MAC Modern Mandarin Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “red-orange” with a satin finish. It’s a muted tangerine orange with a soft sheen. I don’t catch a lot of the red in it myself, but it’s there in a very subtle way–it’s what turns it down from being true orang. In the copy, MAC said “go hip in bright red-orange” – there’s actually a lovely muted quality about Modern Mandarin that actually makes it different than a bright pop of orange would be. Becca Damselfly has a similar softness but it’s more orange and has a golden sheen. Shades like Illamasqua Expose and MAC Optimistic Orange are too orange to be similar. Make Up For Ever #5 is the closest, though it is a touch more intense because it has a matte finish, so there’s no reflective qualities to the finish to give it a lighter look.

This is one of the more pigmented shades out of the six, and you can easily get full color coverage if so desired, but a softer look is fairly easy to get as well. I could see this particular one not being as foolproof as some of the other shades, just because it has more pigmentation. It layers and builds up well, so you can begin application with a lighter hand and build up to ensure you get the right level of color you’re aiming for.  Modern Mandarin has a soft, natural finish that’s not frosted at all, so it looks natural and luminous on the skin and doesn’t emphasize pores or other skin imperfections/textures.

It has a soft feel, and the softness translates to application, where it blends out pretty easily, though perhaps not quite as easily as the other shades.  I’d still say there was no troublesome blending with it either way.  I’ve tested numerous MAC blushes in the past, and overall, they hold up between seven and eight hours. Out of this particular launch, I have only specifically tested Full of Joy (which stayed true to the average) but this morning, I applied Immortal Flower on the apple of one cheek with Modern Mandarin on the rest of the cheek (almost like a gradient–that way I can test both shades while testing out Glorify on the other cheek).  I will update this post if the wear of Modern Mandarin falls inside or outside of that seven to eight hour average.

This shade would be especially beautiful on deeper complexions (not to say it couldn’t work on lighter ones), because it offers enough pigmentation to show up but still has that softer quality that one is usually after in a springtime blush.

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
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MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush (right)

About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

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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90 Comments

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looks so beautiful on you! I usually stay away from orangey blushes but I might have to pick this up since my colours is similar to yours. Thank you for your quick reviews! Is this available online already? I can’t seem to find them.

Thanks for your swatches Christine. This is really beautiful. When you put your face on profile like you did in shop mac cook mac and naturally collection you could see the color much better than a front face picture, just a little suggestion, I hope I didn’t offend you. I am really thankful of the hard work you do for all your readers.

This is the best I was able to do – I’m really sorry! I take about 50 photos for each shot, and this was the best I was able to come up with.

I think this might be my favorite of the launch.

On another note, I think you did really well on the lighting (and reflector I’m guessing?) and focus for the full face picture. It looks far less flat and washed out than when you were still experimenting. Go Christine! 🙂

Yes – unfortunately, I had 11 blushes to swatch all at once, so I could not do the same shade on both cheeks, otherwise my cheeks would be even rawer than they are today (they are rather dry and flaky just from doing ~5 on each).

FREAKING GORGEOUS! I’m lighter, but anything peach, orange, coral, red-orange/orange-red, and I’m all over it! NARS Taj Mahal is one of my favorites, but some days I just wish it was matte, lol. I’ll be loving up on this one for sure.

Would you say this is in any way similar to Ripe Peach from last year? It looks soooooooooooo pretty!!!!!!!!!!! Looks wonderful on you!

I need this blush! by golly!..its gorgeous…I’m very fair skinned and I have alot of natural redness in my cheeks. I’ve found that “pink/rose” toned blushes exaggerate the redness on my cheeks and being a middle aged woman, I never use blush on the apples of my cheeks for this reason…but I find coral/orangish blushes work much nicer….just a tip for any other person that finds they have this issue too. 🙂

A good topic, I noticed it, too, that some pinks tend to make my cheeks look ruddy – but also in addition, many (MAC) blushes tend to oxidize and get more coppery throughout the day, which is a terrible colour for me.
I think it depends on the type of pink colour: very strong blue-based cool pinks can look reddish more easily than more pastell-y shades that are between rose and peach. With that understanding, I tend to choose rather neutral tones as blushes now, and not the brighter, blue-er pinks.

I tried peachy / nude tones, too but mostly they are already too muddy again (I don’t think I can pull of orange). It is really a very tricky subject *sigh*

thanks for the swatches Christine!!!they are very useful as always!
can you please tell me if this is in any way similar to the orange zea mays blush from Korres?

I just wanted to thank you for doing all these swatches for us. Taking all that make up on and off can’t be easy. I really appreciate it 🙂

Hi Christine!
This blush looks so nice on you!I was just wondering if it is similar to MAC’s Fresh Honey from the Naturally collection. Thanks!

I’ve completely fallen in love with this color, it looks wondeful on you. I have nothing close to a color like this blush. Would you recommend this for NC15-20? I’m naturally fair but I have lots of redness in my face, which makes me a little wary of this color, being afraid it will accentuate the redness I already have beneath my foundation.

I think it could still work – though it may be harder to use, because it is quite pigmented and you’re fairer!

I am torn between Imortal Flower and Modern Mandarin. I am a NC44 maybe NC45 in the summer. Which of these blushes do you think will compliment my skin tone?

I bought this yesterday and I love it! It looks soft and fresh applied with a light hand on my NC25-30 skin. Perfect for this time of year!!

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