MAC Unsung Heroes: Soba Eyeshadow

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac soba eyeshadow

It’s easy to see how casual beauty bystanders and makeup window shoppers could mistake MAC as primarily purveyors of bold, bright eyeshadows. The brand does love brights, after all, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on their neutrals.


Take warm golden brown Soba Eyeshadow ($14.50), for instance. With just a hint of golden sheen and very little red or orange in it, Soba is one of my very favorite browns, and I wear it often in the crease.

Like MAC Soft Brown, another one of my favorites, I think of Soba as an “anchor shade” — one of those colors I know I can build entire looks around, and my pan sees plenty of exercise (LOL!), mostly in my crease and, for contouring and to contrast shimmery shades, below my lower lash line. I think it’s a great substitute for Soft Brown, particularly if you’re looking for something either more golden or less orange/red.

At least once a week I’ll wear a look starring Soba on my lids and in my crease, incorporating MAC Feline Eye Kohl on my upper and lower waterlines and black mascara on my lashes. It an easy, clean look that only takes a couple of minutes to do, and because it’s also neutral, it looks great with almost any lip color.

mac soba eyeshadow pan


mac soba eyeshadow swatch

mac soba eyeshadow eye
Soba with Feline Eye Kohl

mac soba eyeshadow

Do you do Soba, or do you prefer another MAC (or other brand’s) brown? ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jessi says:

    I hardly ever wear brown eyeshadows because I think they look weird on me, like i smeared dirt on my eye lids. So I can’t even think of one I like from any brand!
    Jessi recently posted … Lipstick Swatch Spam with Wet n Wilds MegaLast Lipsticks

  2. Bellyrockin says:

    Can you believe we can’t get “Soft Brown” here in the UK? Crazy! Thank you for suggesting this as an alternative

  3. Emily says:

    This is totally unrelated, but what mascara are you wearing? It;s sooooooooo pretty.

  4. Michelle says:

    I need to go get Soba — looks so pretty. I am a neutral e/s freak and have a whole bin full of neutrals. One of my faves is Patina — also looks great on the lid/crease with a black liner and mascara.

  5. Sasha says:

    Over Christmas, I got this kit from a cosmetics company here in the UK, Front Cover, called “Rainbow Eyes”. It has an incredibly beautiful brown pearlescent shade called Mother of Pearl. Absolutely beautiful brown that looks lovely with a pale white pearl color.

  6. rory says:

    we can’t get sof brown in germany either. thanks for the tip!

  7. Nina says:

    i own and love Soba! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Marina says:

      Soba and All That Glitters were my first 2 MAC Eyeshadows…and I got them a week ago only. At first I was dissapointed with Soba (I thought it was boring and I thought that I should have gotten a more popular shade…) but thanks to this post I am now loving it! Thanks Karen!

  8. A Classic! Love these posts!
    productdoctor recently posted … Chanel Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in Rose Platine

  9. Hannah says: the pan it looks a bit like Woodwinked to me. What do you think?

  10. Chris25 says:

    I own this and I love it. It’s the perfect neutral for my NC42 skin.

  11. Chris25 says:

    I own this and I love it. It’s the perfect neutral shade for my NC42 skin.

  12. Camille says:

    My favorite browns by MAC are much more golden – I can’t do warm browns at all! They just look orange on me. I love Patina (it’s a very light brown on me, I’m kinda fair) & Tempting, which is the one eyeshadow I take on a desert island!

  13. yuri says:

    i liked the color but i feel like it needs more glitters.. i dont know thats just me hahahaha

  14. Rose says:

    Yes! I love love love Soba. I’ve been a blurker on you blog for a long time now and I HAD to chime in. Soba is one of my workhorses. One of my favorite ways to use it is with Carbon. It makes a mean smokey eye.

  15. karo says:

    Oh SOBA is soooooo wonderful!
    But I need more glitters….like PATINA! *love*
    karo recently posted … AMU CHANEL SUMMER LOOK

  16. Gauri says:

    I want this shade, although recently I seem to want any brown shadow I see.
    Gauri recently posted … Beauty Inspired by Bella Swan

  17. Karen B says:

    Well soba is a tad dark on my fair skin. Kid is more my crease colour.

  18. Zeadelle says:

    I love brown eyeshadows! But i kinda prefer matte ones. Its crazy, I can mix it with any look. From smoky ones (black and brown) to soft subtle shades (like brown and pink or brown and warm orange). ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. My version of your Soba is Texture. It just always works.
    Kajal Couture recently posted … Half Off at Beautychoicecom

  20. Alicia says:

    Love your lists of Mac unsung heroes, but I am finding it hard to buy Mac products because of the hefty pricetag here in Canada in comparison to the US. And that’s without the 13% tax added on top of it.

  21. Kate says:

    What lip are you wearing? Its very pretty!

  22. LaurieS says:

    You hit the pan, I never hit the pan. So jealous ๐Ÿ™‚
    LaurieS recently posted … Rein Me In

  23. lexi says:

    When all else fails, this is my go-to crease color. It never disappoints.
    lexi recently posted … LOTD – Friday- 6-10-11

  24. lexi says:

    And yes, I have hit the pan with this shadow, too!
    lexi recently posted … LOTD – Friday- 6-10-11

  25. I wholeheartedly agree! Soba, Shroom, Ricepaper all fav neutrals +Teddy Eye Kohl!
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … This Week At Hautelook!

  26. Jen in VA says:

    Soba looks nice, but my fave is Sable & Shroom with the Teddy Eye Kohl….my daytime neutrals.

  27. Liz G. says:

    Soba is one of my all time favorite eyeshadows of any shade. I like to use Brule on my brow bone, Camel (long since discontinued) on my lid and then Soba as an accent in the crease and half of my lid. Line with a dark brown pencil and some black mascara and I’m ready to go. Soba seems so neutral and boring in the pan but it really brings a sparkle to my brown eyes. I love it!

  28. megan says:

    haven’t used Soba before but I LOVE Brown Script….it’s my anchor shade for my MW45ish skin tone!

  29. NeenaJ says:

    Your post inspired me to dig Soba out this morning! Wearing it on the lid with All That Glitters in the crease, black liner tightlined on upper rim, and black mascara. Done & done!

  30. Monique says:

    This is gonna sound crazy, but I like NARS Laguna bronzer in my crease w/ a pretty eyeliner (green or any color really) for a quick pretty go-to look. I’ve been lusting after Soba but I’ve got so much makeup that I really need to use what I’ve got before buying more…so I’m looking for ways to multi use what I’ve got! ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Dominique Hernandez says:

    so is soft brown similar to soba because i’m trying to find an alternative?

  32. Christy says:

    I bought soba thinking it would have crazy pigmentation but it was not, but I did not give up I scraped a little of the eyeshadow with my rounded eyeshadow brush and put a little fix plus and know it os one of my favorites.. Instant understated sexy defined eye with a little espresso creme eyeliner by Laura Mercier and mascara and any blush or lipstick.. You are done quick and simple..

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