Sunday, April 25, 2010

MAC Paint Pots (Review & Swatches)

Today I'm doing a review on my thoughts of MAC Paint Pots after I received a few comments about them. They'll run you only $16.50 a piece -I think it's a good price since you get a whole lot of product with these (5 grams/0.17oz) and I swear they last forever. I only own Soft Ochre and Indianwood but I swatched all the available colors at MAC last week. Hopefully this gives you a good idea of MAC Paint Pots.

The Packaging: I don't like the packaging to these. The product looks sleek in little glass jars with black lids (like the Fluidlines) but because they're glass, they're really not practical for travel (especially if you're putting them in your check in luggage.) Mine haven't broken yet (as I pack really carefully) but I've had friends who have broken or chipped the bottom of their jars. The product inside wasn't affected but still, who wants a chipped jar? Another thing I don't like is that I have to stick my finger inside the jar every time I want to use it. It's unsanitary. I know that some folks use a spatula to get the product out but I don't. =P It takes too much time! Plus, I figure that you're still getting bacteria in there everytime you open the lid anyways. I'd much prefer a squeeze tube but I guess I can deal with this. Oh and if you're wondering why I can't use a brush and then brush it onto my lids.. well everytime I use a brush, the product doesn't go on right. Plus I find that Paint Pot applies much better and easier with fingers.
The Product: Paint pots can be used as primers, as a base, or as cream eyeshadows. The MAC website also says that they can be mixed with eyeshadows or liners (I haven't done this.) I generally use these as a base -it goes over my primer but under my eyeshadow.
As a base, I really like these. When I wear this on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion/Too Faced Shadow Insurance (I use both), my eye makeup lasts all day. This will last through school, running errands, shopping, and even an afternoon nap! My eye makeup still looks nice and neat from morning (usually around 8AM) to night (around 8PM) when I take my makeup off. The only thing that might come off or get smeared (after naps) is my liquid and pencil eyeliner.
As a primer, these work for me (meaning I don't apply UDPP or TFSI underneath.) But, I do have really dry skin so eyeshadow rarely creases on me -except for some cream shadows. I don't like wearing them as a primer because Paint Pots tend to have a semi-dry texture and are a little thick -which dries out my skin more. I need that UDPP or TFSI as a "barrier." Plus, when combined with one of those primers, my eye makeup lasts longer. With just the Paint Pot alone, it will only hold (perfectly) for a few hours (around 5.) However, I'm not sure how these might work (as just primer) for those with more oily skin. The texture won't feel as drying as it would for me, but I'm almost 100% certain (in my experience) that Paint Pots will not hold eyeshadow better than UDPP or TSFI no matter what type of skin you have.
As a cream shadow, I'm sure these will hold up a handful of hours without creasing. They last fine all day for me (with primer underneath) but those with oilier skin may have different experiences (again, I have super dry skin.) Sometimes I use Indianwood as an all over wash and just add mascara and liner. Something like Constructivist will also look nice applied near the lash line and "smoked out." You'll have a nice, subtle smokey eye -just add mascara and liner.
Back to the texture, I feel that my Indianwood (which is a frost) is slightly smoother and not as drying as my Soft Ochre (which is a cream.) When I swatched all the Paint Pots in store, I found that all the cream finishes were a bit more drying and thicker in texture. The frosts, satins, etc. seemed to be a bit creamier.

The Color: Paint Pots come in a nice color range. 10 colors are currently available online but in store, they'll probably still have some of the discontinued/limited edition shades. I like that these are so versatile and there are colors for every look. If you use say Soft Ochre -you'll have a more "natural look" but if you use Rubenesque -your shadows will look shimmery with a slight frost finish. If you want to go with Constructivist, you'll have a darker, smokey look. Here's a list of the available colors (along with some LE/discontinued shades they had at my store.)
1. Coral Crepe (Satin)- This is Limited Edition and part of the Pret-A-Papier collection. Coral Crepe is a slightly dark reddish coral with a slight sheen. The color is pretty intense but sheered out, it'll be a lot more versatile.
2. Bare Study (Frost)- Permanent shade. This is a very shimmery pearly beige champagne color.
3. Constructivist (Frost)- Permanent shade. It's a metallic-y dark, chocolate brown with reddish shimmer. Great for brown smokey eyes.
4. Delft- Dark turquoise peacock blue color with green and gold shimmer. I'm guessing this is discontinued as it is no longer available on the MAC website but it's still available at Nordstrom and Nordstrom online.
5. Girl Friendly- Matte slightly greyed pink but with a mauve-ish tint. Discontinued on MAC site but still available at Nordstrom.
6. Groundwork (Satin)- Permanent shade. It's a very pretty, soft, slightly taupey brown with a slight sheen.
7. Indianwood (Frost)- Permanent shade. Shimmery metallic golden bronze.
8. Painterly (Cream)- Permanent shade. Matte neutral beige nude with pink undertones.
9. Quite Natural (Cream)- Permanent shade. Matte neutral medium-dark chocolate milk brown. (Think the color of chocolate milk -not just chocolate.) I've heard of people using this for their brows.
10. Rubenesque (Frost)- Permanent shade. Shimmery irridescent golden peachy color. Sort of a rose gold.
11. Fresco Rose- Soft cool pink with shimmer. Discontinued on MAC site but still available at Nordstrom.
12. Soft Ochre (Cream)- Permanent shade. Matte neutral beige with yellow undertones.
13. Blackground (Pearl)- Permanent shade (but no swatch for this.) Very dark black-grey with shimmer.

If you're looking for a nice, neutral base..
1. Light to medium complexions with pink undertones- Painterly.
2. Light to medium complexions with yellow or olive undertones- Soft Ochre.
3. Darker medium to tan complexions- Groundwork. It is a satin but there's only a slight sheen and not much shimmer.
4. Darker complexions- Quite Natural.

With flash (from left): Coral Crepe, Bare Study, Constructivist, Delft.
No flash (from left): Coral Crepe, Bare Study, Constructivist, Delft.
With flash (from left): Girl Friendly, Groundwork, Indianwood, Painterly, Quite Natural.
No flash (from left): Girl Friendly, Groundwork, Indianwood, Painterly, Quite Natural.
With flash (from left): Rubenesque, Fresco Rose.
With flash (from left): Rubenesque, Fresco Rose.
No flash (from left): Rubenesque, Fresco Rose.
With flash (from left): Soft Ochre, Indianwood.
 No flash (from left): Soft Ochre, Indianwood.

Overall: I like Paint Pots. However, I only use them with UDPP or TFSI underneath and never as a straight primer on their own. Paint Pots give your eyeshadow different effects and finishes or can be worn alone without shadows on top. I like the color range that they offer and I think the price is on point for the amount of product you get. One jar will likely last for years. What I don't like is the breakable glass packaging, the fact that it's kind of unsanitary, and that the "cream" finishes seem to be a little thicker and more drying than the other finishes. Overall, I think every one should give Paint Pots a try and it's definitely worth investing in at least one. There's sure to be one for everybody and they're obviously really, really gorgeous. With primer, they make eye makeup last for hours on end with no creasing whatsoever.

An Alternative to MAC Paint Pots..
Another thing is that since these can be drying for those with dryer skin, I often switch off between Paint Pots and Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows. I actually own Honey Bunny (comparable to Paintery Paint Pot) and Recess (comparable to Soft Ochre Paint Pot) so there's not much of a difference in color when I switch between the two products. Benefit's Creaseless Creams feel a little silkier (they're more of a satin finish with light shimmer) than the "cream finish" Paint Pots which are matte. Using the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows give my eyelids a break from the dry texture of my Soft Ochre Paint Pot while still keeping the same color. The only thing is I feel that Paint Pots last a tad longer than the Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I've been thinking of trying MAC Paint Pots, but I would want to use them as primers on their own. I'm currently using UDPP and I'm trying to find something even better ;)

  2. Yea, I love UDPP and from my experience, it works better than the MAC Paint Pot. The thing I like about Paint Pots though is that they're not just a clear/neutral primer (UDPP blends with skin) and instead you can use them as a base to change the shade of your eyeshadow. Paint Pots are definitely cheaper than UDPP though (at least in the U.S.) and contain more product.

  3. paint pots will definitely last you a long, long time too. I've been meaning to get some, they make your shadows show up better. I have a sample of bare study and the red one...don't remember the same, and the samples alone have lasted me a long time.

  4. Very true. Paint Pots last soooo long. I think I've had this for well over half a year and there's only a tiny dip in it. I still have over 90% of the jar left! I don't have Bare Study but it looks like it'd be really nice with all colors -giving them a nice shimmery slightly frosty finish.

  5. Such a great post! I waaaant: soft ochre and rubenesque. Thanks for sharing : )

  6. Thanks! Definitely worth trying at least one. Plus they last FOREVER. =P

  7. can someone tell me which paint pots to use under what color eyeshadows? for example which paint pot will give me true color of the eyeshadow and which one will make it more vibrant?
    i already have rubenesque, painterly paint pot and fresco. I was thinking to buy soft ochre (natural look) and Constructivist (for smokey eye look)

  8. Yes, if you want to go for more natural looks, Soft Ochre will be great if you have olivey skin or yellow undertones. If you want something that will make the color look very vibrant, you want to go with a base that is the color of your shadow. For instance, I think Soft Ochre looks awesome under nude/natural shadows while Delft (blue paint pot) will look amazing under a blue shadow and really enhance it.

    Honestly for something that will work with "all shadows" though, I'd just say Soft Ochre. Also, because it's a little lighter, it'll definitely make shadows look more vibrant. It's actually a bit lighter than Painterly and I think it'll "brighten" up shadows even more.

    But again, if you can afford to buy a bunch of them, go for ones that are the same or near the same color of your shadows. Coral Crepe will make reds, corals, oranges, and even golds look amazing. Indianwood will make bronzes and golds look spectacular as well.

    Oh and I really recommend Constructivist. I don't even own it yet but have played with it in the store and it makes smokey neutral shades look amazing. You can even wear it on its own for a subtle smokey eye.

  9. Is there a dupe for constructivist?

  10. I am very impressed by the info that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject.
    Paint a Pot

  11. Thank you so much for this! Definitely thinking about getting the Indianwood paint pot xx :)

  12. It would mean so much to me if you checked out my blog! :) x

  13. Keep in mind other tips on buying pottery, such as looking for other features, kids pottery wheel such as crazing. This is a crackling effect in the glaze that gives a nice effect. This typically makes pieces more valuable and it is not always found in regular dinnerware.

  14. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. best green screen