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Bronzer + Blush MAC

MAC Work It Out, Eyes on MAC and Studio Quiktrik Sticks

March 15, 2017

MAC Work It Out, Eyes on MAC and Quiktrik Sticks | The Beauty Look Book

MAC has some new collections that recently launched and I have a roundup of a few items from the Work It Out, Eyes on MAC and Quiktrik Stick launches. There are several items I’ve fallen head over heels in love with that are not to be missed – in particular the In the Flesh Eyeshadow Palette and Prep + Prime Fix+ Minis that are scented. I’ve split a few items by category with overlapping collections so here are a few notes on each launch:

  • Work It Out Collection has a fun mix of neutrals and bright colors for lips, eyes and cheeks. There is a new product for lips called Crystal Glaze Gloss which are sheer glossy lip products in a round pot. Also in the line are some really bright colored eyeliners and mascaras.
  • Eyes on MAC contains four new Eyeshadow x9 Palettes that come in a wide range of options. Also included is one of the prettiest palette of neutrals called In the Flesh which is the x15 pan format (I’m a huge fan of these for the value and color selection).
  • Quiktrik Sticks were launched months ago, a few shades were repromoted with the Work It Out Collection so I thought I’d swatch all the ones I have.

Up first are my favorite items the Prep + Prime Fix+ Minis that are scented. I’ve featured these on social and here recently, there are 3 scents in Coconut, Lavender and Rose. I bought backups of all of these as they’re limited-edition and I think these will be perfect for travel. They have a nice light but noticeable scent. I love to use these as setting sprays.

MAC Prep + Prim Fix+ Minis Regular, Coconut, Lavender and Rose | The Beauty Look Book

Next are the lip items from the Work It Out Collection. I tried out two of the Lustre Lipsticks (which is my favorite formula) in Muscu-linity which is a sheer pale beige and Testosterone which is a sheer coral. Both have a tiny bit of shimmer in them and they give the lips a glossy sheen. There is a new gloss called Crystal Glaze Gloss – these are on the sheer side. Nice Cheeks is a pretty beige but pretty much goes on clear on my pigmented lips. Ripped is a sheer red which gives the lips a healthy tint. These have that signature vanilla scent that MAC has in their lip products. Texture is on the medium thick side but not sticky. Given the vast number of glosses I have, had I been able to pick colors I would have probably skipped Nice Cheeks and opted for a deeper or brighter shade (these were press samples).

MAC Work It Out Lipsticks and Crystal Glaze Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Work It Out Lipsticks and Crystal Glaze Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

For the eyes, In the Flesh has a really pretty mix of satin, shimmer and mattes. There are 15 shades of neutrals – all of which are soft, easy to blend and well pigmented. The only color I have trouble with is Carbon which I usually do in all palettes. It’s prone to some fall out and requires a detail brush to apply otherwise it’s a chalky mess. I ordered it sight unseen and love it.

For the Eye Shadow x9 I bought Solar Glow sight unseen as well. I swatched the top two shades and found them to be extra sparkly and glittery and knew right away it was not for me so it’s going to be gifted to a friend so the rest of the palette isn’t going to be swatched on the blog.

For the Work It Out Collection there are a number of In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascaras launched in bright colors. I received a mix of the fun shades but as I only wear black, brown or plum the only one I tested was the brown one Squat It, Sugar. I think this is my first time testing this formula and it far exceeded my expectations. It defines, volumizes and holds the curl. The biggest plus for me is that it doesn’t smudge. I do wish it had a tiny bit more volume with one coat – but having to do multiple coats isn’t a deal breaker. As long as it holds the curl and doesn’t smudge – it’s a winner for me.

MAC In the Flesh and Solar Glow | The Beauty Look Book MAC In The Flesh Eyeshadow Palette Swatches | The Beauty Look Book MAC In The Flesh Eyeshadow Palette Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least are the MAC Studio Quiktrik Sticks. Some shades were repromoted with the Work It Out collection and I had a few from the original launch (I think they launched last year). These are double-ended cream blush sticks. On the hand and arm they swatch to a dewy glossy finish but on the face they aren’t as dewy. I really like these because they’re easy to blend and give a natural wash of color on the cheeks. Even though they are creams I’ve found they last a long time for a cream product. They give the skin a nice glow without settling into lines, they don’t look too frosted or shimmery and they won’t remove the base makeup if you apply on top of powder/foundation and blend. I prefer this formula to NARS Multiples and Armani Fluid Sheers for finish and also lasting power.

I like that they’re convenient in a twist up stick form, easy to blend and the colors can’t be beat. I need to check out some of the darker shades the next time I’m at the MAC store. At the moment I don’t have a favorite color – they’re all good although the Softly Does It / Tight and Tawny is probably the easiest to dupe.

MAC Quiktrik Sticks | The Beauty Look Book MAC Quiktrik Sticks | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Work It Out, Eyes on MAC and Quiktrik Sticks | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps it up for a little MAC roundup. I’m always amazed at how innovative MAC is – no matter how much makeup is out there, they always seem to be able to come up with something new and fun. Three things I think you should check out from these launches are the In the Flesh Palette, Mini Fix+ Sprays and at least one of the Quiktrik Sticks.

You can find these at all MAC stores counters now. I purchased most of my items in store or online at MAC and Nordstrom. Have you checked out these launches yet? What did you think?

Press samples include Muscu-linity, Squat It Sugar, Testosterone, Lavender, Nice Cheeks, Ripped and the Quiktrik Sticks. All other items purchased by me.

MAC

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour Review + Swatches

March 10, 2017

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I’m continuing my series on liquid lipsticks and many of you have asked about my thoughts about the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolours ($21 each). This formula has been out for a while but I never tried it until MAC repromoted the formula with their recent Retro Matte Collection. I have a mix of colors I received as press samples along with a few colors I ordered myself. As a neutral lip lover I gravitated towards the more conservative shades versus the greys, teals or purples. My experience with liquid lip colors in general is that what I see in the tube or swatch on the hands often times looks different on my lips. The colors shift when they dry down and for some reason my complexion and lip color make the liquids pull differently.

MAC Retro Matte | The Beauty Look Book

Colors I have swatched for you include:

  • Lady Be Good is a peachy nude, I thought this would be more pink, but it turned out to be more peach
  • Cafe Au Chic is as grey/beige as I’ll go, it’s a neutral greyish nude beige
  • Sweet Thing is a limited-edition from the MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics collection from James Kaliardos, it’s the best neutral pink I’ve ever tried for a liquid lip – it’s sold out online but if you can find it in stores I recommend you do
  • Fallen Angel is also from the MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics collection and this is the only shade I did not like, I would go so far as to call it a fail, I may have gotten a dud, but this one was streaky, even when I tried layering it was a total mess
  • Burnt Spice is my favorite neutral, it’s similar to Lady Be Good, but Burnt Spice is a bit deeper
  • So Me is a greyed plum, it looks so good on the arm swatch, on my lips it pulls a bit dusty looking
  • Preferentially Yours is a MAC So Select color which means you can only buy it if you’re a So Select member (just sign up online at the MAC website and it will track purchases and give you points), I love love LOVE this one, it’s what I wanted Kat Von D Lolita to be on me
  • Topped With Brandy is a deeper dirty rose, I really like this one too, but prefer the Preferentially Yours color

Swatches:

MAC Retro Matte Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Lip swatches on bare lips:

MAC Retro Matte Lady Be Good | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte Cafe Au Chic | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte Sweet Thing MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Collection | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte Fallen Angel MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Collection | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte Burnt Spice | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte So Me | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte Preferentially Yours So Select | The Beauty Look BookMAC Retro Matte Topped With Brandy | The Beauty Look Book

Formula-wise I was relieved to find they did not dry out my lips nor did they make my lips peel the next day. As with most liquid lipsticks they dry to a matte finish and can make the lips look a bit wrinkly. I swatched these on bare lips but for everyday wear I either prep with the MAC Prep and Prime Lip or any lip balm like the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade. They add a bit of moisture underneath and make the lips look a bit less textured. They really do last all day – once they dry they stay put and don’t budge. I didn’t get any color transfer to cups once they fully dried. I think the formula is great for the colors I tried (with the exception of Fallen Angel). Still I’m more of a glossy lip person at heart, but for a liquid lip formula I give these a thumbs up. My top three favorite colors are Sweet Thing, Burnt Spice and Preferentially Yours.

MAC Retro Matte | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colors at all MAC counters now. I purchased some colors online at Nordstrom and MAC. Do note that the MAC So Select colors and MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Collection colors are exclusive to MAC online and MAC stores.

Have you tried these? What did you think? Any favorite colors?

Preferentially Yours, Lady Be Good, Topped With Brandy purchased by me, all others sent as press samples for review.

Lips MAC

MAC Viva Glam x Taraji P Henson Lipstick and Lipglass

February 3, 2017

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson Lipglass and Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

The latest MAC Viva Glam launch is a collaboration with Taraji P. Henson with coordinating shades of Lipstick and Lipglass ($17 each). I always get excited when I see a new MAC Viva Glam launch. Sometimes the colors aren’t really my cup of tea but I look forward to their new creations and it’s fun to see who they collaborate with to promote their Viva Glam campaigns. For those who love a good classy fuchsia, bright colors or something fun this launch is definitely for you. I gravitate towards more subtle neutrals but the Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson shades include stunning fuchsia raspberry in a lipstick that has a matte shimmer pearl and a matching lipglass that has the prettiest shimmer. Both have really good coverage and pigment. Layering one of the other just intensifies the color. Can we also take a moment to oooh and ahh at the pretty packaging? I think the special-edition colors MAC has launched with colorful shades is so fun. The Shadescents lipsticks included.

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson Lipglass and Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson Lipglass and Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson Lipglass and Lipstick Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line gorgeous. These aren’t my everyday kind of colors but I still find them really beautiful. If you watch the film online at MAC’s site you’ll see how it looks on darker skin tones – it appears more plum and cool-toned on Taraji (love the mini film!) but it looks absolutely gorgeous on her. You can find the MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson shades at all MAC stores and counters now. Online at MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Have you checked these out yet? If not what are your go-to raspberry fuchsia lip shades?

Lipstick and lipglass provided courtesy of MAC for review.

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MAC

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Collection Spring 2017

January 16, 2017

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Collection Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

This spring MAC partnered with Caitlyn Jenner for a second beauty collaboration featuring some lovely color creations that are easy to wear for everyday. The collection has a mix of new limited-edition shades and classic repromoted colors. I have some press samples and purchased items to feature for you. Overall I think the collection is worth a look as there are some great colors that are very wearable. Nude lip lovers will rejoice as there’s a new nude neutral lipstick called Rockit! that is simply stunning. Items I have swatched for you today include:

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Collection Glowing Gold and Compassion | The Beauty Look Book

Up first includes the Glowing Gold Veluxe Pearl Eyeshadow and Compassion Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. Both are rich in pigment with a smooth easy to blend texture. Glowing Gold is a stunning shimmery warm yellow gold. The color is just gorgeous. Compassion is described as a cool brown but on me it pulls more neutral warm. Right now I’m a bit too light to pull this one off (I would say I’m in between MAC NC25 and NC30 for the Studio Fix Fluid, colors swatched here) but I think they would look amazing on those darker than me. I can use these with a light hand blended and layered with other shades but alone Compassion is a bit too deep for my complexion right now. The quality, pigment and texture for both the shadow and MSF these are excellent.

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Collection Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

For the lips, Soar Lip Pencil has been repromoted with special-edition packaging. It’s a deep rose which I find to be a classic kind of color. For lipsticks I bought RockIt! Cremesheen Lipstick as it looked like the perfect neutral nude rose and it is. I have too many neutrals for lips to count but this one is one of the best ones I think MAC has released. Even though there is a high chance that I could dupe it, I think it’s just perfect. It doesn’t wash me out, has full smooth creamy coverage and a natural sheen.

MAC Caitlyn Jenner RockIt! Cremesheen Lipstick and Soar Lipliner | The Beauty Look Book

I swatched a few comparisons for reference:

  • MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Shanghai Spice
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Bradley (on lips here)
  • MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy (on lips here and here)
  • MAC Liptensity in Smoked Almond and Doe (on lips in this post)
  • MAC Lustre Lipstick in Touch
  • MAC Lustre Lipstick in Hug Me

MAC Caitlyn Jenner RockIt Lipstick Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Soar Lipliner comparisons:

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Soar Lipliner Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

For the Cremesheen Glass, there are three options. Kindness is a shimmering gold but on the lips it’s pretty much clear. It has a smooth cushiony texture that gives the lips a pretty sheen, but if you have sheer glosses or balms I would say you could skip this one. Beautifully Bare is a neutral nude pink. It’s semi-sheer and has a creamy finish. On the lips my natural lip shows underneath just the slightest bit, but it still looks good and for me it’s not a deal breaker. Tolerance is a shimmery soft plum I find to be on the sheerer side. It gives the lips a healthy plum glow. I would have liked this one to be more opaque or in lipstick form because the color is SO PERFECT in the tube. I do like the way it looks even though it’s semi-sheer. All three are easy to wear everyday for a natural but polished look. I’ve swatched comparisons in case you have a lot of MAC and want to shop your stash. I have no regrets buying the nude and plum ones.

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Cremesheen Glass | The Beauty Look Book

Comparison swatches to:

  • MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande 2 (on the lips here)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Kristen, Vintage (here), Liquid Lipstick Crush
  • MAC Vamplify Tuned In and Anything But Demure
  • NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound (review here)
  • MAC Lipglass in Lovechild (on lips here)

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Cremesheen Glass Comparison | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches of my MAC Caitlyn Jenner Lip picks, all on bare lips, foundation worn is NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland:

MAC Caitlyn Jenner Collection Lip Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

For those who crave more color there are two bright reds for lipsticks in Understanding and Authentic Red. In addition there are two bold eyeshadows in Malibu Bronze and Worthy. I was seriously tempted to order the other eyeshadows as they look perfect to add some color and depth to the eyes but still neutral enough to wear. I resisted though as it’s only the middle of January and new beauty launches are just getting started.

You can find the MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Collection online at maccosmetics.com or at MAC stores. Have you checked anything out yet? What did you think?

Press samples include Glowing Gold, Compassion MSF Natural, Kindness Cremesheen Glass and Soar Lip Pencil. Other items purchased by me.

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Fragrance Lips MAC

MAC Shadescents Review and Swatches

January 5, 2017

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Creme d'Nude, Velvet Teddy, Candy Yum-Yum, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo, Heroine via The Beauty Look Book blog

Over the holiday season MAC launched a Shadescents Collection with six perfumes inspired by six of their most iconic lip colors. They re-launched the lipsticks with special limited-edition packaging in tinted caps to match the lipsticks themselves along with color-coordinated fragrances. The concept is just genius and as soon as I opened up the package I just couldn’t wait to see what Crème d’ Nude or Velvet Teddy would smell like in perfume form. The scents are all Eau de Parfums and run at $57 each for 50 ml/1.7 fl oz. The Lipsticks are $17 each for 3 g / 0.1 oz with special edition packaging.

The six options include Heroine (purple, matte), Ruby Woo (deep red, retro matte), Lady Danger (bright coral red, matte), Candy Yum-Yum (bright neon pink,matte), Velvet Teddy (neutral nude, matte) and Crème d’Nude (pale beige, cremesheen).

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Creme d'Nude, Velvet Teddy, Candy Yum-Yum, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo, Heroine via The Beauty Look Book blog

MAC Shadescents Lipstick Heroine, Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Candy Yum-Yum, Velvet Teddy and Creme d Nude swatches

MAC Shadescents Lipstick Heroine, Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Candy Yum-Yum, Velvet Teddy and Creme d Nude swatches

Crème d’Nude Lipstick is one I could never wear alone and still can’t. It’s more of a layering color for me whether I mix it with another deeper lipstick, gloss or liner. The Crème d’Nude Scent is described as an amber velvet musk which I find accurate. This one is my favorite and the only one I can see myself wearing on a regular basis. It’s almost like a daytime version of Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black. The throw is extremely strong and lasts all day from morning to late afternoon without fading.

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Creme d'Nude Lipstick and Eau de Parfum via The Beauty Look Book blog

Velvet Teddy is a classic nude lip color. I was interested to see what it would smell like in perfume form. The scent is described as oriental amber with wild honey and creamy musk. This is definitely a sweet honey like scent with a bit of spice. If you like honey scents this will be right up your alley. The spice notes are prominent giving it a velvety feel. On my skin it pulls very strong and very rich. This is my second favorite.

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Velvet Teddy Lipstick and Eau de Parfum via The Beauty Look Book blog

Candy Yum-Yum is a neon pink in color, bright and vibrant. The scent is extremely sweet described as fruity floral gourmand with pink guava. It’s distinctly sweet and when I spritzed it I was 100% sure I would not be able to wear it. Surprisingly on my skin it works for a fun and pretty scent. I still don’t think it’s really my cup of tea due to the sweetness but the times I wore it I was pleasantly surprised.

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Candy Yum-Yum Lipstick and Eau de Parfum via The Beauty Look Book blog

Lady Danger is a bright coral red. The scent is described as a woody oriental floral with patchouli. It’s very spicy and masculine with a strong incense kind of vibe. It’s too dramatic and rich for my taste. The scent is definitely a head-turner as described.

Ruby Woo is described as a woody floral. This has leather notes that makes it even deeper and more dramatic than Lady Danger. It’s rich, dark and deep – not something I would wear although I do think it could make an interesting home scent in candle form.

Left is Ruby Woo (darker shade), right is Lady Danger:

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Ruby Woo and Lady Danger Lipstick and Eau de Parfum via The Beauty Look Book blog

Lady Danger Lipstick worn below on a full look, foundation shade worn is Studio Fix Fluid in NC30 which is just the slighted bit too dark on my skin as it pulls really olive but many of you have asked to see my MAC shade on my face. On the cheeks is Global Glow Mineralize Skinfinish, on the eyes is Honeylust Eyeshadow. You can see swatches and comparisons of NC25, 30, 35 and 37 to other foundation brands for reference in this Tom Ford Face Collection post here:

MAC Lady Danger Lipstick Swatch

Heroine is a purple cream lipstick. It’s not one I had ever looked at before as it’s more dramatic and purples really aren’t my thing. The scent is described as woody leather with a primal feel. It’s the most masculine scent out of the lineup, definitely not something I would wear. Although after spritzing it in our house as a room spray in a small area the dry down is interesting and actually pleasant.

Review and swatches of the MAC Shadescents Collection featuring Heroine Lipstick and Eau de Parfum via The Beauty Look Book blog

 

MAC Shadescents Perfume and Lipstick Heroine, Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Candy Yum-Yum, Velvet Teddy and Creme d Nude Review via The Beauty Look Book

Overall a really interesting concept. I do think the creators of this collection managed to capture the lipstick in a scent that made sense. Scents are so personal and everyone has different tastes so I do not think these will be everyone’s cup of tea. My favorite is Crème d’Nude but my husband is not a fan of it on me. If you’re near a MAC Store I’d recommend you definitely give these a look. They’re worth checking out and it’s always fun to play at the freestanding stores. If anything I love the special edition packaging of the lip colors – I’m tempted to buy another Velvet Teddy although I will probably resist because the lipsticks usually last a very long time. The color-coordinated caps and black base are so sleek and pretty!

The collection is available at MAC Cosmetics. Have you checked it out yet? What did you think?

Many thanks to MAC for sending these for review!

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Highlighters MAC

MAC In the Spotlight Strobe Creams and Extra Dimension Skinfinishes

November 19, 2016

MAC In the Spotlight

MAC recently launched new Strobe Creams ($33 each) and Extra Dimension Skinfinishes ($33 each) in their In The Spotlight Collection. I’ve been such a huge fan of the original Strobe Cream (now called Pinklite) and the scent is something that calms me. It has a soft opalescent pink tint to it that I find suitable to use all over the face over moisturizer and under foundation to give the skin a smooth natural glow. MAC describes it as a moisturizer and it does hydrate the skin although I find I still need to use my regular moisturizer. I’m thrilled they launched more shades as it really does give the skin a nice but subtle brightening effect.

A look at the five new shades which include different undertones in the shimmer:

  • Silverlite has a cool-toned silver sheen
  • Goldlite has a warm yellow gold undertone
  • Peachlite has a soft flesh peach tone
  • Redlite has a pink red flash
  • Pinklight is the original with an opal iridescent color

MAC Strobe Cream New Shades Silverlite Goldlight Peachlite Redlite Pinklite

Swatches below straight out of the tube and then blended for you to see how the sheen looks on the skin. Note if you blend all the way it almost disappears into the skin for a very natural non-frosted sheen.

MAC Strobe Cream swatches

MAC Strobe Cream swatches

My favorite is Peachlite with Goldlite in close second. I still really like the original one Pinklite, but I’ve forever been searching for highlighters like this with a warm beige or warm peach undertone that I can wear all over the face. The Peachlite color is similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow but I prefer the MAC for all over the face while I prefer the Charlotte Tilbury for mixing into foundations.

Up next are the Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. I love this formula and have collected most of the shades in previous launches. This launch has highlighters that are significantly more strobe like with a duochrome like shimmer. Upon first swipe I was almost 100% sure that these would be too shimmery or sparkly for my skin.

A look at the four colors, my favorites are Show Gold and Double Gleam:

  • Show Gold looks like it has a gold base but it pulls more pink when swatched
  • Soft Frost is a cool violet blue white shimmer
  • Beaming Blush is a pink gold sparkle
  • Double Gleam is a beige in the pan but pulls more champagne like

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish swatches

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

As you can see from the Extra Dimension Skinfinish swatches this collection as shades that are more trendy and sparkly. I really like the finish of Double Gleam on the skin, especially as a soft highlight on the cheeks or on the eyes. But I do suspect they will be a bit too sparkly for some.

Overall I love that MAC added new Strobe Cream Shades. I usually apply just with my fingers or palms of my hands but you can also use a cream product brush if you prefer. If you haven’t tried it before I highly recommend you do! For the Extra Dimension Skinfinishes I’ve found the best way to apply is with any skunk brush – the MAC 187 is my favorite because of the size and it also holds up well with regular washing.

You can find the MAC In the Spotlight Collection out now, also online at MAC and Nordstrom.

Press samples provided for Strobe Cream and two Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. Beaming Blush and Double Gleam purchased by me.

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MAC

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.