Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Haul & Swatches: MAC Marilyn Monroe

I've kept my nose out of MAC as much as I could this year. My collection had grown so much in a such a short time that it was getting out of hand. I've always purchased the limited edition ranges and tend not to buy anything else in between. However with multiple launches once a month, it was still easy to spend a fortune and with what feels like constant price increases, I just couldn't afford to buy everything I wanted, each time. If I completely ignore the new launches and don't go looking for swatches and things online then I manage to avoid being sucked in.  I've done well as you'll have noticed, the MAC hauls have been much more sporadic, until I heard of this collection. It's inspired by Marilyn Monroe and as she is my ultimate idol and has been since I was a little girl, there was no way I wanted to miss it.  I'd had a lot on at the beginning of this month and managed to miss it's launch on MAC, where it sold out very quickly and so then I went all into a panic until I remembered Debenhams would hopefully get it.  I get my beauty club points there and there's free delivery, so I've found myself switching to purchasing from there anyway rather than MAC and I don't have any stockists near me to see in person anyhow.
Generally speaking the colours in this collection weren't totally 'me'. Had they not had the special packaging, I wouldn't have purchased them. However I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by a couple of items. Speaking of the packaging, I was a little disappointed that MAC went with such generic images. There are thousands of black and white pictures of Marilyn and as a huge fan, I always gravitate towards the more unusual and less stereotypical portrayals of her. The Marilyn trying to look sexy in a gold or white dress type images feel overdone to me and can be found on merchandise that is, shall we say, less than tasteful! I just would've hoped for something a little more inspiring and unique, especially for the price. The sexy hat and stockings pictures have never been my favourites, that said, they've really grown on me. She looks sweet and vulnerable and it's quite simple but striking with the highlighting of signature red writing, so I've changed my mind!
Thankfully Debenhams came up trumps after I stalked the site until the second the products landed and managed to get everything I wanted (and with a bonus £10 worth of points).  First up are the lip products. The lipsticks were as you'd expect mostly red, with the exception of one nude. The lipglosses were Dazzleglass, which I know are a complete rip-off for the amount of gloss you get inside and should really be made from crushed diamonds when you calculate 10g would cost £92.50 (regular lipglass would be a third of that price)! However I was keen to get one for the packaging and I knew I'd use it despite the somewhat uninspiring shade selection.
As you know I'm not a massive red lip fan. I pretty much always feel uncomfortable in it and don't believe it suits me, but the collection wouldn't be a Marilyn collection without her signature red lip!
I decided to opt for Deeply Adored lipstick (£15.50) which is a Matte, deep scarlet according to the MAC site and I felt a little 'safer' going with that than a full-on, bright red. That said, it's much more bold than I realised and I quickly applied it when it arrived (without any other makeup on) and it's like shocking bright on me (nothing like the deep browny wine it looks in the tube)! I don't totally hate it though, I'm keen to make it work.  I forgot to include details of the boxes, they are glossy black with a red lip logo inside.  The actual cases don't have the cheap 'stickers' on them and the red Marilyn signature is slightly raised.
Of course I also purchased Pure Zen, which is a Cremesheen (my fave finish) and a 'frosted warm nude' according to MAC. This was a repromote which I've obviously missed in my 'ignoring MAC' phase, as we all know I gobble up any nudes that launch! I'm actually glad about that because I got to purchase it in pretty packaging instead. I wasn't that impressed with some of the images I'd seen of it online and figured it maybe wasn't that interesting, but I wore it last week during my lipstick challenge and it's a nice wee addition to my nude lip family. It's coming across cooler than it really looks in the product images here, but the swatches are more true.
Swatches show multiple layers versus two swipes and there's more swatches after my Dazzleglass.
So Dazzleglass (£18.50) was either Little Rock or Phiff! I had a feeling I already had the latter, which was a repromote, but actually I don't think I do. Anyway, I bought Little Rock instead, which is a 'soft sheer white with pearl', basically a sparkly white. I don't find sparkly lips particularly 'Marilyn', so I'm not sure a Dazzleglass was the right inclusion for this range, but it's a pretty gloss for layering anyway.
and swatches together with and without flash.
Onto the powder products and the eyeshadows (£16.50) were very much my type of colours to create a smokey eye. Sadly a lot of the shades were very similar and perhaps even quite sheer. The one that stood out to me, that I'd use most was Showgirl, a veluxe pearl, which is a dark, blue based grey. From online swatches it appeared to be the most pigmented and I think I could hit pan on this colour! I use blue-greys all the time and I'm not saying it's super unique, but I felt it was a worthy purchase for me and I'm pleased with the colour pay-off. These eyeshadows are large at 3g, the regular is 1.5g (£12), so it was actually good value for money too. Just another little note and again I was surprised at the finish of these shadows, I think the Marilyn eye is usually made from matte products rather than frost, so was surprised to see so much shimmer. Personally I'm happy with the shimmer but it's not a Marilyn-dupe for me.
Swatches later in the post. Next was powder blush (£19), both colours were very subtle which I thought kept with the theme, but as someone who loves her cheek colour, I fully expected to never use these and bought purely for the packaging. I like a nice, pop of colour and The Perfect Cheek and Legendary both came across as wishy-washy. I wasn't particularly bothered which one I got, if anything I was leaning more towards Legendary and actually it was the only one Debenhams had in stock, so I got that. It's a satin and pale soft coral according to MAC. This was one of the products I was pleasantly surprised with. It's an absolutely beautiful shade on me and I've practically worn it every day since I got it! There is some colour to it and it's also very buildable and not chalky like I thought-I'm not saying it would work on darker skins (actually there was a very poor choice (no choice at all) of face products for darker skins, but I guess they wanted to keep with the pale-skinned, platinum haired theme, which unfortunately excluded a massive demographic). I'm really chuffed this one wasn't £19 wasted; I'll use it lots.
The Beauty Powder (£23.50) was possibly the most extravagant purchase because I own tonnes of highlighters and considering the little amount you use each time coupled with the fact I usually forget to apply any most days, they basically look pretty in my collection but remain unused. I've purchased loads of BP's from MAC over the years and do so because the compacts are always so darned cute! They have a mirror inside and are usually really glossy looking and do that soft-click when you open and close them!! So I had to get this. There was one shade 'Forever Marilyn' a sheer pale peach. Let's just say very sheer and very pale. 'Peach' is a bit of an over-exaggeration! It's bordering on colourless and there's not even loads of shimmer or sparkle in it for a bit of interest. I've used it all last week and can't say I even noticed it on my skin and again it's a no-no for probably anyone darker than lightly tanned or olive as I suspect it would look rather chalky.  It's a pity MAC stuck so rigidly to the theme in the case of the face powders, but showed leniency with other products. Also, sometimes BP's can double as a blush when applied with a heavy hand, but not this one, even on my ultra pale skin.
Swatches with and without flash, eyeshadow shown dry with no primer.
So all in all, I'm actually pretty pleased with my haul.  I went into it buying purely for the packaging, but have found some great products.  Pure Zen is a lovely nude lipstick that had me questioning how I've managed to avoid it thus far! Legendary blush is a lovely subtle, flush of colour on my cheeks and Showgirl eyeshadow will be a staple for me and I'm sure I'll even use the sparkling Dazzleglass lots.  The 'miss' for me is the Beauty Powder (not sure why everyone was raving about this pre-launch), but the compact is pretty enough from a collector's point of view.  Did you buy any Marilyn stuff or give it a pass? Which icon of yours would you like to see in a MAC collection?


  1. AHH im jealous. my MAC store was sold out :( I wanted them so badly

  2. I bought 4 red lipsticks from this collection and the beauty powder. The beauty powder looks amazing when used under the eye area, brightens really nicely.

    1. thank you, I've totally been using the powder like this since you suggested it and it does look great!

  3. I saw it but walked on by. It's really pretty but it was a wee bit tame for me and, like you, I've been trying to reign in my MAC purchases. I struggle to resist when I pass through duty free with work but their service is often so BAD that it helps me walk on by for sure. And their website is awful too so that helps. These are definitely worth it for a Marilyn fan though, I reckon! x

  4. The images were actually bought exclusively by MAC and have never been used before, ever, from what the release said? I think they definitely went with sexy Marilyn ;P I like the look of Pure Zen and Scarlet Ibis, but both repromotes which I wasn't a fan of. I'm glad they didn't go with plain packaging, that wouldn't have been fun at all. Great haul!

    1. Really? I've got so many MM books and things, I was sure I'd seen them somewhere before. They just felt a little bland and generic but like I said, they're growing on me. And yeah had they gone for plain packaging, I wouldn't have bought a thing!

  5. wanna see pic of you wearing these makeup on!!

  6. Great post and ace swatches! I love the look of that nude lipstick. I'm pretty gutted I've missed out on this collection but it went so fast! x

    1. thank you, it sure did, I was surprised by how quickly it went!


Wowee your comments cheer me up!

Unfortunately I've had to disable anonymous comments for now, due to a high volume of spam.