MAC Unsung Heroes: Retrospeck Eyeshadow

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

These days, getting the family together for the holidays is like planning a trip to the moon. There are so many machinations involved in getting everyone under one roof that I’ve considered getting NASA involved.


Things sure were easier when I was a kid… On Thanksgivings, all my brother and I had to do was open our eyes, most of the time around noon, and lumber down the hall toward the kitchen and the aroma of great food.

The hallway outside my old room in my parents’ house that leads to the kitchen

This year we couldn’t get the whole family together for the day tomorrow, and it makes me a little sad. With El Hub’s parents having just moved here to California earlier this month, we’ll be driving out to see them. It’s about a four-hour drive to a town close to the Oregon border called Redding, and I’m a little nervous because I’ll be meeting a group of the family there that I’ve never met before, some of El Hub’s cousins, aunts and uncles. I’m sure everyone will be very nice, but I’m really going to miss spending the day with my brother and parents.

You know how it is… These are the kinds of things that people deal with over the holidays when family members live far apart.

Whatev, Shauna the Wonderdog still thinks it sucks…

Since we’ll be hitting the road early tomorrow, I’ve drawn upon my vast experience as a makeup nerd/control freak to lay out a beauty plan, because the last thing I want to do on Thanksgiving is scare the relatives, BOO! 🙂

The plan involves today’s Unsung Hero, MAC Retrospeck Eyeshadow ($15 for a pan; $11 for the Pro Palette Refill at the top of this post).

Like MAC Phloof!, Restrospeck is one of my favorite get-out-the-door products. It brightens eyes in just a few quick swipes.

MAC describes it as a bleached blonde, but on my skin I see a warm and shimmery mix of silver and gold — a surefire way to look wide-eyed and bright.

Because it lacks orange undertones, girls who can’t wear certain colors because they appear orange on their skin won’t have to worry about that. I also recommend it often to girls like my BFF, Jen.

She likes to wear eyeshadow…as long as it doesn’t look like she’s wearing eyeshadow. Retrospeck adds just enough color and shimmer to look like something’s there, but it stops short of looking like you’re wearing a ton of makeup.


It comes in MAC’s Lustre formula, which can be tricky if you haven’t used it before. A friendly MAC artist once suggested that I buff, rather than swipe, Retrospeck on the lids with a domed 217 brush, and that seems to work for me. It gets the color where I want it while keeping the fallout to a minimum. The result? — a glowy finish that still looks natural.

I like to pair it with brown, gold, beige and green shades like MAC Cork, Soft Brown, Soba, Saddle, Brun, Shroom, Woodwinked and Sumptuous Olive.

I think it also looks great layered on top of MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl, or with a swipe of Teddy Eye Kohl.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 20 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Joyce says:

    I tried MAC Retrospeck and I didn’t like it at all because the pigmentation was lacking and it takes “too much” work to apply the eyeshadow. Also, I get some fallout during application. I find that applying the eyeshadow in a patting motion with my MAC 239 brush works well, but it’s still too much of a hassle for me. =/ I love the color though!
    Joyce recently posted … DHC Cyber Monday Sale on All Orders

  2. Elle says:

    I love your posts, they always make my day better. I am grateful that you share your creative/clever upbeat energy. Thank you. Also your comments about your family made me think of the poem by ee cummings, I carry your heart with me (in my heart). Have a beautiful trip.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Elle. I really needed this right now. I just re-read that poem again, and it made me feel so much better. Your kind words mean a lot. Hugs from me and Tabs. 🙂

  3. Chelsea S. says:

    Holidays without key family is always bittersweet. I’m a fellow Bay Area dweller, but none of my family lives in these parts. I’m currently down in LA visiting my aunt, uncle and cousin, but am missing my mom like crazy! I’ll get to see her for Christmas, but it still sucks for this particular holiday. Anyway… I’m sure you’ll have a blast, but it’s totally fine to feel a bit sad at the same time 🙂

    Also, retrospeck is my FAVORITE! I’ve been sporting it for the past 5 years at least. I mix it up more these days (OMG the UD naked palette is the bomb), but it’s definitely still a go to for light eye makeup days.

  4. Cassy says:

    One of my favorites for sure. Good luck with your trip, I’m sure the family is going to love you to pieces (I don’t think it’s possible they couldn’t!)

  5. Vonvon says:

    Love such shades! Great color for busy bees! 🙂
    Vonvon recently posted … Eyeshadow Swatches: MAC Big Bounce Shadows & Gosh Mono Eyeshadows

  6. Blue says:

    Redding’s a super cute place – I quite like it there! I really like Retrospeck for the same reasons – quick and easy to use, and makes you look wide awake! The first few times I wore it, it didn’t really work for me because it wouldn’t stop creasing horribly (even with my NARS Pro-Prime! D:), but now that I’ve worked with it a little more, it’s one of my favourite shades!

  7. berries says:

    I just bought Retrospeck yesterday ^_^ Because I’m close to a NC15 it works super good with my skin tone~ I like to think of it as a light gold.
    I also bought Tempting to pair with it \(^^ )~
    However it’s creasing a lot when I wear it T_T

  8. Let says:

    Retrospeck is my first MAC eyeshadow! 😀 I still haven’t hit pan on it…

  9. Nina says:

    enjoy your thanksgiving! this year we’re staying home, im going to miss the hubs’ `rents but its all good. we’ll see them during christmas.

    i have retrospeck, i dont give it enough lvoe. thanks for reminding me to use it!

    • Karen says:

      Enjoy your Thanksgiving too, Nina. 🙂 I hope that you, the hubs and the kitties have fun eating and relaxing.

      Oh, and can I come over for leftovers? j/k

      • Nina says:

        come on over! we just got done eating and im about to pass out from a side dish induced ocma LOL.

        when we looked at our table the hubs said — your love for side dishes is showing! 😀

        i hope your thanksgiving is awesome, Karen!

  10. Mary says:

    Karen, maybe if you don’t wear makeup, they won’t recognize you or miss you next year (unless, of course, you take Tabs with you)! I’m grateful for you.

    BTW, has Tabs completed his Gratitude list and letter to Santa Claws? XXOO

  11. Nicole says:

    I love Retrospeck. It was one of the first neutral shades I purchased, that and shroom. I lost the individual pan and ended up creating a quad based around this shade at the Mac Pro store in Vegas. I think my mom may’ve lifted the original one:)

    Have a Happy a thanksgiving Karen! Eat lots of turkey and mash for me!!

  12. Samantha says:

    This was my first Mac eyeshadow, paired with green smoke in crease and mythology as a highlighter. Senior prom baby! Still have all three. Happy turkey day!

  13. Mabeline says:

    I like Retrospect. I love it when you do these MAC unsung heroes topics because it reminds me that there are permanent products out there that need looking at. So often, I get caught up in all the special limited edition stuff because that’s what everyone blogs about. Not many post about the permanent stuff.

    Regarding the family stuff over the holidays. I know it’s really tough. My mother in law lives back east. My parents live in different states and so does my sister. If i go to one place, that means I miss out spending the holidays with the rest of the family. It’s a hard compromise to make over the holidays and it always makes me sad because I can’t be with everybody all at once. Cheer up. Your in-laws will love you. And if they don’t – then it’s their loss. Try to enjoy the holiday season and know that you (and Tabs) are are wonderful and makes a difference to so many.

    Happy (belated) Turkey Day! Get stuffed!!

    – Mabeline

Leave a Reply

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

CommentLuv badge