I've been a little out of the loop in regards to MAC collections lately. Nothing has caught my eye online (I have no physical counter near here) and for some reason they no longer bother to email me (even if I sign up for their limited releases), so I've dissed them a bit! However my eye was definitely transfixed when I spied this gorgeous turquoise metallic packaging last week. Sadly, it had already been out for a couple of days and with me not being able for the computer much just now, some had already sold-out. I started googling some of the shades to see if any were decent and then I discovered the really cool thing about the packaging and started making a list of must-haves!
It ended up being another couple of days until I made my purchase and then I ran into trouble! Why does the Debenhams site not store your beauty card details? It's sooooo annoying! I've gone into my account and made it my default card, but unless I type it in with each purchase, I don't get any points. So you'd think it would be easy enough to locate the card, but it turns out the last time I had my purse was January! Eh, yeah that's going to be difficult. Trying to remember what I wore and therefore which handbag it would be in, coupled with the fact our house has been upside down with the renovations, it was a stroppy nightmare. I knew one item was 'low stock' and right enough when I eventually found my card and checked out, 'something' had insufficient stock. They don't actually mark which item that is, so I had to click each one and load it's page, grrr. I wasn't too bothered about this item, so I suppose I've saved myself 20 quid. Debenhams were running a 10% offer (it's still on, but is about to change to a different 10% deal tomorrow), so I managed to save quite a bit too. Anyway my goodies arrived and I have 50 (yes really) fabulous photos to show you. Accompanying them is Magic Mermaid 'Shelly', I'm OBSESSED with these 'mystery' toys. You place the large shell in water and it fizzes and disappears to reveal a little mermaid figure. You don't know which one you'll get (the first two I got were the same), there are 12 to collect. Anyway onto the makeup...
Every once in a while it happens that MAC release a collection in Europe before the US and this is one such occasion. So American ladies, you have a week or so to trawl through photos and decide what you want. Firstly, the packaging! I said it was cool and I wasn't prepared for quite how amazing it would be. Yes the turquoise is a lovely shade, bright and shiny and fits the aquatic theme well. I'm always a sucker for prettier than standard MAC packaging, we know. Now, I thought the water droplets on the packaging were just thematic and for the promo shots. They are not, it's actually 'real'!! I love my stereotypical "pretty" packaging, but my goodness this has the cool factor. I think it's absolutely awesome. Most of the range has it and it varies slightly with each item, but I'll talk more about that as we go on.
Ok, I'm going to start with the Alluring Aquatic Lipstick in Siren Song (Lustre) £16.50. There are five shades in the range and all but one had sold out. I've heard a few people complain that it's ridiculous that anyone pay for this particular shade when it's basically colourless or a balm. Well if only Vaseline came in a case as cool as this! It was buy this colour or miss out altogether and the water droplets were so prominent on the lipsticks, plus it's one of the few items you would actually use in public and show off, that I was having it even if it was bright yellow!
The droplets are raised on the case which just makes them all the more authentic. I just can't get over how realistically wet it looks. MAC describes the lipstick as "sheer, pale beige" and that's true. However, I applied it to my lips yesterday and was surprised to find it actually showed up, despite looking so light in the hand swatch. It lightened my lips a lot and as you'll see later, with the right lipliner it's a nice nude. To be truthful I wasn't crazy about any of the sold-out colours anyway, so I'm quite happy with my 'Vaseline' lips ; )
I have swatches of the lip products altogether, so next up we have Tinted Lipglass in Peachstock £15.50. I tend not to buy lipgloss from MAC now because I have so many that I barely use. However, I have Peachstock lipstick from an older collection and this is it's perfect match in gloss form. Pretty cool. It comes with an aqua lid and this time the water appears more like condensation. The droplets are flatter and less prominent. If you haven't already noted, even the boxes have drops of water on them. It's more like an indentation, but again it still looks like it has really been splashed with water.
Peachstock is a "creamy true nude", hmm, I'd say it's very orange toned 'nude'. It's not pale enough for me to class as a true nude, it's got that terracotta feel. I think this is possibly the only lipglass in this collection without some sort of shimmer or pearl. Again, there are five shades.
Rounding off my lip trio is the Lip Pencil in What Comes Naturally £15.50. The lighter of the two shades in this collection, it comes in a turquoise frosted metallic 'pencil' with the lid completely metallic. There are no water droplets (sad face) on this one. It's a pencil that needs sharpened though, so the mermaid in me isn't too angry. Lipliners are usually pretty boring, so a nice flash of turquoise is welcome in any case, even if it does cost £3.50 more for it!
WCN (don't make me write that long name again) is described as a 'light nude'. Now, I have issues with medium brown lip pencils passing themselves off as "nude" (Subculture I'm looking at you), but this one is light and very like Naked Liner which I got from Quite Cute back in 2011. It will lighten your lips and is actually very bright as you'll see in some of the swatches, depending on the light (it kinda glows). I doubt it's very nice to wear alone (a little too 'light but bright' and flat for me), but it's gonna be a staple for me and my lovely nude lippies.
So swatches together. From left the lipliner, lipstick in the middle and lipglass on the right. In the final photo, I've put Siren Song lipstick over WCN lip pencil swatch to show how it picks up the colour and differs radically from being worn alone.
The item that I didn't get was the blush powder. There's Extra Dimension Blush (2 shades) along with Extra Dimension Bronzer and Bronzing Powder (2 shades of each) in the "face" part of the range, so I was a little torn with which to go for. The ED powders come with a clear lid insert, but the water droplets surround that. Whereas the BP comes in a fully metallic case with mirror inside and lots of water droplets. Once the blush I was leaning towards sold out, I felt at this point, I was buying purely because I wanted something with the water on it and that was silly! I might get one of the other items if it's still in stock and I happen to be buying something else, but didn't want to risk losing another item at the time. I'm still going to look flashy with my lipstick right?
Another item with really cool droplets on it, are the eyeshadows. I got Extra Dimension Eyeshadow (Mini) in Silver Sun. To be honest I got so caught up with the lip products that I didn't really give the eyeshadows a second glance. Then all of a sudden I saw a swatch of this and had to investigate further because it looked so pretty. Described quite rightly as a "midtone dirty seafoam green", it's really quite a complex and lovely shade in the flesh. The ED eyeshadows are ridiculously soft and have a lovely smooth, velvet like metallic finish. When swatched, I was even more pleased with my purchase because it's a colour I love and will wear lots.
There are 6 shades and a couple had already gone by the time I ordered. The wave print that regularly adorns the ED pieces lends itself so well to this collection too! You really get a sense of the 3-dimensional effects of the water on the outer compact despite it being relatively small. It's just a pity this isn't something I'd carry around (and show off) in public.
I took these photos in our new conservatory, so was a little unsure of the lighting in there as it was my first time taking photos. It wasn't quite as bright as I expected from a sunny room, but I'm loving the white tables my Mum bought (perfect for little shoots like this). I've taken a few swatches in different lights anyway.
My final piece of the collection was something a little different, my first full size MAC makeup brush! I just couldn't resist it in that gorgeous colour. This retails for £35 on MAC but seems to be £27 elsewhere, so with my discount I got it for £24.30 (it's now sold out on Debenhams, but you can find it here at House Of Fraser). A saving of over £10, bargain! It's the 127 Split Fibre Face Brush, which I'm going to nickname the Jekyll and Hyde brush. With a mixture of natural and synthetic fibres, it's black on one side and shaded on the other. It's certainly my first dual brush and I'm not too sure it's a worthwhile effort to combine two brushes in one.
I haven't tried it yet, so I'm not sure how different application would be on each side and that's where my uncertainty lies. Do you really need two brushes in one, even for travel? Not when they are this similar I wouldn't have thought. Like I say, the colour most definitely lured me in and I do have a fascination with pretty, high-end face brushes. I expected the lighter side to feel like a flat foundation brush seeing as it looked like one, but it's nothing like that. I was super, duper impressed with how soft this was. I think the split-side thing made me think it was somewhat gimmicky, but when I felt it, it was just divine. I'm not even sure I can bring myself to dirty it and use it on my face-I just want to sit and play with it!
If I do use it, it would be for blush, but apparently it works for bronzer or highlighter too. Seeing as I haven't properly tried it, I can't speak of shedding issues in application and during/after washing. I think this is a bit of a hidden gem of the range actually that hasn't translated all that well in photos, but wait until you feel it!
I think overall the collection perhaps could've been a little more exciting colour-wise, but they outdid themselves with the packaging. Collectors are going to want the pieces regardless of what's inside and MAC probably knew that. The packaging has the 'wow' factor for sure and even without the water drops, the colour is gorgeous.
The nail polishes were the other things I swithered with buying. Both Submerged and Shimmerfish appealed to me and the lids have the wet droplets too, so they are worth checking out.
I also have a comparison swatch post (hopefully tomorrow or early next week) of the lipstick and liner, so stay tuned for that. What do you think, is this the best MAC packaging yet? Will you/have you got anything from it? Can we also have a big virtual high-five for the fact I managed to buy these, photograph them, edit and write this post all within a few days? First time in months, I've felt well enough to do something constructive, so I'm very pleased with myself!