MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Tendertones

MAC Hot 'n' Saucy Tendertone
MAC Hot ‘n’ Saucy Tendertone

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Tendertones

In the collection, there are four limited edition shades of MAC Tendertone Lip Balm ($15.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.), which are: Hot ‘n’ Saucy (soft cherry red), Hush, Hush (sheer gold with yellow gold pearl), Purring (sheer tangerine with pearl), and Tread Gently (soft lime green with yellow pearl).

  • Hot ‘n’ Saucy is a watermelon pink once applied. It looks cherry red in the pot, but when it’s applied, it really just provides lips with a tint of red. Hourglass Primal looks similar when applied. Urban Decay Red Light is a bit similar but settles into lines more.
  • Hush, Hush is a golden beige with gold shimmer. There’s no real color, but it adds champagne and gold shimmer and a glossy sheen. A warm sheer gloss will provide similar color, so there are lots of dupes.
  • Purring is a sheer tangerine orange. I have no idea why MAC Described this as having pearl, because it doesn’t appear to have any shimmer–it has the same shimmer-less look as Hot ‘n’ Saucy. On my lips, it adds warmth and gives them a peach tint. MAC Kumquat looks a bit similar but more pigmented and it has orange-gold shimmer.
  • Tread Gently is a sheer green-shimmered balm. Like Hush, Hush, there’s no real color, just pastel green shimmer. I think the only shade that’s really going to be similar that I can think of is MAC Spring Bean, which may be a little more yellowing.

Tendertones have SPF 12 and are supposed to combine the glossiness of a gloss with the moisture of a lip balm. MAC describes their scent as “strawberry-kiwi.” It’s very, very sweet, and a little too synthetic for me, but it’s a sweet, fruit-based scent. The texture is like a gel-like balm that glides across lips easily and smoothes out if you press your lips together. It’s non-sticky, and these wore for three hours or less on me. I tried wearing some of these to bed, but they didn’t wear long enough so I woke up with slightly parched lips. They feel good when they’re applied, and they aren’t drying; they’re hydrating while they’re on but don’t seem to have prolonged benefits from the past few days I’ve been testing them.

I’m not a big fan of lip balms that are packaged in pots–it’s better than a dysfunctional squeeze-tube that splits in your pocket–but application on-the-go is more difficult. This is a product I’d only use at home, where I could use a clean spatula or brush to take the product out and then apply it. It’s housed in a glass jar with a screw-top lid (very much like Paint Pots).

I’ve been holding off on this review, because I really wanted to give this product a few days of testing, since it’s not a formula I’ve used in years. The way I review products today is ten-fold better than I did before; the process is much more systematic and technical. They’re good, and if they were in a tube, they’d be something I’d consider using more often. Lip balm is a tough category to crack with me–it’s hard for me to get enthused about a lip balm that’s good, or even really good, because I’ve found a holy grail lip balm that keeps beating out the products I try.

One thing I do really like about these is that they’re really comfortable to wear, are moisturizing for the time they’re on and maybe a wee bit after it wears away, and they provide a little extra oomph, whether it’s a tint of color or a hint of shimmer. They’re a good, solid product.  I’ll reach for something else when I want my lips to be totally hydrated and pillow-soft, but when I want a little extra color or shimmer, I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Tendertones