Wednesday, January 7, 2015

MAC Ultimate Collection Lipstick Swatches and Sheer Mystery Powder Overview

MAC Ultimate Collection Lipsticks
MAC has just launched their version of "luxe" makeup in the form of the Ultimate collection, which includes 10 new lipstick colors and Sheer Mystery compact powders. 

The formulas and packaging at first glance look like the love-child between the MAC Mineralize series and the limited edition Marcel Wanders collection from awhile back. And if you thought so you aren't that far off.

The Mineralize range is a bit of a premium range compared to the regular formulas anyway. The Ultimate collection is something of a step up on top of that. And Marcel DID design all the packaging, which explains the prismatic, sculptural shapes.

Ultimate Sheer Mystery Powder compact case

Truth be told, I LIKE the original MAC packaging. And I LIKE MAC's mid-range pricing and strong colors and textures. That's what's great about MAC.

Now that's not to say I don't like the Ultimate collection. In fact, I think it's a great range for people who are used to luxury brands and the plusher, more conditioning, more forgiving textures and colors.

As a case in point, the lipsticks in the Ultimate collection are very smooth, satiny (not too glossy and not too matte), and consistently creamy. You won't find Mattes and you won't find Lusters (which I don't like in general). Neither will you find long-wearing Satins or strongly-pigmented Amplifieds. The lipstick textures have a soft sheen and colors that are flattering and easy to wear but not extremely adventurous as far as MAC goes.

Warm to neutral Ultimate lipstick swatches: Audacious, Ravishingly Rich, Fashion Fruit, Soft Pout, In Vogue

Cool neutral and pink Ultimate lipstick swatches: Marque, Lover's Street, Femme De-Luxe, Catharina, and To Savour

I'll even go so far as to say these textures and colors wouldn't look out of place at a Chanel counter.

But there-in lies the problem of course. It's a nice range, and it is the sort of colors and textures that appeal to people who purchase from Chanel and Dior, etc. But it's MAC, not Chanel. And they'd mostly be lying if they said they'd pay a Chanel price if the exact same lipstick was popped in a plain non-branded case.

And these are a bit like that to me. At SGD41 per lipstick, it's in the same price category as the luxury brands. But without that luxury association. If you already like MAC to begin with - like me - you won't see the point of picking these over the regular collection unless there's a color that you just cannot live without.

You tell me. What do you think of the new range? Love? Pass?

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder in Medium Plus
I do have to say though. I love the texture of the pressed Sheer Mystery powder. This was the surprise hit for me.

It's the silkiest and least powdery-looking matte powder I've tried in awhile.

Sheer Mystery Powder on bare skin - before and after

It mattifies and blurs imperfections without settling into lines, grabbing in spots, or even looking overtly like makeup. It's won the seat of honor in my bag after I used it twice. Because I think it's one of the best touch-up powders around right now.

There is ONE minor flaw that bugs me though. That cool leather-backed puff gets stuck in the mirror compartment under the lid CONSTANTLY. And it's happened with every single tester I've seen so far. 

Sheer Mystery Powder sponge stuck in the mirror well
If anyone tells me that's done on purpose - I'll laugh - 'cos only someone who doesn't use compact powders would design it like that on purpose.

There are TWO things we need to do when we flip open ANY powder compact.
  1. Quickly check our face in the mirror 
  2. Pick up the puff and touch up our face
In this case, you can't do either without digging at the puff for a few moments. I always need to be careful not to let it slip off and drop on the ground or other dirty surfaces. And who wants to look at the powder or the ugly underside of the puff and touch it directly with dirty fingers every time we need to dig it out???

If they can fix this one design flaw, it would be perfect. Cos I got stares when I was out touching up with this. The compact DOES look wicked cool.

And the powder looks darned good on the face, dammit. So I put up with the puff being stuck in the lid. (Until something else comes along that I fall in love with.)

Have you tried it yet?


  1. Does the sheer mystery powder come with a refill like they do in the US?

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