MAC Unsung Heroes: Costa Riche Eye Kohl

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac costa riche

Wearing $16 MAC Costa Riche Eye Kohl on my lower lash lines

I’ll be paying a visit to the MAC Pro Store this week as part of a super-secret spy girl mission tomorrow (stay tuned!), which means that poor El Hub will be left to play outside on his phone while I clear out the store’s inventory of MAC Costa Riche.

How many times have I talked about this Eye Kohl…? Five? Six? Two dozen?


It is well past time for me to give it the Unsung Heroes treatment. ๐Ÿ™‚

A warm golden brown Eye Kohl in the MAC permanent line, Costa Riche has been my brown eyeliner bae since late 2013.

Seeing as how I fall in love with new products every other week (sorry, it’s true), you might think that my obsession with it would have waned, but nooo. I still reach for Costa Riche at least three or four times a week because 1) it goes well with so many different eyeshadows, and 2) it feels good on my lash and water lines (when my eyes are irritated and/or watering due to allergies or something else, Costa Riche is one of the few things I can still wear that won’t make things worse).

And it does so much for different eye colors. Brown eyes look more chocolatey, and blue, green, hazel and gray eyes rock it, too. I think it brings out more beauty in all of them and makes your natural eye color stand out.

I’ve never met a person who hates how they look in Costa Riche. It’s the people’s liner!

Other things I’m wearing in this look…

Eyes — MAC Antiqued Eye Shadow, Chanel Le Volume Mascara, Estee Lauder Little Black Primer
BrowsMAC Brun Eyeshadow, Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper
CheeksBECCA Damselfly Blush, BECCA Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed, Guerlain 4 Seasons Terracotta 03 Natural Brunettes
LipsBECCA Beach Tint Lip Shimmer Souffle in Raspberry/Opal
FaceDior Diorskin Nude Air in 040, YSL Touche Eclat in 4.5, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 25, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Tan

And it’s even easy to use. Soft, smooth and pigmented, it blends and layers without skipping, tugging or rubbing, so there’s none of that nonsense. As par for the MAC Eye Kohl course, it also doesn’t set immediately, so you have time to manipulate it (I’d say about five minutes). It’s smudgy, smokey diffused liner heaven.

mac costa riche swatch

A swatch of MAC Costa Riche on my NC42 skin

When I use Costa Riche, I like to line my water lines first, then do my upper and lower lash lines, which I smudge using the edge of a flat eyeshadow brush or a pencil brush. Then I’ll usually continue with other parts of my makeup before returning to my eyes for another layer of Costa Riche along my water lines for more intensity.

If you find that Costa Riche vanishes from your water lines quickly, try gently rubbing them (your water lines) with a cotton swab first (but please don’t poke out your eye). Then apply the liner. Give it five minutes to dry, and then go back in for a second layer. That should lock it down.

MAC Costa Riche

I love ya, Costa Riche!

This brown bombshell goes with just about everything. I’ve worn it with neutral browns and beiges, purples, warm golden taupes, greens, blues and golds, and that’s just for starers. I could probably write a dissertation on the MAC eyeshadows that look incredible with this color (Sable, Antiqued, Trax, Saddle, Texture and Twinks, to name a few). It’s the definition of flexible, and it’s a worthy workhorse to add to your makeup bag.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The MAC Unsung Heroes series (a subset of my regular Unsung Makeup Heroes series) features some of my all-time favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection


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So far, 28 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Kelly B. says:

    I really need to invest in this-I’ve been using black eyeliner for a while but since it’s summer and I like to do a softer, bronzier look to go with the season, I’m on the hunt for warmer brown eyeliners to use instead and this one has definitely caught my interest!
    Kelly B. recently posted … New Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Haul

  2. I love shades like this that look almost neutral on my brown eyes but still add some oomph! This one looks great on you!
    Pretty Chatty Em recently posted … One Week Water Challenge

  3. Denise S. says:

    I really like the natural eye look you created with this. I have MAC Teddy eyeliner and one from Guerlain that looks kinda similar . Since you gave Costa Riche such high ratings I’m going to pick this one up.

  4. Pavithra says:

    I picked this up just a couple of weeks ago and have been using it on my lower lash lines ever since! This is the only brown that will look ‘like a brown’ on me. It does go with everything! Karen, you look smashing here, I must try using it on my upper lash lines soon!
    Pavithra recently posted … The Week That Was โ€“ Makeup and (a little) More!

  5. Alexis says:

    I’d have to say Coffee is my favorite eye kohl shade. That is my all time favorite MAC product. The perfect shade of black brown and it’s matte.

  6. Beti says:

    Costa Riche is the perfect eye kohl for brown eyes, it makes my eyes pop! As always you look beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚
    Beti recently posted … Whatโ€™s New from Colourpop

  7. Rachel R. says:

    What a great brown. It looks very similar to Urban Decay’s Whiskey. I usually go for UD Roach, but Costa Riche is gorgeous.

  8. tirurit says:

    Oooooh why didn’t I know about this beauty?!

    Looks stunning, and I would love to test how it would make my eyes more chocolatey ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for the tip on how to make a khol stay in place! I have definitely had them disappear on my waterlines
    tirurit recently posted … Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Paint

  9. Tatiana says:

    I’ve had this in the “Save for Later” part of my Nordstrom shopping bag for at least 3 months. I think I need to break down and finally get this one.

  10. Shannon says:

    true fact: I saw this pop up on my Facebook newsfeed, and I totally thought it was you pointing out super old blog posts or something… Because I could’ve SWORN you’d written about Costa Riche as an Unsung Hero already, lol!! I really need to check it out someday! The people’s liner ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it!

  11. Kim says:

    Oooh, that looks like it’s right up my alley. You know I’m a sucker for brown liner and Costa Riche seems a bit warmer than my go-to UD Whiskey. I may have to give it a whirl! Though the 5 minute dry time might be more like 5 minute unwanted smudging time on my eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. That one looks pretty on you. Have to try it, I guess it will work with green eyes, too.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … From my Makeup Emergency Kit – IsaDora Velver Touch Compact Powder

  13. Jessica says:

    I think I keep coming back to your blog today because of the picture of the pretty UD eyeshadows at the top. <3

    Still no MAC for me though.
    Jessica recently posted … Camouflage

  14. Tulipthecat says:

    Thanks for the tip about using a q-tip on the waterline before applying. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get it to stay on my waterline.

    • Karen says:

      You’re very welcome! If it still doesn’t set, try a third layer. And if that doesn’t work, then you can always pat a shadow on top to lock it down. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Gio says:

    I love brown eyeliners.My fave is UD Whiskey, but this sounds like a great alternative too.
    Gio recently posted … Product Review: Caudalie Divine Legs

  16. Stephanie A. says:

    It appears to be very similar to Teddy–is it? Teddy is the only liner I seem to restock, but sometimes it’s not quite right, for a reason I can’t really identify. Perhaps Costa Riche could be my “always right”?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      Here’s a swatch of the two. As you can see Teddy is metallic while Costa Riche has no shine. I think it’s also warmer and less bronzy:

      [caption id="attachment_153344" align="alignnone" width="610"]MAC Costa Riche and Teddy swatches Swatches of Costa Riche and Teddy on my NC42 skin[/caption]

      HTH! Let me know if you have any questions.

  17. Allison C says:

    I love that photo of you, Karen! It’s truly beautiful. I have never tried any of the MAC eyeliners. But I love that shade. Like Gio, it reminds me of UD Whiskey that I love. Have fun tomorrow! Eager to hear all about it
    Allison C recently posted … New Shine Out Loud Collection from butterLONDON & Giveaway!

  18. Oooh this looks good! I’ll have to check it out, still need a color like this in my collection.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … NOTD | Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

  19. Virginia says:

    Added to MAC wish list. : Done.

  20. Anette says:

    Arghhhh! Cannot buy it In Denmark!!! I still have half left. And it is not dupable!!!. I wonder if i can order from Mac US…. Love your site

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