MAC To the Beach Collection -- Marine Life High-Light Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection — Marine Life High-Light Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC To the Beach is much anticipated, but I think the Marine Life High-Light Powder is easily the item most coveted.  With its raised seahorse pattern and metallic look, I’m not at all surprised that it sparked a lot of interest.  As many of you already know, the metallic finish is just an overspray.  There are two distinct colors that remain — an orange-coral and a light baby pink.  The overlay is a metallic bronze, but a few swipes or sweeps and it’s gone.

Oddly enough, I really don’t feel the overspray did very much to the color, which is really a good thing.  It made the color a little more orange-y and obviously imparted a more shimmery finish.  Without the overspray, it’s more of a coral-pink with a smidgen of shimmer.  It’s decently pigmented though not overwhelmingly so.  It’s surprisingly pigmented, however, for something called a highlight.

It’s not like Instant Chic.  It’s not like Hipness.  It’s really not.  Instant Chic is lighter, subtler, and has a peachiness to it that neither Hipness nor Marine Life have.  Hipness is noticeably pinker and less intense than Marine Life.

I like it.  If you even think you might like this, I would snatch it up right away–and I mean the day it goes online or in-store for sale.  It will sell out.  And I’m also not talking selling out in a matter of days but hours.

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection
Swirled (with overspray); top half; bottom half

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection
Bye-bye overspray!


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meghan Avatar

Wow I wouldn’t really use this as a highlight with all that pigmentation! I still plan on buying though! Not as pretty without the over spray, sad 🙁 haha Do you know if the tote bag will be available online?

Darrien Avatar

This is really pretty but it sucks that as soon as you use it the top layers goes away! I think this may be one of the products I buy two for show, the other for use. 🙂

Valene Avatar

With my pale skin, this will definitely be used as a blush, not a highlight. But I think it’s very pretty. I figured I’d ONLY like it because of the design, how cute is that seahorse right? So I was planning on skipping it. But thanks to these swatches, I really think I’ll enjoy the actual product as well, so I’m going to try my best to grab one of these asap.

Donna Avatar

sooooo pretty!!!! i am more convinced that i gotta have it. though i think it will be more suitable as a blush 😀 mil gracias for the swatch !!

Dawn Avatar

It looks beautiful, but I couldn’t bear to ruin the look of it, so for that reason I won’t waste my money buying it. I can’t afford to buy two.

As for selling out, it did indeed sell out online in the UK within hours, so you need to act fast if you want to buy this

Katie Avatar

Oh dear, I’m so in love! I think I may buy two because it’s so stunning and beautiful! I’m pretty psyched about this collection, but I’m anticipating In the Groove even more! I can’t wait for the MSF’s!

Sheila Avatar

I LOVE this powder and I’ve been lemming after it since I saw pictures, but then I compared these swatches to your swatches of Ripe Peach Blush Ombre from Spring Forecast and they look EXACTLY the same. This one is just a little bit more sparkly. I guess if someone missed Ripe Peach they might want to grab this one up quickly, but otherwise I think I’m skipping. Sucks, because its so pretty =(

Anitacska Avatar

I love this, it’s so pretty. I actually got two of them because I couldn’t bear ruining the overspray. 🙂 At least it’s nowhere near as expensive as Chantecaille! 🙂

Rachael Avatar


I have had this around a week and think its lovely but your right Christine it is very pigmented for a highlighter, tbh im using it as a blusher more then anything! The gold leaves a very fine shimmer although my gold is also gone now!

Meka Monroe Avatar

I have been anticipating this collection like no other!!! I have serious yellow undertones so the Summer is my time to literally shine…like bling, bling POW lol!!! I bronze it up and I love coral, pinkish shimmer powders :-)…thanks for the fabulous swatches per usual!!!

Jas Avatar

This is soo gorgeous and better then expected! But i wanted to no how similar this colour is to hipness since i wanted both at first but now im not sure….so between this and hipness which is the must have? TIA and thanks for the advanced sneak peack and swatch!!

Ilaria Avatar

This collection came out last week in Italy and Europe and I really have to say I don’t like this highlighter 🙁 it’s way too orange-y!
I love the packaging, though, but I decided not to buy it in the end…

starr Avatar

in others peoples pics the top half was pink and the bottom smaller half was coral. was that a default on theirs? or are some marine lifes like that?

baby in a corner Avatar

i just don’t really see what’d you do with this! yes its pretty but the coral orange colour would be hard to wear for paler or even medium skintones! maybe a collectors item!

Daliah Avatar

i’m probably the only person that isn’t interested in this lol. it’s gorgeous but it’ll probably just end up sitting in my vanity.

Bridget Avatar

Aww it looks so sad with the overspray! 🙁 haha. I think this might work well as a blush…I might pick it up if my country ever gets the collection (they’re so slow here!)

Connie Avatar

I did a prepaid order of this line and have a funny feeling I will be getting more than what I did get. Anyway, first purchase was the Marine Life. Gorgeous!

Patty Avatar

Hey Christine! I love how quickly you have these swatches up, you are so good!
I just wanted to ask if this product is similar to some of the Mineralize Blush Duos that were released recently, especially the Sun&Moon one? Thanks!

Aoife Avatar

Hmm it looks a bit like Coralista to me which on my Irish skin is definitely not a highlight. I may have to pass on this… 🙁

Christa Avatar

Thanks, I saw that but wasn’t sure if that was just the remainder of the overspray hanging on or if it actually went all the way through.

SB_sweetie Avatar

Hmmm. I’m glad you posted this. I originally thought this was a “must-have” for me b/c it’s so beautiful in the compact. But now, looking at the swatch, I’m not sure what I’d actually DO with this. Certainly not a “high-light” in the true sense of the word. More of a blush. Plus, the compact looks so sad once the metallic has worn off! I’ll be at a launch party next Tuesday, so I’ll figure it out by then! Thanks for swatching this!

Christa Avatar

Sorry forgot to ask as well…any dupes colour wise to this. Is Instant Chic similar in colour…something else? Thanks! (I’m trying very hard to resist ;-))

Amy Avatar

When I scrolled down to the last picture, it’s like looking at a dead seahorse. It’s really funny though! Haha!! Btw now I’m thinking of buying two since that sounds like what others are doing….

Christina Avatar

Thank you so much for this Christine. I’ve been wanting this since you first told us about the collection but I wasn’t sure how it looked.
I’ll be away for a work internship in Disney World and I won’t have a car so I will have to order off line. This has been tremendously helpful.
You’re the best!

Christina Avatar

Thank you! I definitely will!
I’ll be away for 7 months, I’m sure I’ll make it to a MAC while I’m there. If not, i’ll be fine, your site will be my guide for my online MAC purchases. Lol.

lulee Avatar

christine… you are amazing. it literally blows my mind how you got all these reviews up in such a short amount of time. maybe you have house elves or something working for you like in harry potter, hmmmmm

Alexis Avatar

I LOVE Seahorses – so you can imagine how excited I am to get this. Even if I don’t use it daily this summer – I’ll have a pretty seahorse to look at, even after the overspray fades….

Mindy Avatar

It always bugs me when the top pretty shimmer part rubs off. I’ve bought a few shadows where this has happened (I didn’t know at the time it was supposed to come off) and the colour is no longer as I dreamed it to be 🙁

Dominique Avatar

So pretty! Love the color and the design, but since the design is way too gorgeous i dont think i will ever be able to use it!

Cecilia Avatar

Oh.. I thought that the gold on the seahorse and seaweed parts stay that way as you use it up. Thanks for the heads up. Now I am not sure if I want it. Bummer.. :\

Margot Avatar

This will be the only item I’ll be picking up from what I’ve seen so far at least !!
It will make a gorgeous blush I think, more than a highlighter !

Ashley Avatar

Christine, does that mean this powder will be like Lancome Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer? Which sadly, mine faded so easily…

Kristen Avatar

If you were to wear this all over your face, would it give a nice glow? or would it be too heavy?
BTW love all the sneak peeks/reviews!!

aksaiyo Avatar

Hey! Awesome review! Thanks a lot, now I just have to wait till it gets to Asia. I’m so worried I might miss it because they have such inconsistent launch times here. 🙁
SO I was wondering why your marine life has a different top-bottom color than the other reviews I’ve seen or in the promo pics? Like the lighter color is at the bottom? (Don’t get me wrong, I like it much better your way)

Anitacska Avatar

I bought two from Mac UK and they’re both like yours Christine, in fact all the pictures I’ve seen on Specktra are (except for the promo pictures). Maybe they decided to change the colours around after the initial batch?

amy Avatar

The colour is gorgeous and I am going to grab this when I go to the preview event next week! I do like the look of the overspray on the product, though it does nothing on the skin.

Natalie Avatar

As I always ask this – is the shade similar to anything? 🙂 I don’t care much for the design, but the shade is really pretty!!

Toukie Avatar

Soo pretty! It looks really pigmented, i might use it as a blush not sure…I’m NC30 so it depends on how it shows when i swatch it.

JoElla Avatar

That looks very, very close to Bobbi Brown’s Nectar shimmer brick. For those who wanted that, this could possibly be a great dupe for it. What do ya’ll think?

JoElla Avatar

Thanks Christine! I like Nectar, but sometimes it is a bit too much. I think nectar would work better for me after a wee bit of color on my face (kids, soccer, no matter how much SPF I use, I still get some) but this looks like it is what I wanted Nectar to be. But the Mac is oh so pretty.. I wouldn’t want to mess it up and just ooh and aahh at it.

Melanie T Avatar

The overspray!!! LOL I’d probably work AROUND the seahorse~ It looks like someone butchered the poor thing to me! Haha~ Christine, here’s my ‘pretty’ long list of coral blushes to get~ Please advice me on what’s good to get compared to Marine life!
1. Givenchy’s Blush Quartet in Euphoric Orange
2. Lancome O My Rose!
3. Coralista
4. Nars Deep Throat
5. Nars Torrid
6. Bobbi Brown Cabo Coral
7. Guerlain Rose Plein Vent Blush 4 Éclats Sculpting Blush

I know this is a hard request!
Thanks so much , Christine!

Melanie T Avatar

Sorry, a quick one! My sister has MAC’s Ripe Peach and would like to know how Marine Life compares to it as well! 🙂 Thanks, Christine!

Nadia Avatar

I just can’t decide!! Originally, I was sure I wanted this. But it seems to be more of a blush than a highlight. Which makes me think…do I really need another coral/pink blush. I think if it wasn’t an overspray, it’s uniqueness would have tipped the scales in favour of me purchasing. But in light of that last sad (no overspray) photo…it’s making me go…hmmmm. I think it’ll come down to me going and actually trying it on my face!! Thanks for the swatches!

Sophiie Avatar

omg i loveee it!!! but i don’t think i would want to actually use it because its so pretty :/. i don’t wanna mess it upp lol

maggie Avatar

if im an nw20 should i get refined gold or golden bronzer?
also should i get hipness blush and the Marine Life High-Light Powder? or are they simlar enough i could just get hipness blush and be okay?

Laura Avatar

After getting this today, I feel like Marine Life might be a little too dark for us NW 20. Is this just because of the overspray? I swatched at the store but I am considering returning this and just sticking with Hipness. Any Advice?

Ada Avatar

Thanks for the swatches, it’s gorgeous. The real product and the promo pics have the pink and coral reversed.
Thanks also for the heads up that it’ll sell out quickly. I guess I might have to buy both this and hipness at the same time.

derri Avatar

hey christine, this is sooo pretty but i have a question. Im about the color of gabrielle union and i was wondering if i should buy this item? like would it show up and what could i use it for? blush? or? anyways thnx and love the site 🙂

Bridgette Avatar

It is so beautiful! Even if it does have an overspray but what highlighter doesn’t have one? Im going to be in Texas when To The Beach Collection launches so I am just going to beg my mom or sister for their car so I can get up early and get this before it goes bye bye and I am left with tears!

Heather Avatar

Thanks Christine for all the great posts on To the beach! I’m NC15 and I’m wondering if marine life will be too dark and/or orange for me; perhaps hipness is a better (but less pretty) option-what do you think?

ezzie Avatar

such a lovely shade! too bad the overspray goes away, but after seeing your swatches, i’m convinced that it’s still a gem!

melissa Avatar

Christine, I have a dilemna. I have to choose between either getting MAC ripe peach of ebay or getting marine life . I am an NC 50 ( Jeniffer Hudson complexion.) I can only choose one because ripe peach is eighty bucks on ebay! which do you think would you choose if you were me?

Heather Avatar

Hi Christine, LOVE the posts on this collection!!
I just noticed that the official promo photos for Marine Life has the colours flipped (2/3 pink and 1/3 coral) compared to your photos (1/3 pink and 2/3 coral). Do you think the are variations in the colour pattern for this powder?

Stephanie Avatar

I just called my local MAC store, to ask if they could set one aside for me, whiii ^^ They start selling this Saturday, but seeing as our 2-week studyperiod before the exams starts this saturday as well, I won’t be able to go (parents will be home and won’t be to happy with me losing time by going of to shop for my makeup goodies :P) so I’ll probably have to go pick it up sometime next week (when the parentals are at work (rebel me! ^^))… Hopefully! Unless I can find a victim … My family doesn’t really get my makeup addiction, nor my spending money on it 😛

All right, enough ranting! ^^

erieli Avatar

hi christine,
is this highlighter really shimmery? im kinda done with frosty/shimmery blushes/highlighters, but im looking for this peachy/coral color…
but this one is so prettttty 🙂 im nc42, which one would you recommend, the highlighter or hipness??

erieli Avatar

i forgot to mention if i do plan to get it i will definitely remove the overspray but i would like to know if its still shimmery after i do that.

erieli Avatar


Krista.K Avatar

Do you think this is a must have?
I feel I only want it because of the seahorse design and because of that I probably won’t use it lol and how is this compared to Benefit Coralista?

stephanie Avatar

MAC needs to consider making the darker color in marine life a blush of its own. i know this is the standout piece of the collection, with the sea horse on it, but i feel like the lighter color at the bottom is a waste of time.

Christina Avatar

I feel guilty for going to ebay to buy one, and am now purchasing a second just so I can have one to put away, and one to use. I really wish they would have swirled the gold throughout it, but it’s nothing a little dab of too faced candlelight or a bit of added golden pigment won’t cure I’m sure. Mac must be kicking themselves for not making more of these. They have to have made a bundle off the ones they did have.

NappyMACDiva3 Avatar

Pretty but not a must have for me after seeing it in the store. They had 2 left, but I decided I have colors similar to the two colors already. Plus I am not really into buying makeup just to look at it. Sweet N Punchy may go back since I have Rated R, even though I do need a backup. Thrills was a must have for me. The color is gorgeous and I think I have a MAC pigment close to firecracker so I am still debating that one. Pretty collection but if you have been buying MAC for over 10 years hard to buy more stuff when you have so many pigments,etc to mix and match to make these colors….

Ani_BEE Avatar

The only thing I wanted was Marine Life and it sold out before I could order it online. To add insult to injury they have free shipping right now as well.

Leah Avatar

I love my sea life powder, but My friend dropped it and it broke into pieces (two days after i bought it). I somehow separated the dark pink from the lightpink and put all the pieces in jars, but I lost a lot of product and its not pretty anymore..

Chelsea Forma Avatar

I love highlighting colours but I only have drugstore makeup near me and I can’t order it online and I also missed the whole collection so I’m very upset> 🙁

Mischa Avatar

Shoot… I really wanted this but this collection came out WAYYY before I got hooked onto makeup… is there ANY blush from UD or MAC or any cruelty-free brand that resembles this?

Rosie Avatar