I would like to propose a toast, friends — my very first serious toast ever — and I think there’s something fitting about it being dedicated to makeup. If you’ll bear with me for a moment, please raise your glass, be it filled with bubbly, wine, water, chai latte or anything else, to the MAC Cham Pale collection, one of the most inspiring neutral releases this lass has seen this year.
Launching right after Christmas (Dec. 26), the limited edition collection is a relatively small one for MAC, with just 26 pieces for the face, eyes, cheeks, lips, nails and skin in prices ranging from $14-36.
As much as I love neutral colors like gray, beige and and peach, collections dominated by them run the risk of venturing into snooze territory, especially when the finishes are mostly matte. They may be practical as all getout, but matte beige and gray don’t exactly set the world on fire, ya know?
Which is why I’m so surprised by MAC Cham Pale. The collection does for neutrals what Glee did for musicals on television. Like a mimosa on the beach, these finishes — which range from soft, pearly shimmers to high shine frosts — sparkle in the light. MAC made something practical into something inspiring, and I think it’s a refreshing take.
Some items from Cham Pale, clockwise from the peach pan in the lower left: Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole, Paint Pot in Dangerous Cuvee, Paint Pot in Vintage Selection, Eye Shadow x 4 in Caviar Dreams, Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Chez Chez Lame, Lipgelee in Luxure, Nail Lacquer in Soiree
The color palette almost looks like someone started by melting a gilded gold and silver jewelry box and siphoned the colors into makeup pans, tubes and pots. Quiet pink, cool gray, warm peach and inky onyx weave their way into the metallics, keeping the colors soft and wearable. Nothing’s either too warm or too cool, and I’m betting these shades are going to look fabulous on a wide range of skin tones.
I love everything in this release, but the eye makeup is exciting me most, especially the Paint Pots and the quad.
As for the Reserve Highlight Powders (how cool is that crinkled design on the pans?), the texture feels even softer than usual for MAC.
MAC Cham Pale: Swatches on NC35 Skin
Swatches from left: Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick, Kohl Power in Feline, Chromagraphic Pencil in NC15/NW20, Chromagraphic Pencil in NW25/NC30
Paint Pot in Chilled on Ice, Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection and Dangerous Cuvee
Eye Shadow in Brule, Eye Shadow in Retrospeck, Eye Shadow in Et tu, Bouquet?, Eye Shadow in Caviar Dreams, Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Chez Chez Lame, Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole
Lipstick in Quiet, Please; Flustered; Tanarama and Gel
Lipgelle in Luxure, Sin-tillation, Straight to the Head and Bubble Lounge
Nail Lacquer in Soiree (left) and Very Important Platinum (right)
Eye Shadow x 4 in Caviar Dreams, Paint Pot in Dangerous Cuvee, Paint Pot in Chilled on Ice, Kohl Power in Feline and Chromagraphic Pencil in NW25/NC30
Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Ole on cheeks and Lip Gelee in Luxure on lips
These products make me want to make big New Year’s Eve plans. From the colors, to the finishes, to the promotional artwork in the ad campaign, they beg to be worn to a fancy schmancy shindig, one in a warm room with high ceilings, a live band and hundreds of people dressed to the nines.
The MAC Cham Pale Collection: The Whole Shebang
Studio Fix Lash, $14
- Black Fix — a black
Special Reserve Highlight Powder, $28
- Chez Chez Lame — a soft gold with silver shimmer
- Rose Ole — a soft pink with golden shimmer
Eye Kohl, $14.50
- I Get No Kick — a metallic nude
Kohl Powder, $14.50
- Feline — a rich black
Chromagraphic Pencil, $14.50
- NC15/NW20 — NC15
- NW25/NC30 — NC24
Paint Pot, $16.50
- Chilled on Ice — a frosty white gold
- Let Me Pop — a frosty light copper
- Vintage Selection — a frosty dirty peach
- Dangerous Cuvee — a frosty cool gray
Nail Lacquer, $13
- Soiree — a sparkly light bronze gold with a frosty finish
- Very Important Platinum — a dirty platinum with a frosty finish
- Tanarama — a pale beige with golden shimmer and a frosty finish
- Flustered — a pale bronze with a frosty finish
- Quiet, Please — a pink champagne with a frosty finish
- Gel — a sheer metallic beige with a frosty finish
- Luxure — an off white with pink pearl and a frosty finish
- Sin-tillation — a sparkly pale icy pink with a frosty finish
- Bubble Lounge — a sparkly pinkish peach with a frosty finish
- Straight to the Head — a sparkly bronze brown with a frosty finish
Eye Shadow x 4 in Caviar Dreams, $36
- Brule — a soft creamy beige with a satin finish
- Et tu, Bouquet? — a frosted pale pink gold with a frosty finish
- Caviar Dreams — a drity frosted pewter with a lustre finish
- Retrospeck — a beached blonde with a lustre finish
Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15+ Lavender, $14.50
- Calm Mode — a light neutral beige
Fix+ Lavender, $18
Complete Comfort Creme, $32
Lip Conditioner SPF 15+ Lavender, $14.50
So tell me, how do you feel about Cham Pale? Are you neutral about it, or have you taken a stand?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,