MAC Eyeshadow x15 Warm Neutral Palette Review

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Hello ladies,

Today’s review is on one of IMBB’s favourite brand – MAC and it’s the world’s favourite product – a neutral eyeshadow palette!! This one is the permanent 15-pan eyeshadow palette “Warm Neutrals.” Have neutrals and warm neutrals been done to death? Maybe! But are we gonna give up on them any time soon? Nope!!! So, here is to another one – yet another neutral palette review for you. Let us find out if this was worth the splurge? What is so different about this one and so on 🙂

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Product Details:
A carefully edited palette of 15 warm, neutral shades to create endless looks ($160 value). A carefully selected palette of 15 warm shades that can create endless looks. The highly pigmented powder applies evenly and blends well. Can be used wet or dry. Available in a wide variety of textures and finishes.

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Shade Description:


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• Hey: Metallic coral (Veluxe Pearl)
• Warm Breeze: Pastel coral (Satin)
• Gingersnap: Deep rosy pink (Frost)
• Dark Brew: Deep chocolate w/ pink pearl (Velvet)
• Dance in the Dark: Dark brown (Matte)
• Brule: Soft creamybeige (Satin)
• Vanilla Extract: Soft warm yellow beige (Frost)
• Honey Lust: Bronzedipped peach (Lustre)
• Amber Lights: Peachybrown w/ shimmer (Frost)
• Saddle: Golden orange brown (Matte)
• Lemon Tart: Metallic gold (Veluxe Pearl)
• Creative Copper: Frosted Gold (Lustre)
• Butterfudge: Dirty mocha w/ gold pearl (Satin)
• Divine Decadence: Soft bronze (Velvet)
• Unwind: Dirty olive (Veluxe Pearl)
Price:
INR 9900/USD 65, 19.5 g / .68 US oz.

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Yes, the price is whopping. It is way beyond what a normal neutral palette would cost, but do keep in mind that it’s still cheaper than a customised MAC neutral palette. For a customisable palette – each refill will cost INR 900 X 15 plus the cost of the empty palette itself. Also note that unlike the x9 palette, this x15 palette has full-sized eyeshadow pans and I won’t bother to get into the fact that to make a balanced palette, you will need an array of shades across the spectrum for which MAC refills will just not be available in India. Also, there is a huge disparity in the price between India and US – that is because MAC fairly recently, dropped the prices of eyeshadows in US. This palette was originally priced at $100 but now costs $65. Unfortunately for us, the price has remained INR 9900

My Experience with MAC Eyeshadow x15 Warm Neutral Palette:

Packaging:  Disclaimer – I kind of like MAC palettes. I find them sturdy and the transparent top helps me figure which palette I may have picked up. Yes, it isn’t the thinnest or the most compact and has way too much space between eyeshadows, still! The only point which bums me out about this pre-made palette is that the individual pans cannot be pulled out. You cannot customize it or even re-arrange the shades as per your liking. Yes, I know that is the scenario with most pre-made eyeshadow palettes; however, considering that this palette is similar in make and build to their customisable ones – allowing the user to be able to move shades out or around would have been a good option. Also, it would have given the palette more mileage if and when a shade was over, you could replace it. Yeah, I know that doesn’t happen with you and me – no shade ever gets over!! But there are people out there who buy makeup and not hoard it!! Trust me, there are!! 😉 As are all things MAC, the palette comes encased in a black cardboard box.  There is no mirror and no brush with this palette.

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First things first, I do kind of like MAC shadows. I had made a palette with Inglot shadows some time back, but I did not get much use out of it. There is nothing wrong with Inglot shadows, just that the texture did not agree with me. So, I dropped my experiments with eyeshadows. It’s only when I tried MAC eyeshadows, from their permanent collection, that I realized that I too can enjoy eyeshadows. So, I know I am partial to them. However, I will try to keep the review as neutral as the palette itself.

I do wear my eyeshadows over an eye primer since I have extremely oily lids. My primer of choice is the MAC 24 hours eye shadow base.

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First, what are the textures being offered in the palette:

1. Matte
2. Satin
3. Lustre
4. Frost
5. Velvet
6. Deluxe Pearl

So, pretty much the whole gamut of eyeshadow textures that MAC has to offer except of course the extra dimension ones. The palette consists of 15 shades with varied textures. Some of the shades are from the permanent selection, while rest are unique to the palette. I have swatched the eyeshadows column wise and not row wise.

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1. Hey:  This shadow is in deluxe pearl finish and is described as metallic coral. This one is a peachy shade with a metallic sheen. It swatches easily and applies evenly. Although, on our medium skin tone, the peachiness isn’t as obvious as it would be on a lighter skin tone. Works well to highlight the brow bone or inner corner (for a daytime look).
2. Brule:  Described as a soft creamy beige, this one is in satin finish. Brule is from the permanent range. The shadow again has a creamy texture and applies evenly. It can again be used for daytime highlighting or for setting your primer.
3. Lemon Tart:  Described as “metallic gold” – this one is in the famous MAC Veluxe Pearl finish. This one is a yellow gold with a frosted sheen. However, the shade is subtle and muted. It’s not a “wham bam” yellow gold – more like a subtle variation of it. Again, the texture is smooth and easy to work with.
4. Warm Breeze:  This one is described as a pastel coral with a satin finish. It is a muted peachy shade which applies evenly. Again, its peachiness is slightly lost on our medium skin tone.
5. Vanilla Extract:  This one is supposed to be in frost finish and is described as a soft warm yellow beige. This one seemed like the pigment is too tightly packed and was a pain to work with or even to swatch. The colour really had to be re-applied again and again to show up.
6. Creative Copper:  Described as a frosted gold, this one is in lustre finish. This shade is a rich coppery brown with a metallic frosted finish. This is definitely a shade which would apply better with finger tips or a wet brush. On its own, it can have a bit of fall out.
7. Gingersnap:  This one is described as a deep rosy pink and is in frost finish. The shade is quite pretty and casts a nice variation in the neutral palette. However, it’s fairly muted. The texture is soft and applies smoothly, but feels a tad bit densely packed.

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8. Honey Lust:  This is again a lustre finish shadow and is described as a “bronze dipped peach.” The texture is a bit gritty when you swatch and is glittery. Again, this shade would work better if applied wet or with fingers. If applied on its own with a brush, it’s going to be fall out.
9. Butterfudge:  This is a satin finish shadow, described as a dirty mocha with gold pearl. The shadow is quite soft and creamy and has a good colour payoff. The shade itself seems quite unique to me but needs to be paired well, else will make the eye look muddy.
10. Dark Brew:  Described as a deep chocolate with pink pearl in a velvet finish. This one is a medium deep reddish brown which applies quite matte. The pink pearl in the pan does not translate onto the lids. It just disappears somewhere in the application, maybe a speck or two is all you will find post applictaion. The texture itself is smooth and easy to work with.

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11. Amber Light: *Collective groan* – Is there any MAC palette with Amber Lights not thrown in for good measures?? Described as a peachy brown with shimmer, this one has frost finish. It is a coppery brown with a pronounced metallic sheen and a creamy smooth texture. One of the most popular shades from MAC’s permanent range.
12. Divine Decadence:  This velvet finish shadow is described as soft bronze. It’s a dark bronze with slightly reddish undertones and a frosted sheen. The shade is smooth and creamy and easy to work with.
13. Dance in the Dark: Described as a dark brown in a matte finish. This one is an extremely cool-toned brown, it’s like charcoal. Its pigmentation is good but can get ever so slightly patchy while applying/blending because of the dry texture of the shadow, even though it is soft.
14. Saddle:  Described as a golden orange brown, it’s in matte finish. This one is fairly smooth and works very well as a crease shade for medium skin tone. It’s a medium brown with warm orange undertones and applies very smoothly and has good pigmentation.
15. Unwind:  Described as a dirty olive shade, this shadow is in the deluxe pearl finish. This shade itself is again quite unique and bit of a departure from the usual neutral looks. It is a muted khakhi gold with a frosted sheen. The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy.

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WOW!! That was fairly exhaustive!!! All in all, an interesting array of shades – from light to medium to dark – and a variety of textures.

Couple of points to consider while we are still talking about the shade range:

1. The palette is slightly heavy on the lighter shades. Nothing wrong with that, except the fact that for girls with medium skin tone, the nuances between a few of these lighter shades will be totally lost on the lid.
2. The palette could have included a couple more deeper shades. Technically, there is only one distinctly deep shade – Dance in the Dark – which is quite a departure from a traditional deep brown. The palette could definitely have benefited from the addition of 1-2 deeper shades like Smut and Espresso.
3. A shade or two from medium/medium light range would also have added to the palette – like Cork/Heaux – a slight difference in tonality but something which could work as all over-lid shade for some or a transition shade for others.

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In short, the selection of shades is not very cohesive for usage across the spectrum of skin tones.

Texture: I have discussed the texture of the individual shades while discussing each of the shadows. With the exception of a couple of shades, most of them are smooth and easy to work with. This is a tall order considering we are talking about a 15-pan palette. More the number of shadows involved, more the opportunity for misses. And MAC off late, has been known for the misses, especially when it comes to their pre-made eyeshadow palettes. I guess more thought went into these – since this is a permanent palette and not LE.

Quick comparison of these shadows to those of Viseart/MUG/etc. In my humble opinion, MAC shadows aren’t really Viseart quality, that’s extremely clear once you use them. With Viseart, the application to blending is effortless! You really have to try Viseart to understand the quality difference. However, I feel that when MAC gets it right, they do really nail it. MAC does some really good shadows and this palette is a good example of them. Unfortunately for them, their LE releases have been so crappy that people seem to have forgotten how good MAC shadows can be. To compare to MUG, I feel the quality of MAC shadows is definitely better. There is much lesser kick up of product and are more easily blendable. MAC shadows are literally like work horses.

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Pigmentation:  Pigmentation for most of the shadows is good except a couple which I had mentioned while discussing individually – like Vanilla Extract. The shades are easy to work with, to blend and control.

Staying Power:  Disclaimer – I apply my eyeshadows with a primer because my lids are way too oily. Almost all of the looks that I tried with this palette, the shadows stayed put the whole day. Maximum I have tried is about 9-10 hours. You can pretty much apply these and forget them for the rest of the day.

Pros of MAC Eyeshadow x15 Warm Neutral Palette:

  • Good array of neutral shades.
  • Good array of textures.
  • Smooth texture – for most of the shades.
  • Good pigmentation – for most shades.
  • Zero fallout – except for two shades.
  • Long wearing.
  • No creasing
  • Does not transfer.
  • The colors blend easily and mesh very well together.
  • Does not irritate my eyes.
  • Travel-friendly packaging.
  • A variety of looks possible – from office to day time neutral to evening glam – within the realms of a neutral look.
  • A couple of unique shades in the palette.
  • Sturdy packaging.

Cons of MAC Eyeshadow x15 Warm Neutral Palette:

  • Too many soft light shades which would not show up distinctly from each other – on a medium skin tone.
  • Need 1-2 deeper shades of brown – like Smut and Espresso.
  • Need 1-2 medium-toned shades to work on lids or as transition shades.
  • The pans do not pop out.
  • The pans are not refillable.

IMBB Rating:

4.5/5

I know this palette is a huge investment but I do like MAC eyeshadows. Something in their texture agrees with my lids. No, it isn’t a load of crap, just like different foundations suit different skin types, different eyeshadows perform differently on different eyelids. It has to do with the dryness/oiliness of the lid; the kind of primer you use, the texture of your lids, etc.

For me, the palette is well worth the investment. I definitely recommend it. I think the range of texture allows for a variety of varied looks – yes, all in the neutral family because it is a neutral palette. You can easily do a “work appropriate: look, a smokey look or a more perked up look for day or a glam look for an evening out – all, without leaving the comfort zone of neutrals.

If I compare it to other neutral palettes that I have, I definitely prefer this over my UD Naked or my MUFE Artist Palette Volume 1 – Nudes. Not because of quality but simply because of the variety of textures this one includes. While the MUFE shadows are gorgeous, the MUFE palette is all shimmer. The UD one which revolutionised the Neutral eye look is good too but has too many shiny shades with just a couple of mattes thrown in – not very cohesive.

However, if you are in India, I do understand that the price point of this one may make it hard to bite the bullet for a lot of people. But if you are partial to MAC shadows, this one is well worth it!

P.S. – In a couple of pics, I know my lids are swollen and that’s because travel and sleepless nights. I did not let it deter me from trying out the palette.

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10 thoughts on “MAC Eyeshadow x15 Warm Neutral Palette Review

  1. I squealed when I saw that this review was up and thought that my birthday gift from my parents was decided!! 😀
    I was in love when I saw the swatches on your IG page, but after seeing the number of lighter shades in this palette, I feel forced to give it a skip! Such a great review KK – you have covered absolutely every point possible! Hugs xx

    1. I totally get that!

      When is your birthday?
      If you want to close in on an eyeshadow palette for your birthday gift – I highly highly recommend the ABH – Modern Renaissance! Second option would be VISEART Theory Minx! Do keep us posted on what you finally pick.

      1. It’s on the 14th of December. Thank you so much for your suggestions, they seem perfect – I’m checking out the swatches of each palette now. I even thought about picking up colorpop eyeshadows that I like and making something like my own palette. What do you think of that? I’ll definitely let you know which one I pick up! xx

  2. that’s a pretty good eyeshadow palette. MAC eyeshadows are very good. They really make you fall in love with eyeshadows as a whole. I absolutely loved your swatches… very very finished and professional. loved the richer shades a lot, especially saddle. I think I am going to pull it out after seeing your swatches. 🙂 good detailed review as always. very pretty eotd. You look beautiful .loved the lipstick too. which one is it? 🙂

    1. Thanks Rati! Im glad you liked the swatches – it was fairly tedious! And yes, MAC shadows are very good – the have some real jewels in their permanent line.

      The lipstick is in my favourite shade from Kat Von D’s liquid lipstick line – Double Dare. She has recently released it in a Bullet form -in her Studded line. So, I’m wearing Double Dare in Studded Kiss form.

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