MAC Cosmetics - Holiday/Formal Black and Nocturnelle Collection Reviews

Fishnet: 6 Warm Lips: This was really pretty, because the colors are versatile – you have a few paler, softer colors while you get a couple bolder, browner lipsticks to choose from. I’m not a big fan of lip palettes, though, because I simply prefer my lipstick in a tube 😉 FYI, it comes with Expensivo, Fetish, So Romantic, Mellowarm, Peach Lame, and By Moonlight. My favorite out of the bunch was Mellowarm lipstick.

Eyelet: 6 Cool Lips: This one has a lot more darker colors to choose from, and there is a gloss in here that looks so fun, and I think it is called Wild Girl, it is the bright pink in the palette. There were too many dark brown lipsticks in this for me to get into it at all, plus, I have Wild Girl lipglass already! I liked the warm lips palette because it had a bit more variety. This one comes with Syrup, Fluid, Wine List, A Deux, Oyster Girl, and Wild Girl.

Holiday/Formal Black: 6 Warm Eyes: Out of all the eye shadow palettes, this is the one that caught my attention first, and the only palette that I considered a must-have-or-will-die purchase. One of the best parts is that it only has two permanent colors in it, and the rest are limited/new colors that we have not seen before. Valet eyeshadow was the one that stuck out to me, because it is a divine coppery color that goes on like velvet with amazing color payoff. Coppers look gorgeous on my skintone, because I am sort of olive-toned, so I just couldn’t pass it up. One could compare it to Bronze eyeshadow, which is in the permanent line, though. Sable Wrap eyeshadow was an exceptionally lovely dark olive color, and it went on pretty easily (though not as nice as Valet). Limo eyeshadow also caught my eye, being so dark like Beauty Marked eyeshadow, but it does surprise you, it is more like a Black Tied eyeshadow with just a hint of pink overtones and purple undertones. This palette was just so gorgeous altogether, because it reminded me of fall, and I could just see doing a lot of subtle looks that would compliment my face. This palette has Embark, Woodwinked, Valet, White Tie, Sable Wrap, and Limo eyeshadows. I recommend this one SO much!

Holiday/Formal Black: 6 Cool Eyes: It is always very hard for me to purchase a holiday or specialty palette when there are so many permanent colors included in it, and this palette is no exception. It includes at least ofur permanent eyeshadows (I think). The way the colors are arranged does make them pop at you, because of course, it is MAC, so they look gorgeous altogether. I have never been a huge fan of Pink Freeze eyeshadow, since it doesn’t have the best color payoff. Nocturnelle and Dovefeather eyeshadows are more permanent colors, and while they’re not bad ones to have, I don’t feel they’re stand-outs necessary to complete your collection. Formal Black eyeshadow was probably the most interesting out of the bunch, but even that didn’t spark anything in me too much. This palette also includes Chillblue and Fineshine eyeshadows.

Holiday/Formal Black: 6 Smoked Eyes: Oh, this is such a hard palette to pass up, because the colors just make so much sense together. However, like the cool eyes palette, too many of these are permanent, and the ones that are limited are not necessarily unique compared to other permanent substitutes. Malt eyeshadow makes a good highlight for some people, but it is very grayed, so it could look rather odd on some people. Vex eyeshadow is always included in at least one holiday palette, you’ll never run out of that color, but at least it’s a pretty duochrome. I’ve never personally gotten the hang of Club eyeshadow, so that’s a point against this palette for me! Black Tied eyeshadow is, of course, a fun and lovely black, but it’s permanent, so what’s the big deal? Satin Taupe eyeshadow also sounds too familiar, and I don’t think it’s too different from the various highlighters there are for you to choose from. Gentle Fume eyeshadow looks to be the only newo ne to me, and it is very pretty, but I’m sure Silver Ring eyeshadow would do the trick. However, even though it sounds like this palette is last on my list, it is very convenient for anyone who travels frequently to have the perfect smokey eye colors in this unique palette, since these travel well and break infrequently compared to quads or 15-pan palettes. Just think, that weekend trip to Vegas… all you’d need to bring is this.

Holiday/Formal Black: 6 Intense Eyes: Of course, this palette easily catches your eyes because of the brightness of the colors. It reminds me of one of last year’s palettes, which had the same combination of colors almost, but slightly differing in tones and whatnot. Is this palette a necessity? For some people, it might be, but it isn’t if you never plan to wear bright colors ever. The two permanents aren’t anything to rave about (Smut and Phloof!), but they won’t do you any harm, you CAN use them. The other four are new to me, so hopefully they’re new to you, too. Gallant eyeshadow is a pretty purple color, but it could definitely be compared against Parfait Amour eyeshadow. Nightbird eyeshadow is gorgeous, and anyone who missed buying the holiday palette with A Bluer Blue eyeshadow in it last year, may want this palette this year, for it. It is a lovely dark blue that is just a tad chalky, but not really in a bad way. With A Twist eyeshadow is that gorgeous green you see in the palette, and it reminds me so much of Lucky Green eyeshadow – and you all know how crazy people went over that! So if you’re running low on it or missed out altogether… here’s your second chance 😉 Till Daybreak eyeshdaow is interesting pink made by MAC, because I cannot think of anything that really resembles it offhand, so maybe it is actually new. I did buy this one, mostly for the Lucky Green near-dupe, but I’m not positive if I really want to keep it.

Lip sets and brush sets: Nothing stood out among the lipsets, but I’m not really a fan of paying for a miniature lipglass and a case, because I will never actually use the case so it’s a waste for me, personally. I did love Cherche La Femme lipglass, though, but I wasn’t willing to buy the rest of what came with it (Dubonnet and Casanova lipsticks). MAC releases shorthandled brush sets so often, so you guys pretty much know what they’re worth. If you don’t own any MAC brushes, and you want some but won’t pay the full retail price of the regular brushes, then this is a great way to save some money and get your brushes. The quality is always a little less, because these are manufactured in bulk, so the brushes may not be as soft or as thick; not to mention they make great traveling sets. I did consider buying the face brush set because of the smaller 187 brush. I would use the contour brush, but I doubt I would use the 190 and 194 brushes that come with it because I use the 187 for foundation, and I don’t use concealer.

Nocturnelle: The lipsticks do not seem essential in the least! Rouge Noir lipstick, which looks gorgeous in photos, is really just another MAC red to me. I own so many and wear them so little, I really couldn’t justify yet another red lipstick. Aloof and Embraceable were neutral lipsticks, but nothing special. Deep Attraction lipstick is probably the prettiest of them all, but I passed because it just didn’t grab me enough.

If I didn’t already have Magnetique lipglass, I would have definitely got it. I am considering Chance Encounter lipglass, but we will have to see. Night Affair lipglass totally reminded me of Phosphorelle lipglass and Luminary lustreglass. Taupe Notch and All Woman, while pretty lipglasses, are not colors I need more of.

The eyeshadows were very disappointing, as well. Suspicion eyeshadow is just so similar to Carbon, I could not get it. Passionate is a very unique color to the MAC line, so I did pick that one for the pure novelty of it – we’ll have to see how well it works in actual looks, though! It has great color payoff, though, unlike many of MAC’s other pinks. Endless Love eyeshadow is divine in color sitting there in its pot, but it is definitely a difficult color to get to work well on your eyes (at least for me!). The others (Wait Till Dark, Inneundo, and Beauty Sleep) put me to sleep – they’re not ugly, but just nothing new or exciting that I just can’t not have.

I am a pigment girl, and I use at least one pigment every time I put on my makeup, but I was not loving these, and it made me so sad. Subtle is just too close to Coco, Sunnydaze, etc., why do I need yet another full jar of pigment I will never finish? I rarely use my brown pigments either! Entremauve pigment does look stunning in the jar, but when I put it on my hand dry, it just looked like garbage. I have a feeling it would be a tough color to use, even wet, because of how chalky/matte-like it seems. Kitschmas pigment comes out almost every year it seems, so yawn, nothing inspiring there.

Desirous blush is a nice pink that has some brightness to it, but isn’t over the top like Dollymix, for instance. You could always build up the color for intensity, as well. Well Dressed is another lovely color, but I believe it is already part of the permanent line, so you can pick up any time you want. I bought myself a pot of Desirous, though – why are blushes ridiculously overpriced? $17.50 for a blush?!

Overall: There were some winners, and there seemed like a lot of losers in both collections. At least the holiday collection looks like there is something for everyone, though, and they do make great gifts to anyone who is into makeup. I know I personally have a quad for smokey eyes that I always take with me to travel, along with a gold-toned quad (so the warm eye palette might substitute this…sometimes, at least). It is all worth checking out in person, though, in case anyone was hesitating!

About Reviewer
Review FAQ

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

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