It started with Urban Decay’s Naked Palette. Once considered merely “boring” and “practical”, a carefully curated selection of neutral toned eyeshadows has never been hotter than right now. There are countless neutral eyeshadow palettes on the market (and I think I own at least half of them!) Welcome to The Neutral Palette Diaries, a new weekly series where I’ll review and swatch the neutral palettes in my collection.
The Cool Neutral Palette by MAC is a collection of 15 eyeshadows; some limited edition, and some permanent; that are designed to flatter cooler skin tones. When I look at this palette I see a mixture of undertones ranging from quite cool to neutral to rather warm. Maybe when they named it, they were referring to the type of cool possessed by The Fonz, every time he hit that jukebox.
Each row of shadows are somewhat related, making it a perfect no-brainer when trying to decide what look to create. The top row has a range of colours that work well to create a rosy/burgundy eye, perfect for emphasising green eyes. The middle row is more of a classic neutral bronze/brown combination, and would flatter both brown and blue eyes. The bottom row is more of a silver/taupe combination that would work well to create a traditional smoky eye, and would flatter all eye colours equally.
Top Row: Rosy/Burgundy
Best for green eyes.
Flounce: Matte finish
Flounce is a pale cool-toned milky pink with a dry, slightly chalky finish. Pigmentation is quite good. It is a little powdery, but blends nicely.
Sweet Allure: Satin finish.
Sweet Allure is a pale metallic beige with decent pigmentation, but a slightly dry texture.
Sun Tweaked: Frost finish.
Sun Tweaked is a warm peach with a high shine metallic finish. Although it feels quite dry and slightly gritty, it has good pigmentation and decent colour payoff.
After Dusk: Veluxe Pearl finish.
After Dusk is a deep reddish pink with strong warm undertones and a pearlescent glowing finish. It is moderately pigmented and applies with a smooth and creamy texture.
Blackberry: Matte finish.
Blackberry is a rich red/brown/purple burgundy shade with a matte finish. It is very pigmented and applies and blends like a dream. It has a very smooth, almost creamy texture.
Middle Row: Bronze/Neutral
Best for blue or brown eyes.
Pick Me Up: Matte finish.
In the pan Pick Me Up looks like a cream colour, but on my skin it is an ivory shade that is a hint warmer than a stark white. It is quite powdery in texture and offers a medium sheer level of pigmentation. It does play quite nicely with other colours, so makes a good base or blending shade.
Cozy Grey: Matte finish.
Cozy Grey is a very pale cool toned beige brown that makes a perfect transition shade on paler skins, and could be used as a matte highlight on darker skins. It has sheer to medium buildable pigmentation, and a reasonably smooth texture.
Crushed Clove: Frost finish.
Crushed Clove is a golden bronze shade with a high-shine metallic finish. It feels slightly gritty in the pan, but applies with an almost cream-like texture.
Deception: Frost finish.
Deception is a mid-toned choc caramel shade with a reflective finish and some chunky glitter. It feels quite gritty in the pan and applies somewhat patchily (is that even a word?). The glitter has a tendency to fall out, not just on application but throughout the entire wear time. If you decide to use this shade I recommend applying it in a patting motion over a very sticky base.
Brun: Satin finish.
Brun is a deep coffee bean brown with a finish that is more matte than satin. It is quite sheer and patchy on application, and feels a little dry and chalky.
Bottom Row: Silver/Taupe
Best for all eye colours.
Silver Fog: Lustre finish.
Silver Fog is a cool silver/white with loads of glitter and a semi-sheer level of pigmentation. It applies surprisingly smoothly, and works well to impart a ‘wet look’ sheen without really adding any colour.
French Clay: Frost finish.
French Clay is a pale mushroom beige with a high-shine metallic finish. It is very smooth and creamy in texture and has medium pigmentation.
Cumulus: Frost finish.
Cumulus is a mid-toned mushroom taupe with a high shine metallic finish. It is very smooth and silky, and is quite pigmented.
Pearled Earth: Veluxe Pearl finish.
Pearled Earth is a dirty charcoal with a strong royal purple reflect. It offers medium pigmentation, and is probably my pick of this palette, it’s a stunningly unusual shade.
Black Tied: Velvet finish.
Black Tied is quite a rich matte black, liberally sprinkled with silver glitter. Despite the glitter, it feels very smooth and silky, and applies with very good pigmentation.
Overall, the MAC Cool Neutral Palette contains a lovely selection of reasonably good quality shades that work very well together, even if referring to the palette as “cool” is a little misleading. The fact that these are not incredibly pigmented eyeshadows means it is a much more user friendly palette, as it becomes much harder to overdo any makeup looks. The colour range in this palette lends itself to some of the more popular bridal looks, and I will be carrying this palette in my bridal kit.
Price: $250AUD, $100USD, 65GBP
Available from MAC Pro stores and online:
This palette was purchased by Makeup Utopia.
Let me know in the comments if there is a specific neutral palette you would like to see me review and swatch.
The series (posted and planned) so far: