Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 61. Mac Paint Pots [Review & swatches]

Today I am going to review several of the famed Mac Paint Pots. My friend C. and I pooled our resources for this post: some of the paint pots you'll see are hers and she also helped me taking the pictures for today. So, thank you C. for your help! 

The Mac Paint Pots reviewed in this post are: Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural and Constructivist. 

Mac Paint Pots: (from the left) Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study,
Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural and Constructivist

Mac Paint Pots are cream eyeshadow. They come in a 5gr/0.17 US Oz. transparent glass jar with a black plastic lid. Since they are a cream product it is important for the top to be closed tightly after use, otherwise they'll dry quickly.

Mac Paint Pots come in various shades: the most neutral and wearable ones (which you'll see in this post) are permanent, and Mac occasionally releases brighter and more colorful shades in its Limited Collections. Recently several other shades were made permanent, but C. and I don't have any of those, so we'll stick with the classic. 

There are matte and shimmer colors. All colors are very pigmented, and the shimmer is so insane in some colors that you can't see the difference between the picture taken with flash and the picture taken in natural light. 

Swatches for Mac Paint Pots in Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study,
Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural, Constructivist.
(top: natural light; bottom: flash)

Let's talk about each shade in detail.

First shade is Painterly, which is a favorite of mine. For Painterly and Soft Ochre, please refer to this post for their use as eye primer/base. 

Swatches for Mac Painterly Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)
Painterly is a matte pink-toned nude shade, which is perfect to cover up any discoloration on the lid. It's a perfect shade for a no-make-up makeup, if you have a pink undertone. You only need the smallest amount to cover the whole lid. If you apply too much product it will crease. I get a full day of wear with this shadow, but I usually tend to swipe a little bit of transparent powder on top of it to get extra wear and to keep control of my oily lids. (You may know that I finished my Painterly Paint Pot last month from my February Empties post). 

The second shade is Soft Ochre, which is the equivalent of Painterly but in a beig-y yellow shade. It' perfect for people with yellow undertones. I don't do much use of Soft Ochre as a eye shadow in itself, since it'd definitely too yellow for my skin tone and I look ill if I wear it alone. I mostly use it as a primer, covered up with eyeshadow. Since it's creamier than Painterly, on my lid it tends to crease more easily if not set with a powder product. I get about 8 hours of wear with it. 
Swatches for Mac Soft Ochre Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)

The third shade is Bare Study and it's a shade that looks gorgeous but it's a pain to work with. It is a nice bright, metallic champagne shade. First thing first: if you have oily lids like me or my friend C., you are going to need a primer under it. It's a very creamy shadow and it tends to slide off very, very easily. Without primer, I get 3/4 hours of wear before it ends up in the crease. With a primer (I use a touch of my Urban Decay Primer Potion), it lasts all day long.
Second: it's not buildable. If you let the first layer dry and apply another layer, you end up with a cakey, chunky color. This also happens if you apply one layer on top of the other without letting the first layer dry. You'll get better results with Bare Study with only one layer. It's still a great shade if you want just a wash of color to brighten up your eyes.       

Swatches for Mac Bare Study Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)

Another favorite of mine and C.'s is Rubenesque, which you can see in action here. Rubenesque is a shimmery warm golden bronze shade. It has nice creamy texture, it applies easily and it's buildable in intensity. I get about 5/6 hours of wear without a primer, but I usually use the smallest amount of Primer Potion to make it last up to 12 hours. It has good coverage.
I consider it a neutral shade since it's very delicate, even though it's distinctly orang-y gold. 
Swatches for Mac Rubenesque Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)

While in the pot Indianwood may seem similar to Rubenesque, but don't be fooled, Indianwood is so much more browner and cooler toned than Rubenesque. It has a metallic finish and very good coverage. Pretty much it works similarly to Rubenesque.  
Swatches for Mac Indianwood Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)

The next shade is Quite Natural, which is a matte warm brown. The swatches seem very dark and taupe-y, so please refer to this post to have a better idea of how Quite Natural looks applied on the eyes. I get a full day of wear without any primer, just lightly set the shade with a bit of powder. It's a really nice shade for a day look if you are light skinned, or a shade to cover up discoloration if you are dark skinned, since it's opaque and has very good coverage with just a layer of product. 
Swatches for Mac Quite Natural Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)

The last shade is Constructivist, a shimmery brown with slight reddish undertones. C. reports that she gets about 4 hours without a primer and a full day of wear with primer (she uses a Laura Mercier primer). It has a creamy texture and applies extremely well, with a good coverage with just swipe (but C. says it is also a buildable shade). 
Swatches for Mac Constructivist Paint Pot (small swatch picture taken with flash)

So after much discussion here's a list with advice from me and C. when using Mac Paint Pots:

- Do not overapply: if you apply too much shadow it will crease easily. One swipe is enough. 
- Start with one layer: most shimmery shades are buildable (except Bare Study), matte shades usually don't need more then one layer. 
- Test out the shade for lasting power with and without primer: the shimmery shades need extra help to stay on without creasing or disappearing; matte shades may need the help of a setting powder.
- Do not overdo with the primer: you only need a little bit to give the Paint Pot extra grip to cling to. 
- Apply with a finger or a flat brush: C. and I usually use fingers since it's fast and easy. Gently pat the color in the crease area to blend it a bit. 

That's all, folks!

Thank you, C., for your help with this review! I hope to see a guest post from you soon!

[ETA 05/08/2013: please see this post for review and swatches of Mac Éclair Paint Pot]


  1. Thank you so much for this review.. I was split between Rubenesque and Indianwood and now I think I'm just going to go for Indianwood :) x

    1. glad it helped! Let me know how you like Indianwood!

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