|MAC Smoky Plum Dazzlesphere
My second suggestion as a cool gift this holiday season for any makeup lover who loves dramatic color. MAC's Dazzlespheres look like oversized tree ornaments, but what wowed me were the actual pigments contained within. Out of the 3 available Dazzlespheres (Temptalia has a good run-down of all 3), my choice was the Smoky Plum stack.
I actually like all 3, but I didn't like all 4 colors in either of the other 2 sets so I gave them a miss. This doesn't mean you won't. If you love strong metallic pigments, definitely check these out in the stores before they sell out. (Smoky Berry is a mix of red, pink and neutrals, while the Smoky Blue set is a mix of deep indigo blue, white, slate-silver and sparkly black.)
|Crushed Metallic Pigments clockwise from top left: Misty, Grape, Light Violet, Seasonally Cool
I'd say all 4 pigments perform quite well (some crushed metal pigments adhere poorly without a base)
|Swatches (L-to-R): Misty, Seasonally Cool, Light Violet, and Grape
- Misty: Bright silver metallic with a slight neutral undertone. This pigment is fine-grained with minimal sparkle/glitter, and sheers out quite well when blended. If you have deeper skin tone or find most true silvers too harsh, this might be a good one to check out as there is a slight beige undertone which makes it more flattering than other silvers. Can be worn sheer.
- Seasonally Cool: I always love a beautiful brown neutral, especially when it has personality. Seasonally Cool is a sparkly, warm bronze-brown without any brassiness or green undertones. It's not grey enough to be a taupe, and the sparkles are quite multidimensional (think of MAC's Lip Gelees with their multicolored micro-sparkles). This can be worn sheer as a soft beautiful neutral wash or packed on for flattering drama. If you have very deep skin, this would make a wicked highlighter as well.
- Light Violet: The most gritty of the bunch, Light Violet is a soft lilac made up of large, sparkly flecks. It's more chunky and hard to work with than the other pigments due to the texture, so a base would be needed if you want to increase its intensity and avoid fall-out. It can work as a sparkly highlighter, but I'd suggest applying it with your ring finger and gently smoothing it out to a light sparkly veil, as brushes do not pick this up well.
- Grape: The most intense of the 4 shades, Grape is a deep true purple with just a hint of burgundy/wine undertones. Like Misty, it does not have sparkly bits, but its sheen is more muted than Misty. I'd call it a Pearl finish rather than Metallic. Definitely a dramatic shade that will look better when packed out as an intense smoky eye or worn as a liner. (Wearing it really sheer might make you look a bit bruised.)