MAC Nutcracker Sweet Bronze Pigments & Glitter Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Bronze Pigments & Glitter Kit
MAC Nutcracker Sweet Bronze Pigments & Glitter Kit

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Bronze Pigments & Glitter Kit ($35.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains three Pigments and one Glitter. Of the two sets available, this one is my preference as three of the four shades are Pigments, which make them more usable and versatile. MAC’s Glitter formula, while it might say it can be used alone, needs an adhesive companion product to function well, and it is not eye safe.

MAC Pigment is supposed to have “buildable coverage” with “rich colour” and a long-wearing formula. MAC’s Pigments have more to them that really helps the powder blend and bind together, so they can be used dry or damp but do not need a primer or mixing medium to function. I tend to get eight-hour wear with most shades, and most shades are medium to opaque dry and fully opaque damp. The more finely-milled, almost satin-like in feel, shades tend to be a bit sheerer overall.

MAC Glitter is supposed to have a “high-level sparkle effect” that can be used on face, body, and hair (but it “not recommended for use around eyes”) and “applied directly to the skin or combined with [other] products.” They really can’t be used on their own, because it is just loose glitter, so without using some other product, it gets everywhere and doesn’t stay where you’ve applied it. It can work using an adhesive base or primer (Too Faced Glitter Insurance, Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, etc.). I don’t love that the Glitters are included in holiday kits, because they are listed as “not eye-safe.” I would rather four eye-safe Pigments. Since MAC did state that they can be applied directly to skin, I tested them on cheeks. The swatches are over Too Faced Glitter Insurance, which is an adhesive base.

Value

  • Pigment: $22.00 for 0.15 oz. or $146.67/oz.
  • Glitter: $22.00 for 0.15 oz. or $146.67/oz.
  • Set Values: $35.20 worth of Pigment, $8.80 worth of Glitter
  • Total Value: $44.00

* Note: Some pigments are sold as “Sized to Go,” which are priced at $10.00 for 0.09 oz. or $111.11/oz. I normally use the price per ounce of full sized products to determine value, but I wanted to point out that mini Pigments are also available (and are, oddly, a better value, by price per ounce, than full size).

Sugar Rush is a light beige with warmer undertones and iridescent opal shimmer that gave it a cooler overtone. It had very sheer coverage dry, and it was semi-opaque when I tried using it damp. The consistency was incredibly finely-milled and silky, which I think made it prone to sheering out. It was better as an inner tear duct/corner highlighter or dusted over the tops of cheeks as a highlighter rather than an all-over lid shade. It lasted seven hours on the lid/seven and a half hours on the cheeks (as a highlighter). Cle de Peau Marmalade Sky #2 (PiP, ) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). Make Up For Ever I526 Pearl Beige (DC, $21.00) is warmer (95% similar). NARS Topless (LE, $29.00) is warmer (95% similar). Dior Dulcinee #1 (LE, ) is less shimmery (95% similar). Smashbox Opal (PiP, ) is less shimmery (95% similar). Colour Pop Acorn (P, $6.00) is less shimmery, warmer (95% similar). MAC Phloof! (P, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). Maybelline Pure Nude (80) (LE, $6.99) is less shimmery (95% similar). Urban Decay Bribe (PiP, $19.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Make Up For Ever I514 Pink Ivory (DC, $21.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Andromeda (P, $29.00) is warmer (90% similar). Clinique Jammin' #1 (PiP, $15.00) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (90% similar). Colour Pop Onai (LE, $6.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Guerlain Les Nuees #4 (LE, ) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Cle de Peau Stardust #1 (PiP, ) is less shimmery, more muted, warmer (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Stardream is a medium-dark, copper-brown with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had semi-opaque pigmentation when applied dry, and it was darker, brighter, and fully opaque when applied damp. The consistency was smooth, blendable, and easy to apply to the skin as it covered evenly and did not sheer out too readily. It wore well for eight hours on me. LORAC Cider (LE, $19.00) is warmer (95% similar). Colour Pop Walk of Fame (LE, $7.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Anastasia Sunset (P, $12.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). The Estee Edit Swerve (LE, ) is lighter, brighter, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night No. 03 (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar). Tarte Wings (PiP, ) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Natasha Denona Sienna (P, $25.00) is lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Midnight Blast (P, $20.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). City Color Cleo (P, $6.99) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar). Ciate Shine Bright (LE, ) is lighter (85% similar). The Estee Edit Ray (LE, ) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Stila Rose Gold (LE, $18.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (85% similar). Too Faced Butterscotch (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (85% similar). Natasha Denona Cool Bronze (31M) (PiP, $29.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (85% similar). Too Faced Friendspiration (LE, $16.00) is lighter (85% similar). Zoeva Pure Ganache (PiP, ) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Urban Decay Lucky (LE, $19.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (85% similar). Tarina Tarantino Amber (DC, ) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Coloured Raine Your Majesty (P, $6.99) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE, ) is warmer (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Handsome Prince is a rich, medium-dark reddish brown with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. The consistency was soft, finely-milled, and blendable on the skin, and it tended to have a more luminous finish as it was worked on the skin. It had medium, buildable coverage; the dry application was closer to medium, while the damp application was fully opaque. The color started to fade after eight hours of wear. NYX Bedroom Eyes (P, $6.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Make Up For Ever D652 Celestial Earth (P, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). MAC Divine Decadence (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). LORAC My Castle (LE, $19.00) is lighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Honeymoon #2 (PiP, ) is more shimmery (95% similar). LORAC My Castle (LE, $19.00) is lighter (95% similar). Guerlain Gold Palette #5 (LE, ) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Fez (DC, $25.00) is warmer (95% similar). MAC Romantico (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Tarte Whiskey (LE, $14.00) is warmer (95% similar). Anastasia Sphinx (LE, $12.00) is lighter (95% similar). Too Faced Caramelized (PiP, $16.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Bronze (P, $17.00) is more muted, cooler (90% similar). BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe Edition #14 (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Clinique Ample Amber (P, $17.00) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). Too Faced Peanut Butter Cup (LE, $16.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Love and Cocoa (LE, $16.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Kat Von D Synergy (DC, $21.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). MAC Softened Up (LE, $22.00) is warmer (90% similar). Chanel Cuivre Lamé (907) (LE, $30.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Reigning Riches is a muted, medium-dark red with warmer, coppery undertones in a small-to-medium particle size. It is not an ultra-fine glitter, but it is not large, chunky glitter either. It does not work without an adhesive base, as used on its own, it sheered away easily, did not stay where it was applied, and had virtually no real wear. Used with an adhesive base, I found it performed as most glitters do over that base–minimal fall out, mostly even coverage. Huda Beauty Excite (PiP, ) is cooler (90% similar). Huda Beauty Cosmo (PiP, ) is warmer (95% similar). Urban Decay Stonewall (P, $21.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Lit Cosmetics Heartbreaker (P, $12.95) is cooler (85% similar). Huda Beauty Infatuated (PiP, ) is less shimmery, cooler (85% similar). Stila Rose Gold Retro (P, $24.00) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Makeup Geek Solar Flare (P, $12.00) is less shimmery, lighter (80% similar). MAC Reflects Rust (P, $21.00) is less shimmery, lighter, brighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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* Note: Glitters are shown over Too Faced Glitter Insurance.

MAC Bronze Nutcracker Sweet Pigments & Glitter Kit

MAC Bronze Nutcracker Sweet Pigments & Glitter Kit

MAC Bronze Nutcracker Sweet Pigments & Glitter Kit

MAC Sugar Rush Pigment

MAC Sugar Rush Pigment

MAC Sugar Rush Pigment

MAC Stardream Pigment

MAC Stardream Pigment

MAC Stardream Pigment

MAC Handsome Prince Pigment

MAC Handsome Prince Pigment

MAC Handsome Prince Pigment

MAC Reigning Riches Glitter

MAC Reigning Riches Glitter

MAC Reigning Riches Glitter

MAC Reigning Riches Glitter

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Bronze Pigments & Glitter Kit
MAC Nutcracker Sweet Pigments | Look Breakdown

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About the Reviewer

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 matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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29 Comments

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These are quite beautiful, but also very easily dupable shades right within my stash. So even though the quality is there, I will pass.
Like you, I really do wish that MAC would quit putting these glitters in the pigment sets! I have zero use for the glitter, except perhaps in some nail art, and lately I’m just too lazy and tired to bother even trying any nail bling or art.

I wish they’d just do a glitter set (I swear they used to, I am too lazy to look at the moment) rather than mixing the two types.

You really are talented Christine! When I saw the swatches and read the review I only had a “meh” feeling… But this eyelook!

That being said it will be an easy pass as I find the kit to not perform good enough to be a no brainer (as much as lose pigments can be). It would require more expertise and I know I would not use it for a daily because of it.

I like the eye look you’ve done, it gives a Christmassy feel. Pretty pigments but the glitter is difficult to wear, only good for parties, I feel!

Neither would I since it doesn’t seem to have any binding element, just loose glitter, so I’m honestly not sure why they say they can be, lol!

I have never understood why MAC ALWAYS includes a glitter product in these pigment sets, when all those glitter products are specifically labelled “not eye safe”. I’d venture that 90% (or more) of people purchasing these sets want them for the eye effects and so having 1/4 of the product be unusable for that is something I find really annoying. I don’t know that many women who wear outright glitter on their faces or lips on a regular basis so I just don’t understand the inclusion of them. It would be different if you actually could use them safely on your eyes (I know many do, despite the caveat, but it’s not something I’d be willing to risk and I’m sure many others feel the same).

My frustration with including “not eye safe” products with eye safe products is that unless you’re aware of glitters typically being unsafe for eyes or read fine print… you would not know. There are certain things, like glitters and some dyes, that I wish larger brands would work together to push to get FDA approval.

The look you did looks incredible! So dumb about that glitter though. I’d think most people would want to use it on their eyes to accentuate the pigments and so dumb that they’re not eye safe.

Yes, I think most will use it on the eyes and not even know they aren’t actually eye safe! We should all, obviously, read fine print, but in practice, I know that that just isn’t true!

Interests me not a bit. I haven’t even close to the skills that would be needed to avoid scaring children. I aspire to your skills as per the eyelook you’ve done!

Easy skip! 🙂 MAC’s Pigments are actually easier to use than they seem, I think, because of the binder in the formula. I find I get more mess around the rim than under the eye, lol!

I got two pigment sets last Christmas and I love my brown set! I was really looking forward to this year but I’m slightly disappointed, I’m probably going to get it anyway lol because the colors are pretty, but two shades look really similar I wish one was just a bit lighter. I have used the glitters a few times and just use eyelash glue to stick it to my eyes, but I agree I wish they would just add another pigment! Thanks for the swatches!! I always look forward to your reviews, and usually check them out before I buy a new product!!

I also think they should do pigment only sets, and a glitter set. I have so many glitter vials by now, and I hardly ever use any of them.
Initially I thought this set looked nice, but it is easy to dupe, so it’s a pass for me.
Your eyelook is super-stunning!

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