says:

    OMG such a huge collection u have
    I have bookmarked this page
    I dont even own one single mac shadow
    so me gone start buildng obv this post comes very handy ;)

  • Eesha says:

    Whoa!! Now that’s what you call a collection! Thanks for sharing Jaa <3 <3

  • brenda says:

    Such a pretty collection!! I now own 17 shades (i think) and i’m not finished yet! Try MAC Jest and Pink Freeze, sooo pretty…

    • Jaa says:

      Looking up swatches as we speak! Thanks for your suggestion, Brenda! You are on your second palette now then? :D

      • brenda says:

        I have a 2 double pro palettes, one for my blushes, and one for my eyeshadows! I also have a single palette, in which i store my depotted mineralize blushes, i put a small magnet under them. Looks really good! But after seeing your swatches, i ts time for some new eyeshadows..

        • Jaa says:

          I really want to invest in one of those duo palettes! Would be super convenient for travel! I didn’t realize the mineralize blushes fit in these new pans! I have a few of those and it would be really nice to keep them all together in one place! Thanks for the info! :D

  • Sunny says:

    Hey Jaa, this is a MEGA collection!!! As you know, mine is a FRACTION of yours :p The shades that caught my eye here were all limited edition shades, so I guess it’s just not meant to be! I heard my wallet sigh in relief :)

    • Jaa says:

      Yeah I remember your post about customizing your first MAC quad. I had sooo many colors I wanted to suggest to you but didn’t want to overwhelm you. Haha.

  • Holy smokes, you could open a MAC museum with that collection! Amazing! I looooove the way you did this whole post, Jaa, it’s so awesome to see, not to mention super helpful!

    • Jaa says:

      LOL. This is nothing compared to a real MAC shadow collector! ;D I’m pretty happy and content with what I have so far, though!

  • Agata says:

    Can I first tell you how much I love this post? I love looking into other bloggers’ collections! Yours is gorgeous, so many pretty shades that I don’t own. You should add Sable to your palette, it’s one of my favorites!

  • Fiona says:

    Jaw dropping collection! I loved this post and is really very helpful honestly I had no idea about the finish etc.

  • Sylirael says:

    Phew! What an epic review/swatchathon! :-D I really love looking at all the colours, though – Expensive Pink remains one of the shades I am most attracted to! It looks like there are some nice taupes in there too, although I’m a bit disappointed by the perfotmance of some of the greens/blues (which is where I get really critical, LOL!). The overview of the different textures is really helpful!

    • Jaa says:

      Deep Truth is a gorgeous blue that performs well, though! I love it! :D Expensive Pink is one of my all-time favorites for sure! :)

  • GlossBerry says:

    Oh wow! I can only imagine how much time and effort this post took, really appreciate it! you’re amazing! a very helpful post and great swatches!

  • Jaa, you are a rock star! incredible post! I can’t even imagine how long this took you!?!? If I had to jettison all but 2 of my MAC eyeshadows, the survivors would be Sable and Cranberry. They are both incredible colors, both can be worn as shadow or liner, both are metallics so they make for easy, one-step eye looks, and they’re both creamy and pigmented. I LIVE for buying MAC quads from All Cosmetics Wholesale and Glambot, especially when they are older, discontinued palettes! I also recently stumbled upon the Sharon Osbourne collection quad on the Bloomingdale’s site! I couldn’t believe they still had it for sale! You’ve inspired me to pull out Sable and Cranberry tomorrow! Thanks, peaches! <3

    • Jaa says:

      Cranberry has been on my list of MAC shadows to try! I agree it’s such a beautiful color! I like going to those shops that sell past-season makeup, too! I’ve scored some really good deals from the past including brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown. Have not heard of Glambot, though! Gotta check that one out!

      About 12 hours it took me to do this post. ^_^”

  • Xuvious says:

    Wowie, I’d love to just play around with your makeup collection! :)
    I do like my Mac eyeshadows though I don’t use them as often as I’d like to. I should really try more! Expensive Pink is one of my staples. :)
    Also, a big hug for swatching so many, it can get very repetitive and tiresome. Thank you for all the hard work!

    • Jaa says:

      You’re welcome! It’s easy to neglect them when you have about hundreds of other eyeshadow palettes to play with! I have moved them to my top drawer, though, so hopefully I’ll use them more often!

  • Jasmine says:

    My heart skips a beat! Such an amazing collection and very informative.

  • Rae Chen says:

    Dude, this post is amaaaazing. //flings arms back in awe

    Bookmarking this post for future reference right now! Your finish descriptions are going to be such a great resource :)

  • angie says:

    woaaa…
    I am not a MAC fan girl…but I definitely see you put so much effort for this post.
    Well done , gurll

  • Tierra says:

    Love this post! what would you say are the top most used colors? I’ve been searching on the Internet for sources but there are not a lot who do reviews with Asian skin tone

    • Jaa says:

      For me: Brule, Naked Lunch, Bamboo, Malt, Soft Brown, Woodwinked, Mythical, Satin Taupe, Sumptuous Olive, Black Tied, Typographic, and Trax! Sorry too many! LOL

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