When I first read about MAC Greasepaint Stick in Dirty online, I knew the deep taupe would be something I’d use often.
When MAC Art Supplies finally arrived in Singapore, Dirty was – to my delight – every bit the intense ‘blackened taupe with pearl’ I’d expected, despite the bland product swatch on the MAC website.
Alas, the joy was not to last. Yes, the colour’s lovely and rich (it even has miniscule multicoloured shimmer!) but the shadow doesn’t always blend smoothly. Worse, it FLAKES. And when it does, the flaky bits hurt the eyes…a lot. To be fair, it doesn’t always disintegrate; it seems to do it when I apply shadows over it after it’s somewhat set or when I brush a little harder with my eyeshadow brush bristles. It happens too when I layer it over itself more than a few times.
One way to circumvent this is to use an emollient base – I’ve found that it works/blends better over creamier shadows. Pressing shadows onto it (versus brushing them on) also seems to help. Another way to use it is to apply it straight and leave it on the lid as-is; no blending, no layering. Funnily enough, it seems to work well on my waterline with minimal flaking, even with a thin layer of powder shadow over it, although there can be a slight patchiness at the end of the day.
Besides Dirty, I’ve only tried Slick Black and Uniformly Blue from the collection. These two do not flake as badly as Dirty, although they can skip and blend unevenly if the base is too dry.
At S$32, Greasepaint Sticks aren’t the cheapest of cream shadows – even their earlier incarnation, Shadesticks, were S$28. Admittedly, they are better than the latter in terms of texture (they are smoother and richer) and usage ease (they don’t drag like many of the Shadesticks do). However, where Dirty is concerned, that silky glide is quite a deception as it doesn’t blend effortlessly. Its glorious depth of tone and inky hue do make a brilliant smokey eye (it can intensify the upper and lower lashlines beautifully) but the inherent problems in its formula make it a somewhat difficult product to work with.
Image source: MAC Cosmetics
This review also appears on Emakemeup