While I do consider myself a person that enjoys the holiday season, there is a fine line between seasonal cheer and overdoing it. I blame years of retail work for that, because when the holiday music pipes in the day after Halloween and people and their holiday gripes come out in full force – it can get old & quickly. Perhaps it’s odd, but I find the same parallels in holiday collections.. in particular MAC’s collections. I’m initially drawn in by the gorgeous imagery, but by the end feel more than a little overwhelmed.
Interestingly enough, I didn’t feel that way this year. I was indeed drawn in my the promotional images, but the first impression hasn’t faded. I think that this array of holiday collections is the best they’ve done in a while. Not everything will be to everyone’s tastes, but I feel like for most who appreciate makeup there will be an item or two that will be enjoyed. These are my picks from this year’s holiday offerings, along with a few runners up at the end.
First, can we talk about the packaging?! Now, let me first say that generally packaging doesn’t phase me. I’m always more interested in the product, but I was absolutely blown away by the fun factor of this year’s releases. Glamour Daze kept is simple and sleek with a glossy black finish, while the sets were decked out in cute, plush compacts, sassy animal print makeup bags and adorable mini-hat boxes.
I feel like I may have been alone in this, but when I realized that they were re-promoting the limited kohl pencils I was over the moon. I missed out on Mystery last time around, so I was glad to add this deep sultry green.. which is perfection for holiday eyes, whether as a pop of colour or as a base for a more dramatic look. If you don’t have Orpheus or Raven.. they’re top notch as well. At first I ignored the blushes, but Easy Manner is a very pretty colour that gives a very refined glow to the cheeks and was easily my favourite of the three. The Extra Dimension Skinfinishes are very pretty, and Superb is just that.. superb. Though I’m cheating a bit as mine is from the original release (see that it’s lacking the glossy packaging?) – but it’s a great multi-use product for face, body and eyes.
As a general rule, I’ve stayed away from holiday palettes for years. Of all the palettes, I think this is probably the most versatile because it’s relatively neutral – even if it’s a warm neutral. The neutral version is very cool toned in my opinion (perfect for taupe loving goddesses); and the smoky option is also very cool toned being entirely pink and purple shades. This is the kind of palette that could easily travel and create a number of different looks (natural, neutral, soft and dramatic) simply by adding liner and mascara.
As much as I’m an eye shadow fiend, I do not have either of these shadows and so I figured this was a good way to try them out. Again, I want to comment on versatility. These are staple shades and while I do have similar matte or satin versions, I love the sparkle element (it IS holiday afterall) and the strong contrast of these two shades allows for a pretty wide latitude for how soft or statement the look can be. Engraved liner is a staple because not only does it apply smoothly, it can be kept sharp or blended before it sets. This is where you start to see the value come out as well; to buy the duo palette and fill it runs $40.. the liner is $18 and the mascara $19 which has you well above the set price; plus you get a travel sized brush and a cute clasp bag.
We’ll be finishing off the picks with one of my favourites; the lip gloss sets. These little boxes of joy pack some major value. Four of these glosses would normally cost $90, where the set is $38.50. There is slightly less product these glosses than the regular product, with the exception of the Dazzleglass (it has more..?!), but with more than $50 in savings and in a cute box – instant gift giving win. As far as choosing between Cocktail Coral, Nicely Nude or Lavish Rose.. this depends entirely on taste. I think they’re all pretty solid, but there are two permanent shades in the nude set for any hardcore collectors.
- Endless Night nail lacquer
- Glam It Up (Viva Glam)
- Glamourdaze & Outrageously Fun lipstick
- Guilty Passions: Crushed Metal Pigments
- Little Black Bow fluidline
- Primped Out Lip Look Bag
Are any of these on your wishlist? Have you picked up anything already?