Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine Eye Shadow Palette

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Palettes




Why, makeup gods, WHY?!

I don’t understand… The Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine eyeshadow palette, one of four $40 MAC Times Nine palettes available now in the permanent collection and released with the Eyes on MAC collection, is soooooo my style. On paper, it has everything I usually want in a neutral eyeshadow palette. It has some matte brown transition shades; it has a sprinkling of sparkle and shimmer, thanks to the inclusion of a few shadows with Frost and Lustre finishes; and it has not one, but two of my favorite MAC eyeshadows of all time in Cork and Ricepaper.


All this for $40, which I considered a steal based on all of the looks I saw myself doing with it.

Then I delved in…

Mac Amber Times Nine Palette

Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine. Top row from the left: Don’t Tell, Ricepaper and Cozy Grey; middle row from the left: Aromatic, Creative Copper and Kitties; bottom row from the left: Pepper Please, Cork and Georgia Peach

Wearing the Mac Amber Times Nine Palette

Here I’m wearing Ricepaper, Don’t Tell, Cork, Aromatic and Pepper Please on my lids

When the four $40 MAC Eye Shadow x 9: Times Nine palettes launched a while back, it was with the more expensive $85 MAC Cool Neutral and Warm Neutral 15-pan palettes.

In addition to Amber Times Nine, there’s also a Purple Times Nine palette, Navy Times Nine and a Burgundy Times Nine, but yesterday I played with Amber.

The pans in these Times Nine palettes are smaller than regular full-size MAC eyeshadow pans (they’re about the size of my thumb, LOL!) and hold 0.02 ounces of powder, compared to 0.05 ounces in a standard $10 Pro Palette refill pan.

Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine gave me trouble…

This was my first time using one of MAC’s Times Nines, and while I was hoping to achieve neutral shadow nirvana with Amber, I didn’t. Seriously, what a letdown… I had so much trouble working with this palette.

The hard-packed shadows feel like concrete in their pans, and I have a tough time picking them up with either a brush or my fingers. Even the darker shades, which I expected to be more pigmented, apply disappointingly sheer. I have to layer and layer and layer some more to see them on my lids.

And the colors I know so well and love, like Cork and Ricepaper, are unlike the Cork and Ricepaper I’ve grown to love. I swear they’re sheerer here, and harder, and require more passes with my 217 to blend.


Mac Amber Times Nine Palette

Swatches from the left (for reference, I’m an NC42): MAC Cozy Grey, Kitties, Georgia Peach, Ricepaper and Creative Copper

mac amber times nine

Swatches from the left: MAC Cork, Don’t Tell, Aromatic and Pepper Please

After enough effort, I am able to build the colors up enough to see them on my lids, but it takes a lot of layers. You can definitely get there, but do you want to? — that’s the question. With so many other wonderful MAC shadows out there, is it worth the price and effort?

For me, I would say no. I haven’t used the other MAC Times Nine palettes yet, and I’ve still got high hopes for those, but I can’t recommend this one over one of the 15-pan palettes, like Cool Neutral or Warm Neutral, or the Nordstrom Naturals palette, despite all of them being considerably more expensive.

PRICE: $40 (one of four $40 MAC Times Nine palettes)
AVAILABILITY: Available now in the permanent collection at MAC counters, stores and online

The Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine palette includes…

  • Cozy Grey — a cool gray with a Matte finish
  • Kitties — a pale bronze with a Frost finish
  • Georgia Peach — a dirty, rosy pink with a Matte finish
  • Ricepaper — a shimmery, peachy gold with a Frost finish
  • Creative Copper — a light beige with a Lustre finish
  • Cork — a muted golden brown with a Satin finish
  • Don’t Tell — a sparkly brown with a Lustre finish
  • Aromatic — a dark brown with a Matte finish
  • Pepper, Please — a sparkly bronzed copper-brown with a Velvet finish

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 14 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sunny says:

    Ahhh what a bummer! I love the look you put together, although from reading the post I can see the palette is painful to work with. You’d think they’d just put the same pans from their permanent line-up and call it a day. In that case, it’d be SO pretty and worth the money!
    Sunny recently posted … On Giorgio Armani Senso Eye Tint, or How I Fell in Love with Reddish Browns

  2. Rachel R. says:

    That’s too bad. If the quality had been good, this would have been a great way to try MAC colors. I saw a couple reviews on the Navy, and it seemed pretty bad, too. I would be interested in the Purple and Burgundy, but I don’t have high hopes on the quality of those, either.

  3. Savannah says:

    Yeah, I swatched these in store when they first came out and they looked pretty disappointing… and the MA kept trying to push it on me but nope.

  4. Kwmechelle says:

    This is a bummer. I was kinda off-put by the smaller sizes & wasn’t sure if the warm colors would show up on my deep hue. What can I say? In the words of one of my friends, I’m like a Godiva shade of chocolate. 🙂

  5. Tigerlily says:

    Bummer this palette was a let-down, but it’s not what I wanted to comment on here… That cat eye flick!! Karen you look so beautiful in that picture it’s insane. Pinning it to try and re-create this delicate, polished and rejuvenating look later on.

  6. Lauren says:

    I’m happy you reviewed this because I have this palette also and thought I was going crazy when I mumbled to myself “whahh, I hate this!”

  7. Doh, bummer… Those swatches are underwhelming indeed.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Victoria’s Secret Pure Seduction, Secret Escape & Love Spell Body Butter

  8. Kim says:

    That’s definitely discouraging. I get that $40 is much less expensive than the $85 15-pans, but it’s still pretty pricey. Your review kind of reminds me of your comments on the brushes in the MAC travel sizes (they’re just not the same high quality as the full sized). Maybe MAC and minis don’t go together? 🙁 Anyway, I’m sorry you were disappointed in this.

  9. tirurit says:

    That is a major let down!

    I am also really curious as to what the price of these palettes would be over here… the 85$ cost 140€ here!!!! I think I am sticking to my single pans for now :X
    tirurit recently posted … New Mac brush: 135

  10. Maria says:

    I got the purpleX9 and thought I had lost my lust for purples….so glad I read this!

  11. Majick says:

    I SO love your honesty. I read a couple reviews of other colors and they really weren’t getting raves. I thought your review was the best though. (yes, yes I am sucking up) 😀

    Nah, I really like the way you describe “errthing”. YOu speak the way I do and I totally understand your nuances. I usually get a good feel for whether I’ll like a product or not after I read your blog.

    thank you and LOVE to Tabs!

  12. Am I the only one finding the shadows in palettes being of lesser quality than the ones sold separately? I am always disappointed.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Generous Gifts – Lipstick Queen Lipstick in “Saint Coral”

  13. Fancie says:

    I am SO glad I read this because the Amber and Purple palettes were on my list. Smh. MAC kills me releasing these subpar palettes. I don’t understand why the quality can’t be the same as the permanent pans. Especially considering MAC never goes on sale. It’s like you can never catch a good value with them. Ahh well. More money for other stuff!
    Fancie recently posted … On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

  14. Dalila says:

    You know you are the first person that I find is not in love with these palettes. I thought I was going crazy. I got the burgundy one and it was my first mac purchase besides one lone e/s. And I was not impressed at all. The lighter shades (poppyseed, quarry, and haux) dragged horribly and applied unevenly. Don’t even get me started on Honey Lust. I’ll have to do a review on these because there is just too much love out there for these palettes.

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