Review and Swatches: MAC Electric Wonder Desert Lightning Palette

Today’s review is on another palette, this time of a MAC release that I’ve been looking forward to for a few months – the Electric Wonder collection. 

Gone are the days where I keep track of MAC collections, but MAC will always be a special brand to me. It was the first “high end” (aka non drugstore) brand that I fell in love with, and that also led me to fall in love with makeup. I know many of you are probably like-minded and also remember the days of epic MAC collections – Heatherettes, Barbie, C-shock, Iris Apfel, Cult of Cherry (still my favorite MAC collection…EVER). You probably also stayed up waiting for the collections to launch to buy everything before they inevitably sold out within minutes. 

MAC was one of the first makeup brands that really had the hype strategy down pat. Building up the hype of a collection with limited quantities, and then having it all sell out in minutes only fuels the hype more, and I was stuck in the cycle for years. Inevitably, the constant releases led to declining quality of the products, and MAC became less interesting to me as a brand. 

It’s a strategy that many brands have used since, as they try to release the new “it” product more frequently and frequently, while the quality of the products continue to decline until the cycle meets its own demise. Urban Decay, Too Faced, Anastasia Beverley Hills…and many more. 

I think that MAC has thankfully learned from that strategy, and have drastically scaled back their collection releases for the past few years. As I moved on to other brands, I really stopped keeping track of their new releases, unless I happened to see a promo image that really caught my eye. 

That’s what happened with the MAC Electric Wonder Palette. It wasn’t even the pink marble packaging (which is absolutely gorgeous, btw), but the actual shades of the eyeshadows specifically. It might be fairly obvious by now that eyeshadows are one of my weaknesses (along with lip products), and eyeshadow palettes ALWAYS get me. When I saw the images and preliminary swatches for the 2 palettes in this collection I was already sold. 

…But when I went to buy them during a sale at Ulta, the warm palette, Natural Vice, was already sold out of most stores I was shopping at so I could only get the cooler toned palette, Desert Lightning. As of right now, Natural Vice appears to be sold out at all the stores I usually shop at, but Desert Lightning is still available at Nordstroms and Macys.

I’m a bit gutted that I couldn’t get Natural Vice, but if I’m honest, Desert Lightning has a more unique color story, and the cooler tones are shades I have fewer dupes in my collection already.

Both palettes include 12 eyeshadows and are $48. They are packaged in a gorgeous hard plastic pink and white marble pattern with gold embossing. I love that there is actually a mirror on the inside of this palette, since most MAC palettes haven’t included mirrors in the past.

The eyeshadows in the palette perform like the very best of MAC eyeshadows. The quality on all 12 shades is just like I expect MAC shadows to be – pigmented without being powdery or *too* pigmented, buildable, and long lasting. The matte shades are drier than the shimmery or frost shades, but that’s characteristic of MAC shadows, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I find that they still blend well, although it wise to start with a light layer and build up from there. 

I absolutely love the shade selection in this palette. I think that many of the shimmery shades have a really unique finish that are a little more complex than most MAC eyeshadows – especially Fool’s Gold, So Jaded, Duabandita, and Big Attitude.

The shades included are: 

  • Desert Lightning – a matte white beige (matte)
  • Fresh Innocence – a frosty white with some gold shimmer (frost)
  • Retrospeck – a shimmery light beige (lustre, permanent shade)
  • Fool’s Gold – a shimmery warm gold (frost)
  • Marzipan – a matte mauve (matte)
  • So Jaded – a light silvery green shade (veluxe pearl)
  • Duabandita – a reddish brown with blue shimmer (veluxe pearl)
  • Is It the Beat – a matte black (matte)
  • Brun – an almost matte brown black shade (satin)
  • Deception – a shimmery taupey brown (frost)
  • Golden Brown – a shimmery golden brown shade (veluxe pearl)
  • Big Attitude – a shimmery dark taupe shade (frost)

Here are some swatches:

Swatched indoors in direct light
Swatched indoors in indirect light

I also like that it’s possible to create a variety of looks with this palette. There is a matte highlight, transition, and crease shade – the building blocks of all my looks – along with plenty of neutral shimmery shades to more intense shades to transition to a night look. 

If these shades look like your type of shades, this would be a great palette for you. It checks my boxes of having pretty AND functional packaging, with a variety of shades that are all good quality. It’s one of the most cohesive and unique palettes I’ve seen MAC release in awhile, and my only regret is that I didn’t immediately snag the warmer toned Natural Vice Palette with it. 

I hope these swatches and review were helpful! If you’ve seen or tried this palette, I’d love to know your thoughts too. What makes a palette worth the purchase for you? 

As always, thanks for reading.

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