In the closet in my office there’s a homage to hoarders/makeup storage area with a bunch of acrylic drawers stacked one on top of the other, inside of which I keep my very favorite workhorse products that I truly love.
Most of the items I review, I give away to friends or family or the women’s shelter, but I put the stuff that I want to keep for myself into those drawers.
One of them is dedicated to MAC Eye Shadow palettes, and whenever I’m in a hurry and just want to throw some makeup on without really having to think about it, that’s my go-to drawer. I know that I can pull anything out of it and basically be OK.
I’m going to put the MAC Cool Eye Compact Eye Shadow X 9 palette in there. 🙂
But I’m not going to stick it in there because it’s the most mind-blowing palette. I’m going to stick it in there mostly because of shock value!
I’m kind of shocked that I like it as much as I do, because I rarely love the MAC holiday eyeshadow palettes, to be honest. I don’t think most of them are as good as the singles in MAC’s permanent line.
But this one is.
I really don’t want to say, “I was surprised that I like this,” but I was really surprised that I like this! It’s actually very good, and I keep trying to find ways to talk myself out of liking it, because I’m just so used to not liking the holiday palettes. The more I use this one, though, the more I like it.
M∙A∙C Nutcracker Sweet
Available online October 20, 2016
Available in stores on October 27, 2016 through December 8, 2016
OK…now let me back up a little. This is one of three X 9 palettes in the MAC Nutcracker Sweet holiday collection. We looked at the Smoky one the other day, and I’ll have a review of the Warm one coming soon, but I think this one is my favorite of the group.
I don’t recognize any of the colors, either. I went to the MAC website and typed in their names, and none of them came up, which is cool because MAC’s Eye Shadow palettes are usually heavy with re-promotes.
So many mattes, too! So many of them. MAC holiday eye kits also tend to go all out on shimmer, with maybe a light sprinkling of mattes, but this one has quite a few.
I love using mattes in the crease, on my lower lash line and also as liner. Of course, you can also use shimmers the same way, but I think that if you’re a lady of a certain age, mattes are more forgiving.
The Cool Eye Compact Eye Shadow X 9 ($39.50) — Enchanted Beauty (Lustre), Absurdly Pretty (Matte), Raspberry (Matte), Plum Darling (Lustre), Performance Art (Lustre), Nutcracker (Satin), The Wrong Man (Satin), Sugar Plum (Matte), Marzipan (Matte) and Quite Spoiled (Satin).
It’s one of three X 9 palettes in the MAC Nutcracker Sweet holiday collection (the other two are Warm and Smoky).
The set also comes with…
The 214/213 Dual-Ended Brush
You could use one or two of these mattes all over your lids for a quick eyeshadow look, or use a few of them together for something smoky. Also, a few of the colors, like the pinks and reddish purples, are trending up in the makeup world now. They’re kind of a big deal this fall, so the palette also seems very “in the moment.”
In another shocking development, I don’t hate the brush that comes with these palettes. Sometimes, when I use the brushes that come with MAC’s holiday palettes, it feels like I’m scratching my skin with a porcupine, so I usually toss ’em.
(I’m trying to KonMari that sh*t.)
But this brush feels surprisingly soft. I like the small brush head for precision work, too. It’s called the…214/213.
Jeez, I had to like… You know you’re getting older when you have to take a second to read small print, haha!
Anywho, the weakest links for me are the shimmers. They’re super fluffy, pretty subtle and less pigmented than usual for MAC. I wish they were shinier, punchier and didn’t have as much fallout.
To do the look I’m wearing in these pics with that bright halo spot in the middle of my lid, I dipped my brush into a pan, wet it with MAC Fix+ to intensify it, then patted it on my lid, and I had to do that a few times to get that bright spotlight.
Overall, though, I think this is a very good palette. Of the three holiday X 9s, it’s my favorite.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,