When I first heard about this collection, I wasn't excited. At all. Then, as I found more and more information and pictures about this collection, my excitement grew. UM, HELLO!?! NEW BRUSHES AND MSFS!! Also, the eye shadows and lip colors looked promising. I admit, I had a pretty large wish list.
So I decided to actually check this collection out in person before I decided on anything. I am SO glad I did. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into my local MAC store and there was NO ONE inside and all the BBR stuff was waiting on me...untouched. I was able to really take my time and check out each and every color. Overall, the Brushes and Mineralized Skinfinishes were the stand-out items in this large collection.
Coming from someone who can usually justify buying most items in a collection, I was surprised at my willpower and the thought I put into this one. EVEN MORE shocking is the fact that after I return Henna, I will own no eye shadows from this collection... Maybe I just need to get rid of my massive amount of eye shadows! (yeah right)
I was IMMEDIATELY sold on the 226 small tapered blending brush. It's very small and dense and has a pointed tip that can actually be quite precise. I've used it twice and love it. It's awesome for the crease. It provides great precision for a controlled application, blends easily, and is actually pointed enough to define the area at the lower lashline.
The 165 tapered cheek highlight brush was interesting as well. Think of it as a huge version of a #224 and #226 brush mixed together. It's very soft. I noticed it really picked up a lot of color when used with a MSF. It also applies those very well. I CAN'T WAIT to try this brush with liquid foundation!
The 214 short shader brush is very small, dense, and soft. It looks like it would be best used for creating more smokey looks, as it seemed to smudge powder formulas and liner really well. I did not purchase it because I already owned a very similar brush from Sephora. However, it would be a great addition to anyone's stash of eye shadow brushes.
I really loved how these had more of a gradient effect rather than the marbelized look that the other MSF's have. I ended up getting the Blonde and Redhead. I skipped the Brunette because it was VERY deep. It appearred orange on my skin (I'm NC20-25). These have no large flecks of shimmer like some MSF's, but have more of an intense frost finish.
The eye shadow colors, while gorgeous, were all very easily duped by items in the permanent collection. Nothing was super unique. If I didn't own so many MAC eye shadows, I would have been all over them. I only "bought" Henna (I B2M'd for it), however, I'm going to exchange it for something else...keep reading and you'll see why!
Deep Shade=Deep Truth crossed with Contrast
Henna=If you have Sumptuous Olive, you have Henna.
Femme Fi=Nothing special. Has great color payoff, but is close enough to Ricepaper
Pincurl=Reminded me of Vex or Seedy Pearl
Knight=Silver Ring crossed with Knight Divine
Top Knot=This color let me down. The payoff isn't that great and it's basically a muted black. The shimmer particle doesn't really transfer as much as I would have wished.
Flip=Awesome payoff, but reminded me of a more golden version of Rice Paper.
French Cuff= Awesome payoff...but reminded me of Bold & Brazen, Expensive Pink, and Mythology
100 Strokes= Very close to Twinks or Sketch
Overall, I feel the same about these as I do about the eye shadows. They are GORGEOUS, but if you already own a few MAC lipglasses or lipsticks, chances are you'll have something similar to most of them. The only color I purchased was Soft Wave. It's such a pretty wearable tan shade with shimmer. Live and Dye was also really a really pretty color (a medium cool pink), but I couldn't bring myself to buy it because it wasn't that unique. As for the lipsticks, Marquise d’ was the most attractive to me, but again, wasn't that unique.
Overall, while the colors were beautiful, it just wasn't that exciting when I saw it in person. Hopefully this helps some of you out who may not be able to try before you buy!
Image Credit: Specktra.net