In case you haven't seen the buzz online, the latest collection from MAC Cosmetics is out-of-this-world adorable! Nordstrom released all the Nutcracker themed products online before they hit the counters, but they are already sold out of the Face Compacts. Luckily, but none of my top picks are sold out yet! I have swatched every single product to help inform your purchases so please do check them out after the jump! xo
The Magic Dust Powder in Sweet Vision looks more bronze in the pan than the stock photos online make it appear. At $28, I think it is a very versatile peach because it can be worn very subtly as a highlighter or as blush or even eyeshadow. The golden sheen is more prominent on my skin than I expected, but I quite like that on my eyelids! There's a pink one called Yum Yum but it is a bit cool for my taste. Sweet Vision will be more universally flattering, while Yum Yum will be best on very fair skin tones.
The Magic Dust Eyeshadows in Dark Lullaby and Forward March are $19 each and my top two picks from the six shades offered. Dark Lullaby feels a bit dry to the touch but the pigmentation is quite nice and easy to blend out. Forward March is my favorite despite the chunkiness. I recommend using a small densely packed brush for application. If you don't mind the extra glitter, try Mustache.
|Sweet Vision // Nude Patentpolish Kit // Lipsticks // MD Shadows|
The Nutcracker Sweet Lipsticks, $18 each, are so beautifully packaged that I want to purchase backups. As you can see, I have three shades. Flamboyish is a matte, Leap of Delight is a matte, and Saucy Little Darling is an amplified lipstick. I am going to swing by Nordstrom to check out So Good For You, another matte, when the collection launches in store even though I really really don't need another red lipstick. I just think the packaging is too cute to pass up! I love the contrast between the glossy pink lid and matte purple base with shiny gold accents.
I did not think much of the Warm Eye Compact when I first laid eyes on it, but the shade combination is actually unique and totally wearable. Only one shade didn't swatch well, but it was smooth enough when tested on the eyes, specifically to smoke out liquid liner. Because I like the quality of this one, I think the Smoky Eye Compact would be worth purchasing, but I wish MAC would have switched the names of these two. The Warm Eye Compact is a mix of neutrals and deep shades while the Smoky vibes more like a typical "nude" palette. There is a third option available, called the Cool Eye Compact, which is interesting but not exactly my style. Each palette is $39.50.
Now the Nude Patentpolish Kit is a sweet gift for those who like natural and nude lip colors. The packaging is the perfect little keepsake box, beautifully executed with a shade range that is supremely flattering. Please refer to the swatch photo above the lipstick review. They're a lot more pigmented than you'd expect! In case you haven't tried the Patentpolish lipsticks before, they are portable chubby pencils that combine the comfort of a balm with the sheen of a gloss but without the tackiness. If you'd like a pink version, check it out here!
The Basic Brush Kit is a $135 value priced at just $52.50 and makes the ideal gift for teenagers or for anyone who needs a set of short handled brushes for their gym or travel bags. This is my favorite pouch from all the sets in this collection. It could also be used for pencils and lip glosses. If you own these essential brushes shapes already, I recommend the Mineralize Brush Kit since it is the same price and includes a very useful set of shapes for powder application!
The winner from this collection is the Plum Eye Kit, a set of coordinated colors that is a complete steal for $42.50. The Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Smoky Mauve is a pink-toned muted mauve and the best single product from the entire Nutcraker Sweet collection. The silky metallic sheen is so dramatic! The Technakohl Eyeliner in Purple Dash is a rich aubergine that was a bit sheerer than I expected, but it layers easily. The Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Stormy Pink is a muted grey purple that makes an excellent base since it is matte. I think this trio is my personal favorite from MAC! The False Lashes Mascara in False Black is a thickening formula that doesn't flake or smudge. The little clutch matches the packaging and makes all these essentials easy to pop into your purse.
The Smoky Eye Kit is a silver and black version of the plum kit that I adore. The Extra Dimension eyeshadow in Fathom's Deep is a true cool gunmetal with silver and purple microshimmers. I actually like wearing this one wet for a really opaque smoky eye. The Technakohl Eyeliner in Graphblack is one I wore a lot in college, and it is more rich in pigmentation than Purple Dash. The Paint Pot in Dream Scene is a bit sheerer than the Stormy Pink version, but that may have to do with the difference in finish. Still, it layered easily enough without unevenness.
Overall I would say the Nutcracker Sweet products are pretty fabulous! Nordstrom should be receiving the testers in store next week, so call and pre-order if there's something you want multiples of. These will make excellent gifts due to the thematic packaging and fun yet wearable colorways. After much testing, my top three picks are the Plum Eye Kit, Magic Dust Powder in Sweet Vision, and Lipstick in Saucy Little Darling.
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