Eyes: MAC's Eye Shadow in "Artistic License" (Veluxe Pearl) (LE) [Moody Blooms 2014] + Comparison

Hi! I'm finally back, and I apologize for not posting reviews in a long time. I'm glad to be writing again, though, and have a lot of reviews that are due, so let me get to the topic of this post.

Also: I know, I know, for some of you I may be wearing a target on my back. When will you review makeup that ISN'T from MAC?! I still buy outside of MAC, but they do produce my favorite lipstick formula(s), and they happen to be releasing a lot of collections that I've purchased products from. I realize the imbalance between makeup brands in my reviews (and the imbalance between general categories in my reviews, hah), but do rest assured: my blog is not going to become MAC-exclusive, or even makeup-exclusive. I kind of just review what I'm using, or reading or listening to, as it comes.

Of course I bring that up because today's post, and the one planned to go up next, both have to do with MAC products. Both are products from one of MAC's recent collections, Moody Blooms, which was released the very end of June. This post will be focusing on the limited edition eye shadow that I picked up, "Artistic License," with the addition of a swatch comparison to a cheaper option I noticed in my collection.


I'm skipping a "claims" section for this post because, honestly, MAC's line of eye shadows is their staple line of eye shadows, period. They don't make any groundbreaking claims worth mentioning.

Name: Artistic License
Net Wt.: 0.04 oz./ 1.3 g.*
Price: $15
Finish: Veluxe Pearl

*Their website lists this eye shadow as weighing the same as shadows in their permanent line - 0.05 oz./ 1.5 g. - but the weight I listed here is that which appears with the product information on the bottom of the product itself. Not sure why there is this discrepancy in the product weight. 

This is my first regular eye shadow from MAC - that is to say, I own one other MAC eye shadow, but it is in their mineralize formula. I never feel compelled to buy their eye shadows, as popular as they are, because I usually buy shadow singles from drugstore brands and palettes from brands that are more expensive. With that being said, MAC's palettes, in my opinion, are way too pricey.

MAC's eye shadows come in the signature black MAC packaging like the majority of products in their permanent line. There is nothing special about this packaging - it's a simple black tub/container. The lid has a window to the actual eye shadow inside, so you can view each color without having to open the product.

The bottom of the container has the general product information, including the product name.

This product is completely unscented.


MAC describes "Artistic License" (LE) as a "pinky gold" with a veluxe pearl finish. First off, I wish that MAC would list descriptions of their finishes somewhere on their site. With MAC lipsticks I don't have too much trouble describing each finish because I own lipsticks in multiple of MAC's available finishes, and, for the most part, multiples within each finish, so I have a good understanding of the differences between them. In this case, as I said before, I don't own any other shadows from their regular line!

Based off of what I read online and what I noticed in "Artistic License," the veluxe pearl finish is one that is sheer but can be built up, has shimmer/glitter particles, and can appear somewhat metallic. In terms of color, I feel that MAC's description of "Artistic License" is accurate.

It falls into the category of rose gold, with an almost duochrome effect. In direct sunlight especially - which is also when the metallic finish becomes most apparent - "Artistic License" appears predominantly, if not entirely, gold. 

I obviously can't comment on how the typical formula of a veluxe pearl is, but something I did notice while swatching "Artistic License" is that, compared to shadows I own from other brands, the product in the pan is very, very dry. It does pick up when I swirl my finger in it, but there is nothing creamy about the formula at all. I don't know if this will affect the blendability of the shadow, as I've only used it patted on as a lid color, but I can say that it does swatch smoothly. Additionally, the dryness of the shadow means no powdery fallout/dust buildup while retrieving product from the pan.

The above swatch is with a few layers of "Artistic License." As I mentioned before, it does initially apply sheer but can be built up to decent opacity (I have a one-layer swatch in the comparison section of this post). In any case, it really is a beautiful, illuminating lid color, and I can even imagine it being a gorgeous color with which to highlight the inner corner/tear duct. The above picture shows the rose gold color evident in the pan, but the golden duochrome can  be better seen in the following swatch:

To be honest, a color like "Artistic License" is one that I think can look stunning worn sheerly on the lid for a more natural/simple, yet almost ethereal, makeup look. Sheer washes of color have their own place in makeup, and "Artistic License" is a perfect example of a color that performs in that category beautifully.


I've decided to rename this section as "wear/functionality" for my eye shadow reviews, as opposed to "wear/lid swatches," because for my eye shadow reviews I want to include eye looks incorporating the shadows - be it simple looks that utilize only the reviewed shadow or looks using the reviewed shadow in conjunction with others. Think of this section as a glimpse into how the shadow "functions" in an actual look, as opposed to me applying every shadow I review by itself across my lid, regardless of the color.

With that being said, the look I'll be sharing here is indeed a very simple and natural look where "Artistic License" is the focal shadow applied on my lid because, as I mentioned before, I think the color performs beautifully in this kind of look.

Here, I patted "Artistic License" over a cream base - Maybelline's Color Tattoo in "Nude Pink" (LE) - with my finger, and highlighted my browbone with Ulta's Brilliant Color Eye Shadow in "Bone." For those wondering, I wouldn't say that "Nude Pink" altered the color of "Artistic License" because it is a flesh-toned cream shadow, albeit slightly cooler than my skin tone. So, really, the above look is "Artistic License" nearly functioning on its own. 

I have to say that, despite how simple it is, I adore the look above. I wore it to a birthday BBQ this past weekend, although the picture above does not include lipstick (I only had lip balm on in this picture but finally decided on Too Face's La Creme Lipstick in "I Want Candy"). Other products used were: Physician's Formula Organicwear CC Cream in "Light," Rimmel's Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in "Transparent," and Hourglass's Ambient Lighting Blush in "Luminous Flush" (I ADORE this blush to EFFING PIECES!!!).

I especially love how the pink in "Artistic License" compliments the pink in "Luminous Flush." So, so, so pretty.

In terms of wear-time, I had no issues with "Artistic License" creasing or fading over the course of 9+ hours, but I don't know how much that really says considering I've only worn it over a base (and Color Tattoos are known for staying put until taken off).


When I swatched "Artistic License" in store, I did decide to purchase it knowing that it reminded me of a shadow I already owned. A drugstore shadow, in fact (wallets, rejoice). I purchased it because said drugstore shadow is a baked shadow. I actually prefer pressed shadows over baked ones because, well, baked shadows are usually made with the idea that they won't be their optimal until used wet. You may notice that, in makeup, I don't like to perform a second step all that often.

The finger swatches above may look identical but don't build up any false hopes. The drugstore shadow is not a dupe. It's definitely comparable, though!

The drugstore shadow I'm talking about is NYX's Baked Shadow in "Ambrosia," a new-for-2014 product that I picked up a few months ago. It's a slightly pink champagne color in the pan that, when swatched, has a very reflective gold finish, much like "Artistic License." But -

LEFT (IN BOTH PICTURES): "Artistic License"

I swatched one layer of each shadow above. Can you see the difference? "Artistic License," swatched on the left in each picture, is more of a rose gold while "Ambrosia," on the right, is more of a champagne. Used as focal colors across the lids, the differences may be more noticeable than you like, but used as smaller accent colors (for their reflective gold finishes, for example), "Ambrosia" may suit the job just fine. Then there is, of course, the price difference: $15 for "Artistic License" and $6 for "Ambrosia" (also, NYX does go on sale,  both in Ulta and on the NYX site). And, when it comes down to formulas, I found that both shadows felt dry in the pan, while both swatching smoothly. So the differences really exist in color only, and on a more subtle level. 

Right - and, before I forget, "Ambrosia" is permanent, unlike "Artistic License."

In the end, it's all up to personal preference, or, honestly, how each price point affects you (or if you missed out on "Artistic License," which I know is at least already sold out on MAC's site). I prefer "Artistic License" simply because it has a more prominent pink tone. In the case of "Ambrosia," its pink tone almost disappears within the reflective gold/champagne color nearly all of the time, no matter the lighting. "Artistic License," on the other hand, better reveals its pink tone depending on the lighting/angle. And that's what I wanted from both of these shadows: a pink color laced with gold.


I love the rose gold color of "Artistic License," its reflective gold duochrome, and the way it starts off as a sheer wash of color that can be built up to decent opacity. It's a gorgeous color that was evidently popular in the Moody Blooms collection, as its the only shadow that is totally sold out on MAC's U.S. site.

Is it a unique color? It seems as though it isn't, as I have NYX's "Ambrosia" as a near-dupe in my collection. I also have to add that, although I really love the look of "Artistic License," it does not motivate me to spend $15 and purchase more shadows from MAC. I suppose I'll continue down my current path, which is one where I only buy MAC shadows if their colors truly appeal to me. Then there is the other question that floats around my mind: is the veluxe pearl finish always so dry? I do prefer softer and creamier shadow formulas. But, then again, the drier formula seems to be the reason the shadow successfully applies both sheerly, without being patchy, and opaquely...or maybe I don't have enough experience with eye shadows...?

Wow, I feel as though my mind is going through loops thinking about all of this. Let me just end it at that! If you've been looking for a pressed shadow that provides an ethereal wash of rose gold, but can be built up, and you don't mind the price point, then definitely pick up "Artistic License" as soon as you can, as it is limited edition (you might have to check your counters at this point - I don't see it on Nordstrom's site either). If you want said rose gold color, but don't want to fall in love with a limited edition product, or you don't care about the subtle differences shown in the comparison section of this post, then look into NYX's "Ambrosia" instead. 

I hope this was informative, and thanks for stopping by. 'Til next time! ('<>')>


P.S.: My boyfriend traded cameras with me when he was here. I really like the quality of the pictures this camera takes! I hope you do as well. :)


  1. Wow I'm loving this colour! So nice for every day with that bit of sparkle and sheen, just the way I like it! ;)

    1. That's precisely why I picked this one up! I really liked the color of "Blooming Mad" but I had to be honest with myself and accept the fact that I wouldn't wear it as often. I guess I'm not so quick to buy multiple of their eye shadows as I am with their lipsticks, lol. x]