review: mac pastels x9

June 6, 2016  |  MAC, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

As requested, here’s a review to follow up on my last FOTD post with the MAC Pastels x 9 palette.


Aren’t the colours pretty? I love how different this is from anything else I own; my single eyeshadows tend to be either glittery, bright or duochromatic, and most of my palettes are very neutral-based. This fills a real niche in my collection.

Of course that raises a good question: How useful is a palette of pastels to someone who’s never bothered seeking them out before?

To be honest, while this personally isn’t something I could take this on vacation and use exclusively for a week, it’s been a very welcome “expansion pack” to my existing eyeshadow collection. A lot of these shadows are great as base and transition shades for colourful looks that you don’t want to muddy up with neutrals.

MAC Pastel x 9 6

Per MAC’s description, the colours (left to right, top to bottom) are:

New Nude: Whitish pink highlighter (Satin)
Fresh Innoncence: Ivory frosty warm white (Frost)
Spice Bar: Grayish taupe (Satin)
Flounce : Pale pastel pink (Matte)
Restless Rose: Pinkish Mauve (Satin)
Free Roaming: Dirty lavender (VLX)
Spring Moon: Baby blue (Frost)
Greystroke: Pale greenish silver (Satin)
Sweet Green: Soft muted green (Satin)

MAC Pastel x 9 5

On to the swatches. As you can see, these are light and semi-sheer which makes this a very forgiving, easy to wear range of colours.

MAC Pastels x 9 Swatches 2

I’ve gotten a couple questions about this palette in the context of SUQQU, so I’m going to share my thoughts with the class: although the lightness of this palette does have a distinctly Asian feel, the textures are on a whole more western (i.e. not sheer shades that are meant to be layered, but rather opaque-ish pastels that are a little more true-to-pan).

That being said, Fresh Innocence is a dead-on dupe for the bottom right shade in Ex-21 Murasakisuishou, and several other shades are giving me massive déjà-vu as well though I can’t quite place them. So for anyone who has been curious about SUQQU but unwilling to risk a pricey blind-buy online, this palette is an excellent way to test the pastel waters and see how you feel about light eye makeup.

It’s not going to be for everyone, but I do honestly reach for it on days when I just want to wear a softer, more youthful makeup look. By the way, if I look a little…strange…in these photos, it’s because Adam shot me with a new camera system.

MAC Pastels x 9 7

MAC Pastels x 9 6

All the colours play pretty well with each other, but thinking of them as trios either horizontally or vertically (both ways work well) takes the guesswork out of this palette and makes it very user-friendly. I used the middle row – Flounce, Restless Rose and Free Roaming – for this look and finished it off with a touch of New Nude in the inner corners. And because I’m sure someone will ask otherwise, I’m wearing YSL Rouge Volupté in #1 Nude Beige on my lips.

MAC Pastels x 9 5



This product was provided as a press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

fotd: mac pastels x 9

June 2, 2016  |  Face of the Day, MAC  |  2 Comments

As someone who once only wore smokey neutrals, I’ve come a long way in my appreciation of pastel eyeshadows. Up to this point, the pastels in my collection were all from various Asian makeup brands – no big surprise, considering lighter makeup is the norm here – so it was a pleasant surprise to receive the MAC Pastel x 9 palette and get the chance to discover a more western take on light eye makeup.

Before I continue, I must apologise for the bed-head in these photos. I’d actually done this look just as a preliminary colour trial, but I ended up liking the photos so much I decided to use them in my post!

MAC Pastels x 9 3

For this look, I used Sweet Green all over my lids blended out with Spice Bar, and Free Roaming in the outer V blended through the crease with a touch of Restless Rose. I finished the look with Fresh Innocence in the inner corners.

FYI, the shadows in this palette are light but not as sheer as I was expecting. So although this definitely wasn’t made for bold looks, most of the shadow colours in the palette do show up distinctively on skin. If you like pastels that register more true-to-pan rather than as just sheer coats of tinted shimmer, this is for you.

MAC Pastels x 9 1

MAC Pastels x 9 4

MAC Pastels x 9 2

I can already tell this palette is going to get a lot of play from me. It seems to have been designed perfectly for sweeping on as a quick wash of colour – which will come in handy on hot summer days or nights, when you want to look pretty but can’t bear the thought of heavy makeup.

Speaking of summer, I paired this new palette with one of my favourite hot-weather lip colours: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Full Speed. I’m wearing it here dabbed on as a sheer stain but it’s actually an ultra-bright coral pink when applied straight from the tube. I love this colour so much I actually bought two tubes of it – I keep one in Singapore, and one in LA!



This product was provided as a press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

the highlighter chronicles: mac vibe tribe dunes at dusk

Vibe Tribe is one of the more completely-wearable collections that MAC has launched in a while. In my opinion, it hits that sweet spot between a tightly executed theme and user-friendly colours, which makes my inner designer as happy as my outer makeup addict.

The standout product in the collection to me is of course their limited edition Gleamtone Powder in Dunes at Dusk, which you know I had to chronicle. Technically it’s meant to be sort of an overall illuminating powder, but since I have normal-oily skin I much prefer it just on my cheeks. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous southwestern-inspired motif (that extends from the packaging to the actual product, woohoo!) before I dig into it:



It includes 4 shades with a fairly uniform frost finish: a warm white, a golden peach, a dusty mauve and light lilac which has a faint pinky-purple iridescence. As you can see, it’s well named: there’s an earthy dustiness to the hues that really does echo the colours of a desert landscape at sunset. Trust me. I’m in California a lot.



You can wear the colours individually or swirled together to create a beautiful, shimmery dusty rose shade. I believe this is MAC’s first iteration of a “Gleamtones Powder”, so I have nothing to directly compare it to texturally, but I found it was less dry and had more slip than MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish highlighters like Lightscapade and Otherearthly (reviewed here and here).

MAC Vibe Tribe Dunes at Dusk Swatches

Since the colours were quite sheer, I was able to be a little more liberal with my placement…which is another way of saying I went a little crazy and brushed it all over my cheeks. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the sheerness – though the colours looked dauntingly pigmented in the pan, they didn’t register as a distinct tint on my skin.

MAC Vibe Tribe 3

And although it did add a visibly shimmery topcoat to my skin it didn’t emphasise pores. I went over my cheekbones with a mix of the white and lilac to give the area more pop.

MAC Vibe Tribe 1

The colours were a bit too sheer to wear alone as eyeshadows but (for science!) I used it as sort of a shimmer-boost, layered over MAC eyeshadows in Beautiful Iris, Haux and Deep Damson. It was a nice way to tie in the tones of my eyeshadow with my cheeks/highlight, so although the colours didn’t stand out on their own I liked the harmony it created on my face.

MAC Vibe Tribe 2

I definitely need to play with Dunes at Dusk more, but so far I’m really liking it. The individual colours are beautiful, and I enjoy the mix of conventional (white and bronze) and unique (mauve and lilac) highlighter/cheek colour shades. The dusty rose colour you get from mixing everything together was a lovely neutral blush-topper on me, but would no doubt look gorgeous as a lightly-applied finishing powder on someone with a deeper skin tone. I might get brave and try that on myself once I get a little bit of summer colour!




This product was provided as a press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.