MAC Surf Baby Collection Questions and Answers

Published in: MAC Makeup

mac surf baby swatches

You asked some great questions in the comments on last week’s first MAC Surf Baby pictures post, and I thought it might be helpful to try and answer them here.


The collection breaks onto beaches makeup counters May 26 in North America (internationally, this month).

How are the Skin Sheen Bronzer Sticks used?

MAC Surf Baby Skin Sheen Bronzer Stick

Q: I apologize for the silly question, but I don’t think I understand how the bronzer stick is to be used. Is it for contouring, or are you meant to dab it all over and blend like foundation?

— Kim

Hey Kim,

Not a silly question at all. Are you familiar with the NARS Multiples? These Skin Sheens are kinda like thicker, stickier versions of those (basically, like a cream bronzer). They’re more pigmented, though, so a little goes a really long way.

I generally use the non-shimmery shades, Billionaire Bronze and Tan-Tint, for contouring and to add a bit of color to my forehead and cheeks, which are parts of my face that tend to really darken when I tan. As for the shimmery color, Gilty Bronze, I like to use it as a highlighter, wearing it on my upper cheek bones, brow bones and down the bridge of my nose.

To apply the Skin Sheens, I usually swipe a synthetic skunk brush like the MAC 188 across the top of the stick and then apply the product to bare skin or atop a liquid foundation/tinted moisturizer. Fingers work great, too, but I find that a skunk brush deposits a great amount of color — neither too little nor too much — and blends the product well, so it doesn’t look obvious or streaky.

mac surf baby swatches Skin Sheen Bronzer Stick in Billionaire Bronze
From left to right: Skin Sheen Bronzer Stick in Billionaire Bronze, Tan-Tint and Gilty Bronze

mac surf baby Lipglass Krazy Kahuna
Skinsheen Bronzer Stick in Tan-Tint along the curve of the apples of my cheeks to contour

I bet you could also just dab this all over and blend to give some warmth to the skin, like for very light coverage, but I’d probably still set it with something like MAC Blot to keep it in place.

Have we seen Safron before?

Pans of Saffron from the Surf Baby (left) and Mickey Contractor (right) collections

Katie Coleman wanted to know about the coral eyeshadow, Saffron.

Q: Do you think this is the same Saffron as the one that was released with the Mickey Contractor collection?

— Katie Coleman

Hi Katie,

Well, as far as I can tell, it is and isn’t. The colors do look very similar, but they’re a little different in terms of texture and payoff.

Surf Baby’s Saffron feels hard in the pan and applies incredibly sheer, while the Saffron from the Mickey Contractor collection feels softer to me and packs a stronger pigment punch.

Swatches of Saffron from Surf Baby (left) and Mickey Contractor (right)

Still, if you already have Saffron from the Mickey release, you’re probably fine without this one.

Foiled again! This time by Swell Baby Eyeshadow

Katie also asked about Swell Baby. She wondered if it shows up as a true iridescent when foiled.

Foiled? Yup, foiling refers to applying certain loose or pan eyeshadows with a wet brush to enhance an already (sometimes slightly) shiny or metallic finish.

Swell Baby applied dry (left) and wet (right)

Applying Swell Baby with a wet brush does seem to bring out a subtle iridescence, but it’s not the blindingly mirror-like shine I get when I do the same thing with Surf Baby’s Crushed Metallic Pigments.

Bust Out Lipstick vs. MAC Syrup?

Bust Out (left) and Syrup (right)

Q: Does Bust Out seem to be similar to Syrup? I really wanted that shade, but if I can get it with Surf Baby packaging…

— Priscilla

Hi Priscilla,

Unfortunately, nope, these aren’t two peas in a pod.

Swatches of Syrup (left) and Bust Out (right)

Bust Out looks darker and more like a wine color to me than Syrup does, which I think looks lighter and more purplish pink.

I hope you found these answers helpful, and let me know if you have any other questions about the release. From what you’ve seen of Surf Baby so far, what do you think? Does it make you want to hit the waves or wait for the next set?

Like Willie Nelson says, I’m going “on the road again…”

Photo credit: Via

It’s time for another quick trip! — this one to SoCal and the Urban Decay offices. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning, returning on Thursday afternoon (just one night). Of course, my camera batteries are charged and ready, sir! And I’ll do as much reporting as I can.

Another one of the reasons for the trip is to catch a screening of Bridesmaids tomorrow. Remember UD’s Urban Decay Bride Set released to coincide with the film?


Urban Decay Urban Bride

I love the set… I sure hope I like the movie too.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. How was your day today? Anything new to report?


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So far, 29 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Rae says:

    Ahhh! Love the Q&A – thanks for sharing, Karen! They’re all things I wouldn’t have thought to ask, but I found the answers to be incredibly useful all the same 😉

  2. Jessi says:

    Have fun on your little trip Karen! That movie looks cute. And BOO on the pigmentation of the Saffron from Surf Baby. Why can’t they stay consistent?!
    Jessi recently posted … Giveaway Time! Just Because I Feel Like It! Open Internationally!

  3. Vijaya says:

    Great Q&A. I didn’t realize the two Saffrons were so different!
    Vijaya recently posted … Linnaeus Cosmetics Review- The Emerald Tree Skink Collection

  4. Jen W says:

    That contouring looks so natural and the whole look is effortlessly glowy. Gorgeous!
    Jen W recently posted … May FOTD Challenge- Pin Up featuring NARS Bloodwork gloss

  5. Anna says:

    Love the detailed swatches you did here! I don’t love the WHOLE collection but the cheek powder and Bust Out are must haves for me! Although, the packaging doesn’t excite me (it’s a little tacky for me). I scored an invite to the launch party next Tuesday so I’m totally excited to nab mine before everyone else!!

  6. Whoa, the two Saffrons look so similar in the pan, but completely different when swatched. These are such good questions, especially that first one. Have a good trip, and I can’t wait to hear about it when you get back!

  7. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for the Q&A. It’s amazing how MAC can be so inconsistent with eye shadow consistencies.
    Lindsay recently posted … MAC Flighty Collection- Summer 2011 Preliminary info &amp pics

  8. gio says:

    Thanks for the Q&A and swatches. And have fun on your trip!
    gio recently posted … How To Test Cosmetics Safely At The Makeup Counter

  9. Vonvon says:

    Strange that MAC Surf Baby will be out in the US at the end of the month, but in the UK website, MY Paradise Cheek Powder is already sold out. :/

    It’s such a pain to get to a MAC store from where I am now. I have to take a train to the nearest city! Can you believe it? In Malaysia, there are 3 MACs within 15 minutes from my home!
    And when I called them, I really had no confidence speaking to that person in the MAC store, who doesn’t seem to know which Surf Baby collection I was talking about! *sigh!

    Enjoy your trip!
    Vonvon recently posted … A-Blush-A-Day- Nos 13 &amp 14- Prorance Sunny Glam Water Glow Skinfinish in M11 &amp M18 – Swatches &amp Reviews

    • Karen says:

      Oh no! Maybe if you call back another time you’ll be able to speak to someone who has a bit more knowledge about the collection. Perhaps she was busy or distracted…

      Anyway, have a good day. 🙂

  10. Chris25 says:

    It’s surprising to see how different the two Saffrons are. I think I’m going to go with NARS Multiples instead of MAC’s version.

  11. Priscilla says:

    Thank for answering my question! 🙂

  12. Nina says:

    i reallyreallyreally want Swell Baby! 🙂

  13. Tori says:

    I love that color Bust Out! But I have super pale skin so I was wondering if the color goes on sheer and can be layered for intensity or is it like BAM in your face one swipe power? 🙂

  14. Alka says:

    Love the Q&A!! Makes me really want Swell baby and sad that I didn’t pick up Saffron when it came out with Mickey C. Have a great time in SoCal…going to catch any waves while you are there?

  15. Jessica Leigh says:

    It’s so awesome that you are visiting the ud headquarters! I can’t wait to see bridesmaids – it looks like it’s going to be funny!

  16. Issa says:

    thanks for this post! have fun on your trip and will wait for your next posts!!! 🙂 have a good day!

  17. Phyrra says:

    That grey shade is gorgeous when foiled.
    Phyrra recently posted … Healthy Glow

  18. Beth says:

    ah thats my pier! haha or atleast im pretty sure it is. You can tell from lifeguard tower 1, which is on the pier. The first tower located on the left.

  19. Jenny says:

    Cannot wait to buy this line! It’s going to be hard to pick what to get!

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