I don’t know about you gals, but I do A LOT of my shopping online. There isn’t a MAC store near me and the counter is about 45 minutes away — not to mention it is the busiest counter I’ve ever seen, and it drives me INSANE. I like to buy the pan form of eyeshadows so it makes much more sense for me to buy them online. Before purchasing, I frequently tried to find reviews/blogs describing and comparing MAC eyeshadows to one another in the permanent line, i.e. Saddle vs Texture, Cork vs Wedge, etc. I’m not looking to buy a bunch of dupes! I never really found anything that was detailed enough, so after collecting nearly every matte brown MAC has, I’m writing what I was looking for — an ultimate guide to MAC’s matte brown eyeshadows.
I will also discuss some of the Satin finish shadows that are commonly compared to the Matte shades. These are not ALL of MAC’s Matte browns — but nearly all of them. Whew! Now that I’ve got all that out there, lets begin!!!
I am NC15 — for swatching reference!
|Left to Right: Wedge, Cork, Soba, Texture, Saddle, Soft Brown|
|Left to Right: Soft Brown, Era, Omega, Kid, Malt, Wedge, Cork|
|Left to Right: Brun, Espresso, Brown Down, Embark, Handwritten, Swiss Chocolate|
WEDGE: Wedge is a beautiful slightly warm mid tone taupe brown that can be used for transition or in the crease. One of my most used eyeshadows! Wedge vs Kid –Wedge is very close in color to Kid but slightly cooler and darker. I do not think owning both is necessary. Of the two I would choose Wedge because it is more versatile and has a better texture — but I go back and forth between the two.
CORK: Cork is a “muted golden brown” and technically a Satin, but it appears Matte on the eye. It works beautifully in the crease on lighter skin, and as a transition color for tan skin. Wedge vs Cork — Cork is darker and cooler. They are similar, but not dupes. I think it is justifiable to own both… but that’s just me.
SOBA: Soba is a “golden brown with gold shimmer”. It is super pigmented and buttery. This eyeshadow has a lot more shimmer and luminosity than most other Satins. It is almost a muted mustard/camal color, if they makes any sense… not the most flattering color on some skintones. I would try this one before purchasing. Soba looks beautiful when paired with Era, very pretty work appropriate look. Soba vs Cork — often compared as dupes but I could not disagree more. They give a completely different look on the eye. Soba vs Patina — I think they are similar, Soba is more pigmented and a darker gold.
SOFT BROWN: Soft Brown is a warm mid tone brown that is best used as a transition color. Some will find this to appear a bit orangey… but I happen to like it, even on my extremely fair skin.
SADDLE: Saddle is a warm orange brown. It has excellent pigmentation and is easy to blend. This is a beautiful transition shade for women of color. Saddle vs Soft Brown — they are definitely in the same family, but NOT dupes. They are gorgeous when used together — Soft Brown as a transition, Saddle to Deepen the crease.
TEXTURE: Texture is a Velvet, a “peachy-brown with shimmer” according to MAC. I would call this a straight up orange brown. It applies to the eye nearly Matte. There is a tiny bit of sparkle that helps it blend like a dream. This is also another great transition color for woc. Saddle vs Texture — close in color but differ in texture and use. I don’t think it is necessary to own both if you are beginning your MAC collection.
SWISS CHOCOLATE: Swiss Chocolate is a girl’s best friend… it is absolutely beautiful in both color and texture. A warm muted medium red brown, I don’t think there is a dupe in the permanent collection. I have seen this used as a transition for tan skin but I’ve never used it for such.
HANDWRITTEN: Handwritten is a Matte2 (matte squared) finish and extremely pigmented. It is a dark warm brown. I think while the Matte2 shadows are super pigmented, they are a pain to blend and Handwritten is no exception. I typically use Handwritten for liner.
BROWN DOWN: Brown Down is a warm medium-dark brown that is VERY close in color to Handwritten — a much drier, less pigmented version. Brown Down has recently been discontinued, so if you were looking to purchase it, look no further than Handwritten.
ESPRESSO: Espresso is a cool toned medium brown that is very popular, but has rather lackluster quality. It has so-so pay off and it’s somewhat of a pain in the ass to blend. I don’t use Espresso as eyeshadow, but I do use it to add depth to my brows — Love it for this!
BRUN: Brun is a very cool toned dark black brown that leans on the ashy side of things — which makes it great for filling in dark brows. I love Brun as a liner as well. Brun vs Mystery — I personally do not own Mystery so I cannot say either way. I have heard they are dupes so many times that I have avoided Mystery all together. You tell me… are they dupes?
EMBARK: As you can see in the swatch, Embark is somewhat of a tragedy. It is a dark red brown that has a dry texture and sub par payoff. I used to love Embark, and this is my second pan… maybe this one is a dud. Handwritten and Brown Down are close in color to Embark.
Guide to MAC Transition Colors (click HERE) for a more in depth description of Malt, Kid, Era, and Omega along with Wedge, Cork, Soft Brown.
Guide to MAC’s Eyeshadow Finishes (click HERE)
Hope that as helpful! If I acquire anymore browns from MAC I will be sure to update the post.
What is/are your favorite brown eyeshadow/s? Mine are Wedge, Saddle and Swiss Chocolate!
Cork vs Wedge, Soba vs Cork, Cork vs Soft Brown, Soft Brown vs Saddle, Soft Brown vs Texture, Texture vs Saddle, Handwritten vs Brown Down, Swiss Chocolate vs Handwritten, Embark vs Handwritten, Brun vs Mystery