You know Christmas is just around the corner when mentions of M·A·C Holiday collection hit the internet. This year, our beloved beauty brand introduces Snow Ball – a massive collection wrapped entirely in gold snowflake-emblazoned packaging that would make you want to empty your bank account.
The Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit was an especially great bargain. If I hadn’t already owned 90% of the shades in there, I would have bought it in a heartbeat when it was pre-released to the M·A·C Obsessed members on the U.S. site.
Some other products from this collection not show above are the Face Powder (US$34 / S$46), Lash (US$17 / S$25) and Snowflake Adornment (US$16.50 / S$23). Unfortunately, the Prep + Prime Fix+ Kit (US$20) is not available in Singapore and you won’t be able to purchase it from the U.S. site too because of restrictions on shipping liquids. Ah, bummer! 😫
Apart from the to-die-for packaging, prices also seem to be a lot lower as compared to the previous years. Either M·A·C had decided to listen to the feedback of their customers or they had felt the pressure to keep their prices affordable from the growing competition in the market. Whatever it is, it is a win-win for both sides – customers wouldn’t feel much of a pinch shopping the collection and M·A·C gets to clear their stocks fast. And by fast, I mean wiping out almost everything in the collection within the first hour (both online and in Singapore stores)! 😲
Fortunately, I scored what I wanted on my list (many thanks to M·A·C Singapore 😘) and here’s my review:
#1 Face Bag (Gold)
The Snow Ball collection features two Face Bags in gold and peach with an US$85 value. Both bags, cheaply covered with scratchy sequins (gawd, I swear this is the laziest way to glitz up something) with a faux-fur pom pom hanging from the zipper, contain a different shade of snowflake-embossed Extra Dimension Skinfinish in rose gold packaging as well as an exclusive rose gold-handled 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush worth US$42.
The peach version comes with Show Gold – which is already in the permanent line of Extra Dimension Skinfinish – while the shade in the gold one is limited edition so obviously, the demand was going to lean towards the latter. The brush, according to M·A·C, is “made from a blend of synthetic fibres in different diameter sizes to optimally pick up and apply powders”. The bristles are fluffy and smooth to the touch wonder but I why it is even included in the bag if it is more suited to applying loose powder which the highlighter isn’t?
One of the most anticipated products in this collection, the Whisper of Gilt was first released in 2012 as a limited edition Extra Dimension Skinfinish and subsequently repromoted last year as part of the Sweet Copper Face Compact for the Nutcracker Holiday collection. The current holiday edition of the bestselling highlighter has a net weight of 7.5 g (0.26 oz) as opposed to the 9 g (0.31 oz) when it was launched in its original packaging. Each full-size Extra Dimension Skinfinish is sold for US$34 / S$55.
— APPLICATION (with M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush) —
— APPLICATION (with Sigma F41 Fan Brush) —
Whisper of Gilt is described as a pale gold shimmer with very finely milled luminous particles to give a sparkling finish. It is a champagne-toned highlighter that is neither too white nor gold, making it absolutely flattering on light to medium skin tones. Smooth to the touch, it has a soft consistency which makes it possible to blend and diffuse on the skin easily while adding just the right amount of glow. However, it does emphasise the natural texture of my skin to some extent (as I didn’t realise I had a little pimple above my cheekbone until I layered it with this highlighter 😐).
When applied with the M·A·C powder brush provided in the Face Bag, the highlighter appeared hardly visible on my skin. But with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush, it rendered a sheer to semi-opaque coverage (depending on how heavy-handed I was) and a moderate glow with two to three coats. Having said that, it is certainly capable of building to greater opacity when applied with finger or a denser (damp) brush if a more blinding radiance is preferred.
If you had missed out on the opportunity to snag a Face Bag at your local M·A·C store, or cannot bear to part with your money on a redundant bag and brush, Champagne Pop and Bigger and Better (from ColourPop’s Gimme More! Palette) are some more affordable dupes that you may want to consider.
Encased in gold tubes with smooth, glossy frost effect on the outside and kept in see-through plastic boxes with gold geometric snowflake patterns, the lipsticks are packaged similarly to the highlighter to conjure up that Christmas vibe. They’re so pretty and shiny, you can literally use them as your Christmas tree ornaments 😍
#2 Lipstick – Elle Belle
Elle Belle is described as a deep red with a Amplified finish. This luscious cool-toned berry red goes on smoothly with no drag and gives an opaque colour payoff in just one swipe. It has a glossy sheen and buttery texture to it but those somehow translate to an oily consistency which causes the lipstick to budge very quickly. Although hydrating and relatively comfortable to wear, it settles into the lines and emphasises dry patches, resulting in blobs of uneven colour on the lips if not properly exfoliated prior to application. When this shade fades to a plum stain after a few hours of wear, vertical streaks of the lipstick can be clearly seen along the lines on the lower lip. Yikes! 😣
#3 Lipstick – Holiday Crush
Holiday Crush is described as a muted pink with sparkle and a Frost finish. This cool-toned muted copper glides on smoothly without tug and lends an evenly-distributed metallic shine across the lips to give a reflective-foiled look. It is lightweight and lightly emollient but feels slightly tacky on the lips. This shade catches light beautifully at every angle and takes about two coats to be fully (or reasonably) opaque. However, the finish seems to intensify the appearance of the lip lines and can make me kinda self-conscious if worn out in public so I’ll probably use it as a lip topper instead. But I cannot lie. This shade is a stunner!
Despite the price drop, I’m so glad M·A·C did not compromise on the quality and actually rolled out products that the customers really want. It seems like M·A·C is finally back in the game!
What do you think about this collection? Did you manage to get anything? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!
Thanks for reading!