MAC Unsung Hero: Groundwork Paint Pot

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

The beginning of my relationship with MAC Groundwork Paint Pot ($16.50) was white hot and heavy. Oh, that creamy taupe and gorgeous matte finish… I must have worn it every day for weeks!


But then like most relationships, things cooled, and we started spending more and more time apart (it happens).

When we recently bumped into each other one rainy afternoon, I was rifling through a drawer of makeup at the time.

Hello, good looking. ๐Ÿ™‚

And the spark was still there.

At first glance, Groundwork doesn’t look like much, but it’s what I like to call a “work horse” shade, the kind of color I’ll wear day after day.

As an added bonus, lovelies with medium-to-dark skin (those upon which shimmery beige Bare Study and matte beige Painterly look ashy, for example) might try using it as an eyeshadow base, where a thin layer applied to lids with a finger can really boost wear time.


And lighter-skinned cuties could try contrasting Groundwork’s matte finish with shimmery shadows in purple, pink or taupe.

I think it looks incredible popped in the crease… For an easy eye look, I’ll apply and work Groundwork onto my lids and into the crease with a finger, patting and blending a shimmery shadow on the lid with a flat eyeshadow brush (the MAC 239 comes to mind).

Add some eyeliner and mascara, et voila — all done!

Have you met MAC Groundwork? How did things go?

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

  1. lexi says:

    Agreed. I was so happy to find this at the Company Store for $10. I have been using this baby on a daily basis. I think all my other paint pots and creaseless shadows are jealous!

  2. Kelly says:

    I have not used this one but I use Painterly on a very regular basis. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Kelly’s last blog post… Caught in the Act =-.

  3. I love Painterly, but this comes in at a close second. I prefer to use it as a base, as no other primers work as well as paint pots on my eyes.
    .-= Kajal Couture’s last blog post… MAC Spring Color Forecast Review and Look #1 =-.

  4. Devs says:

    Hm, I fear that if I use this as a base everyday, then it would accentuate my dark lids. Maybe as a smokey eye base?? I love these matte paint pot’s from MAC, they are so versatile!

  5. Molly says:

    This post definately makes me want to try this paint pot out next time I “just happen” to stop by my local Mac counter ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’ve yet to meet Groundwork…but I’ve arranged for a meeting perhaps later this week while checking out the spring collection. I also need to meet Smolder.
    .-= Michelle (Lipstick Rules)’s last blog post… QOTD: Why do we like nude-coloured lipsticks? =-.

  7. Michele says:

    I love this paint pot and use it for a base!

  8. I love MAC paint pots, Painterly is my HG eye shadow base. I might have to give groundwork a try too, it looks like it would go well with all the neutrals I’ve been obsessed with lately.
    .-= SoVeryFabulous’s last blog post… MAC Spring Colour Forecast Blush Ombres Pictures and Swatches =-.

  9. Summer Staff says:

    Love it! I actually bought this, but I never looked at the name, and now I realize I actually have it. I’m pale, so it looks really good up to a little above the crease, with peach shimmer on top and bronze gel eyeliner. Then, I use an angled eyeliner brush, swirl it around and paint a thin, thin like along the bottom lash line and on the corners of my eyes.

  10. mkdallas says:

    I’ve never used a MAC Paintpot, but am intrigued by the pictures! I don’t wear eyeshadow that often so really don’t feel the need to purchase a shadow base…but I like the looks of this as an eyeshadow on its own.

  11. Kypris says:

    I’ll have to try this out in stores with my skin colour – I’ve been looking for something like this though! Does it stay well? Some cream shadows tend to crease, so I was wondering what this one is like, whether on its own or with a shadow on top.

  12. Marce says:

    Awww, no, I haven’t been lucky enough to bump into Groundwork…but I do have a steady relationship with Bare Canvas Paint. I think I might marry it one day, LOL
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Tutorial – Dark, Smoky Black Eyes =-.

  13. julie says:

    Thanks, Karen! Yes, although I use Painterly everyday, I do think it looks ashy! I can’t wait to try Groundwork out!

  14. angie says:

    groundwork has been my favorite paint pot for at least a year…i love using it as a base or you can blend in a little past your crease and add a nude shimmery shadow to the lids for a super quick contoured eye!

  15. marisol says:

    I don’t have this paint pot but it looks like it can be used for a lot of different looks. I may have a NYX pencil in a similar shade though.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang =-.

  16. Christy says:

    This is definitely on my wishlist! I have both Painterly and Bare Study, as well as a number of other Paint Pots. But this one has yet to make its way into my stash. I’ll have to get it next time I’m at the counter.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara Review =-.

  17. Catherine says:

    Oooh. I have not met MAC Groundwork yet. I use Painterly on a daily basis over UDPP as a base… but I’m thinking Groundwork would work so much better for me! Thanks for the introduction!
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… 3rd Anniversary Gifts, Dinner FOTD, Haircut, etc =-.

  18. amy says:

    I have seen Groundwork at MAC but haven’t made friends with this one yet. It just doesn’t really stop my heart.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… NOTD NARS Nailpolish Purple Rain =-.

  19. This looks amazing on your skintone ๐Ÿ˜€
    .-= SilhouetteScreams’s last blog post… Bubbly Champagne =-.

  20. NINA says:

    I found Bare Study and Painterly to be a bit too beige on my lids. Ive been using Constructivist a lot – I like that it gives some depth to the eyeshadow colors without really changing it. I can also use it by itself to just to make my eyes more lively on a sleepy weekend day.

    Groundwork and I have not met … but she seems very promising. Id LOVE to meet her. Soon. ๐Ÿ˜›

  21. Sara says:

    i haven’t met groundwork yet. i’ve admired him from afar. i’ve been secretly a little jealous when i’ve seen him with other women. i’ve googled him and looked at pics of him online. i think it’s time for me to give up my stalker tendencies and work up the courage to introduce myself. i just might fall in love.
    .-= Sara’s last blog post… How much is your face worth? (Not as much as A.Rod.) =-.

  22. Tatiana says:

    I think my sis was the first to comment on this, appropriate enough since she’s the one that got me into Groundwork! I was soooo fixed on Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a base. Tried to use Rubenesque as a base a couple times but didn’t work, I think it was just dried out, so at that point I gave up on pp as a base. Then my sis showed me Groundwork….love! Especially for tan and darker skin tones, Groundwork makes your entire lid all nice and even. Love the matte finish. Lay down the Groundwork!

  23. Tami says:

    I met Groundwork by accident. I was in Macy’s around the holidays buying the Devil May Dare palette when the MUA suggested it as a base that would match my NC45 complexion. I don’t use it everyday but when I do I love that it does not alter the color of the shadows I use with it:)

  24. I’ve never met groundwork. Maybe I should introduce myself!
    .-= Khalia Bentson’s last blog post… A Unique Approach to Filling In Sparse Eye Brows =-.

  25. Darcey says:

    My favorite thing is to use paint pot Quite Natural to fill in brows. It is amazing and natural looking and is waterproof…its like eyeshadow and brow pencil had a gorgeous baby called paint pot!!!

  26. Mia says:

    I’m light olive toned. Painterly is just too pink for me (sorry to say) so I bought Soft Ocher, which I like but it’s sort of light… well…

    THEN I discovered Groundwork – omg – it’s purrrrfect for me, almost invisible for an easy go to daytime work look. Add some depth into the crease and some liner (and lashes if I’m feelin’ frisky) for an easy transition into Happy Hour – WOOHOO

    MACs Groundwork ROCKS!

  27. Aileen says:

    Yes like you an bit of love affair with this.. Groundwork for me personally is great because you can achieve a natural look in no time. What really great is how you can create texture and depth using other eye shadow and as for pigment on top for a really dramatic look.. i’m lovin it!!!!

  28. Leah says:

    This is probably my single most loved and used makeup product. I actually purchased it after seeing Lisa Eldridge using it in a video. It’s been a hot and heavy love affair ever since. It’s the only thing that stands up to my oily lids. Absolutely wonderful product.

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