The MAC Eyeshadow Starter Kit


I recently built a MAC Pro Palette so now it’s been finished a few months I thought I’d do a post on the shades I use most and couldn’t live without. These are the everyday colours I’d recommend to anyone starting out with MAC eyeshadows.

If you’re wanting to start out with MAC eyeshadows, I’d really recommend just getting a quad to begin with that has your key shades. You can buy the pans for £10 each here which is better value than the packaged singles and the quad itself for £4.50 here.

It definitely isn’t the cheapest thing to do and there are pros and cons when you pit the customisable palette against pre-made ones. However I haven’t come across a brand with the sheer variety of shades MAC have for a lower price (the closest thing for me is Makeup Geek). I wouldn’t say that my MAC shadows are hands-down the best quality shadows I own either, but they’re my most-used due to the fact I hand-picked every shade and can swap them in and out between my large palette and this little quad. I also got most of these for free by redeeming my Debenhams Beauty Club Points (it is very easy to build up a huge amount of points with this very generous loyalty scheme).

If you’re going to get a quad I’d recommend picking out a highlight shade, a crease colour, a lid shade and a smokier shade for the outer v. I personally would go for three shimmers and one matte, however everyone has their own preferences. One thing I'd advise is not to make the mistake of just picking out four random colours you like the look of; think about how they work together and the balance of shades and finishes in your quad. The true Matte finishes in MAC’s range can be a little dry, but within other finishes you can find shades that look matte but are a little nicer to work with. I would also recommend Veluxe Pearl finishes as my favourite MAC shimmer formula, followed by Frost.

My must-have shades (which you can read in-depth individual reviews of here) are:



All That Glitters (Veluxe Pearl finish) – a bronze-nude shimmer with slight peach tones
Woodwinked (Veluxe Pearl finish) – a warm bronze-brown shimmer with antique gold tones
Patina (Frost finish) – a dirty brown shimmer with an iridescent sheen
Cork (Satin finish) – a mid-brown matte-look shade with neutral undertones
Quarry (Matte finish) – a matte taupe with mauve tones
Sable (Frost finish) – a reddish-brown shimmer
Mulch (Velvet finish) – a deep brown shimmer with gold tones
Satin Taupe (Frost finish) – a dark taupe shimmer with silver tones


Quad 1: the Bronze-Brown Everyday Look

All That Glitters is my go-to highlight shade as I don’t like anything too eye-catching and it goes with just about any look, whether you’re going for something warmer or cooler. For a brown eyeshadow look I go for Cork through the crease. I’ve added in Woodwinked as the lid colour (it’s pretty much my favourite for this) and finally Sable, as the red adds a bit of a twist to your standard everyday brown eye look.


Quad 2: the Taupe Everyday Look

Again I’ve added in All That Glitters with the crease shade being Quarry. Patina is a cooler-toned lid shade option in comparison to Woodwinked but I think the iridescent look it has means it could work just as well with a warmer colours. On the outer v I’ve picked Satin Taupe as the perfect partner to Quarry.


Quad 3: the Shimmery Brown Smokey Eye Look

This time I’ve paired All That Glitters with Woodwinked in the crease to add a bit of depth. Then I would blend in Sable with Mulch on the lid for a deeper evening look.

These were just a few ideas but I honestly think you can create dozens of looks with just these 8 core shades. In each of these looks I’ve been able to include the four main components of the perfect eyeshadow quad. I think if you have a highlight that can work with any look and both a cool and a warm option in lid shades, crease colours and smokier tones then you can’t go far wrong!

What are your essential MAC eyeshadows?


 



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42 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I always get overwhelmed by the sheer number of shades they offer. I definitely want cork though but I don't want to rush and put a palette together for the sake of it!

    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

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  2. I still haven't tried any Mac eyeshadows, they're a bit too expensive to create my custom palette. They are very much hyped in the beauty world and I'm sure there are stunning shades but I will stick to Inglot eyeshadows which are as good and they have a massive selection of shades but are half the price and I'm very tempted to create my Makeup Geek eyeshadow palette now :) Great post though! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

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    Replies
    1. I've never tried those but I love Makeup Geek xx

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  3. This post is so interesting to me as I own some Mac eyeshadows but I don't have a palette yet! I didn't know the shade Sable but it's a gorgeous shade that goes directly on my wishlist!

    https://fannyanddailybeauty.wordpress.com/

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  4. I love Woodwinked. It is such a stunning color. I think my next purchase will be All That Glitters. I have been eyeing this one for a while now, but never purchased it.

    http://decanne.blogspot.com

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  5. You've pretty much picked all of my favourite shades here, though I enjoy using Omega and Brun as well- but they're not as fun as these shades!

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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  6. Why do I not own Quarry? That looks lovely! Definitely on my wish list now!

    // Oh Dollymix

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  7. Ahhhh I love all of these colours! I think I need a little haul :)
    Alex ox
    champagneandlemonadeox.co.uk

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  8. Except for Quarry I've got al the same shades as you

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  9. I don't have any Mac eyeshadows but Sable looks very pretty :) x

    riitamacedo.blogspot.pt

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  10. I love all three pairings! The neutral colors are so perfect for everyday wear. Thanks for the tip of picking out 4 colors that work together-- 3 shimmers and 1 matte. Btw as far as similar shadows, have you tried inglot? I'm not sure if the color range is as expansive, but the eyeshadows are so creamy and pigmented.

    Mili

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    Replies
    1. I actually haven't but I'll have to, a couple of people have mentioned them! xx

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  11. I have Satin Taupe and Quarry in the Cinderella palette and really should use them more as they are so pretty but I always seem to stick to my Naked Basics or other mattes I have!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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  12. All That Glitters is one of my favourites! You have a lovely collection of shades!

    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

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  13. I have most of these eyeshadow shades Jas and I totally love them. Your collection is real awesome.


    eLLa
    every LiTTLE thing07

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  14. I still don't have any eyeshadows from MAC, they offer so many gorgeous shades however building my own custom palette would cost so much, if I got every shade I want. Woodwinked and Mulch would probably be the shades I would pick. x

    www.elabellaworld.com

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it's definitely something to guid up over time if you're going to do it - personally I treated myself to 2 every pay day :) xx

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  15. Bet it's really exciting when you fill up a mac palette haha! You've got some lovely shades!
    Charlotte // charlottespicks.blogspot.com

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  16. I have all of these shadows & love them too! I agree with you on the quality of MAC shadows. Hope you're enjoying the warm neutrals palette? xx

    Beautylymin

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    Replies
    1. It's so lovely! Thank you again - I actually have a post on it coming up next week ;) xx

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  17. Love this post, Jasmine! I'm still building my Mac palette (though it has been slightly sidelined by the release of Makeup Geek) so this post will be really helpful for picking out a few more shades. Being in the shop can be so overwhelming. I'm definitely going to be adding Woodwinked next. x

    Megan | http://www.meganjean.co.uk

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  18. You have picked a great selection of products here. Great job, Jasmine.

    Angie x | Chocolate & Lipstick || UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

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  19. All That Glitters and Sable are completely stunning! I really want to invest in a M.A.C eyeshadow palette, I have just been collecting singles all this time. You always have the most beautiful reviews and swatches too - love!

    - www.veebzboo.com
    - www.youtube.com/veebzboo - My Christmas Gift Guide - For Her

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  20. I never used Mac, but the opinions are always so positives that I really want to try. The first products in my wishlist are the lipsticks, the foundations and the concealers, but with your review, now I'm really curious about these eyeshadows.

    Daniela
    Blog Cidade do Pecado | Facebook | Instagram

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    Replies
    1. They were kind of the last thing I tried out but after the lipsticks they're probably my favourite thing from MAC! xx

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  21. This is so helpful for someone who has never bought a Mac eye shadow in their life haha - I really want to do a Mac quad but wouldn't know where to start so this is very helpful!

    Lucy | www.foreverseptemberr.blogspot.co.uk

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  22. Really helpful post! All the shades you have got are so stunning, I will have to keep my eye out for a few of these! There are two many to pick from in MAC!
    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin' // Instagram
    xx

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  23. i just got some of my first eyeshadows from mac as well, loving them so far and i can't wait to get more!

    avec danielle | holiday giveaway!

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  24. Antiqued and Quarry are two of my favourite shades!

    http://www.notesofglam95.blogspot.it/

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  25. These are such a nice mix of shades! I really love the tone of Quarry- it's so pretty!

    She Likes to Shop

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  26. Fab post hun, some really great picks :) I really love All That Glitters as it’s definitely one of my favourite shades :) I’m lusting after sable! :)

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

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  27. Thank you for your comments - hope it gave you some idea of where to start if you wanted to make a Pro Palette xx

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  28. This is a really useful post especially for anyone looking to build a MAC eyeshadow collection. It's like a sweet game and I recently purchased the 15- Pro Palette so I am at the verge of building it. Thanks for sharing...xx

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  29. Just the post I was looking for Jasmine because I was thinking of starting my own MAC palette! I've taken note of All That Glitters and Woodwinked!

    Sara - She Who Is Short

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  30. I can't believe I don't have any MAC eyeshadows! I've always loved the look of All That Glitters, Woodwinked and Cork but you've definitely convinced me! x

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  31. I know i'm commenting too late ..but i've just stumbled upon your blog. .i love ur posts so much..especially this one is so precious for an eye makeup newbie like me.. i wanted to get a mac makeover done and build a small quad..thanks so much!! U have been of immense help to me! :-) u r so sweet!

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  32. I have all the shades you recommended apart from Cork, ha, great minds think alike! They are amazing eyeshadows though, I love woodwinked!

    Http://www.makeerinover.co.uk

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