Thursday, June 11th, 2009


OVERALL, MAC Naked Honey Collection is a small but palatable launch. It contains three eyeshadows with good texture, nice color pay off, and in wearable shades, alongside three lipglasses that coordinate. The real disappointment in the collection comes from the small sizes/overpriced nature of the skincare products–particularly the body wash and the hand/body cream. Anyone who expected very honeyish scents will be a bit dismayed, as most of the scented products are more floral/spicy and less honey. The skin salve is the most honey scented product, but it is still quite floral-honey. I liked several items, but I felt like you could miss this launch and not live to regret it. I know many of you are saving up for the Friends & Family sale next week, Graphic Gardens, and Colour Craft!

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-Haves: Buckwheat eyeshadow, Queen Bee lipglass

Nice-to-Haves: Creme de Miel eyeshadow, Pollinator eyeshadow, She’s A Star lipglass, Buzz lipglass, Golden Nectar high-light powder, Naked Honey Skin Salve

Skip: Naked Honey Hand/Body Cream, Naked Honey Body Wash


Official Information/Promotional Photos
Product Photos

See product by product reviews


  • She’s a Star is a sheer, lightly yellow-beige lipgloss with gold and peach shimmer. I thought it would be yellower, but it’s really not. It’s definitely more of a beige-y nude with gold and peach flecks.
  • Queen Bee is a semi-sheer coral-orange gloss with flecks of peachy-apricot shimmer laced throughout. Kind of like a lighter, more orange Lychee Luxe or Tartlette lipglass. If you’re a coral fan, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.
  • Buzz is a semi-sheer coppery-red-brown with golden shimmer. It gives nice color to lips without being too red or bold.


  • Crème de Miel is a soft gold-tinged white highlighter with a semi-frosty finish. It seems a little less frosty than Nylon, though. The color isn’t really unique, but it is nice as a highlighter if you don’t have too many already. Or if you love yellow-gold highlighters (like me) and collect ’em all.
  • Pollinator is a pinky coral shade with little shimmer–more like a light, pearly sheen–but the color pay off isn’t as fantastic as I’d like. With some layering, you can get it to look like it does in the pot, though. It doesn’t come off chalky nor does the color skip; it’s decently pigmented, just not richly pigmented. This is like a slightly more pigmented, less glittery Paradisco. Probably a touch pinker–maybe.
  • Buckwheat is a rich, chocolaty brown that runs just a tad on the warm side, but not overly so, with light flecks of gold glitter. This is my favorite eyeshadow of the launch, just because it seems so rich and luxe in the texture and pigmentation. I can see it working well on just about everyone.

High-Light Powders

  • Honey Light is a light, golden-orange powder with pearly sheen. Both high-light powders have a frosty-metallic overspray, which does disappear after the first use or so. Underneath is not an entirely matte or chalky powder a la Dame Edna, though. Instead, there is a light pearly sheen woven through the pwoder that will transfer when used. Both of these powders feel more like bronzers or highlighters more suited towards medium or darker skin tones. Even on me, Honey Light does read a little orange when I’ve used it on my cheeks. The honeycomb pattern is definitely cute, but if you use tihs often, it’ll disappear fairly soon. (Not a deal-breaker, but something to note for those who adore patterns and hate to ruin them!)
  • Golden Nectar is a semi-sheer, silky peachy-tan powder. While it looks awfully shimmery from the get-go, beware that it is merely an overspray. The product beneath the shimmery overspray is still very nice, as it is a smooth, silky powder with very subtle shimmer/sheen. You could almost think of it as more of a bronzer than anything else.

Naked Honey Skin Salve is a floral-honey scented clear salve/balm. The pot you get is a bit on the small side, though it contains 1.41 oz (or 40 grams). Relative to other salves, like Rosebud ($6 for 0.8 oz. or $12 for just about as much as MAC’s), which is probably one of the cheaper salves that I can think of. Since it is MAC, the price isn’t quite as skewed high as I originally thought. It’s very emollient and sinks into skin quickly without leaving behind any greasiness. I definitely lean towards using this more as a lip balm than anything else, but that’s more of a personal preference. I keep mine on my night stand for a quick balm before bedtime.

Naked Honey Hand and Body Cream is standard in its formula as far as hand/body creams go. It’s fairly thick, but it’s not sticky. It does dry down fairly quick, which is a plus. I personally find both the hand/body cream and the body wash to be gimmicky and overpriced. You only get 3.4 fl. oz. in the body cream, yet you pay $22.50 for it. Without something signature about the formula, you end up buying it for the packaging/brand. The scent is interesting, as it doesn’t really smell much like honey. It’s kind of a spicy floral with a little bit of sweetness. It’s more on the masculine side, so if you were banking on a genuinely honey scented product, this isn’t it. For me, I just don’t feel MAC really put their stamp on this product.

Naked Honey Body Wash is similar in scent as the body cream. It doesn’t foam up so much as it lightly lathers, but the amount you get is just so small. 3.4 fl. oz. of body wash is tiny! One of my favorite body washes are Philosophy Shower Gels priced at $16.00 for 16 fl. oz. That’s nearly five times as much for less. There’s nothing wrong with the product itself, but it definitely feels gimmicky to me. I would probably skip this unless you were absolutely in love with the scent.

Creations: Naked Honey is a light woodsy floral. It’s a lighter scent than Africanimal, and it’s lighter yet than both the body wash and hand/body cream. I almost detect some citrus to it. It’s not a sweet, feminine scent at all, so if that’s your thing, these probably aren’t for you. I’d at least recommend you try to check ’em out in store before purchasing!

Creations: Africanimal is a darker, spicy, woodsy scent. It has a light touch of sweetness, almost like burnt honey (though I don’t actually know what burnt honey smells like–that’s just the description that comes to mind!). I can definitely detect the bergamot in it. I do prefer this one over Naked Honey, but it’s a fairly dark scent–something I’d probably only wear going out at night.

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113 thoughts on “MAC Naked Honey Collection – Reviews & Thoughts

  1. Sanita

    wow you are fast. thanks!

  2. Elisabeth

    Thanks a lot for these posts! Now I know I’m gonna skip this collection and go all in for Color Craft instead =)

  3. Leah

    Thanks Christine, I’ll be skipping a few collections in order to save for the fall “explosion”! I was really excited about Color Craft but think I’ll wait for a review on that one as well.

  4. Jessie

    I’m sticking to the three e/s, the salve, and maybe the lighter highlight powder. Maybe.

    Maybe a l/g.

    I dunno.

  5. Another thought:
    Christine, do you think that Creme de Miel is somewhat similar to White Wheat from Naturally Eccentric?

  6. dundan

    Africanimal and Naked Honey perfume. Need to sniff.

  7. Luda

    just saw the collection in person – very disapointed with everything

  8. As always, great info :) I think I’ll still check out the e/s and highlight powders 😉 Initially I never really considered the skincare products

  9. Renee

    Will you compare Buckwheat and Satin Taupe for me please?

  10. Melissa

    I’m interested in sniffing Africanimal, but I think everything else in this collection is a pass for me–and if I like Africanimal, I’ll pick it up during F&F. Thanks Christine! :)

  11. carriespooner

    I just got back myself with my haul. I have to say, you are on target Temptalia. The fragrances are not what I expected. The Africanimal actually made me a bit ill. I did not smell honey and in my mind thought all the products would have a distinct honey scent. I’ll be flat out honest and say that AVON’s MARK had some sensational honey scented products 4 years ago. I know.. bite my tongue. The skincare, and salve just didn’t make me fall in love. There are other lines who do honey better.

    I got all three shadows (love them). The girls did a base of rubenseque PP under them and WOW. I got Queen Bee and Honey light.

    I also thought the highlight powders were odd. Once I swatched the product without the overspray it was almost the color of foundation on my NW20 skin. I wish the whole product was the same as the overspray color. It’s so pretty.

    It’s not my fav launch but it has a few nice pieces and I agree with your must haves. :)

    • Hey Carrie,

      I definitely found that the scents smelled better on than right off the bat. But I definitely they’re scents that are not necessarily mass appeal, y’know? It is a bit disappointing that nothing REALLY smelled like honey, just because it was such a pronounced element of the collection.

      I can’t quite figure out the high light powders myself! They’re very similar to skin tone, and yet… not quite. I don’t know – it’s like they’re confused!

  12. Tanya

    wow I am soooo sad :( I was really excited about all the honey scents since thats one of my all time favorite scents. From the sound of thing I am only gonna be checking out the darker scented perfume. Deep sigh!! blah

    I passed on the rose scented perfume, in the last collection….which I am kinda wishing I hadnt…if they still have some, I think I might get a bottle of that as well. I skipped it because I thought I would be really buying tons of stuff from this collection.

  13. Izek

    Thank you so much for the swatches and the review :) I’ll get Creme de Miel and Queen Bee for sure and maybe Buckwheat… could you please compare it to MAC Chocolate Brown pigment?

    • No problem, Izek! I don’t own Chocolate Brown pigment, actually. It has been a really long time since I’ve swatched! From what I can recall from seeing other people’s swatches, they’re similar, but Buckwheat might be a bit lighter/warmer.

  14. lovepotion18

    I’m going to skip this collection. I am definitely saving my money for the Friends & Family sale next week to buy some of the perm eyeshadow colors that I have been eyeing for awhile.

  15. melika

    went to nordies today to pickup.
    thought i would do some damage.
    ended up with creme de miel and queen bee.
    wanted buckwheat, but it was a dupe for mulch to me (which i already have).
    happy with what i got.
    can’t wait till colour craft.

  16. Petra

    Always a pleasure to read your reviews, Christine. I love how thoughtful and considerate You are: ‘(Not a deal-breaker, but something to note for those who adore patterns and hate to ruin them!)’

    Thanks again! :)

  17. is buckwheat really similar to mulch? also will honey light affect the color of any blush if applied over them as highlight…

    • melika

      hi, samaya!
      i think they are pretty darn close. in fact my ma and i were looking at both of them, and she had said to me, “i guess it just depends on what kind of finish you like.”
      buckwheat is a frost and mulch is a velvet.

    • It is similar, though they have different textures/finishes, which can be important to some :)

      I imagine it will warm it up, maybe give it a “bronzy” look.

  18. Great review! I’m waiting until F&F to look at anything, and it sounds like that will work out just fine.

  19. Thank you for such a good, in-depth review :)

  20. Mikki

    Not the best collection if you ask me.

    I love Buckwheat e/s and that’s about it!

  21. aramis

    i swatched the colors in store but wasnt realy impressed. the only things that stood out was buckwheat,buzzlipglass and queen bee lipglass. i MIGHT get them in the f&f sale.

  22. Shontay

    I don’t like Mac shadows at all. They pale in comparison to mufe, so I will never buy them. However, I snatched up buzz lipglass and the two highlighters. I am in LOVE!!! I need to get more before it’s gone! Queen B is pretty and so is she’s a star, but I know they won’t show up on me. I skipped all the other stuff, also. I’m very happy with this and it ended up being much better than style warriors. All I got from that was the style warrior lipglass :(.

    • hi

      I agree on SOME of the MAC shadows – especially the lustre finishes. Some of them aren’t just worth my $14.50 for such mediocre pigmentation and glitter overload. (Greensmoke, I’m lookin’ at you!) There are quite a few shadows you’re missing out on, though: Sable – a BEAUTIFUL, buttery-textured frosty plummy bronze, Freshwater – a medium-toned, highly pigmented aqua blue, all of the Velvet and Veluxe Pearl finished shadows, all of the Starflash finished shadows, and all the Matte2 shadows. Sable and Freshwater are two of the most outstanding Frosts, all the Veluxe Pearls are metallic, super smooth and highly pigmented, the Velvets are like Frosts but much smoother with a more appropriate shimmer level, the Starflashes are so smooth that they’re almost creamy with a very true-to-the-pot outcome, and the Matte2 shadows are ULTRA smooth mattes. Love! Oh – my only Satin shadow is the very pigmented Shroom, which is a neutral to warm beige subtly-shimmered highlighter. You should really check these out!

    • Natalie

      I agree. Once you get MUFE shadows, you don’t look at MAC shadows. I was scared to use Bright Future, thinking that it might be too yellow. Doh, it had such a poor color pay off, I shouldn’t have worried about it in the first place!

    • Glad you found some things to take home with you, Shontay! :)

  23. Jennifer

    I love bronze colors so I was super duper excited for this collection..and then I saw it in person. I was incredibly underwhelmed by it. The high light powders are too matte under the overspray and barely showed up on my NW 40 skin. I liked the scent of the lotion but over 20 bucks for a small tube of lotion is ridiculous to me. I’m debating on buying the non woodsy smelling perfume but Im not sure. I was so excited for this collection to appear at my local MAC counter and i came home empty handed.

  24. scalley123

    i LOVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! the Naked Honey Skin Solve Ive been using it on my lips and its amazing! its not as glossy as some other mac lip treatments, and i love that! its so multi use i can DIE! on the eyes! on the skin i love it so much i bought 3!!

  25. Tami

    Hey Christine,

    I made a quick trip to Macy’s and picked up the Honey Light powder, Queen Bee lipglass and Pollinator eyeshadow. This is just to tide me over until the friends and family sale lol. I will be picking up the other shadows and lipglasses and perhaps the Africanimal fragrance. I’m going to pass on the body products I believe. If I were to get anything from that part of the collection it would be the salve.

    On a side note, how would you compare Buckwheat to Mulch eyeshadow? They look similar to me but Buckwheat may be a little darker. Would you say there is enough difference between them to own both? Just want your opinion:)

    • I’d say the salve is the best of the three skincare products, but I think you could live without it!

      They are similar a bit – I personally voted to own both, though! I think Buckwheat is just a touch warmer and has less shimmer.

  26. Kirstin

    This collection exceeded my expectations. I thought the promo/sneak images looked nice, but in person I fell in love with EVERYTHING! Can’t wait ’til I can go pick up more of it.

    As always, thanks for your reviews & swatches -they are incredibly helpful!

  27. kat

    friends & family sale? que?

  28. Tattoo Girl

    I got all three e/s and buzz. Was not impressed with the perfumes. The salve was okay but pricey for what it is.

  29. Ms Trendy

    the salve is very nice but i dont have dry skin issues so i have no use for it especially this time of year. its such a coincidence … i used the EXACT same words to describe the fragrances to the MUA today… floral and spicy. i am wearing it 5 hours later and its still holding up so it lasts but smells nothing like a typical honey fragrance. the only products i was anxious for were the highlight powders and well neither of them work. one blends right into my skin colour (25 or 30 in either NC or NW) and the other shows more as a bronzer than a highlight. i want one for my collection but i am in no rush and will be debating which one to get…. or save up for graphic garden and colour craft and more dazzleglasses 😀 whats a girl to do?

  30. Brie

    I gotta agree on Buckwheat – it took all my willpower not to buy it when I saw it. Talk about a pretty brown (and I agree that I think it would be flattering on pretty much anyone).

    Naked Honey was extremely floral to my nose. I didn’t get even a touch of honey or woods, it was just straight up, loud florals.

    Africanimals was not nearly as dark as I was expecting (I was imagining something way woodier) and turned out to be very much a warm, earthy honey scent. Lovely.

  31. Erin

    You were totally right. I was so pumped about NH but it wasn’t that exciting in stores. I bought more from Style Warriors. I ended up getting Buckwheat and Queen Bee, like you said, because they were the prettiest and most unique.

    Overall, I’d rather save my money for F&F next week.

  32. sej

    Thanks for the review! At least now I now I can pass on this one and save more for the upcoming releases!

  33. Christy

    I really loved the Naked Honey fragrance when I first smelled it, but after using it for a day, it faded down to almost nothing. So sad since it reminds me of my grandmother’s favorite flowers.

  34. Amber

    I am so easily persuaded that when I went to my local MAC to look at products for the F&F Sale (in order to compile my list), I was dragged into buying some Naked Honey. The saleswoman is so nice and I couldn’t resist. I bought the Buckwheat eyeshadow (which is lovely) and the Naked Honey Creations. I’ve never purchased a “creations” from MAC because they didn’t seem worth it, but the woman was really pushing it. It does smell sweet (like honeysuckle!) but I don’t know how much I will reach for it………I really should’ve waited for the sale to buy this, but I couldn’t stop myself.

  35. helena

    I love honey products! I am tempted to just about get everything here but sadly i got informed that the body products will not be available in my country =( i hope the perfumes are though.

    Would queen bee lipglass look very orange on the lips? I tend to stay away from bright colours, and i don’t know if it would look awkward on me. I am warmed toned though, nc20.
    Btw, if i wanted to get all three eyeshadows and make a custom quad, which other eyeshadow colour be complementary to the other three? I am thinking maybe a red-based brown but i’m open to suggestions! Thank you very much.

    • Oh no! That is really terrible to hear, Helena :( I wonder why they will not be coming to your country.

      It’s kind of a pinky-orange, not super bright orange, though.

      I might choose a gold like Goldmine, or a softer brown like Patina.

  36. Jessie

    The collection was small, and it seems like most people have way too high of expectations out of small launches.
    I thought as a whole, it was a nice collection. The colors seemed to go together and the ONLY thing I was disappointed with was the Naked Honey perfume. I expected more honey and less floral.

    I ended up getting the eyeshadows, and I’ll get the h/l powder during the F&F sale.

    The lippies are awesome, but are too sheer and brown for me.

    All in all, I was impressed with this collection. And I can’t wait for Love that Look.

    • It was definitely nice and pretty – I think there just lacked originality, in a sense. Doesn’t take away from it being a highly wearable collection, though!

  37. Rebecca

    I think all of the product fragrances are more of a sophisticated honey-tinged scent then a cheap-y bath/body product scent. you know the ones that are straight honey or honey/vanilla and sort of like Glade? lol

    To make the body lotion go father I plan on using a bit mixed with damp hands/splash of water or just on the cuticles following a cheaper OPI lotion.

  38. sej

    I was really excited about this collection but it seems there are dupes for most of the colored products, and I just can’t justify the prices on all the skincare stuff….especially with the Bath and Body Works sale right now where I can get multiple products for the price of one Naked Honey product.

  39. Victoria

    Does anyone know when the friends and family sale will begin?

  40. Ali

    I personally picked up the skin salve. I’ve been using it more on my lips than anywhere else. I even have my husband using it haha! :) It definitely is more honey floral, which kinda depressed me because I LOVE the scent of honey. But it’s still really nice. It’s really rich and more waxy, not greasy. A little bit goes a long way. I’m planning on picking up the Honey Light highlighter during the friends and family sale. I checked it out in the stores today and it’s awesome.

  41. tanaz22

    how close would you say buckwheat is to the brown colour from the lucky tom pallete?

  42. Janet Yu

    when is the exact date of the friends & family sale? is it online and in the store?

  43. Summer

    Does Africanimal smell anything like Halle Berry Parfum?

    Does Naked Honey smell anything like Avon Rare Pearls?

    I keep looking at discriptions of the scents but So far these two scents come to mind as being similar.

    Can anyone help???

    • Meredith

      They don’t smell at all like Halle Berry, which smells yummy. They smell more flowery, not like honey or vanilla, which was what I was expecting. I think MAC should stick to makeup, it’s what they do best. Not perfume.

      • Summer

        Thanks for the info. Won’t be bying. I like the Halle Berry but I didn’t find it long lasting on me.

    • I haven’t tried either of those perfumes, sorry :(

  44. Meredith

    I was at Nordstrom today and checked out the Naked Honey collection. I was not blown away. It is small, and the perfumes were stinky if you ask me, but Africanimal was sold out already, so I guess someone liked it! I’m going to skip this one and get the anniversary sets.

  45. Farrow

    Hi Christine & Friends!

    Can anyone explain the following to me? I was reading excited emails back-&-forth between folks who are talking about the vaunted online Friends & Family Sale, & everyone kept adding in parentheses remarks like this: ” (Cool Heat!) ” — as well as things like this: …”I cannot wait to get my own Cool Heat, but it’ll probably be sold out by the 16th”.

    WHAT in the world is “Cool Heat”????? I read your temptalia religiously, dear Christine, as well as pouring over the Mac website almost daily — but alas, those 2 words mean nothing to me, so far. And when I entered “Cool Heat” into the Mac Online search engine right now, Mac’s reply came back that they had nothing at all that fit those 2 words !!!!!

    So what IS “Cool Heat”, please; especially since even Mac’s own online Search Engine didn’t recognize it? And why are so many people expecting it to be sold out by today, June 16th — i.e. on the date that our online F-&-F Sale begins?

    Thanks for the help ! ! xoxo

    • I haven’t seen anything about Cool Heat? LOL. Where were you seeing this?

      Cool Heat was a collection by MAC back in 2008. I’m wondering if you were reading Friends & Family posts/conversations from 2008!

  46. b

    hiya does anyone know whey this collection hasntr been realsed in the UK yet??? X

  47. Joan

    Just a thought – Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria in Flora Nymphea seems to be a good honey scent. Every time I wear it I feel like spending a lazy afternoon in the sunshine. I would love to know how you think this compares to MAC’s Naked Honey!