Friday, June 7, 2013

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A Guide to MAC's Eyeshadow Finishes

I received an email from a reader asking about the different finishes of MAC eyeshadows, so I thought I should write a post! Please keep in mind, like all things written in my blog, these are my opinions... Something I don't like might be something you'd love and vice versa.

Let's get started!

 


FROST

Frost finish eyeshadows have small shimmer particles that create a shining iridescent appearance. They can range from very metallic to minimally shiny. While frost finish eyeshadows are extremely popular, they can highlight flaws such as creases or wrinkles. They are shimmery, but not glittery. Overall I am a big fan of MAC's Frosts!
(Pictured: Satin Taupe)
LUSTRE

Lustre finish eyeshadows are the outcasts... ask any MAC die hard what to avoid and they will probably tell you Lustre eyeshadows. Typically speaking they have a very dry but shimmery texture with chunky glitter and lots of fall out.
(Pictured: Greensmoke)




MATTE

Matte eyeshadows are those without any shimmer/sheen/glitter. They have flat color with varying degrees of opacity. MAC's Mattes are known for their finicky nature. Most of the permanent Matte eyeshadows are good qualilty while a majority of the limited edition ones released are dry and not worth purchasing.
(Pictured: Omega)

MATTE²

Pronounced Matte squared -- most people either love em or hate em. They are like regular Matte eyeshadows in that they have zero shimmer/sheen/glitter but they have a buttery texture with amazing payoff. The one downside is that I find them more difficult to blend.
(Pictured: Handwritten)


SATIN

MAC's Satin eyeshadows vary in their finish. Some appear completely matte (Brun) while a few are super frosty (Shroom). The majority have a very subtle sheen or demi-matte appearance. Overall I like Satin finish eyeshadows a lot because they are in that happy middle ground -- not too matte, not too frosty.
(Pictured: Era)



VELUXE

Veluxe is a finish unique to MAC. It applies matte but with a smoother less powdery appearance. They aren't as pigmented as Matte eyeshadows... They were being discontinued earlier this year, but MAC brought them back. I'm not too sure how long they will be around.
(Pictured: Kid)



VELUXE PEARL

My favorite finish! Veluxe Pearls are like a Frost but with a more metallic, pearly shimmer. They are soooooo buttery and pigmented. As with any finish there are just a few that aren't completely up to par, but overall I think they are beautiful and worth getting your hands on!
(Pictured: Woodwinked)



VELVET

Most Velvets appear matte or demi-matte -- some with a hint of sparkle (Vanilla, Texture) and others with glitter that doesn't translate to the eye (Beauty Marked, Mulch). I didn't realize how many I own and love until I wrote this post! A few have a reputation of being patchy when applied, but I would repurchase all listed below, aside from Beauty Marked.
(Pictured: Smut)






 


Below are all of MAC's permanent eyeshadows categorized below by finish... please let me know if I've left any out!

(*) denotes eyeshadows that I either currently own or have owned in the past and would be able to go into detail regarding their performance. Leave a comment below with any questions.


FROST
Amber Lights*
Bronze*
Cranberry*
Crystal
Electra
Goldmine
Jest*
Motif
Nylon*
Ricepaper*
Sable*
Satin Taupe*
Swish
Tilt*
Vex*
White Frost
Pink Freeze
Patina*
Humid*
Creme de Violet
Parfait Amour*
Steamy*
Paradisco
Seedy Pearl
Nocturnelle*
Phloof
Naked Lunch*
Deep Truth
Lucky Green*


LUSTRE
Greensmoke*
Retrospeck*
Honesty*
Mythology
Forgery
Sweet Lust
Swimming
Aquadisiac
Pink Venus
Idol Eyes
Filament
Gleam
Honey Lust
Tempting*


MATTE
Blackberry
Chrome Yellow
Corduroy
Espresso*
Malt*
Nehru
Omega*
Quarry
Rule
Saddle*
Swiss Chocolate*
Wedge*
Yogurt
Carbon*
Embark*
Bamboo
Charcoal Brown
Orange
Soft Brown*
Shadowy Lady
Plumage*
Gesso*
Free To Be
Passionate


MATTE2
Blanc Type*
Brown Script
Typographic
Handwritten*
Fig 1*
Copperplate*


SATIN
Arena
Brule*
Brun*
Concrete
Coquette
Cork*
Era*
Folie
Girlie
Haux
Mylar*
Mystery
Orb
Print*
Scene
Shale*
Club*
Shroom*
Soba*
Sushi Flower
Electric Eel*
Grain


VELUXE
Kid*
Brown Down*
Samoa Silk*


VELUXE PEARL
Crystal Avalanche*
Da Bling
Expensive Pink*
Plum Dressing*
Star Violet*
All That Glitters*
Dazzlelight*
Gorgeous Gold*
Sumptuous Olive*
Freshwater*
Moon's Reflection
Blue Calm
Stars 'N' Rockets*
Satellite Dreams*
Beautiful Iris*
Woodwinked*
Coppering*
Antiqued*
Twinks*
Silver Ring
Knight Divine*


VELVET
Bitter
Contrast*
Sketch*
Vanilla*
Vapour
Trax*
Mulch*
Black Tied
Beauty Marked*
Smut*
Texture*


Whew, that was a long post! Hope it was helpful!



What is your favorite finish?








20 comments:

  1. Veluxe Pearl is my favourite finish too! It's such a shame that Lustres come in such pretty colours. I currently have Greensmoke and Gleam and just put up with the horrible texture.

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    Replies
    1. Same here... I will say that Greensmoke is one of the better Lustres, which still isn't saying much :)

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  2. I have mythology and firespot in Lustre, and I love the colours, but with mythology I find it very hard to transfer and the fall out is immense :)

    Thanks for explaining the different types of finishes, as I didn't know what they were either!

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    Replies
    1. No problem Paula! Next time you're at MAC have a look at Expensive Pink... it is VERY similar in color to Mythology, but has a way better texture (Veluxe Pearl).

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  3. Oh my god, this post is the actual best. I've always had some sense of what finish was what, but this post really defined and helped my understanding of what finish was what.

    Thanks for this post and I'm glad I stumbled upon this blog and post!

    Citron and Guavaberry

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Vanessa! I'm glad you found it helpful :)

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  5. (Apologies for removing the earlier comment, but I didn't proof read it before posting).

    Thank you so much!

    You've provided me with an exhaustive list I can work from in overhauling my makeup as I'm now a well-past-menopausal 'beauty'! I've been reassessing & purging makeup with a mad fury but with little success in finding products in colours & finishes that suit me.

    I started hating going into MAC since I turned 50 (that's over four years ago now) as I'd always be lunging at old faves & bold new colours that truly are no longer flattering on me... and MAC has been my mainstay for basics in shadows & liners for yonks... Hmmm, & lipsticks & lipliners... Nowadays I just run in there & get my Blacktrack or Dipdown & charge out again.

    I'm still sold on Painterly & Constructivist as fabulous bases (although I'm finding, more often than not, that I use Constuctivist simply to soften up/blend the edges of my eyeliner), but powder shadows have become plain daunting - and at the price we have to pay in Australia, failed experiments are purse-string heartbreakers. Okay, it's not as expensive a fail as Chanel, YSL or Lancome, but it's a big downer.

    Shadowy lady & various matte offerings now leave me looking plain bruised & shadowy (nice reflection of the bags under my eyes) or just inappropriately loud. Frosts & Lustres are the perfect way to scream for attention to my ever increasing collection of crepey lines. Yaroop!

    I would have ignored Haux in the past because it would have seemed far too boring to consider, but I bought a pot over summer. It works beautifully directly over primer (best without a base over the top) as it allows my skin to show through but with a hint of colour that doesn't look dead. That's precisely what I want. I don't want to go matte/neutral/wallflower. There has to be a way of integrating colour. 'Naked' palettes may be de rigueur but, once your older, they just make you look even older & more washed out. I'm not not dead yet!

    Cheers for the list! All the 'experts' seem to insist that mattes are for the oldies like me, but they can be terribly chalky which is only useful if you want an alternative to frosts to be able to count the crinkles on your eyelids. Many of them really adhere (usually in a disgustingly blotchy manner) & I end up having to blend them down so much that the hard work I put into creating contours stops looking like well blended contouring & turns into sludge. Now I know to base my basics around the satins (avoiding the pearly ones) & veluxes. Yay! Off to MAC for a long lurk tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with the Naked Palettes... I'm in my late twenties and they make my lids look like a wrinkle-fest. Not the look I'm going for! :)

      I think the Satin and Veluxe finish eyeshadows will work wonderfully on you! Please send me a comment and let me know which ones you ended up going for!

      I looooooove Mylar, Soba and Era!

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  6. I just purchased Brule and noticed leaving the store it is a Satin. I am 45 and am ADVERSE to any glitter now for sure. Is there one similar in colour in Matte, Matte squared (which I would love to try now) or Veluxe? Thanks so much for doing this

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    Replies
    1. Although Brule is a Satin, I think it appears Matte when applied to the eye. The closest in color to Brule in a Matte squared finish is Blanc Type. It's just a tiny bit lighter and it's more pigmented. One of my favorites for sure!!

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  8. Hey there, I stumbled across your post and was wondering if you could please give me some insight on some mac eye shadows that you own: Lucky Green, Nocturnelle, Humid, Satin Taupe, Cranberry, and Bronze. I’ve been saving up to buy a mac eye shadow palette for the longest time; problem is I can’t really make sure of the eye shadow quality online. I’d really appreciate it if you could tell me your thought on the eye shadow colours I’ve mentioned. Thank you,, btw great post,, made everything easier for me to understand.


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  9. Hey! I love this post!! So insightful :)
    I recently bought Amber Lights, Mythology, Antiqued and All that Glitters to add to my collection, are there any colours that you would reccomment to use together with these or any amazing combinations? I bought Mythology to go with All that Glitters, and Amber Lights to go with Antiqued but I fancy more than that! I already own Carbon, Brule, Shadowy lady and Espresso (I'm also keen to expand my collection evermore!). Thanks! ❤️

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  10. this is just an awesome blog post. Really informative and helpful.

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  11. Hi! Just purchased your top ten shadows for blue eyed gals:) Question I have now is what colors to pair with others? What combinations would look nice together? Thanks so much for this site, all your amazing tutorials and wisdom😊 I also already own Espresso, Naked Lunch and Expensive Pink☺️
    Thanks for any help you can give me. What colors do I put in the crease, on the lid, in the outer corner etc?😉
    ~ Laura

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  12. Ditto for me.... Bought many of the colors but neeed help matching them up!! like an eye map!! lol

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  15. So addicted to eyeshadow at the moment but instead of individual shadows, I'm loving eyeshadow palettes as they offer so much more variety and depth. eg. http://labeaute.org/nude-eyeshadow-palettes/

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