MAC Unsung Heroes: Bare Study Paint Pot

Published in: MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac bare study paint pot

What delivers bright-eyed, bushy-tailed looks in less than a minute and works as a great base for all of your favorite gold and beige eyeshadows? — heck, for most of the other colors in your eyeshadow collection, too?


Wait — before you answer, have you met MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study?

Hint-hint. 🙂

MAC Bare Study Paint Pot: How to fake getting eight hours of sleep in 30 seconds or less

One of those super easy “Wake me up before you go-go” shades, to borrow a reference from Wham, this $18.50 golden beige cream shadow gives me heart palpitations (but I’m told this kind aren’t dangerous).

Bare Study is perfect for last-minute appointments. All I do is pat a small amount on my lids and blend out the edges with a finger, coat my lashes with one or two quick layers of mascara, and treat my lips to a bright lipstick, and it’s off to the farmers’ market for me!

The soft, light-reflecting pearl finish makes me look almost like I got a good night’s sleep. Little would anyone know I spent half the night awake (and biting my nails) while reading the last half of Angelfall (highly recommended if you liked The Hunger Games).

A shade for makeup lovers of all levels of experience

If you’re shy about wearing a lot of color on your eyes, try a dash of Bare Study on your lids paired with your favorite eyeliner, and then maybe one day if/when you felt a little more confident about eye color (but still not gung-ho), you could try layering it under neutrals like brown, beige or gray.

If, instead, you’re all about eye color, then Bare Study has other strengths you might like. For one, it loves to layer with a wide variety of colors.


mac bare study paint pot swatch

mac bare study paint pot
Lipstick worn in this look: MAC Crosswires

A few ideas for looks…

Sometimes I’ll layer it beneath beige and gold shadows like Shroom, Sweet Satisfaction and Ricepaper, because it gives ’em a little extra oomph, or to brighten and intensify purples, greens and blues.

One nice thing about Bare Study is that it’s not a fickle pickle. Whether you’re a makeup beginner or a veteran with years under your belt, I think it’s a great color to have in your makeup bag.

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

  1. Chris25 says:

    I never picked this up, because I already have Benefit RSVP. The two are very similar, so I decided to hold off on Bare Study.

  2. Tracy says:

    A oldy but a goody! I love MAC paint pots!
    Tracy recently posted … Summer Hair With Structure!

  3. Ariel says:

    I’ve worn Bare Study almost daily since a MAC artist told me to pick it up months ago! It’s my favorite.

  4. This is one of my favorites! I love the glow it gives. I am pretty fair but I love using it in the summer when I am tan!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Glamorous Mama,

      Yes! It’s one of those fab MAC products that works across a wide range of skin tones. 🙂

      What other MAC Paint Pots do you like?

  5. cara says:

    I have Stila’s smudge pot in Kitten — it looks similar. Do you know how it compares? The only problem I have with Stila’s smudge pots is they seem to dry out quickly, especially when it’s humid. Do the MAC ones fair better?

  6. Angel says:

    This is my first paint pot and I have been using it basically everyday since I got it! I really love it! It’s so easy to use. I love wearing this all over my lids with satin taupe on the outer corner. Such an effortless everyday look!

  7. Lulle says:

    I haven’t met Bare Study, but I think we could get along. In fact, it might be the perfect eye brightening cream shadow I’ve been looking for: shimmery yet not too frosty, and a very neutral shade.
    Lulle recently posted … China Glaze Pink Plumeria

  8. I’ll admit: I don’t love the MAC Paint Pots, especially as a base for other eyeshadow. But still, I really did like owning Bare Study, which is why I was so disappointed recently when I went to use mine and discovered it was all dry and shrivelly :/

  9. So this is eight hours of sleep in a jar? 🙂

    I usually use either the paint pot in Soft Ochre or Blackground, depending on whether I’m using a light or dark color on top. I never use just the paint pot, though. I always put eyeshadow on top.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Delushiously brilliant: Lush Emotional Brilliance

  10. Nina says:

    I own 2 PaintPots and Bare Study is one of them! I use this one to pieces esp when I just want a quick and easy but finished and polished eye look!

  11. This is something I keep thinking I need to check out but never do! I always get sidetracked by other more “exciting shades.” I need to get at least one Paint Pot to see how the formula works for me! Cream shadows are my new obsession.
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Mostly Sunny Summer Favorites: Heat/Humidity-Resistant Makeup

  12. Kim says:

    How pearly and pretty, and simple – which I love!

    On a side note, I actually wore lip gloss today. I couldn’t resist your motivation from last week. 🙂

    And I also smiled at your Wham reference above. One of my friends thought the words at the beginning were “I want a cheeseburger”. We were little, and hungry, and had probably never heard of jitterbug.

    • Karen says:

      NICE! What color did you wear?

      And HAHAHAHA! Now I can no longer hear that song without thinking “I want a cheeseburger.”

      I used to think Sade’s Smooth Operator was “Oooh Barba-retta.”

      • Kim says:

        It was a pastel pink which is not a very good shade on me – I find it gives me mummy lips (pale and wrinkly) – but luckily it wore off after my coffee. I’m much better with a darker/berry, which is what I’m sporting today. Progress!

        OMG, I’ve had so many lyric faux pas, it’s crazy. One of my friends from Montreal said when she was a teenager and spoke very little English, she thought the Buckingham’s “Kind of a Drag” was “Canada Dry”. 🙂

  13. I’ve always thought it would look ashy on me and never even swatched it in the store. It looks great on you though, I should check it out. I’m around NC35-ish in MAC.
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … MAC Tuesday : Blue Brown Pigment Review, Swatch, FOTD

  14. Btw I love the blush shade you’re wearing here, is it MAC Ambering Rose?
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … MAC Tuesday : Blue Brown Pigment Review, Swatch, FOTD

  15. virginie says:

    This is what I am doing every day ;-)))

  16. Inaya says:

    Karen! Your blush is gorgeous! What is it?

  17. Krisabelle says:

    Whattup, K-Kat?! Thanks for this post! I just ordered Bare Study a couple of days ago and then BAM! – you posted an unsung heroes post dedicated to it! Now I’m ever more excited to get it in the mail now that I know it’s M&BB Approved! Also, I took you up on the book rec and ordered Angelfall. $2.99 @ Amazon? Unbeatable. I love THG so I’m pumped to read this puppy!

    Thanks for your blog! I enjoy it (and you, obvs) every day!

    Happy Hump Day from the Peach State!

  18. Crystal says:

    The new Maybelline color tattoo in BARELY BEIGE is pretty much an exact dupe for this. It’s limited edition, so run out and get it!

  19. Savannah says:

    This is a great shade. So lovely. I am not as lucky as you however, and am unable to just swipe it on and go. My lids are oily (not terribly, but oily enough) and I need to put some eyeshaow on top first. My latest favourite way to wear it, is all over the moving lid, inner tearduct and lower lashline. I work wedge into the outer V and crease with 217, and with a flat shader brush pat woodwinked only on the moving lid. Then I blend some more with wedge, and then I put wedge on the lower lashline, some black track fluidline real thin, curled lashes & mascara. It’s my perfect eye. & it only takes 5 minutes (minus eyeliner, cuz I’m still new and I need my time) lol

  20. Natasha says:

    OMG! You beauty blog is so amazing! I am absolutely in love with it! I was thinking of getting this mac paint pot as I am a huge mac collector, does it go on strong? I need just a light little colour that looks like eyeshadow but stays on and lasts me all day;)
    Thanks, Natasha

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