I’m Bubbly About the Neutrals in the MAC Cham Pale Collection

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac champale on karen of makeup and beauty blog

I would like to propose a toast, friends — my very first serious toast ever — and I think there’s something fitting about it being dedicated to makeup. If you’ll bear with me for a moment, please raise your glass, be it filled with bubbly, wine, water, chai latte or anything else, to the MAC Cham Pale collection, one of the most inspiring neutral releases this lass has seen this year.


Launching right after Christmas (Dec. 26), the limited edition collection is a relatively small one for MAC, with just 26 pieces for the face, eyes, cheeks, lips, nails and skin in prices ranging from $14-36.

As much as I love neutral colors like gray, beige and and peach, collections dominated by them run the risk of venturing into snooze territory, especially when the finishes are mostly matte. They may be practical as all getout, but matte beige and gray don’t exactly set the world on fire, ya know?

Which is why I’m so surprised by MAC Cham Pale. The collection does for neutrals what Glee did for musicals on television. Like a mimosa on the beach, these finishes — which range from soft, pearly shimmers to high shine frosts — sparkle in the light. MAC made something practical into something inspiring, and I think it’s a refreshing take.

mac champale
Some items from Cham Pale, clockwise from the peach pan in the lower left: Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole, Paint Pot in Dangerous Cuvee, Paint Pot in Vintage Selection, Eye Shadow x 4 in Caviar Dreams, Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Chez Chez Lame, Lipgelee in Luxure, Nail Lacquer in Soiree

The color palette almost looks like someone started by melting a gilded gold and silver jewelry box and siphoned the colors into makeup pans, tubes and pots. Quiet pink, cool gray, warm peach and inky onyx weave their way into the metallics, keeping the colors soft and wearable. Nothing’s either too warm or too cool, and I’m betting these shades are going to look fabulous on a wide range of skin tones.

I love everything in this release, but the eye makeup is exciting me most, especially the Paint Pots and the quad.

As for the Reserve Highlight Powders (how cool is that crinkled design on the pans?), the texture feels even softer than usual for MAC.

MAC Cham Pale: Swatches on NC35 Skin

mac champale swatches
Swatches from left: Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick, Kohl Power in Feline, Chromagraphic Pencil in NC15/NW20, Chromagraphic Pencil in NW25/NC30

mac champale swatches paint pots
Paint Pot in Chilled on Ice, Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection and Dangerous Cuvee

mac champale swatches eyeshadows beauty powders
Eye Shadow in Brule, Eye Shadow in Retrospeck, Eye Shadow in Et tu, Bouquet?, Eye Shadow in Caviar Dreams, Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Chez Chez Lame, Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole

mac champale swatches lipsticks
Lipstick in Quiet, Please; Flustered; Tanarama and Gel

mac champale swatches lipgelee
Lipgelle in Luxure, Sin-tillation, Straight to the Head and Bubble Lounge

mac champale swatches nail polish
Nail Lacquer in Soiree (left) and Very Important Platinum (right)

mac champale swatches all

mac champale on karen of makeup and beauty blog eye closeup
Eye Shadow x 4 in Caviar Dreams, Paint Pot in Dangerous Cuvee, Paint Pot in Chilled on Ice, Kohl Power in Feline and Chromagraphic Pencil in NW25/NC30

mac champale on karen of makeup and beauty blog 2
Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole on cheeks and Lip Gelee in Luxure on lips

These products make me want to make big New Year’s Eve plans. From the colors, to the finishes, to the promotional artwork in the ad campaign, they beg to be worn to a fancy schmancy shindig, one in a warm room with high ceilings, a live band and hundreds of people dressed to the nines. πŸ™‚

The MAC Cham Pale Collection: The Whole Shebang

Studio Fix Lash, $14

  • Black Fix — a black

Special Reserve Highlight Powder, $28

  • Chez Chez Lame — a soft gold with silver shimmer
  • Rose Ole — a soft pink with golden shimmer

Eye Kohl, $14.50

  • I Get No Kick — a metallic nude

Kohl Powder, $14.50

  • Feline — a rich black

Chromagraphic Pencil, $14.50

  • NC15/NW20 — NC15
  • NW25/NC30 — NC24

Paint Pot, $16.50

  • Chilled on Ice — a frosty white gold
  • Let Me Pop — a frosty light copper
  • Vintage Selection — a frosty dirty peach
  • Dangerous Cuvee — a frosty cool gray

Nail Lacquer, $13

  • Soiree — a sparkly light bronze gold with a frosty finish
  • Very Important Platinum — a dirty platinum with a frosty finish

Lipstick, $14.50

  • Tanarama — a pale beige with golden shimmer and a frosty finish
  • Flustered — a pale bronze with a frosty finish
  • Quiet, Please — a pink champagne with a frosty finish
  • Gel — a sheer metallic beige with a frosty finish

Lipgelee, $14.50

  • Luxure — an off white with pink pearl and a frosty finish
  • Sin-tillation — a sparkly pale icy pink with a frosty finish
  • Bubble Lounge — a sparkly pinkish peach with a frosty finish
  • Straight to the Head — a sparkly bronze brown with a frosty finish

Eye Shadow x 4 in Caviar Dreams, $36

  • Brule — a soft creamy beige with a satin finish
  • Et tu, Bouquet? — a frosted pale pink gold with a frosty finish
  • Caviar Dreams — a drity frosted pewter with a lustre finish
  • Retrospeck — a beached blonde with a lustre finish

Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15+ Lavender, $14.50

  • Calm Mode — a light neutral beige

Fix+ Lavender, $18


Complete Comfort Creme, $32

Lip Conditioner SPF 15+ Lavender, $14.50

So tell me, how do you feel about Cham Pale? Are you neutral about it, or have you taken a stand? πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 68 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Samantha says:

    Ooh i like! are there any must-haves, in your opinion, for this collection?

  2. Those swatches are GORGEOUS! I’m a sucker for anything neutral. Those are lovely. I need more MAC or makeup for that matter like a hole in my head but still… I definitely eyeing those Special Reserve Highlight Powders.
    Lindsay a.k.a. RVAfashionista recently posted … RVA DEAL ALERT- 5 off the A-List Package for GayRVAs New Years Eve

  3. Paris B says:

    For some reason I was so burnt out by the numerous reviews of this collection that hit the interweb all at one go. Info overload y’know. But I like how you’ve presented it and I’m eyeing the eyeshadow palette… and I’m not usually into MAC *gasp* I think its a nice collection – perhaps a good one in the midst of all the colour we’re being bombarded with for Spring πŸ™‚ BTW I love your earrings!
    Paris B recently posted … An Oldie but Goodie- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex Serum

  4. Myr says:

    Do I really need more champagne/neutrals? Of course not, but these frosty beauties are too feminine to resist. It’s a good thing I already own half of the quad.
    I will at least be getting the eye kohl in I Get No Kick.
    I’m not a fan of the textured highlight powder. Something about the crinkle design irks me. Ha.

    • Karen says:

      I like that eye kohl. It looks very similar to one I have from the Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes line in Champagne. LOVE IT along the lower waterline! It’s like an instant pick me up.

      • steph b says:

        This eyeliner has my heart aflutter! I can’t wait to see it. If the malls weren’t insane, I’d go check out that Make Up For Ever because i just want this yesterday.

        I am intrigued by the shadows and paint pots but am afraid it will be shimmer overkill. I want more satin type sheens! Yeah, I know I can mix with things I already have. Or buy other new stuff to fill in (hee hee).

  5. Lacey says:

    You’ve made my day with this post!!!!! I want so much from this collection that my bank account is going to HATE me LOL. I love neutrals πŸ™‚
    Lacey recently posted … What Do You Want To See

  6. Rae says:

    Ack, your swatches look amazing! I wasn’t excited AT ALL for Cham-Pale when the colour story came out, but the more swatches I see, the more I feel like I need ’em all πŸ˜›
    Rae recently posted … Recent obsession- gold and champagne

  7. Phyrra says:

    The grey eye look is very pretty on you.
    Phyrra recently posted … Purple &amp Gold

  8. Alice says:

    Hahaha, I love that you swatched the nail polishes on your skin. I’m liking the look of the Very Important Platinum, but everything else I think looks nice, I already have similar products.

    • Karen says:

      I have the last bits of a janky manicure that I forgot to take off. πŸ™ If my nails were bare I would’ve totally done a nail swatch, but you do what you gotta do, right?

      • Alice says:

        Oh I completely understand. I redid the thumb nail on my right hand (I’m right handed) last night about four times before I was satisfied. And I was only using clear polish! I’m very particular about how my nails look.

  9. Appu says:

    Lovin’ it so far! I want Feline so bad…hope it doesn’t sell out very fast πŸ™‚
    Appu recently posted … Free Shipping on all orders over 20 at Cherryculture!

    • Karen says:

      MAC needs to make that color permanent already! I like it a lot more than Smolder, which turns blue on me.

      • Silje says:

        I thought I was the only one that had problems with smolder and its weird blue shade? Thank god there are more of us out there πŸ™‚ Seriously, I look weird with smolder and my trusty black Lancome L’extencils mascara, not a good look.

        Oh and the Dangerous Cuvee Paint Pot is droolworthy. Too bad I don’t live near Mac, may have to try evilbay for this one πŸ˜‰

  10. Christina says:

    I’m loving Caviar Dreams, but then again, I’m really only loving Caviar Dreams. Too bad it’s LE. I’ll probably end up picking up another paint pot as well, though my first paint pot dried out super quickly (I didn’t even make a dent!).

  11. Heidi says:

    Hmmm…. let’s see…. I want the eye shadow quad, a couple of the paint pots, I Get No Kick, and a couple of the lip gelees. Well, let’s hope Santa’s bringing me a gift certificate from a store that sells MAC!

  12. Kristen says:

    I just LOVE the lipsticks, so that is what I am picking up. I will be at Macys bright and early on 12/26 πŸ™‚
    Kristen recently posted … Sephora- Sale on Sale Items!

  13. Meg O. says:

    Gorgeous swatches and photos!! BUT…. I wouldn’t say that Glee did anything for musical theatre… (sorry, total theatre snobbery going on here)! LOL. I love how the highlighters look all crumpled-y!
    Meg O. recently posted … A Cupcake Catastrophe

  14. Tasha says:

    hmmm not sure about this collection. Honestly, i’m not a big fan… it looks okay on you (not that you’re not gorgeous… i don’t know just the color.. i hope i can be honest :X

  15. polarbelle says:

    I simply adore these colors. I love how they light up the face; all the colors look like they’re designed to bring that lit from within look. LOVE!!!

  16. Amee says:

    MAC Champale Collection is very nice… I liked the kohl powder the most…
    Amee recently posted … Chess Board on my Nails!!!! – My Nail Art 11

  17. Viv in the UK says:

    Thanks for the lovely review – I LOVE this collection – I am fairly new to MAC – have always bought the cheapest available, being a stay-at-home mum of five! Now I’m back to work, and have discovered MAC πŸ™ I want/need so much of this collection – trying to work out which bits to get – have already bought the two permanent lipsticks on the UK MAC free delivery offer before Christmas! LOVE them. Have to get the paint pots, trying to decide what else to get…

  18. Amee says:

    MAC Champale Collection is very nice…
    Amee recently posted … Chess Board on my Nails!!!! – My Nail Art 11

  19. gio says:

    I’m not really a fan of these shades, but they look gorgeous on you!
    gio recently posted … How To Use Orange Concealer

  20. DonnaN says:

    oh, this looks LOVELY on you! Definately, NYE-worthy. I’ve already placed my pre-order, but I think I need to go back for I GET NO KICK champagne eye kohl—too pretty!

  21. Vonvon says:

    Wonderful collection. I love your eye makeup!
    Vonvon recently posted … Reviews- AromaFabulous Fushia Fantastic Body Wash &amp Body Souffle

  22. Amy says:

    The collection is beautiful on you! I honestly wouldn’t have given it a second look, now I want everything you used! I have olive skin, a few shades lighter than yours and brown eyes…thank you for giving me so many ideas I never would have thought would flatter me.

    Tell Tabs his long lost sister Lola wishes him a Merry Christmas.

  23. Tiffany says:

    love it all!!!!!!!!!!!! this collection is right up my alley!

  24. Erin says:

    I can’t wait for this! I think my awesome boyfriend is buying me some things from this collection for Christmas!! I was waiting for your swatches to decide 100%!
    Your MAC swatches always make me want to go buy the entire collection, btw!
    Erin recently posted … Sally Hansen Black Platinum could save you up to 25!

  25. Ariel says:

    Karen, I think you are the most talented makeup blogger out there when it comes to creating gorgeous eyeshadow looks with new palettes!

  26. I’m sooo with you on this! The paint pots, the kohl pencils, the shadow quad, the highlight powders….these neutrals speak to my heart!!! I will be using these products from winter into summer!
    Kajal Couture recently posted … MAC Cham Pale Must Haves

  27. Kaoyee says:

    Ok I need more makeup like a need a bullet hole in my head but I’m going to get the Chromagraphic pencils for sure and the Chez Chez Lame Special Reserve powder. A new MAC store just opened in one of our malls…soooooo excited!

  28. Erin says:

    One question Karen- is Dangerous Cuvee at all similar to Benefit Skinny Jeans cream e/s?? I love the look of Dangerous Cuvee, but already have Skinny Jeans. Thanks!
    Erin recently posted … Sally Hansen Black Platinum could save you up to 25!

  29. Tracy says:

    I want almost everything! Sigh….going to be soooo broke after Christmas!
    Tracy recently posted … Wet N Wild Sugar Plum Fairy Holiday Palette

  30. Laura F. says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on I Get No Kick for inner corner and waterline brightening.

  31. Monica says:

    ughhhhhhhh i want everything!! those paintpots, nail polishes, and highlighting powders are right up my alley! ill probably get the quad too. . .

    i really need more storage πŸ™

  32. Katrina says:

    Oh! I am in love! I am sort of in need of some neutrals that are not ho-hum, and I think these feet the bills. The quad and the paint pots I think are an absolute must. I’m going out on new years for the first time EVER (can you even believe it?) and I think I need to have this collection as suggested!

  33. Liz! says:

    This collection is simply gorge!!!!

  34. Nina says:

    its gorgeous but maybe more for light skinned beauties. ill probly give this collection a miss except for the chromagraphic pencils!

  35. Karen B says:

    Looks amazing πŸ™‚
    Karen B recently posted … Wednesday Wonderful- Sunset

  36. BeautyMaven says:

    Wow — I seriously didn’t even give this collection a second glance because of the “boring colors”– thanks so much for the swatches! These are absolutely gorgeous! I can’t resist anything shimmery/metallic, haha!
    BeautyMaven recently posted … New Years Dress-Up

  37. Ada says:

    I’m loving Dangerous Cuvee and the E/s quad. Thanks for the swatches and Happy Holidays!

  38. Amber says:

    I’m LOVING this but I feel like I have too much similar stuff! I’m considering Rose Ole and Soiree.
    Amber recently posted … Steal of the day kinda

  39. Silva says:

    I love neutrals! I think I’m in love with this collection.
    Silva recently posted … Comments Lost

  40. anna says:

    Normally I’m a lurker and don’t comment but wow that Cham Pale look you did is absolutely stunning!

  41. KimAnh says:

    Karen! I was so on the fence about this collection but you’ve really convinced me! You look beautiful and your swatches look great! I’m definitely gonna look at the eyeshadows and paint pots. Can’t seem to decide on the Special Reserve Highlights though. Do you love em?

  42. Megan says:

    Omg. That is all I can say. I am a neutral girl and this collection is seriously calling my name. I love the highlighting powders and the eyeshadows!

  43. Francesca says:

    Your makeup looks absolutely gorgeous on you!

  44. Elle says:

    Aaaand now I know these colors will work on me. cuz they work really well on you. I want to see it all in person πŸ™‚ You look great in this collection!

  45. lexi says:

    I am a cream shadow HO – must get Dangerous Cuvee and Vintage Selection. I am also liking the Straight to the Head lipgelee. I think it’s because of the name – reminds me of my clubbin days when the bartenders yell out, ‘LAST CALL FOR ALCOHOL” hahahah – bad, I know!!
    lexi recently posted … A Winter Jewel

  46. Jenn says:

    I’m so excited for this collection because I am a sucker for neutrals, especially shimmery neutrals! Hopefully I can scrape up some $ and get a few things!

  47. Ru says:

    Karen, is Chez Chez Lame ashy on your skintone?

  48. Phyrra says:

    I keep counting down until I can purchase: Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick, Kohl Power in Feline, Chromagraphic Pencil in NC15/NW20.

  49. MONICA_MAUI says:

    this is the perfect winter collections πŸ˜‰ soo angelic!

  50. Anh says:

    I love this! The nail lacquers are beautiful.
    Anh recently posted … Protecting your creative work on the internet

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