Back In MAC: Rediscovering An Old Favorite

Published on September 10, 2016 by   ·   3 Comments

Viva GlamI’ve said before that I used to be the MAC girl.  Seriously.  I was a part of their pro program (which netted me a 40% discount, so that definitely helped feed the fandom!) and I used a few staples from theatrical makeup companies and my trusted Coty Airspun powder, and then everything else was MAC.  But a few years ago, I started to feel like MAC’s products weren’t the same vibrant, fabulous formulations I’d come to know and love.  My newer eyeshadows were streakier, the glosses goopier, the color selection just a little ho-hum.  I was falling out of love.

At the same time, I was first starting to discover the amazing makeup companies that were popping up all over the place.  Sephora moved into the Fargo JC Penney.  I started looking around on YouTube for makeup tutorials and reviews.  I found a whole cosmetic world out there that I had been missing; I went out to play and never looked back.  MAC is so much harder for me to get because there are no nearby counters or stores, and so many of the new collections weren’t eligible for the pro discount anyway, so I made new makeup friends.  SugarPill Cosmetics.  Concrete Minerals.  Jeffree Star.  Urban Decay.  Lit Cosmetics.  Even Kat Von D.

But you never forget your first love.

0000 TrollsRecently I was poking around on the webs and decided, just for kicks, to go check out the MAC website to see what was new and fun.  I’d noticed that makeup companies all over were finally getting out from under the nude craze that’s been hanging around for way too long and delivering fabulous collections in neons, jewel tones, and even vibrant pastels, and I thought if anyone was going to have amazing color collections it was bound to be MAC.  And I was not disappointed.

There were two fabulous collections that immediately had me drooling: Good Luck Trolls (a tie-in with the upcoming movie about the weird naked Troll dolls that have been around since the 60s or so, starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake) and the Star Trek 50th Anniversary collection.  I was in the middle of a self-imposed 30-day makeup embargo (that I’d already violated on a couple of occasions) and I was trying to be good…but I figured there was no harm in dropping a couple of not so subtle hints into the ears of others.  My fella was going up to Winnipeg for the weekend, and I casually mentioned that there was a MAC counter there and that I certainly would NOT be offended if he were to bring me lovely things as a souvenir of his trip.  And when my lesbian sidekick Jorja texted to say that she was going to the Mall of America before coming up for GF Pride and wanted to know if I wanted anything, I had no trouble providing her with ideas.

Finally, by the time I got to Seattle for a work trip, the Star Trek collection was launching in stores, and I just couldn’t take it any longer and bought a few of my favorite shades from that range.  I wanted to see if things had improved, if maybe it was time to start revisiting the brand that had once been the cornerstone of my makeup education.

Here’s what I ended up with:


From the Trolls collection, I got two lipsticks (Dance Off Pants Off and Midnight Troll), two lip glosses (Bubble Butt and Twerkquoise), an eyeshadow (Suns Out Buns Out), a face powder (Glow Rida), and a stippling brush with pink and black bristles and a handle featuring the collection artwork in pink and blue.


From the Star Trek collection, I was most impressed with the lipsticks (Where No Man Has Gone Before, LLAP, and Kling-It-On), but also picked up a lip gloss (Set To Stun), a pressed pigment eyeshadow (Bird of Prey), and even a nail polish (Skin of Evil).


Finally, I decided to pick up a couple of random things to add to my kit: CB96 was one of my favorite lipstick shades from back in the day so I decided it was time to add that orange-y coral fabulousness back to my life, a new glitter lipstick with a lavendar base called Pick Me! Pick Me!, and the Fix+ setting spray that I’ve seen a million times in makeup tutorials.  Since Tyra went and discontinued her setting spray (I’m still a little bitter) I figured it was time to find a new setting spray BFF.

As expected, the lipsticks were the highlights of my purchases.  They are still as creamy and wonderful as I remembered, though the glittery ones were a little more sheer than I might have liked.  They had great pigmentation, and the range of shades, even just focusing on the new collections, was everything that made me fall in love with MAC all those years ago.  Urban Decay recently Lipstickslaunches their 100 shade collection of Vice Lipstick, and it was good, but MAC still holds the crown for fabulous lipsticks.  Dance Off Pants Off is an amazing neon pink, blue-toned without becoming too 80s fuchsia – I really do love that color and it would layer amazingly over a hot pink lip paint like Jeffree Star’s Queen Supreme.  Midnight Troll is a unique and beautiful blue, deep without becoming navy and close enough to purple without pulling in more reddish tones.  Gorgeous!  The Star Trek lipsticks were all amazing, although I don’t think the website really portrays them accurately.  Especially Kling-It-On – I don’t think I would have purchased that one if I didn’t see it in the store!

The Lip Glass lip glosses were a little bit more mundane, and nothing about them really drew me back.  They are still a little too thick for me; MAC calls that texture “honied” but I just call it goopy.  With a light touch and some finessing with the brush I think you can get an OK sheer coverage over a lipstick or lip paint (Set To Stun especially I think could be gorgeous over deeper shades of lip paint!) but they still aren’t my favorite lip glosses.  Also, there is something different about the fragrance that is a little off-putting – not the delectable vanilla fragrance I remember.

MAC’s nail polishes are always great, though since I use fake nails that are already painted or designed it’s not something that was a need.  But that Star Trek shade with the green and black and gold all swirling together – next time Mama Champagne and I go out for pedis, I already know what shade I’ll be using!

The Troll beauty powder was super sheer (I almost could get swatch pictures of it) and while I think it will give a nice subtle glow to the skin, subtle is not usually what I’m trying to achieve, ever.  It looks so promising in the pan, but just can’t deliver.  The eyeshadow, however, was pretty stunning and I really enjoyed both colors.  They applied evenly without streaking and were pretty well pigmented (though both did require more than one finger swipe to build up a decent color.  Not as good as the MAC I remember from my obsession days, but better than I remember from when I walked away.  If I’m around a MAC counter and in the mood for makeup shopping (and when am I ever not in the mood for that?!) I’ll definitely put this brand back on the radar.

I haven’t had a chance to use the Fix+ with an actual makeup look yet, but I gave it a couple of sprays on my bare face today and the scent is light and refreshing and I’d say it’s almost as good as the Tyra spray that I’ll love until I die.  If it passes the test at my next show, it might become a staple in my makeup kit to help me lock down my look!

Overall, I’m glad that I gave them another chance and while I don’t think I’ll ever be the same MAC fan that I used to be, I found that they still have some great products and a color selection that definitely includes unique offerings that you can’t find elsewhere.  And their special collections really are a treat – they have great packaging and bring in unique and fun pop culture brands.

Mac Star TrekNow Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (3)
  1. Sinead says:

    Loved both collections. Dance of pants off sold out quickly where I live but I was able to get twerkquoise lipglass and I love it. I have noticed less of a vanilla scent to my lippies too and MAC needs to fix that big time! Thanks for sharing!

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