MAC Recommendations #1: The Basics

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I don’t think that MAC is by any means the be all and end all of makeup but they are among my favourite brands and they were the company that kindled my makeup love and I might have slightly sentimental feelings toward the cosmetic store. Somehow I haven’t talked about the brand very much considering how often I use the products on a daily basis. From forcing my friends who are not beauty-obsessed into conversations about MAC and later-on trips, I know that many find the store extremely intimidating (moreso than any other high-end brand) and I can understand that but there are some real treasures there and quite often their products are very economical – not that much more expensive than drugstore and at a fraction of the price of Sephora brands without sacrificing quality whatsoever. I don’t have a massive collection of MAC makeup but MAC is easily the brand that I own the most makeup of and I thought I’d attempt to challenge myself into giving my five ten recommendations: here goes…

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1. MAC Powder Blush in Harmony ($21/25 CDN)

If this isn’t the first post you’ve read of mine I’m confident that this hardly needs any explanation. It’s considered to be a blush by MAC (and it might be nice as one on dark skin) but it’s the ideal contour for fair and medium skin. It’s slightly warm toned but the rosy brown does not have any of the oranginess of a bronzer so it’s able to add shape and definition to the face looking natural while still adding some flattering warmth to the face. If you are darker than medium in colouring or find this difficult to show up, I know Blunt is equally as nice and if you’re lighter it should suit you. I do know that those with cooler-toned skin that’s as fair or even fairer than mine can find Harmony slightly red-toned and I’ve heard that Prism and Cubic are good alternatives. These are all matte obviously. Coincidentally these are all fabulous matte shades to use in the crease as well, even though they’re not marketed as eye shadow.

top: Dazzlelight, Vex, All That Glitters bottom: Coquette, Charcoal Brown, Satin Taupe
top: Dazzlelight, Vex, All That Glitters
bottom: Coquette, Charcoal Brown, Satin Taupe

2. MAC Eyeshadow in Coquette ($12/18 CDN)

I have naturally unruly and large but sparse brows and there’s nothing like a matte eyeshadow that fills them in in a natural manner. I used MAC Charcoal Brown for ages which I still do really like but recently I discovered Coquette which is slightly cooler toned and looks like a gross khaki grey in the pan but fills in the brows without looking red, giving a natural appearance to them. The formula is great in these shadows (Coquette is technically a satin but it’s matte on) and they also are great for adding depth in the crease. I would reccomend Charcoal Brown for warmer brunettes, Omega for blondes and I’ve heard Brun is great for darker brunettes. This shadow is that workhorse product that may not seem super-exciting but is functional and worth the money. 

3. MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters ($12/18 CDN)

This veluxe pearl eyeshadow is buttery, easy to work with and pigmented and is that perfect everyday lid shade that is neither too light or too dark – a shimmery but not glittery golden-peach shade that can’t be duplicated. I’ve been through two of these in the past and went without it for ages and now that I’ve picked it up it’s what was missing from my life. It’s a fairly universal shade but the cooler-toned fair skinned might find it to be slightly too coppery and I’ve heard that they favour the lighter pink-champagne Naked Lunch and on darker skin, Woodwinked can be a better option.

shown in Light
shown in Light

4. MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($32 CDN)

This might be a shocking product inclusion as I’m not a powder kind of girl but I’ve rekindled my love for this and this is easily my favourite powder of all time. It doesn’t have much coverage to it but it has enough to even out the skin when worn alone and sets the skin without looking matte and losing all of it’s glow. It gets rid of excess shine without being completely matte and its finely milled-texture sits nicely on the skin without clinging to dry patches. Anyone on the drier side of things would enjoy this but I know that those needing more oil control adore MAC Studio Fix Powder, which has more coverage to it and might not look quite as seamless but it’s a great powder nevertheless. I wear the lightest shade in the powder but Studio Fix has a much wider shade selection.

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5. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose ($35 CDN)

If you’re looking for a glow to your cheeks and particularly if you’re looking for a gorgeous highlight, these cult favourite products that tend to be released as limited edition items in the abundant collections are an offering to consider. I know that some can complain about the frostier shades of these can highlight larger pores for some but that can be remedied with a pore smoothing primer, or powder but I don’t have this issue and I didn’t even when I had more of a true combination skin years ago. I adore the infamous Stereo Rose that is limited edition but will be appearing as a repromote in the upcoming spring collection and I recommend it if this sounds good to you. This is one of the darker offerings, acting as more of a highlight-blush duo in one product – it has nice pigmentation, fabulous texture and has that sheen without being frosty. It’s a coppery pink-coral, I’d say. For lighter skin-tones it works as a highlighting blush of sorts and I know it works for darker ladies as well as a highlighter. On my warm-leaning skin this is an instantly brightening shade that is perfect when you only have a few minutes to slap on some makeup before heading out the door. I haven’t tried them personally but there are also some permanent options that I’ve heard so much about – Soft and Gentle is supposed to be a great champagne-peach shade that is a versatile highlighter.

Have you tried any of the products here? I would also love to have any recommendations!

Rosy Golden Makeup for Summer

products used
products used

I’ve always been interested in the makeup routine or that people tend to go for an everyday basis and I’ve never done one and lately when I want to wear a full face of makeup, I’ve been sticking to this particular look. This routine I find easy to wear and flattering on me – for reference, I’m a pale brunette (somewhere around an NW15) with blue eyes. The makeup seems to follow sort of a golden rosy motif.

note: the cheeks are far more prominent in real life!

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1. Caudalie Vinosource Sorbet-Creme: Because I have dry skin, makeup tends to last a long time on me so I don’t feel the need to use primer for longevity. I thought I’d include my moisturizer because I use it in the place of a primer.

2. Avene High Protection Cream: Because I tend to be sensitive to chemical spf, I use this purely physical one with spf 50 even though it leaves a white cast.

3. Make Up For Ever 5 Concealer Palette (1): I concealed/corrected all of my major blemishes and then touched up the remaining issues after foundation. I also put it underneath my eyes and around the inner corners.

4. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (100 Ivory): I applied a pump with my fingers, blending the rest into my neck. This product is rather yellow for my skin tone, by the way (which is around an NW15 or so). It lasts a long time and makes you look really glowy.

5. Rimmel Natural Bronzer (021 Sun Light): I lightly contoured my face with this bronzer.

6. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (Stereo Rose): I applied this to the apples of my cheeks and blended towards my temples into my contour – this is a limited edition shimmery pink-coral with bronzy veining.

7. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (Semi-Precious Pearl): I used the outer ring colour to highlight my cheekbones.

8. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (Rose): I put a small amount of this on my lips.

9. Maybelline Color Tattoo (Bad to the Bronze): I blended this onto my lids as a base.

10. MAC eye shadows (Dazzlelight, Woodwinked, Charcoal Brown and Club): I put Dazzlelight on the inner third of the lid as well as the browbone and Woodwinked on the rest of the lid and blended them together. I filled in my brows with Charcoal Brown lightly and applied a tiny bit of Club onto the outer corner of my bottom lashline.

11. Urban Decay (Smog and Freestyle) eye shadows: I blended Smog (which is available individually and in the Naked palette) into the outer corner of my lid). I put Freestyle into the crease to help blend the shadows – this shade is only available in the Smoked palette but any transition colour would work.

12. Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner (Perversion): I made a fine line on my top lashes and then smudged lightly.

13. L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara (Carbon Black):I put a coat or two onto my top lashes.

With the exception of the lips, this makeup lasts all day on me. However, as I have extremely oily eyelids, I would apply eye primer and might powder my t-zone if I were to want my makeup to not budge for 16 hours or more and last through blood, sweat and tears kind of thing (well maybe not tears but you get the idea).