The Lowdown on Mac Paint Pots

Mac paint pots are probably my most favoured Mac product and my most highly recommended. Applied to the eyelid, they make eyeshadows appear more vibrant, prevent colour fading and creasing, conceal any eyelid discolouration, last forever and come in a whole range of colours! However, I do find that some paint pots are better than others and can do different jobs. So here are my thoughts on my collection of Mac paint pots…

L-R Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural.

L-R Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural.

Painterly – This is a pigmented neutral skin tone colour with slight pink undertones. This is my most loved and most used paint pot! I’ve had this for nearly two years and use it practically everyday to provide a base for any eyeshadow looks, and I still have loads left. It’s great at evening out your skin tone and concealing any redness on the eyelid. I will often use this alone on my ‘no makeup makeup’ days with a slick of mascara. This is the paint pot that I often recommend to people who are beginners or just starting their makeup collection as it provides a good base for any eyeshadow, while making them last all day.
Score: 5/5

Soft Ochre – This is another skin tone shade but with more yellow undertones. This is a recent purchase for me as I thought I would buy it to try when my painterly paint pot runs out. This again has all the benefits of painterly but with a more yellow tone. Therefore, if you have more of a yellow or golden undertone to your skin I would recommend soft ochre, yet if you have a more neutral to cool skin tone, then go for the painterly.
Score: 5/5

Bare Study – This is a shimmery champagne colour that provides a good base for any shimmer eyeshadow looks. This can be worn alone on the lid, however while I feel it swatches quite nicely it doesn’t quite translate onto the lid. It appears very sheer and I sometimes feel it very slightly gathers and clings to patches on the eyelid. I purchased this paint pot the same time as painterly, and I must say I’ve not used it a fraction as much. Saying that, it is a nice base and may show up more pigmented on someone of a paler complexion. And if you are someone who just likes a very natural wash of shimmer on the eyelid then it may be just what you’re looking for. Bare study can also be used as a highlight on the top of the cheekbone, which reflects light nicely and provides a long lasting highlight, whether used alone or under a powder highlight.
Score: 3/5

Rubenesque – This is a shimmery warm gold with slight pinkish tones. This is a good base for any gold or bronze eye looks, yet my sentiment with this paint pot is relatively similar to that of bare study. Alone it can come off quite sheer, it has a little more pigment than bare study when on the eyelid, but doesn’t do much for me when worn alone. However, I do feel that when it is worn under golden tone eyeshadows it makes them considerably more vibrant and long lasting. For example, when I received the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette for Christmas I was delighted. The shade that called to me the most was trick, a beautiful rose gold shadow. However, I felt that the pigment of this colour just didn’t translate well when swatched or applied to the lid. Yet, when using rubenesque as a base I feel it really showcases the rose gold tones of trick and makes it appear much more pigmented.
Score: 4/5

Indianwood – This is a pigmented shimmery warm bronze colour that is a great base for a blown out bronze eye or is great worn alone. Unlike rubenesque, indianwood is a highly pigmented shade, which provides more than enough colour when worn alone. This is one of my more recent purchases, yet it is fast becoming on of my favourites. This is an amazing shade for the summer months if you’re looking for something that you can just throw on and know that the colour will last all day, and won’t melt away in the hot weather. This is definitely going to be one of my holiday essentials!
Score: 5/5

Quite Natural – This is a matte neutral medium brown shade. This is a good colour for providing a base for a smokey eye. It works well under both black and brown shadows and makes a smokey eye much deeper and opaque. It is a very pigmented shade and can be worn alone, but you need to ensure that it is blended out evenly. Since it is such a dark shade it can appear patchy on the lid if it is not applied evenly. I also often use this paint pot to fill in my brows using a small angled brush. As it is a neutral brown it provides a natural looking brow colour while giving good definition. This dries quickly though, so it can make the brush a little difficult to work with when applying to brows. But I find just wiping the excess off the brush between strokes eliminates this problem. I have also seen quite natural used as a cream contour, by applying a small amount to a contour brush and applying the product to the hollows of the cheeks and blended out. I haven’t tried this yet, but one day when I’m feeling brave I will give it a go!
Score: 4/5

L-R Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural.

L-R Painterly, Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Rubenesque, Indianwood, Quite Natural.

So, in summary, if you’re looking to start off your paint pot collection, my top picks would be – Painterly or Soft Ochre for a natural skin tone shade that provides a good base for any colour shadows, and Indianwood for a quick, everyday bronze eye that looks great worn alone. However, it really depends on what you’re looking for, they are all good quality products.

Mac paint pots can be bought in Mac stores and online for around £15. Look out for Debenhams 10% off beauty sales, as this applies to all Mac products. Cheaper alternatives can be found at the drugstore. For example, Maybelline colour tattoos have an amazing range of colours from bright gold to teal. On and on bronze is a good alternative to indianwood paint pot, but is more of a cool bronze. Maybelline colour tattoos do lack the more neutral, matte shades and their staying power is not quite as good as the paint pots, but if you’re looking to try out something new but don’t want to blow the bank, then for the £4.99 price tag you can’t go wrong!


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