MAC Style Black Collection: Overall Review & Round-Up

MAC Style Black Collection: Overall

OVERALL, Style Black puts out an interesting mix of products all that take inspiration from shades of black. There’s such a wide mix of different types of products — from mattenes to mineralize eyeshadows to the new greasepaint stick. I think some will love it, others will be leery of it, and still others will be unimpressed. I’m kind of in the middle; I appreciate the collection for its uniqueness amongst prior MAC launches, and I do like seeing a variety of products. I also like how a lot of the colors coordinate across product types (e.g. Glimmerglasses and Nail Lacquers). If you like mineralize eyeshadows, you’ll likely fall for these (I recommend using them wet!), and if you like jelly-esque glosses, Glimmerglass might catch your eye. My favorite part of the launch was easily the two new nail lacquers (Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl)!

Edited: If you want something from this collection, I think you can make it work for you.  Not every product is perfect right out of the box/tube, so if something about it calls to you, don’t be afraid to see how it works for you.  Use a concealer base (or MAC Lip Erase) to help combat some of lipstick unevenness/application issues; lip liner to prevent intense lip colors from bleeding; sheer glosses over more intense lip color to add dimension; and so on.  It’s just a matter of what you’re looking for, whether you want to experiment to see what works best, etc.  Personally, I like things to work well with little effort, but that’s just me. 🙂

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-Haves: Seriously Hip Nail Lacquer, Bling Black Glimmerglass, Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, Black Greasepaint Stick
Nice-to-Haves: Baby Goth Girl Nail Lacquer, Night Violet Mattene, Midnight Media Mattene, Blackfire Glimmerglass, Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask
Skip: Black Knight Lipstick, Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

P.S. – I will do a review of the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Thermal Mask after using both for a week or two 🙂 I LOVED VAE when it first came out, so if it’s the same stuff… I will love it equally as much. I would recommend snatching both up if you’re leaning towards yes, because I know a ton of people are stocking up on both so sell-out risk seems high!

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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I am most excited about the Volcanic skin care from the style black collection, anything else I am either bleh or in the middle. I might just stock up on the volcanic stuff and get some dazzle glass cremes instead.

hahah, I third that!!! After checking it out in person I was meh about everything. MES were neat but I have no occasion to wear them and it looks like they need a LOT of work.

I got my dazzleglass cremes (amorous perfectly unordinary) today at lunch. Think I will order the VAE online to get some free mascara samples 🙂

Well i don’t like the lip sticks or glosses like i thought i was, but now i must have everything else, im starting to get into dark colours, so so bad for my wallet. thanks MAC….

I want the volcanic stuff, and was surprised to find out that I didn’t want the rest, really. Saddened by the fact since I thought I was going to buy everything… At least that’s more money for me.

skipping cuz i could buy cheaper black lipsticks… uhhh
i dont like mineralize eyeshadows either they are crazyyyy falling out
plus i dont like glittery eyes.

I so dislike fallout too! With the MES I have learned to tap off the extra shadow and then spritz it with water or fix+ to set the shadow. It really works. I also find the colors pop much more when set with moisture. Peace!

using a lip brush for application really does make a difference, but to get the opaque look, start with a natural lip pencil, then a very dark one, building gradually, then you can layer on the black lipstick until you feel satisfied with the result but you won’t have to apply as much. it takes half the effort and also with the pencil you eliminate your chances of making the black look messy as it will define the shape of the lips. i hope this has helped!

hello i was wondering if i can know the music you used for the background of the youtube video?? thank you!!

i think im going to get the violet lipstick..looks so pretty

going to get the eye shadows and exfoliator and a gloss and nail varnish. I bought the mask last wk at a promo launch and I dont think its really made any improvements to my skin :/

I don’t have any mineralized shadows, but will buy the 4 from this collection. I love applying shadow wet, and these just look like fun (also ordered the grease stick thingy to go with the shadows).

The nail varnish looks cool, but I never paint my nails 😉

thanks for all the swatches and reviews!

I’m counting down the hours till Thursday…looks like I’ll have to check out some of the nail polishes and I thought I was done buying nail colors for the fall!

ha ha – I’m still trying to figure that one out myself, Christine! I bought the grease stick, Black Bat CCB, Blue Flame e/s and VAE. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll love the VAE the most and that’s the only thing I originally wanted!

totally unrelated and I appologize now for thread jacking but I just bought the NARS cleansing oil – LOVE IT!!! I want the toner (lotion) based on your review alone. I think I’ll get it next pay day!

I just placed my overnight order in! So excited! I’m waiting on the lipsticks though to try those out in store. I’m also picking up the CCB’s and extra VAE when it does get released in store.

I love MAC like everyone else here, but this one is so so. I must say I will definitely grab the the VAE and the nail polishes (I have Nocturnelle and loving it). Must check out the rest in person. But great swatches and pictures.

I absolutely HEART the Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask!!!

I got a couple samples about 2 weeks ago and have used it every 3 days. It is ideal for anyone with problematic and/or sensitive skin. Both of which I have.

The VA Exfoliator has granulated particles and is just a tad too harsh for my skin.

On the other hand, the VA Thermal Mask goes on smooth with an extra fine grit, providing a touch of manual exfoliation. I leave it on my skin for 5 – 7 minutes. Then when you go to wash it off, water activates the mask. It becomes super warming and soothing, releasing the mask from your face and any gunk in your pores. The only downside is black residue in your sink…

In two weeks time I can see an improvement to the texture of my face and it has helped keep it clear. Love it Love it Love it!

Don’t hesitate to ask your MAC counter for a sample to give it a try.


Hey Karla,

Not sure if I replied yet, but just in case, I’ll do it again!

I think they will, but you just need to use it less (once a week). The mask has a warming sensation, which I found fine, and the grit of the exfoliator isn’t too heavy. If you can, I might ask for samples!

Thanks Christine. I think I will ask for samples, since I will be there today to buy the 165 brush and feline, which are two products that everyone raves about and I dont have.

Last night, I stopped at my favorite MAC counter at Bloomindales to pick up the much-talked-about feline eye kohl. I fell in love with Cinderfella, even though I do not like MES, but it looked sooooooooooo pretty. I wasn’t expecting to pick that up, but I did and I can’t wait to use it. Since I was buying a few things, I asked for a sample of the VA mask and exfoliator. I tried the exfoliator last night and I LOVE it!!!! LOVE it! So far, I haven’t seen a reaction or anything on my sensitive skin, so I can’t wait to try the mask. I hope both work for me, so I can I get them before they sell out.

Thanks Again Christine.

I don’t know. I am trying not to buy into the hype of the VAE. It is pricey and pretty small. Plus, why don’t they just make it perm if everyone likes it so much, kwim?

I am anxiously awaiting lip swatches of the Dazzleglass Cremes though! That will help me decide if I need anything. Some of the DG cremes look so darn pretty. I really appreciate your swatches they help out so much!

I saw the DC in person today and they are to die for!!!! I tired on four but ended up with only two as I did B2M and them two free. There is a colour for everyone and every season it seems. I ended up getting a lip liner to go with Amorous since it’s so dark on my fair skin. It’s going to be perfect for fall/winter season 🙂 In love <3

I thought I was going to get a lot of the collection (lipstick, both Mattenes, plain black gloss, greasepaint stick, etc.) But I went at lunch to swatch and play and was totally disappointed. My wallet is thankful, as I will probably only want the plain black polish (which is totally dupable anyways). *Maybe* the dark purple Mattene.

If your tweet means what i think it does, i cant wait for some style black giveaways on monday! its sure to relieve some midterm tension lol. early happy birthday!

Thanks for the amazing swatches! I actually thought I would be passing on most of this collection, but the swatches changed my mind.

Hopefully Santa will be bringing all 4 mineralized eyeshadows, Night Violet, and all 3 nailpolishes!

I’m curious about the Volcanic Ash skincare but not in the least tempted by the other products. I peeked at them today at my local counter. I’m just not goth. Not in the slightest. Not even a closet goth. 🙂

Hi Christine,
I just bought the VAE earlier today and used it right before I showered. I love it!!!!!!! Just want to thank you for always praising and recommending this product. I wouldn’t have bought this if it wasn’t for Temptalia! =) Thanks~!

just got black fire glimmergloss and Night violet mattene…it’s the sexiest color I’ve used on my lips in a while, I’m truly happy with it!!
I also got Gilt be Association MES only because I love the color combination :). How do you make fix +?
Would water suffice?
My 2 must haves I also got is the T. exfoliator, and the mask. YEP…I did some damage, but my consolation is I’m worth it 🙂

thanks Christine for the your reviews etc, it helps 🙂
Keep up the good work!

So happy to hear that you’re satisfied with your haul!! There’s nothin better 😉

You can use water – Fix+ is really just fancy water.

If you use 1 part glycerin and 3 parts bottled water it works just like fix+. Eye drops also works really well. When ever I use just water the shadow tends to flake off as it dries.

Thanks Jody, I will definitely keep this in mind for future 🙂
What does it mean to foil??
I saw this on another blog site…
Thanks in advance Jody 🙂

It means to use the shadow wet. By using fix+ or glycerine and water it will help the shadow stick. It usually gives it a more intense color. You can do this with any shadow expect matte.

i was actually really disappointed in the glosses; i thought they would be more opaque, more black colored. i also thought that the sparkles were not very noticeable.

I just got blue flame and young punk. I can’t seem to figure out a way to use them. I tried to foil but then had a problem getting the crease color to blend right. I guess I will have to keep playing around. The colors are amazing.

The only thing I got from this collection was five tubes of VAE based on others reviews. Am so glad I did. I love this stuff. I may try to buy more if I Can.

Played with Style Black yesterday! love the eyeshads, lip glosses are a bit funny, I am the worlds biggest fan of Mattene Lipsticks and these are a must have! VOLCANIC ASH! need i say more???? I think if u want to get super involved with this Colour Story, i would recommend getting some good brushes and mixing medium for getting a strong black look 🙂

I love this collection…its so bold for fall. And I was going to go darker for fall myself. I want to get Night Violet and layer it with Black fire gloss (I think that would look hot..thoughts?) and I want to get Young punk and Gilt by Association and I have heard many good things about the VAE so I’ll be getting that as well! I’m so excited!!

This collection comes out in england in 2 days… I still don’t know what to get! At first I was going to get young punk and baby goth girl. Now I may just get the volcanic ash exfoliator and the nail polish… but what if I regret not buying the eyeshadow!? Ohhhh mac. Why do you do this to me?

Something of a question: on MAC’s site, it lists the Volcanic Ash mask as being LE, yet on the Volcanic Ash exfoliator, LE hasn’t been applied. Everywhere I go on the internets, people seem to believe that VAE is an LE. But is it really? I adored VAE the first time round–it was one of the only things I could use on my skin without having an allergic reaction, for my skin is ridiculously-sensitive–and I would adore it if MAC decided to bring it back indefinitely instead of LE. It seems almost stupid to do a LE skincare item. Colour’s one thing, but skincare?

Hey Angelique,

It’s limited edition as far as I know. I checked with MAC directly a week or so ago after seeing that myself, but as far as they know, it’s limited edition.

I totally agree with you about LE skincare, though. It sucks!

I bought 2 tubes of VAE today on the MAC Canada website. It was sold out at pretty much all of the stores/counters and online too, so I was really disappointed because I hadn’t realized the wonderful-ness of this product. And then today I checked again online, and it was in stock!! I immediately bought 2 tubes. I wondering if I should buy more though… what do you think Christine? How many did you end up getting?

Also, I was reading another online blog, they said that they were looking at the ingredients list and the formula had changed… did you notice a big change since you’ve started using it?

Hey Sheila,

My VAE review is actually going live this morning! Anyway, I ended up with 4 tubes. They added silica, which changes the exfoliant properties, but I didn’t really notice any changes other than that. It feels, smells, and works the same on me!

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