MAC Amber Lights Eyeshadow: Any Ideas for Color Combos?

Published in: MAC Makeup

mac cosmetics amber lights

Have you met MAC Amber Lights ($14.50)? She’s a shimmery peach and bronze eyeshadow from MAC’s permanent collection.

mac cosmetics amber lights swatch

Isn’t she lovely? πŸ™‚

Rose, one of the MAC makeup artists at my nearby MAC counter, suggested I pair her with a reddish brown eyeshadow like Folie or Handwritten in the crease and a black shade like Carbon on the outer lid.

Amber Lights has been around for a few years and has always had a lot of potential.

QUESTION: What colors should I pair with Amber Lights? Let’s brainstorm ideas in the comments.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Lily says:

    I don’t really do the crease/outer corner thing..since I have asian eyes…
    but I really like golds with purples complementary πŸ™‚
    how about “beauty marked” ? (MAC)

    Lily´s last blog post..In the Mood for Paint-ing.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Lily,

    I think I have Beauty Marked! How about Amber Lights as a wash with Beauty Marked as a liner?

  3. Thais says:

    How abour Amber lights on the lid, Woodwinked on the crease and outer 1/3 of the lid, cork on the outer V, and Ricepaper on the browbone?

  4. Erin says:

    Hey Karen!
    Amber Lights is actually my favorite MAC e/s of all time! My favorite way to wear it is with Solar White (from some collection last summer) in the inner corners and as a highlight and 100 Strokes (from BBR) in crease. Then I use some black liner on the waterline, if I were going out at night, maybe some black liquid liner on the upper lash line. I don’t know if you have either of these shadows, but it makes a really great look.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Erin,

      I have 100 Strokes — no Solar White, though. I’ll find something to replace it with. Can’t wait to try this look, too. My notebook filled with “looks to try” is quickly get filled up, yay!

      Oh, do you ever wear your night version of this look with false lashes? I bet it would look really pretty.

  5. Elle says:

    I love it with Mulch in the crease, and last summer a MA used it with Nocturnelle (she did this ‘sunset’-type look with it…she put Nocturnelle all over the lid and a pop of Amber Lights in the center…LOL not really a work look, but it turned out really cool!). πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elle,

      Oh, that sounds really pretty! I *might* have Nocturnelle around here some place (I think I might have it in a palette)… I hope I can find it.

      Mulch seems to go with everything, doesn’t it? It’s one hellavu workhorse shade.

  6. Sylvie says:

    I’d use amber lights as a wash, maybe a slightly darker gold like henna to define the crease and a sapphire blue as liner.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sylvie,

      A sapphire blue would pair perfectly with this shade. πŸ™‚

      Here’s today’s weather report for you: it’s slightly overcast with a breaks of sunshine here and there. How’s it on your end?

  7. Erin says:

    I actually haven’t tried this look with false lashes! I don’t usually wear them because I have really long lashes. The last time I wore them, I couldn’t even see a difference LOL.

  8. Trisha says:

    Hey Karen! Someone mentioned purples, and I definitely agree. Also, a nice green would be good. Emerald, perhaps?

    Trisha´s last blog post..5 Ways to Look More Beautiful Without Makeup

    • Karen says:

      Hi Trisha,

      Oh, girl… you know I loves me some greens. πŸ™‚ A friend of mine recently gave me a pan of Humid. Maybe I’ll try that with it!

  9. Elle says:

    I love Mulch! I wear it with so many shades, but my favorite one to wear it with is Honey Lust.

    Also, have you seen the new “Public Enemies” trailer yet? I’m psyched!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elle,

      Gah! I don’t have Honey Lust! Another one to add to the list…

      You know I’m team C. Bale, but Johnny D.’s looking pretty darn good. How does that man seem to not age? It’s totally not fair.

      Speaking of movies, this weekend I’m probably going to catch The Watchmen! El Hub’s been looking forward to it for months and I promised to be his date.

  10. Sylvie says:

    Hi Karen,

    Uh, it’s pretty much the same weather here, except maybe less sunshine, I guess. Actually, the only reason why I care about the weather forecast here is to know what the maximum temperature is so I can wear the right socks, take the right coat/jacket and if there’s going to be sun (which determines what blush I’m wearing). So today pretty much meant a matte shadow (which is Mocha for me, I only have one matte).

    Anyway, gold and sapphire blue and a neutral frosty lip (some kind of bronzed shade).

  11. Karen B says:

    Amber Lights. Oh, I want, I need, I crave. hehe. Greens would look fabulous with it I think (and you know I love me some greens too)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen B,

      Hee! I think it would look great with your new hair. You could totally do a wash and then pop some green liner on the top lash line. Maybe some false lashes, too! Va-va-voom, lady!

  12. Elle says:

    Hi Karen (again!),

    I know a lot of people are kinda mixed on Honey Lust (I know on MakeupAlley the words “glitter bomb” have been tossed around), but I personally love it. I just take a bit of it on my 239 and tap of the excess. It makes me look more awake, and I love it with Mulch and Rubenesque paint pot. Super easy.

    I’m convinced Depp has sold his soul to the devil to still be THAT attractive. For serious. 21 Jump Street was a long time ago and I still think he doesn’t look all that different! Maybe the whole ‘being really nice to fans’ thing is also a factor. πŸ˜‰

    Ooh, “The Watchmen” looks pretty cool! Let us know what you thought of it. I’m thinking it will be a great summer for movies–with the C Bale/J Depp fest, the C Bale Terminator, Wolverine, and Ewan McGregor in “Angels and Demons”, I’m going to be a happy camper. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elle,

      I’m trying to build up my MAC permanent eyeshadows (I get so distracted by the LEs, LOL!) so Honey Lust is now on the list! πŸ™‚

      Seriously, what the heck is J. Depp doing that keeps him looking so daymn fine? Even his HAIR still looks good, LOL!

      I have been a long time Terminator series fan so I think the C. Bale movie will be interesting. I just want something, anything, to erase the memory of the last movie in the franchise (the one with Claire Danes).

      I didn’t know Ewan was going to be in Angles and Demons! That should be interesting!

  13. Christina says:

    Amber Lights and Embark were my first two e/s from MAC. That was when I only did the 2 shadow combo. =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christina,

      I hear that! Sometimes I’ll bust out a few pans and my friends will be like, “Uh, does one person need *that* many colors?” Um, YES!

      Thanks for sharing your combo. I’ll give that one a go, too!

  14. YadiQ says:

    i think green and blues would look fab

    honestly this is a very universally friendly color for combos !

    the mac artists combo would be really sultry looking !!

    getting ready for the trip i leave tomorrow at 6:00 am

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Sylvie,

    I hear ya. The weather plays a big part in my choice of outerwear and footwear, too. Can’t be caught in a deluge with suede pumps, right?

    Hmm, for a neutral frosty lip I think I’m going to try What A Do! and Soft Wave from the BBR release. I’m guessing that’ll do nicely for a neutral, bronze, frosty lip. πŸ™‚

  16. Karen says:

    Hi YadiQ,

    YAY! You deserve a vacation! I’m so excited for you. πŸ™‚

    So, what have you packed in your makeup bag?

  17. YadiQ says:

    i packed black kat von d liquid liner, my 2 UD palettes urban ammo and the deluxe shadow palette, my tiny exceptionel sample, and my chanel powder also a sample of bifacil makeup remover!

    luckily i have small sample sizes of all of chanels and jurliques creams and thats what i plan to use while away lol i always hoard samples for 2 reasons a. i think their packaging is cute and b. you never know when they will save your life !

    i am also packing along our tried and true aerosoles sandals ( the ones you have in yellow – i have em in black!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Yadi,

      Ha! I do the same thing! It’s much easier than bringing the entire tubes or having to transfer the product to smaller packaging. During my last trip I ended up using a ton of Chanel samples that I had lying around.

      I find I often end up bringing Clinque stuff too — they always have the most generously sized GWPs.

      I hope you rock out the color during this trip. πŸ™‚ Oh, and yay, you’re bringing our sandals, too. Don’t you love how they go with everything?

  18. Katie says:

    I bet amber lights would look fabulous with expensive pink and mulch

    Katie´s last blog post..MAC Hello Kitty Kouture releases March 5 !!!!

  19. britt says:

    Amber Lights, Antiqued and Coppering…just try it. Such a pretty look and reminds me of the warmth of fall!

  20. Joy says:

    I like wearing amber lights on the lid with cranberry on the crease. There is a sweet tutorial on it on youtube by aboywearing makeup:

    Joy´s last blog post..Happy 18th Birthday.

  21. Shefali says:

    Hey Karen! OMG I love Amber Lights. Here’s what I do with it:

    Amber Lights all over lid and a little in the crease. Cranberry in the crease. Motif as a highlight. Black liner all the way around. It’s rich and GORGEOUS!

  22. Mikele says:

    I’ve had Amber Lights for a while and never use it. I’m taking notes now! πŸ™‚

    My mom and friends see the three bags of makeup I tote back and forth and ask why I have so much too.. Glad to know I’m not alone in the hoarding!! LOL

  23. lexi says:

    Hi Karen!
    my other sister bought this just because Jessica Alba swears by it – whatever – Jessica Alba looks good with no makeup on wearing a paperbag! That being said I should pick this shade up!

    i would probably pair this with shadowy lady or sketch for contrast in the V. I’m all about doing the corners only vs. entire crease as you can tell.

    happy Thursday – aren’t you glad it’s almost Friday?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lexi,

      I am big into the corner only action too. Sometimes I’ll try to do a darker crease, but it’s rare.

      SO GLAD it’s almost Friday! Do you have plans yet for the weekend? If it’s sunny I will probably do some house hunting.

  24. Daya says:

    I love Amber Lights! What about a peachy color like Evening Aura?? I’m wearing that today with Woodwinked and a color similar to Henna/Sumptous Olive. It reminds me of Fall πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daya,

      Oh! I don’t have Evening Aura but it sounds like it has potential. I can never get enough peachy shades.

      Your eye look today sounds really pretty. πŸ™‚

  25. victoria says:

    me too. i wore this for fall, amber light all over the lid, cranberry on the outter v, embark or folie to define the crease. i used to like honey lust but i hated the fall out so it was replaced by amber lights which is buttery.

  26. Kathleen says:

    Amber Lights looks amazing with Ingenue Blue or any other medium – dark teal. It also looks amazing with greens, like Humid. It’s so versatile!

    Kathleen´s last blog post..FOTD February 18th, 2009

  27. Sheryl says:

    Try this color with courdoroy in the crease or brun in crease. Also arena looks great with the above colors in the crease. Really makes eye color pop!!!

  28. El says:

    I wear Amber Lights as a wash w/ Cranberry in the crease and Handwritten in the outer V to darken the crease

  29. camille says:

    Amber Lights is one of the those colors that can shine on it’s own (depending on your completion) or can be bomb if paired with the right complements. I would suggest Cranberry (inner lid), Antiqued (corner), Swiss Chocolate (crease), Folie (crease), Embark (crease or corner), Sketch (corner), maybe Blackberry (corner). For a lid highlight, I would suggest Orb or maybe Vanilla.

    That’s just my two cents.

  30. rex says:

    i am wearing ‘amber lights’ on my lid today, with ‘texture’ in the crease. i also have a bit of ‘handwritten’ on my lash line. it’s a really pretty and low-key look!

  31. Destiny says:

    I am going to be a traitor and say Nars Galapagos. I use mostly MAC, but I really think these two would look nice together. I think it has a little more oomph than mulch.

  32. Melissa says:

    I’ve been an amber lights girl for a long time. I usually pair it nylon on the brow bone.

  33. Thais says:

    Hey Karen, I actually meant Mulch on the outer V, not cork. Mulch is a darker brown with a bit of shimmer. I think it will look better with Mulch!

  34. Retrofox says:

    Hey Karen : D!
    Amber Lights is one of my favs! I like applying Indianwood pp all over my lid, adding Amber Lights to the middle of my lid, and the placing Contrast on my inner and outer lid. Blend them a little and you have a beautiful smokey eye with a pop!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Retrofox,

      I love a good smokey eye! I have Indianwood PP but I don’t have Contrast (boo!). I’ll see what I have on hand and try to find a nice dupe.

      What cheeks and lips do you usually do with this look?

  35. El says:

    Britt that combination sounds nice. How do you apply? Is Amber Lights a wash with Antiqued and Coppering in the crease?

  36. mahalia says:

    I use amber lights over indianwood paint pot. With bronze on my inner crease and knight devine in my outer v for a smokey look (im an nw45) and it works wonders.
    Amber lights can go either way for a dramatic look or for a bright daytime eye.

  37. sarahPUFFY! says:

    Try a hunter green or purple in the crease. They work beautifully with warm colours like AL.


  38. Redhead says:

    OOH! I would do a bronze/brown/gold smokey eye!! πŸ˜€ I LOVE bronzes.You need Bare Canvas paint, Sable, Shroom, Amber Lights, Brun, Embark, and Romp eyeshadows, Engraved powerpoint eyeliner, black Mascara X, a coordinating brow pencil/powder, Style powder blush, and Lovely Dove plus Long Stem Rose Slimshines.
    Apply Bare Canvas from lashline to browbone for a shimmery champagne base. Use Shroom on the browbone to highlight. Dust Sable all over lid, and apply Amber Lights on the inner lid and around the tearduct. Put Romp on the middle and outer lid, and darken the outer lid with a light dusting of Embark. Emphasize the crease with Embark and add depth to the eyes by blending it up from the crease with a large, fluffy blender brush, like the 217. Line your eyes with Engraved Powerpoint Pencil on the top and bottom lashlines, making the lines thicker as you reach the outer eye. Smudge the liner with Brun and Embark using MAC’s pencil brush. Apply two coats of Mascara to the top lashes only, and fill, color, and shape the brows with your pencil/powder. Apply Style blush on the apples of cheeks, and finish this look my mixing Lovely Dove and Long Stem Rose slimshines and applying it on the lips. Voile, now we have a gold/bronze/pink FOTD! πŸ˜€

  39. Bj says:

    I’ve got amber lights too, love it. This may sound nuts, but every now and then, usually just for night but i’ve done it in daytime too. Use a bronzer brush, use your normal bronzer then take a quick dab of this and bam instant glam shimmer. It gives a kind of monochromatic look, when paired using it shadow too.

  40. Nadrah says:

    Ooh Karen, I’ve been lusting after Amber Lights for so long! You’re tempting me to get it! I think I have a similar colour – Nyx golden pearl eyeshadow. I still want this colour though πŸ˜€ It would look great with Coppering- one of my favourites!

  41. cheapfreak says:


  42. Apple Diva says:

    Amber Lights plays nice with Twinks, Cranberry, Antiqued… Smoke it out Brown Down.

    Apple Diva´s last blog post..Beauty Bubble : The 13 Worst Mascaras

  43. Nikki says:

    I use amber lights with a dark chocolate brown e/s as crease πŸ™‚

    Nikki´s last blog post..Askmewhats Reviews: Clinique Super Defense SPF25 Age Defense Moisturizer

  44. laurie says:

    I have had amber lights forever. Try it with some green tones, like humid. One of my go to’s is;
    amber lights on lid. buff it to soften, humid as a liner or outer corner and finish it off with schroom. not the most original. you could also smoke the eye using femme noir.

  45. Jaimie says:

    I love amberlights, i use it with browns also. It looks FAB over Indianwood paintpot

    Jaimie´s last blog post..Steal – A This Stila! – Kajal Eyeliner

  46. sunehra says:

    My absolutely FAVORITE MAC eyeshadow!!!!! This one is so gorgeous, I tend to leave it alone for it’s full glory. I do put a paint pot underneath it and maybe some goldmine on the lid.

  47. Heidi says:

    Hey Karen, since you are a MAC expert I thought you could help me with my eyeshadow hunt. I’m on the lookout for a taupey/golden/bronzey shadow. I usually mix the colors to achieve the desired effect, but I want a pot of my ideal color. Are there any mac shadows that fit the description? lol. I’m sorry if it’s vague but that’s the best way to explain it. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heidi,

      Hmm… can you give me an idea of what sort of skin tone you have? I can think of a bunch of shadows that have the elements you want individually right off the top of my head, but I will have to think about if there’s one that encompasses all those colors. Right now I’m thinking Sable, which shows up as a gold/bronze/dark brown kinda taupe on me but I don’t know if it might be too dark on you.

  48. Rinslet says:

    Hi! First time commenting, but long time lurker.

    I love amber lights, even just on its own, but with my skin tone (nc35 mac), it also looked good with Star Violet. Like half amber lights (inner part of the eyelid) amber lights and the outer half star violet. πŸ™‚

    Rinslet´s last blog post..The collection thus far.

  49. Marisol says:

    Amber Lights on the inner half/corner of your lid & Cranberry on the outer. Put that with either a cooler taupe brown like Satin Taupe in the crease or a warm golden brown (my preference)& blend Amber Lights & Cranberry up into it. Line with Black OR Brown depending on if you want a more defined or smokier look. Stunning either way!
    Amber Lights: Looks wonderful worn as a lid color with Cranberry in the crease for “sunset” eyes or Mulch for warm “exotic” sultry eyes.

    I got these combos from this site. Not sure if you know about it.

    Marisol´s last blog post..Resolutions update: February

  50. Shefali says:

    Hi Karen! OMG, Cranberry is awesome. You will love it.

    My Motif totally has a dent. I use it all the time as a highlighter…it’s like an iridescent peachy gold. You gotta check it out. It’s great for our skin tone.

  51. Heidi says:

    I’m Korean and I have light skin with yellow-ish undertones. A lot of bronze and gold shadows have too much yellow or orange in them.

  52. *jen says:

    HI, Karen,

    I love Tempting with everything, and Amber Lights is no exception! Use AL all over the lid, Tempting on the outer 1/3 and in crease. You can always add Carbon in the extreme corner for extra dimension.

    Another fave is melon and AL, if you can get that combo to work with your coloring. Sometimes it’s quite frightful. πŸ™‚

    I also like AL with dark taupes/grays or even deep dark purples.

    Have fun. It’s nice to see you so excited about a product!



  53. *jen says:

    Hey, PS:

    If you’re looking for other “workhorse shades” like Mulch, try Tempting (my favorite!) and Saddle.

    Saddle works as a great bridge color (to take lid/crease shade to skin or fair shadows) on ANY skintone. It’s great with a smokey eye to make sure the darkness doesn’t just end abruptly. Saddle is the best tip I ever got from another MAC artist. πŸ˜‰

    Tempting goes with ANYTHING – it’s gorgeous but surprisingly neutral. And ’tis coming out in special packaging soon, too! πŸ™‚ I can use Tempting with crazy colors like Bitter (also coming out soon, repromoted) or nice subtle colors. VERRRRY versatile and universally flattering. This is the color I use to help me try a “scary” color I don’t think I can pull off.

  54. Selena says:

    Def Cranberry. I tried the two together and love them. Recession crunch-did not buy:(, but will one day.

  55. rex says:

    i used a light dusting of stila’s ‘kitten’ on the browbone. it’s my go-to brow color for when i’m doing any kind of bronzy eye.

  56. Liliana says:

    well i like to combine MAC Humid on the lid then MAC Sable on the crease and on top of Sable a little bit of MAC Amber lights just enough to make it noticeable then cover the rest of the eye with a shimmery MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow DUO in Family Silver(the lighter color)

  57. Rinslet says:

    I actually don’t remember right now if I do use amber lights /star violet with eyeliner, since it’s been a month since I last tried that look and I’m pretty random with eyeliner application. Hee sorry.

    Rinslet´s last blog post..The collection thus far.

  58. rex says:

    augh! i meant ‘wheat’ on the brow bone. that’s what i get for typing before i’ve had any coffee!

  59. rex says:

    augh! i meant ‘wheat’ on the brow bone. that’s what i get for typing before i’ve had any coffee!

  60. Karen B says:

    Oooh, great idea πŸ™‚
    By the way, I finally got my paws on some of Chanel’s Bohemian Fantasy collection, it was released in Sweden this week πŸ™‚
    I was going to go for the quad and the plummy single eyeshadow but they both looked drab on me… So weird. But I did get Vendetta nailpolish (this is my holy grail colour, for real!!) and Gipsy Scarlett lipstick. I wore both to a party tonight, I don’t have a picture yet but there will be pictures soon πŸ™‚

  61. Kirsty says:

    Amber Lights was one of my first and still one of my most loved MAC shadows. I wear it on the inner 2/3 of the eye with MAC Bronze on the outer 1/3 and in the crease, Stila Nude to the brow, and then a bronze liner topped with Broze glitter liner (TF Bronze Bombshell topped with UD Baked Heavy Metal liner in my case). Its my go to ‘wow’ bronze eye, but is so simple to do.

  62. holly says:

    amber lights with mulch as the outer crease definitely.i weaqr it all the time its gorgeous

  63. jigisha says:

    try amber lights with rule. looks superb.

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