MAC Desert Lightning Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

Desert Lightning

MAC Desert Lightning Eyeshadow x 12 Palette ($48.00 for 0.6 oz.) contains a mix of cooler neutral shades with some being more neutral to neutral-cool, but there were some warmer shades still present throughout. The warmth tended to lean on the side of rose, plum, or yellow as opposed to orange or red. The quality was decent across the board with only one miss (Deception), and those who have indulged in a fair amount of past palettes may want to check that they don’t have repeats as over half the palette were shades that had been released before (some in limited edition palettes, two are from the permanent range).

MAC Desert Lightning Eyeshadow

MAC Desert Lightning Eyeshadow

MAC Desert Lightning EyeshadowMAC Desert Lightning Eyeshadow

Desert Lightning

Desert Lightning is a pale beige with neutral undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation with a soft, lightly powdery consistency, but it was finely-milled and blendable without losing too much of its coverage. This shade lasted well for seven and a half hours on me before fading noticeably.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Nude Awakening #5 (PiP, ) is warmer (95% similar).Colour Pop Distressed (LE, $4.50) is cooler (90% similar).Tarte Eggnog (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).L’Oreal Endless Pearl (P, $7.99) is darker, warmer (90% similar).LORAC Black Tie Attire #4 (LE, $19.00) is warmer (90% similar).Tarte Sugar Cookie (LE, ) is more shimmery (90% similar).Too Faced Divinity (PiP, $16.00) is darker (90% similar).Kevyn Aucoin Beige (LE, ) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar).LORAC Black #1 (LE, $19.00) is warmer (90% similar).Dior Golden Reflections #4 (LE, ) is warmer (90% similar).

 

MAC Fresh Innocence Eyeshadow

MAC Fresh Innocence Eyeshadow

MAC Fresh Innocence EyeshadowMAC Fresh Innocence Eyeshadow

Fresh Innocence

Fresh Innocence is a pale white with subtle, warm undertones and pink sparkles. The texture was soft but powdery, which made it prone to clumping together and had a fair amount of fallout when I worked with it on my skin. The pigmentation was semi-opaque and had to be built up to full coverage with a second layer. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me before it started to fade visibly.

Too Faced Whipped Cream (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery (95% similar).Tom Ford Beauty Pink Glow #1 (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar).LORAC Prosecco (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar).MAC Dazzlelight (P, $17.00) is less shimmery (90% similar).Guerlain Les Nuees #4 (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar).MAC Smoked Cocoa #1 (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery (90% similar).Stila Snowflake (LE, $18.00) is darker (90% similar).MAC Runway Worthy (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery (90% similar).Maybelline Pure Nude (80) (LE, $6.99) is darker (90% similar).Viseart Cashmere #4 (PiP, ) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).

 

MAC Retrospeck Eyeshadow

MAC Retrospeck Eyeshadow

MAC Retrospeck EyeshadowMAC Retrospeck Eyeshadow

Retrospeck

Retrospeck is a light-medium gold with warm, yellow undertones and a sparkling finish. The texture was soft, smooth, and blendable without being too powdery or dry, and it was much, much more pigmented than past iterations of Retrospeck have been. I felt like it was smoother with less obvious sparkle. It stayed on well for eight hours before fading noticeably.

Chanel Convoitise (90) (LE, $32.00) is less shimmery (95% similar).Kevyn Aucoin Beam (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar).Dior Golden Flower #3 (LE, ) is more shimmery (95% similar).Tom Ford Beauty Iris Bronze #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery (95% similar).Colour Pop Bitter Better (PiP, $4.50) is lighter, warmer (95% similar).Dior Rivage #4 (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar).Too Faced Moon on Their Wings (LE, $16.00) is lighter (95% similar).Tom Ford Beauty Soleil d’Ambre #2 (Eye Color) (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).Dior Golden Snow #2 (LE, ) is darker (90% similar).Urban Decay Winterfell (LE, $19.00) is darker (90% similar).

MAC Fool's Gold Eyeshadow

MAC Fool’s Gold Eyeshadow

MAC Fool's Gold EyeshadowMAC Fool's Gold Eyeshadow

Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold is a medium gold with strong, warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation with a soft, lightly creamy consistency that wasn’t too firmly nor too softly pressed in the pan. This shade lasted nicely for eight hours on me before it showed signs of fading.

Milani Drenched in Gold (P, $6.99) is warmer (95% similar).Tarte Baby It’s Gold Outside (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar).Cle de Peau Golden Lace #4 (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar).MAC Cushy Life (LE, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar).Urban Decay Interstellar (P, $20.00) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar).Anastasia Amber (P, $12.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).Anastasia Chic (LE, $12.00) is lighter (90% similar).Anastasia Yacht (LE, $12.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).MAC Until Dawn #2 (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar).Too Faced Bananas (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar).

 

MAC Marzipan Eyeshadow

MAC Marzipan Eyeshadow

MAC Marzipan EyeshadowMAC Marzipan Eyeshadow

Marzipan

Marzipan is a pale mauve with warm undertones and a matte finish. The color coverage was opaque in a single layer, and the color had decent adhesion without a primer, but I’d recommend using a primer with this shade to keep it from sheering out a bit. The consistency was soft, velvety, and blendable with a smidgen of powderiness in the pan. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me before I noticed any fading.

NYX Undress Me (P, $4.50) is darker (95% similar).LORAC Overcast (LE, $19.00) is darker (90% similar).Chanel Quiet Revolution #1 (PiP, ) is darker (90% similar).Tarte Skipper (LE, ) is darker (90% similar).Sydney Grace Winter Wonder (P, $5.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar).Colour Pop Clubhouse (LE, $4.50) is darker (85% similar).Sydney Grace Countess (PiP, $5.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar).Wet ‘n’ Wild Rose in the Air #3 (PiP, ) is warmer (85% similar).Smashbox Breeze (LE, ) is cooler (85% similar).Pretty Vulgar Unruffled (PiP, ) is warmer (85% similar).

 

MAC So Jaded Eyeshadow

MAC So Jaded Eyeshadow

MAC So Jaded EyeshadowMAC So Jaded Eyeshadow

So Jaded

So Jaded is a pale, aqua-green with subtle, warm undertones and a frosted finish. The eyeshadow had good pigmentation–not quite opaque–that applied well to bare skin with a smooth, even lay down of color. The consistency was soft, a little drier and dustier in the pan, but it blended out well and wasn’t prone to sheering out. It stayed on nicely for eight hours before showing signs of fading.

Bobbi Brown Seafoam (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).Melt Cosmetics Skylight (PiP, ) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).Smashbox Sea (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).Bad Habit Ecstatic (PiP, ) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).Natasha Denona Mint Frost (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).MAC Lime Ice (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).Guerlain Les Tendres #2 (LE, ) is lighter, cooler (85% similar).NARS Isla Bonita (P, $19.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar).Lancome Fashion Forward (P, $19.00) is less shimmery, cooler (85% similar).Sydney Grace Mint Green (P, $6.00) is more shimmery, darker (85% similar).

 

MAC Duabandita Eyeshadow

MAC Duabandita Eyeshadow

Duabandita

Duabandita is a medium, plummy-brown base with strong, warm undertones and cooler blue-to-teal shifting pearl. It had semi-opaque pigmentation, but it was much less pigmented than the last time it was released in a collection. The consistency was drier, thinner, and firmer in the pan, which made it harder to apply evenly. It lasted well for seven and a half hours on me before I noticed fading.

Makeup Geek Insomnia (P, $12.00) is darker (95% similar).Colour Pop Lucid (LE, $4.50) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar).Makeup Geek Insomnia (P, $9.99) is warmer (95% similar).Kat Von D Kelly (LE, ) is lighter, cooler (85% similar).LORAC Black Pearl (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).NARS Frioul (LE, $28.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar).Sephora + Pantone Universe Castor Gray (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (90% similar).Urban Decay Fortune-Teller (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar).Bite Beauty Peacock Pearl (P, $24.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).MAC I’ve Got a Crush on You (LE, $32.50) is darker (90% similar).

 

MAC Is It the Beat Eyeshadow

MAC Is It the Beat Eyeshadow

MAC Is It the Beat EyeshadowMAC Is It the Beat Eyeshadow

Is It the Beat

Is it the Beat is a medium-dark black with cool undertones and a matte finish. It had opaque pigmentation with a slightly firmer consistency, though it wasn’t too difficult to pick up; the challenge was more in blending and diffusing it, as it took more effort to blend out the edges. It wore well for eight hours on me before I noticed any fading.

Kat Von D Jet (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar).Make Up For Ever M100 Black (P, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar).Smashbox Big Night (PiP, ) is warmer (95% similar).LORAC Jet Black (LE, $19.00) is warmer (95% similar).MAC Structured Satin (LE, $17.00) is lighter (95% similar).Laura Mercier Noir (PiP, $23.00) is lighter (95% similar).Tarte Punk (PiP, ) (95% similar).Colour Pop Let’s Do It (P, $4.50) is warmer (95% similar).Tarina Tarantino Lovely #5 (DC, ) is more shimmery (95% similar).Chanel Obscur (816) (LE, $36.00) is more shimmery (95% similar).

 

MAC Brun Eyeshadow

MAC Brun Eyeshadow

MAC Brun EyeshadowMAC Brun Eyeshadow

Brun

Brun is a medium-dark, taupe brown with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. It’s a long-time permanent staple in the MAC range, and I find it is a chameleon–it can look ashier against cooler tones and just barely warm-toned when paired with warmer shades. It had a soft, blendable consistency that wasn’t too firmly nor too softly pressed in the pan, which yielded opaque pigmentation. It stayed on nicely for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Sephora Roasted Chestnuts (DC, $10.00) (100% similar).Melt Cosmetics Rott (PiP, ) is darker (95% similar).Viseart Grande Pro (Vol. 1) #11 (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar).Laura Mercier Coffee Ground (PiP, $23.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar).Viseart Petit Pro #4 (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar).Guerlain Les Cendres #3 (LE, ) is cooler (90% similar).LORAC Earth (LE, $19.00) is brighter (90% similar).NARS Mojave #2 (PiP, $19.00) is warmer (90% similar).NARS Cordura II (PiP, $19.00) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar).Anastasia Cyprus Umber (PiP, $12.00) is darker (90% similar).

 

MAC Deception Eyeshadow

MAC Deception Eyeshadow

Deception

Deception is a medium, plummy brown base with flecks of gold sparkle. From the look of it, you’d think it was a Lustre finish, but it’s actually a Frost (technically). It is an eyeshadow that’s been released a few times in other palettes, and it is usually pretty terrible; this time isn’t any different. It was dry, sheer, prone to fallout, and not worth using unless over a tacky base or packed on with a wet brush. It lasted for six and a half hours but had fallout over time.

Disney by Sephora Chateau (LE, ) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar).Tarte Ring-a-ling (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar).Urban Decay Horizon (P, $20.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).Zoeva Outline (PiP, ) is lighter (90% similar).LORAC Pewter (PiP, $19.00) is less shimmery (95% similar).Tarte Steel the Scene (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar).Sephora Moon (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter, less pigmented (90% similar).MAC Damson (LE, $21.00) (100% similar).Too Faced Brown Sugar (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar).MAC Morning Frost (DC, $18.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar).

 

MAC Golden Brown Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Brown Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Brown EyeshadowMAC Golden Brown Eyeshadow

Golden Brown

Golden Brown is a soft, golden brown with strong, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. The color payoff was opaque in a single layer, while the eyeshadow had a smooth, blendable consistency that wasn’t too firmly pressed in the pan but wasn’t so soft that it became powdery to work with. It lasted nicely for eight hours on me before I noticed any fading.

Too Faced Dear Diary (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar).Natasha Denona Ochre (61P) (P, $29.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar).Kevyn Aucoin Charge (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar).Make Up For Ever ME644 Iced Brown (P, $17.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (95% similar).NARS Telesto (P, $29.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).Marc Jacobs Beauty Brav-O (P, $29.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).Anastasia Paris (LE, $12.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (90% similar).Make Up For Ever ME644 Iced Brown (DC, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).Colour Pop Blaze (PiP, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).MAC A Harvest of Greens #2 (PiP, $21.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).

 

MAC Big Attitude Eyeshadow

MAC Big Attitude Eyeshadow

MAC Big Attitude EyeshadowMAC Big Attitude Eyeshadow

Big Attitude

Big Attitude is a light, golden taupe with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation with a soft, blendable consistency that was a smidgen powdery in the pan, but it adhered evenly and had minimal fallout. This shade stayed on well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably.

Urban Decay Angel (LE, $19.00) is cooler (95% similar).Gucci Beauty Tuscan Storm #2 (PiP, ) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar).bareMinerals Magnetism (P, ) is darker (95% similar).Chanel Prelude #3 (P, ) is less shimmery (95% similar).Chanel Talpa (14) (P, $30.00) is darker (95% similar).Divergent Abnegation Stone (LE, ) is darker (95% similar).Becca Spirit Quartz (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar).Colour Pop Flecks (LE, $4.50) is warmer (90% similar).Burberry Pale Barley (102) (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).Tarte Rocker (PiP, ) is lighter (90% similar).

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