Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Review: MAC Chromaline

MAC Chromaline is a PRO product.  So, when I swapped for a pot in Landscape Green recently, I consulted the product page on the MAC PRO website, and decided that it looked like a good contender for something that wouldn't crease on my oily lids.  And thusly, I swapped.  I tested it out and proceeded to write a long and very positive review.  Then, I read some very conflicting reports on t'internet about whether the Chromaline product is eye safe or not.

I'd kinda assumed that it was, as the description on the product page describes it as a "liner".  However, there's not one mention of the word "eye" alongside it, as this is geared more toward body art than facial beautification.  I emailed MAC, and their PRO artist told me that only the black and white shades of Chromaline have been tested as eye safe, but that I could try other shades out and just discontinue use if I noticed any irritation.  So if this product sounds appealing, be careful to only buy it in black or white unless you're prepared to chance the product turning out to be irritating to your eyes.

Anyway, all that aside, Chromaline is a long wearing, waterproof cream product.  If you're a regular reader you might know that I have immense trouble with cream eyeshadows; none of them stick properly, and they all crease.  This product is the first cream I've tried that doesn't crease or migrate across my eyes.  The texture is not quite as creamy and emollient as a gel eyeliner such as MAC's popular Fluidline, and it takes a little work with a brush to warm it up enough to blend over the eyelid.  Once applied, it sets very quickly - this makes it difficult to get a perfectly blended and even wash of colour over the lid.  So this isn't really a product to wear alone.

As a coloured base, however, it's fantastic.  It gives loose pigments a good base to stick to, and the strong green shade adds more dimension and vibrancy to the finished look.  Worn for a day, I found that it kept up with Urban Decay's iconic primer in terms of crease prevention and keeping the colour looking fresh.  It also works very well as a coloured liner, although it is ever so slightly less smooth to apply once warmed up than a traditional cream or gel liner.

While I'm not sure that it's so waterproof that you could take a dip whilst wearing it, I found that this product doesn't budge that much when it comes into contact with water.  I managed to rub a fair bit of the product off my eye with a little bit of water (and a lot of elbow grease), but found that I needed an oil cleanser to remove all traces of green from around my eyes.

Overall, the Chromaline product does what it says on the jar website - it's well pigmented, with a matte finish, and sets down to be very durable indeed, even on my very oily lids.  The fact that not all the shades have been tested as eye safe is a fairly big niggle for the non-professional user, but given the durability I expect I'll be getting the black shade, as a hard wearing black liner is a bit of an essential in my eyes.

As it's a PRO product, if you want to grab one of these, you'll need to head down to the MAC PRO store off Carnaby Street in London.  You can also buy via mail order, in which case you can call them on 020 7534 9222.  A Chromaline will set you back £13.

What do you think?  Would you try these, or have you tried them before?


  1. I think it looks beautiful as a liner, it's a gorgeous colour. However i'd heard before that none of the colours were eyesafe. I have sensitive eyes so i probably shouldn't try it. I don't really see what other use it has other than on the eye or maybe as face paint :/

  2. The PRO Artist I spoke to was pretty definite about the black and white being eyesafe. I think since they're geared more to professionals, they're more for face and body painting of a more creative type!

  3. I've just test driven the Wet N Wild black gel liner.... and for like 1/5 the price of a Mac Fluidline, it performs the same (if not slightly less smudgy than MAC). Worth taking a look at for a cheap fix? :)

  4. It seems kind of bad that you had to contact them to check if it was eye-safe, or not, as I can imagine a lot of people will assume that it would be.

  5. I guess the assumption is from a consumer point of view, though - professionals who actually do body painting might look at it differently - a liner to a professional doesn't necessarily shout "for eyes!", like it does to a consumer.


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