MAC Unsung Heroes: Naked Lunch Eyeshadow

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

What I wouldn’t give to learn the story behind the name of today’s MAC Unsung Hero, Naked Lunch ($14.50).


Was there really a lunch in which the attendees were naked (eww!)? If so, I wonder what was on the menu… I assume that soups and other hot foods were absent, as well as beans and cheeses that encourage, um, bloat.

I’m all for culinary adventures, but when it comes to my lunches, I think I’ll stick to wearing clothes and this powder shadow from MAC’s permanent line. πŸ™‚

When I need something foolproof to wear with my favorite browns, I often reach for Naked Lunch. It casts a candlelit glow on my skin that ignores my fine lines, and it blends like a makeup dream.

On me, it’s a champagne peachy pink with a subtle sheen — a demure, slightly warmer, less glittery version of Stila Kitten, perhaps, and its flexibility could rival Olympic gymnasts! I wear it as a lid color (fab for a wide-eyed look), as a highlighter along my brow bone, at the inner corners, and sometimes even as a face highlighter.

Swatch of Naked Lunch with the flash

Without the flash

Wearing Naked Lunch on eyes with MAC Teddy Eye Kohl along the waterlines and MAC Soft Brown Eyeshadow in the crease

A few MAC shades that seem to play well with it include… Shale, Coquette, Trax, Mulch, Swiss Chocolate, Wedge, Saddle, Sable, Soft Brown, Patina, Brownborder, Teddy and Folie — basically anything brown, bronze, taupe or plum complements it nicely.

Some days I’ll wear a wash of Naked Lunch on my lids with MAC Soft Brown Eyeshadow in the crease and a bronzy brown liner like MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl along my waterlines. Then, at night, I’ll swap out Powersurge for something darker and sultry, like MAC Feline or Teddy Eye Kohl.

There’s a time and a place for glitter, but not at this Naked Lunch. For a refined look to pair with neutrals, you might give this appetizer a try.

The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection

Don’t look back in anger (I heard you say)

Ohmigosh! I feel like an experimental aircraft test pilot this week. The days are zooming by at mach 13!


How’s your day coming along? I’m hanging in there. I’ve been humming to Oasis all day long. Remember Don’t Look Back in Anger? I think Tabs is starting to get sick of it, but too bad. Mommy likes it.

Everyone, singalong! πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 65 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jessi says:

    Now I’m super curious how they decided to name this one. I want to buy it just for the name, haha.
    Jessi recently posted … EOTD- Pink Champagne and I Jump On The Low-Buy Bandwagon

  2. naked lunch is my go-to base eyeshadow. it’s just SO pretty!
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Cargo Cosmetics Blush In Tonga Is My New Favourite!

  3. Tiffany says:

    There’s a book of the same name. It’s bizarre. I couldn’t get through it.

    What’s on your lips? Very pretty!

  4. Nichole Clark says:

    I love this shadow; it’s one of my favorites! As for the name I always assumed that it was a nod to the book Naked Lunch by William Burroughs {one of my favorites}. I like to think that some well read MAC employee was allowed to pick the name.

  5. Nina says:

    i so agree.

    on days when i oversleep (like this morning, hello!) — naked lunch is my go to shadow for an al over wash of color. after that, i swipe on a bright eyeliner (usually UD 24×7 in flipside) and im good to go! πŸ™‚

    totally an unsung hero – naked lunch looks meh in the pan but on the lids, so.gorgeous!

  6. Christa says:

    NL is one of my favorites too! So versatile! I believe the name is from a novel by William Burroughs, which was loosely adapted into a film in 1991 directed by David Cronenberg. (It might just be the nerd in me, but I get a kick out of makeup companies–MAC, Urban Decay, and NARS do this a lot–making obscure cultural allusions with their product names.)

  7. Beatrice says:

    My brother got Tainted Love stuck in my head all day…Tainted Love DUN DUN DUN! >>…. pretty eye shadow :3
    Beatrice recently posted … Spring Nails- Whats On My Nails

  8. Phyrra says:

    I love your Unsung Hero series. I had no idea that you loved All That Glitters! I got that shade a while ago and it really is amazing and flattering with a variety of shades. Naked lunch looks so nice on you!
    Phyrra recently posted … UD Rollergirl Palette- Too Faced Nude Beam &amp More

  9. littlegminor says:

    I’ve always just assumed it was named after the William S. Burroughs book about addiction, substance abuse, and hallucinatory fantasy. It’s extremely disturbing and difficult reading. Although what that would have to do with a pretty shimmery eyeshadow is beyond me. I *think* (don’t quote me on this) that Jack Kerouac suggested the title, and it had something to do with a moment frozen in time in which everyone sees what is on everyone else’s fork….

  10. Lucie says:

    Naked Lunch is the only MAC shadow I own (I had several others but they were so chalky and terrible they went right in the bin and I’ve been afraid of MAC eyeshadows ever since :/ ) and it’s a goodie! Perfect highlight shade for every look. I like it as a less intense version of UD Sin (My preciousssss) when I truly want a low key eye.

  11. what a pretty eyeshadow! it doesn’t look particularly remarkable in the pot, but the swatches and the way it looks on you is very flattering!

  12. Vijaya says:

    This is one of my favorite products of all time! <3
    Vijaya recently posted … Quick Linnaeus Update- And Some Questions For You Guys To Answer

  13. lustrebonbon says:

    its named after a burroughs book. go man go!

  14. Hedy says:

    RSVP from benefit is a dupe-I love layering them for all-day power

  15. Izzy says:

    Never bought this shade because I already have UD Skimp which is based on these swatches quite similar. Gorgeous highlight or base or all over lid color…it’s quite versatile!
    Izzy recently posted … OHMYGOSH

  16. Laurina says:

    I love naked lunch! I use it all the time and its such a versatile eye shadow!!! One of my all time favs!

  17. Carrie B says:

    This was my very first MAC shadow–I wore it with Trax. Now I have like a hundred MAC shadows but I’ll still wear it with pretty much anything as an all-over wash/base for smoky eyes!
    Carrie B recently posted … Color Club Masquerading Swatches

  18. steph b says:

    I love this shadow but it is sooooo much brighter and glittery-er on my pale skin. I love it paired with Chanel Taupe Grise, UD Romp, or MAC Center Stage. When I wear it to work, I often dust some translucent powder on top to tone down the frost a bit.

  19. Tzu says:

    Hi Karen,

    Your eyes looks soooo bright!! What’s your secret? Did you use anything else other than the mentioned eyeliner underneath the waterline? I suffer from chronic dark circles and tired eye syndrome..this look would be perfect for the office! Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tzu,

      I used MAC Prolongwear Concealer (applied with a 224 and a buffing motion) to cover up dark circles, set it with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder and then applied Naked Lunch along the lower lash line.

  20. Hillary says:

    I feel so silly being the know it all person. The reason it’s hard to get through Burrough’s naked lunch is he would write a page cut it into pieces and put it back together. Nearly impossible to understand.

    That’s said naked lunch is my go to shadow. It’s the perfect base to pair with bright colors.

  21. Styrch says:

    I was actually just thinking “I wonder when Karen is going to cover Naked Lunch because she just HAS to in this series….” And here it is! πŸ™‚

    I think this was my second MAC purchase after Expensive Pink. LOL!
    Styrch recently posted … What NOT to say to a partner who is going through a fitness journey

  22. Saffron says:

    Oh what a weeeird name for a shadow – I love the book but holy jeebs the whole theme of it could boil down to “Stuff I don’t want to smear on my face”. Like naming a shadow after Guernica, I can only imagine the namer only half knew the content of the work they were naming it after! ><

  23. Landers says:

    What foundation do you have on??? Your skin looks AMAZING!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Landers,

      I’m trying a couple of new things here — MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder and Select Careblend Powders.

  24. ohh, this reminds me of UD Sin, but more subdued! I love effortless colors like these πŸ™‚

  25. Eva says:

    I love your article, it’s so funny. I do wonder myself where the name came from :p
    Naked lunch is my very first MAC eyeshadow ! I love it, it’s the perfect ” I don’t know what to wear so I’ll wear Naked Lunch” eyeshadow :p I use it all the time !
    Eva recently posted … Precious &amp Sweet Pleasure by LA Colors

  26. Michelle says:

    I love this e/s! It goes great with the browns you mentioned. One time a MAC artist put Naked Lunch on my lid and blended Contrast into my crease/outerV/ and under my lower lashline and lined my waterline with a black pencil. With a baby pink blush/lips — it was really pretty for an evening out πŸ™‚

  27. Kim says:

    OK, you look just ridiculously gorgeous in that picture. I haven’t tried the NARS lip gloss but I’m definitely going to check it out the next time I’m in the market for a gloss. I know that wasn’t the product you were reviewing, but I love how it looks!

    Thank you for the Oasis song, too. One of my boys has been singing O Canada non-stop for days. It’s stuck in the entire family’s heads. I keep reminding him that we’re NOT Canadian! Now that Montreal is out of the playoffs, we were hoping he’d stop. Instead, he asked this AM if I could download it from iTunes for him. HAHA!

    • stalkthepostman says:

      Haha – Go Canucks??

      • Kim says:

        HAHA! I keep telling him “Go Caps!” but it’s not working. We have twin boys and one’s a Habs fan and one’s a Caps fan. But it’s funny you say that because out little Habs fan/anthem singer’s second favorite team is the Canucks. He must have been Canadian in a past life, eh? πŸ™‚

  28. Kristina says:

    sold out online πŸ™ will try the store

  29. Sarah says:

    Dude your skin is off the chain gorgeous…and what are you wearing as a cheek color? Seriously Karen, you’re so beautiful!!!!

  30. stalkthepostman says:

    Oooh, I love NL!! It’s def one of my faves – looks great with everything but I usually pair it with brights or a toned down pink if I want something more subtle.

  31. Tessa says:

    I love it! I like to pair it with Trax to make my eyes pop or with sumptuous olive.

  32. Karen says:

    Naked Lunch was my first MAC eyeshadow! Thanks for reminding me of its greatness! I’m wearing it today thanks to your post :-). Love your “MAC Unsung Heroes” series!

  33. Vonvon says:

    I like this kind of shade. very versatile. Since one of the comments above mentioned that Benefit RSVP is a dupe, guess I can finish that first before getting Naked Lunch since my RSVP is a very small jar from a set. Love the name Naked Lunch a lot though.

    MAC has too many eyeshadows in their permanent line, thanks to this series, I am getting to know more of them. I know more of the common ones… πŸ˜‰
    Vonvon recently posted … A-Blush-A-Day- No 3- MAC Pink Cult Powder Blush – Swatches &amp Review

  34. Mollie says:

    I feel so silly! I thought “naked lunch” was just another term for “nooner”. Lol

  35. Hi Karen! Must be a very special makeup item for you to dedicate one full post on it. I think Naked Lunch has a dupe in Urban Decay Sin. I prefer Sin over Naked Lunch though coz Naked Lunch is slightly more shimmery while Naked Lunch is more satin-y, and subtle.


  36. Soo says:

    is this color similar to Urban Decay’s Virgin in the Naked palette? either way, it looks like a nice highlight. apologies if I seem to spam your posts with comments. I’m spending my Friday night catching up on all your posts that I’ve missed.
    Soo recently posted … 5 Double Sparkle Eyeshadows from Inglot

  37. missv says:

    This eyeshadow really reminds me of ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbe’ , from Manet.
    How cool would it be if the soft pink skintone of the lady was the inspiration for it?

  38. Melissa says:

    I bought this to use as a highlighter and I didn’t like it much.. Haven’t tried it just on the lid and I was going to return it, but now I am having second thoughts.

  39. Christina says:

    Hi Karen!

    I’m also an NC42, but I have problems having Naked Lunch show up on my eyelids? Even packing it on, it doesn’t really show up, and when I tried using it wet, it made the eyeshadow hard/thick when it dried in the pan. Any tips? Thanks in advance! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge