Eyes on MAC review, and a MAC Eye Shadow Finish Guide

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In The Flesh Eyeshadow Palette

Pizzazz-Packing Eye Shadow Palettes Promise to Bewitch

Is there anything so lovely as a perfectly curated eye palette? The world is filled with palettes of half-usable shadows and half-wasted hues. I’ve had the best of luck with neutral palettes, but always long for a touch of pizzazz. So you know who does neutral plus pizzazz palettes phenomenally? MAC, of course! Let’s focus All Eyes on MAC.

MAC Eyeshadow In The Flesh X 15 PaletteA close look at In The Flesh X 15

We heart this received a Eye Shadow X 15 ($65), as well as Eye Shadow X 9 ($32) palette from their latest eye shadow launch Eyes on MAC. As you’d imagine, the number indicates the number of shadows in said palette. The collection offers superb range, from neutral shades (like Stef’s In The Flesh X 15 palette), to the bright, the cool, the smoky and the metallic (like my Solar Glow X 9 palette), all in a variety of finishes. Bye-bye boring texture; sayonara squandared shades. The palettes are a great way to find the finish you prefer while mixing with colors you need.

MAC Eyeshadow Solar Glow X 9 PaletteSolar Glow X 9

The finishes are key here, so let’s start with a little introduction to those.
MAC Eye Shadow Finish Guide

Frost — these have very shimmery finishes with super-small bits of mica to deliver a high shine with a smooth application.

Lustre — these have big chunks of mica (read:glitter). It’s a bit rough in application (though I find a wet brush helps).

Satin — the baby bear of the eye shadow world, just right! Smooth with lots of color and a more subtle sheen.

Matte — zero shine here, just lots of highly pigmented, blendable color.

Velvet — like its name implies, this is a super-alternativer smooth shadow with rich color and slight sheen.

Veluxe — matte, but better: buttery and more blendable.

Veluxe Pearl — frost, but better: buttery and more blendable.

MAC Eyeshadow In The Flesh x 15 Palette

There are two palettes in the X 15 collection, we got to take a look at In The Flesh x 15. Stef reports that this is her favorite eye shadow palette release in YEARS; a perfect mix of cool and warm neutrals that she’s reaching for all the time. Literally, ALL the time!

MAC Eyeshadow In The Flesh x 15 Palette

MAC Eyeshadow In The Flesh x 15 Palette Swatches

Swatches done by vertical rows (MAC color description is in parentheses).

Beaded – Frost, nude gold (Light Golden Beige)
Elemental – Matte, cool light nude (Cool Wheat Nude)
Naked Lights – Matte, medium taupe (Light Neutral Slate)

Glam Gold – Satin, peachy gold (Coppery Yellow Gold)
Nutrelle – Matte, apricot (Muted Apricot)
Cumulus – Frost, grey leaning taupe shimmer (Dirty Grey Charcoal)

MAC Eyeshadow In The Flesh x 15 Palette Swatches

Copperfield – Satin, peachy nude (Peachy Beige)
Rustique– Matte, light dirty plum (Cool Pinky Beige)
Cast Iron – Matte, blackened grey (Matte Charcoal)

Sandstone – Matte, milk chocolate (Cool Grey Beige)
Tempting – Lustre, deep shimmering brown (Rich Cocoa)
Black Factor – Matte, blackened dark chocolate (Dark Chocolate)

MAC Eyeshadow In The Flesh x 15 Palette Swatches

Luxury Cachet – Frost, cool brown shimmer(Cool Pewter)
Indiscretion – Lustre, brown meets mauve (Dirty Mauve)
Carbon – Matte, inky black (Black)

MAC Eyeshadow Solar Glow x 9 Palette

There are six palettes in the X 9 collection, we got to take a look at Solar Glow x 9 ($32).

MAC Eyeshadow Solar Glow x 9 Palette Swatches

Swatches done by vertical rows (MAC color description is in parentheses).

Moon Rock – Veluxe Pearl, golden white (Frosty Bright White)
Sugared – Lustre, icy pink with a purple shift, ALL glitter (Light Frosty Pink)
Cosmic – Frost, cool light grey (Taupe)

Copper Aura – Lustre, peach ice (Pastel Coral)
Quarry – Matte, dirty plum (Soft Muted Plum-Brown)
Soot – Velvet, blackened taupe (Cool Grey)

MAC Eyeshadow Solar Glow x 9 Palette Swatches

Blackberry – Matte, plummy medium brown (Muted Burgundy-Plum Brown)
Metalmauve – Frost, shimmery plum (Soft Lilac)
Lunar Cycle – We’re calling this a Satin despite it’s Frost listing, cool grey with a slight green cast (Frosty Muted Teal, which seems like an error)

Solar Glow X 9 palette is a delicious combination of pale, moonlit metallics and smoky grays and plums. The pans are small, but the more neutral colors (read: most used) tend to be Matte or Velvet or Veluxe Pearl, all of which pack a lot of pigment. The Lusters tend to be a lot more powdery, disintegrating more quickly in the pan, I won’t likely use these as much. The frosts here are really frosty, but used in conjunction with the darker mattes, perfection happens.

All the palettes seem to be well-balanced for real life. The bright palettes (like Red-Hot X 9) has less sparkle/more matte and velvet, because we all know that too much bright + too much sparkle = Endora from Bewitched. Most of the neutral, cool or smoky palettes have more shimmery finishes from which to choose. It’s nice having someone pick out “just enough” since I definitely have “too much/Endora” tendencies.

When it comes to eyes, MAC, we’re looking at YOU!

Get the Solar Glow X 9 palette at: Nordstrom or MAC

Get the In The Flesh X 15 palette at: Nordstrom or MAC

we heartsters, what’s your favorite MAC Eye Shadow finish? Share in the comments!


  • sherrishera

    Sherri is a writer, dog lover, old movie fanatic, history detective, political junkie, fashion pundit and social media consumer advocate. “A fancy dinner and expensive champagne are better than writing a rent check any day of the week.” skin tone: NC 25 skin type: oily/sensitive favorite beauty product: anti-aging anything

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  1. “Endora from Bewitched” made me laugh!
    I’ve had my eye on In the Flesh. You’ve convinced me I really do need it!

  2. I’ve been using In the Flesh quite a bit – it’s such an easy palette to reach for!

  3. I don’t usually wear plum shadows, but that Solar Glow x9 palette is calling my name–I love how all of the shadows go together so well, MAC really thought out how they pieced these palettes together! I can’t wait to hit up my local MAC store and swatch these in person :)

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