Unsung MAC Makeup Hero: MAC Patina, aka Quick-Change Artist

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes


Good morning, ladies. 🙂 I hope your weekend started well. Right now I’m on a mish to get to know another member of the MAC permanent eyeshadow line, and I’m holding a pan of Patina ($14.50) in my paw.


Like I did for years with MAC Arena, I overlooked Patina when I realize now that I probably shouldn’t have. It’s not the flashiest shade in MAC’s permanent collection, but once I tried it on I fell truly, madly, deeply in love.

Patina’s magic lies in her flexibility. In the pan, she’s a shimmery, brownish taupe with golden pearl, but on the face her color varies depending on the wearer’s skin tone.

MAC Patina on NC 35 skin

On my tan NC 35 skin, I see a golden taupe (more purple than brown)…


MAC Patina on NW 20 skin

…but she’s such a quick-change artist! On NW 20, she looks more like a lovely golden brown.

I’ve just started to experiment with Patina, so please share any ideas you might have for product combinations. I can’t help but wonder how she’ll look with eyeshadows in gold, brown, taupe, beige, peach or even purple.

Have you gotten to know MAC Patina before? Any ideas for colors to wear her with?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Barbara says:

    I love Patina, its one of my favs. I wear it in the crease with Dazzelight on the lid. I also have worn it with Trax and it looks great too.

  2. patina is too dull on my skin, makes me look tired.

    in terms of neutrals i honestly prefer bobbi brown eyeshadows. also, there’s more product to play with!
    .-= ines + cha cha’s last blog post… Random Musings – Cleaning Out My Stash =-.

  3. Glosslizard says:

    It’s sad, I’m developing a longer and longer list of MAC perm products I want to buy, but buying from the perm collection is just never as exciting as getting the LE stuff, so I rarely actually buy it! I really want that old standby Satin Taupe!

  4. amanda says:

    HI! i LOVE using patina packed all over my lid with saddle in my crease and juiced above saddle. Black fluid line for the modest but if you’re NOT Navy Blue Jet Set Liner from Smashbox is amazing. i also like to smudge brown border eye pencil on my lower lashes. a natural bronze-y cheek and some sheer berry lips. YOU WILL LOVE IT!


  5. Marisol says:

    What a pretty color. I don’t think that I have this one in my collection. I will be checking it out next time I am at MAC.

    Happy weekend!
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Daily Affirmation =-.

  6. Nicole says:

    I am a huge Patina fan! I am NW 15 so it definitely shows up more golden for me. Almost like a burnt gold (if that makes sense). I like to pair it with All that glitters and twinks for a smokey golden brown look. LOVE!

  7. It’s so funny you discovered Arena and then this! Those are both two of my favorite shades because they are so versatile! They seem so blah upon first swatch but they can be blended with so many colors. Have you tried Arena on the lid and Patina in the crease?
    .-= Kajal Couture’s last blog post… MAC Lightful Collection – In Stores Again! =-.

  8. Citrine says:

    For a while I was wondering where you get a piece of NW20 arm handy for comparison…then I realized…

    I like it on your skin but my skin tone is probably more on the cool side.

  9. Karen4 says:

    Hi Karen! Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday–it’s a BEA-U-TI-FUL day here in the Northeast (finally!) Loosely going by a MAC Tribalist Collection look, I’d do Patina on the lid, black liner on the top, and a vibrant purple lining the lower lid (I use Fig2, which is a bit more subtle, since I don’t own the Vibrant Purple.)Brow highlight would be just UD’s Sin primer.

  10. april says:

    I love Patina, I boght it recently to do a smokey eye look I saw in a youtube video, I did it and it turned out sooooo pretty! You put Patina all over the eye and then satin taupe on the lid, highlight with a not shimmery eye shadow (i did it with vanilla pigment) and apply blaktrack fluidline and smudge it and turns out very pretty! I’m a NC-35 too! 🙂

  11. Redhead says:

    I’m an NC15; Patina shows up on me as an very antique gold with bronze. I like pairing it with Mulch in the crease and Shroom to blend and highlight, Engraved on the lower waterline and Bronze to set the waterline/line the lashline. Black Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft, lightly applied brow pencil (Maybelline Expert Wear in Dark Brown is what I’m currently using), peach-bronze blush ( MAC Springsheen with a light dusting of Refined Golden atop) and some Cherry ChapStick. I love this for a good bronze FOTD in the summer when I’m too lazy to do anything elaborate.

  12. Michele says:

    Karen- i like it- Even as a base color. You start with it and build on it with others. Or just start with it and then put it on top after you are finished. It will give you a lovely finish – like a patina!

    Happy Saturday!

  13. Kendall says:

    I don’t know how I didn’t own Patina for soo long!!! It’s become a staple color for me. If I’m traveling it always is a part of my Fav 15 Pallette 🙂

  14. Anna says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m NC30 and Patina is my fave MAC shadow !! I love the golden sheen infused into the soft brown, I wear it everyday and I’m onto my 3rd pan already !! I usually pair it with Smut or Go, which goes into the outer crease and a little into the socket line, with Patina from the lashline to just a little above the socket line. Blend blend blend out, then Vanilla pigment to highlight.

    Hope you do a tutorial with Patina soon Karen 🙂

    Anna x

  15. Elle says:

    I love it with Goldmine and Bronze for a smoky gold eye. So pretty!

  16. pik says:

    I have medium warm skin…darker than that light-skinned gal but lighter than yours, Karen. Patina was actually one of my very first MAC purchases…when i swatch it and apply it to my eyes, i would describe it as a khaki-ish color with pink and gold reflects. i personally love using as an allover lid color and brushed under the lashline with Club as a smudgy liner and Shroom as an inner corner and brow highlight. Plumage also looks nice as a liner, it brings out that safari-ish khaki side of Patina. Another combo I like is with Sketch as a liner/crease color and a pale pink as a highlight, to brink out the pinkier tones of the shadow!

  17. Gracie says:

    I have Patina, and I like it. It almost turns out like a brownish green on me…my skin is also NW20, and it doesn’t look like the swatch you showed us. (btw who does the NW20 arm belong to that you use so often??) Hmm. Oh well, it’s pretty nonetheless :).

  18. Karin says:

    Patina was one of my first e/s from MAC ever.
    I love it with MAC Nylon in the inner corner of the eye and Satin Taupe in the crease.
    It’s the look I’m wearing the most or when I have to look more business-like.
    .-= Karin’s last blog post… Mein Einkauf MAC Love the Look =-.

  19. Denny says:


    I take this post as a sign because I was just at MAC yesterday and this color was shown to me and the artist said this is her ALL TIME fav color. 🙂 I think I want this color now. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Marce says:

    I don’t have Patina, but will be checking it out! I can imagine a neutral eye with a pop of blue on the upper lash line, using something like the gel liner from Lancome you reviewed a while ago. But I suppose that being a neutral, it’d go well with anything!
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Look – Dark Dandy =-.

  21. Dao says:

    I’ve heard about Patina for ages but still don’t have it. I have an eye shadow from Cool Heat LE that is really lovely, too. For e/s with sheen like this, you should try using different paint pots as bases. Usually, the color would change a bit but the change does make a huge difference.
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… MAC 217 Blending Brush: I Can’t Live, If Livin’ Is Without You =-.

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Karen,

    I held on to Patina for awhile I wanted it to work and it just didnt and I am NC 45. So i gave it to my neice who is a tad lighter and it looks good on her. I really tried to like it but Patina just didn’t like me.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen,

      I have a few MAC colors like that, too. It seems like everyone loves Satin Taupe — I just can’t get it to look right on me.

      What other MAC colors do you love?

  23. Vanessa Rodriguez says:

    HI Karen,

    I’ve own PATINA and SATIN TAUPE for years and years…. I cant live without my PATINA. During the daytime, Patina is pretty enough to wear alone for a natural look. But at night, Patina goes with perfect underneath almost any color.

    Its about time Patina got some love!!! 🙂

  24. michele says:

    patina is amazing! i saw it years ago in a makeup look on some celeb in a magazine and had to get it. most of the time i wear patina alone with a bronze/brown liner (like the pearlglide spare change from the previous season) or teddy. i also pair it with other MAC browns, most of which it looks great with. i am an NC15, so this color stands out on my “dollface”. my latest thing is using a lovely neautral like this and adding a bright pop of color on the inner corners of the eyes (like parrot, a le blue from about a year or so ago or a bright pink, i can’t think of the name it came out as a limited color with an organe, lime green, yellow, etc). you can add a little more drama with a mid-tone grey liner like technakohl in greyprint. i feel you can wear a look like this everyday because the bright flash of color is only really noticable when you blink. so flirty.

  25. Gloria says:

    Patina, Is my everyday go to color! I’m an NC 42 and it shows on me as a sheer goldish color, Almost fleshy with a hint of shimmer( If that makes sense? lol ) I usually use it with Sketch or Shady Lady in my crease and Ricepaper as a highlighter.

    • Shannon D says:

      Omg, I use Patina the same way and I’m an NW45. I think this color can work for anyone. For those who are having a hard time, a base color may help it work for you. Try a cream shadow to see if it works any better.

  26. Allison says:

    I’m NC44. For a nice, conservative look – MAC Soft Ochre all over the eye; MAC Courdoroy on the lid and just underneath the bone; Patina on the bone and under the brow line. Feel free to blend the two shadows at the crease.

  27. Leizel says:

    I am an NC 25 and Patina is too light on me, unfortunately.

  28. lulu says:

    hey karen! i luuuurrrrvveeeee your blog, like how you fell truely, madly, deeply in love with patina, i fell truely, deeply, madly in love with your blog. many people have said that patina has a pink duo chrome to it? could this possibly be true!!?? love your blog, and tabs 🙂

  29. Jenna says:

    I actually use Patina for eyebrows! It’s perfect for mid-brown to darker haired people. I’m an NC25 and Asian skin tone but I’ve used it on NW20 clients and it’s perfect as it’s got a slightly taupey edge to it (not too brown). Try it with a wet brush for a more intense look.

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