MAC Making Pretty Brush Set ($100.00) contains one face brush and one eyeshadow brush. Both brush handles are covered in faux shagreen with rose gold-tinted metal.
136 is a face brush that can be used for “sculpting, blending, and highlighting.” The 136 has been discontinued for some time now, but the last price I remember it being was $62. It was the most expensive brush at the time (I think it may still be, other than any couture-handled brush). I also remember it being one of the softest brushes I had ever laid across my skin. It still is one incredibly soft brush. It’s domed but flat; it’s like the 150 was flattened (and conditioned about 500 times). The 134 is the most comparable brush in MAC’s existing range, though it is fluffier and larger overall. I like the 136 for light powder application, blending, and dusting finishing powders on.
282 is an “all over eye shader brush for building and blending intense color.” I know that the SE version of this is included in past brush kits MAC has released, but I don’t know if it was ever released as a full-sized, standalone brush. It’s a wide, squat dome-shaped eye brush. It seemed well-cut and soft when I played around with it on my eyes and face. It’s bigger than the 214, smaller than the 227 and 235. Since I couldn’t find this as a full-sized, standalone brush, I’m only able to estimate the value, which I’d put at $30. The brush head is on the larger side, so it would work better on those with a lot of lid space, or anyone who tends to apply a single wash of color. I have the 214, 227, and 235 but rarely use them. You might consider using the 282 for detailed work on the face, like contouring the nose.
All in all, that means that the brushes together are worth $92 (though if the 136 was available now, it would be pricier than $62, given the rate of MAC’s price increases), plus there’s a case to carry both brushes in. I think the case is a little flimsy, and it didn’t stay open well, yet the magnet on the bow (that keeps it closed) was very weak, so for the most part, the case was half-closed.Who knew that the brush set would be the most normally-priced of the collection?
Two Well-Loved Lipsticks Make a Return in New Clothes
MAC Making Pretty Lipsticks ($28.00 for 0.15 oz. each) are available in two shades: 3N (milky pastel pink) and Runaway Red (rich red-blue). Both shades are repromotes, though they were well-received shades. The collection online yesterday, and I immediately placed my order and overnighted everything, but unfortunately 3N has already sold out. To find it, you’ll have to find a MAC freestanding on December 13th or Pro store on December 6th.
Runaway Red is a darkened blue-based red with a natural sheen. It has a satin finish and opaque color payoff. This shade lasted right around six hours and left a stain behind. Dior Diorling is similar. MAC Deeply Adored is a touch darker. Guerlain Gwen is lighter. MAC Digna is less red, more berry.
Of all products available during these couture releases, the lipsticks are typically the best value, as they contain more product than the standard lipstick–by a lot. Normal MAC lipsticks retail for $15.00 and contain 0.10 oz., which is equivalent to $150/oz. These specially packaged lipsticks are $187/oz. I believe the lipsticks are packaged in thin metal with faux shagreen wrapped around the tube. I kept trying to clink it with other known plastics and metals, and the cap tinkled nicely, but the inner tube not so much (but there is a plastic insert within it, which might have contributed to the lack of metal-like sound).
MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented, and the coverage, wear time, and hydration level depends largely on the finish. Lustres like 3N are slightly drying for me, and they have a tendency to wear around two hours. Satin finishes like Runaway Red are neither drying nor hydrating, but they tend to wear longer than the average lipstick.
Of all products available during these couture releases, the lipsticks are typically the best value, as they contain more product than the standard lipstick--by a lot. Normal MAC lipsticks retail for $15.00 and contain 0.10 oz., which is equivalent to $150/oz. These specially packaged lipsticks are $187/oz.
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
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MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is a sheer, pressed powder. Each year, MAC launches it with their “couture” collection (typically at the end of the year), and this is one of three shades. Light Medium is likely a good bet for NC/NW20. It has a mostly neutral undertone, and when sheered out, matches my forearm pretty well (which is around NC20). It also is available in Medium Plus and Dark Secret.
It can work as a finishing or setting powder. It has a lightweight, finely-milled texture that’s very soft and silky-smooth. Now, one aspect that must be mentioned is that you actually get a refill with your purchase (each pan is 0.28 oz.). To compare, MAC’s Select Sheer/Pressed Powder is $24.00/0.42 oz. I’ve used this many times in the past, and it helps to set or mattify makeup. What’s nice about the finely-milled powder is that it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and it’s impossible to overdo.
This collection is all about packaging, but I think it’s a let-down. Over the years, the Mystery Powder compacts have gotten lighter and lighter, and this year’s feels the lightest so far. It’s in the same style as this year’s holiday palettes, but instead of the pastel cushion, it has faux shagreen. It’s just the metallic edging is all plastic. It doesn’t feel like a $65 compact without some heft.