MAC Unsung Heroes: Cork Eye Shadow

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews, Unsung Heroes

mac cork

MAC Cork Eye Shadow, an Unsung Makeup Hero

Whenever I take MAC Cork out for a spin, I hear champagne bottles popping. “POP!”

If it were possible to place 1,000 butterfly kisses on a pan of brown eyeshadow, I totally would.


Wait — that actually is possible. Never mind! 🙂

It’s a medium neutral golden brown with MAC’s Satin finish, and it’s part of the permanent line.

It’s also not the only Cork at MAC. There’s Cork Brow Sculpt Pencil and a Cork Lip Pencil, too.

What’s an unsung makeup hero? For me, it’s an oftentimes underrated makeup morsel, a permanent collection product that scoots under the radar screen of many makeup lovers but regularly rocks my world. The long-running Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorites.

Cork isn’t flashy, but it’s a damned good workhorse shade. It’s one of those shadows that’s easy to miss when you’re perusing those tiered MAC shadow displays.

The Satin finish is totally key. It makes Cork a great transition shade. It can double as a matte eyeshadow and deepen the crease, and because it has a hint of shimmer, it has a little more character than a basic matte. And it’s much easier to blend.

mac cork in crease

Cork in my crease and along my lower lash line (my lid shade is MAC Club)

Cork may fool you at first because it can really look like a straight up matte, but if look closely, you’ll see the tiniest twinkle (it’s barely there!).

I like using Cork in my crease when my lid color is a cool or neutral shade, and I think it’s GORGEOUS with blues, greens, purples and grays.

Oh, my gosh! Try it with MAC Club on your lids one of these days. That’s what I’m wearing in these pics. The two are like Shakespearean sonnets together. MAC Greensmoke too.

mac cork swatch

Cork is also my secret weapon when I look in the mirror in the morning, and my lids look more hooded than usual. The neutral-ness (?) of the brown sculpts a deeper shadow in my crease than warmer shades like MAC Soft Brown or Saddle.

By the way, it’s also darker than MAC Soba, which is another neutral brown MAC Satin eyeshadow I use a lot as a crease color. I’ll alternate between the two, but I choose Cork more often when I’m wearing a super saturated lid color because it’s easier for me to transition a bold lid shade to a more medium-toned brown like Cork (the gradient isn’t as dramatic as going to something lighter).

mac cork

Wearing Cork in my crease and along my lower lash lines

Just a warning! — on some people, Cork can turn orange. If golden browns go orange on you, swatch it at a counter first. But if you don’t live or work near a counter, also FYI, Cork is available on the MAC website as a single pan refill for $6 (you don’t get the black case, though). Stick it in an eyeshadow palette, and you’re on your merry way. 🙂

Last thing, if you’re a redhead, Cork works GREAT as a brow filler.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 11 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Christine says:

    How apropo, Karen, I just hit pan on my Cork today! 🙂 I mix Cork w/ Smut for a perfectly matched eyebrow filler.

  2. Christine says:

    P.S. And SO MUCH YES for the hooded lid solution Cork provides!

  3. Divina says:

    Yes, but what shade of gorgeousness are you wearing on your lips?

  4. Chris25 says:

    I have Cork! I use it as my lid shade. It’s beautiful over Indianwood paint pot.
    Chris25 recently posted … Clinique Airbrush Concealer in Medium Caramel

  5. I swatched it and it turns orange on me, so it is sadly not working in my crease. Somehow warm crease shades make my whole look off.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … We get the glow – Our final thoughts

  6. Indya says:

    It’s beautiful! It certainly wakes up the eye area. Love the look you did as well.

  7. kristen b. says:

    Oh my gosh, you look stunning! I definitely like the look of Cork and need to add it to my beauty wish list on Pinterest STAT.

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