MAC Art of the Eye – swatches and review

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Make the Big Statement

MAC Art of the Eye 

Go for broke looks are so my thing, especially when it comes to the eye. Really, why wear taupe or brown when you might as well be bare-lidded, right? The MAC Art of the Eye collection totally speaks my language when it comes to making that big statement. Isn’t art about making big statements?

To be sure, MAC’s limited editions are coveted. In fact, some of this collection is already sold out. Let me tell you what and why you need to get your hands on some of these goodies.

The Art of the Eye consists of a couple of palettes dedicated to the classic smoky eye, some really punchy shadows, holographic glitters and multi-use Chromagraphic pencils, in addition to the face-completing mascaras and brow gelcreme.

MAC Art of the Eye Masat Al LailMasat Al Lail quad

I’m most gaga over that mostly matte quad, Masat Al Lait Eyeshadow X 4 ($40). This is all you will need for the most complete smoky eye. The shades of grey—black to silver to steel blue and stone are all highly pigmented, apply smoothly and are quite buildable. The powder is so creamy that this blends beautifully. Included in this are:

Rondelle (matte) – beautiful frosty silver
Waft (matte) – greyed navy with pearl
Gentle Fume (velvet) – a concrete gray, silver glitter fall out city
Carbon (matte) – intense black (the best showing of Carbon that our Swatcher Stef has seen, probably ever!)

MAC Art of the Eye Masat Al Lail swatchesRondelle, Waft, Gentle Fume, Carbon

This could be a pedestrian palette if it weren’t for Waft. Waft has a little more gray than black in the overall blue, making it a little more contemporary than a classic navy. The pearl really adds dimension. With primer, these all lasted until I took them off. I could find a way to wear this every day. Truly.

MAC Art of the Eye eye shadowHajar Karim and Farasha Eyeshadow

Now let’s talk about those bright colored single Eye Shadows ($15 each) that really push my off-the-runway boundaries. I like that.

I tested two of the four total hues. Farasha is a bright yet slightly toasted orange matte that’s sure to upset the neutral bunch. Really everyone, orange isn’t that tough to wear. I’m in love with adding it to a basic brown on the lid and a zip of green liner for a neutral-but-better look. It’s too bad that Farasha is sold out because you know all the coolest kids are wearing it.

MAC Art of the Eye swatchesHajar Karim, Farasha

Don’t burst a gasket worrying about it, though; Hajar Karim Eye Shadow is still in stock. Hajar Karim is a bright Kelly green that’s listed as a veluxe, but the finish is very matte. It can punch up a neutral every bit as well as its cousin Farasha. Both Farasha and Hajar Karim are crazy pigmented and super saturated with intense color. I used mine with primer and fade was imperceptible even hours later. These are a big, bold score.

MAC Art of the Eye reflects glitterReflects Glitter in Antique Gold and Gold

Oh yes, get me to the glitter. MAC tells us that their Reflects Glitter ($21) can be applied to face, body and hair by itself or mixed with other products. MAC does warn against use by the eye, though. Of course, this is the first place I tried it.

MAC Art of the Eye reflects goldReflects Gold Glitter

Reflects Gold is really a white, small flake glitter with a heavy nod to cool, icy blue. There is an overall gold cast but somehow the ultimate effect, to me, is more silvery. Reflects Gold is just what I’d expect Fairy Dust to look like. I used this in the corner of my eye (exactly where I wasn’t supposed to, I later found out), with pleasing results.

The iridescence wasn’t overwhelming while the whiteness brightened my eyes (which—contacts inserted—weren’t bothered in the least by all that glitter). After learning that I wasn’t to put glitter in or around my eyes, I tried mixing it with my cream blush. The effect was awesomely cool and reflective in bright light. By itself, this glitter does have an ethereal quality.

MAC Art of the Eye reflects antique goldReflects Antique Gold Glitter

Reflects Antique Gold glitter is everything and nothing like you’d expect. Carbon-gray looking in the clear canister, the glitter itself is antique gold with a very thin black smoke veil. This is amazing mixed with deep red lip gloss. And to heck with the eye disclaimer, this stuff is great with liquid eyeliner. To paraphrase Rachel Zoe, “I die.”

MAC Art of the Eye reflects glitterReflects Gold and Reflects Antique Gold Glitter

MAC Art of the Eye chromagraphic pencilChromagraphic Pencil in Process Magenta and Hi-Def Cyan

This all leads me to the Chromagraphic Pencils ($16) which I tested in and Process Magenta and Stef kept Hi-Def Cyan, falling for it’s intensely bright blue charm.

MAC Art of the Eye chromagraphic pencil swatches

Knowing this was an eye collection, I was initially confused. In my humble opinion, Magenta really should never be used on the eyes in the real world unless one is either trying to look sickly or make a statement based on pure teenage angst. Luckily, I found that the Chromagraphic Pencils can be used on lips, eyes and face. Lips, here I come!

Magenta is such a HOT shade for spring that I’m calling it June’s answer to Oxblood. The color of the Chromagraphic pencil is intense, the application is smooth and the wear is…well, truthfully, it could be better. Two out of three ain’t bad. I LOVE magenta lips!

MAC Art of the Eye swatchesHajar Karim and Farasha Eyeshadows, Process Magenta and Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencils, Reflects Gold and Reflects Antique Gold Glitter

MAC’s Art of the Eye Collection is bound to force you to make that bold statement out of pure love of the art!

Ladies – does art influence your makeup? Do you dare to go bold? If so, where: eyes, lips…or both?

photos: we heart this, swatches shown on NC 25/30 skintone

Eye Shadow x 4
Masat Al Lail
Rondelle – platinum silver frost (matte)
Waft – deep navy with pearl (matte)
Gentle Fume – dirty concrete grey with
silver pearl (velvet)
Carbon – intense black (matte)

Rimal Dahabia
Shroom – soft beige with shimmer (satin)
Soft Brown – soft golden peachy brown (matte)
Beauty Burst – rich reddish brown (satin)
Najm el Lail – blackened deep brown (matte)
$40.00 US/$47.50 CDN

Eye Shadow
Farasha – bright deep orange (matte)
Gameela – deep pink magenta
Parrot – deep aqua blue with bright green and blue pearl (frost)
Hajar Karim – clean warm green
Banafsaji – deep purple blue (veluxe pearl)
$15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

Reflects Glitter
Reflects Gold – white glitter that flashes gold
Reflects Antique Gold – sparkling taupe
$21.00 US/$25.00 CDN

Chromagraphic Pencil
Process Magenta – magenta
Hi-Def Cyan – hi-def cyan
Landscape Green – lush bright green
$16.00 US/$19.00 CDN

Kohl Power Eye Pencil
Feline – rich black
$15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

Liquid Eye Liner
Boot Black – black
$18.50 US/$22.00 CDN

Sama -blue
Optimum Black Lash -intense black
$16.00 US/$19.00 CDN

Fluidline Brow Gelcreme
Deep Dark Brunette – rich brunette
$15.00 US/$18.00 CDN

4 Lash – natural length, wispy
$16.00 US/$19.00 CDN

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • 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. The swatches of the Masat Al Lait Eyeshadow – especially Waft– are irresistible. I love a smoky eye, and must have this quad! Ditto the Hi-Def Cyan pencil, if I can track it down. Thanks for the artistic temptations, @sherrishera !

  2. I wish that I had the guts to wear such awesome bold colors. I always seem to chicken out. I just need to figure out ways to add them to a look with “baby steps”. That way I could enjoy these stunning hues without “freaking out” because I am secretly wondering all day if I look like a clown. LOL

    1. Haha…I don’t mind making glaring or clownish makeup errors. When I do make those errors, I tend to document them in photos and laugh at myself later. How else would I have found that orange can work and glitter is possible over 40? I say embrace that artistic spirit…just maybe not at work.

  3. Oh my, I love Farasha and HiDef Cyan, I wish they weren’t sold out. I’ve been looking for an intense neon blue for summer. Hajar is beautiful as well. I got to try Deep Dark Brunette fluidline brow gel. It is a really excellent dark brown that gives definition to my sparse brows yet looks natural.

  4. Hey Ladies,
    The Hi Def Cyan pencil is still available! It’s marked as sold out in the launch (?) but it’s a permanent item!
    And, well worth the investment. It is the absolute brightest blue you’ve ever seen. And liners are the best way to break into bold colors. I wore this today and had a hard time keeping my eyes off my eyes. It’s really creamy too (@sherrishera – I think these probably wear better on eyes than lips, but yeah – I wouldn’t have worn Process Magenta on my eyes either!)

  5. Bold? Definitely yes, @sherrishera! The “Masat Al Lail” compact stole my heart (holographic colors are fantastic). “Reflects” antique gold glitter is a must-have. With some guidance, I think I am still brash enough to try to pull off even the most bold colors. I noted that their mascara comes in blue. It’s such a flattering option; when I wear it, people can’t put their finger on what’s different about my eyes, but I get a lot of compliments. Nice job!

  6. I LOVE MAC, but I just wasn’t that impressed with this collection. Eyeshadows are probably my favorite color product too, so I’m especially disappointed. MAC has so many amazing eye products that it seems a shame that they didn’t use them (um, Fluidlines? Pigments that aren’t glitter?)

  7. I LOVE that the first place you tried the glitter is exactly where it’s NOT supposed to be. I’d make the same mistake! “Ooo, glittery eyes, I look so…wait. Why’s my eye burning?!?”

    These are definitely interesting, but like @lipglossandspandex, I’m not too impressed. Which I don’t mind because usually I’m all, “MAC IS THE BEST, THIS IS GORGEOUS, I WANT!” :-) Hajar Karim is gorgeous though, I don’t think I’ve seen a dirty orange like that. It looks like a color I’d expect from OCC, very edgy looking and fun…

    1. Totally! Why CAN’T I use it like that? I’ll show you…

  8. So much amazing color here! While I don’t think I can pull off most of these, they look beautiful in a collection together. I have no trouble believing that Farasha is sold out!

  9. Holy bright Batman! I love, love, love it! Summer is the perfect time for shades like this and breaking out of your comfort zone. I think Magenta would be a fun color for the eyes when paired with black. I’m thinking a sunset palette!

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