Sunday, May 8th, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Collection: Overall & Recommendations

Surf Baby is a really fun collection with several high-quality products and shades, which makes it a really nice follow-up to Flighty, which left some disappointed.  The eyeshadows are fantastic–great smooth textures with excellent color pay off make them all worth having, but it’ll depend on your personal preferences and what you may already have at home.  I think the lipsticks and lipglasses are on par with what one would expect; not necessarily anything out-of-the-box but no significant texture issues.

I’m not much for bronzer, but I really loved the way the two shades of Studio Careblend Pressed Powders looked and felt on the skin–so natural.  The Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks are also a nice way to incorporate bronzer in your routine, and they, too, look natural against skin (though Gilty Bronze has shimmer and doesn’t!).  It’s hard to choose between the two.

Oddly enough, My Paradise and the Suntints are least impressive.  My Paradise is a little dusty; it’s just not a really finely milled, refined finish.  I think the drastic difference between the color with the overlay and the actual base color is going to make it easier to resist it.  Marine Life was better, because even though the gold was an overspray, there are two separate colors that go all the way through.  I don’t find Suntints to be a good lip balm at all, and of all products to splurge on for higher-end, lip balm is not usually one of them so it had better be good.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

Check out recommendations! 

Temptalia’s Recommendations

must-haves: Sun Blonde, Surf USA Eyeshadows; Studio Careblend Pressed Powders; Strange Potion Lipglass;

nice-to-haves: Saffron Eyeshadow; Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks; Surf the Ocean Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack;

skip: Suntints

Check your stash for…

MOCHA (permanent), STRANGE POTION (repromote, Venomous Villains), SAFFRON (repromote, Mickey Contractor), NAKED (permanent), MELON (permanent), FULL OF GRACE (repromote, Baby Blooms), LILT OF LILY (repromote, Baby Blooms), PINK TINGE (repromote, Baby Blooms)

Skip if you have…

  • Skip BUST OUT! if you have UP THE AMP; Bust Out is a smidgen less purple/more berry, but they’re close.
  • Skip GIRL ON BOARD if you have A QUIET ROAR; A Quiet Roar is a smidgen darker, but on the lips, it’s hard to tell.

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: Naturally Eccentric Lipstick; Short Shorts, Sun Blonde, Swell Baby Eyeshadows; Gold-Go-Lightly Studio Careblend Pressed Powder; Tan Tint Skinsheen Bronzer Stick
  • medium skin tones: My Paradise Cheek Powder; Bust Out! and Mocha Lipsticks; Saffron, Sun Blonde, Surf USA Eyeshadows; Gold-Go-Lightly, Lush-Light Bronze Studio Careblend Pressed Powder; Billionaire Bronze, Tan Tint Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks
  • dark skin tones: My Paradise Cheek Powder; Bust Out! and Mocha Lipsticks; Saffron, Surf USA Eyeshadows; Lush-Light Bronze Studio Careblend Pressed Powder; Billionaire Bronze, Gilty Bronze Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks
  • cool undertones: Bust Out!, Naturally Eccentric Lipsticks; Sun Blonde, Swell Baby Eyeshadows;
  • warm undertones: My Paradise Cheek Powder; Krazy Kahuna Lipglass; Hibiscus Lipstick; Saffron, Short Shorts, Surf USA Eyeshadows;
  • universally flattering shades: Girl on Board, Good Lovin’, Strange Potion Lipglasses; Summer Stash, Surf the Ocean Crushed Metallic Pigment Stacks; Blue Noon, Gilded White Powerpoint Eye Pencils; Full of Grace, Lilt of Lily, Pink Tinge Suntints;

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43 thoughts on “MAC Surf Baby Collection: Overall & Recommendations

  1. I’m just not impressed with this collection =( To The Beach was much better… even though I like the packaging of this one more. I’ll likely skip all of it.
    It’s too bad the color of the overspray mixed with the blush color on My Paradise didn’t stay the same, that was SO gorgeous. The blush is too in your face without the overspray =(

    • Kara

      I completely agree with you! You took the words right out of my mouth (:

    • Dayna

      I completely agree with u. Mac to the beach was wayyyy better. I wish i had my job when it came out :(. Looks im going to only strange potion and maybeeee the gold go lightly powder. Thank u christine. If it wasnt for u i would of wasted soo much time and money.

    • Really? I love this collection! This will actually be my first blush…from anywhere! I also love the Hibiscus and Naturally Essentric Lipsticks and the eyliners. I could go on…love the packaging too. I’ve liked the others too, but I guess I’m a sucker for the whole Hawaiian look!

  2. leahbobeah

    I have to admit, I’m really not super impressed with this collection. The quality seems good, but the shades are fairly 70s, and the packaging is really tweenager-ery.

  3. Rachael

    Thank you so much Christine! I always read these for every MAC collection before I pre order anything! You are amazing!

  4. Thanks for the recommendations! Question about swell baby… I’m NC 44 and don’t possess a non-shimmery grey… I really want one. Would swell baby be a good idea? Or are there better ones out there?

  5. Emily O.

    Today I broke up with MAC so, while looking at these gorge pictures is painful it’s a necessity. This is the first challenge to my resolve..

  6. Erin

    The only product I am interested in is Strange Potion lipglass, which I couldn’t get my hands on in the Venomous Villans collection. I wish the beauty powder wasn’t so bright, it’s so beautiful but I don’t think it would look nice on me.
    And again, thanks for the recommendations! These help me out so much (:

  7. meme

    I am light skin tone and all the things suggested as tips pretty much fit me to a T other than the bronzer. I avoid them like the plague. I also tend to float from the electric fuchsia lips to a real nude one right now.Sun blond most definitely – but have been all my life – did not even start to put highlights in my hair until age 42….did not need them – my almost clear color hair of youth staid until post collage. Then I turned a wonderful ash blond with lost of natural highlights. Now I still have that great ash base that takes to only needing one shade of highlights just GREAT.

  8. Alejandra

    I liked To The Beach better as well.I noticed that the colors were really similar themed.I have Float On By Eye Kohl, so there’s no need to pick up Blue Moon.No need for My Paradise because I have Marine Life.No need for Solar Riche, well because I already have it.The list can just go on.I will, however pick up Hibiscus Lipstick.

  9. With It

    Thanks Christine! I TOTALLY trust your recommendations!

    I have a question about the sun blonde eyeshadow. I see that you recommend it for light and cool toned skin. Would it REALLY look good on a NW15-NW20 with blue eyes? I love the pigmentation, but I’m not sure how the color would work out.

    Thank you in advance! I really appreciate your input! :)

  10. I have a terrible time with bronzers looking either very orange or very muddy on me… I’m kinda thinking about picking up one of the Studio Careblend bronzers, but I’m wondering if I’ll have the same problem I always do! I have NC 35-37 skin, with yellow/olive undertones…
    I guess I’ll just try it on in the store and see how I feel about it. They look really nice, though.

  11. Nlinton

    I’m going to try and get the cheek powder (My Paradise). I have a feeling it is going to sell out, so I’m not getting my hopes up. It looks really pretty and I think it will look nice on me (NC55), but I won’t die without it. I bought things from To The Beach last year, and feel the blues here mimic those so I will skip. I was surprised there were no nail colors. Scorcher from To The Beach was fire.

  12. Amanda Dubs

    I want almost everything. two lipglasses, one lipstick, four eyeshadows and the pigments. Im so excited cause I haven’t gotten anything from the past three collections!

  13. Leah Splawinski

    Lipsticks.Bust Out!
    Lipglass. Girl on Board,Strange Potion.
    Studio Careblend Pressed Powder. Gold-Go-Lightly
    MAC My Paradise Surf Baby Cheek Powder
    Eyeshadows. Short Shorts, Surf USA, Sun Blonde, Swell Baby
    Pigment Stack Surf the Ocean Crushed Metallic
    Pigment Stack Summer Stash Crushed Metallic

  14. Jasmine

    I think I will get Short shorts, Surf USA and one of the bronzers 😀 Can’t wait till this gets to NZ

  15. i totally agree with you about my paradise, expected it to be gorgeous but its a big fat fail. im never buying something without seeing it in person again, my paradise has taught me a lesson actually ha ha.

  16. Annie

    is shimmermoss eyeshadow and surf usa similar in any way?

  17. CM

    Have you tried using the flighty shadows as hilighters on the face? That is what I am using mine for. I have Impeccably Rich and I have been using it as a hilighter on the high points of my face, on my temples, and even on my chin, cupids bow, down the center of my nose and a little on my forehead.
    I promise, it doesnt make you look like a disco ball. I love a matte finish on my foundation, but it gives my face a really pretty dewy effect without feeling greasy (which is my #1 complaint about foundations with a dewy finish)And they last really well as a hilighter (probably longer than they last on the eyelid)

    • I wouldn’t use them on my face as I’m acne-prone, but since I’ve finished the review and they’re limited edition, I’m not really working with them any more.

  18. Karleigh

    im really glad I don’t like anything from this collection. The packaging is very tacky and nothing really stands out to me!

  19. Elizabeth D.

    I’m picking up: Sun Blonde & Swell baby eyeshadows, full of grace suntint, and strange potion (as I didn’t get a chance to get it from Venomous Villains).

  20. puffnstuff

    i loved To the Beach so much better…this collex is kind of meh…i only wanted My Paradise…but since it is so powdery, its probably goign to be a no go for me. Bite of an Apple was powdery too which is why i didnt get it either…boo on MAC. but with your awesome review, now i may get saffron, sun blonde and one of the bronzers. i might depot it and put it in my old heatherette compact or something…thanks for all your great work Christine! 😀

  21. mari

    not interested in this collection at all. Didnt think I was SUCH a sucker for packaging, but guess I am. It looks cheap and like something I had when I was 12-13 and got for free in a magazine.

  22. YADIRA

    do you think My Paradise ia worth it or should i get nars taj mahal and exhibit a?

  23. NS

    I can’t even look at this collection because of how hideous the packaging is. Like the Wonder Woman Collection was cute-tacky but this is just plain tacky.

  24. Samantha

    I’m a little confused. The careblend and bronzing powders seem to be for the same thing…bronzing. Which of the two would you recomend? How are they different?

  25. CC

    I definitely want My Paradise. The eyeshadows look delish. But I don’t know which would flatte my skintone the most so I’ll have to go swatch them when they come out. But I love Saffron, Surf USA, and Swell baby. Sun blonde is a beautiful color but as I am a dark skin, I don’t know how that would play on my skin.. or when I’d wear it since I usually don’t wear colors like that or like yellow that much. And the both powerpoint pencils looks ok. Is the blue one like siahi?

  26. Shawna

    Wow!! I’m really surprised. I love the packaging, wonder woman was the tacky one to me. I love this collection, especially the blush and lipsticks, definitely a buy for me!

  27. monique

    i was planning to buy strange potion from this collection, but i just found it at my local CCO from the villans collection :)

  28. Really, well I love it! I am sooo excited I got miny blush and hibiscus at the NAC party. I don’t want to chance it runing out!!

  29. Really, Well I love it. I was soooo excited about it. I am in love with the packaging and the blush. This will be my fist blush actually. The hibiscus lipsstick is gorgeous too as is the Naturally Essentric. I think MAC did a great job!!

  30. Destiny

    Just curious as to why you would not recommend Hibiscus lipstick for darker skin tones?

  31. shuz4ever

    Placed my order for:
    My Paradise Cheek Powder
    Sun Blonde e/s
    Surf USA e/s
    Strange Potion l/g
    Krazy Kahuna l/g
    Hibiscus l/s
    Mocha l/s
    And to think when i first saw a sneak peek of this collection 2-3 months ago i was like meh! But after all the reviews n swatches(thanks Christine for all u’r hardwork)i was hooked. Yes this is no ‘To the Beach’ but i do like quite a few things including the packaging n hibiscus motif.

    • Natalie

      I picked up Sun gold e/s, Blue Noon pencil, Hibiscus l/s and My Paradise cheek powder. I really like the MP. It is beautiful and not dusty at all. I used the 188 duo fiber brush to put it on since I want a light air brushed effect.

      So happy I picked that one up. I didn’t even try it on at the MAC store. I came, I saw, I brought!

      The packaging isn’t all that bad – but loads better than Wonder Woman!

      Hands down, I purchased more from last year’s summer collex than this one. My MAC no buy starts now! I have enough to last a lifetime. Enough already!

  32. Brenda

    I realize this post is late, but I’m wondering why has there not been ANY face charts or looks from MAC, on the website, to go with the last I don’t know how many collections??? I’m disappointed. Are they not going to put them out anymore?

  33. Arlene

    I was most excited for Sun Blonde and it looked great on the swatches. Well– on my cool toned skin it looks like bright mustard and it makes me look ashy, sickly, and terrible. It also made the darkness under my eyes more pronounced. I tried it on a friend who has warm tones and it looked gorgeous. SO SAD– it is sitting in my palette. I’ll probably give it away.