Review: MAC Warm Neutrals Eye Shadow Palette


If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen that I decided to treat myself to the MAC Warm Neutral Eye Shadow Palette a few weeks ago. This was not a spur of the moment decision, oh no, I had been wistfully staring at it for over a year before I took the plunge. The palette contains 15 warm toned (as the name would suggest) eye shadows, four of which are permanent and four of which are repromoted. There are three matte shades and twelve glitter/shimmer shades, all of which attracted me like a little magpie!

Top Row (L-R): Hey, Warm Breeze, Gingersnap, Warm Brew, Dance in the Dark. Middle Row (L-R): Brule, Vanilla Extract, Honey Lust, Amber Lights, Saddle. Bottom Row (L-R): Lemon Tart, Creative Copper, Butterfudge, Divine Decadence, Unwind

Let’s get the maths out of the way first, shall we? The palette retails for R1,200.00 for 15 shadows, which equates to R80.00 per shadow. Given that single MAC eye shadows retail for R140.00 each, I figured that buying the palette was just good sense (particularly as I didn’t own any of the shades already, except for Brule)! Yes, the single shadows contain 1.5g of product, whereas the pans in the palette contain 1.3g, but a 0.2g difference in product doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I thought I would start by giving you a quick rundown of the shades, and then I will discuss performance. So, from top left to bottom right:

L-R: Hey, Warm Breeze, Gingersnap, Dark Brew, Dance in the Dark

Hey: A light, peachy beige (Veluxe Pearl finish).

Warm Breeze: A light-medium, peachy beige (Satin finish).

Gingersnap: A deep, rosy pink (Frost finish).

Dark Brew: A deep chocolate with pink pearl (Velvet finish).

Dance in the Dark: A dark, cool-toned brown (Matte finish).

L-R: Brule, Vanilla Extract, Honey Lust, Amber Lights, Saddle

Brule: A soft, creamy beige (Satin finish).

Vanilla Extract: A soft, warm yellow beige (Frost finish).

Honey Lust: A warm-toned, coppery orange with copper and gold micro-glitter (Lustre finish).

Amber Lights: A vibrant, warm-toned, coppery brown with a metallic sheen (Frost finish).

Saddle: A medium-dark, warm-toned brown (Matte finish).

L-R: Lemon Tart, Creative Copper, Butterfudge, Divine Decadence, Unwind

Lemon Tart: A muted, yellow gold with a frosted sheen (Veluxe Pearl finish).

Creative Copper: A rich, coppery brown with warm undertones (Lustre finish).

Butterfudge: A medium, golden brown with warm undertones and a soft, golden shimmer (Satin finish).

Divine Decadence: A dark, bronze-shimmered brown with red-orange undertones and a frosted sheen (Velvet Finish).

Unwind: A dirty olive (Veluxe Pearl finish).

In terms of performance, my favourite shades are Gingersnap, Dark Brew, Saddle (the perfect transition colour), Butterfudge and Divine Decadence. I found them to be the most pigmented, they applied the best, they were the easiest to blend and they all wore really well. My least favourite shades are Hey, Warm Breeze, Vanilla Extract and Honey Lust (co-incidence that they all look the same…I think not). I found them patchy and difficult to work with, and the shimmer/frost/glitter is far too pronounced. Amber Lights, which is a truly gorgeous shade, applied well and blended beautifully, but did not last on me (even with a primer). This was the biggest disappointment because it was the colour that I was the most excited to try – however I think perhaps the solution is to apply it with a damp brush. I will report back. A quick note on application, I found the best way to apply the shadows was to pack the pigment onto a dense shader brush (I like the MAC 239 or MAC 242) and pat/press the colour onto the lid, and then use a fluffy brush to blend the edges (MAC 217 or Sigma E25).

I think, overall, the palette could have benefited from fewer light shimmer shades – a few darker shades definitely wouldn’t have gone amiss. As I said above, I think that Hey, Warm Breeze, Vanilla Extract and Honey Lust are all very similar (with only slight variations in beige/peachy tones) and it’s almost impossible to tell them apart when they’re on the lid. It will come as no surprise that I have been getting the most use out of the bottom row of shadows (can’t keep me away from a neutral brown). Butterfudge and Divine Decadence make a particularly beautiful combination, and with a little bit of Lemon Tart and Creative Copper mixed together on the centre of the lid: lovely!

To sum up: I suppose I’m in two minds as to whether or not I would recommend buying it (how helpful of me!). Given that I’m currently only using half the shadows in the palette, my “affordability” calculations have gone right out the window! That being said, I do LOVE the shadows that I am using, so I suppose then it makes it worth it? They are not necessarily shadows I would have bought individually (hello, Gingernsap?! I would never have even swatched it, but I adore it), so I’m glad I’ve been exposed to shades outside my comfort zone. I might try and depot the palette and substitute the shades I don’t like with some old favourites (Sable, Espresso, Satin Taupe, Patina, Woodwinked…) but I feel like that would be sacrilege.

Have any of you bought the palette? If so, what are your thoughts?