Holiday Gift Guide

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Collection, Brush Kits, Mini Kits, Bag Sets and Palettes for Holiday 2016

October 26, 2016
MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Collection Review via The Beauty Look Book

This year MAC Nutcracker Sweet collection is one of the most whimsical and fun collections for the holiday season. Everything is packaged in this eye-catching bright pink/gold/purple casing which is just so pretty. There are a lot of products in this launch – it’s massive! I have a mix of press samples and purchased items that I’m reviewing today. MAC has pretty much covered everything with this launch so there literally is something for everyone. Items are split into the following categories:
Nutcracker Sweet Collection 
Nutcracker Sweet Brush Kits
Nutcracker Sweet Palettes

Nutcracker Sweet Lip and Eye Bags
Nutcracker Sweet Retro Matte and Mineralize Kits
Nutcracker Sweet Mini Kits
Nutcracker Viva Glam Sets
I have a peek at something from five of the categories. Up first is the Nutcracker Sweet Collection consists of individual full-sized items that come in the pink, gold and purple packaging. Most of the items are new/limited-edition colors but there are a few repromotes in eyeliner and pigments. My picks:
  • Magic Dust Powder in Yum Yum Yum (c/o) is a soft sheer pink that gives the cheeks the prettiest hint of pink, it is on the sheer to medium side and the shimmer is very very fine so on the cheeks it’s more of a satin finish
  • Magic Dust Powder in Sweet Vision is a more pigmented shimmering peach gold powder
  • Magic Dust Eyeshadow in Forward March is a soft warm gold shimmer with excellent texture and pigment, it’s smooth and easy to blend
  • Magic Dust Eyeshadow in Pretty Dainty (c/o) is a warm shimmering pinky peach color, also smooth and medium in pigment but buildable
  • Eye Kohl in Prunella (c/o) is a repromote, it’s a classic shimmering deep plum
  • Matte Lipstick in So Good For You (c/o) looks red in the tube but is actually a pink fuchsia, with dark mattes I have a hard time applying evenly straight from the tube so I often need a brush with colors like this, as a matte formula it has a super opaque texture that hugs the lips
Everything performs really well and the quality is on point. I love the Magic Dust powders – they come with the prettiest embossed star patterns and I think both of the colors are very wearable.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - So Good For You

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - So Good For You

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - So Good For You

Face Compacts are probably my favorite of the item and have sold out online just restocked at MAC. They have a unique hybrid cream/powder texture which is stiffer and harder than a normal powder but they meld in with the skin nicely, don’t emphasize pores and last a long time on the skin. I can’t pick a favorite – they are both really good, but if I had to pick one, the Copper Face Compact is just incredibly beautiful. I use a regular blush brush like MAC 129 to apply.
  • Peach Face Compact has Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Tutu and Extra Dimension Blush in At Dusk is a light cool champagne shimmer and soft pink shimmer
  • Copper Face Compact (c/o) has Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt and Extra Dimension Blush in Pleasure Model is a shimmering gold and warm coppery peach
Note these are applied with a very heavy hand in the swatch but they are easy to blend for a softer look. The shimmer blends out to a very soft glow without the garish frost.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Peach and Copper Face Compacts

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Peach and Copper Face Compacts

Eye Compacts are mirrored compacts with 9 eyeshadows and a dual-ended brush. I found the names odd as they didn’t really match the color theme of shadows inside. The pigment and colors performed well like individual shadows for the most part with the exception of a few shades in the Warm Eye Compact. Texture in the Warm Palette seemed a bit stiffer and harder in general.
  • Warm Eye Compact (c/o) left to right includes:
    • Filament (lustre) is a pale ivory pigmented lustre
    • Whirling is a (lustre) is a pigmented silvery taupe frost
    • Era (satin) is usually a great soft matte neutral in the full size, this one is a bit chalky and stiff to apply
    • Woodwinked (veluxe pearl) is a medium warm brown shimmer
    • Unwind (veluxe pearl) is an olive-gold shimmer
    • Lady Fingers (matte) is a matte yellow with medium pigment
    • Twelve Chimes (lustre) a sheer stiff taupe grey brown with a bit of shimmer, finish is also sheer unless you apply with a dense brush over a base
    • Showstopper (matte) is a matte sheer stiff matte cool brown, pigment is horrible on this one – I had to swatch with a very heavy hand
    • Beyond Gorgeous (veluxe pearl) is a stiff sheer black with gold flecks which is odd for a veluxe pearl formula, it’s good when applied with a tiny detail or liner brush, but if you use a larger brush finish is sheer and patchy
  • Smoky Eye Compact was one I had my eye on so I ordered it online sight unseen, for me this works better for my coloring and also has fewer lustre eyeshadows which I’m not a fan of. The colors inside include:
    • Too-dle-oo (frost) is a soft champagne shimmer
    • Deception (frost) is a medium cool taupe bronze shimmer
    • Sweet Dreams (matte) is a soft latte brown
    • Kid (veluxe) is a warm brown matte
    • Dewdrop (lustre) is a shimmering peachy pink
    • Cake and Biscuits (matte) is a warm brown
    • Swiss Chocolate (matte) is a warm matte deep brown
    • Dance in the Dark (matte) is a dusty cool matte brown
    • Licorice Lane (matte) is a warmer deep brown
In general the Smoky Eye Compact shades performed better than the Warm Eye Compact colors for me. The brushes in both compacts are well made and shaped.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Warm and Smoky Eye Compacts

Lip Bags come in several variations. I have the Nude Lip Bag (c/o) which includes all neutrals and they are all just perfect:

  • Prolongwear Lip Pencil in In Control is a warm pinky brown neutral
  • Vamplify in Tuned In is a medium pink nude with a hint of shimmer it has full coverage, long lasting power and a very nice shine
  • Cremesheen Lipstick in Magic Spell is a cool pink neutral with a lovely sheen

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag - Magic Spell Lipstick

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag - Vamplify Tuned In

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag - Prolongwear Lip Pencil In Control

The Sweet Plum Eye Bag (c/o) has four color-coordinated soft plum colors in a zipped bag, the colors are really pretty for the plums:

  • Teckhnakohl in Purple Dash is a soft shimmering light plum color
  • Paint Pot in Stormy Pink is a mauve pink matte – these make great eyeshadow bases
  • Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Smoky Mauve is a frosted soft mauve color
  • False Lashes Mascara in False Black is a black mascara, it doesn’t smudge or flake, but for me it doesn’t hold the curl as much as other formulas do

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Plum Eye Bag - The Beauty Look Book

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Plum Eye Bag - The Beauty Look Book

There are a number of mini sets for lips and eyes. I received the Nude Patentpolish Mini Set (c/o). As I already own all but one of the colors I didn’t re-swatch this one to review as it’s going to be re-gifted.
  • Pleasure’s All Mine (review here)
  • Revved Up is a shimmering peachy color
  • It’s Really Me (review here)
    French Kiss (on lips here)

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Patentpolish Minis - The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least is the Brush Set in the Basic option (c/o) which includes mini short handled versions of 190SE Foundation Brush, 129SE Powder/Blush Brush, 213SE Fluff Brush, 209SE Eye Liner Brush and 316SE Lip Brush. As I already own a number of short handled brushes I did not test this one out but to the touch, they are soft and cut evenly. This is going to be gifted to a friend.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Basic Brush Set - The Beauty Look Book

Overall lots of great options for holiday gifting. Everything is covered from lips, cheeks, eyes and brushes. The highlights for me are all the cheek items including the Magic Dust Powders and Face Compact Duos. The Nude Lip Bag falls close behind and even though I already own one of the colors, I think the lipstick is just perfect. Two more items I am ordering for gifts are the Sweet Nude Lipstick Kit and Sweet Nude Lip Gloss Kit as both are $35 each and great little sets.

All the items are limited-edition so I would recommend gathering your list sooner than later and order because a few items have already sold out. You can find the collection in stores this week. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

Did you check out anything yet? What were your picks? If not what’s on your wishlist?

Press samples included with c/o listed next to the names. Other items purchased by me.

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  • lovely products!

    lu | coco & louis

  • Everything looks amazing! Especially the highlighters!!

    Grace x
    http://graciebellblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

  • The packaging is so cute!

  • This is quite the epic post! But then, MAC launched an epic holiday collection πŸ™‚ Unfortunately for me, I can't wear MAC because it looks like it is just sitting on the surface of my bone dry, mature skin. I do enjoy looking at the collections, though, and often find fun stocking-stuffers amongst the holiday offerings. I think I speak for all of us when I say how appreciative we are of all the time and effort you put into your reviews.

  • Judith

    I went right over board this year and bought the pink mineralized kit, the nude lipstick minis, the nude gloss minis, the nude lip bag, sweet dainty for the eyes, and both Magic dusts.. just couldnΒ΄t hold myself back..
    and funny enough I love all the Colors and all products except for the mineralized lipglass.. that one makes my lip look wrinkly…
    And I thinks itΒ΄s a shame that the products are more expensive in Germany than they are in the US. But then, maybe I would have bought even more?? o.O