An Easy Everyday Neutral Look With MAC Permanent Products (and Pics of My New ‘Do)

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), MAC Makeup

MAC Soft Brown, Sable Brownscript, Texture, Sketch

You can’t go wrong with MAC neutrals…

The new hair!

And the neutral look I wore all weekend. πŸ™‚


First off, the hair. Remember how I couldn’t decide whether to keep the lighter brown and caramel highlights or go darker for fall?

Well, I was still waffling when I sat down in the chair on Saturday morning, but then I showed this pic of Megan Fox to Kelli, one of the fabulous colorists at A-Line salon in Corte Madera (they get five stars on Yelp), and we started brainstorming ideas.

I came this close to not changing the color at all, but then I asked Kelli, “What would you do if you had free reign?”

She thought about it a minute, looked again at the pic of Megan Fox, and said, why don’t we make your roots closer to your natural color, change the current light brown to a dark chocolate, and darken your highlights? She thought that going dark would frame my face and be a fun look for fall.


MAC Deep Brunette Veluxe Brow Pencil (eyebrows); and Clarins Be Long Mascara (upper and lower lashes)

Brows and lashes: MAC Deep Brunette Veluxe Brow Pencil (on my brows, of course) with Anastasia Brow Gel, and Clarins Be Long Mascara (on my upper and lower lashes)

I feel like a completely different person with dark hair!

And I kindasorta love it…

It’s fun to switch things up, ya know? It’s a really easy way to change your outlook.

Deep thoughts on hair…

If you’re ever feeling hair adventurous, but you can’t figure out what kind of cut/color you want, ask your stylist, “What would you do with my hair if you could do whatever you want?”

You don’t have to go with their suggestion, but it’s a good conversation starter and gets the creative juices flowing. Of course, it always helps when you know and trust your stylist and feel comfortable with them. I don’t know if I’d try this with someone new, but it depends… Sometimes you just know, you know? When there’s a good vibe?

Speaking of changes, I took a break last weekend from the vampire makeup I’ve been rocking lately (smokey eyes, dark lips and catwalk brows) and wore this soft neutral look mostly using MAC permanent collection products.

Dolce & Gabbana Blush in Peach (cheeks), Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze Bronzing Powder in 40 (under my cheekbones to contour) and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal (my upper cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and my cupid's bow)

Face makeup: Dolce & Gabbana Blush in Peach (cheeks), Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze Bronzing Powder in 40 (again beneath my cheekbones to contour) and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal (my upper cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and my cupid’s bow)

I love so many of MAC’s permanent colors…especially the warm browns. Brown Script, Soft Brown, Texture… Seriously, the list could go on for days.

MAC’s probably most famous for their crazy-@ss colors, but there’s some wonderful wearable neutrals in their permanent line (especially the browns and beiges).

MAC Soft Brown, Brownscript, Sable, Arena, Texture, Sketch

Eyes: MAC Soft Brown (crease), Brown Script (outer crease), Sable (lid), Arena (brow bone and inner corner), Texture (lower lash line) and Sketch (lower lash line) eyeshadows; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (water lines and upper lash line) and Urban Decay Smoke Out Eyeshadow from the Vice Palette (upper lash line, layered directly on top of liner to soften the effect)

If you’re new to MAC’s neutrals and need a good place to start, check out Soft Brown, Soba, Cork, Brown Script, Saddle, Texture, Wedge, Woodwinked and Shroom.


Those are some of my picks. Now how about yours? What are your favorite MAC neutrals, and how do you wear ’em?

Yes, I’ll take any excuse to try another pan of brown eyeshadow. πŸ˜€

No, really, I will.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Laure says:

    Rocking the neutral look! I love it! And your hair stylist was totally right, the dark hair really frames your face and adds something warm and sweet to your look.

    PS I was wondering which neutral MAC eyeshadows you would recommend to a girl with long medium brown hair, blue eyes and very pale (pinktoned) skin?
    Laure recently posted … Personal | Edinburgh: Royal McGreggor

  2. Barbara says:

    You hair are getting longer and longer comparing to your old posts and pictures. I like that color on you, really great for autumn.
    BTW my cat name is Smolimo, Smoli in short, or just Γ’β‚¬ΛœsssssssssssssssÒ€ℒ souns will do.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Barbara,

      Oh gosh, it’s because I haven’t had a hair cut in MONTHS. I’m really overdue. I wanted to get a trim last weekend but didn’t have time, unfortunately. My roots needed more attention, so color it was! πŸ™‚

      Aww, what a cute kitty name! How long have you two been together? Tabs and I are coming up on our 7 year anniversary this summer.

  3. Heidi says:

    LOVING the hair! The color is so great for fall.

    Speaking of neutral MAC shadows, today I’m wearing Arena all over the lid, Swiss Chocolate in the crease, and Mulch on the outer third of the lid and worked up into the crease. It’s one of my go-to looks.

  4. Icaria says:

    Oooh the were some good vibes!!! The color is amazing and super tempting. The makeup = love! You look sexayy! πŸ™‚

  5. Agata says:

    Your hair looks absolutely stunning. And it is so peefect for fall. I also love your top! And I think I need Sable eyeshadow. With so many MAC collections coming out all the time I never get to appreciate all the goodies from their permanent collection.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Agata!

      The top is by H&M, btw. Oh, I keep meaning to ask if you ever picked up any of the necklaces at Target! I saw them last weekend and saw so many cute ones. I will have to go back and pick up one (or two).

      • Agata says:

        Oh I need to check that top out! I haven’t made it back to Target yet. I still want to get those necklaces, or just one and I still want those boots from Target!

  6. Alison M says:

    I’m definitely feeling the red on you. I think the darker hair plays up the darkness of your eyes more and I love it. I don’t color my hair, but I’m new to having it cut. It’s been 8 months since my last trim because I’m afraid to go in. 1) I’m weak and can imagine myself having the stylist cut it all off again and 2) I can’t figure out where to go. Suggestions on how to find a stylist when none of your real life friends see one?
    Alison M recently posted … Tarte LipSurgence Lip Luster in Achiote Review and Swatches

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alison,

      Check out and search for hair salons/stylists in your area. That’s how I found A-Line. Also, if you’re out and about and you see someone with hair that you like, stop them and ask who they go to! I’ve done that before. πŸ™‚

  7. Barbie says:

    Omg! the dark hair looks amazing on you!

  8. Aida says:

    I love the new hair, Karen! You look gorgeous!

  9. Erica says:

    You look fabulous. Your hair color warms up your face – sexy and sultry for Fall/Winter. I’m a chocolate girl (NC 50/55) and Mac’s Sable is my absolute favorite Mac e/s. It’s my go to lid color when I’m indecisive. My other Mac favorites are Cork, Swiss Chocolate, Texture, Antiqued and Brown Down. My all time favorite brown is Nars Galapagos. Thanks to your blog, I’ve fallen in love with some great makeup!

  10. Wow u look great with reddish dark hair! Makes me want to go darker too πŸ™‚
    Katrina Guevarra recently posted … Coral Makeup Tutorial

  11. Ruchita says:

    Love your hair and makeup. Gorgeous! It’s so nice having a stylist you can trust with your hair. πŸ™‚

  12. Sasha says:

    Karen, your new hair & fall look is stunning!!!

    It’s lovely to know I’m not the only one who loves boring old neutral shadows! πŸ˜€ My faves are (all Mac) Brule for the brow bone, Wedge on the lid, Swiss Chocolate in the crease, Espresso for outer v (if I feel like it!) followed by Carbon to set my eyeliner.

    Phew, that was a long list!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sasha,

      Thank you so much!

      You’re the second person to mention Swiss Chocolate today. I don’t have it, but now I’m starting to believe I need it in my life.

  13. Natalie says:

    You look beautiful! I once said that to my stylist and got straight across, blunt bangs. I loved them! But the upkeep ended up being kind of a pain, so I’m in the process of growing them out now.

    I love MAC patina. I think its such a unique color.
    Happy Monday!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Natalie,

      Oh, I love blunt bangs. They are so chic! You’re right, though. They are high maintenance. Were yours itchy? Mine itched like CRAZY the first two weeks.

  14. Shannon says:

    Love love LOVE the hair. ho man. And those neutrals are pretty kick-ass, too πŸ™‚ I need to venture into a MAC store at some point to stock up on some pretty browns… my only worry is that I would never manage to leave!

  15. Maggie says:

    The hair color looks fantastic. Can really see those red tones and such a great transition into fall. =)

  16. Love the darker hair on you! I am growing my natural color out and while my husband likes my hair lighter, I love the deeper natural blonde tones of my real hair color. The best part about new hair is how your makeup changes with it.
    Lisa @ Lisa Living Well recently posted … {GIVEAWAY} Back-to-school with Gardein

  17. Amanda says:

    Beautiful! I’m having a MAC renaissance. I broke away a few years ago and I can’t explain why. But now? I can’t get enough MAC! I’m counting the days before I can order the RiRi fall eyeshadow quad, because I NEED those shadows in my life.

  18. Liz says:

    Pretty! I’m a total mac addict. Have all of those. Heard brown script is being discontinued? Hope not. Great color. Also, love embark, twinx, rice paper, naked lunch. They just rock!

  19. lisa says:

    oooh. I’m loving everything about this look. I do love sable on you (and me, a fellow NC42). my go to MAC neutrals are wedge, corduroy and sable.

  20. Vanessa says:

    Just gorgeous!

  21. hanna says:

    I love your new hair, it looks so pretty.
    hanna recently posted … Nexplanon Didn’t Work for Me

  22. Ingrid says:

    Gorgeous new hair colour, it actually looks fresh and very youthful and if I had been you sitting at the hairdresser I wouldn’t have thought going darker would have that effect!
    Mac eyeshadows are great and I love the neutral colours on you, I must pick some up, as I have Urban Decay’s Naked 2 I haven’t bought many MAC neutrals

  23. Denise S says:

    Your hair looks great! Young and pretty look. You are the queen of the neutral eye. Reading your blog has inspired me to perfect the neutral eye look. I’m going to check out some of those MAC brown eye shadows asap.

  24. CatherineM says:

    I absolutely LOVE your new do! You look amazing in it. I’m always going darker and redder in fall/winter, too, and I will definetly bring your picture with me to my stylist.

  25. Tone says:

    You’re beautiful as always! My favourite MAC neutrals must be…. Uhm…. God this is hard..

    Naked Lunch, Orb, Swiss Chocolate, Wedge, Handwritten, Sketch (yes, it is a perfect addition to my neutral palette, jazzes things up a bit without screaming “PURPLE!!!” (not that that is a bad thing, but there are days I prefer my eyelids to be quite)) aaaand….Satin Taupe/Sable/Antiqued.

    And all the other ones that I have… God this is hard.

  26. Liz G. says:

    Love your hair!

  27. meredith says:

    Love your hair, love the TF lipstick. Its getting harder and harder to resist each time I see you in it, but the price, yikes.

  28. Danielle says:

    Your hair looks absolutely amazing! Woodwinked is my all-time favorite eye shadow. If I could only wear one eye shadow for the rest of my life, that would be it. And Wedge has been my go-to crease color lately. My other favorites are Romp (discontinued), Amber Lights, and lately – Satin Taupe.
    Danielle recently posted … Eye Shadow Ideas for Fall 2013

  29. Akanksha says:

    Hi Karen!
    For a fellow nc42 girl, what would you reccomend be my first mac neutral brown eyeshadow?

  30. Maheshika Rathnayake says:

    Hey Karen,

    Love,love love you with your new hair do!! it’s beautiful and suites you well.
    I know this is out of point but I’d been thinking about a hair color, mainly b’cos of my grays showing around my hair line like an army of angry kitties, and I have naturally curly black hair. I’m a Sri Lankan with warm tan skin. Do you think you might be able to give me any tips?
    Thanks Karen
    Love ur blog( I’m a MBB maniac now)!!!

  31. Betsy Clark says:

    OMG, your hair is gorgeous! The burgundy tones suit you excellently.

  32. Sherry says:

    Karen…your hair looks really cute!! It looks like it has a reddish tint to it. Very pretty!!

  33. Lakitha Goss says:

    I love MAC’s shroom, ricepaper, arena, embark, brown script, and brown down.

  34. Lauren Sutherland says:

    Love the hair! The oxblood hue on the highlights is fabulous!

  35. Akanksha says:

    Hi Karen!
    Could you help me pick out my first mac brown πŸ™‚ something for an everyday look. i can see you have many favorites so it might be hard.

  36. Love the look but more importantly the dark hair! Looking good lady!
    The Beauty Glow recently posted … Blush Mystery Beauty Box September 2013

  37. Kim says:

    Love it! Great choice on the hair color! πŸ™‚

  38. LOVE the new hair Karen. I’m a huge fan of dark hair!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … The Body Shop Vineyard Peach range is back!

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