Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection: The Round-Up

MAC Holiday is always a bit of an overwhelming event, just because of the sheer size of the offerings. Each year, MAC puts out a holiday colour collection, but they also have several separate, yet related, launches of more giftable items. From eyeshadow and lip palettes to mini-sized sets (which are due out November 5th), MAC has you covered. There are also some store exclusive sets, too.  To help make sure you haven’t missed anything, here’s a compilation of all of the reviews for holiday:

Colour Collection

Kits & Palettes

MAC also released lip, eye, and brush gift sets, which I won’t be reviewing in detail (if you’re looking for a review, this is all you’re going to get–sorry!), because it includes mostly repromoted or permanent products. Each lip bag does feature one new, limited edition lipstick. They’re all good bang for your buck — you’re probably getting more than you would if you purchased the items separately, so they make good gifts or opportunities to pick up permanent items you may have skipped over in lieu of something limited edition.

On MAC Holiday Brush Sets: The holiday brush sets are machine-made rather than man-made (or handmade) as the full size brushes are. This is primarily what accounts for the difference in quality between brush sets and full size brushes. I do recommend the brush sets inasmuch as you’re on a budget and you think you’ll use the majority of the brushes included in the set. I started off just owning a holiday brush set, but I’ve since gone on to replace all my brushes with full sized versions. I’m disappointed that the eye brush set doesn’t contain the 239, which I think is one of the most vital, must-have eye brushes ever. The brushes themselves are sleek handled and look really nice, though they do feel a little scratchier/rougher than the full size versions do.

Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

A good smoky eye palette is never a bad thing to have on hand. It’s useful, easy to travel with, and it’s classic. I’m not loving this year’s version of the smoky eye palette, because it’s more of a brownish eye, and I’ve always felt the classic smoky eye is monochromatic. I still hold that last year’s was better. (And I still contend that you can make your own smoky eyeshadow quad with permanent MAC eyeshadows just as well.)

6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Fire In Her Eyes is a super soft, slightly sheer beige with a light frost finish. In the swatch, you can tell it hardly shows up on my skin without a base. It’ll make a nice highlight, though.
  • Wide-Eyed Wonder is kind of a taupe-y brown with a reddish touch. There’s nothing about this shade that makes it jump off the page for me.
  • Black Magique is a velvety smooth deep dark black with brown tones. It has slight gold shimmer, but it’s hardly noticeable.
  • Spell No. 9 is a satiny neutral pink. It’s sheer, and it doesn’t do much for me.
  • Deception is a sheer, glittery copper bronze. Even though it’s a frost finish, it had more of a lustre feel to me.
  • Smoke & Mirrors is a cool-toned chocolate brown with a little gray sheen.

I”m not sold on this year’s. It reads more like a neutral eye palette than a smoky eye palette to me. It’s useful, and the colors are easily worn by many, so in that aspect, it’s a solid choice for those looking for a go-to palette.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: 6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC’s Warm eyeshadow palette usually gets me. I’m warm-toned, and I naturally gravitate towards warmer shades. Give me gold and I’m a happy lady! This year’s warm eyeshadow palette isn’t my favorite, but I like half of it a lot. The other half is just so-so, but I’ve been known to purchase a palette for just one color… so I suppose half isn’t bad! I think the reason I don’t love half of the palette is that it doesn’t feel very “warm” to me.

6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Oh My Darling is a soft, slightly warmed up beige with a frost finish. I like that this color is included, if only because it’s a very nice shade for a highlight. It’s not too frost or white, so it will work well on the brow bone.
  • Dare Ya! is a medium pink with kind of a peachy tone to it. It went on a bit sheerly on me, though.
  • Sorcery is a reddish-toned eggplant purple with a soft finish.
  • Gold Tease is a gorgeous shade of gilded gold with a metallic sheen. It reminded me of the Rushmetal pigments a bit, actually.
  • Prankster is an antique gold; kind of like a green-gold that’s played down. Again, gold, so of course I love it. I told you – three shades rocked my world!
  • Devilishly Dark is a warmed-up light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

I would have bought this palette just for the two gold shades, but I have an unhealthy obsession with gold eyeshadow. (Particularly if they’re antique golds!)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Mystic Cool Eye Shadows

Mystic Cool is an interesting mix of eyeshadow shades. It’s not the most cohesive palette MAC has put out, but if you’re just looking to boost up your color collection and aren’t so concerned with a palette that works together easily, you shouldn’t mind. It’s not to say that there aren’t color combinations to be created from the palette, but it just requires a little more thinking than your average eyeshadow palette where there are so many obvious combinations to work with.

6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Cool Incantation is a frosty golden-white with an almost gray tinge to the white base. It reminded me a little of Nanogold but yellow.
  • Blue Enchantment is a deep turquoise with subtle shimmer. Surprisingly, MAC doesn’t have a shade like this in their permanent line. It’s almost as if Shimmermoss and Bottle Green had a baby.
  • Deep Secret is a shimmery, jewel-toned indigo-blue. It’s incredibly pretty, and it reminded me of a darker Cinders eyeshadow (one of my all-time favorite limited edition shades).
  • Shhh, Don’t Tell is a satiny pale neutral pink that goes on like a dusty rose pink. It was hard to get it to show up really well on my skin tone without a base.
  • Rose Potion is a frosty rose. It’s a fairly simple shade, but it’s not one I’ve seen often by MAC either.
  • Violet Vow is a cool-toned, dark brown with kind of a purple edge to it. I found this one harder to work with, and I felt like it wasn’t as pigmented as it could have been.

I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this palette, but I did like it. I think there are some great colors in this palette, but long-time collectors may find they have similar shades (at least, similar enough) in their stash already.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Sorceress Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Sorceress Eye Shadows

I’ve always liked MAC eyeshadow palettes, because I do feel like they represent a chance to get multiple eyeshadows at a more affordable price point, and MAC has put out some great limited edition shades in holiday palettes in the past. This year’s palettes actually reminded me of a bit of the Ornamentalism palettes from a few years ago–which is a good thing. The packaging is better, though, this year, as it’s sleek, functional, and feels like it has more quality than the last few years’ palettes.

6 Sorceress Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • White Rabbit is a frosty silver-tinged white. It’s not a particularly unique shade, and I’d say it’s a little too frosty to work well as a highlighter for most.
  • Hold My Gaze is a gray-green base with golden-green shimmer. This is actually a very unique shade, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an eyeshadow of this color before (which is pretty surprising). It has decent pigmentation. It’s just a very unusual shade.
  • Edge of Dark is a charcoal gray with silver gray shimmer, and I had some issues getting it to go on smoothly. It doesn’t have the best texture, but it is a lustre, so I’m not surprised.
  • Magnetized is a frosty white-purple. It kind of reminded me of a lighter, whiter Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • Hypnotizing is a grayed down mauve. It’s dark yet light, because it’s not an intense shade.
  • Altered State is a dark, almost jewel-toned purple with slight reddish brown tones. I liked this shade a lot.

I liked the combination of colors MAC put into the Sorceress combination, and I was pleasantly surprised by Hold My Gaze. I’d probably buy it just for that shade, simply because I haven’t seen one like that before. I can appreciate the originality of it! Overall, though, it is a cooler palette, so if you prefer warm shades, you might not like this one.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Face Kits

I like that MAC tried something new – a face palette. I haven’t seen them put out a face palette in quite some time, and the tiered system of this compact is convenient. These palettes actually do have some heft to them, so they’re not ultra lightweight or anything. (I was very surprised at how heavy my bag was when I purchased the palettes in general–sure felt like I was walking out with a lot!) I think at the price range, these feel a little steep. It’s hard to tell just exactly how much product you’re getting of each and if it’s really a better deal than if you bought them separately.

Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit ($38.00 U.S.)

  • Pretty Baby is a soft, powdery pink beauty powder. Beauty powders can be used as all-over powders, blushes, highlighters, etc. It’s really up to you on how you want to use it, and depending on your skin tone, what may be the best use for it. I remember when it launched with the Diana Ross collection and I’d use it everyday, but I couldn’t tell you what it did for my skin/face.
  • Sunsparked Pearl is a pearly peach highlighter. It’s one of my favorite MAC highlighters, because it has subtle shimmer and a great “glow” factor. I’ve always felt it worked particularly well on warm skin, but it’s also nice on cooler skin.
  • Peachykeen is a peachy-coral blush shade that is available all the time. It’s one of my favorite blushes (MAC has an excellent line of permanent blush shades).

Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit ($38.00 U.S.)

  • Golden is a golden-brown bronzing shade with subtle gold pearl shimmer.
  • Buffed & Polished is a glitzy gilded bronze with golden shimmer. It reads a little chunky shimmer to me, though, so it’s not my favorite to use on the face.
  • Sunbasque is a deep bronzy peach. Again, it’s an excellent blush and part of the permanent shade range.

I liked the Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit best. I think it’s wearable for both warm and cool skin tones, and I think it works well to give you a brighter, glowier look without a fuss. The Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit is exactly that–a bronzing kit. Since I’d rather just opt for a single bronzer than a whole kit full, it’s not my thing. I think it may lean too orange for some as well.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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