Lately, I have been on a roll when it comes to reviewing blushes. Why not continue the streak of introducing my MAC Blush Collection. I would hardly call my three blushes a "collection". Let's just call it "collection in progress" and I do wish to have more of these... if only they were not so heavy on the pocket.
MAC lipsticks are my absolute love. Naturally, I wanted to try the blushes as well. To make the best out of my budget, I picked one blush from each basic color families - Pink, Orange, Neutral :-) That's how I landed on - Dollymix, Modern Mandarin, and Peachykeen. Clickety click for a review & swatches of MAC blushes:
These blushes are a part of MAC permanent blush collection, so each of them retail at $22 at MAC website in the US for 6g of product in a thick black plastic base and a clear concaved lid with MAC written on it. I must mention that this is the previous packaging. It has been updated for the permanent range blushes. Honestly, I prefer this old one because the new one looks cheap & gimmicky. The old packaging (pictured) does not say "luxe" compared to the price tag we're paying. Thankfully, I have not dropped any of these blushes yet *touchwood* but if I did, I don't find the top lid sturdy enough to soften the blow. It is in no way shoddy, but I prefer Tarte ones for a similar price tag as MAC's.
Coming to the colors I own:
Modern Mandarin - Described as "Red-Orange" by MAC with Satin finish
Peachykeen - Described as "Very Baby Peach" by MAC in Sheertone Shimmer finish
Dollymix - Described as "Pure Candy Pink" by MAC in Sheertone Shimmer finish
While shopping for the peach-coral blushes, I narrowed my search down to Modern Mandarin, Springsheen, and Peaches. I owned Sleek Rose Gold, NARS Orgasm, and another local blush similar to the online swatches of Springsheen. Also, Sleek Life's A Peach blush reminded me a lot of Peaches. In the end, I ventured into a deeper orange-peach shade with Modern Mandarin. It's not as pure red-orange as the site described, but I do see the reddish undertones in the pan. On my cheeks, it reflects pink-red undertones as the wear time increases and the orange/coral tinge decreases. It has very tiny shimmer flecks reflecting in the flash photograph of the pan. They're not noticeable if you see the pan from a distance. Similarly, the shimmer doesn't show up as particles when you apply it on the cheeks. It brings a lumious glow to your face that complements my NC25 skin very much. With minimal makeup, this blush still rocks my world!
For the rosy neutral color that I can pair with heavier eye makeup for the wedding dinners, I opted for Peachykeen. I had not seen online swatches for this one, so this one was my impulse purchase. It is not neutral as I expected (since it has fine shimmer in it), but this one gives healthy flush of natural rosy cheeks without leaning pink. Although the color is described by MAC as "peach", it does not translate in my skin that way. I find it to be muted rose, with slight peach undertones that my yellow skin absorbs.
Described as candy pink, I agree that the color is pure joy! From pale skinned to tanned beauties, I have found this color to be absolutely flattering 24/7. I have worn this the most and it was my wishlist item, so I did quite a bit of research before landing on this one. For a little pick-me-up to a full-face of makeup, I have gotten good use out of this one and still the pan seems like it has been barely touched.
Here you go with the swatches in their full glory on my Mom's arm. The color appear somewhat different on her than on my face, but that's common with all the blushes on different skin tones. The color payoff is amazing, but not the best when I compare them to other blushes I own. A single swipe delivers good pigmentation to your cheek. Dollymix requires one or two swipes max. Peachykeen twice usually and Modern Mandarin needs 3-4 swipes to show up in my desired intensity. I do apply with a light hand to give myself control onto how much color do I want on my cheeks. It's the best to layer up your blush slowly since it's a lot harder to tone it down than building it up. You may mess up your foundation or concealer while rubbing/blotting the excess. An easy tip is to slightly buff translucent powder over the blush to lessen the intensity, but don't overdo that and end up with a cakey look. For professional setting, one swipe does the trick. I do two usually - making the color last longer. In casual usage, I tend to overdo the blush on my high chipmunk cheeks :)
These are not baked and do not have insane amounts of glitter in them, but I find them blendable & luminous for my cheeks. It would healthy glow instead of highlighted contours. Modern Mandarin is less "glowy" on cheeks compared to the other two. It is understandable because its finish is meant to be satin - closer to matte. Longevity of the blush vary on me. Without any base in humid summers, they need retouching every 3rd hour. The color isn't completely lost by then, but faded/absorbed/slipped due to oil & sweat on my skin. With the foundation, compact and setting spray, I find them last for good 4 hours in full intensity and then fade very gradually. As I previously mentioned, as the wear time goes by, these blushes become more like your second skin and be subtle & glowing on your face than the obvious baboon-cheeks.
My biggest complaint with MAC blushes is their fallout in the pan. I love the texture of the blush and have used different brushes to pick the product up from the pan. Almost all brushes caused these to fallout like crazy. It is a turnoff for me as I need to dust the pans and worry about wasting as much product as I apply... or even more than that. You can see the evidence of fallout on the "cleaned" pans as well as the background of the swatches. I hope there is formulation improvement that stops this issue.
Mediocre packaging and fallout aside, I do love the blushes and my verdict on these would be:
MAC blushes are available at MAC counters and official website in US for $22. MAC counters are present across the globe. Folks living in Pakistan can check the blushes out in Green Valley, Al Fatah and Raja Sahib in Lahore. Karachi peeps can visit Naheed, Farid's, Ocean Mall and Scentsation, Dolmen Mall Clifton to buy directly. For best prices, you can pe-order via Rouge, Makeup & Accessories, Amor or MAC Addict pages on Facebook.
What is your favorite MAC blush, if you own them? Which one(s) is/are on your wishlist?
Mine would be Frankly Scarlet <3