Just received MAC's Pandamonium eyeshadow quad, from the Balloonacy collection currently out in the US and due to launch in Asian markets in July. The first time I saw a blurry photo of the quad online, I knew that I would definitely be adding it to my MAC quads collection as I always snag the purple-themed quads. Even if MAC does tend to put out colours that are very similar to previous shades. When I finally received it in the mail (thanks to another very kind MUAer), I was not disappointed. Many people were complaining about Violet Trance, the vibrant royal purple shade as it is a Matte and hence more difficult to work with. But the first time I tried it on, i discovered that it does not necessarily have to show up matte when applied. The trick? Just layer it over the other shades in the quad!
First, I applied Pandamonium (Lustre; metallic gun metal grey with silver shimmer) as the liner shade from the lashline to about midway to the crease and then Up At Dawn (Veluxe Pearl; soft lilac) above that and in the crease. Then I just brush my brush lightly across Violet Trance and applied it at the outer corners over Up At Dawn, shading it in a "<" shape towards the centre of the lid and blending it well with Up At Dawn in the middle of the lid. By applying Violet Trance at the outer corners, it helps to define the crease and make the eyes appear bigger. Also, by applying it over Up At Dawn, some of the glimmer in Up At Dawn shines through the Violet Trance. The key is blending to soften the edges and make the gradational effect appear more natural.
Of the 4 shades in the quad, I would say Violet Trance and Pandamonium are the most unique and prettiest. MAC has really improved the texture of their Lustres which used to be a horrible mess with glitter that flew all over and poor colour payoff. Starting with the Dollymix quad, I found that the new Lustres had a very smooth texture with great colour payoff and they don't fall all over my cheeks. In fact, the texture of Pandamonium is superior to that of Up At Dawn even though Veluxe Pearls are supposed to be smoother and more velvety. Up At Dawn was a bit too sheer and needed to be layered a few times in order to show up nicely whereas Pandamonium just glided on beautifully with one stroke. I use MAC's #228 Mini Shader Brush for applying all the shades in the quad except Cloudbound.
If I had one wish for MAC, it would be to come up with eyeshadow quads in which there are 4 truly unique, never-before-seen shades and all with great textures. With MAC quads, there are inevitably always one or two shades that are just filler material, an utter waste of space because it is either some pale shimmery highlighter shade that most people already own something similar to, or a strange colour with poor texture. Why not do a quad comprising four great Lustre shades? Up At Dawn is just too similar to Mancatcher from the Lure collection, Lavender Sky from the Culturebloom collection AND Leap from the Corps de Couleur quad from Danse. Cloudbound is a bit too frosty with a gold iridescence that was not too flattering. Cloudbound is a bit too frosty to be used as an all-over wash just under the brow for me.
Moving on, I thought I would also review my other MAC quad purchase, Dollymix from the Barbie Loves MAC collection. Again, there are two outstanding, unique shades - Warm Me, Girl (Lustre) and Nearly Nights (Satin) - and two boring filler shades - Cuddle (Satin) and Playful (Veluxe Pearl). I simply adore Warm Me, Girl which is a nice clean metallic copper shade that just brightens up the face. It is not your typical boring brown shade at all. Nearly Night is described as a mid tone frosted lilac gray but on me, it's not frosty at all and it has only the barest hint of shimmer. The purple tones in the grey make it quite unusual. Cuddle is a soft beigy peach that is so-so, no big deal. Playful is a mid-tone pink with gold pearl that is quite nice for spring. The colours combination in this quad is quite unusual just like Pandamonium and a much welcome change for me after the disappointment of the Racquel Welch quads (blah & boring!). I find both very wearable and versatile with the potential to create a variety of looks, both subtle and dramatic. Included a pic of my MAC quads collection below, most are premade except for the one in the lower left corner that I put together using the Culturebloom eyeshadows.