Swatchfest #5: MAC, Colourpop, About-Face, Rare Beauty, and More

Today’s post certainly includes swatches, but I’ve worn most of the products between 1-3 times. So, I thought it might be nice to add my initial impressions along with it, considering I did not bringing any of these on the trip with me and this could be as close as I get to reviewing them. However, if my initial impressions are vastly off or if I discover additional useful information about the items, I’ll update this post (anytime from June ’23 and onward).

MAC Underground Limited Edition of 1000, MAC New Year Shine Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Beaming Blush, and MAC x Richard Quinn Powder Blush Duo in Sunset Boulevard (Bronze and Coral)

Starting with multi-colored (at least in the pan) highlighter, I actually purchased Precious on February 18, 2023 even though the initial release was in Summer of 2020. I remember how much I regretted not stalking the website, missing out on that launch, and not even being able to buy it from resellers because they were putting it for sale at $100 or more! So, when I recently saw it available on MAC’s US website, I thought it must be a mistake considering they only made 1000 and they sold out extremely quickly. Then, I thought maybe they did a limited re-release. However, mine actually had the number 690 written on the box, which leads me to believe MAC may have misplaced some of that initial inventory from three years ago. I was surprised to see that this order was shipped from Canada (even though I ordered from the US site), which I don’t believe is a usual occurrence with my orders and further leads me in the direction of suspecting this was a misplaced item recently found and put back up for sale. The link I included above had broken (not visible) photos too, which is also why I expected it to be mistakenly made live on the website and thought my order would be cancelled. So, I was quite surprised when it went through and I got it!

It was listed as “low stock” for about ten days before it sold out again. I apologize for not posting about it on my blog or Instagram sooner! I hadn’t expected it to be available for that long.

The swatches above are the only ones I took of it. Since it’s definitely not a wearable color for me, I plan on not touching it again and just keeping it for collector purposes just like I wanted to back then! Also, I wonder if MAC will ever make something like this again. It’s so visually stunning and from every angle!

Next on the list to discuss is this year’s Lunar New Year release. Both highlighters in the New Year Shine packaging are previously released shades. Show Gold looked gold but had a stronger pink hue on the skin. The one I purchased, Beaming Blush, looks pink while appearing much more gold on my skin. I was drawn to the embossing, the colors, and packaging from the beginning, but they looked so frosty and light in photos that I didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off until I watched B Rich Beauty on YouTube show the collection and compare them. This one does indeed work for me!

The photos I took are all of Beaming Blush at various angles and light situations to show how it goes from pink to gold.

I do happen to have one photo wearing Beaming Blush, but I was wearing the Rituel de Fille Thorn Oil as primer and wearing a mix of two different Armani Color Melting Balms for blush, which means the highlighter looked extra smooth and merged even more with my skin because of these wet ingredients. Beaming Blush isn’t a glittery highlighter by any means and does still work for my skin tone, but it is a little more stark if I’m not wearing my winter foundation, a pink blush, and my skin is drier. The actual formula though is no different from MAC’s other Extra Dimension highlighters, which is a good thing since it’s one of the products MAC nails.

Then, we have the MAC x Richard Quinn Collection with the gorgeous floral print fabric outer packaging. It has a very nice tactile feel to it. I purchased my duo from Selfridges, but it’s now available in the US.

As a packaging lover, I knew I had to get at least something from the Collection, but the makeup isn’t very dark-skin friendly between the pastel eyeshadows and light silvery-beige highlighter, but I thought I had a decent chance of the blush duo working for me.

I was right about the “bronze” portion, which isn’t actually named Bronze, but described as that color. It’s quite close to MAC’s Coppertone blush, which is one that only shows when I’m at my lightest. It’s brown with a slight bit of rosiness to it. It’s just like any other MAC powder blush I’ve used before. Long-lasting, buildable, and blendable. I have to build it up for the color to show, but it works for me right now. As for the pink portion, the “coral,” looks ashy on me. It’s much too light, especially with the cooler tone to it. In terms of depth, it’s on par with Melba, but Melba is peachier, which is why I can rock that one when I’m at my lightest. Unsurprisingly, I don’t have many other shade dupes for Coral.

Colourpop x Snow White Magic Mirror, Super Shock Blush in Fair Enough, Lip Scrub in Just One Bite, and Colourpop x High School Musical Powder Blush in Playoffs

I didn’t need a new mirror, but I have a difficult time resisting unusual shaped ones, like the Colourpop x Hocus Pocus one in the shape of a cat head. This is another collector item purchase.

The Just One Bite lip scrub has very fine sugar granules and smells like apples, but thankfully it’s not an overpowering smell. As nice as it is for there to be small crystals, lip scrubs barely work for me because they just aren’t strong enough no matter how much I rub them across my lips. I still wanted this anyway because I’ve been in the mood for DIY projects and know that I could always clean out this cute apple container and replace it with a lip balm that works better for me, or travel size skincare, etc. I’ve done this kind of repurposing with Tony Moly products, including their Red Apple Hand Cream container that’s much larger than the lip scrub one from Colourpop.

I love Super Shock face products from Colourpop, and with this adorable packaging and this shade, I had to grab this one even though I knew it would be shimmery and I’m a little less interested in that type from Colourpop unless it’s a highlighter. As I suspected, the shimmer particles in this one are borderline to my comfort level. The specks are medium sized but a reflective gold that’s absolutely beautiful, but not the most natural looking on the cheeks. I absolutely love the color of this one and can see myself continuing to wear it on occasions that I don’t mind pronounced shimmer and am not going for a subtle look. A product like this is going to be the star of a makeup look because of how much it stands out.

As for the High School Musical blush, I bought it because of how much Angelica Nyqvist was raving about it. It’s true that this is my type of color and it does have a very soft feel to the blush. For some reason though, I wasn’t as impressed when I put it on my cheeks, and that has nothing to do with the formula. I think I just prefer to have a satin or shimmer finish when I wear blushes of this color. So, all I could think about while wearing it was that I prefer the Bare Minerals Blonzer in Kiss of Rose, Hourglass At Night, or even all my pink/red MAC blush shades despite how much more expensive those are compared to this one from Colourpop. I’m also wearing matte blushes less often lately, so this could be something I end up likely a lot more in the future. Also, I wore it while testing out some less glowy foundations, so it’s possible I could like it more if it was on top of something glowier, so I could feel like I wasn’t looking so dry. Playoffs is one of the few items I could see myself changing my mind about for the better. For now, though, it’s just okay.

about-face Cheek Freak Blush Balms in Cowgirl and Smash

I bought these during Black Friday last year, but didn’t get around to trying it for the first time until recently. By then, I had completely forgotten these are supposed to be “balms” and intentionally sheer. They still build up to a nice amount of pigment. It feels oily as it instantly melts from the touch of my finger, but as I dab and smooth it onto my cheeks, it takes on a velvety finish and feels a little more silicone-like. It reminds me of the way the One/Size Cheek Clapper in the cream feels after it’s applied to the cheeks. I love that it fully dries down. I like the shade Smash the most. Cowgirl is more orange and less terracotta than I wanted. These look darker in promo photos and in the compact than they will appear on the skin. I’ve used these with a brush and fingers, though I prefer using my finger. I have not tried them with a sponge.

I’ve worn them on bare skin and over foundation, but prefer them over foundation because it gives a blurred and diffused look with the veil of color it leaves on the cheeks. On my bare skin, the vibrancy of color with how sheer they are was an unnatural combination to me, but I have a lot of discoloration, which may have contributed to why I felt that way.

Regarding the longevity, my longest wear test has been eight hours and there was noticeable fading, but I still had enough color by the end of the night to be satisfied. It just faded to looking like a subtle flush, but it might still look vibrant on someone with a lighter skin tone than me.
My first impression of this line of blushes is overall a good one. It’s only the color variety that keeps it from being a blush that I’m obsessed with. The line has shades that are a bit too on-the-nose for me. I prefer the nuance of a pink-brown, orange-pink, brown-red, etc. I think I like Smash the most because it’s actually a rosy red and that makes it a little more interesting than a basic red. I know it’s a bit strange to want something different when the brand simultaneously goes so far as including various purples and berries in the line that are definitely more unique types of colors to the market. So, I acknowledge that the brand does have “normal” and out there type of blushes, but I would love to see an expansion of the line to include something between the two. The fact that I instantly went on the website to try and see if they had other shades that I would prefer (they currently do not), is a testament to it being a very interesting product. I really like the formula and just need the perfect color for it to be a favorite.

Rare Beauty Positive Light: Silky Touch Highlighter and Liquid Luminizer Highlight in Flaunt

I’ve shown the liquid highlighter before when I tried it as a sample in this post, and I specifically said I wouldn’t buy a full-size (only a mini), but I did it anyway!

I didn’t like the powder version at first because it was so intense and sparkly. What I did not know is that it can actually look smooth depending on the lighting situation. Robert Welsh posted a YouTube short explaining it and demonstrating how the highlighter looked in yellow light versus white light. Sure enough, I loved how it looked under warmer light. My ceiling fan I take pictures near has two daylight lights and a warm one, so depending on the spot I took swatches, it looked smoother or more intense. So, I like that this highlighter can be flattering, but the problem is that we cannot control what kind of lights will be around when we’re out and about. So, I don’t want to be paranoid about having a glittery cheek when I’m in public and caught in literally a bad light. So, it’s very possible I will end up decluttering this.

Rose Inc Refills: Cream Blush Refillable Cheek & Lip Color in Ophelia and Hibiscus and Satin Eyeshadow in Satin Cocoa

In that same post that I linked in the Rare Beauty section, I reviewed and demonstrated four different Rose Inc blush shades. I also showed the shade Wisteria here, and in my depotting post, I mentioned that saving the samples was keeping me from being tempted to buy more shades when I know that I don’t like the dewy feeling from them never drying down, which keeps the blushes from being a favorite even though I love the actual look of them.

However, Rose Inc temporarily added full-size blush refills to the free samples with order sidebar. They offer free shipping (at least to the US) with no price minimum and allow up to 2 free samples with orders. So, essentially, I bought the eyeshadow and got the two blushes for free! Plus, I was able to use a promo code to make the price even lower. There was no way I could pass that up! Especially since I have been curious to see what the eyeshadows would be like.
I haven’t worn these particular blush shades on my cheeks yet, but since I’m familiar with the formula already, I think it’s safe to wager they aren’t any different from the ones I’ve reviewed on this blog before.

Rose Inc currently has two eyeshadow formulas in two finishes, a satin and shimmer. I somehow mixed up the fact that the satin is a cream product and the shimmer is the pressed one. The green one I was most interested in was sold out, so I opted for Satin Cocoa as one can never go wrong with a pretty gold or bronze…or so I thought.

I have only tried these on bare lids and with the Danessa Myricks Blurring Balm because I know with my oily lids, I figured the cream would need some oil absorbing properties to last on my eyes, but that was a bad idea. I had instant creasing before I could even finish applying it on the other eye! The creasing got worse and within a few hours most of the eyeshadow was just gone from my eyes.

Unless a cream shadow dries down completely or I use one with thick mattes that I can essentially use as a barrier between my oils and the cream, ceasing is inevitable. However, to have it completely gone off my eyes by the four hour mark is a little less common. I’m not ready to completely write this off yet, as I have other primers and techniques I could try, but this is just a first impression.

Bobbi Brown x Tokidoki Mini Highlighting Powder in Pink Glow and Headband and Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush in Blushed Burgundy

There was a sale on the Toki Doki items on Bobbi Brown’s website last December, and any order of an item from the collection came with a free headband, so that was enough to steer me towards getting the mini highlighter (as one of the lower priced items available) even though I knew Pink Glow would be too light for me. This is yet another product I purchased for collector purposes. I’ve used Bobbi Brown’s highlighters before in this same formula, just different shades, and it’s quite pretty and very shimmery without being that glittery/sparkly level I don’t prefer. I think it’s a nice product, but I always end up feeling like MAC does it better for a lower price as well, even though formulas are probably shared under the Estee Lauder umbrella.

As for the Brightening Blush, I bought that from Selfridges in order to get it for a slightly lower price.
There are two different shimmery strips, which is nice for those who want something champagne and lighter or gold and deeper, though I can only isolate each color if I use a fan brush. With the main blush, which I believe is a satin-matte, it’s a little trickier to get just that color onto my blush brushes and avoid the shimmer. However, I personally find it prettier when I use them separately and keep the burgundy shade on my cheeks and put the gold shimmer on my cheekbones, versus swirling all of them together for a glowy cheek look. I’m not sure if it’s the champagne strip specifically that throws it off, but the shimmer just doesn’t look as refined to me when on top of the blush. However, it looked nice and smooth when just kept in the typical highlighting areas.

Oh! And I updated the Kaleidos post in the eyeliner section to show swatches of the additional Danessa Myricks multichrome liners that I bought.

That’s all I have for today! As I mentioned in last week’s post and on the Homepage, I’m spending two months in Germany and there’s a high chance posts will not be on the regular Monday schedule during this time. Thank you for reading!

Much love!