MAC x Ellie Goulding Halcyon Days Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.45 oz.) includes four Cream Colour Bases and one Blot Powder/Pressed. I am totally baffled by the inclusion of the Blot Powder, given that it is in shade “Medium Dark,” which will obviously not suit many skin tones. Why not a powder highlighter instead? Two of the Cream Colour Bases (Tint and Root) are part of the permanent range. If you’re unfamiliar with the Cream Colour Base formula, it’s pretty much a versatile cream-based product that can be sheer, buildable, creamy, or shimmery and can be used on the eyes, lips, or face (some shades have restricted usages). They can be used alone or over products (including powder) and are supposed to last for eight hours on face and body (with “lasting wear for hours on eyes”).

Medium Dark is a light-medium beige with a matte finish. It is similar to the color of my forearm, but it is lighter than face. The product itself is really, really chalky and looks powdery on my normal-to-dry skin. I’m not oily, so it was hard to determine if it was really helping combat that, but it seemed to extend the wear of my base by an hour or two.

Wished I Stayed is described as a “light cream pearl.” It’s a golden beige with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. It had semi-sheer, buildable coverage with a lightweight, creamy consistency that glided on and blended out well. As a cheek highlighter, it lasted for seven hours on me. Stila Sending My Love Highlighter (LE, ) is more shimmery (95% similar). Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Smashbox Shimmer (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar). NARS Hot Sand (P, $30.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Natasha Denona Moonstone (59M) (PiP, $29.00) is warmer (85% similar). MAC Highlighter (LE, $34.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). bareMinerals The Brilliant Sunset (LE, $26.00) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Becca Opal (P, $41.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Tint is described as a “soft peachy brown with shimmer.” It’s a muted, medium brown with warm, rosy undertones and a soft pearl shimmer. It had semi-opaque to opaque coverage, though the creamy, emollient consistency makes it easy to apply less or really diffuse it for sheerer coverage. The color lasted for seven and a half hours as a blush. LORAC Pink Bronze (LE, $19.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $45.00) is less shimmery, darker, cooler (90% similar). Chanel Golden Sun (280) (P, $45.00) is lighter, cooler, less glossy (90% similar). MAC Love Joy (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). NARS Hard to Get (DC, $25.00) is darker (85% similar). Becca Hot Cocoa (LE, ) is darker (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Every Time You Go is described as a “creamy peachy pink.” It’s a light-medium pink with warm undertones and a creamy finish. It had semi-sheer to opaque pigmentation with a creamy, light-medium thick consistency–thicker than the other two–and has no shimmer. It blended out well on the skin and wore for seven and a half hours as a blush. NABLA Cosmetics Snowberry (P, $8.00) is more shimmery, lighter, less glossy (90% similar). Colour Pop Holiday (P, $8.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Too Faced Stardust (LE, ) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). Make Up For Ever #215 HD Blush (P, $26.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Guerlain Ors et Merveilles #7 (LE, ) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). NYX Apricot (DC, $5.00) is less glossy (90% similar). Gucci Beauty Coral Flower (P, $49.00) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). Too Faced Pink Suede (PiP, $16.00) is less shimmery, less glossy (90% similar). Chanel Angelique (190) (DC, $45.00) is warmer, less glossy (90% similar). Sydney Grace Laughter (PiP, $5.00) is less shimmery, lighter, less glossy (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Root is described as a “red taupey brown with shimmer.” It’s a dark, taupe brown with strong, gray shimmer with a warmer undertone. The more opaque it is applied, the grayer it appears, but the more it is sheered out, the browner it looks. It had semi-sheer to opaque pigmentation with a lightweight, emollient texture that glided and blended well on the skin without becoming patchy. This shade lasted for seven and a half hours on my cheeks. MAC Pressed Amber (LE, $29.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Chanel Notorious (LE, $45.00) is less shimmery, cooler (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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See more photos & swatches!

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit
MAC Halcyon Days Face Kit

MAC Medium Dark Blot Pressed Powder
MAC Medium Dark Blot Pressed Powder

MAC Medium Dark Blot Pressed Powder
MAC Medium Dark Blot Pressed Powder

MAC Wished I Stayed Cream Colour Base
MAC Wished I Stayed Cream Colour Base

MAC Wished I Stayed Cream Colour Base
MAC Wished I Stayed Cream Colour Base

MAC Wished I Stayed Cream Colour Base
MAC Wished I Stayed Cream Colour Base

MAC Tint Cream Colour Base
MAC Tint Cream Colour Base

MAC Tint Cream Colour Base
MAC Tint Cream Colour Base

MAC Tint Cream Colour Base
MAC Tint Cream Colour Base

MAC Every Time You Go Cream Colour Base
MAC Every Time You Go Cream Colour Base

MAC Every Time You Go Cream Colour Base
MAC Every Time You Go Cream Colour Base

MAC Every Time You Go Cream Colour Base
MAC Every Time You Go Cream Colour Base

MAC Root Cream Colour Base
MAC Root Cream Colour Base

MAC Root Cream Colour Base
MAC Root Cream Colour Base

MAC Root Cream Colour Base
MAC Root Cream Colour Base

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Makeup Look

On face:
  • Make Up For Ever HD
On eyes:
  • MAC Halcyon Nights Face Kit
  • Lancome Paradis Eyeliner
On lips:
  • MAC Without Your Love Lipstick

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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47 Comments

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Second day online ruling with that Paradis liner. It’s so you. Haven’t done any LancΓ΄me in years. Are you reviewing any of these liners? A black one came in a Sephora set, but haven’t even tried that one yet. Better try that for formula. These colors are beautiful and subtle on you. Going on the idea of ‘There’s no such thing as a stupid question,’ are most people’s faces darker than their inner forearms? Due to more sun exposure?

Hopefully, but I haven’t even edited those photos yet so they’re definitely not imminent!

I don’t go outside that often, so I know that I tend to do better with daily SPF on my face vs. my arms (and I often wear a jacket anyway) – except during summer, then I’m better about whatever is exposed.

My neck is super light compared to my face, lighter than my forearms. My forearm is maybe NC20? or so and my face is NC25/NC30 (my forehead is closer to NC30, my cheeks are closer to NC20-25).

For KJH, I’ve always wondered the SAME thing! Not a stupid question. My outer arms, shoulders, upper chest and lower neck are NC40, my face and just under my chin are lighter at about C4 or NC35, but my inner arm, tummy and upper legs are only around N(eutral)30! All these variations and I do use sunscreen. In my case, I believe it’s because I use Vit. C serum on my face and upper neck, and I’m multi-ethnic.

Nice palette and looks lovely on you. I got Stila’s Sending My Love palette with the highlighter that’s a dupe so won’t be buying this, but it’d make a lovely present.

I love the selection of cream colour bases! They look very versatile and easily workable on most skintones. I will say though that this is DEFINITELY a collector’s item-type purchase. You’re getting $9.29 worth of powder and either $11.67 or $18.33 worth of cream colour base (depending on whether you would rather buy singles or refills). So the palette’s value is between $20.96 and $27.62. It’s good if you don’t finish products too often or you’re a big Ellie fan, but otherwise the value just isn’t there. Personally I’m one of the latter which is rather unfortunate because I LOVE everything in this palette. But I feel extremely ripped off being asked to pay twice as much for a product just because it has a middling pop star’s name on it.

It’s no problem at all. It’s one of the first things I think of with palettes like this. I know if I get it I’ll kick myself every time I use it, especially since I know the creams would only last a few months with me.

Andrew, thank you for posting this! Your comment made me take a double look at this and think a little harder about where my $ is going. πŸ™‚

But you haven’t included in the value the portability, the convenience of the packaging, the value of trying and using 4 ccb colors at once (therefore lowering the risk of cost should ccbs actually do not agree with you, etc).

There are many ways to calculate value, not only from the volume.

Objective value is really the only one that you can compare, though, and I think it’s clear here that that’s all it is – price per ounce comparison πŸ™‚ Everything you’ve mentioned is tied to subjective value, which will vary from person to person, because one person’s portable is another person’s clunky.

Hmm… I have been wanting to get some cream products into my stash and thought this may be a good way to do it. But, not sure if this is “worth it’ The powder -if you are having problems on your skin-forget it on mine. So, hmm. Is there enough product in the 3 pans to justify the cost for just the CCB do you think?

Well, Andrew ran the calculations, and it’s not a great value for CCBs. You might keep an eye out for the fall trend palettes, which often are CCBs or lipsticks. Or you could pick up just the pans of permanent CCBs if you already have a palette!

I saw Andrews calculations which made me wonder actually. I had no idea CCBs came in just the pan! Nice! Espescially since I really love Tint the best. Thanks for saving me $ and the clutter.

Well, I think MAC shot themselves in the foot by putting the Medium Dark powder in there because it’s poor quality and not everyone can wear that shade. Also that Root Color Base is probably going to be way too dark for many people. It also seems like you’re not getting a lot of product for $44, but if these colors work for you, might be worth the convenience.

I’m a bit confused, wasn’t this being touted as an eyeshadow palette for daytime soft looks? Idk? Which WOULD explain that rather off blot powder ; in practice, applying the powder over ones entire lid before applying these other shades on the eyes lightly diffused. Disastrous for oily and/or hooded lids, however!

Yeah, what the heck is up with that powder??!? I was thinking the same thing when Temptalia previewed this palette in an earlier post. Such a lovely palette, but that powder I’ll never use is a deal-breaker.

I actually really like this palette, I love cream products in general and the colors here are absolutely gorgeous! As for the Blot powder, it’s my HG setting/mattifying powder, do you think the quality here is different from what you get with the permanent version? It’s never looked chalky on me, and it’s sheer enough that I could use Medium/Dark, especially in the summer (I have before, although my best match is Medium).

With such a dark blotting powder this one isn’t for me. It might have been better to just skip the second layer and just have the cream color bases. They do like quite versatile.

It is a lovely palette for those who would suit these colours. But I think they would not suit me. Very pretty on you and again, I love that Paradis eyeliner.

That eyeliner is one of the best teals I’ve seen. Since you mentioned that it will be awhile until you review the Paradis eyeliners, can you please let me know if you prefer your beloved spark of envy eyeliner to this one and why? I’m debating which one to get. Thank you!

I have never ever used a cream colour base from MAC. I guess I always had doubts about the lasting-power and so it’s just never been on my “to buy” list, though I love the look of Root and some other CCBs. I really should give them a try.

I bought this palette and have been using it everyday, it is amazing. I am usually a medium in the blot power but this color is perfect too, it’s so sheer you can’t see any color, on me it does it’s job perfect, no complains:)
I say give it a try even if you have fair skin

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!