MAC Surrounded By Stars Palette, Peaches ‘N’ Dreams Blush, and Macstack Mascara Reviews

I buy products from MAC fairly often, but I like to review multiple purchases at once, rather than doing them individually. Today’s post is a review of all the latest additions to my ever growing collection of makeup from MAC Cosmetics.

MAC Extra Dimension X4: Surrounded By The Stars Skinfinish Palette

This item is part of MAC’s Magnificent Moon Collection that I purchased online from Selfridges containing an existing Extra Dimension Highlighter (Oh, Darling), two existing Extra Dimension Blushes (Hushed Tone and Hard to Get), and one new Extra Dimension Skinfinish Blush/Highlighter in the shade Surrounded By Stars, which is also the name of this face quad. This release was in celebration of Ramadan and EID, which I admittedly don’t know anything about aside from them being an important time in the Islamic religion. By this point, it seems this collection will not be released in the US. As a lover of celestial imagery and MAC’s Extra Dimension Skinfinish formulas, I couldn’t pass this up like I did with the MAC Mosaic Masterpiece Collection from 2020 that I hoped would come to the US, but it never did.

I already own Hushed Tone, but the other products are new to me. Hushed Tone was my favorite Extra Dimension Blush shade from MAC for a while, but it’s on the lighter side of medium which means it is harder to see on my skin. If I build it up too much, the shimmer particles become too apparent for my taste, which is why I usually reserve this blush for the winter time when I am at my lightest. Faux Sure replaced Hushed Tone as my favorite because it has just as pretty of a sheen but is on the medium-dark spectrum, so it shows better on me. Oh, Darling is a bit light for me and Surrounded by Stars only works for me as a highlighter, so I prefer to combine those two products. Surrounded by Stars can look a bit subtle because of the tone of it, so adding the tiniest amount of Oh Darling gives it that extra pop at the highest points of my face. As for Hard to Get, the only reason I don’t already have a single of that shade is because I knew it was darker than I like to wear for blush. It doesn’t look too dark in my photo since I applied such a sheer layer, but I can literally use it as a shimmery sculpting blush if I want. In fact, when I reach for this palette, I like to put Hard to Get just above where I would contour and have it be a deeper gradient going into Hushed Tone.

I forgot to mention that in the last photo above, Surround By Stars with Oh Darling are both on top of the Suqqu blush.

It was only around six months ago that MAC released a similar product as part of the MAC x Rosalia Aute Cuture collection. Those were more of the highlighter formula whereas these are the softer to the touch blush formula, which I prefer. I’m quite pleased with the fact that I can find a use for all these shades, though I am more lightly to reach for my single products over this full palette. This is especially because I have a difficult time using limited edition products and ruining the embossing on the pans. I am happy to have this anyway.

MAC Wild Cherry Glow Play Blush in Peaches ‘N’ Dreams

I reviewed the HD Cherry Tree Blush previously, but I used my points at Ulta to get this shade. It’s not very pigmented, so it takes a ton of building up to get it to show on my cheeks, though my camera still had a hard time picking it up. It looks quite orange in the compact, but it translates to a true peach on the cheeks. I do like this shade and just like all the other Glow Play blushes, the blend is beautiful and the blush lasts as long as I need it to on my cheeks.

I couldn’t decide which photo shows the blush better so I just put them both here. It may depend on the viewer’s device settings and screen brightness.

MAC Macstack Mascara (Mini with the Superstack Mega Brush)

I bought this with my Ulta Reward Points as well. I purchased the version with the Superstack Mega Brush which is supposed to be better suited for those with longer lashes naturally and/or for everyone to use on the upper lashes. There is also a Superstack Micro Brush for those with naturally shorter lashes or for those who just want a smaller brush to get at the lower lashes.

I applied a thick line for my eyeliner, which makes it difficult to see my eyelashes, but I do have decent length to them. It’s just not as visible without the lift that a good mascara provides. My lower lashes are quite fine though, so I typically have an issue applying mascara there (except with a select few favorites), but I still went for the mini size of the Mega brush mascara.

I cannot deny that I can achieve a false lash effect with this mascara. I don’t have issues with smudging and it’s also fairly easy to remove the mascara. However, the more layers are added the more it’s prone to clump despite being marketed as, “… a continuously buildable mascara that stacks on infinite layers of volume and length.” Even if I keep passing over the lashes repeatedly without dipping back into the tube (so still within the first coat) it will start to clump if I keep at it for too long. After using it a few times, I wondered if it was because it starts trying to dry. The formula is supposed to allow the user to build up multiple coats, even on fully dry lashes, so the dried lashes do soften back up, but then it just builds on top of the clumps rather than smoothing them out. So, the most clump-free tactic I have is to skip wiggling the applicator side to side like I usually do to build up volume with other mascaras. Instead, I try building up the first coat using straight upward strokes for about 30 seconds to a minute before dipping the wand back in the tube (even if there’s still product on the wand) just to get a fresh wet coat and continue building it up, just stopping short of it starting to get that first clump. I then use the tip end of the applicator to smooth that clump back off (since it’s easier to fix one spot rather than multiple spots in multiple sections of the lash) and then leave the mascara alone. Another method is to repeat that step of building up a layer in the first minute, stopping to let it dry, then building up a second later but only in a minimal amount of strokes (5 to 15) in order to stop before the clumping begins.

The only time I had an issue with flaking was in the beginning when I had drier layers and clumped layers. Considering how much I dislike spidery lashes or clumps because it makes my lashes look like they’re suffering from split ends, I’m a little torn on my feelings about this mascara. I love the effect it gives in the end when I get it right, but it’s a little more finicky than my tried and true favorites, so it’s not always worth the effort for how quickly I need to do my makeup sometimes. I do like it, but I will not be buying the full size at full price. I could possibly see myself buying it at half price after my mascara no-buy is over (which I technically already broke for this).

That’s everything for today! Thank you as always for taking the time to read… or if you’re new here, welcome!

-Lili

MAC Cosmetics Lunar Luck, Wild Cherry, and More

MAC Cosmetics is probably the most reviewed brand on my blog. They frequently release eye catching collections that manage to make me want even their repromoted shades, just to get the limited edition packaging. They often have sales, which plays on my deep love of getting a good deal. Their staple products are top notch and they’ve held onto their generally good reputation for decades. Unfortunately, MAC has made some questionable production decisions in the last few years to the point where I seriously considered taking a break from them. Today’s post is not about that, and is instead about sharing the newest additions to my MAC collection.

MAC Lunar Luck Eyeshadow x 9: Made My Fortune

This palette was a gift from one of my best friends, and for that reason I will cherish it. It’s one of those things I wanted for the packaging, but not the makeup inside, since I tend to not be the biggest fan of MAC’s eyeshadows. I can at least say the quality of this one is the best I’ve tried from them. The shimmers have pigmented bases, but are a bit tame in sparkle reflectivity, even when used wet. I appreciate that they were easy to apply smoothly to the lids and inner corner. The mattes were also more pigmented than I expected from MAC, and slightly easier to blend than the ones I’ve used in the past. Creating the two looks shown below was enjoyable enough that I may continue to use this palette from time to time, but not enough to make me want to purchase anymore MAC shadows. There isn’t a whole lot of versatility among the two light mattes that hardly show on me (Shell We Celebrate and Sunkissed Orange) and two shades that look nearly identical when used next to each other (Propitious Poppy and Plum What May). The shimmers (excluding Supreme Harmony) don’t look that far off from each other in the pan, but I was pleased to see they are distinctly different on the eyes. Wish Me Luck!, 15 Minutes of Flame, and Born to Rule (as a highlight shade only) are my favorite eyeshadows in the palette. I’ve really been into the brown shimmer eyelid look lately. I still feel $32 is a bit pricey for the quality, so for anyone wanting this palette, I hope you’ll be able to get it on sale!

MAC Glow Play Blush in No Shame!

I’m a big fan of MAC’s Glow Play blush formula, so I wasn’t satisfied with having just one from their collection. I got this for 50% off on Black Friday.
These blushes tend to look more vibrant and pigmented than they actually look on the skin, which can be tricky in trying to figure out which shades would work for me. No Shame! takes a lot of building up to get it to show on my cheeks, but the end result is pretty. It has that familiar putty-like texture that sets to a natural finish, just like the others.

At the time that I’m writing this, I cannot find this shade on the website any longer. I think it’s safe to assume it has been discontinued, and I believe the reason is because of the release of HD Cherry Tree.

MAC Wild Cherry Collection Glow Play Blush in HD Cherry Tree

HD Cherry Tree is like a deeper, slightly more berry version of No Shame!. Quite a few people managed to get their hands on this blush before the US launch, so I purchased mine from one of them (and for less than the retail price)! I was unlucky that as soon as I flipped it over to let the plastic protector naturally fall out, the entire blush popped out with it. However, since it’s a bouncy blush, I was able to squish it back in the compact. Good as new!

I’ve only purchased the Glow Play shades that I think would show up on me, and it’s a bit unfortunate that they look quite similar to each other.

My hope is for MAC to expand the range even further to fill in some gaps, like a medium-deep reddish brown, a terracotta, and a deep pink-mauve. Then again, I’m trying to buy fewer MAC products, so maybe it’s good that they don’t have those shade options!

The Wild Cherry collection is limited edition, but I wonder if MAC intends to make HD Cherry Tree a permanent shade in the future, but without the special packaging. There are two other Glow Play blushes in the Wild Cherry line, but I don’t plan on buying them. Between the Wild Cherry packaging and last year’s Black Cherry packaging, I prefer the look of this new one.

MAC x Lisa Blush in Melba

There isn’t much to say about this blush since I already reviewed it before, but I wanted it for the limited edition packaging since purple is my favorite color. I know Lisa is from the band BLACKPINK, but I don’t listen to their music, so the collab aspect didn’t entice nor deter me.
Melba only works for me when I’m at my lightest (typically winter), so I gave my original blush to my sister. This color is still so difficult to get it to show on camera*, but it is visible in person. After wanting to repurchase it for so many months, I decided to go ahead and do it when it was 40% off on Veteran’s Day. Around that time or soon after, I saw the sneak peeks of the MAC x L collection, but I had no idea they would repromote yet another product and that it would be Melba! It worked out in the end since I gifted my new and unused standard packaging version of Melba to the friend who gave me the Lunar New Year Tiger palette.

*Another photo showing Melba is in the Illuminate Face Palette section demonstrating how GoldieLush looks on the cheeks.

I’d like to add that my last purchases directly from MAC’s website was last November and December and both of them were listed as delivered according to the tracking history on my account page (I didn’t get shipping confirmation for either one), but they never arrived. I had to contact customer service for reshipment. Prior to that, my eyeshadow palette from the Tempting Fate collection was lost in the mail (after already being delayed for a week before getting shipped). I would typically view the carriers as responsible for undelivered mail, but the lack of shipping confirmation in two of those instances makes me wonder if the fulfillment center nearest to me is having issues and if it’s fixed by now.

MAC Pro Face Palette: Illuminate

I was eligible for a free birthday gift in November, which was supposed to be an eyeshadow quad. Only three out of four shades were in stock, and it wouldn’t let me add them to my cart without choosing a non-existent fourth available shade. I asked customer service what I should do in this instance, since you can only redeem the gift with a purchase and I only had a few days left before the offer expired. The solution was to send me this palette, which I jumped on since I don’t really like MAC eyeshadows anyway.

This palette consists of cream highlighters that have an almost waxy texture. It reminds me of both edge gel and the Danessa Myricks Dew Wet Balms. I didn’t have high hopes because products in that consistency tend to remove my foundation underneath it, and this one did too, but it’s easy to apply a little concealer back on top without interfering with the shine level. Unlike the Dew Balm, this gave a perfectly smooth wet sheen without looking greasy. It doesn’t dry completely, but it’s not dewy enough for my hair to cling to it either. I was very happy with the results! It also makes a great base to intensify powder highlighters that are applied on top of it, although I don’t usually go for the super highlighted look. Powder highlighters are my preference, so I don’t know how often I’ll actually use this, but it certainly made a nice birthday gift!

Please ignore the slightly lingering indent on my skin from wearing a mask. I took 3 of the 4 photos on the same day, which is why GoldieLush doesn’t have that mark.

They look nearly identical in photos, but the slight pink tinge in Starry Opal, the light silvery tone of Malted Milk, the traditional medium gold in GoldieLush, and the orange tint to Peach Plush are identifiable in person.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Dark Tan

I wanted to try this powder for so long, but trying to figure out which shade I should choose out of Dark, Dark Tan, Dark Golden, Dark Deep, and Dark Deepest (which didn’t look all that deep in all the photos and videos I scoured the internet to find) was quite frustrating. It’s helpful when brands list their products by order of either lightest to darkest or darkest to lightest, but these didn’t seem to follow that order all the way, which added to my confusion. The biggest difference between multiples of them seem to be the undertone, but MAC doesn’t have any descriptions of these shades. It would be great if the brand created a chart pairing MAC foundation shades with the suggested powder matches.

This powder tends to look lighter on camera, so it took ages for me to get an accurate photo. I can understand now why the same shade looks so different in the photos and videos I’ve seen others take too.

Based on the broken up powder photos from MAC’s website, I thought Dark Tan and Dark Deep were my two best options, but I questioned whether Dark Deep was slightly too dark and possibly a bit orange. Since powders can sometimes deepen on my skin when I wear a dewy foundation, I decided to ultimately get Dark Tan. Dark Tan is admittedly a tad light, but it still works for me. The bigger issue I have is that it looks a little dry on my skin because I grew unaccustomed to having such a matte look to my face, plus it being a bit light. I have only used this a few times, so I will continue to experiment some more using different brushes. It’s possible I applied too much or that it looks better with other complexion products. Because I was so iffy about whether I’d like this powder or be able to select the right shade, I decided to wait as long as it took for this product to finally be on sale for higher than 30%. It took years, but I was thrilled when MAC added this to the 50% off deal for Black Friday. So, that made satisfying my curiosity less of a financial hit!

This is everything new I’ve added to my collection from MAC so far. I do intend to get the Magnificent Moon Extra Dimension x 4 highlighter quad palette when it gets released. Of course, I shouldn’t because I’m on a highlighter no-buy, but this falls in line with one of the exceptions listed in my Beauty Resolutions post. I love moons. It’s one of the central aspects of my one and only tattoo, so that kind of imagery is significant for me. Other than that, I’m going to continue trying to slow down on the frequency of my MAC purchases so I can enjoy what I already have!

Thank you for reading!

-Lili

MAC x Rosalia Aute Cuture and MAC Collection Update

After the slightly disappointing Tempting Fate release, I wasn’t sure if I should get anything from the MAC x Rosalia Aute Cuture Collection. However, the gorgeous face palette just named “EXTRA DIMENSION SKINFINISH X 4: R PICKS” was calling to me. I love the Extra Dimension formulas and MAC tends to nail their staple products and long standing formulas, so it was a little lower of a risk to purchase it.
Today, I’m reviewing the quad from the collection, showing how the shades look on me, and giving some comparison swatches. I’m also going to review other MAC products I’ve purchased but haven’t featured here until now.

I should also mention that three products I’m reviewing today are collaborations, but I have very limited knowledge of the artists and designer MAC chose to work with, so I’m focused on the products and not the celebrities.

MAC x Rosalia Extra Dimension Skinfinish x 4: R Picks (Limited Edition)

My very first thought when I saw this palette was how much it reminded me of the Dior Backstage face palettes that also come in four shades and have a very similar embossing in the pans. Dior’s is $45 for 10 grams ($4.50 per gram) and MAC’s is $60 for 16 grams ($3.75 per gram). A higher than usual price is to be expected with collaborations, and MAC’s palette still has a better price per gram, but I wasn’t planning to get it without a discount. Ulta released a $15 off a $50 purchase coupon, so that’s how I ended up with this product and I’m so happy I did!

For those interested in details about the packaging, this palette is made of cardboard but there is a thin plastic layer around the edges of the pans and mirror. This makes it look more sleek, glossy, and gives the illusion of being made out of a solid sturdy plastic on the inside, even though it is not. I don’t mind the cardboard, so I think adding the thin plastic covering was a clever move to elevate the packaging in a cost effective way. I also like the texture of the raised “R” pattern I can feel on the outer print of the palette.

I was thrilled to see the peachy pink blush tone shade, Guindilla, is wearable on my skin despite being such a light color. I have to build it up in order to get it to show, but it still works without becoming too glowy because this shade has less shimmer in it than the other three and it has more of a satin texture to the powder than the others. It’s also less shimmery than the line of Extra Dimension Blushes. I’m very glad it doesn’t have a harsh metallic reflect that some blush-highlighter hybrids possess, such as the Coloured Raine Glowlighters. I can wear this as a blush, but it also makes a nice blush topper. I’ve only tried it once as a standalone highlighter. It works but the shine is subtle and has to be built up.

The one I thought I would get the least use out of is Rosa Peach, the “tan gold” shade. It’s a bit light for my skin tone, but it doesn’t look as off if I apply it closer to where my blush starts on my cheekbone. I really don’t like Rosa Peach on my bare skin or non-blush areas because the blush is what keeps it somewhat matching in tone. I use a small amount and try to really blend it in to make it work.

The shade I figured would best suit me, and it does, is Miel de Azhar. It’s not as dark as it appears in the pan. A small amount of Maca or Rosa Peach will pop on my face, but with this bronze color, I can keep it looking subtle with a light layer or build it up to medium intensity. I can only guess that perhaps a shade like this could be used to bronze someone with a lighter skin tone, but the shimmer level might be too much for some people for bronzing purposes.

The yellow coloring of Maca works better with my undertone, but it’s still a bit light for me. So, I use it sparingly and blend it in. My preference though is to apply Miel de Azhar to my face and then use Maca for strategic highlighting where I want even more brightness.

My shirt color (in conjunction with lighting) can sometimes throw off what my skin tone appears like on camera, so I made sure to post additional photos wearing the shades from this palette. Black clothing tends to have the best results, but I don’t like wearing the same thing all the time. Between the face photos and swatches, I hope these are still helpful.

MAC x Teyana Taylor Mineralize Skinfinish in House of Petunia (Limited Edition/Discontinued)

I missed this when it initially launched, so I was surprised when MAC restocked it earlier this year and it coincided with either a big sale or it was in the “goodbyes” sale section. I can’t remember. It’s a light warm gold in the Mineralize Skinfinish formula with a pearly sheen and larger visible shimmer particles randomly throughout. Sometimes it looks nice on me but sometimes my brush picks up too much pearl and/or glitter particles and then I don’t like the effect. So with each use I never know if I will like how it looks on me or not. For that reason, I don’t wear it as much as I originally hoped. I try to use a little and keep it sheer but it can be intensified with a heavier application and especially if applied on a damp face (like with MAC Fix + sprayed first).

MAC x Harris Reed Embrace Your Duality Palette (Limited Edition)

It really looks like it says “Harry” on the cover of the compact, but it is indeed “Harris.” One of my best friends purchased the eyeshadow palette and wasn’t thrilled with the quality, so I didn’t get anything from this collection at first, even though I really wanted the packaging. When this was in the “Goodbyes” section (where MAC has products discounted before being discontinued) for $10, I thought I might as well get it and see if I had better luck with the colour bases than my friend had with the shadows.

These bases can be used on the eyelids, cheeks, and body. On the eyes, these crease on me within minutes, so it’s a no-go. With the Tempting Fate collection, I found that adding a layer of powder over the creamy Leather Lustre shades helped with creasing, so I’ve tried that with these bases as well. It helps for about an hour, so that’s not long enough for me to want to use it again unless it’s strictly on the lid and away from the crease of my eyes and where it’s partially hooded.

The pink shade, Over Ambitious, feels like a cream blush and applies beautifully to the skin. It’s not completely transfer proof, but once it sets it will mostly stay in place and hair won’t stick to the face. I attempted to do a blush-draping look with it and really liked how it turned out! The glittery yellow gold shade, called Be Your Own Light, is greasier in consistency with a gritty texture. It looks pretty from afar but it’s way too sparkly for my liking up close.

I’m not interested in putting makeup on my body, so I haven’t tried these anywhere other than my face. This product is no longer on the US website, but the last time I checked, I saw it was still available on MAC’s Canadian website. Perhaps it’s also still for sale in other parts of the world. Although I don’t like these on the eyes or the yellow shade as highlighter, I love the pink shade as blush, so I do recommend it at the discounted price for anyone who may come across it.

MAC Glow Play Blush in Heat Index

This was one of two blushes in the Glow Play line that I debated getting, but ultimately, the blog post from Nikki is what helped me decide to go with the Heat Index shade instead. When I became interested in MAC products again, her blog was especially helpful, so I recommend any MAC lovers to check it out!
I am such a fan of this Glow Play formula and wish MAC would extend the shade range. They do have quite a few already, but most are on the light side or are tones I don’t wear. The texture of this blush is most similar to the Stila Heaven’s Hue highlighters. It’s a buildable formula that works well with my Sonia G Mini Base brush. I’ve also successfully used it with my fingers, but I have not tried it with a sponge. MAC frequently has deals going on and the most recent one of 30% off just ended a week ago. With so many brands now with so many good cream formulas at affordable prices, I can’t say I recommend getting this at full price, but it’s absolutely worth it for 30% or more.

MAC Mineralize Blush in Flirting with Danger

The last time I reviewed the Mineralize Blush line, I wasn’t a fan of how dry the shades looked on my skin. I decluttered all of them except Love Thing and was determined to keep away from this formula of blush. However, when I saw Flirting With Danger in person at the MAC store, I couldn’t get it out of my mind and ended up purchasing it during one of the sales. I love this blush so much! It’s the perfect mix of red and orange but in a wearable natural tone, as opposed to something hot and poppy like Electric Bloom from Pat Mcgrath. I like vibrant blushes sometimes, but I also appreciate a version that’s a bit more toned down like this one. I will probably still avoid getting anymore Mineralize Blushes in the future, but I’m happy to have this one and Love Thing.

Also, this shade is quite pigmented, so I use a small amount and love the sheered out look on my cheeks. I’m not restricted to using a light fluffy brush. I can use a dense one with it as well, as long as I just use one tap and really work it into my skin.

MAC Extra Dimension Blush in Under My Plum (Limited Edition from the Black Cherry Collection/Discontinued)

For some reason I thought I already reviewed this on my blog! I posted about it on Instagram ages ago and I took all the product photos and even had comparison photos ready, but I don’t know what happened. In any case, Under My Plum performs just like all the other Extra Dimension blushes, but I think it’s a little less shimmery (or at least the shimmer in it is darker and less noticeable). It’s distinctly different in color to the other shades I own, but on the cheek it really isn’t that much different than Faux Sure or Sweets For My Sweet. It’s even listed as a dupe on Temptalia’s blog for the shade Wrapped Candy in this same formula.

This isn’t available for purchase anymore. If you skipped it, but you own any of the other shades I mentioned, I don’t think you’re missing out. I used it a few times and then went right back to wearing Faux Sure, my favorite in that line.
If it’s the packaging you feel you missed out on, MAC will apparently be bringing a similar shiny pink compact back in 2022. I’ll link my source. Petallic Metallic is not a new shade, but I don’t believe they’ve done this exact packaging before. I’m also not sure if they’re only doing Extra Dimension Skinfinishes for Spring or if they will have blushes in the collection as well.

Photo credit: to Angelnaked_1 on Instagram. That user’s original account (Angelnaked1) was reported so many times by brands that Instagram removed it. The person returned now as Angelnaked_1.

MAC Pro Refill Blush in Dollymix and Swiss Chocolate (Discontinued)

Earlier this year, MAC really whittled down their permanent blush collection. Before that happened, I was able to get Swiss Chocolate, which I realized I could possibly use it as either a bronzer or contour. In person, I saw it was too warm for contouring, but it’s dark enough that it still sculpts a little. So, I use that shade sometimes as a brontour, but not a blush. It was part of the Powder formula and is unfortunately discontinued.

I also bought Dollymix, in the Sheertone Shimmer blush formula, which is still available at MAC. It’s like a less pigmented and shimmer version of the shade Fleur Power. It’s pretty, but I’m not likely to reach for it over my go-to MAC favorites.

That concludes the review! For anyone wondering what my total MAC blush collection is looking like now, I’ve sold or given away 7 but I still have 29! I have to admit, it’s pretty insane, but that’s how much I love their blushes!

I know there are a few more collections that will release this year from MAC (like the upcoming MAC x Lisa in early December), but I don’t think I’ll purchase anything else from them until 2022.

Thank you for reading! This is actually my 100th post! Even though I’ve had this blog since 2015, the bulk of my posts have been from 2020 and onward. That’s why it took so long to reach this milestone, but we’re here!
Have a great week and I hope you’ll come back again next Monday!

-Lili

MAC Tempting Fate Collection

The Tempting Fate Collection’s gilded baroque packaging, unique textures, and overall fall aesthetic earn it the title of the most beautiful release from MAC in 2021, according to me. I limited my purchases to the three items I would use the most or don’t have as many of in my collection. I ordered the lipstick first from MAC and it arrived within days. The palette, which I ordered the next day when it became available, got lost in transit for a few weeks and had to be reshipped to me. The particular shade of strobe glaze was only available in the UK at the time, so I ordered it from Selfridges. Now that I have all the items together, I can finally review the collection!

MAC Tempting Fate Lipstick in Tarnished Reputation

There are six shades total ranging from a pale nude to deep berry in matte or amplified lipstick finishes. Tarnished Reputation is in the matte formula and though it looks pink-orange in some lighting, this pulls vibrant coral orange on my lips. It’s a bit too bright for my taste on its own, but I like the way it looks with a dark lip liner.

I only have a few MAC lip products, so my experience with them is limited, but I believe this is their traditional formula and quality. It also has the familiar vanilla scent. If you’re a fan of MAC lipsticks, I think you will like the ones in this collection too.

MAC Tempting Fate Strobe Face Glaze in Punk in Spice

There are three shades total. As of October 1st, Punk In Spice has yet to be made available in the US from MAC. However, I could get it from Selfridges US and it’s also now at Look Fantastic US. When I spoke with a MAC representative, they said the shade was not UK exclusive, but they did not have a date as to when it would be available elsewhere. I watched this review from Sinem Salih who did an amazing job making me want this strobe glaze even though the product looked so sheer I wondered if it would even be worth the price. I could also clearly see how gel-like the effect was on her cheek, but I still wanted it! I hate that kind of texture but I somehow convinced myself Punk in Spice would change my mind and make me step outside my comfort zone to do some glossy editorial looks. I’m not convinced I did the right thing in buying this product, but I don’t fully dislike it.

For starters, I think it’s important to make clear that this MAC Strobe Glaze is very different from MAC’s Strobe Cream, which is a product I actually like as a glowy primer underneath foundation and liquid highlighter when patted back on top. The Strobe Cream gives a more traditional highlighted almost metallic shine. The Strobe Glaze is gel-like and a bit greasy when rubbed in. The purpose is to give a dewy wet look when used subtly or full on glossiness. It reminds me of a combination of Danessa Myrick’s Dew Wet Balm with Colourpop’s Cheek Dew Serum Blush formula. At first I was using what I considered a small amount and absolutely hated the look. However, I realized I needed to use the tiniest amount to get a palatable glossy cheek.

In the leftmost photo in the gallery above, I show what my small amount looked like on my cheek (which I despised) and the other photos showed how I was able to tone it down when using that much. Applying a light layer of any kind of powder over the Strobe Glaze kept some of the shimmer but made it look less glossy. It was still greasy to the touch, but a lot less sticky than before. The biggest downside though to using this amount of product is that it gave my skin more of a textured look and I noticed lines I hadn’t seen before.

Although I could use the product this way with powders on top or to intensify a powder highlighter, if I wanted to use the product on its own and actually be happy with it, I needed to use half as much as I was before!

I have a large face, so this is the amount that works for me per cheek, but if you have a smaller face you may want to use even less! I can get Punk In Spice to look even more to my liking when I dab the remnants of my foundation on the brush on top of it. It tones down the glossiness but leaves the shine. Eventually after about an hour or so it finally dries down. Sticky products on my face usually drive me nuts, but this product is so lightweight that it thankfully doesn’t bother me. Though it dries to the point of no longer being sticky, I can still feel greasiness if I rub the spot where it was applied, so this product is really not for someone who likes cheek products to dry down to nothing.
I should also note that the ideal order for me to use this is applying it to my bare skin in areas I want the wet look and applying foundation and all the rest of my makeup after. I would prefer to leave the concealer step last since this takes off some of my concealer anyway and I need to cover the spots back up because of my intensely dark under eye circles. Plus, setting the concealer with powder will help to set the Strobe Glaze further in the spots where the two products touch.

If I utilize these tips, I see myself continuing to use this from time to time after my review, which is shocking considering I normally hate glossy-balmy highlighting products. For those who want that glossy dewy cheek, the Danessa Myricks Dew Wet Balm produces a prettier look. Feel free to see photos in my past review to compare. I ended up selling my Dew Balm anyway. The only reason I would keep using Punk in Spice is because using it with other products like foundation, powder, and highlighter reduces the feeling on my skin I tend not to like, as well as being able to use it by itself if I only use the tiniest amount. The tiniest amount of Danessa’s Dew Balm was still too much for my personal taste on its own. MAC’s Strobe Glazes have only been limited edition thus far, but it’s a permanent product in Danessa’s line. Then again, Punk in Spice will likely go bad before I could even use up a quarter of what’s in the tube because of how little product is needed. I believe the Rose Gold Glow shade of Strobe Glaze would require a ton of product though if you are of light-medium and darker skin tone and want to use it as a blush.

For my personal taste, the Strobe Cream is better than the Strobe Glaze (even though it’s more expensive), but I knew going in that the Strobe Glaze wasn’t a product meant for me. As much as I like the Strobe Cream, I enjoy the free samples and don’t love it enough to actually buy the full size, which really says a lot about my take on liquid illuminating products. I always still prefer a powder highlighter.

MAC Tempting Fate Feast Your Eyes Eyeshadow Palette

MAC says this palette contains three textures never seen before from their collections: Metallized Prismetallic Eye Shadow (All That Jam), Luminous Leather Lustre Eye Shadow (Yesterday’s Gossip, Golden Rage, Midnight Stunner*, Brocade Renegade), and Glitzy Sparkler Eye Shadow (Feast Your Eyes, What a Pear, Velvet Vamp).
MAC classified Midnight Stunner as a Leather Lustre on their website and on the actual packaging, but the other three Leather Lustres are like a cream-powder hybrid with a satin matte finish. Midnight Stunner is most similar to the Glitzy Sparkler What a Pear in terms of pigmentation and texture. The shimmer in both of them aren’t as sparse, nor with as transparent of a base, as Feast Your Eyes and Velvet Vamp. However, if those three are considered Glitzy Sparklers then surely Midnight Stunner should be one as well. So, I believe that shade was mislabeled. It wouldn’t be the first mistake with this collection considering every single one of my eyeshadow pans are skewed to the left and have gaps between the shadows and the edges of the circular cutouts. While I waited for the palette to arrive, I had plenty of time to watch videos and I could see that this misalignment of the shadows was a common occurrence. The palette has not been restocked (even though everything else that sold out since the launch has been restocked multiple times), so if it does become available again, I hope they will have fixed the issue for everyone else. It says a lot about where MAC is at as a company by letting these be sold in this condition. MAC Limited Edition releases are some of the most coveted collector items within the makeup world, so to have them so sloppily put together with a possible misprint as well is an indication of the drop in quality MAC fans have been noticing in the last few years.

MAC’s eyeshadows are among the very few products I don’t like from the brand, but since these are all new formulas, I was hopeful this would be different. I’m happy to say I really like this palette but I had to figure out how to use the Leather Lustres because my goodness the longevity was atrocious!

If you’ve used this product and had no issues, please let me know in the comment section what kind of eye primer you use or whether you have dry or oily eyelids because I would love to know how others use this without using the tips I’ll be sharing here today.

I have to start by explaining I use MAC Paint Pot as my eyeshadow primer, and one would expect there to be zero issues when using MAC products together. However, after about three hours I noticed major creasing and fading of the Leather Lustres specifically from that point onward. After experimenting many times, I discovered these only work with MAC Paint Pot if I put the Leather shade on top of it and then set it with a powder. It doesn’t work if I set the Paint Pot with powder before applying the Leather shades. The powder has to be the last step.

With Paint Pot as the base and set with powder, there is still minor creasing after three hours. By seven hours the creasing is more noticeable and the shadow fades in some spots. At 8 hours it’s still pretty good overall, but it will only continue to get worse from this point on.

If I want the absolute best results where longevity and creasing are not issues, I have to apply the Leather shades to my bare skin, apply a powder on top to set it, and then use Nyx Glitter Primer on the eyelids in order to lock the shimmers in place and produce a more opaque look. With this method, the eyeshadows will still be going strong after eight hours. By eleven hours there is barely any change except to the Yesterday’s Gossip shade which I can’t get to last no matter what method I use. Applying the shimmers to the lid while damp can still work to pack on the shade enough to cover the skin underneath and keep the shimmer in place, but I do notice some cracking and wearing off that starts around eight hours of wear. So, I very much recommend sticking to the bare eye method from the crease and above but Nyx Glitter Primer under the shimmer shades.

Feast Your Eyes and Velvet Vamp are great on their own for a scattered glitter type of effect and they are so much more reflective and sparkly than my photos show. I couldn’t capture how multicolored they look in swatches with my camera’s focus setting, so that’s why the picture below of Velvet Vamp is blurry.

Because of how beautiful the Glitzy Sparkler shades are, I still feel as though the palette is special. All That Jam was also quite the surprise with how pigmented it was and how easily it applied to the lid with opaque results without any additional help. It’s also the star of the palette along with the Glitzy Sparkler formula.

Going back the the Leather Lustres, I have to add that beyond the longevity issue, they are a stiff formula and require a dense brush to have the pigmentation level I need for my skin tone. For the crease, I use them with the Sonia G Jumbo Blender. Sometimes I’m impatient and skip using brushes altogether and apply them to my lids with my fingers for the fastest results. I think overall, this entire palette is very much geared towards those who like to apply shadows with their fingers.

Brocade Renegade is the deepest shade in the palette, but it’s such a bright purple that it doesn’t add much depth, so it’s impossible for me to get anything but a soft look for my skin tone. MAC describes this palette as “rich” and “decadent” but that isn’t the case for me, especially since Golden Rage, the shade that looks dark chocolate in the pan is a very warm mid tone brown. It’s so warm that it’s nearly orange. I don’t mind, but it limits the kind of look I can achieve using this palette alone. It’s not a unique color story, but overall, I do really like this palette since I know how to use it. The only shade that is truly a dud for me is Yesterday’s Gossip and that’s because it doesn’t last on me, looks quite ashy on my lids, and I don’t get as much of the pink tone as I’d like. It’s only really good as a brow bone shade, but it ends up just looking like my skin tone anyway.

There’s one other aspect I would like to address which is that I noticed MAC changed the photo on the website to reflect a palette where the shades are arranged differently than mine. Even in the featured photo section of the page, you see two different MAC employees from different countries where one has the palette in the order of the shades on the website (from Thailand) and the other has them in the order of my palette (from Mexico).

I don’t know if this is purely a matter of some MAC employees getting their hands on a promotional palette that looks more aesthetically pleasing arranged in this new way or yet another clue pointing toward production issues. Is it merely a difference in look? Are these other palettes formulated differently? Was this how the shades were intended to be arranged all along, but palettes like mine were sloppily put together because of a manufacturing issue? Is the arrangement difference intentional based on regional preferences or miscommunication between multiple manufacturing sites? If MAC does restock this palette, will they all be arranged in this way on the website or do different countries get a different arrangement?
I wish I had the answers, but contacting MAC has been unhelpful in the past, so I don’t think I would get an helpful answer to this either.

This collection was not the slam dunk that I thought it would be, but I still like it. I’m rooting for MAC to become that “It” brand it used to be with a higher standard of quality again with some innovation and creativity. It’s hard to forget how badly they botched that Sims collaboration from their end. With talks of a Whitney Houston Estate collaboration planned for 2022 and the photos I’ve seen sneak peeked for Holiday 2021, I don’t know if I’ll be getting my wish.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

-Lili