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MAC Cosmetics – Tendertones Review & Product Swatches

OVERALL, Tendertones are fun if you like this kind of product. It’s a sheer, ultra thick and glossy lip balm. These aren’t pigmented–if you have very neutral or low-pigmented lips, they might give you more color than the average person. All of the swatches are HEAVY applications; I basically dug a bit out of the jar so that you could really see the color, but upon actual application to lips, these would be a lot sheerer. Also, while I had all of these sitting on my hand for at least an hour, none of them left a stain of any sort for me (just in case anyone thought they might lend a stain kind of application).

My favorites were Sweet Tooth and Hush, Hush. I did not purchase any at this time, though. I have one from last time they launched, and I never wear it, so I figured I can probably pass on this launch!

Note: I think my store had Soft Note tendertone out instead of Honey Bare. I kept going through my swatches trying to figure out which one was Honey Bare, but none of them looked remotely close. And there is no lilac tendertone! Soft Note was a lilac tendertone that came out with last year’s launch of Tendertones–I couldn’t tell you why it was out instead. Hush, Hush *could* be Honey Bare, but I think Honey Bare is lighter – correct me if I’m wrong.

Be sure to check out the official color story and product photos here.

Check out individual product reviews,

  • E-Z Baby is an ultra sheer, milky pink. It doesn’t have any noticeable shimmer or glitter, and I’m actually curious to see it on someone! I imagine it would make lips a bit paler.
  • Take A Hint is a cute pop of pearly pink, kind of like a rosy pink, with a bit of blue undertone to it. I bought this one last year – I never reach for it because it doesn’t give me much color, it’s heavy so I don’t tout it around, and I hate sticking my fingers into lip pots!
  • Pucker is one of the deeper tinted tendertones, and it is a sheer fuchsia berry with blue-purple pearl.
  • Sweet Tooth is a lovely watermelon-coral kind of color, though it’s not as pigmented as Pucker. I liked this, because I find corals so easy to wear, especially alone.
  • Hot N Saucy is a creamy red with no noticeable shimmer, very much the cherry red MAC describes it as. I’d like to see this on someone, to see how pigmented it actually appears.
  • Sweet & Nice is a richer, deep berry-wine kind of color with soft iridescent pearl. It looks very pretty, and since it’s deeper and darker, it should leave more color on lips than say E-Z Baby.
  • Hush, Hush is very pretty, because I’m attracted to warm golds and the like. This is a warm bronzy-gold base with gold shimmer. Might be nice over lipsticks (enough so that I’d remember to use it!).
  • Deep Sigh is a luxurious warm brown with berry-wine shimmer. I’d really love to see this on!
  • Honey Bare [not swatched] was not available for me to see, but from other swatches, it looks like a lighter, sheerer version of Hush, Hush.
  • Tread Gently is this year’s Shush! color (why they didn’t just bring back Shush! is beyond me–at least I don’t keep mistyping Sushi instead of Shush, though!). It’s a shimmering warm, but light green with yellow/gold pearl and undertone.

Take A Hint (on lips)

(For reference)

Last year’s Tendertones…

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About the Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). (For more information, please check the FAQ.)

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Thanks for the swatches and the review! I want to get Sweet Tooth but like you I bought some from the first launch and rarely reach for them. I wish these were relaunched in a tube like the lipgelees. I’d probably buy them if the packaging were more purse friendly!

Sure thing, Jillian! I agree that if they were in tube form, I’d probably grab them more often. And lighter! I do keep a few TLCs in my bag at least.

YES i am so happy i ordered sweet tooth!! i can’t wait to see what it looks like on my lips (i have medium pigmented lips)!! Hush Hush is a GREAT color — i keep it in my desk at work (from last year LOL) and use it all the time!

I’m going to try Ez baby, take a hint,sweet tooth & pucker..seeing I’m more of a gloss than lipstick girl these should be fun, I ordered the exfoliatior online today once I saw it was avaiable so we will see how that goes !

I was looking forward to this. I was going to get EZ-Baby but from your swatches.. I think not! I want some sparkle, haha.

What’s the tendertone on your lips before the picture of last year’s tendertones?

oooh! Very pretty! I would def say Take a Hint and Pucker caught my eye, but Sweet n’ Nice keeps making me stare at it. Hmmm… may have to buy….

Are they as moisturizing as the usual Lip Conditioner?

Hey Mariah! How are you today?

I would say they’re fairly moisturizing. I’m wearing Take A Hint right now, and it feels nice on the lips. Reminds me of a thicker lipgelee.

I think I will go and personally check out two tendertone lip pots shades I already like from your swatches…
HOT ‘N SAUCY which would seem like an awesome daytime summer bright orangy-red lip tint…and SWEET ‘N NICE for an evening summer wine-red lip tint. I’ll have to see about the viscosity or texture for myself first as I dislike very *sticky* stuff on my lips.
Thanks Christine!

They’re not at ALL sticky! They’re very much like lipgelees in their non-sticky factor, pretty thick, and feel like butter.

I wasn’t impressed with these at all. I just went in specifically to get them and didn’t really care for any. No color pay off!
However, I wasn’t interested in the Neo Sci-Fi or Solar Field collections… until I saw them in real life. WOW!!! I walked out with quite a few of those items 😉

Hey Mary! I’m not a tendertones fan, just because it’s not a product I use regularly. I love me some regular ol’ lip balm, but I like it clear because I typically go to bed with it on (so I don’t want Pucker all over my sheets, lol!).

Neo Sci Fi is an awesome collection! What’d you get?

Hey Christine 🙂

I got:


Naked Space, Supreme

Magnetic Fields, Femme-Fi, Evening Aura

Sunpower, Black Ore, Bronzescape

The colors are so beautiful, and I was especially impressed with the Solar Bits. I can tell that there is going to be a lot of fall out though! Ah well 🙂
Have a great weekend!

i kind of just want someone to pick one for me! i want one but i cant go test them myself. its so hard to pick since they are all sheer! lol

I tried on a few today and ended up with Pucker. I liked other shades, but this is my first time trying Tendertones and want to see if I like it/use it. Pucker is pretty – sort of my lips but a little bit better. I also picked up the Prep + Prime Microfine Lip Refinisher – LOVE IT! I’ve tried a similar product by Tarte with less than fabulous results. This seems very promising so far – lips already seemed smoother after 2 applications today.

I picked up Take A Hint and Nice and Sweet, I think they both look fairly dark on me but I am a NW15.

I loved the color of Pucker in the jar but when it was on it just didn’t seem so hot on me 🙁 Strange how Take A Hint looked better on me than Pucker huh?

I really wish it looked better on me, ’cause it looked hot in the jar.

I’m glad they are more pigmented on you, Beverly!! 🙂 How funny that Take A Hint went on better for you than Pucker!

I’m so disappointed I went out of town just to pick them up myself instead of ordering over the phone and they were on back order :(.

oh no wanted to pass but now i will get the yellow one because it looks cute and use it at work and i will get pucker hope theyre available here soon …still waiting for neo scifi and im a little broke because i got so many backups of the dazzleglasses 🙂

You often say your lips are pigmented, but I think they are sooo pale! Which is a good thing in my opinion; my lips are deep pink and I turn everything red.. so I have to put concealer on them, which never stays!!! I always go for really opaque glosses, so these definitely aren’t for me. But I looove the way they look on you. I’ve always wanted light lips.

My lips are just about at pigmented as Christine’s.
While they don’t realy change the color of lip products, thankfully, they do make very sheer and sometimes very light colors look either non-existant or super creepy.

I wish I could wear light fleshy colors for a real nude lip look, but ewwwwwww on me.

lol, Kella! They’re fairly pigmented – I’d say they’re kind of an ugly dark corpse-ish color. I *think* the bare lips picture might have a touch of foundation which may make it lighte,r lol.

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