MAC Unsung Heroes: Shale Eyeshadow

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

mac shale eyeshadow

Ever tear into your makeup bag and think, “I need some color in my life!” But you’re at work, or you’re getting ready for work, and you still have to look responsible?


When you just don’t feel like wearing neutrals on your eyes but absolutely, positively must have a little color, try Shale…

No, not those little wafer-shaped rocks that you find along river banks (which are great for skipping, BTW).

Shale, as in MAC’s Shale Eyeshadow ($15).

I’d be willing to wager my MAC 217 that you may never want to pick up another brown or —

Okay…let me rephrase that, because I’m not about to risk losing my beloved MAC 217. 🙂

Once this pliant plum finds its way on your lids early one morning before school or work, you may never feel the need to pick up another workday brown or beige. That little cactus in your cubicle may never ever again see you wearing another neutral on your lids.

So what exactly are we talking about here?

Well, we’re talking about Shale! It’s a semi-sheer, cool-toned plummy mauve with subtle silver shimmer, and because it is fairly neutral (and consequently works well on warm- and cool-toned babes), but still has a little somethin’-somethin’ under the hood, it’s a great alternative to typical play-it-safe work shades.

Absolutely, there are much more intense plums and purples out there, even among neutral-ish shades, like Satin Taupe, Sable and Trax, but that’s one of the reasons I love Shale.

Shale is a little sheerer than the average bear, which makes it almost fool-proof (perfect for me, LOL!), but it’s not so sheer that I feel like I have to pack on 12 pounds of the stuff to see it on my NC42 skin.

mac shale swatch

Say I wake up on a workday morning with plums and purples on my mind… If I only have a few minutes to get ready before zipping out the door, I’ll pat Shale on my lids with a MAC 239 and smooth out the edges with a 217.

Then, on my lash and water lines, I’ll add either a dark gray eyeliner like Laura Mercier Stormy Grey or a deep plum one like MAC Prunella.

mac shale swatch

mac shale eyeshadow

Purple! — just like that. But with Shale, I don’t have to worry about going overboard. It quenches my thirst for color without pushing any envelopes (because some days, I’m just not in the mood to take risks).

If you’ve flirted with the idea of wearing purple on your eyes but haven’t found the right shade to ease your way into it, take a closer look at Shale. I think it’s one of the user-friendliest purple eyeshadows in MAC’s permanent line.

Why, yes! That was me screaming at the top of my lungs…

Tabs for AMC's The Walking Dead

Did you know that Tabs guest starred in two episodes of the first season of The Walking Dead?

Poor Tabs! And my neighbors! And my TV! I must have yelled at least 3-4 times last night watching The Walking Dead.

“NO!” “YAGH!” “NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOO!”

I would love to be a fly on the wall in the writer’s room for that show.


It’s interesting watching the characters change over the course of the series, especially Rick. They have to adapt, not just in basic survival terms but also ethically. At this point in the series, I definitely feel like the group is operating under a whole new set of rules. Yup, a lot has gone down since Rick came to in that hospital bed…

Hit me up in the comments if you want to talk about last night’s episode [SPOILER ALERT: BEWARE THE COMMENTS!].

Please…no scratching or biting. 🙂 I’m not ready for my zombie transformation yet.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection


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So far, 31 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Appu says:

    What a gorgeous purple! I have never swatched Shale..must look into it soon 😀

  2. Candace says:

    That’s a great purple. It would look great in the outer corner too with a peachy shade on the lid (if you have enough time in the morning. :).
    Candace recently posted … Top 10 Jewelry Trends Fall/Winter ’12-’13

  3. blkrox says:

    Ooo, this is such a lovely color! I love these Unsung Heroes posts, MAC has so many quality products in its permanent range which often get overlooked with all the LE collections they put out!

    As for The Walking Dead – OH. MA. GERD!!!! What a great episode! I laughed, I cried, I shrieked!! LoL So glad this season is looking so much better than last season’s talkfest!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Blkrox,

      I love how MAC keeps it fresh with new colors and collections, but the perm stuff will always have a place in my heart! So many great colors, and the best thing about it is they don’t disappear (most of the time…I’m still salty about Gingerroot lip liner getting the axe, arghh!).

      With you 100% on this season of The Walking Dead. It’s almost as good as (or maybe even better than?) the first season, dontcha think? I totally yelled too! Did you scream when Hershel got mouth to mouth? ZOMG!

      • blkrox says:

        I LOVED the first season! This season is off to such a fantastic start but I’m waiting to see how the Michonne storyline plays out – I haven’t been as enamored with her as many people are (never read the comics) although admittedly that sword is bada$$!! I TOTALLY screamed “AAAAAHHHH!! He’s eating her face!!!” LOL I was clutching my heart! SO. Awesome.

        As for MAC, I love a lot of the LE stuff too, it’s exciting when a new collection comes out! I just feel like their quality has suffered over the years and sometimes the drama is just too much for these items! The manager of the MAC counter near me told me they had to call in extra security for the release of the Marilyn Monroe collection because people were threatening violence!! I mean – seriously?! So I just ordered everything on-line, LoL

  4. Chelsea says:

    Walking Dead was CRAZY. With the other prisoners (especially the one with the long hair!), and Hershel being resuscitated by Lori after that scary bit! And the Zombie surgery practice?? So much better than last season!

  5. Teri says:

    Oh Karen I really love your unsung heroes! Thanks for pointing this shade out to me because it’s so beautiful! Oh and I LOVED skipping with those stones, I could do it for hours, haha!
    Teri recently posted … My Make Up Sins

  6. christine says:

    I love your coverage of all the new collections but these Unsung Heroes posts gets me to whip out my debit card like no other.

  7. Heidi says:

    Oh, my beloved Shale! So, so pretty on every eye color, but trust me, fellow green-eyed ladies, GET THIS! Enhances the green perfectly.

  8. Katie says:

    That’s a lovely shade of purple; it looks sultry on you! A color like that could veer off into zombie territory, but it doesn’t.

    Speaking of zombies…

    KAREN! I haven’t been able to rant/rave my thoughts in the Monday Polls! (I have school all day.)I agree, however, that Season 3 is off on an amazing start. It’s giving me the same excitement and chills as Season 1. (Let’s be honest — Season 2 was terrible.) Thoughts about last night’s ep:

    1) AMC: “Oh, y’all hate Lori, huh? FINE. HERE: ‘I know that I’m a sh*tty wife, and I’m not winning any Mother-of-the-Year awards.’ HAPPY?”
    2) I’m glad to see a braver, more proactive Carol. The feminist in me is happy to see the show address the fact that it has such weak female characters.
    3) A Daryl/Rick bromance is brewing. I wholeheartedly approve of it (and the fanfic to follow).
    4) Rick machete-slices Tomas’ head (Mr. Crazy Eyes Prisoner), and traps that another prisoner in a zombie horde. He’s decisive and relentless — opposite himself last season. Life is way more interesting under a Rick-tocracy.
    5) The looks of confusion and despair on those two prisoners as Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog left them in their cell block(s) was reminiscent of the looks the group used to have in Season 1. This scene was well-done.
    6) Where’s Katana Lady?!
    7) Zombie Kill of the Week: None. There was a satisfying increase in zombie kills, but the human kills were much more memorable.

    • Karen says:

      I am still traumatized from seeing Herschel’s stump so up close and personal. Did you scream right during the mouth-to-mouth bit?!? I jumped off the couch!

  9. steph b says:

    I adore Shale! Love to pair it with a soft broze or peach to keep it from straying into bruised eye territory. Definitely an easy purple to play with. I’m going to wear it to work tomorrow.

  10. Virginia says:

    First…I love that shadow. Secondly I think Rick needs to get over the fact that Lori is pregnant with Shane’s baby. He knew there was a chance it wasn’t his. Move on. Also…that chopping of that long hair prisoners head literally made my jaw drop ( it was so bloody!) I wish they made the female characters stronger. All the guys ( even the son) are adapting, and all the girls seem to be whiny.. “Cry cry! my husband doesn’t love me!!” Who cares?! There’s a zombie invasion going on or didn’t the ladies notice?

  11. Brittany says:

    I just bought Shale last week and I adore this color! I’ve been searching for a nice mauve to add to my Fall makeup and Shale was definitely a good choice. A great color to enhance my green eyes without it being too over the top.

    I love me some Walking Dead! I just knew Rick was going to get rid of Tomas. No more Mr. Rick “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt” Grimes! I think the incident last season at the bar and everything he went through with Shane may have changed his perspective as to who the real danger might be as opposed to the walkers. Eek!

  12. Suzanne says:

    I want this, very pretty!

  13. Rita O says:

    I just bought Shale last week too. I swatched both Shale and Satin Taupe and they actually looked similar to me, but I liked Shale better. It looks lovely on you. I would still consider myself a makeup newbie in certain aspects (especially eyeshadow) and I’m always blown away at how different one color can look on different people. I am nc30/nc35 and the color does not pop on me like it does on you. It is much more subtle on me.

  14. I have this but it looks different on me (a bit “duller”)! I think it’s definitely prettier on you 🙂
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Metallic Autumn Eyes with Le Metier de Beaute Chameleon & Spicy True Color Eye Shadows

  15. Ooh, this is really lovely – and I’ve never heard about or swatched it. I’ll definitely check it out the next time I’m at MAC!
    Emi at Project Swatch recently posted … A Discontinued Classic: Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque

  16. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE that… really love! I have a color by Stila that’s called Shell that is similar… but that is stunning!

  17. Nina says:

    Tabs x The Walking Dead? YES PLEASE!

    I really love Shale – its understated but really pretty and makes my brown eyes pop!

  18. Vonvon says:

    What a beautiful shade! I think i should have several dupes for ths lying around. Love this kind of purples! Tomorrow for work, I shall wear a similar color.

  19. Jax says:

    I love Shale, I bought several eye shadows that weren’t quite what I wanted, it was such a relief when Shale arrived in the post. If they ever discontinue it I’ll scream, then buy every pot I can find!

  20. Pamela M says:

    Gonna give shale another shot after reading this. And yes the walking dead is sooooo good this season. Love how the characters are always evolving, it keeps the show from being predictable. Team Rick!

  21. Karen says:

    This really is such a pretty color. I would like to try it but I’m really inept at using eyeshadow. Would you apply Shale directly to the eyelids or would you use a base color underneath it? Thanks 🙂

  22. Yay–so happy you Unsung Hero’d this one! It’s my absolute favorite MAC shadow and has been for years. I go through phases where I’ll wear it everyday for months and then I’ll give it a break and move on to something else, but I always come back to Shale in the end. Right now I’m in one of the periods where I’m wearing it a lot. I’ve been wearing it with a lot of Quarry (another favorite) and Naked Lunch. Love it!

    And OMG–Walking Dead has seriously been AMAZING so far this season. I’m so glad they got their groove back! I still enjoyed Season 2 but it definitely had nothing on Season 1.
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: NEW Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Rose and Canvas Review & Swatches

  23. Rosemary says:

    I love the eyeshadow! Definitely work appropriate. I think the lip color you have on goes well with the purple shade. What lipcolor are you wearing?

  24. Shale looks lovely on you! I always go for brighter, more vibrant colors and miss on out on the softer shades. Will check it out next time I head to MAC!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Skincare Wednesday : My Current Skin Care Routine

  25. Gaelle says:

    Karen, Karen, Karen… Now I want it!
    Is it really different from Chanel Fauve ?

  26. Tanvi says:

    What color lipstick are you wearing here? Looks really good with the eyeshadow.

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