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MAC Carbon Eyeshadow Review
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Price $15.00
Origin Made in Canada

MAC Carbon Eyeshadow Review

Our Rating
7.0
Good: Can be used as both an eyeliner and eyeshadow.
Bad: Chalky texture; hard to blend.
User Score
4.3
(3 votes)
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Rating: 4.3/10 (3 votes cast)

  • A matte black eyeshadow from MAC. Described as an intense black, this shade of eyeshadow is a staple in any make-up bag.
  • Talc, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Mica, Colouring Agents: Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (Cl 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Cl 42090), Carmine (Cl 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (Cl 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (Cl 77288), Ferric Ferrocyanide (Cl 77510), Manganese Violet (Cl 77742), Red 40 Lake (Cl 16035), Ultramarines (Cl 77007), Yellow 5 Lake (Cl 19140)..
  • Apply over a primer and blend out any harsh lines. Carbon can also be used to set your eyeliner, or as a standalone liner.
  • Purchase this item at MAC Cosmetics

The MAC Carbon eyeshadow is a matte black shade that can be used in various degrees of intensity. It can be built up to a deep dark black, or just a muted dark gray.

I’m always on the lookout for the best matte black, and Carbon has always come up as one of the top contenders along with Make Up Forever’s #4 eyeshadow.

Packaging

I have a Pro Palette, so I just purchased the refillable pan for this one. You can also buy this as an individual eyeshadow, which is what I did the first time I purchased Carbon. MAC’s all-black packaging is decent and sturdy enough. I like how it has a clear front, making it easy for me to see the shades without having to open the palettes or quads like other brands.

Formula

If you’ll look online you’ll see mixed reviews about this eyeshadow. Some say it’s easy to blend, and others say it’s blotchy and doesn’t apply evenly. I’m going to have to go with blotchy. I’ve tried different brushes, applied it wet and dry, applied with a primer underneath and without, and I still wasn’t happy with how it goes on the eyelid. It doesn’t even swatch evenly on my arm. I’m giving this product the benefit of the doubt because of the many positive reviews I’ve encountered, but I just don’t see it living up to the hype.

Pigmentation

Carbon is described as an “intense black”, but once again, Carbon in real life is nothing like I was expecting based on what people have said about it. I’m an NC35/NC40, and perhaps it’s my skin color that’s making this eyeshadow appear less dark than it is, but it looks just like any other dark gray eyeshadow to me.

Color Payoff

The color payoff is decent, if you don’t have trouble blending. It’s a good matte black for use as an eyeshadow or even as an eyeliner, and it can be deepened into a more intense black, though you’d need to apply a lot to achieve that. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth all that application when I could just use Make Up Forever’s #4 eyeshadow or Blackout from the Naked palette.

Verdict

I can see why Carbon is a popular choice as an eyeshadow. It’s buildable and is versatile enough. I use this more as a standalone liner, or to set my gel liner. If you’re looking for the blackest of blacks, this isn’t the eyeshadow for you. I would use this with a kohl eyeliner to create a darker smokey eye. Overall, I’m disappointed in this product and won’t be purchasing it again simply because I think there are better products available.

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos loves all things beauty and make-up. She’s always on the lookout for the newest tips, techniques and trends, and is always eager to learn more. Her motto for beauty products is: “A hefty price tag is not synonymous with quality.”

Patricia Ramos

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MAC Carbon Eyeshadow Review, 4.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

4 Comments

  1. Jessica May
    Jessica May
    June 28, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the review! I found it very helpful! I’m always looking for a great black shadow for a smokey eye look. Since this one doesn’t blend well, is there another brand you would suggest?

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    • Patricia Ramos
      Patricia Ramos
      July 4, 2012, 8:37 am

      Hi Jessica :-)

      I find myself reaching for Blackout from the Naked palette when going for a smokey eye look. You can also try smudging some black kohl eyeliner on as a base for your a not-so-black eyeshadow to make it look more intense. MUFE’s #4 eyeshadow is good too!

      Hope this helps!

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  2. Kat Musselwhite
    Kat Musselwhite
    July 2, 2012, 7:56 pm

    I’m not going to lie, black eyeshadows scare the hell out of me, purely because I’m too heavy handed with them and end up looking like I have black eyes!! Despite that, I still have three in my collection with Zero and Oil Slick in various Urban Decay Palette’s, and one from Barry M that because it’s a loose powder I just make a huge mess with…

    Yeah, Me + Black Eyeshadow = A great big mess ;)

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    • Patricia Ramos
      Patricia Ramos
      July 4, 2012, 8:39 am

      Hi Kat!

      Most of the time, me + black eyeshadow = raccoon, panda, etc. so I feel your pain. I usually just use a dark brown or dark purple when I’m too lazy to deal with black eyeshadows (which is often)!

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