macro close-up of an empty pro palette by mac cosmetics

MAC Cosmetics brand is widely known for its diverse range of high-quality eyeshadows and other makeup products. For many makeup enthusiasts around the world, it is rather complicated and not always affordable to purchase their wonderful makeup products. For this reason, I always prefer to think twice before buying products from MAC. 

When I first heard about the possibility of customizing your personal MAC eyeshadow palette, I thought it would be too costly and inconvenient, but shortly changed my mind. Today, we are going to talk about probably the most popular eyeshadow palette that ever existed in the beauty world - MAC Cosmetics' customizable pro palette with the possibility to fill it with your favorite eyeshadow colors for every moment of your life.

Let me start my review with a little prehistory. I wanted to purchase a high-quality eyeshadow palette with at least nine basic eyeshadow colors for every makeup occasion. For a long time, I've been using a very appealing matte eyeshadow palette for my everyday purposes, which had lovely but not lasting colors. When searching for a new palette, I decided to stop my thoughts on MAC Cosmetics, because I had a few eyeshadows by MAC in the past and loved them. 

macro close-up of an empty pro palette by mac cosmetics

And so my search started and lasted a very long time! MAC X9 palettes looked really attractive, but none of them had all nine shades I liked. Plus, X9 palettes are really tiny and I wanted a palette, that will last a long time. For instance, one refill pan with regular MAC eyeshadow contains 1.5 g / 0.05 US oz and the X9 palette has only 5.85 g / 0.20 US oz overall. Thus, it was not what I wanted.

Is Customizable Pro Palette by MAC Worth the Price?

The difference is obvious, so the customizable pro palette was my best option. A full palette with 15 eyeshadow colors of your choice contains 22.5 g of products, which will last you a very long time. When researching about this palette, I stumbled across one video review, where a girl was sharing her top favorite eyeshadows from MAC. She claimed that after a whole year of everyday usage, she'd only hit a pan of her Naked Lunch eyeshadow.

 Sounds fascinating! So, is MAC's customizable palette worth the effort and money? Surprisingly, yes! And when my MAC Cosmetics order finally arrived, I couldn't be happier with my choice.

macro close-up of 9 single eyesahdows by mac cosmetics on a black background

Highly pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well. Can be used wet or dry. Available in a wide variety of textures and finishes. Create a customized palette of shades by fitting into any Pro Palette Eye Shadow / Concealer Insert for easy storage and transport.

First of all, let's talk about the packaging. I love the simplicity, class, and elegance of the MAC pro palette. It is sleek, black, made of sturdy plastic, and features a clear cover with three well-known letters. This see-through cover allows you to see all the color choices you have for a nice makeup look. The inside part of the palette is magnetic and the eyeshadow refills have a little magnet glued to the pan for perfect adhesion. Eyeshadow pans stay secure, thanks to this simple technology.

macro close-up of 9 single eyesahdows by mac cosmetics on a fuzzy gray background

You can complete your large pro palette with various plastic inserts, which keep your palette organized and neat-looking. For example, you can insert a cream color base and blush insert for your collection of MAC makeup foundations and blushes. Well, I'm building a basic eyeshadow collection, therefore a plastic 15-eyeshadow insert that holds eyeshadow refills in place works perfectly for me. The large insert is also made of sturdy plastic and features rounded openings on one side, so the magnets on the back part of the pan stick to the bottom of the palette.

How Large is It?

The large single-sided pro palette is big enough to accommodate 15 eyeshadow refills, but it still looks quite petite and convenient, for that reason customizable palette doesn't clutter the vanity. Of course, not everyone needs even 15 eyeshadow colors. Let's be honest, for a perfect everyday look, it is enough to have only four basic colors.

macro close-up of 9 single eyesahdows by mac cosmetics on a fuzzy gray background

You can opt out of a large palette and customize your own compact quad (or duo) MAC palette with the eyeshadow colors you are going to be using every day. The small customizable palettes are incredibly useful because you can throw one of them in your makeup bag.

Now, it is time to move on to my little MAC eyeshadow collection. For starters, I've decided to pick basic matte colors, which I'm going to use for blending and shading. Later I plan to add a few vivid eyeshadows for color accents and, maybe a few glittering shades. 

So, I got five matte eyeshadows: malt, quarry, espresso, embark, and carbon; one velvet eyeshadow called vanilla. Two colors I already had in my collection - sable with a gorgeous frost finish and velvety beauty marked. I will try my best to describe the shade and texture of each eyeshadow.

macro close-up of vanilla single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Vanilla [Velvet]

Vanilla eyeshadow is described as a peachy-ivory color with reflects and a velvet finish. I would describe it as a matte ivory eyeshadow with reflecting particles, but they are almost invisible once applied to the skin. The color is amazing, I really like how it looks and blends, but I was expecting it to be lighter. As a cheekbone highlighter, Vanilla is not bright and reflecting enough, but it is perfect for the brow bone.

macro close-up of malt single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Malt [Matte]

Malt is a soft pinkish-beige color, perfect for blending crease or an all-over-the-lid everyday eyeshadow. Usually, it is hard to blend matte eyeshadows, but Malt blends on the skin easily and seamlessly. It is a very versatile, but subtle color and I highly recommend you give it a try. You can use Malt as a base color for smoky eyes or apply it over the lid for a delicate everyday look.

macro close-up of quarry single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Quarry [Matte]

website as a soft muted plum brown, Quarry is a perfect pair for Sable, Twinkle Deep, Indian Ink, and many other plums and chocolate-based cool-toned eyeshadow colors. It is perfect as a transitioning color, easy to blend, and just as versatile as Quarry. I know this shade is not very popular among MAC lovers, but, in my opinion, it is a must-have shade for everyone who likes to play with cool-toned eyeshadows.

macro close-up of espresso single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Espresso [Matte]

Presented as a muted golden brown Espresso is one more versatile eyeshadow in my collection. It is a bit warmer than Quarry and Malt, but I wouldn't say it is a golden brown. Warmer medium brown with rich pigmentation this eyeshadow is great as an all-over color for soft neutral smokey eye makeup.

If you need a good transitioning color for your browns, I suggest you go for Espresso. You can even use this shade to fill in your eyebrows. Need a little help to fill in and define your eyebrows? Check out my simple step-by-step eyebrow tutorial and take your eyebrow game to a new level!

macro close-up of embark single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Embark [Matte]

I'm a bit addicted to fading transitioning colors, but it is time for something more dramatic! Embark eyeshadow is an intense reddish-brown color with a matte finish. Rich and highly pigmented, this eyeshadow reminds me of a noble redwood tree. 

I expected this shade to be redder, but it is a very appealing color. You can use Embark to intensify the overall eye makeup in the outer corners of the eyes and lower the lash line. I plan to create a reddish smokey eye with this eyeshadow, blending the crease with Malt or Quarry.

macro close-up of sable single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Sable [Frost]

A gold-plum Sable eyeshadow with bronze pearl is my MAC old-timer. I don't even remember when I got it and still have plenty of product. Now, when my Sable has a home, I plan to use it more frequently than before. To me, Sable is a plum mid-brown eyeshadow and I love its beautiful frosty finish and pigmented formula. 

Sable is also a very versatile shade and will work well on every eye color. This eyeshadow is very similar to Satin Taupe — one of MAC's most popular colors. Apply Sable on your eyelid and blend it with Quarry for an everyday smokey with a frosty twist!

macro close-up of beauty marked single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Beauty Marked [Velvet]

Some pro makeup artists claim that Beauty Marked is a mistake, that everyone must commit. Black-red matte-based eyeshadow with bright red pearly sparkles, Beauty Marked looks so charming in a pan. Though, when swatches on a hand it loses its charm, becoming uneven and chunky. I had Beauty Marked in a single MAC eyeshadow packaging and, while deporting this color, I accidentally smashed it, fixing it later with alcohol. Unexpectedly, Beauty Marked became more pigmented after this little casualty. Now it is easy to grab onto the brush and work with this color.

macro close-up of carbon single eyeshadow by mac cosmetics on black background

Carbon [Matte]

And the final, but just for now, color in my palette is Carbon. This is a classic, intense black eyeshadow color with an even matte finish. Don't expect Carbon to be a super-duper black, it is intense enough to complete the smokey eye look but not as black as some makeup enthusiasts want it to be. It has a semi-opaque formula and I can't say it is very easy to blend. I wish it was just a bit more intense and blendable. A plain black eyeshadow is a must-have color in every eyeshadow palette, so I think it is going to be very useful.

macro close-up of three packed single eyeshadows by mac cosmetics

I'm not sure when I will complete this large pro palette with all 15 eyeshadow refills. The reasons why I couldn't wait for the moment and started talking about this palette is simple — I really wanted to ask you, my lovelies, what other must-have colors from MAC Cosmetics should I pick for this customizable palette. Leave your suggestions in the comment section, I'm excited to know your opinion! 

White Frost and Gesso caught my attention, I really want to have a pure white highlighting color in my collection. Brule is a great color for blending and muting other eyeshadows. Sumptuous Olive — a veluxe pearl khaki color that will look amazing on dark brown eyes.

Let's wrap up...

Summing up my today's post, I wanted to encourage everyone to buy eyeshadow shades, which you like and definitely will use in makeup. MAC cosmetics eyeshadows are so popular on the makeup market and the possibility of customizing your very own neat palette is extremely inviting, but there are many other high-grade brands, that offer an opportunity to fill a makeup palette with products that you personally selected. 

For example, Anastasia Beverly Hills sells individual eyeshadow pans and even contour shades, which you can arrange in a custom eyeshadow palette. Inglot has a special Inglot Freedom System, that is possible to fill with different makeup products by Inglot (eyeshadows, lipsticks, and even brow wax). The options are endless and you have a right to choose the colors you love using! Until next time, lovelies.

Lots of love,