MAC Unsung Heroes: Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

MAC Painterly Paint Pot

MAC Painterly Paint Pot ($20)

Please pardon my less-than-pristine pot of MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly. We’ve done a lot of lovin’ together over the past few years.

Painterly, a clean, classic nude beige with a matte finish, is one of my favorite cream eyeshadows in the MAC Paint Pot line. Mostly, I use it as an eyeshadow base or to even out my lid color by buffing a single layer of it on with a MAC 217 before some cat eyeliner and mascara.


I absolutely lurve the way it enhances other shadow colors when it’s worn as a base. It keeps other colors true to the way they look in their pans, which is a nifty trick. Products are also easy to blend on top of it, so when I’m doing a look with multiple colors and gradients, Painterly is almost always the base I grab.

MAC Painterly on NC42 skin

Painterly on my NC42 skin

On my (now, this time of year) slightly dry lids, Painterly lasts all day long without creasing, but if you have uber-oily lids, you might want to give it a hand by applying it atop a layer of NARS Pro-Prime or Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

I have found that I have to be careful about how much Painterly I use…because when I apply too much, it settles in some places more than others and ends up looking patchy.

Most of the time, I’ll buff a very thin layer on my lids with a MAC 217, and then, if the look is involved at all, dust a light layer of face powder directly on top. I think the powder evens the surface a bit more, making everything easier to blend.

I know a lot of gals, from fair to dark, NW and NC alike, who adore Painterly for its prowess as an eyeshadow base.


I have to admit — I was a skeptic at first. I mean, it’s lighter than my NC42 skin tone! — but it turns out, that only helps it enhance other colors. πŸ™‚

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, 18 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Pauline says:

    Yup, it’s an all time fave of mine too Karen. P.s i luv your blog x

  2. I’m a daily painterly user as well. I actually just purchased a Milani shadow stick in Almond Cream and it’s almost an identical color, in stick version! I have been using that the past couple days with good results. Just an FYI to share my product love!

  3. Natalie says:

    This is such a great trick! I have super oily lids but I should try this out with a primer under it. Gotta love reasons to visit MAC.


  4. Laure says:

    Now I need it. I already have the Constructivist paint pot, but this has convinced me on Painterly. Sadly, MAC is way expensive here… πŸ™
    I’ll just have to give it to myself or convince someone else to give it to me as a birthday present. πŸ˜‰
    Laure recently posted … Press | Illamasqua ‘s Halloween

  5. kim says:

    how do you feel about UD primer potion? I just switched to that after being a loyal shadow insurance user. I think i like the UD PP better though.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I love Painterly too! It’s my HG as eyeshadow primer cos I’ve got the oiliest eyelids. No eyeliner, no matter how longwearing, has withstood smudging without painterly on. Haven’t given Nars Pro-prime a try yet with eyeliners from Dior or MUFE. The Nars eyeliner w Pro-prime smudged on me in less than an hour.

  7. Isabelle says:

    I didn’t end up buying Painterly, but I got Soft Ochre instead. But a little voice inside my head keeps saying I should just get Painterly too πŸ˜‰

  8. I recently bought and fell in love with this myself! It’s very pink on me, like a dark pink brown. For reference, I’m about a NC10, just under a NC15. It looks great on it’s own as a relatively dark pink brown shadow for me. So easy to apply! And it does make a great primer under other colors, although I do feel it adds a bit of darkness to really light colors on me.

  9. Danielle says:

    I still am not completely sold on Painterly. Every time I use it, I think it’s just okay. Bare Study has been my everyday base lately.
    Danielle recently posted … Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil

  10. Aida says:

    lol that dance with Tabs is precious :))))

  11. Kari says:

    I recently discovered painterly. I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s an awesome base (I to was a skeptic).

  12. Lena says:

    happy friday! *well it’s saturday already in my part of the world*

    painterly disappears on my lids, so i can’t use it as eyeshadow, but as base it rocks! actually i prefer the mac paintpot as eyeshadow base opposed to the other products named as base.
    Lena recently posted … Refilling the Guerlain Rouge G Lipsticks

  13. The dancing pic is crazyy.. πŸ˜› :P.. the paint pots are really good… πŸ™‚

  14. Love the Tabby photo πŸ˜‰
    Marina(Makeup4all) recently posted … Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner Review

  15. Sarah says:

    Painterly has been in my stash for years… It was the first paint pot I ever tried and it has consistently remained my go-to lid primer & shadow base. I’ve had them all – Too Faced, UD, Lorac, Milani, etc. and I ALWAYS come back to Painterly. It’s the perfect lid perfecter for my veiny lids too, never creases or fades on me. One pot lasts forever. I take it for granted every day but it might be my most used, loved, and dependable makeup product!! Whoa.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I love this as well!!! It works to make colors pop underneath or is a quick wash of color on the lid with a bit of crease color for a good neutral look πŸ™‚

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