I’m obsessed with transition shades… is that weird? Maybe. Nonetheless, I’m writing this post to help explain the small differences between the MAC transition colors. Although the eyeshadows may seem very similar in the pan, each one will give you a totally different look when applied.

So what is a transition color? In the most simple of terms, it is the shade that helps blend your crease shade into your brow bone highlight. Typically it will be a matte shade 1-3 shades darker than your skin tone. The first step when applying eyeshadow is your transition! With a big fluffy brush you want to blend it from crease to right below your brow bone. My favorite brush to use is the 224 from MAC but there are plenty of big fluffy brushes in most brush lines.

I am only reviewing the shades that I personally own — which are all the transition colors for skin tones NC10-47/NW10-35. If you are unfamiliar with MAC foundation colors, that range is from very pale skin to medium/tan skin.

EDIT: If you are a woman of color or the eyeshadow you are looking for is not in this post, please see my Guide to MAC Matte Brown Eyeshadows. I wrote this post before aquiring the eyeshadows best used to transition darker skin.

Guide to MAC Matte Brown Eyeshadows (click HERE).

Guide to MAC Highlight Eyeshadows (click HERE)

Top Left to Right: Malt, Kid, Wedge, Soft Brown
Bottom Left to Right: Era, Omega, Cork

From left to right: Soft Brown, Era, Omega, Kid, Malt, Wedge, Cork

Please Note: Although they may look patchy in swatches, they do not appear that way when applied to the eye!

MALT (Matte)

Malt is a soft pinky beige and only works for VERY fair ladies. I have found the best way to apply this one is to use a more densely packed brush and really work it into the crease/above crease. This is by far the most subtle, but I have grown to like Malt quite a bit!

KID (Veluxe)

Kid is a warm peachy brown shade that is perfect for ladies NC5-NC25/NW10-NW20. Earlier this year MAC discontinued this one, and now it’s available again… Kid is a Veluxe so it has a very unique texture. The best way I can describe it is silky pigment that seems powderless.

OMEGA (Matte)

Omega is a muted beige ashy taupe and a much cooler transition color than the others. I find that it can be a bit blah looking by itself, but I love to use it mixed with Kid or Wedge — to make the perfect neutral transition! Omega also looks amazing when used on eyebrows!

WEDGE (Matte)

Wedge is a soft warm beige taupe. Another great option, and one I would recommend this for ladies that kind Kid a bit too light or warm. I think this color looks lovely on light and medium skin, but may be just a bit too dark for fair skin gals (when used as a transition). I love to use Wedge as a crease color.

ERA (Satin)

Era is a soft golden beige with shimmer and a great transition for beginners because it has a little sparkle to it — which makes it a lot easier to blend. Don’t worry, it isn’t frosty!

CORK (Satin)

Cork is a muted golden brown and although it is considered a Satin, Cork applies matte. I think it is a perfect transition for tan ladies with skintones around NC40/NW35 or above.  On my light skin it looks great in the crease!


Soft Brown is a soft golden peachy brown that I think looks great on a lot of skin tones — from very fair to tan! Some lighter skinned gals may find that it pulls a little orange on them, but I think it’s a gorgeous color and has definitely become a favorite of mine.

The warmth in shades like Kid and Soft Brown can seem a bit scary, but that warmth is what will totally transform your look into something amazing!

I hope this was helpful!  Which transition colors do you use?




Malt vs Kid, Kid vs Soft Brown, Wedge vs Cork, Kid vs Wedge, Soft Brown vs Cork


  1. mizera

    Thank you very much for this wonderful post. It has been very helpful to me!!

  2. Lauren

    thanks very much for this post! I'm trying to narrow down to just a few colours I would like to get and this has been very helpful!


  3. Lenora

    You're amazing! Such a great idea in comparing the matte browns, too. Thanks so much for this.

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Im NC50 and I love malt. Its definitely not for fair ladies only, it works great especially for pinup looks on darker skin.

  5. Anonymous

    thank you very much, im trying to build a must have palette and this really helped

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  7. Tas Choudhury

    Great article, thank you.My kit is lacking good transition shades and am heading to mac later with my list of some of the above shades.

  8. chris green Philly

    Haha, I'm obsessed with transition shades too! I especially have been liking really warm ones lately, like peachy shades

  9. Frank

    Nonetheless, I'm writing this post to help explain the small differences between the MAC transition colors. Although the eyeshadows may seem … imaceyeshadow.blogspot.com


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