Best Eyeshadow Palette 2018: Pat McGrath Mothership

2018 was the year of eyeshadow purchases. Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills, BH Cosmetics, WetnWild Color Icon, Colorpop, Covergirl, Viseart and Smashbox.

(review posts: Covergirl Jewels here, Naked 3 here, Viseart Paris Nudes here , Colorpop Disney Designer Collection palette here BH Cosmetics Take Me Back to Brazil here)

And then in December I finally succumbed to the hype. I used the 25% discount on and got myself a PAT McGRATH PALETTE !

The Hype is Real.mcgrath.002 jpegThe $125 price tag is hefty but these shades and formula need a shrine ! No, a temple actually.

And while I hate paying for packaging, thus my respect for Viseart, the Mothership palette’s packaging is a work of art.

I c.a.n n.o.t bring myself to throw the cardboard box away. And the actual palette in itself is heavy! At a pinch you could defend yourself and hit someone on the head with it.

As an everyday makeup wearer I don’t care that the palette doesn’t have the shade names printed on it. Who am I ‘instructing’ ?

Now the formula is unique through and through. The shades seem to play with light to reveal yet another layer of colour. In-fact I am having a real hard time trying to describe the shades!


The shades are described on the site as follows:

6 Powderluxe Pressed Eye Shadows in innovative formulas with matte, pearl, and sparkle finishes.

4 modern, hybrid pigmented formulas in metallic, satin sheen, iridescence, and holographic brilliance finishes.

shade names

What does that mean ? I am trying!

So Xtreme Black and Deep Shade are mattes. Now Deep Shade is described with ‘warm’ undertones. But when I swatch it I see a more grey/cooler undertone. A deep milk chocolate brown with a cool undertone ? Un-usual and I love it.

Skinshow Fever is a Champagne gold that I would call a shimmer.

Skinshow Fever, Night Creature and Lazarus

Lazarus is a brown-bronze satin-sheen.  (Sephora describes it as a warm pinky brown.)

Night Creature is a deep magenta, swatched on my hand looks like a satin but on the eye it sparkles like crazy!

Golden- Gigabyte, Pink -VR Pink, Blue?- Blitz Amethyst and White – Astral Ghost Orchid

Now for the stars of the palette. This last quad. This is probably what Pat McGrath Labs call the hybrid modern formula.

Oh my !

VR Pink, Gigabyte, Blitz Amethyst and Black Metal

VR Pink is a peachy-pink with a golden undertone. It’s a glitter. Most reviewers use it as a topper but I use it by itself.

Gigabyte is a green-gold, also called dirty gold or antique gold. It’s stunning. It is a fantastic metallic shadow that looks so elegant on the lids.

Blitz Amethyst is a purple with a blue pearl and pink shift! WTF ?? If I can describe it in the most basic way I would call it a metallic- glitter.

Black Metal is a gunmetal matte with silver pearl.img_5651Now the white shade, Astral Ghost Orchid is tricky. It is the most glittery shade that is white with a pink reflect. It has sheer to medium coverage and works best as a glitter topper. This is the only shade I am still trying to work out how best to show it off.

Wear and Application.

I will tell you right now I am a novice at eyeshadow. I watch YouTube and I play with eyeshadows and that’s how I learn’t how to work with different formulas. Pigments, Shimmers, Metals. Finger v/s brush. Natural hair v/s Synthetic, Dry v/s Fix+ or wet.

And…I dont touch glitter. I am not that advanced.

Having said that the Pat McGrath formula is a BREEZE. I had zero learning curve other than Astral Ghost Orchid.

I love Subversive. The shades make my eye look so glamorous and editorial. As if I were a model in one of Pat McGrath’s instagram videos!

They have great staying power. 4-6 hours of wear without creasing or balding.

For the abundance of glitter in a lot of the shades in this palette, there is

  1. Minimal fall-out. Zero to minimal with a glitter glue/tacky base
  2. Easy to work with or without primer.
  3. Easy to work with natural or synthetic brushes.
  4. Easy to work with a primer or a concealer.
  5. The mattes blend like a dream. Even Xtreme Black. I am usually scared of opaque blacks and never ever use them. But not this one!

I don’t care there is no ‘transition’ shade. Lucky for me Deep Shade works perfectly in my crease and/or to anchor a look.

Inspite of this price, this palette is truly democratic.

It doesn’t have any of the nonsense that ABH Subculture, Natasha Denona and James Charles x Morphe palettes seem to have. “You need to be a makeup artist”, ” You need MAC paint pot to make it work”, ” You don’t know how to use my palette”.

Oh get over yourselves.

Subversive works with my Wayne Goss brushes, Real Techniques, Morphe and ELF brushes and with a $1 sponge applicator.

It works with my finger.

It works with WetnWild mattes.

It works with my Urban Decay primer potion, NYX glitter glue and a WetnWild concealer.

So far I have not used Fix+ or wet the brush. I haven’t felt the need personally.

I am worried about Pat McGrath’s next palette release because I know I will want it.