MAC Art Supplies – review and swatches

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photos: we heart this

Have you picked up anything from the MAC Art Supplies release yet? I know, you’re only just recovering from Give Me Liberty of London (at least, I am!) But there really are a few gems in here that you shouldn’t miss.

The collection, all pencils and markers (get it? Art supplies!) lets you create your very own masterpiece courtesy of rich shades, sparkling depth and bright pops of long lasting color. The entire line is limited edition, of course. So, just like a Picasso, as time goes on these will get harder and harder to find!

The Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50) are one of MAC’s notorious cult-favorite products. Relatively new, previous collections have had only a couple of shades to choose from and they always disappear like hotcakes. For Art Supplies, they released eight.

These are dark, inky shades that offer the convenience of a mechanical pencil (even with a built-in sharpener) the softness of a cream shadow, and the longevity of…well, there’s nothing quite like them, to be honest! These do not budge, removing them even at bedtime requires a bit of elbow grease.

Here’s a tip: when immediately applied, you can smudge these to a fabulous, smokey consistency. But if you don’t smudge, and let them dry in place, they will stay exactly where you put them (and look as dark and rich as they appear in the tube).

They call Brown, Now a blackened burgundy. There is a hint of brown, but I think fans of cool, plum type shades will be more drawn to this then warm, brown lovers. But my heart lies with Greengrease, described as blackened forest green. If you are a green lover, I couldn’t recommend this more. You’re going to want this divine, shimmering dark emerald in your stash. And as a taupe fiend, I’m also eying Dirty (a blackened taupe with pearl).

And speaking of my heart, I love all six of the Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners ($14.50). Pearlglides are some of the smoothest liners on the market. Every time MAC release them, I scoop them up as quickly as I can. The “intense” addition to these lies in the blinding (in a good way) shimmer that they pack. And much like the Greasepaints, they really stay put.

Black Line is described as a true black. But as you can see, it is loaded with greenish gold shimmer. The effect is closer to an intense Khaki then black. It’s incredibly beautiful. See if you can track down Undercurrent as well, a pretty blue teal.

And now, the black sheep of the group, the Lip Stain Markers ($16). I feel like these pretty lil’ markers are getting a bad rap. True, as with most stains they do tend to be drying. But with a bit of exfoliation prior to application (your toothbrush works great) and an added balm on top, there’s nothing like the staying power of a stain. The other good thing about them is that there’s no color transfer. I drank, talked and laughed all night long with no red anywhere other than on my lips. Would I wear this everyday? Absolutely not. But for a big night out, when you don’t want to be worrying about touch ups, Purposefully Red, described as a dirty red-coral (but more bright, pure red popsicle to me), fit the bill nicely.

Seriously ladies, don’t you need some art in your life?

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.


  • Stef Andrews

    Stef is a plethora of things. Amongst them: co-founder of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She also has a touch of wanderlust and, arguably, the cutest dog in the whole world... skin tone: NC 25/30 skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products


  1. These colors are so vivid, and I love the art supplies theme! GREAT review, and now I’m wanting to head out and snag some MAC!!!

  2. I am a MAC maniac, and I’m salivating at the thought of another new collection! Yes, I’m still high on my Liberty of London shopping spree, but your description of Greengrease is going to send me right back to the MAC counter! Thanks, Stef!

  3. Oh, oh, my Mac. How I love thee. :)

    I love the idea of the Art Supplies line! They look cool and seem really innovative. I might have to save up for a MAC purchase. A little splurge may be in order…

  4. Oh I just love the idea behind this collection, and the name, of course. I’m a sucker for lip markers so I really think I need to try this one but thank you for the tip about exfoliating first. That will surely save me some headaches! Excellent review (and excellent swatches!). :)

  5. Recessionista, do you know why these swatches are so great? I did them on an 11 year old girl! Tyna said one of us should have had children just for swatching purposes…

    Melissa, you will flip over Greengrease. It will look great with your coloring too.
    .-= stef´s last blog ..A Perfect World with SPF 25 – new from Origins =-.

  6. SO glad to see some MAC products on here! I adore MAC and have been a faithful follower for years now. No one in the market beats the amount of pigment their shadows contain, or the depth of colors they have. I can’t wait to try the lip stains, I’ve just recently gotten into the stains, loving Stila’s Yumberry right now, so I was happy to see MAC included them in this collection! The Brown, Now also looks really cool, as I tend to go for the more plum looking tones. Just another reason to hit the online store and make a few more purchases!

  7. Gotta hand it to MAC – they are constantly updating their line and there is always a few most have pieces in each and every collection! I’m loving the look of the Brown, Now as well – plummy browns really work well with my blue eyes and I’ve always wanted to check out the beloved greasesticks.

    Erin – you will be pleased to see more MAC later this week! Christy and I are going to a MAC launch party for the Pret-a-Papier Collection on Thursday (it launches April 22nd). Super exciting! Stay tuned for pics and info!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..How to: have a Grease party =-.

  8. Great Swatches Stef.. Oh to have young skin of an 11 year old again.. Marching down to see what’s happening at the MAC store.. It’s one place that seems to always have plenty of people in there looking at what’s new!

  9. Ahhhh I am a total MAC addict! I can’t imagine life without getting Purposefully Red! I love this collection….but honesty I love all of their collections. I have to limit my MAC visits because I have no self control. I am always 100% happy with my purchases from them.. The lipsticks always stay, the eyeshadows are gorgeous. I heart MAC… and this collection is beautiful! I can’t wait to go with Tyna to the Pret-a-Papier Collection Launch Party.. that’s another collection that is just plain gorgeous!

  10. OOh I like the greengrease color. MAC all ways seems to have the coolest colors. Can’t wait to tries these out.

  11. I want. Those Crayons. I was just at a MAC store yesterday and they did not have these. It’s not good for my wallet to go near a commercial center again for a while…oooohhhhhh the agony.

  12. Oh, wow, that sounds like fun! Can’t wait to see pics and hear about that collection Tyna!

  13. Woah, those colors are so rich! I’m coveting Greengrease now!

  14. I’m a sucker for lip stains and I love them in marker form, so I can’t wait to try these lip stain markers!!! Great tip about the exfoliation before applying them–I also will top a lip stain with a clear gloss just to keep my lips from looking dry. I might also need to check out the Greengrease because I’m a sucker for all things green and I love liners that don’t budge…*sighs dreamily* :)

  15. Yanno, I was a MAC virgin until about a year ago! I know, a SHOCK when you consider what a makeup hoarder I am, but true!

    This collection is refreshing after Liberty of London. The packaging for LoL (<– hehe) was whimsical and fun but the Art Supplies packaging is super sleek and perfectly emotes the "art student" feeling. It makes me want to create art on my face, not just apply eyeliner! I love, love, LOVE this collection, every bit of it.

  16. I really want to get my hands on one of the lip stain markers. They look divine. I am fairly new to MAC. But I am already in love. They make high quality,fun, and unique products. And I have already learned that you must quickly buy duplicates of what you love if they are limited edition. MAC is so good that they sell out quicker than a New York Minute!

    Yay for Art Supplies!!

  17. OMG ladies.. just left the Launch party for the new collection and it is soooooo beautiful.. I love it so much! Wait till you see it! & MAC really knows how to throw a party….wait till you hear the review on this set.. amazing!! :)

  18. I had a Stila lipstain marker once; though I liked it fine, I wasn’t crazy about the color. It seems all stains are some shade of blackberry or red rosepetal. Stila was one of the few stains with options, but there still weren’t many. I like the brighter red here (and they have a relatively lot of other colors)…a new day for stains maybe?

  19. UPDATE*** Purposefully Red is officially the best lip stain I’ve ever tried. As @Stef said it can be a little drying, as most lip stains go but seriously this stuff STAYS ALL DAY!! I’ve used it under my MAC RED lipstick for ultra red that never leaves, and I’ve used it alone with a bit of gloss, or Rosebud Lip Salve over the top and boy does this red stay.

    The application couldn’t be easier and more precise. The art pen really is awesome, and it goes on even.
    I give Five MAJOR stars to this one. I love it!

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