When I first started buying MAC eyeshadows, I bought them in the little pots and that was that. It was just a few, but I was proud of my little pots and how convenient they were to tote around. Then my ever inquisitive sister asked me one day why I was bothering to buy the potted ones when I could buy the very same MAC shadow in a pan for a couple of dollars less and just purchase a palette to put them in. To be honest, I had just never thought to buy the panned ones. Perhaps I was intimidated by the word "pro" (as in "pro palette refill") and I'm clearly not one. Not sure. But her point was duly noted and I bought a couple of panned shadows, however, not enough to warrant a 15-pan palette...
I knew that if I had committed to buying the 15-pan palette then I would have felt compelled to immediately commit to buying enough shadows to fill the entire palette because seeing it sparsely filled would have driven me crazy. So I bought the smaller 4-pan one. And when my collection grew, I went to Michael's, a well known craft store, found a tin meant for bead storage and repurposed it to house my shadows. My own customized MAC palette, if you will.
This little tin has a simple closure and contains 12 individual tin "pods" with see through lids. They are not magnetized and the small magnets that come on the back of MAC shadows are not strong enough to keep them secure in the pods, which is why I would not recommend this for transport, only storage. However, you could customize the tin further by putting tiny magnets in the bottom of the pods in order to tether your shadows and make them safer for travel.
The size of the pods comfortably accommodate MAC sized single shadows.
I love that the lids are see-through. At a glance, I can assess what colors I have and then decide what I would like to wear that day and/or take with me, which is where my MAC mini palette comes into play...
Small, convenient and very travel-friendly, I find this 4-pan palette to be the perfect accompaniment to my storage tin. I can easily take my shadows from the tin pods and place them into the magnetic palette, allowing the transport of my shadows to be secure and hassle-free.
I really am glad that I found these little storage tins at the craft store. They are slim, easy to store and because of the sleek look of the metal, they look pretty good sitting on top of my bureau with all of my other beauty items. I bought two of them so far and with the coupon that I had from the newspaper, they ended up being only fifty cents each!! Now you know you can't beat that! Also, I like the fact that I can totally customize it to my liking, both inside and out. But I'm taking the minimalist approach for now. It's working for me.
The tin storage box and those similar to it can be found at Michael's as well as various other craft stores, and retail is about $1 to $2/each. MAC's 4-pan palette can be found at their stores and their online site, and retails for $9.