MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

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MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush
MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush


MAC Sunbasque Powder Blush ($24.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a medium copper with warm, rusty undertones and fine, gold and copper pearl. It had semi-sheer (as expected, based on the “Sheertone Shimmer” finish), buildable pigmentation–up to semi-opaque in three layers–with a drier, dustier texture that didn’t feel particularly promising by touch, but it applied better than anticipated! I remember it being smoother years ago, but memories get fuzzy when a decade passes (I think Sunbasque might have been my second blush purchase, pre-blog era!). The blush applied evenly to bare skin, blended out effortlessly, and sat well on my skin without emphasizing my skin’s texture but still producing a noticeable sheen–more shine than overt shimmer. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading slightly.

FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$24.00/0.21 oz. - $114.29 Per Ounce

Per the brand, the formula is supposed to "provide fantastic colour with ease and consistency" that "applies evenly, adheres lightly to skin." There are five distinct finishes within the range: Frost ("iridescent, lightly shimmering color"), Matte ("flat, matte finish... builds well"), Satin ("adds subtle highlights to the skin"), Sheertone ("sheer-on micro-refined powder ... that goes on faint"), and Sheertone Shimmer ("just enough shimmer to make light dance on your cheeks"). Their permanent blushes are available in compact form as well as pan-only (the latter will be cheaper).

The following overview has been updated to reflect the most current iteration of the brand's permanent range (whether or not there's been any official change) as I repurchased the majority of the permanent shades as of June 2018. I make a point to say that because I felt that the textures of several shades, particularly the frost finish shades, was noticeably different; they were much smoother and had more slip but were less shimmery/frosted (on average) and seemed to be a bit weaker in pigmentation (but still buildable). Some of the mattes felt like I've encountered in the past (a little drier, pigmented, and fairly blendable), while some felt more velvety and finely-milled.

MAC has a solid blush range but some shades are harder than others to blend out or diffuse, and as it does for most formulas (from any brand), it really comes down to some shades falling shy of expectations. The matte finish had a tendency to darken on my skin within five minutes of application; for most shades, I would recommend applying over a powdered face and/or avoiding applying on still-drying complexion products to make blending the easiest. The matte shades seemed to be semi-opaque to opaque, buildable, and long-wearing (about eight hours).

Only a few of the shades in the permanent range seemed to be particularly frosted/metallic on the skin; most shades that had shimmer appeared more softly luminous or pearlescent on the skin to the point where there was little sheen/reflection captured by my camera (I did a double take for a few and re-did swatches only to find the same finish captured yet again!). The Sheertone Shimmer performed most consistently with this: very subtle sheen, more "my skin but better" with having a slightly more noticeable sheen than matte. There were a few shades that had a strong sheen on the skin (like Peachykeen), though. The Frost finish just seemed to have stronger, larger shimmer in it, but the effect on the skin ranged being subtle to moderate. The same was true with Satin--some were more satin-like and some seemed more like a Frost (like Modern Mandarin).

Most shades were blendable, while pigmentation varied from sheer to opaque depending on the shade, but most had decent, builable coverage. The textures were firmer than the average powder blush of current times, but they don't have excess product kicked up in the pan at all. The wear ranged between seven and nine hours with deeper, intense mattes (like Fever or Film Noir) lasted longer.

Browse all of our MAC Powder Blush swatches.


Talc, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Silica, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).

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Powder Blush
$24.00/0.21 oz.



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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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Oooh, this would be a gorgeous my-skin-but-better highlight on deeper skin. This looks like one of those colors that could flatter anyone.

Even though I haven’t bought from MAC in a while, I love seeing that they still carry certain shades throughout the years. I tried finding my Holy Grail blush (‘It Girl Purple’ from Givenchy) and instead found the brand had completely changed their cheek products. There wasn’t anything even close to it, so my best option is eBay now and it breaks my heart! It seems like MAC definitely does more than the average brand to reel in return customers and keep a solid range of staple colors across their products.

I think it is a testament to how well they sell across the beauty population, not just what seems so in-our-face online, that so many classic shades are still here 10 years later.

*Another* permanent Pro Pan blush I can definitely see myself buying and getting plenty of use out of! This is such a gloriously radiant shade of what I’d define as a coral-copper. Just perfect for a sunny glow!

This definitely wasn’t my first blush (I think Milani Berry Amore gets that prize) but it was definitely near the beginning. I still use it a ton, it’s the only blush I own with a real dent in it! I think it makes a nice sunburn-y look on fair skin so I use it a lot mixed with bronzer or across the high points of my face like a highlight. I think the formula probably changed from what you’re saying because my pan is probably 5-6 years old (still just as great as the day I got it) and it’s super velvety and smooth, not dry at all.

So is it the blush that’s giving you the highlighter-y gold tone on the point of your cheek? I don’t see a highlighter mentioned in your “makeup look.”

I wouldn’t EVER EVER EVER! wear a highlighter on top of a blush in its review! Never ever! There is shimmer in the blush, and the more you buff it out, the more glowing it gets. It’s all Sunbasque!

Yikes! I feel like I inadvertently accused you of stealing the queen’s jewels. :-). Good to know for future reviews, though. It seemed such a distinct highlight that I couldn’t imagine it coming from the blush, but that just goes to show what a good buffing does. I’m just recently getting into my highlighters more because I’m beginning to realize what a difference buffing can make with some (most!) of them — it can be night and day in some cases.

Yeah, it’s just one of those finishes that seems to get shinier as the pearl/powder meld against the skin. Same with lip products – it’ll just be that one lip color I’m reviewing, no liner or primer or balm and typically straight from the tube (unless it broke… then maybe I have to use a tool, lol).

I just cant get over how gorgeous this color looks on you! It’s like your perfect blush shade haha. Really love the glowy finish, too. It almost looks like you just have naturally flushed cheeks 🙂

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