MAC Powder Eye Shadow

Product:  MAC Powder Eye Shadow.  Do you need the perfect colors for a smoky-eye makeup look?  Today we’ll take a look at M-A-C Black-Tied, Carbon, Gesso and Knight Divine eye shadows.

Overall Rating = 3+ stars3.75 Stars – Very Good to Excellent

Cost: $6.00 by itself (.05 oz.) ($120 per ounce)  Price Category: Mid-range

Cost: $16.00 in package (.04 oz.) ($400 per ounce)  Price Category: Expensive

Sold By: MAC Cosmetics; Dillard’s; Macy’s; Nordstrom; Major Department Stores.

Container: Either a separate metal pan that you place into your own palette or a standard eye shadow in a plastic container with an attached flip-top lid and outer box.

Description:  MAC, also known as M-A-C (which stands for Make-up-Art-Cosmetics) is owned by the cosmetics giant, Estée Lauder.  This is a mid-range to high-end brand that is frequently counterfeited so be sure to purchase your MAC products from a reputable retailer.  MAC was originally developed for makeup professionals and was not intended to be a retail brand, but it is now one of the largest retail makeup brands in the world.

MAC Powder Eye Shadow is a highly-pigmented powdered eye shadow that comes in separate metal pans that you can add to your own case or you can buy the colors separately in a little plastic case.  The case will cost you an extra $10 each.  The eye shadow does not come with an applicator and you will need your own brush.  You do not need a separate eye makeup remover to take this off.

Sensitivity:  MAC Powder Eye Shadow is a fragrance-free product and is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

MAC Powder Eye Shadow does not make my nose run, eyes water, turn red or burn.  I have never experienced any sensitivities from using this eye shadow and I have never had any complaints from the hundreds of clients I have used this on.

Company Claims:  “Highly pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well. Can be used wet or dry. Available in a wide variety of textures and finishes.”

“Key Claims and Benefits:

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Safe for contact lens wearers
  • Can be used wet or dry”

Discussion:  I have been using MAC Powder Eye Shadow for most of my career, which spans decades.  Because of all of the available options with these shadows, you are only limited by your own imagination and creativity.

Colors:  MAC Powder Eye Shadow comes in every color of the rainbow.  There are too many colors to count, so I decided to simply feature four that I typically use for smoky-eye looks.  Today I am discussing four colors from the Grey + Black color spectrum.  These colors are:

  • Black Tied (Velvet)
  • Carbon (Matte)
  • Gesso (Matte)
  • Knight Divine (Veluxe Pearl)

Finishes:  Not only do MAC Powder Eye Shadows come in every conceivable color, but they also come in a variety of finishes from a dull non-reflective Matte2 to a super-shiny frost they call Lustre.  Here is the array of finishes:

  • F: Frost. An iridescent shine that adds a highlight to any color.
  • L: Lustre. Smoothly pearlized and intensely frosted with a deluxe ultrafine conditioned finish.
  • M: Matte. High-color payoff with a no-shine matte finish.
  • M2: Matte2. An intense, opaque-matte finish with exceptionally rich color payoff.
  • S: Satin. Pure color in a satin-style finish with a soft, subtle, nonfrost, light-refractive sheen.
  • VLX: Veluxe. A superfine, pigment rich and very luxe finish that is silky, smooth and matte.
  • VP: Veluxe Pearl. Vibrantly toned, velvety soft, shimmering metallic finish overlaid with high-shine pearl.
  • V: Velvet. A soft-look finish with high-color intensity and a plush, velvety look and feel. Some Velvet finish colors also contain metallic shimmers that are slightly less shiny than the Frost finish.

Morning Review:  Today I’m going to apply the MAC Powder Eye Shadows over a primer.  When you use a primer the colors will be a little more intense and will have more staying power.  If you do not use primer, the colors will not be as vibrant or deep and the finish will be a little more sheer.

To prevent contamination I never touch my fingers to my eye shadows and only use a freshly-sterilized brush or disposable foam applicator.  If you want an intense concentration of color, you can wet your brush with sterile eye drops first.  Any wet areas should be applied last.

For the daytime look, I applied Gesso on the inner corner, just under the eye and on the brow bone underneath the eyebrow as a highlighter. I put Knight Divine on the upper eyelid up to the crease line, and added a little Carbon at the outer corner and under the lower lashes.  I then finished the rest of the eye makeup using several other products (gel eyeliner, mascara, lashes, brow products, etc.)  For a slightly more dramatic evening look I added Black Tied on the upper eyelid, a little more Carbon in the crease, and a heavier cat-eye liner.

Evening Review:  After many hours the MAC Powder Eye Shadows have not faded, creased, or flaked and still look good without the need for any touch ups.

Overall Review:

Pros:  MAC Powder Eye Shadow is a staple for many professional makeup artists like myself.  We use these eye shadows because they perform well and there are so many options available.  Yes, they cost more than some brands, but they aren’t expensive if you have your own container to put them in.  A little goes a long way and they last a long time.

Cons:  It is too bad that this is one of the most counterfeited products in the marketplace.  A lot of people sell fake products, so if you bought this from an auction site or reseller and did not like it, chances are you did not get the real thing.

MAC Powder Eye Shadow is suitable for the following users:

  • All users


Morning Rating = 4 stars4 Stars;

Evening Rating = 4 stars4 Stars;

Average from Other Testers = 4 stars4 Stars;

Value Rating = 3 stars3 Stars;

Overall Rating = 3+ stars3.75 Stars = Very Good to Excellent.

(Please review the About 365 Cosmetic Reviews page for the rating info.)

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Black Tied

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Black Tied

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Carbon

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Carbon

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Knight Divine

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Knight Divine

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Gesso

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Gesso

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Black Tied Package

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Black Tied Package

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Black Tied Box

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Black Tied Box

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Daytime Look

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Evening Look

MAC Powder Eye Shadow Evening Look

Ingredients:  Talc, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Mica.

May Contain:  The following compounds are coloring agents and may be present, depending on the particular shade of eyeshadow you have chosen: titanium dioxide (Cl 77891), iron oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499), bismuth oxychloride (Cl 77163), blue 1 lake (Cl 42090), carmine (Cl 75470), chromium hydroxide green (Cl 77289), chromium oxide greens (Cl 77288), ferric ferrocyanide (Cl 77510), manganese violet (Cl 77742), red 40 lake (Cl 16035), ultramarines (Cl 77007), yellow 5 lake (Cl 19140).

 Important:  Please read our full Disclaimer before using this or any product.