Sunday, June 17, 2012

MAC Paintpots In Bare Study, Rubenesque And Groundwork

Paintpots are described on the MAC website as highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish. Long-wearing, colourfast. Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking. Blends smoothly over the lids. Cream-based can be mixed with MAC shadows and liners.  

There are 9 permanent shades in four different finishes offered by MAC at the moment. The shades in the permanent line are mostly in the neutral/natural color range. More colorful shades are often released in one of their never ending limited edition collections.

Paintpots are usually used as bases, but the more pigmented ones can be worn by themselves as eyeshadows. When used as bases, paintpots can help to bring out the color in eyeshadows, giving them deeper and more vibrant appearance. For some, paintpots even take the the place of a primer. I am not one of those people, my eyelids are neither too dry or too oily, but I still need a primer underneath this one. In fact, even with a primer, MAC paintpots will begin to crease and cake on my lids after about six to eight hours of wear. This is the reason that I don't use my paintpots more often. I have a 12 hour work shift and have no time to redo or retouch my makeup in between. I'm usually better off wearing my eye makeup with only Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer.

Paintpots are not my favorite MAC products, but I still managed to accumulate three different shades from their permanent line. The ones I have are Bare study, Rubenesque and Groundwork.

Bare Study is a soft beige with gold pearl. It has a frost finish. This paintpot is pretty sheer and works best as a base or as a highlighter. Powder eyeshadow applies and blends easily on top of this one. Among the three paintpots that I own, this is the one that last the longest before it starts to make my eyeshadow crease.

MAC paintpot in Bare Study

I'm most disappointed with Rubenesque. This frosty golden peach shade is beautiful in the pot, but for some reason, on my lids, the color is just blah. It is so sheer that even when using it as a base, I need to apply more than the usual to make the color show up. Piling on the product makes it difficult to blend powder eyeshadow on top, but if I use a small amount, the color does not show up at all and I'm better off without a base. This also has the least longevity and has the tendency to accentuate every line on my eyelids.

MAC Paintpot in Rubenesque

Groundwork was the last paintpot that  I picked up. I debated between this and Constructivist. In the end I picked Groundwork because I thought it would be more wearable. It was described on the MAC website as a mid-tone neutral taupe with satin finish. This one is pigmented enough for me. I can use it both as a base or by itself if I'm going for a neutral eye makeup. It applies easily using a brush or my fingers and I have no problem applying and blending powder eyeshadows on top. The problem with this one is the same with the other two - creasing and caking. No matter what how apply them, all my paintpots crease on me.

MAC Paintpot in Groundwork

Like most cream product, paintpots can dry up. I don't keep mine open for long periods and I make sure that the caps are on tightly. I also store mine upside down (as per youtube gurus instructions). I have had my paintpots for awhile and so far, I have no problem with them drying up.

To be fair, Bare Study and Groundwork did improve the appearance of my eyeshadows when I used them as bases. However, the improvement was not so much that I would want to bother with the extra step all the time and overlook the creasing issue. I'm open to the possibility that I'm not using this products properly. Any tips on how to make them last longer is much appreciated. Thank you for reading and have a nice day. 


  1. I really love the colour of rubenesque but had to purge, so drying on me :( I loved it as a base, so sad it is gone now *sobs* love your pictures <3

    1. Hi Claire. Rubenesque is my first paintpot. The color is indeed pretty but it's not working for me :(. I think I will be purging this one too.

  2. I recently purchased groundwork.. It's nice but it runs a bit grey which i'm not a big fan of.. so constructivist worked better for me.. Luckily none of them creased on me so that's a good thing

  3. I bought rubenesque and indianwood. Not highly impressed by either. I wear them as a base however after 2-3 hours my eye shadow creases. Not happy at all. They are quite expensive here in AUSTRALIA: (


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