Get ready for a long post guys, cause this is going over 15 different shadows.
MAC decided to jump on the neutral bandwagon, and released two 15-pan palettes at the beginning of the month. I waited to go in store, and tried to decide which one to get. At first, I was thinking, Maybe I’ll get both! I could definitely be super happy if I had both, but then I remembered how the “warm” colors that I own (I’m looking at you, Saddle and Texture) are pretty much ignored 90% of the time. Also, after looking at the two palettes, I realized that I wouldn’t use the warm one, and that I would almost always reach for the cool version.
The cool/neutral palette has 15 shades and none of them are removable from the palette it comes it. While that is pretty standard for these kinds of palettes — you can’t pop out any of the Urban Decay Naked shades — I would have easily paid an extra $10 if I could just pop them out for when I travel. Now, I have to take 15 shades with me if I want to take it anywhere. I know if I take this many shadows for a weekend at my mom’s house, she’d definitely look at it and have some judgements about it. Either way, I’m not going to depot this because I think it would be a waste of time and effort.
I’m just going to post pictures of everything at the end, because there are so many shadows. I’ve waited on this review because I’ve been wanting to test it properly, rather than rushing to say, “OH I LOVE THIS ENTIRE PALETTE,” which is what would have happened if I added this review after having it for a week. All the pictures below are swatched without primer, though I might be swatching with primer and updating this post depending on if I’m happy with it.
As stated, there are 15 shadows in the palette. It’s supposed to be an all encompassing palette; you should be able to find looks for a light look, a work look, and a night look. Three of the shades (Blackberry, Brun, and Black Tied) are permanent, and a few others are repromotes. The shades are as follows (I’m going by rows, starting with the top — purple — row, with the finish and these are the way I perceive them, not the official MAC description):
Flounce – Matte – Pale white-pink
Sweet Allure – Satin – Iridescent pink
Sun Tweaked – Frost – Seashell pink
After Dusk – Veluxe Pearl – Rusted pink-purple
Blackberry – Matte – Deepened purple, but not anywhere close to blacked purple
Pick Me Up – Matte – Off white beige
Cozy Grey – Matte – Pink beige
Crushed Clove – Frost – Golden brown with silver glitter
Deception – Frost – Red brown with gold and red glitter
Brun – Satin – Chocolate brown
Silver Fog – Lustre – Iridescent silver grey
French Clay – Frost – Lavender based silver
Cumulus – Frost – Gray with golden tones
Pearled Earth – Veluxe Pearl – Purple-based gray
Black Tied – Veluxe – Black with green and gold glitter
One of the major complaints about this palette is that a lot of the colors are actually warm when this is labelled a cool palette. I actually don’t mind this fact because the “warm” colors still aren’t orange or yellow, but rather pinks or golds. I know that a lot of the colors in the warm palette were orange based, and as I said earlier, I definitely would not have used them. I actually am not the biggest fan of the middle row (the browns), but I will use them on occasion to work or out. Even if they’re not my favorite, I am slowly growing to like them a little more. After I bought it, my favorite MUA at my local MAC asked how I was enjoying it. I’m pretty sure her exact words were, “How much do you love it now that you’ve gotten to play with it?” I told her how I liked the first and third rows, but hated the second, so she told me to bring it in and she would show me how to apply it and love it. When I did, some of her suggestions were to use it under a paint pot (Bare Study or Constructivist were her suggestions) in order to either add some shimmer (not that it really needs that) or deepen the browns. I think that they do fine on their own, but if you’re trying to turn the browns into a smokey eye, the Constructivist paint pot can really help creating that deep color you need. I think the reason I dislike the browns is that there is SO MUCH FALL OUT. You should definitely wait on applying any concealer or foundation until after you’ve done your eyes with that row. Last point on the disappointments list, I kind of hate Black Tied. It’s supposed to be a sparkly black, but it’s SO HARD to actually build up the color. I would definitely pass on it if I were to buy it on my own.
My favorite combination of colors is the top row, but specifically using Sweet Allure all over the lid, After Dusk on the outer corner and in the crease, Blackberry in the crease and bottom lash line, and then grabbing Shadowy Lady to use as a liner along the upper lash line. When I used this combination, my fiance, without fail, tells me he thinks I look pretty that day.
Since this is getting a lot of comparisons to the Urban Decay Naked palettes, here’s my two cents: I’ve never really been a fan of UD shadows; I own a few and I hardly ever reach for them. Yes, this is almost double the price of a Naked palette which contains exactly the same amount of product, but for me, it’s worth it because I reach for this palette a couple of times a week. I haven’t touched any of my NARS palettes lately, which is surprising to me. I do wish that they would pop out, but that’s something I can’t change. And at $10 a shadow normally, this works out for me since I like about 11 of the shadows (I saved $10 for the shadow as well as the cost of the palette).
Overall, I give this palette a B+. If I liked the browns, or they didn’t have as much fall out as they do, I would have given it a higher rating.
Here are the photos and swatches.