Monday, July 4th, 2011

MAC Semi-Precious Collection: Overall & Recommendations

Each summer, MAC’s mineralize-themed collection is one that seems highly anticipated, but ultimately, I’m more let down than excited over it after trying it all out. This year is, ultimately, not very different. I find this launch overwhelming–is it necessary to launch twelve, limited edition eyeshadows all at once?–and I think that might show with the inconsistencies in color payoff, texture, and quality.

The five Cremesheen Glasses and four lipsticks are consistent with past launches and formulas for all of those. The lipsticks are surprisingly wearable and seem like they should work across skin tones, which is owed to the sheerness of the color. Though Musky Amethyst is labeled frost, it feels more like a lustre (which the other three are). I do find lustre lipsticks drying and that they only last two to three hours (a little below average). I wish Cremesheen Glasses were either less expensive or contained more product, because they’re a miss in terms of value (and always will be).

In my experience, mineralize products do not seem to wear as long as regular, pressed powders. I find this to be true in the mineralize blushes, skinfinishes, and eyeshadows. I typically get around six hours of wear with the blushes and skinfinishes, and the wear with the eyeshadows seems to depend on just how much work I put into them and the color payoff when dry, because they can fade within two to three hours or last closer to five or six.

The mineralize blushes seem to be the best products out of the collection, because they have soft, natural finishes and blend easily against the skin, though their softness can make them too easy to sheer out. I did find Warmth of Coral did not show up well on my NC25/NC30 skin tone. With the mineralize skinfinishes, they seem a little less glittery than past variations. Crystal Pink seems to be the most unique, just because it has a certain cool undertone running through it.

No matter how much I want to love mineralize eyeshadows, I just can’t. For $20 a pop, I really shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to make them work. The way they look in the pan doesn’t translate to the eye–even from swatch to lid, I never see the depth show up on the lid. The majority of this batch of mineralize eyeshadows need to be used damp/wet in order to get good color payoff. However, the problem is that they don’t stay wet and the dry down is somewhere between dry and wet, but the result is a little faded.  The best results are using a sticky base or something like MAC Water-Based Mixing Medium (which has a slight adhesive quality) and/or a colored base, then you need to pat on, avoid blending as much as possible, and cross your fingers.

My experience with reduced wear time (as compared to the average wear of these types of products) makes me hesitant to list anything mineralize as a must-have.  I think Gem of Roses offers something that MAC’s permanent range doesn’t have and is not a color we see launched every few months by MAC, and for that reason, it is the only item on the must-have list, even though it is a little drying to me.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

Check out recommendations! 

Temptalia’s Recommendations

must-haves: Lipstick – Gem of Roses

nice-to-haves: Cremesheen Glass – Natural Flare, Richly Revered; Mineralize Blush – Feeling Flush, Pressed Amber; Mineralize Skinfinish – Semi-Precious Crystal Pink, Pearl

skip: Mineralize Eyeshadow – Clarity, Hint of Sapphire, Jade’s Fortune, Quartz Fusion, Unsurpassable

Check your stash for…

LOOKS LIKE SIN (repromote)

Skip if you have…

  • Skip GEO PINK if you have SO BAD (limited edition); the former is a little more opaque and the latter has more glitter.
  • Skip LUSH AMBER if you have FRECKLETONE (permanent); unless you need something a little less warm.
  • Skip MUSKY AMETHYST if you have ODYSSEY (permanent); unless you are looking for something sheerer.
  • Skip WARMTH OF CORAL if you have PEACHES (permanent); they ended up being rather similar.
  • Skip QUARTZ FUSION if you have CRANBERRY (permanent); the latter being slightly darker.
  • Skip HINT OF SAPPHIRE if you have GIORGIO ARMANI #3 EYES TO KILL INTENSE; as it is really just a better, more pigmented and multi-faceted version.
  • Skip RARE FIND if you have THEBALM CURVY CAMI; the latter being more pigmented.

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

  • light skin tones: Cremesheen Glass – Looks Like Sin, Pure Magnificence; Mineralize Blush – Pressed Amber, Warmth of Coral;
  • medium skin tones: Cremesheen Glass – Natural Flare; Mineralize Blush – Feeling Flush, Pressed Amber;
  • dark skin tones: Cremesheen Glass – Geo Pink, Natural Flare; Mineralize Blush – Feeling Flush;
  • cool undertones: Cremesheen Glass – Pure Magnificence; Mineralize Blush – Feeling Flush; Mineralize Eyeshadow – Blue Sheen, Quartz Fusion
  • warm undertones: Cremesheen Glass – Geo Pink, Natural Flare; Mineralize Blush – Pressed Amber, Warmth of Coral; Mineralize Skinfinish – Goldstone; Mineralize Eyeshadow – Dark Indulgence, Faux Gold, Rare Find
  • universally flattering shades: Lipstick – Gem of Roses, Lush Amber, Musky Amethyst, One of a Kind; Cremesheen Glass – Richly Revered; Mineralize Skinfinish – Crystal Pink, Pearl, Rose Quartz; Mineralize Eyeshadow – Clarity, Golden Gaze, Hint of Sapphire, Jade’s Fortune, Mineral Mode, Smoked Ruby, Unsurpassable

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52 thoughts on “MAC Semi-Precious Collection: Overall & Recommendations

  1. Rebecca

    thanks for that post christine! =)
    I think I’ll skip this collection.

    • Monica

      Ditto! Nothing impresses me with this collection! I’m glad because I am saving a lot of money for other things.

  2. Avatar of Marina Marina

    Awesome! Thanks, Christine! Think I’m going to pick up Gem of Roses for sure. And then probably MSF Pearl and One of A Kind Lipstick. We’ll see though, student budget here needs to be expanded to accomodate all of the new MAC collections coming out!

  3. amy

    i think i;m gonna go for roze quartz and pressed amber (i’m a NW15)

  4. Avatar of Denise Denise

    Thank you for your recommendations, Christine! Do you think Pressed Amber would look good on pale, cool skin? I really like the concept of a brown blush, either for contouring or just for a little color, but I’m not sure whether this certain kind of color would look good on my skin…

    • I think it could, just since it is not overly warm at all. You might also like MAC Blushbaby, which has a hint of plum/pink in it.

      • Avatar of Denise Denise

        Thank you for that tip :-), I will definitely look into Blushbaby the next time I’m at a counter!

  5. Gillian

    I cancelled my order- im saving my money for things I would rather have that are coming up

  6. Avatar of Chloe Chloe

    thanks so much really helpful

  7. Avatar of caitlin cait

    sooooooo excited, totally getting gem of roses and one of a kind >W<

  8. Audrey

    Thanks for your honest review! I think I’m going to have to spend my money towards Chanel which has a much more consistent (and beautiful) fall collection. I’ve been disappointed with MAC lately and hope they can redeem themselves with the Gareth Pugh line.

  9. Even what my guts told me about the products,your reviews always ended up correct! I will pick up only few outstanding items.thank u for your hard work & great reviews as always!

  10. Resa

    thank you for everything. i might pick up two items for this collections :D

  11. Avatar of Kristina Kris

    Thank you for all your hard work Christine! This was definitely a let-down collection :( I still think I might splurge for Smoked Ruby, just to have at least one of the eyeshadows.

  12. Carrie Ann

    It’s interesting that you find the Lustre lipsticks drying. Lustre is my favorite formula because it’s so comfortable on my dry lips. Mineralize blushes and MSFs also last just as long on me as any other blush. Go figure. Thank you for your always helpful reviews. I had no idea Geo Pink was so similar to So Bad and I’m going to skip a lot of other things I might’ve otherwise spent my money on.

    • Yeah, if I wear lustres often, my lips will look like a desert. They apply easily but they destroy my lips if I actually wear them. :(

    • Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

      I prefer the Lustres too, in finish and presentation. As we age, I think we should not be drawing massive amounts of attention to our lips, which have lost collagen if we aren’t blowing them up like puffer fishes! Not that I’m old and busted — just sayin’. 8′)

  13. Sabrina

    Thanks for this. I really want a mineralize skinfinish since I’m new to MAC and have never tried one – don’t know whether to get one from this collection/which one to get though…

  14. Olivia

    Thank goodness for Christine!! If it wasn’t for her amazing dupe list and product comparisons MAC would have wayyyy more of my money.

  15. Jennifer

    Christine: i haven’t seen much about the Charged Water. Is it worth it if I already own the Fix + ? thank you and happy Fourth of July.

    • Neither Fix+ nor Charged Water really do anything for me – it just feels like water to me. I’ve never felt more hydrated or anything!

      • Jennifer

        Okay thank you for your prompt reply! Have a happy and safe night. P.S they have the collection on maccosmetics.com, but you can’t add to bag yet :)

  16. Jamie

    Back in March or April when I had first heard about the collection I was so excited, but now it has fallen so flat. Originally I had planned to pick up so much stuff, but now I’m getting 3 of the 4 MSFs; Goldstone, Rose Quartz, and Pearl and then 2 lipsticks; Musky Amethyst and Gem of Roses. I hope the Mac Me Over collection is everything that I think it will be along with the other collections for fall. Oh and Christine thank you so much for all the work you put into this, it really shows that you put in so much effort, but that’s normal when it comes to this site.

  17. Hanne

    The collection is online. Just have to search for the items but i just placed my order :)

  18. Jennifer

    Hey Christine! They have everything online for sale right now!!

  19. Julie

    The products are up for sale!!!!! The collection is not shown yet but the products are listed! Just ordered mine!! :)

  20. helen

    thank you for being the voice of reason, Christine! I was planning on getting way too many things form the collection– now will limit myself to only a few of the best items. It’s too easy to get swept away in the frenzy of MAC LE collections and spend way too much on things that will collect dust!

  21. Wendy

    I just placed my order — Semi Precious is online now.

  22. Carrie Ann

    It looks like the collection is up on the website.

  23. Hannah

    Does anyone know of any free shipping codes? It’s too late to live chat for one… I need Gem of Roses and it seems to be up on the site already!

  24. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    Well, THANKS AGAIN, Christine. I went batshit crazy on this collection. I’m pretty new to MSF and since I’m very fair took your reco on the Pressed Amber. Got 3 of the lipsticks because I like lustres + two backups.

    I made it 7 months on my no-buy. That’s pretty good (for me)!

    • Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

      Plus 3 of the MSFs. I know you think they look like a drop of puke or a tumor, but the payoff is pretty. 8′)

  25. Sarah

    hey christine. i placed my order just now. thanks for always being so great and helpful! :)

  26. Thanks for this post and the recommendation and skip part. I’m interested in Warmth of Coral MB, Crystal Pink MSF and Pearl MSF.

    We’ll see though. I’m hesitant to buy from MAC now. Maybe they have found a new method of flubbing yet another collection like they did with the confusing info and release dates of Fashion Flower in my country.

  27. Yazmin

    I love your recommendations christine. it helps so much considering im trying to save money and this type of posts helps me make an evaluated decision rather than me going to the mac store and buying everything i see just in case.

  28. Am I the only one who likes Pure Magnificence? Might I ask what lipliner/lipstick you wore in the swatch for it?

    Other than that,and maybe Crystal Pink MSF, I’ll pass on the rest of this. Mineralized E/S is just so disappointing it seems to sour me on the rest of the collection. :(

  29. you ROCK! i greatly appreciate and value your honest reviews. thanks for all your hard work! love, p

  30. Brittany

    Such a bummer! I am patiently waiting for something awesome to come out… Thanks for the review Christine. Helpful, informative and honest!

  31. Hi!
    Do you think Somekd Ruby is close to Spectacle of Yourself? Also, I was thinking about Golden Gaze, but I already have Goldilux from Sugarpil… Maybe over a black I’ll get the rich gold I wanted – it looks yellow on me, not gold at all :/

    Thanks for the lovely review, I skipped pretty much EVERYTHING! Just getting myself Warmth of Coral since I’m ghost-white :). Thanks!

  32. Hannah

    Surprisingly (or not so), the only things sold out on the MAC website are Gem of Roses and Feeling Flush… all of the MSFs are still there. Perhaps this will be a lesson to MAC that if the quality isn’t there, we will not buy!

    • I’m honestly quite surprised that they didn’t sell out of a lot of things! I was still expecting things to go quickly. And in MAC-land, if it isn’t gone in the first 24 hours, it’s a slow collection!

  33. ayesha

    I’m going tomorrow to get the rose quartz msf. I also wanted the crystal pink one. However I’m not sure. Will it look ashy on my nc44 skin? Thanks u! Xx

  34. kelly

    I tried to resist, but just bought a few of the eyeshadows

  35. Ayesha

    hey everyone

    im going out to Mac and i was looking at getting the crystal pink or pearl msf. do you think this will look good or ashy on my nc44 skin?

    thank you! xx

  36. Emma

    I just bought Golden Gaze it is absolutely beautiful when used wet.. I bought My Family Crest pigment by mac ages ago and struggled to wear it but now I have a great shade to wear with it… Gorgeous and it’s great value for money!!

  37. Msharma

    I really liked crystal pink and pearl. I almost, almost bought them, but then I noticed the 6.5 gm in stead of the 10 gm and I just balked! I gotta draw the line somewhere. Thanks for the heads up Christine on that. 28 dollars for 6.5 gm product! Yeah yeah, I know it is supposed to last an eternity but still! I could buy 6 drugstore blushes for that much that give 6.5 each!
    Not that Mac is losing a lot of money, I dropped 142 bucks yesterday at Mac, my biggest purchase ever.

  38. hi christine,
    i must choose between my dark indulgence eyeshadow and warmth of coral blush.
    my skin tone is nc 20. can you help me???

  39. Avatar of Amy Amy

    Thanks so much for doing what you do, it’s crossed out all but maybe 1-2 products for me xD The only products I actually “want” is Gem of Roses since I have a lot of bright lipsticks but decided to look for a MLBB lipstick and I think this might do and I’m still teetering on Feeling Flush since I already have Overdyed. I wanted the MSF at first but I ended up either liking the outer ring but not liking the inner circle or vice versa cuz it doesn’t seem like it’d be a good highlighter/blush for my slightly fairer than NC/NW 15 skin. Wish they had one with a champagne/white gold base with a fresher pink inside.

  40. Erica

    This collection just launched in where I live, so I immediately checked back this post! Thanks for the information Christine! I’m going to skip this collection as well.