MAC Unsung Heroes: Care Blends Essential Oils, Grapefruit + Chamomile

Published in: MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac care blends essential oils

You know what they say. The squeaky wheel gets the…soothing essence of grapefruit and chamomile in a base of botanical oils. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s today’s Unsung Hero, MAC Care Blends Essential Oils in Grapefruit + Chamomile.


Pretty good on its own as a soothing super moisturizer, this $19.50 potion is even more potent when mixed, like with concealers, for the ultimate in dark-circle destruction. Combined with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, for instance, which I already love, the mixture is like Hogwarts’ magic.

Playing Elliott Stabler to Pro Longwear’s Olivia Benson, Grapefruit + Chamomile makes the duo greater than the sum of its parts. The two products have such great chemistry together that now, when I use them individually, I feel like something’s missing.

So the Care Blends? — they’ve been around the block as limited edition products in other collections, like 2010’s Warm & Cozy, and I remember mixing the Sweet Orange + Lavender one into my hand cream and liking it back then, but now the Grapefruit + Chamomile version has a spot in the permanent line.

mac care blends essential oils

MAC Pro Artist Louise Z is the person who convinced me to give the Care Blends a try last summer when she raved about how it performed when she mixed it with under-eye concealer for a shoot she did with the Oakland Raiders cheerleaders. I thought, “If it’s good enough for the Raiderettes, it’s good enough for me!” ๐Ÿ™‚ So I ran out and bought a bottle that day.

Unfortunately, I put the bottle in a drawer at home and promptly forgot about it, LOL! Until earlier this month, when a friend, MAC Pro Artist/fellow cat lady Keri B, posted a pic on Twitter of the MAC items she recently used to teach a bridal makeup class. Right there in the middle of the pic was a bottle of Care Blends Essential Oil, which Keri also said she likes to mix with concealers.

Doh! I remembered my bottle at home, dug it out and started experimenting.

And wouldn’t ya know it? It’s great!

Yup, better late than never…

It takes the edge off of full-coverage concealers like MAC Pro Longwear, which can look a little flat and harsh on my skin, especially when I accidentally apply too much. The addition of Care Blends Oil gives the concealer a little something extra — a natural-looking dewy finish — that looks more like real skin to me.

Plus, I still get the full coverage that I like, and the mixture seems to push the fine lines beneath my eyes further into the background by imparting a soft-focus look.

mac care blends essential oils

Back in the day, I did something similar by mixing MAC Fast Response Eye Cream with concealer, but I think this elixir works much better. It mixes easily with the concealer, and it doesn’t break up the product or cause it to disappear halfway through the day, which I remember happening with the Fast Response blend.

Hasn’t triggered any breakouts, either (knock on wood)…

How do I use it?

I like to start by prepping my under-eye area with MAC Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye Primer. That way I have a nice canvas to work on.


Then, I squeeze a small amount of Pro Longwear on the back of my hand, mix in about half a drop of Care Blends Oil, and buff the mixture under my eyes with a MAC 224 brush.

The trick seems to be getting the ratio just right. Half a drop of Care Blends to a small dollop of Pro Longwear is my sweet spot. Any more than that tends to sheer out the concealer too much.

I’ve also heard that some gals mix the Care Blends Essential Oils with foundation, but I haven’t tried that yet. If you have, or if you’ve done something similar, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection


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So far, 30 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Tracy says:

    I would never have thought to mix in face oils with my concealer or my foundation! What a great idea! I’m loving the Tarte Maracuja oil at the moment and I am going to try this! But these oils sound lovely and maybe a little lighter?
    Tracy recently posted … Discovering Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm

  2. Whoa, this sounds like a great idea, Karen! I’ve become a fan of face oil in the past couple of years (dry weather and all that), but I normally don’t use it for my undereye area. Maybe I should! At the moment I really like Darphin Chamomile Aromatic Care and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Obviously the Kiehl’s one isn’t going to cut it for this purpose, but maybe Darpin will! Thanks for the tip!

  3. Ruchita says:

    Thanks for sharing! I haven’t heard about MAC Essential Oils before, but I will have to add this to my “MAC stuff to try” list.

  4. Becca says:

    I absolutely love that face oils are finally viewed as being “ok” now–they really work wonders! I love my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Caudalie Balancing Concentrate–they’re both definite must-haves for my oily, temperamental skin. Never thought to mix it with my concealer though, I’ll have to try that (especially since I’ve been having problems with my concealer looking cakey due to dry undereyes).
    Becca recently posted … The Sample: NEW Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Nude Beach Review

  5. Lynette says:

    Oh wow oh wow I’m so enticed right now! I already had MAC Prolongwear concealer on my shopping list I’m now adding the careblends oil! Hopefully available in Australia…down under ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love your work

  6. Nellie C. says:

    Oh, I’m sad! It looks like they discontinued the Sweet Orange & Lavender one that is a staple for me! These were perm at MAC stores and online, but I’m guessing now I can only buy the Grapefruit & Chamomile one.

    I use the oil to thin my SFF for a lighter and less matte finish. I would try the concealer trick, but apparently now I need to make my bottle last as long as possible because it’s not available anymore. I wish I had known they were getting rid of the Sweet Orange one so I could buy another couple of bottles. Bah.

  7. Rita says:

    First I thought you were mixing the oil with Pro Longwear Foundation! I have done that and it’s the only way the foundation is wearable (it’s so thick and I have a dry skin). I have to try and mix it with the concealer, too.

  8. Vidhya says:

    I have tried this with MAC & Christian Dior foundation and it gives an amazing dewy natural finish. I adore this product.
    Vidhya recently posted … Clean on me – Soap & Glory Body Wash – Review

  9. Nina says:

    Im so curious about this! A MAC trip is happening this Friday (im taking the day off) and ill definitely check this out!


  10. breyerchic04 says:

    This is a really cool idea.

    I really wonder why they didn’t suggest pro longwear for me when I went just a few weeks ago to get a concealer. But this combo might have worked, if the colors did. I am dry under the eyes.

  11. I’ve been very interested in facial oils lately, especially after Argan Oil was a big success for the look of my skin… gotta try this out! Is this 100% natural?

  12. amy says:

    When the Care Blends essential Oils first came out , I bought both and the makeup artist suggested I use it under foundation. I use MAC Studio Sculpt, which is naturally thick. Ever since, I have always blended my foundation with the oils to thin out the texture, as well as to get the nice sheer, glowy and dewy look.

    • lelucio says:

      Hi Amy,
      I hope you can answer my question. I have tried several times asking Karen but she hasn’t respond, I hope you or anybody that can help me will.
      I also use Studio sculpt and I loooveee it! It matches me perfectly, but when I take pictures, it looks awful!!!!!! It gives me a white / ghost like look that I hate. It is completely different from the way it looks in real life…does this happens to you? If not, what powder do you use to set it or what can you recommend me doing? What am I doing wrong? Somebody, please help me!!!!

    • lelucio says:

      Hi Amy, I really hope you can help me!!! I have asked Karen several times about this issue but she hasn’t respond! I also use studio sculpt which I loooove!!!! It matches my skin prefectly and looks so natural and beautiful. My problem is that when I take picutes, it looks horrible! It gives me a white / ghost look that looks horrible! The color on my face is white and my neck looks super daker than my face. Does this happens to you too? What powder do you use to set it? What am I doing wrong? Please help me! Anyone, please I need help!

      • Karen says:

        Hi Lelucio,

        Sorry if I missed your earlier questions; I’ve been juggling more than usual in order to prepare for my trip. That white cast could be because of your SPF, as sunscreens can cause that white cast in flash photography. If you know you’re taking pics, you might want to wear a lotion without SPF. You could also try warming up the skin w/a bronzer.

        • lelucio says:

          I love you Karen! Thanks for responding to me!!!! The reason for my to subscribe to your blog is because we have almost the same skin color and it’s hard to find someone with a NC40 – NC42 skin!!! Thanks for all your super helpful tips and articles. I have learned so much reading your blog.
          About my question, I don’t use anything spf under the studio sculpt. I knew SPF might cause the white cast so for that reason, I skip that and I only use a toner or nothing at all and still get that white cast….=(….Please help me!!!!! I want to look as gorgeous as you do !

          • Janet says:

            Hi lelucio, I might have the answer. Do you use Make Up Forever HD finishing powder to set your makeup? I know the silica in that or perhaps in any product can cause “ghost face” in pics. Hope this helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • elsy says:

            Janet, first of all, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my question. I’m so frustrated that even though I love studio sculpt , the pictures are horrible. And I use clinique’s loose powder in transluscent to set it, do you think that is the problem? Studio sculp has spf 15 so I’m not sure what the problem is, Karen does not seem to have a problem with it. Thanks so much for your help!

          • Karen says:

            It could also be an issue of the flash. If you can, try turning the strength down a few stops.

          • lelucio says:

            Thanks Karen, is actually on both my cell phone and camera….but thanks for the advice….
            BTW, my previous reply said Elsy, I don’t know why….it was me that replied to Janet, lelucio. Thanks.

          • Janet says:

            I just found a posting Karen did back on 5/15/2009 about good tips when taking pics. She mentioned that translucent powders can cause this white or greyish cast in pictures. It’s probably the flash reflecting off the titanium dioxide and/or silica in your powder. You might want to use a powder that matches your skin tone rather than a translucent one. MAC makes lots of powders in various skin tones. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • lelucio says:

        Janet, you have made my day, my week, my month! Thank you so much for your help. I really really appreciate it. I will try your recomendation asap, maybe careblend powder by MAC. Thanks again!

          • lelucio says:

            Thanks karen! I will go read them right now.
            Taking advantage of your wonderful advice and help, and now that you are going on vacation (lucky!, but well deserved!), I would like to request from you an article/turotial about make up to wear to the pool/beach. I’m not so lucky to have perfect skin and I’m embarrased to show my face without foundation, so what can I wear to the pool that is waterproof and natural enough so I can look good and natural while at the pool/beach?

            Thanks Karen! and have lots of fun and rest on your vacation!

        • glamarella says:


          I was reading about the Careblends and came across your little thread on having challenges with looking white. Since I am SUPER pale, and always have to use the lightest foundations and powders, I am very familiar with your issue.

          To validate my following recommendation, let me preface it with this: I am a professional Makeup Artist, and I have worked for MAC previously. I am a product knowledge junkie and still consult with my clients from MAC on what products to buy. Most of my work is editorial or commercial/video, along with a fair share of wedding and special event makeup. When I do makeup, I make sure my photographers never have to retouch or photoshop face due to differences in colour and texture, and to this day, every once of my models or clients has looked perfectly airbrushed in every photo.

          My secret? MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish Natural. If you’re an NC40-NC42, you’ll probably be a Medium Dark to Medium Deep, depending on if you tan much in the summer. If you like a natural highlight, you can use Medium or Medium Plus on the lighter areas like inner corner of the eye, bridge of the nose, inner cheeks near the nose, ect. If you know you’re going to be taking photos, powder yourself a little extra! This powder will set your foundation, and can even be worn alone (like to the pool) when you don’t feel like being all made up.

          It has 77 bio-available minerals in the formula (so good for the skin) and is baked individually on terracotta plates out in Italy. The formula is a dream! And like the name indicates, it is made to look like SKIN. The more you wear it, and as your skin starts to produce oils throughout the day, it will look more and more like skin. Another little tip, if you spray it down really well with Fix+, it also will give that dewy, natural skin finish, without the wait. I recommend buffing it on with a 130 or 187, depending on the coverage you want. Some also like using the 109 (i do for brides), but personally, I can’t seem to put down my duo fibre brushes, especially when opting to drench myself in Fix+ (aka Face Crack!). It is also great for touch-ups or reapplying.

          This is a staple in my everyday makeup, and for my makeup kit. It was the first thing I made sure to buy when putting together my kit. I felt like with MSFs by my side, I was ready to take on the world. Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • lelucio says:

            You have no idea how much I appreciate the information you provided me. I think I tried MSF once and did not like the pictures, but I only used on my T zone very lightly, that probably didn’t help..I need to try using it like you said, all over and a little more for pictures with fix + on top. I’ve always heard great things about it, so I need to give it a try.
            Your reply came to me just in time. My daughter is a dancer and she will be taking headshots this Saturday and I was afraid to use studio sculpt for the white cast issue. I will use it with the MSF on top and I hope her pictures will come out great, hoping the SPF will not interfere.
            Again, thanks so much for your reply and valuable information! This blog is a great way to get tips, advice and solutions to your makeup / skin questions/problems! Thanks Glamarella and Karen!

  13. Deb says:

    Hi Karen. This post really intrigued me. I have very dry skin and under my eyes is like the Sahara. But oddly enough, really creamy concealers crease on me after a couple of hours. I’ve been looking for some “Hogwarts magic” solution and I am seriously considering this option. One question for you: does this coverage mix last for a decent amount of time? Seems like the oil would make the concealer soak in as the oil soaks in. I would have never thought of this on my own for that reason. You might me a genius!!

  14. LeAnn says:

    Hey Karen! I love mixing sweet almond oil with Pro Long Wear. Sweet almond oil helps combat dark circles and gives hydration of course, so it’s a perfect combo for me!

  15. Kim says:

    I think “if it’s good enough for the Raiderettes, it’s good enough for me” should be a universal truth. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. KaylaK says:

    I used the Care Blends oils in my foundation! I used it with MAC’S Studio Sculpt actually. Works it up very nicely! And I have oil slick skin and it didn’t cause me breakouts or anything like that. I need to try it for concealer tho..

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