Top 10: MAC Neutral Eyeshadows

With so many MAC eyeshadows available on the market, it can be hard to decide which shadows live up to the hype, and are worth spending your money on. Here’s my top 10 MAC Neutral eyeshadows that are worth splurging!

So here we go in no particular order…. (drum roll please….)


This is a very shimmery and pigmented pale gold eyeshadow.  It gives a perfect glow that almost looks ‘wet’.  This eyeshadow is perfect to use as a brow highlight, in the inner corner of the eye, or to add a bit of glow to the tops of your cheek bones.

MAC’s Description:   Pale gold with icy shimmer

Price:  $14.50   (Amazon) (MAC)

Samoa Silk

Samoa Silk is described as a light peachy- nude matte eyeshadow that is great for blending through the crease. This eyeshadow has great pigmentation, amazing texture, and is very smooth. I love how this eyeshadow has the ability to warm up any cool toned color I put on the lid (like purples or blues).

MAC’s Description:   Light matte peach

Price:  $14.50 (Amazon) (MAC)

All That Glitters

This shimmery shadow can be played down for day wear or played up for a night out.  All that glitters is best described was a shimmery beige with gold undertones, that can be paired  with warm eyeshadows for a sultry look. This eyeshadow is a veluxe pearl so the pigmentation is great, the application is smooth, and it’s easy to blend.

MAC’s Description:   Beige with gold pearl

Price: $14.50 (Amazon) (MAC)


Kid is a beautiful light brown matte color that is perfect for blending out harsh lines and blending throughout the crease. This is my go to color for blending out a dark smokey eye, as it is just the right transition shade for my skin tone.

MAC’s Description:   Beige cashmere

Price: $14.50 (MAC)

Expensive Pink

Expensive Pink is a beautiful mixture of pink, gold, and coral with a slight shimmery finish. This is a unique color that I usually pair with Cork for a day look, and Carbon or Ground Brown for a night out. This shadow is very wearable, as it’s not too bright.  This is one of my all time favorite colors :)

MAC’s Description:    Warm pink with duo-chrome

Price: $14.50 (Amazon) (MAC)


Woodwinked is a gorgeous antique bronze color with hints of shimmer. This color is very versatile, during the day it looks great on the lid or blended into the crease, and at night, it can be used to create a sultry smokey eye. This shadow also works great in combination with greens, purples and deep blues.

MAC’s Description:     Warm antique gold

Price:  $14.50 (Amazon) (MAC)


Cork is a medium brown color best used for defining the crease or outer-v of the eye. This eyeshadow is very pigmented, making it easy to use as an eyebrow powder. For a dramatic warm toned look, simply place a deeper brown in the outer-v, cork in the crease, and blend out any harsh lines with an eyeshadow close to your skin tone.

MAC’s Description:     Muted golden brown

Price: $14.50 (Amazon) (MAC)


This color has a brown base with red, plum, and gold tones. This eyeshadow highly pigmented and very smooth, a neutral shade that looks great on every skin tone and can be used in simple or extravagant looks.

MAC’s Description:     Deep plum with pearl

Price:  $14.50   (Amazon (MAC)

Ground Brown

Everyone needs a dark brown matte eyeshadow in their makeup collection. Ground Brown can be used to smudge along the lashline to make your lashes look thicker, added to turn a daytime look into a night look, or used to create dimension when placed in the outer-v.  I like this Ground Brown color as it is dark, yet warm toned so it can be used for many different things.

MAC’s Description:     Matte dark brown

Price: $14.50    (Amazon (MAC)


Satin Taupe

Satin Taupe has been a favorite of mine for many years! This eyeshadow is a gorgeous bronze with a grey undertone, a classic smokey taupe. Satin Taupe is a very buildable eyeshadow, the trick to working with this color is applying it in thin layers until you’ve reached your desired intensity.

MAC’s Description:    Taupe with silver shimmer

Price: $14.50    (Amazon)  (MAC)


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CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

I have every one of these colors and I can say that they are all great. I think Twinks is not given nearly enough credit. I think its overlooked a lot . I use it for a really pretty smokey eye with cranberry. They pair very nicely together. Brown Down also pairs nicely with most colors to give an extra oomph to your every day look. Good Job Marlena. As always we think a like :)

Great review Marlena !!!!!! You are looking pretty as ever :) :) Love most of the colour’s in the review except for their price in Australia :( Please do a look using Inglot as well, so that most of your Oz fan’s can buy Inglot since its good and cheap when compared to MAC.

Hugs !!!!

Buy online from the USA using a parcel forwarder from nordstrom or even the mac website – even with the extra fees and shipping it works out about 30% cheaper

I love this review,
question, would all these colors work on all skin tones? I don’t have any MAC eye shadows and this video is making it easy to go buy some, but i’m just worry that they wont compliment my Latin brown skin, help :_)

This is such a helpful post!!! Mulch is my favourite MAC shadow.. But now I’ve got my eyes on expensive pink and woodwinked!

Thanks hun! =)

Hi Marlena:)

I love you! I am a girl form norway who really love your site:) you have such great make up tips and this was actually percekt for me!:) I dont have much eyeshadows from MAC. but Im saving to a pallette now, and this was really nice colours. I love the natural look, but still I want my eyes to get a pop. I have star violet and the embark eyeshadwos and I cant wait to get some more!:)

thank you so mutch:)

Omg this is such a big help!!! Thanks so much. Only a few more months until beauty school I’m so excited. Honestly you inspired me to choose that career.

Love all of the colors. I think I want to build a collection with just your recommendations- i value your opinion that much!

Marlene, love this list. I’m looking to complete my custom palette x15 and will definitely chose from among your picks. Question: is Ground Brown a limited edition or discontinued color? I can’t find it on their website.

Great picks! This will definitely help me =) …on a different note, MAC just increased their eyeshadow prices to $15 =/

Love this top 10 review…..thanks so much…so helpful!

Would you be able to do a similar review for NYX?
My budget is a bit snug at this time. :)

Have you tried any shadows form Stars Makeup Haven Marlena? A few of their shadows are really good dupes of these MAC shadows.

Thanks so much for this! I only own one MAC shadow so far (Brun) and I wish I would’ve gone with Ground Brown or Espresso instead, but now I have a few more to put on my wish list!

I have a cool skin tone. I am never attracted to brown except for furniture stain. I can see having Kidd as a blending color. I didn’t know about it before, so thank you. If I am generally blending the edges of blue-violet, teal, turquoise or grey, what do you suggest?

Hi Marlena – GREAT top 10 list! I love love love neutrals and I’m extremely bad at putting on color – could you maybe make a top 10 list of your favorite MAC eyeshadows that are more bold? Or maybe like 5 for brown eyes, 5 for blue, green etc.. Just an idea :-)
Thank you so much for being a great help to those of us who love make-up but need a bit of help ;-)
Much love from Denmark

hmm- they’re all pretty but they’re also mostly very warm. I definitely prefer cooler colors- they complement my skin and eyes more but still a good article :)

Awesome! I love all the colors and I truly appreciate that you have matte colors as well. Like always your beautiful and thank you so much!!

Me three! LOVE that color! Looks great in the crease/lower-upper lashline, or anywhere!! (Except browbone LOL)!! :D

Thanks! This is a great list!! I love the fact you gave us the color names but also some lil notes on were or how to use & wat colors go with them!!
you are the GREATEST!!!
Thanks for all your help <3

LOVE LOVE LOVE MAC Makeup!! Thanks – I am putting the ones I don’t have on my “to buy” list!!

Another great video. I always get really over whelmed with the choice in mac so this video is really handy.
I’m going on holiday in a week and I cant take a lot with me. If you could only take 1 quad eye shadow palette with you, which colors would be your must haves to create a whole weeks worth of looks? And also do you have any must have items or tips for holidays in hot countries. Thanks marlena I’m such a fan and really appreciate you shaving all you advice with us.

Thanks Marlena :) so glad you are doing vids for ppl just starting in makeup! Could you also do your top 10 color MAC eye shadows????? That would be great keep up the awsome vides!!!!

Thanks for the help! It does get really overwhelming when I’m trying to figure out exactly what color(s) I want to get. LOL :)

Great review Marlena. I have several already but my favorite was not in the top ten, lol…oh well. Wedge! Perfect crease color for me, It gives me just enough depth for a great polished everyday look.

Hi marlena, when are you getting Pocket Marlena’s that can do our makeup in stock in the makeupgeek store? I’m dying to have one. ;)

again thank you so much for your post on this. i am clueless about MAC eyeshadows (well, all of their makeup to be honest) so i really appreciate this!

Love it! I have a couple of these colors and will be making a trip to add a couple of the colors you suggested. Can you recommend colors for blonde, redhead, and brunette’s
Mac came out with a line a couple of years ago and the colors were perfect and sold out.
I would also love to see recommendations for bold eyeshadows that everyone can wear.

Love the list. Keep them coming. Then you can do eyes using the colors.

I have 2 MAC shadows — Ricepaper and Print.
I have a dupe for Brown Down.
I was thinking of purchasing: Wedge (for my crease) and Soft Brown (to help with blending).
Do you think these will be good for my NC20/25 Asian colouring?

damn. i want Mac to make a “Naked” / Neutral palette using the ten shadows you just mentioned here!!! what a great collection! they should hire you for consulting…

Hi i was wondering if you could do a tutorial for great eyeshadow that works AMAZING on dark skinned people!!!! :) THANKS!!! XOXOXOXOXO

You should try “Wedge,” its a very natural looking, matte crease color that works wonders for pale skin

Hi Marlena,
I’m 48 and I was wondering if I am too old for the shimmer mac eyeshadow that you mention in the top 10. You would think that I would have more experience with make up, but I feel like I’m just learning. Your tips and tutorials are wonderful.

Thank you

I have vanilla Era and handwritten. Is Era almost like Kid? Handwritten is a cool toned brown colour, isn’t it?

Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your videos and you! You are so sweet and happy all the time!
You got a faithful follower from Sweden now, which is me ;) And you, keep up the good work!