Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Marcel Wanders: MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder ($60.00 for 0.56 oz.) is described as “an ultra-fine, super sheer, and very sophisticated pressed powder … “Mysteriously” silky-soft in texture, glides on to give skin a velvety matte, slightly luminous and altogether flawless finish.”  There are only two shades available:  Light and Medium Plus.  They used to release a shade called Dark Secret, which was more appropriate for darker skin tones.

I only picked up Medium Plus, so I only have a swatch of that one, but hopefully it will be helpful enough to show you the texture and look of it.  I would recommend Light for NC/NW15s and 20s, possibly 25s if you are definitely NC/NW25.  I would recommend Medium Plus for NC/NW30s and 35s.  I think it would be too light for any shades higher than NC/NW35.

The formula itself is a very finely milled, silky smooth powder that applies incredibly sheer.  It is best used as a setting or finishing powder, because it does not offer coverage, but it will set your foundation or help to mattify skin.  It is not completely matte in finish, but it is semi-matte.  I like it, and I think it’s a good pressed powder, but it’s not the best one I’ve ever tried.  I don’t know if it’s that much better than MAC’s Blot or Select Sheer Powders, you know?  I do like that it looks very natural, and it’s practically impossible to overdo.  It doesn’t look powdery on the skin, even on drier areas of mine.

The compact itself shares the same multifaceted look as the perfume pendant, but unlike the pendant, it is made out of hard plastic, rather than metal.  It feels very lightweight when held, which makes it appropriate for traveling but less so if you want that luxury feel.  In the past, this powder has always been housed in a heavier, sturdier compact.  It will hold fingerprints like nobody’s business, though.

I know the price tag always scares people every time MAC repromotes it, but keep in mind, it comes with a refill–each pan is 0.28 oz. for a total of 0.56 oz. for your $60.  However, on that note, MAC’s Select Sheer/Pressed will set you back $22 for 0.42 oz., while the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural retails for $26 for 0.35 oz.  After perusing through a variety of pressed powders from high-end brands, it seems like 0.28 to 0.35 oz. is the norm with prices ranging from $30 to 35.  This is certainly not a steal of a deal, but it’s like you’re paying an extra $15 to 20 for the packaging and product (since it’s not available outside of the pricier compacts).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you are light or medium in skin tone, you may find a match here.  If you have ultra dry skin, you may want to skip the powder, but for slightly dry to slightly oily skin, it should work out.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

See more photos & swatches!

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
Wearing MAC Sheer Mystery Powder (to set) — Pinch o’ Peach blush + Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer on cheeks; Catharina and Digna on lips.

Product & Review FAQ

When does this release? Where?

November 24th at all MAC locations, per my press release. I would imagine it will pop online on the 22nd or 23rd.

Where can I purchase Sheer Mystery Powder? How much is it?

MAC, $60.

Is it limited edition?


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43 thoughts on “MAC Marcel Wanders: MAC Sheer Mystery Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Angel

    looks like an exact match for my skintone O_O
    too bad it’s 60bucks :/

  2. Vanessa

    This is what i wanted the most!!!! So excited!!!!

  3. Beste

    definetly i am going to skip this….

  4. z

    I could always use a good setting powder. I think I may splurge.

  5. z

    Oh and quick question christine. Does it give you that white wash out in pictures that some powders do? By the looks of your picture it didn’t do that.

  6. Definitely not going to be shelling out $60 for what amounts to a setting powder!

  7. Dawn

    The design on the powder itself – is that a face with a hole where the nose should be? lol

    This is way out of my price range, so I won’t be buying no matter how good it is

  8. Bonn

    Love the packaging :( but that’s all

  9. AnGeLwInGz

    I’ll stick with my beloved UD De-Slick. It’s half the price and also has a beautiful compact.

  10. kenneth alan

    I’m buying this because of the packaging and I always carry around a setting powder. I just wish the packaging was metal and not plastic.

  11. Myisha

    I’m really going to try and take the fact that they’ve negleted to have one for us darker complexed women as a diss. I mean as if! Even though I purchase from a variety of brands, I am VERY loyal to MAC… just ask my debit card and MUA at the counter. I really like the compact and even though it’s expense, I would have shelled out the $60 as a collector.

    I’m SO unempressed by the whole ordeal. As much as i really want to 187 brush… I’m kind of turned off.

    • Hey Myisha,

      My guess is that it didn’t sell well – they’ve brought it out every other time (I think when it first debuted, there may have been 4-5 shades, actually). I don’t actually know, but that’s my guess.

      • Myisha

        Hey Christine,

        As a business person, I totally get that, but as a consumer… Pissed! Can’t win them all I guess. Perhaps produce a less amount? But then I guess they’d get complaints for not having enough! Oh well…


        • Erica

          As a NC42, MAC fan, I completely agree with you! I think that even if there wasn’t a huge market for a darker powder, they should have made atleast a few. But to just ignore a whole group of potential buyers isn’t right. I’m disappointed in MAC for this one.

          • El

            Hi! I’m not sure what your shade is, but I waiver between an NC40-42 and have had success with the Medium shade.

            However, I do agree that they are losing out on some of their market by not offering at least a small inventory of dark. Loyal MAC addicts would swoop those up in a sec!

        • Hannah

          I really don’t know much about cosmetics manufacturing, but if I had a guess, the most expensive part of creating the darker shades of this product would be in creating the initial formulation, and getting the initial ingredients, so there would be a small marginal cost of producing more (so it would not be cost efficient at all to develop the darker shade but then only produce a few of them)… also completely from the business side of things, not saying that it’s fair to the consumer

  12. MarionneB

    It’s to bad MAC didn’t release the darker shade, I even like the name a lot… Dark secret. As I’m NC42, I would have loved to add this little gem to my collection, but I only buy what I can actually use. Great review though, thanks a lot.

  13. Erica

    First of all THANK YOU so much for reviewing this launch ASAP! There has been such little info/swatches/reviews/descriptions from anyone who has actually seen or touched the products! So thank you for being at the forefront as always! That said, I was looking forward to picking up this compact. Emphasis on was. I usually love the heavier MAC Couture Collection compacts (and I think I have one from each of the couture releases), but reading that this was light plastic, is making me skip it this year for the first time. I don’t think there’s anything I’m buying from this collection. Not so much because of the price (which I don’t consider to be too outrageous considering the stash of Dior, Chanel, NARS and other higher end brands that I have), but because packaging aside, none of the products really do it for me. And although there used to be a time I would buy just for the packaging, I don’t really do that anymore. So yeah, this is another MAC collection that really missed the mark for me, again.

  14. Hilary♥

    Beautiful packaging but too dang expensive – not gonna buy this. *sad face*

  15. Melissa (divinem)

    Plastic? Fuggetaboutit! I was hoping for another heavyweight compact like my Baroque Boudoir, which I carry to this day and adore. I do love the mystery powder though.

  16. Amanda Enn

    I absolutely love MAC and their holiday collections, but this one will backfire.

  17. Yumi

    I’m so glad I find this to be almost completely pointless. My bank account rejoices once more. Thanks Christine ^^

  18. Katie

    Ew the packaging is so 80’s and gross.

  19. Jane

    Hey Christine,

    Since it’s refillable, would a pro-palette blush fit in there nicely or would it be smaller than the space provided since it’s 6g for the blush compared to the 8g for the powder refill.

  20. cmferrets

    MAN I WISH i had gotten the one from last year. i think those were way more fancier for the price tag. these, since their plastic arent really worth it.

  21. The packaging is really neat looking, seems like a nice powder too… :)

  22. Polly

    60 USD !!?? It’s a CRIME!

    Unfortunately (me), I will check this out coz I LIKE its packaging a lot and I do use press powder regularly to set my foundation.

    Thx for swatching! Your full-faced swatch looks so pretty ^^

  23. Liz Mc

    60 bucks for powder when the Covergirl stuff in the green compact has worked fine for me for 20 years? No thanks.

  24. MARGO

    does the powder give off that much shine or is it the lights?

  25. Isa

    that packaging is absolutely gorgeous!!

  26. zombiilove

    It’s hard for me to be interested in paying so much money for a powder that has two of the cheapest filler ingredients right up front: talc and dimethicone. WTF? Unless there is “ground monkey baby bones” somewhere down the list that I’m missing, what’s with the price tag? Every drugstore powder has talc, and most have dimethicone, as their first few ingredients as well… Not to mention many users will find that products with silicones (like dimethicone, cyclomethicone, etc..) will clog their pores over time.

  27. Barbara

    The packaging doesn’t appeal to me especially the price tag. I’ll pass on this one.

  28. Sherie

    Are you going to review the MAC marcel wanders 187 brush?

  29. Funny Macs description of this product says “mirrored metal compact” wow talk about Mac misleading people!

  30. I should add the description I am talking about is the one currently at when it is describing this product