Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: MAC Paintpot in Constructivist vs. Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in Pomegranate Punk

You don’t have to watch too many YouTube gurus or read too many beauty blogs before you realize that some products are almost universally popular, and highly recommended by the beauty community. For years, MAC paintpots have been high on that exclusive list.  They can be eyeshadow bases, or used alone as a cream shadow. But they’re also $17.50 USD. And not everyone is willing to spend that kind of money for something so simple.

Enter the Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Shadows. Reviewers are calling them MAC paintpot dupes at half the price, and for the most part, I’m inclined to agree. I love both and use both, so I thought I’d review and compare them so that you can decide whether you want to break the bank or save your money. 

Let’s start with MAC.

MAC Paintpot in Constructivist

The container holds 0.17 oz of product, a little more than the 0.14 oz. in the Maybelline one.

I bought this looking for a “my lids but better” color that worked with my skin tone. For reference, I’m NW 45 in MAC concealer and the shade “Caramel” in Revlon Colorstay Foundation. Shades in this line like Painterly that work so well on lighter skin tones would look ghoulish on me. Constructivist was the perfect fit – it’s a dark bronze with a gold undertone that catches the light.

I love wearing this on its own, or with a black shadow in the outer corner and crease for a summer smokey eye. This can work on just about any skin tone because it’s buildable – you can apply a thin wash of color for everyday wear or as a primer for shadow, or you could deepen it and create a brown smokey eye!

I should also tell you that the MAC paintpots only come in neutral colors. There are 9 shades ranging from light nudes, to dark browns, and one deep black. But there aren’t any brighter colors, except for the rare few that come out in limited edition collections. It didn’t bother me because, like I said, I was looking for a neutral color. But if you’re looking for something brighter, skip ahead to the Maybelline review. J

As far as staying power goes, these don’t budge. I have oily skin and oily lids, and this looked the same after wearing it for eight hours straight, with NO PRIMER underneath. That is unheard of for me, especially with a cream shadow. For me, the way the color worked on my skin tone and the quality of the product made it worth the splurge.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in Pomegranate Punk

So where does that leave the new Maybelline dupe? All things considered, it’s not far off in quality from the MAC version. It takes a few extra swipes to build this color up to full intensity, but once you do, the color payoff is just as good as the MAC Paintpots:

Pomegranate punk is a plummy purple with red undertones and pink and brown glitter. It feels creamier to the touch than the MAC paintpot, but that makes it glide on in more sheer layers on the lid. Because of the creamier, thinner texture, I used this one with my Urban Decay Primer Potion rather than wearing it alone on my lid. The staying power was excellent and it didn’t crease all day.

Maybelline has much brighter shades than MAC. There’s a bright neon purple, a sky blue, a dark green, and two neutrals, a taupe and a bronze. If you’re looking for greater color variety without losing much in terms of quality, this line might be better for you.

Overall, I’m glad I tried both of these. I have them in two different colors, so I can use both without picking one over the other. Both have great lasting power, both have great color payoff. The MAC paintpot is a slightly thicker consistency that works a little better for my oily lids, but the Maybelline did a good job staying on with primer, which I did not expect. I would gladly repurchase both, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative for cream eyeshadow, Maybelline more than fits the bill. There is no need to spend $17.50 on your first cream shadow if a $5 – 7 drugstore one will get the job done. :)

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