How to Get the Most Bounce for Your Buck from the New MAC Big Bounce Shadows

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

Do you remember flubber? It was a rubber-like, super bouncy substance created by an absent-minded professor in 1961. Actually, by THE Absent-Minded Professor in the Disney movie of the same name. I suspect MAC might have lured the professor out of retirement to help them develop the upcoming MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 each) because, like flubber, they’re also quite bouncy and unusual.


The rich colors don’t feel like anything I’ve ever felt before. Think dense whipped cream, if that makes any sense, and when I tap the pans with a finger, I can actually feel them bouncing back in a very cool, weird way.

Hopefully these 16 shadows with metallic and/or pearl finishes are easier to corral than flubber was. Getting that stuff to stay put was almost impossible, but these shadows are supposed to bounce onto counters May 5 as part of the new MAC Flighty collection.

For help getting the most bounce from these beauties, I turned to one of my favorite MAC senior artists, Romero Jennings (are you following him on Twitter?).

MAC Senior Artist Romero Jennings

So if you’re ready, let’s bounce! πŸ™‚

1. Be firm

While you could use any eyeshadow brush to apply the Big Bounce Shadows, Romero suggests using something with firm, stiff bristles like the MAC 242 Shader Brush ($24.50). A firm brush should give you more control than a fluffier, softer brush like the MAC 217 ($22.50). “And this way you can buff it out with the same brush,” he adds. Just buff with the edge of the head along any harsh lines.

2. Tap, tap, tap (or bounce, bounce, bounce)

What’s the best way to apply these Big Bounce Shadows? By tapping/patting/bouncing them onto your lids with the MAC 242. It helps distribute them evenly. And try to avoid swirling the brush or swiping it side to side like a windshield wiper, which tends to just push the product around. Romero says you can probably get away with skipping an eyeshadow primer, since the Big Bounces have a great grip and should last all day long.

Four of the 16 MAC Big Bounce Shadows from left to right: Count Your Assets, Spread the Wealth, Black Diamond and Rich Thrills

3. Work fast!

Time is of the essence! The Bounces were designed to dry quickly — within seconds! So, if the phone rings while you’re working on your eye makeup, you might want to let it go to voicemail, LOL! Because once these dry, they don’t budge.

As for drying in their pans, MAC made the packaging air-tight to keep the shadows moist.

4. Put out the welcome matte

Here’s one way to work these into your regular routine: apply them first as a base, and then pat a matte shadow directly on top. “This is a trick that I love, LOVE doing,” Romero says, “especially if someone is going out in the evening…”

Black Diamond

The matte shadow tones down the Bounce shadow’s shine, making it more appropriate for the workplace, but yet still letting some of the shimmer shine through. “What happens is at the end of the day, say you’re ready to leave work — the shadow that’s on top wears away slightly, and the metallic comes through even more!”

Romero recommends taupey matte MAC Omega Eyeshadow ($14.50). He says it works with all of the shadows in the Big Bounce line.

5. Clothes the loop

Sometimes I like to match my outfits to my eyeshadow, but with bold finishes like these, it’s easy to go overboard. Romero recommends choosing a complementary color instead. Being too matchy-matchy with metallic/pearl shadows could lead to stimulus overload, especially if the colors are super bright.

If you’re wearing a blue top, consider going with a purple shadow like Luxury Touch. Or, play it even safer, and reach for a neutral shade like creamy golden Impeccably Rich. Then, tie the look together with your favorite blue mascara.

6. Draw the line (softly)

If you like the look of soft, blurred eye liner, try applying one of the Big Bounce Shadows along your lash lines with an angled brush like the MAC 266 ($19.50).

Spread the Wealth

Spread the Wealth on eyes


7. Two to tango

With 16 shadows to choose from, choosing the right Big Bounce can be a challenge. Here are two of Romero’s favorites: Luxury Touch (a lavender with golden pearl) and Spread the Wealth (an olive with golden pearl).

Romero says he’s been using Luxury Touch a lot at fashion shows. It’s a very agreeable shade, and he likes to pair it with MAC Orb Eyeshadow ($14.50), a soft peachy beige. And golden olive Spread the Wealth should look great sitting atop a spring/summer tan.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Unfortunately, it looks like the Big Bounce Shadows ARE limited edition, so if you see something you like, you might want to pounce on it directly!


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. LDVBlog says:

    This was so well written. Geesh! Now I want to buy the brushes too… lol.

  2. Vijaya says:

    You always have the most ridiculously helpful posts, Karen! Thank you!
    Vijaya recently posted … Lazy Sunday- Linnaeus Cosmetics Sample Comparison

  3. amy says:

    Luxury Touch looks very pretty. I would love to check these out mostly for their novelty factor. The texture looks very frothy! There seems to be some conflicting information about these Big Bounce shadows, some say they are permanent and some say they are limited.

  4. Tekoa says:

    They seem a bit complicated (more than Paint Pots anyway) but I’d like to get Spread the Wealth for the novelty factor. Its my curious nature. I’m like a cat, I have to check everything out. What does Tabs do when confronted with an empty bag?

  5. Jessi says:

    I think these are too high maintenance for me. I was hoping they would be like Benefit’s creaseless creams in vibrant colors. πŸ™
    Jessi recently posted … A Few More Zoya Nail Polish Swatches

  6. Josie says:

    These do seem tricky to work with but i don’t think i can resist skipping some of those shades! This post made me feel a bit better about these so maybe there is still hope! πŸ™‚

  7. Terri says:

    Thanks for the tips! I don’t know if I have the skills or patience for these, but I will definitely check them out.

  8. Nellie says:

    These tips seem to be at odds with how these shadows actually function from everything I’ve heard (including from MAC MUAs I know who have played with them).

    They are certainly not “quick-drying” (almost a minute of dry time for a thin layer does not equal quick in my book!). These also apparently melt right off and crease unless they are set with powder, so I don’t see how they would work as an eyeliner, either, or even as a wash of color.

    I guess I just don’t get the point of sheer bases that have to be set with powder — it seems like an unnecessary second step.

    All in all, a disappointing product. I know I won’t be trying them — I doubt they’ll work in the Texas heat on my oil lids even with primer! πŸ™

    • Karen says:

      Hmm, I actually really like these.

      They seem to dry pretty fast on me, and I don’t have to set with a powder to get them to stay. I have oily lids and I don’t have an issue with creasing or with the product melting off. I think a lot of it has to do with technique… if you have the right brush and application then they work really well. I say give ’em a chance before you write them off. You never know if you’ll like something…

      • Nellie says:

        Your piece is, I think, the first positive experience I’ve heard for these shadows. πŸ˜€ Awesome that you can make them work — great to hear that somebody likes these!

        These are a big skip for me — too much work when there are so many spectacular cream and liquid products out there that aren’t so finicky. But given the bad buzz, I expect there will be plenty at CCOs in the fall, so I may try one then. πŸ™‚ I do more layering for eye looks when it gets cooler here, so season-wise, it could work better for me. Thanks for the review!

  9. Nina says:

    this is probably the reason fior my obsession w/ matte eyeshadows — because big bounce is coming out.

    im a huge cream base user – i use one everyday because i feel like it keeps my eyeshadows on longer. the big bounce will be a welcome addition to my cream eyeshadow fambam! πŸ™‚

  10. Tracy says:

    Boy, I can hardly wait for these!!!! I have been so excited about a MAC product in a long time! Thanks for the awesome tips!
    Tracy recently posted … Im Going To Get CLEAN

  11. Liz! says:

    I’m so excited to try these πŸ™‚

  12. Kaitlyn says:

    I really want Luxury Touch badly. It seems like it could be very versatile on many skin tones.
    Kaitlyn recently posted … A wolf in unicorns clothing – Doe Deere

  13. Beatrice says:

    I’m so excited for these! They seem so cool, like instant rocker edge in a bottle. UGH! GEORGEOUS! @3@
    Beatrice recently posted … Mabeliene One By One Volum Express Waterproof Mascara Review

  14. Nicki says:

    I think I want these…yup. I want these.

  15. The texture totally hooks me in! By your description, these sound a lot like the KATE gel eyeshadows. I want to go visit them in store now xD
    Makeup Morsels recently posted … Beauty Blog Link Love 4-24-11

  16. Karen, are they anything like the bouncy Benefit Stay There eye shadows–the ones named after doggies?
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … Saks Fifth Avenue Friends &amp Family Sale

  17. Maya says:

    Great post Karen. Incredibly helpful.

  18. karo says:

    WOW! great post Karen,I like it!
    And I want all of them!!!
    karo recently posted … AMU BLUE SMOKEY EYES

  19. Kim says:

    These poor things would be a disaster in my hands! They’re super nice looking and I definitely want to check out the texture because it sounds so cool. It’ll probably be safest if I just stick to swatching on my hand, though. πŸ™‚

  20. Aileen says:

    Another great article, wonder if they are available in Ireland. Anyone know?

  21. Vonvon says:

    I thought these are going to be added to the permanent line?
    Vonvon recently posted … A-Blush-A-Day- No 3- MAC Pink Cult Powder Blush – Swatches &amp Review

  22. AMY says:

    Love MAC Big Bounce …Great Post!

  23. Rae says:

    I was totally against these big bounce shadows, reading all the reviews and posts i figured I’d pass them up, it didn’t seem like anything I would like, THEN I went to my local MAC counter and tried one on ( Sizzling Diva) and I was shocked at how easily it applied and how nice it looked without liner. I bought it immediately, I applied a small amount with my fingers and created a simple look that took me 2 mins. Using 2 colors, it’s great to use when you have no time to really blend colors etc, like if you woke up late for work but didn’t want to skip on your makeup. I absolute LOVE these, now, I’m Definitely going to pick up more before they are discontinued!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge