a close up of MAC's pro paint pot in shade Painterly on white, furry rug

It is almost impossible to find a professional makeup artist or common makeup lovers, who have never heard of the infamous MAC's Pro Paint pots – a long-lasting cream product that can be worn on the eyelids on its own or used as an eyeshadow base for loose and pressed eyeshadows. This multi-functional makeup product extends the longevity of the eye makeup, concealing the appearance of veins and other skin discolorations. 

Sounds like an essential product for makeup enthusiasts, isn't it? But do not hurry to grab it at Sephora, as there are a ton of polar reviews on this product. Let's find out if the MAC's paint pots are as great, as some people claim!

  • To Buy or Not to Buy?

When choosing my paint pot I was in real doubt – to buy or not to buy this product. I needed a long-wearing eyeshadow primer that would not only set my eye makeup in place but also provide full coverage to my eyelids. Something like an eyeshadow primer and concealer – a two-in-one product. The reason why I stopped on Paint Pot is pretty obvious – thousands of makeup bloggers and YouTube gurus swore on its quality and wearability.

However, the other half of the reviewers declared that the paint pot is too dry and creases after the first few hours of wearing. They say it is almost impossible to grab the product with the brush and almost impossible to blend it evenly on the skin. Strangely to admit, but these controversial reviews only stirred me up to try the product myself and I picked out 'Painterly' paint pot as a sacrifice for my very own, independent review.

a close up of MAC's pro paint pot in shade Painterly on white, furry rug

What is Paint Pot by Mac Cosmetics?

Mac Cosmetics paint pot comes in sturdy, glass packaging with a tight black cover on the top. It has a sleek and classy appeal, is easy to store in a makeup drawer and you can return the pot to the Mac store after you finish the product. Unlike squeezable eyeshadow primers, this format of packaging is less hygienic, because you need to dip your fingers or the makeup brush right inside of a pot. 

Despite this, I prefer using glass pots over a regular tube, you can't conveniently pack a thick, full-coverage eyeshadow primer in a tube. The pro paint pot has no scent whatsoever and there is 5 g/0,17 oz of product, so it will last forever!

  • Texture and Formula

'Painterly' paint pot is a nude-beige product with a thick texture and water-resistant formula. The main ingredient of the product is Isododecane – an oil-free, vegan emollient that locks the moisture in, is not soluble in water and feels weightless on the skin, which is a huge pro when it comes to eye makeup.

The next interesting ingredient on the list is Dimethicone. It is a type of silicone, widely used in the cosmetic industry that smooths the surface of the skin, making the products glide on it like a charm. Other products like Silica are meant to absorb excess oil and moisture, while Carnauba wax, a type of wax derived from the palm tree, keeps the thickness of the consistency.

a close up of MAC's pro paint pot in shade Painterly on white, furry rug

  • What Shades of MAC's Eyeshadow Primers are Available?

At the moment, there are only six shades of the Paint Pot available on the official Mac Cosmetics website: Bare Study – soft beige with gold pearls; Groundwork – neutral taupe; Layin' Low – warm, creamy beige; Soft Ochre – yellow-beige; Vintage Selection – dirty peach shade with subtle frosties; and Painterly – nude-beige shade, with a slight rose undertone. 

Sadly, most of the paint pots' shades were discontinued and, as you can see by the disappointed reviews of consumers, people are not satisfied with the situation. Hopefully, Mac Cosmetics will bring the best-loved pots back in the range. 

As I have mentioned before, my pro-paint pot of choice is 'Painterly'. I can't say that this shade fits my fair skin perfectly (I use MAC's foundation in shade NC 10), yet it hides skin discolorations and does not appear visible under the eyeshadows. To my mind, the 'Painterly' paint pot is a very versatile product and can be used on every skin tone. The final finish of 'Painterly' is smooth and matte, but you can pick a paint pot with shiny particles in the formula for a more sparkly finish.

eyeshadow swatch with and without eyeshadow primer/comparison

How Long Does It Last On the Eyelids?

And now let's discuss the most disputable features – the wearability and longevity of the product. Many consumers were dissatisfied with the drying texture of the products, yet I have never experienced a dry feeling and skin flakiness, even though I have a dry skin type. A throughout skin moisturizing right before makeup application may help you avoid this inconvenience if a pro paint pot dries your eyelids. 

The next complaint is about the product's crease resistance. Wearers were upset with the performance and claimed to experience eyeshadow creasing and glitter fallouts throughout the day. It does not sound too encouraging, right? But even these claims didn't stop me from purchasing a paint pot and, luckily, I haven't noticed any creases at all! 

My eye makeup stayed put for a good seven hours, no cracks, fallouts, or smudges were noticed. The eyeshadow colors looked brighter on my eyelids and were so much easier to blend. On the swatch, you can see the spotty appearance of Mac Cosmetics' single eyeshadow in the shade 'Espresso' and how bold and even it looks on the swatch with 'Painterly'.

a close up of MAC's pro paint pot in shade Painterly on white, furry rug

  • How to Apply Paint Pot by Mac Cosmetics?

I absolutely agree that it is a little hard to work with the product on the skin, especially on a cold day. To make the paint pot easier to apply on the skin, use a finger – the warmth of your skin will melt the wax, making it more supple. It is important to keep the layer of the product thick enough to cover the discolorations, yet not too thick or it may start collecting into the crease and lines. Just follow the simple makeup rule – the less is more. You'll learn to apply the right amount of product for your makeup needs after a few tries.

Final Verdict

Summarizing my review, I came to a simple conclusion – Mac Cosmetics Pro Longwear Paint Pot is truly a controversial makeup product, it is not for everyone. If you are not ready to learn how to work with the product, it is better to pick something more approachable and effortless. If you need a product that will keep your makeup in place with a simple swipe, you should opt for creamy smudge-proof eyeshadow primer.

But, if you need a full-coverage, multi-functional product then give this paint pot a chance. Wear it solo on the lids for a no makeup, or makeup impression, or use it as an eyeshadow primer for a pop of long-lasting color. Have you ever tried MAC's paint pots, lovelies? If yes, how soon did it dry in the pot? I would really like to know your opinion. Thanks!

Lots of love,