Get Eyes That Pop: MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC’s Cream Color Base in Pearl ($16.50) makes colors really pop, taking eyeshadow to a brighter, bolder, and more diva-superstar level. With Cream Color Base, your eyeshadow is like an A-list celeb; without it, it’s like Jen Bunney from The Hills. It’s one of those products that every eyeshadow junkie needs to have in her makeup bag.



Pearl’s a soft, pale gold-colored product with just a touch of shimmer. Layered beneath powder eyeshadows, it intensifies color. To the touch, it feels like a cream blush. The picture below shows 1) MAC Parrot eyeshadow by itself and 2) applied on top of a layer of Pearl:


Pretty, yah? Pearl comes in a standard issue blush pan, so what I do is pick up the product from the pan with a synthetic flat brush like the MAC 239 and apply it directly onto the lid area (not the crease or the browbone), while trying to avoid applying too much. It’s easy to overdo it with Pearl. Too much can cause caking and lead to the product migrating around the eyelid.

If your lids are extra oily, you might want to prime the area first with a layer of eyeshadow primer like Laura Mercier Eye Basics.


At $16.50, Pearl’s a great bargin, because not only can you can use it as an eyeshadow base, but it also works well as a highlighter for your face or lips. You can apply it to bare skin or underneath (or on top of) foundation or powder to play with different looks and textures.

And the pan is ginormous. MAC Cream Color Base is one of my favorite MAC products, and I recommend it to people all the time. I hope you give it a try!

Purchase MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl online or at your favorite MAC counter.

I worked from home today. Look who stopped by for a visit!

He bossed me around…

got up in my grill…

and then took a nap before demanding his pay for the afternoon (a plate of Friskies).

How’s your Friday’s been? Mine’s been peaceful and mellow, and tonight I’m going to watch a movie. All the talk yesterday about Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing gave me the itch to watch it for the 123,445,643 time, so tonight I’m hitting the video store.



Do you have plans for tonight? I hope it’s something fun!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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So far, 57 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Glosslizard says:

    Whoa! Great tip about the color base, Karen, I will surely try that! 🙂

    Love the pictures of the stripy beast, no wonder you indulge him!

    I was so lucky today! I was out and about at Nordstrom when I spied a cluster of MA’s gathered around an illicit-looking baggie full of pinkness! Sure enough, it was the tester selections of the Heatherette collection! I skulked over to the MAC counter and got a personal tour of the products! I felt so in the loop! LOL! I ended up pre-ordering the Heatherette 2 palette (the pinks) and the Lollipop Loving lipstick! What a fun collection!

  2. Lilan says:

    Hiya Karen,

    Happy Friday to you!

    The Pearl Cream Base looks pretty cool. I normally use Beige-ing shadestick – does that give you about the same results as far as color vibrancy? Pearl looks a bit more white than the shadestick though, just curious 🙂

    My evening has been pretty mellow, I just came back from Nordstrom. I picked up an Estee Lauder quad (my first Estee purchase in a loooong time). I also snagged samples some of their skincare since the SA kept telling me how great it is – have you used any of their products before?

    I’m heading over to a friends house to hang out in a bit but I can’t seem to tear myself away from watching America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV!

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    HOT! Glad you found stuff from Heatherette that moved you. In my current state of pink madness I am a lil scurred because I might go a little nuts when I see it in person!

    Oh god! LOL, that stripy beast bit me a few times and then settled into my lap to take a nap as I typed at the computer! Hope you’re having a good night 🙂

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    I think Pearl makes colors a bit more intense then Beige-ing! 🙂 Which Estee quad did you get? I have used Estee skin care before, and recently tried the new Re-Nutriv. It’s moisturizing but didn’t work for me, unfortunately (broke me out).

    I’ve been watching America’s Best Dance Crew, too. I was really bummed when that group that did the vampire inspired routine got kicked off, BOO! Did you watch the MJ Thriller tribute ep? It was so good (and made me want to listen to PYT a billion times afterwards). I can’t believe Thriller is 25 years old, holy crap! My friend, J-Money, had that album on freaking VINYL.

  5. Mariah says:

    Not to bring down your wonderful excitement, but I heard on E! News that Patrick Swayze has recently been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. 🙁 I’m so sad about it. They said most people with that type of cancer die 90% of the time, and very quickly.

    Here’s an article from CBS:

    But, on a lighter note, I wanted to ask, is the color base crease proof? Is it more like a paint pot or a typical cream shadow?

  6. Glosslizard says:

    Step away from the pigments! 😉

  7. Glosslizard says:

    And it is very sad about Patrick Swayze, I’m bummed too! 🙁

  8. davina says:

    omg! i’ve been meaning to try Pearl for ages and this post has given me the excuse i need to pick it up. looks so absolutely gorgeous with parrot over the top too!
    and i love me some dirty dancing viewing. i’ve been avoiding all the patrick swayze news just cause i am in denial that he can be sick… so sad! 🙁

  9. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,

    Awww i so wish I had read this post before I left the house this morning I was in MAC today buying Fafi (yey!) and had a look at the creme colour bases but the MA told me that it wasn’t a good idea to use it on the eyes as it would make blending impossible 🙁 as usual Karen you know better !

    Never mind, I still had a good shopping trip 🙂 I picked up the cash flow p/p, utterly frivolous l/s and cult fave l/g! I was very very close to buying one of the beauty powders but stopped myself as I had just bought 2 pairs of shoes which left me 200 pounds ($400) poorer ooops! I figured that I deserved them for all my hard uni work lately ha! And I was very good and didnt buy a lovely dress that I saw afterwards so I think I showed remarkable restraint!

    Now I wish I was going out tonight so I could test drive my new shoes and makeup!!

  10. Apple Diva says:

    Hey. I have a very slightly used Pearl,if anyone would like to get it from me, let me know!

  11. Holly says:

    p.s. Karen, i have a new perfume for you to try for your spring scent, its by Chloe and I think its just called Chloe, its in a vintage looking bottle with a bow around the top. There is a sample of it in the latest UK Vogue which dropped through my door this morning! I think you will really like it! 🙂

  12. Karen says:

    Hey Mariah,

    Yeah, I knew about that…which was why I got all inspired to watch the movie. I listened to “She’s Like the Wind” 20 times in the past few days (and I never realized what a great karaoke song it was until now.)

    It’s more like a typical cream shadow/blush, so you do have to be careful about creasing and not lay too much on. I’m guessing it’ll work with Urban Decay Potion Primer underneath if you’ve got it around.

    Try it with Woodwinked eyeshadow if you have it around. You won’t be disappointed!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    LOL! Noted! 🙂

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Davina,

    I’m sad about it too. He’s in two of my favorite movies – Dirty Dancing and Donnie Darko – and I dig that he was a ballet dancer. Sigh.

    On a lighter note, try Pearl with Woodwinked! It’s my fave combo for day as of late.

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    LOL, I’m sure you’ll find a way to work your new gear. 🙂 I am a sucker for shoes too, but I don’t really have to get dressed up for work anymore so I kind of miss wearing my sassy heels!

    Anyway, WOOT on the Fafi loot! FUN!!! Have you used Cash Flow yet? What do you think?

  16. Karen says:

    Heya Apple Diva,

    Thanks for the heads up! Hope you’re having a fab weekend and that you got lots of studying done yesterday 🙂

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    OHHH! Great! I am going by the mall today – it’s an outdoor one by my house, and it’s sunny today, so it’s perfect weather to go walking around. Hopefully I can find Chloe and give it a sniff. 🙂

  18. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,

    The shoes I bought are super high platforms so i feel like a giant in them but im thinking I will be able to wear them a lot with pretty summer dresses during the day time because they are not heels as such. The other pair are just cute open toe flats in a nice gold colour for daytime in the summer!

    I haven’t had chance to try out cash flow yet but im really excited to wear it with soba and the pale gold barbie shadow I bought during the week (the name of the colour escapes me), I think i will be a nice daytime look with those colours used lightly and then I could layer them up and add some dramatic liner for an evening look!

    I really need to learn to use fluidline so many people wear it so well but im so bad at eye liner im scared to buy it!!

  19. Amanda says:

    aw, what a cute beasty to spend an afternoon with, ha! Is he the mascot that you use sometimes?

    good tip about pearl. I will have to keep it in mind, thanks.

    How was your movie night? (I’m sad about Patrick Swayeze too). We wnet out to dinner with some friends, then walked around downtown for Gallery Walk-the first Friday of the month the art galleries stay open late and are free.

  20. Dao says:

    Woa, nice! How is it compare to paint pot? I definitely will check it out. I like that cat, is he your neighbor’s cat? Kitty with attitude, meow!

  21. Megan says:

    So you may have noticed that I’m not a huge MAC devotee like so many other readers. MAC is alright…honestly I’ve never really looked at it and felt like it was something I needed to buy everything up. ANYWAY I am a visual girl… and your example with parrot makes me want to head to the mall and pick up some cream color base in pearl right now…I’m thinking i will tomorrow. 🙂

  22. Lilan says:

    Hi Karen,

    I got the Estee quad in Berry Quartz – all the purples I’ve been eying look so pretty, I decided to give a go.

    The SA gave me samples of the DayWear Plus cream and Idealist serum for the face and eye. I’m going to try it out for a few days to see how I like it. So far, the moisturizer is really nice – smells like cucumbers!

    Oh gosh, after watching all that MJ, I kinda want to get the 25th Anniversary album – PYT is one of my faves. Well, they ALL are!

    Since the weather was so nice, I went downtown today and picked up my first pair of shu lashes! Can’t wait to play with them. It’s been a while so I gotta practice 🙂

    Lilan’s last blog post..It Feels Official Now!

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    I love platform shoes. I hope they never go out of style. And even if they do, I’ll still wear them because they are comfy and they make me the height I was meant to be (as opposed to the 5’1 I’m stuck with). I have a pair of black suede, peep toe sling backs with four inch heels and I can’t wait to bust them out for spring! WHEEE!

    The Cash Flow and Soba combo sounds promising. I’ll have to try that one!

    You now, I am eyeliner challenged too! Trust me… Fluidline makes it REALLY EASY, and that’s why I love it. You just have to experiment with a few different brushes to see which one you like best. Some to try are: the flat angled 266, the flat 212 push brush, the pointed 209. I also like the 316 covered lip brush too, for soft lines. Seriously, Fluidline is the sh*t! I’ve got a ton of ’em and I can’t stop.

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    That beast and the mascot bear a passing resemblance in both looks at attitude! 😉

    Sounds like you had a fun evening! I love going to art galleries and when they’re free that’s extra good. What kind of food did you guys have? I’m sorta craving Indian food, myself 🙂

    Movie night was sadly without Patrick. I worked after dinner and by the time I was done didn’t feel like hauling my cookies to the video store, so I watched “Step Up” on TV. It’s no Dirty Dancing, but it was fun!

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Yes, he’s the neighbor’s cat. I haven’t seen him today, and he hasn’t touched the food I left out for him. The weirdo! He has his own agenda, that’s for sure.

    Pearl is thinner and slicker than a Paint Pot. It feels like a cream blush/eyeshadow to the touch. Give it a try!

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    Woot! I am a visual girl too, and after seeing Pearl underneath Woodwinked eyeshadow I was SOLD!

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    Oh, pretty! I like purples too, but find that I can’t just slap them on and go. If I do I end up looking beat the eff up somethimes!

    I love skin stuff that smells refreshing, and cucumber is a good scent. I hope it works well!

    The MJ tribute show was the JAM. Right after I watched it I tried to do some of the float-y footwork and it was so not cracking. I am no MJ when it comes to foot work. There was absolutely NO floating happening.

    FUN! Which pair did you get?

  28. Lilan says:

    Purples are actually my favorite colors to wear, and they’re easy for me to slap on and go. But, if I’m too heavy-handed, people might mistake me for Barney, LOL 😀

    You totally inspired me to wear falsies again – I used to wear MAC’s half lashes pretty often and then got lazy. So when I saw your shu post, I HAD to go get some. Mine are pretty tame and beginner-friendly, they’re called Brown Cross. How many pair did you get on your lash run?

    Lilan’s last blog post..Favorite Stories from…

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    I have several that I’ve been too scurred to try…I’ve got Eyelashes Luxe (in black), the Long Black strand and some SCARY individual ones. They need some loving! I gotta find an excuse to go out and work them, instead of just wearing them to Safeway.

    I love Barney!

  30. Lilan says:

    I’ve never tried the individual lashes, they scare me. I’d probably poke my eye out. Let us know how you apply them if you get a chance 🙂

    I was looking at the Luxe pair too, they’re pretty. Someday I will be brave enough to sport the feather lashes like you did.

    Lilan’s last blog post..“Live for a Day” the Stila Way

  31. I have this one and it is crease city for me on it’s own. But with UDPP or Bare Canvas under, I love it! I did a base trial using this and you should see the results of it on it’s own. It’s HORRIBLE and I got that done AT MAC! Lol. The color swallowed right up WHILE I was getting my makeup done. But I took it home and played with it because I just knew good things could work this amazing pot of magic!

    Mrs. Lynne,’s last blog post..Welcome to

  32. Karen says:

    Hey Lilan,

    The feather ones aren’t really that scary. You will get a few stares but in the right circumstance (big night out with the girls, clubbing) they can be totally passible.

    Give the Luxe a try! They look very natural, believe it or not.

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Mrs. Lynne,

    I agree – if lids are oily you’ve got to have something underneath. I’m not a fan of the Urban Decay Potion Primer myself but prefer Laura Mercier Eye Basics instead.

    Hope you are having a good weekend so far!

  34. Apple Diva says:

    Yeah, I am keeping up with my courses. Thanks for asking. I need a nap, though!!

  35. Kam says:

    Love your site! Thanks for the tip- I’m putting it on my “to buy” list…do you think if I put a MAC paint on first, than the Pearl Color base it would help prevent creasing? Have a great Sunday! 🙂

  36. Will definitely have to check out LM one day. I lost my camera yesterday (insert cry here), so I’m kind of in the doghouse, lol. Thank goodness I downloaded most of my pictures the day before. Almost like my camera knew it was going on a never-returning hike!

    Mrs. Lynne,’s last blog post..MAC Product Releases: Strobe 2008

  37. Lilan says:

    I definitely want to try them out, Karen because they look so good on you!

    Happy Monday!

    Lilan’s last blog post..Bond No. 9 of the Week: Union Square

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Apple Diva,

    I always need a nap! Hope your week is off to a good start 🙂

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Kam,

    Thanks my dear! Yes, I think Paint will help to prevent creasing. If you’ve got Urban Decay Potion Primer around then that’s a good one to try too. I’ve also used concealer with a layer of translucent powder beneath and that works well, too (my lids aren’t very oily, though). Let me know if you try and it what works out for you. Happy Monday (what’s left of it). 🙂

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Lynne,

    Seriously? Girl, I’m sorry. That’s heartbreaking. On the bright side at least you got those last bits downloaded. Dang this technology! Can’t live with it…

  41. Karen says:

    You can totally pull em off, Lilan! I have faith in your false eyelash abilities 🙂 Have a good night!

  42. You’re telling me! But I did take a loss on some photos but clearly not as much as what I dl’ed the day before *wipes forehead* I’m in negotiation mode with Hubbo to get me another one, hah. Do you have a purse camera that you use? Aside from your Nikon, is it?

    Mrs. Lynne,’s last blog post..MAC Product Releases: Strobe 2008

  43. Kam says:

    Hi Karen!

    THANKS for the suggestions…I am going to the mall on Friday (can’t wait!) and will pick it up and let you know how it works out! 🙂

  44. Karen says:

    Hi Lynne,

    I have an ancient Canon Elf (LOL from 2005) that I tote around, along with my camera phone. I’ve had the RebelXTI surgically attached to me for the past few days, though. Sometimes I just want to take random picture, ya know?

    So did you pick up a replacement yet?

  45. Karen says:

    You’re welcome Kam! I hope that you picked up your Pearl and that you had a chance to play with it! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  46. I actually picked up a replacement today – SD850IS. Got me an elfie also. But I’m still making sure this is the one I want before I dive into the packaging and then can’t return it. What elfie do you have?

    I actually want an XTI also, but of course my dream would be a 30/40D 🙂 Holla!

    Mrs. Lynne,’s last blog post..MAC Product Releases: Heatherette 3/20

  47. nishah says:

    I just bought Mac Cream color base and it really works! Actually i went to mac counter to get the paint pot but then the store girl advised me to get cream color base instead as it is versatile to be applied b4 any colors. The color of my eyeshadow really pops out as shown above when its applied with a base. Go for it if u want a pro kinda EYE do!

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