Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Strength: Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “muted pinkish brown” with a satin finish. It’s a medium brown with soft, peach-orange undertones and a shimmer-sheen finish. Burberry Earthy is browner, more neutral and matte. NARS Madly is a touch browner. Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight is very similar, perhaps a bit darker.

Poised has good color payoff, and the texture is soft, finely-milled, and blendable.  It was easy to apply, and the color could be used lightly or heavily, such that it was true-to-pan with little effort.  The sheen it gives off is a few steps above luminous and natural, but it isn’t frosted, and it doesn’t emphasize pores.  I tested this yesterday, and it lasted for six hours well, but it was a bit faded after seven hours.  Like the lipsticks from this launch, this blush (and its partner in crime) sold out within an hour or so of soft launching online, so currently, the only way to obtain one is to track it down at a freestanding MAC store.

The Glossover



Aside from the below-average wear, Poised is a great blush. It has lovely color payoff, a superb, finely-milled texture, and it is easy to blend on the skin.











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MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics, $20.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

See individual shade review!

What makeup are you wearing?

On eyes: Dior Iconic Mascara. On cheeks: MAC Poised Blush. On lips: MAC Nice & Simple Mineralize Tinted Lip Balm.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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54 thoughts on “MAC Poised Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. This is really, really beautiful, but I’m starting to get a little tired of liking these LE MAC blushes and then not getting them before they sell out. I don’t like feeling rushed and as a result, I hardly ever shop MAC anymore :/ I am lemming after this one but not enough to hunt it down, I suppose.

  2. Do you think this would work on those with pale skin with yellow undertones?

  3. Hi, Christine! Is there any kind of highlighter on your cheek or is it just blush?
    It looks so warm and beautiful great review!

  4. You are amazing for working so hard to get these reviews up! Thank you! I can’t wait to see the review for Taupe Shape! :)

  5. Es precioso, sobre todo para dar calidez a pieles claras <3

  6. t_zwiggy

    I don’t want to be rude, because I really appreciate your hard work, but what’s the point of posting swatches of these products days after they sold out?

    Do you have the Apres Chic collection? I see everything is still in stock online, so it would be nice to see some swatches before everything sell out.

    • t_zwiggy

      Okay, so this came out a bit more harsh than intended. It’s just so frustrating with this extremely limited stock, and the reviews seem kind of pointless and a waste of time when the products are almost impossible to obtain. All they really do, imo, is creating even more mass hysteria and people caving in to pay $50+ on ebay.

      What I meant with the second paragraph, was that I thought it was i bit weird to prioritize something that’s sold out over something that’s still easily obtainable, but I’m sure you have a good reason. Reading it back I realize that it can be easily misunderstood as you not working hard enough to get the reviews out, which is not what I meant at all.

      • I’m really sorry I could not have these up sooner – I placed my order maybe 30 minutes after the collections soft launched online. I overnighted each of my orders. I called early on the 24th to verify that all the orders were going to go through and nothing was going to be held. As soon as the boxes arrived, which was around 3/4PM on the 26th, I opened them and started taking photos, swatches, and testing products. I posted as soon as possible. Many readers have reported being able to snag products in stores, and that the stock has been more in stores than usual. Also, keep in mind that there are Canadian readers (one reported everything was still in stock as of last night) and all of our global readers will have this collection launch next year.

        This will become harder and harder to find, so the whole point was to get the reviews of the most coveted products out as fast as I could, leaving those products still available and easily purchased for next. It’s not like you won’t see the rest in the next day or two – it’s really a matter of hours. I’m working as quickly as possible to crop photos, write reviews, and test the products. Apres Chic requires a lot more time for testing (because there are a few new formulas, Mineralize Eyeshadows can be inconsistent, and all new lipsticks). I had nothing ready last night to put up yesterday or this morning, so it made more sense to push and get Strength out first.

        • t_zwiggy

          Thanks for explaining! I didn’t understand why you posted reviews of Strength first, but it totally makes sense now. Hopefully people who live in the US will be able to find them in stores before it’s too late.

          I know you do your best to get everything posted as fast as you can, and I really appreciate it :)

            • mumtaza

              I went to my MAC store and they had tons of stock, even Stereo Rose and the Strength lipsticks. They were downright breezy about it. If you can only order online, I’m sorry, that really sucks. But if you can go to a store or even call and order from one you might be in for a happy surprise! I honestly assumed everything would be sold out and almost didn’t even go over there. But then my makeup junkie side said, “well hell, it’s not like you hate makeup stores in general, go check it out.” Lo and behold, there was a ton of everything for sale.

              As a side note, I use these reviews as a sort of archive and to shop at CCO’s long after the hype has died down, so I really appreciate your effort to review and test these! Thank you!!

            • It is really great to hear that stores have a lot of stock! I’m happy to hear that – normally it’s low stock online and in-store, LOL!

        • blueraccoon

          Christine, I don’t think you could have had these reviews up any sooner unless you had a time machine. Every time there’s a new MAC launch it feels to me like you run a marathon to get the products swatched, photographd, tested, and reviews up in time, and then products sell out anyway so people who wait for the reviews get screwed over.

          I wish MAC would think about this and maybe either have more stock or let the PRO folks order first so you have a chance to get reviews up by the normal launch. Or both. But I’m not all that optimistic about MAC and marketing intelligence lately.

          • I’ve definitely tried “using my connections” but no luck on that front, LOL! I’m like, “Please! Please! Readers would SO SO appreciate it!”

            Honestly, I had trouble sleeping on the 23rd, fretting over whether or not MAC would process and ship my orders, because I placed three in a row. And that I’d get a backorder notice.

      • Ruca

        T_ZWIGGY: I totally understand your frustration, but don’t worry, I don’t think anyone read you are rude–just frustrated.

        Here’s a suggestion from a hardcore MAC junkie: Call all local MAC stores and wherever your nearest PRO store is (LA, NYC, or SF), and see if anyone has it now. NO? Keep checking MAC’s site, because they always restock these products. ALWAYS. If you miss a restock, try calling their corporate line and see if you can find an agent that can help you locate one! That’s how I got Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon last year! They’re very helpful and nice. If all else fails and you still want this, then find out where your local CCOs and Estee Lauder Company Store(s) are, and after a few months, this blush will probably turn up there.

        Good luck! :)

    • Hi!

      The collection is available in some stores, and it will be releasing globally, too. MAC may or may not restock (sometimes they do, and they have done so more frequently with some of the really quick-to-sell shades). And then, I can also show you what it looks like and hopefully suggest dupes – and people may find it’s passable or it’s not necessary to track it down.
      I’m working through Strength first, because it is harder to find already. I have to fully test a lot of products from Apres Chic because they’re brand new formulas.

      • Abby

        hi Christine!! thank you so much for your reviews and swatches. I never purchase anything before seeing your swatches and reading your reviews :)

      • Khadija

        Hi Christine,
        You may or may not have an answer but I’m from Trinidad and when I contacted one of the local MAC stores they said they will not be receiving you know if it is still being released globally and it’s just my country or if the global release itself has been nixed?

        Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews.

        • Hi Khadija!

          MAC listed an international date and didn’t list exclusions, but since I get a U.S. based press release, the details for international can be sketchy. I would trust your local store over the press release–especially since we are nearing the international launch date, too. You could try phoning a week or so into January, as maybe it’s not on their calendar yet (not sure when exactly the books are updated at stores or abroad).

  7. Liz

    It looks very similar to Bobbi Brown Almond. Only Almond doesn’t really have any sheen. I’ll pass, but it is a nice blush on you.

  8. mandy

    Oh christine! I really lkke the look of this but do you think it would look good as a blush on nc45skin. The dupes you mentioned may have too much brown for a blusher on my skin… can u reccommend a natural looking blush for my skintone?

  9. Pamela

    The swatch resembles CG Cheekers Soft Sable, I think. I’ll bring mine to MAC for comparison.

  10. YH

    How similar is this to coppertone blush?

  11. jennie

    Hey Christine on which skintone do you see this blush suitable for? I’m like olive / medium.

  12. Lily

    Christine is Nars Madly warmer than Mac Poised? Need warmth on my skin. Love them both!

  13. Lisa

    I almost bought this based on Mac’s description. I really don’t see pink in this. It’s much too warm for me.

    • It’s one of those shades that you don’t see anyyy pink in, until you compare it to other blushes that then all look really brown in comparison. It’s like – there is something there, a rosiness, that keeps it from being full-on brown.

      • Ruca


        I even tried to compare this to all similar blushes last night, like The Perfect Cheek and Small Vanity, and nothing looks like this. That, and the other two I mention suddenly look so bland next to this one. The Perfect Cheek is actually my favorite blush, although this one may steal that title.

  14. Hello Christine :) is what it looks like blush Prim & Poper (liberty of london collection) ??

    (Sorry for my bad english)

  15. Anna

    So like a good little beauty junkie, I went looking for this collection in MAC stores yesterday (2 MACS to be precise) and was told that this collection will be released on January 3rd in MAC stores and counters. So I guess I’m a little confused about the disappointment. I saw that it sold out on the website but figured that I could have items from strength held at my local MAC location to be picked up on the third… So have an of you ladies found this released at a regular MAC (not pro) shop or counter?

  16. Gina

    I am so glad you were able to purchase Taupe Shape and Poised because I really wanted to see the review before trying to hunt it down. I thought they would be good everyday blushes/contour colors but from your pictures I can see that they are both warmer than I thought. I thought Poised would be similar to Tarte’s Exposed but it definitely does appear oranger. Me and orange do not mix. Thank you for relieving my anxiety over this selling out online and missing out.

  17. Miranda

    Thanks for the reviews!! Especially the blushes too! I will pretty much buy any bright pink lipstick so I managed to get Party Parrot, Pink Pigeon and Absolute Power on the website but I wanted to see swatches before I bought the blushes and the quads! This is particularly helpful because the collection isn’t even launching in my city (Calgary) until January 3rd!

  18. wow, this wasn’t really impressive to me at all until I saw it on you, Christine. Very flattering!

  19. Elisabetta

    Christine, do you think this blush can suit an nc20 skintone? I have fear that it may turn too orange on me :( thank you for your hard work!!

  20. Ellen

    It is available again on the MAC website. My question is, how like BB Twighlight is it? It looks much lighter and orangier. Twighlight was my sleeper find of the summer! I know the texture is not perfect, but the brown shade is perfect on me! A bronze with a hint of purple. I was surprised that it looked so well on my very fair, red head complexion, but it brought out the green in my eyes as if I was wearing purple eyeliner or something! I’m dying for a dupe of it, is Poise this dupe, or is it too orante?

    • This is more orange :) Less of a brown.

      • Elleq

        Too bad. Please post if you ever find that elusive mauve brown. I know people went nuts over Chanel’s Notorious, but I think that was more mauve gray than mauve brown. Dupes for Twilight, or Bahama Brown as it is called on the label, and for Notorious, would be great finds!

  21. Dora

    are this and melba similar?i know they r probably not,but i just wanna make sure im not buying similar blushes home.

  22. ra

    Christine, this looks a bit like Alpine Bronze Mineralize blush. Am I right? Thanks!

  23. Rachel

    You are so pretty on the photo. What do you wear on your lips please?