MAC Unsung Heroes: Rubenesque Paint Pot

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac rubenesque paint pot

There’s an old urban legend about today’s MAC Unsung Hero, MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque


Rumor has it that Tabs the Cat was the inspiration for this shimmery, peachy gold — more specifically, his shapely figure and the sunset-like shades that dance across his Rubenesque tum.

I’ve asked him about it a few times, but he just turns and walks away, neither confirming nor denying the rumors.

I don’t know if there’s any truth to it, but I do know one thing for sure — every year by the end of summer, this creamy shadow is my jam!

Come August, when buttery brown tans are at their peak, peachy golden Rubenesque comes out to play. I love the way it looks on bronzed skin — like late afternoon sunlight on my lids (and my face, but more on that in a few).

If you’re new to the MAC Paint Pots, picture a powder shadow with a creamier formula. I like to use them as standalone eyeshadows or as color-intensifying bases for other powder shades.

I think they’re great for when you don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the morning, or for any time when you just want to add quick color to your lids without having to bust out a bunch of brushes or spend 20 minutes blending.

When I’m sporting a tan and want to draw some extra attention to my eyes, that’s when I’ll reach for Rubenesque.

For a doe-eyed beach babe look, I’ll pat it on my lids with a finger and feather out the edges with a domed blending brush like the MAC 217. Then, to create the illusion of thicker lashes, I’ll line my upper water line with a black gel liner like MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack and apply a lash lengthening, lifting mascara like the new MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara.

mac rubenesque paint pot swatch

mac rubenesque paint pot

mac rubenesque paint pot

I also like to wear Rubenesque with a dash of MAC Teddy Kohl smudged along my upper and lower lashes, and/or with warm shimmery gold MAC Eyeshadow in Woodwinked layered on top.

But that’s not all! Here’s another reason to try Rubenesque: it doubles as a cream highlighter.

For a simple summery “no-makeup” makeup look with a golden peachy glow, I’ll apply a tinted moisturizer all over my face, fill in my brows, curl my lashes and coat them with mascara.


Then, I’ll pat Rubenesque on my brow bones, down the bridge of my nose, on my upper cheek bones and on my cupid’s bow with a blending brush like the MAC 217 (or my fingers).

Swipe on a peachy pink golden gloss like MAC Lipglass in Nymphette, and you’ll like you’ve been soaking up the sun all day. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Almost forgot to mention, but if you have hyper oily lids, you may want to prep ’em first with a primer; otherwise, Rubenesque might just slip away…

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


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So far, 32 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Karen says:

    Karen – I love your MAC Unsung Heroes Series! Rubenesque is a beautiful shade…I wore it yesterday with MAC Arena on top. Now I can’t wait to try it with Woodwinked as you suggest. Thanks so much for your great work with the blog…it is one of my favorite stops each day!

  2. Madeline says:

    Hi Karen! It was really amazing being able to meet you at Nordstrom on Saturday! Thanks do much for taking the time to talk to me. Love the blog! -Madeline (The one with gold eyeliner and the dog named Willy) 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Madeline! It was so great to meet you too. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to swing by and say hello. I always love meeting readers. Your gold Urban Decay liner looked AH-MAY-ZING, btw! Ya did Cinna proud.

  3. Oh I really want Rubenesque now! I’ve always loved how peachy shades look on my eyes, so this kind of golden peachy shade is perfect! MAC Paint Pots definitely don’t stay put on my eyes though, so I always have to apply a primer first. oh well, this color is so gorgeous, it’s worth the extra bit of prep!
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Friday Mixer

  4. Annemarie says:

    I just wanna rub Tabs belly for good luck…and then rest my head on it! LOL!

  5. musical says:

    Looks so pretty on the eyes! Subtle perfection!

    Mrrows to Tabs! I don’t have enough adjectives to describe my feelings :).

  6. J says:

    I love the Paint Pots. I use this one, Bare Study, and Soft Ochre as bases for powder shadow. Soft Ochre is the best to get the eyeshadow to look really true-to-pan. I also really love Indianwood all by itself, but applied all the way up to the lid, with a soft nude or pink lipstick.

    Paint Pots rule!

  7. Phyrra says:

    I always meant to pick this shade up but never have. I love peachy-golds. Beautiful on you!
    Phyrra recently posted … Urban Decay is on Sale!

  8. Katherine G says:

    I really love your MAC posts. I don’t own any MAC stuff yet but I think I will go to the Nordstrom’s that sells MAC this week since the fiance is away and buy some goodies! This color looks amazing 🙂 It really makes you glow!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katherine!

      Have fun at the MAC counter. Do you have a list of things to check out? That always helps me…otherwise I get distracted!

      • Katherine G says:

        I definitely want Club and Gorgeous Gold. They seem like colors that are neutral but have just enough duochrome to be interesting to me. I may also check out some of their bronzers – I know some people who are huge fans of them.

  9. Julia says:

    This is a great color! I love the way it looks, do you think it would also look good on pale skin as well?

  10. Chelsea says:

    This is gorgeous! I’ve never owned a Paint Pot.

  11. Tracy says:

    LOVE this one. LOVE.

  12. jen. says:

    I love Rubenesque… in fact, I’m wearing it right now!

  13. Theresa says:

    Rubenesque was my first paint pot! Sadly, it dried up in two months and is now a solid lump of peachy gold wax. I couldn’t bear to throw it away because I feel like I will still find a way to revive it! I loved wearing it as a base with Flip, Woodwinked, Amber Lights and/or Bronze.

    You’ve been looking extra healthy (aka fit) and happy the past few posts, Karen! I love reading your blog the most (of all the beauty blogs I follow) because you seem to have a genuine love for what you do. Your optimism also has a way of rubbing off on readers. 🙂 Thank you and I look forward to reading more of your entries! 🙂

    • Violet says:

      Theresa, don’t throw it out! You can still save it. I’ve heard of people microwaving theirs for about 15-20 seconds (without the lid of course) and apparently it works. I’ve also heard of fix + helping. I’m sure google with have many answers.

      Oh, I store all of mine upside down, which is actually convenient since I get the see the colours instantly 😉

  14. This article reminded me to pick up a few new paint pots when I visit MAC this week. Thanks for the reminder! 😉 Maybe I’ll add rubenesque to the list…?
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … The battle of the brushes: MAC versus Sigma!

  15. Nina says:

    Squishy Tabs belly – yes please!

    I need to go back to my Paint Pots … they have been neglected for a while. 🙂

  16. Yelena says:

    i wore this on sunday! its my first paint pot too 🙂
    i use it when im on the go and want a quick color to my lids, just pat it on with my finger, add black winged liner and mascara and i’m good to go! very ptretty but can dry up quickly.

  17. Love this peachy color on you! I haven’t tried any paint pots, though I have really grown to like cream shadows. I should get one and see how it works soon!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Becca Damselfly Mineral Blush Makes Me Pray for Eternal Summer!

  18. Kim says:

    This is a great looking color and I’m feeling a bit Rubenesque today so it’s hitting all the selling points. 🙂

  19. I need some new paint pots, this one looks so perfect for Fall!

  20. Jenny says:

    I tried this one but I have Benefit´s Sippin N Dippin cream shadow… and they´re exactly the same! I do also use it as a cream highighter, but as an eyeshadow I use it all year round, and I´m NC20 🙂 Gorgeous and must have product!

  21. Savannah says:

    I love Mac Paint pots. They’re awesome. it’s funny though, I have 4 (bare study, rubenesque,indianwood and an LE one) and my first one I ever bought doesn’t hold up eyeshadow as well as the others. It’s funny, cuz every one I’ve bought after that are better and better. Paint pot phenomenon.

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