Melt Dark Matter Eye Shadow Stack: Photos, Swatches and Review

Melt might just be my favorite lil’ makeup company of all time! Not only do they make a few of my favorite lipsticks… Now they’ve gone and created the best eye shadow palette EVER! The coolest part is that it’s not even technically a palette, it’s a stack! I love this design because 1) it allows for the eye shadows to be huge but store easily; 2) there are no little parts that open and close that my clumsy self can break, since each shadow sticks and stacks together with the magic of magnets; and 3) it just looks cool and it’s fun to take the stack apart and put them back together… It’s like legos for makeup loving grown ups.

On top of the fun factor, the four colors that make up the Dark Matter eye shadow stack are phenomenal and will work for just about everyone! You can create SO many different looks with just these four eye shadows, ranging from a totally natural daytime look, all the way to a dark, smoky eye. I think that to a lot of people, Melt is seen as being more on the edgy side, but with the addition of eye shadows, it’s going to make them blow up even more than they already have and sneak their way into the collections of a lot more people who may not have checked out this brand otherwise. That said, the Dark Matter stack IS still totally original and can be used to create a colorful, edgy look if basic isn’t your thing. I use at least one of these eye shadows, if not several of them almost daily… It just so happens that a sorta smoky eye using warm tones is my favorite look, so this really is my dream palette! It’s definitely worth checking out if you need a few new eye shadows, especially since the Dark Matter stack is so versatile and can be integrated into your everyday look and used with any shadows that you already have.

Note:   The eye shadows didn’t come all scratched and messed up like that… I’m just super clumsy (as I may have mentioned), and I dropped it as soon as I opened the packaging. On the plus side, that was a true test of how durable the packaging is! It opened up a bit when it hit the tile floor, but nothing broke, not even the mirror!

Dark Matter 1

Photo taken in natural sunlight.

Stack Packaging

All four eye shadows in this palette are intensely pigmented and have a matte finish. What’s so great about these is that you can get insane color payoff with them if you pack them on the eyelid using a flat brush, like a MAC 239, but they also blend out easily for a softer look if you use something like a MAC 217 or 224 brush. If you want to smudge these under the lower lash line, you can use a pencil brush like a MAC 219, or even use them as a liner with a thinner, more precise brush, like an angled MAC 263 or 266. If you’re using any of these as a liner, you may want to spray your brush lightly with MAC Fix+ Spray so the eye shadow will have a more creamy consistency that you can use to create a smooth, precise line or wing. I actually use Dark Matter (black) as my liner a lot, just because it’s easier than digging for my liquid or gel liner if I already have my stack out and I’m using it anyway. One suggestion if you use ANY powder eye shadow as a liner: Pick one area of the product and designate is as your wet spot (that sounds bad, but you know what I mean)… If you’re all over the place where you use a damp brush on the product, it will start to get a weird, hard “crust” on it that won’t stick to any fluffier type of brush when you go to use it dry! These shadows all wear really well alone (6+ hours no creasing), but if you want an even longer wear time (more like 8-12 hours) and the best color payoff possible, you can apply these over a primer, like a MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in a color that’s light and neutral… A few of my favorites are Soft Ochre, Painterly, or Layin’ Low.

FYI, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, these eye shadows are HUGE! (I’ll try and get a comparison photo up soon). They’re slightly larger than MAC’s Pro Longwear Eye Shadows are, but are a much better value! Plus these have a legit mirror (not the cheap feeling plastic kind that cracks) included in the stack. The packaging is sleek, easy to use and store, and sturdy enough to toss in your bag for a weekend getaway or touchups (not that you’ll need to do any of those with the wear time these eye shadows have). Since the stack is held together by magnets, it’s not going to come open easily if it gets knocked around a bit!

Both of Melt’s Eye Shadow Stacks are available exclusively from www.meltcosmetics.com. They sell for $48 and contain a total of 14.28 g / 0.5 oz of product, so that makes them equal to $12 and 3.57 g / 0.125 oz each… That’s actually a really good value, considering the fact that a MAC eye shadow quad costs $48 and contains a total of 6 g / 0.21 oz of product, and individual MAC shadows sell for $16 and contain only 1.5 g / 0.05 oz each… So in comparison to MAC, you’re getting about three times as much product for just a few bucks more! Both stacks are permanent, but sell out from time to time… I believe that Dark Matter may be sold out right now, but I’m sure they’ll restock it soon! Shipping costs a flat $7 in the US, so you may want to get both palettes, or grab lipstick or two as well to make the postage a little more worth it… I really like 6six6, Dark Room, Bane, and Belladonna 2 lipsticks with the Dark Matter stack *wink wink*.

Note: Melt is a cruelty free company and one of the shades in the Dark Matter stack is vegan, which is Dark Matter! Blurr, Unseen, and Enigma are not vegan.

Left to Right:   Blurr, Unseen, Enigma, Dark Matter

Left to Right: Blurr, Unseen, Enigma, Dark Matter

Dark Matter Stack Labels

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Eye Shadows swatched on NC20 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight (but not direct sunlight).
Eye Shadows swatched on NC20 skin.

Blurr

Blurr

Blurr

Blurr

Blurr

Blurr

Blurr:   Blurr is described as a “soft, beautiful blending/eraser shadow” and is a light, nude/flesh color with slightly warm, peachy undertones and a matte finish. It works really well as an all over lid color if you’re only using one shadow just to even out the color of your eyelid, or if you’re using this on the lid with a darker color like Unseen in the crease. What I mostly use Blurr for is to, well, blur out and soften other eye shadows… Say you used Enigma or Dark Matter from this stack and wanted to soften the edges, you could apply Blurr with a MAC 217 or 224 brush around the bolder eye shadow to create a flawlessly blended look.

Color payoff is fantastic, especially for such a muted type of color, and coverage was opaque with little product applied. The texture feels silky and made it super easy to blend. I got about 6-7 hours of wear before I noticed any creasing or fading with Blurr, and nearly doubled the wear time when I applied this over a Pro Longwear Paint Pot.

Dupes:   Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eye Shadow from MAC is the best dupe I’ve found for both texture and color, but it’s not as pigmented and feels drier when applied. Also from MAC; Bamboo eye shadow is cooler and darker. Soft Brown is also much cooler toned and a bit darker than Blurr. Buck eye shadow from Urban Decay’s original Naked palette is darker and less peachy/nude.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Unseen

Unseen

Unseen

Unseen

Unseen

Unseen

Unseen:   This color is described as a “cool-medium delicious caramel brown”… To me, Unseen is a medium caramel shade with warm-neutralish undertones. Like the other shadows in this stack, it has a matte finish. I like to apply this color in my crease with a MAC 224 brush when I’m wearing something lighter, like Blurr, on my lid. It also works well to blend out any other color applied in the crease or on the lid, and soften more intense shadows like Enigma and Dark Matter. Also, if you want to add a little dimension and color under your lower lash line, you can apply Unseen by smudging it with something like a MAC 219 or 214 brush, or even a MAC 217 if you want a smokier, less precise application (my preferred method).

Unseen feels just as silky and luxurious as Blurr and blends out with ease. Color payoff is great, even using very little shadow, and coverage is completely opaque when ya want it to be, like if you use a 239 brush on the lid. With this eye shadow, I got just over 6 hours of wear before it started to fade or crease, and more like 12 with a primer applied first.

Dupes:   Texture eye shadow from MAC is cooler, lighter, and has a soft sheen to it. Saddle is slightly darker and more cool toned and brown. Buck from urban Decay’s original Naked palette is lighter and cooler. Peanut Butter from Too Faced’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette is really close, but has a hint more warmth to it and isn’t as pigmented.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Enigma

Enigma

Enigma

Enigma

Enigma

Enigma

Enigma:   Enigma is a “beautiful rusted red-brown” with a matte finish… It’s a medium dark to dark (depending on how it’s applied), red with warm-neutral brown undertones. I like to apply this color to my eyelid with a MAC 239 brush, then blend it out with Unseen in the crease for a softer type of look. Sometimes I’ll use this on the lid with Unseen in the crease and Dark Matter on the outer corner for a more dramatic, rusty, smoky look. You can also apply Enigma in the crease and smudge it under the eye with a MAC 217 brush, with something like Blurr on the lid and a little bit of Dark Matter in the outer v area… Used that way, it just adds warmth and a little somethin’ somethin’ to an otherwise pretty basic, everyday look. Now my FAVORITE way to use Enigma is in the crease and smudged under the eye with Dark Matter on the lid. I then use Unseen and/or Blurr with a MAC 224 brush just above where I applied Enigma in the crease to blend and soften the look… It puts an absolutely gorgeous, warm twist on the classic, black smoky eye!

Enigma felt very soft and smooth with no powdery, dry texture at all, which I find rare with any eye shadow containing red pigments. A lot of them seem to drag, or apply unevenly, but Enigma was a dream to work with! Color payoff is great… You don’t need to use much product for completely opaque coverage. Since this shadow didn’t have that uneven, dry thing going on, it wore better than any other reddish eye shadow that I’ve ever used! I got over 6 hours of wear both on the lid and in the crease without a primer, and about 10 hours on the lid and 12 in the crease with a primer applied first.

Dupes:   MAC’s Red Brick is lighter, more of a true red, and isn’t as pigmented… To be honest, Enigma is pretty unique and I haven’t really found a true dupe for it yet! Love Sick, from Melt’s other stack, is lighter and has less brown/rust tones to it, but has the same texture and finish.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Dark Matter

Dark Matter (I dropped it… Sad face)

Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Dark Matter:   The namesake for this stack is described as “the most pigmented pitch-black” and has a matte finish… It truly is the blackest of black, matte eye shadows I’ve ever used and I love it! It’s great to use all over the lid with a flat brush like a MAC 239 for a smoky eye, then you can blend it out with colors like Enigma and/or Unseen and/or Blurr in the crease and under the lower lash line. You can also use this in the crease with any of the other colors from this stack, and smudged under the lower lash line… For these, you can use either a fluffy blending brush like a MAC 217 or a smaller, stiffer, pencil brush like a MAC 219. I also like to use this as a liner, applying it with a dampened MAC 263 or 263 angled brush!

The texture of Dark Matter felt uber smooth and applied well, blending out easily with no fallout (it’s a miracle!). Color payoff was well pigmented and intense, with coverage being even and opaque. When I applied Dark Matter on my lid, I got a little over 6 hours of wear without a primer, and more like 10-12 with a primer underneath (Hint: With a black eye shadow, you can use a black primer like MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Blackground, or their Chromaline in Black, Black from MAC PRO). In the crease, I got closer to 7 hours of wear without a liner, and 12 with applied first! Most matte black eye shadows tend to sort of look cracked and uneven in the crease pretty quickly, but I had no issued at all with Dark Matter!

Dupes:   Pretty much any intense, matte black eye shadow could be considered a dupe for Dark Matter, like MAC’s Carbon, but I don’t think any have this kind of intensity!

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

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2 comments
  1. I have both of the stacks and absolutely love them. Amazing review. I did a palette per week challenge with these guys. Just a silly series I do to make sure I use what I buy at least seven times lol

  2. I’ve seen these featured on YouTube so much and I want to get my hands on them but they’re so hard to ship over here in Ireland and shipping is so expensive

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