MAC's launching four Eyeshadow Times Nine palettes at Sephora ION on 27 June, 3 July at other counters, and these nifty compact palettes have nine small 0.8g pans (a tiny bit more than half of a regular 1.5g MAC shadow) of shades in the permanent line. If you're new to MAC and interested in trying a cross-section of shades without paying a ton of money for 9 full-size shades, this is nice and neat.
Plus, there's the extra bonus that this is compact and portable. If you're traveling and you want options for day and night looks, these are going to give you those.
I've got swatches of all 4 here and I'll share some opinions on each one if you're not quite sure which you like more.
Amber Times Nine
The Amber palette is a great option for beginners who love neutrals. It's got a nice mix of transition shades, as well as pale shimmery highlights and deep smoky browns; not too warm and not too cool.
I love all the mattes and shimmers in here, although I'm not a fan of Lustres (shades marked with an "L") because they tend to fall right off the lid unless you apply a good base first. Still, Don't Tell is a gorgeous shade which I believe is not in the permanent line.
Recommend this for girls who are just starting out and don't own many neutrals.
Navy Times Nine
I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the shades in Navy Times Ten. If you are not someone who typically goes for blues, don't worry because this is actually more like a Cool Neutral palette. Aside from a couple of shades, everything else is actually a neutral.
And even the 2 blues are quite beautiful; especially the matte navy shade called Mulled Over. With the exception of Black Tied, which is a bit patchier and hardier to blend than the others, the rest are beautiful soft cool shades. Definitely worth a look if you like greys and taupes, because the options are very chic and there is NOTHING 80's about the blues.
Purple Times Nine
I'll just say upfront that Purple Times Nine is my least favorite of the four. Not because I don't like purples. I love them. I just feel a couple of the softer shades (Poignant, Lightly Sugared, Mancatcher) can look a little similar once applied on the skin so it would have been nicer to get shades that were a bit more different.
Also, this palette does contain 3 shades (Bon Nuit, Shadowy Lady, and Beauty Marked) that just aren't as smooth and pigmented as the rest. These are shades that I would absolutely not recommend for beginners who aren't experienced at blending or working with patchier mattes.
Burgundy Times Nine
This is probably my favorite of the four, although Navy comes close. I just love the range of rich warm browns and soft, rosy-neutral mattes that make fantastic transition colors for the socket line, and shades for smoky looks. And Antiqued is one of my all-time favorite shades of course.
I do not like Honey Lust (well the only Lustre I've ever liked is Tempting so I'm negatively biased). It looks so pretty in the pan and swatched here on my wrist, but if I rub my arm that shadow will dust RIGHT off my skin. A couple of other shades are quite sheer and not that pigmented (#Noir and Sketch) but they at least go on quite evenly, and aren't difficult to work with.
All said and done, it's really up to your preference which shades and finishes you like the most. Just because I dislike Lusters doesn't mean you would. The best thing about these palettes is each one contains a nice spread of soft to dark coordinated colors so it gives you the option to do subtle or dramatic looks without having to use additional shadows.
I'm curious. Which is your favorite?