Light Your Way with MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

mac by candlelight review

If there’s a cure for my addiction to MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powders, I don’t want it! Whenever MAC releases these limited edition shimmery powders for face and cheeks (so fab for highlighting!), I always fall for at least one of the new pans. 🙂


My latest MSF obsession? By Candlelight, from the upcoming MAC In The Groove collection (arrives Thursday, July 8).

It may not look like much in the pan (just another blah brown, right?), but don’t be fooled. Introduce it to cheeks, and By Candlelight comes to life!

One of four limited edition Mineralize Skinfinishes released with In The Groove ($28 each), this shimmery cheek and face powder adds a gentle flush of rosy pink and warm golden glow — fresh, breezy and casual.

On laid-back, minimal makeup days of the kind I’d like to have quite often this summer :), where I limit my looks to tinted moisturizer, concealer, mascara, brow powder and lip balm, By Candlelight works wonders, and those are the times I like to use it as a shimmery blush.

The look is relaxed, yet still kinda sexy, like familiar jeans, or that old grey tank that fits you *just* right.

And because I think it’s a little more pigmented than some of the other MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, it stands up well on its own and doesn’t take me a lot of building to bring out the color.

Are you feeling any déjà vu? If you are, pat yourself on the back, eagle-eyed MAC addict! This isn’t By Candlelight’s first trip to the rodeo. The color was also released with last winter’s MAC Warm & Cozy collection.

mac by candlelight swatches photos review
By Candlelight on NW20 skin

mac by candlelight swatches photos review
By Candlelight on NC35 skin

mac by candlelight review
By Candlelight on my cheeks…

Whenever I feel like I can do more than one thing with a product, wear it in more than one way, I feel like it’s delivering good value, and I can think of at least a few different ways I might wear By Candlelight.

One, for a glowy, glazed look like in the pic above, you could wear it on the apples of your cheeks (like what I attempted in the pic above), applied wet with something like MAC 187 skunk brush.

Or two, you could do something softer and more diffused by buffing it onto your cheeks with a dry blush brush like the MAC 129.


Three, you could even try using it as a highlighter, sweeping it along your upper cheekbones with a tapered blush brush like the MAC 116.

Or four, apply a fine dusting over your entire face with a fluffy powder brush like the MAC 150 for an all-over glow. 🙂

NOTE: I noticed a few angles at which By Candlelight’s shimmery finish seemed to emphasize imperfections on my skin. If you’re concerned about fine lines or large pores, consider starting with a layer of primer beneath your makeup. It should help keep the effect under control.

If you’re interested, swing by your local MAC counter on Thursday to peep this shade and more from MAC In The Groove. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

You might like MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish if…

  • You like how you look in warm gold and pink
  • You’re rocking a summertime tan (By Candlelight loves tanned skin!)
  • You want a shimmery blush you can wear on casual days
  • You like it when your skin glows
  • You appreciate flexible beauty products you can use in different ways

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. ezzie says:

    i’ve always been a bit iffy about shimmer on my combination-oily skin, but this one looks like i could pull it off with a light handed application 😀
    .-= ezzie’s last blog post… red- white-amp blue =-.

  2. lexi says:

    Was this a re-release from the Warm & Cozy line? I think I owned this for a quick second then returned it because I felt that it was way too shimmery on me. I just wish I had the ability to look into the future because now with highlights and a summer tan I am wanting a MSF like this. How’s Stereo Rose in comparison? I am wanting that because it sounds good for NC42 ladies like myself. Either that or I’m obsessing because it’s already sold out online…

    • lexi says:

      oops i posted this before reading that this was re-released just like I asked. I was just anxious I guess. MY BAD hahahaha

  3. Hyzenthlay says:

    I got By Candlelight from the Warm and Cozy collection . . . I love it for those easy makeup days (that I seem to be known for). It’s a bit scary looking in the pan (to me, at least), but it is so lovely on!

  4. lisa says:

    Really want to pick this up! I have NC45 skin but I think it will nice.

  5. Catanya says:

    Absolutely perfect MSF!
    And you look gorgeous!
    .-= Catanya’s last blog post… Garnier Nutrisse Creme y Anna Saccone =-.

  6. Nina says:

    I so want this. 🙂 I ordered it from the MAC website. Cannot wait! 🙂

    My other fave MSF would be Glissade – similar effect, maybe a bit more glitter-bomb-y.

  7. Michou says:

    this is the only thing from that collection that I have intentions on buying. 🙂

  8. TUPRNUT says:

    Ooo… very pretty. I’m a sucker for these, too. Glad they keep coming out, because I always drop and break them, so I’m always “needing” another one 🙂
    .-= TUPRNUT’s last blog post… A Brief Break =-.

  9. Kim says:

    It looks great on you Karen! Just back from vacation and I’ve been trying to catch up on all the posts. PS We’ve just adopted another abandoned kitty and she’s at the vet being checked out now. She’s #3 and it was a tough decision but she really needs a home. And you think YOU are a crazy cat lady! 🙂 At least my boys are thrilled. The husband? Not so much!

  10. Trisha says:

    This looks REALLY good on you. I think it looked better on your skin tone than on the lighter skin tone.
    .-= Trisha’s last blog post… Giveaway- Avon Advance Technique Lotus Shield =-.

  11. Dao says:

    You know how I feel about MAC MSF: I love the way it looks but I’m allergic to it. By Candlelight is awesome!

    Tabs is so cute!
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… My Makeup Blogs Second Birthday Giveaway =-.

  12. Deirdre says:

    My sister has this or one very like it and I think it’s lovely! It gives such a subtle glow, I think it looks great layered over a blusher.
    I think I might buy one myself!

  13. Just when I think I’ve just about bought into the hype over Stereo Rose, Cherryfied Chloe (Fistfuls of Glitter) convinces me that I must have By Candlelight. I resigned myself to buying both, but now that I see your NC20 swatch, I may skip Candlelight after all…I’m lighter than NW/C 15 and was hoping to use it as a highlighter, but it looks way to bronzey for that. I have Perfect Topping now, which works, but still gives a bit to much color for straight highlighting…anyone know how they compare?

    • mela says:


      i have both and actually both are the only MSFs that i own. i don’t know my MAC foundation color but i’m a 115 MUFE hd, which means i’m pretty far light on the light end of things 🙂

      on my skin, perfect topping gives a great peachy-pink glow, like a more-shimmer-less-pigmented benefit sugarbomb. i pretty much stick to perfect topping as a blush for the spring/summer months if i’m in a pink mood.

      by candlelight on the other hand is an AMAZING multitasker! its not nearly as bronze as it looks in the photos or the pan and on me delivers a soft golden glow. i used it as my primary blush this winter after it released because i was obsessed with dark lips and didn’t want to overpower them. now i use it as highlighter or as an all-over shimmer (i’m not really into the bronze look this year) and its completely gorgeous! its not too dark to use as a higlighter and does build really well. this is not a color to miss out on!
      .-= mela’s last blog post… 4 days left…do not pass go without collecting urban decay’s liners- =-.

  14. Elaine says:

    by candlelight doesn’t only love tanned skin – in the deep of winter when i’m uber pale, a light dusting of By Candlelight gives me the most FABULOUS look – it’s perfectly described by the name – like i’m in the gentle warm glow of a candle! lol

  15. Lady Di. says:

    How does this compar to soft and gentle? I have soft and gentle and if its almost the same, then I wont get it. Thanks!

  16. kim Porter says:

    I wanted to get this one along with Stereo rose, and they were the 1st two to sell out. It looks good on you though
    .-= kim Porter’s last blog post… Review- Veet Spray-on Hair Removal Cream works in just 3 minutes =-.

  17. Tiffany says:

    I’m so glad I already have this one, and stereo rose and petticoat! more money saved by me, lol 🙂

  18. Michelle says:

    So pretty — I remember this from the Warm and Cozy collection and was sad I missed out. I actually want this more than the over hyped Stereo Rose 🙂

  19. Nancy says:

    i just got my hands on the mineralize skinfinish stereo rose that was sold out within 2 hours on mac-dot-com, AND i just got the email that it’s already shipped!! WHOO-HOOOO!!! 🙂

  20. Rae says:

    Okay, this looks… absolutely amazing on you 🙂 I’m not a *huge* fan of it on lighter skin, but wowza! It really does look lovely, polished, AND relaxed (all at the same time!) on your gorgeous skintone.
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… Fall preview- The Body Shop Smoke and Fire =-.

  21. Pinch says:

    You’re rocking the minimal makeup, Karen! I suspect you just roll out of bed in the morning looking gorgeous, don’t you?

    And I always fall for the msfs too – but lately I’ve not been using them much, sadly. I’m afraid to get back up on the horse after a fatal accident with Petticoat. I figure if they just sit in my drawer I won’t lose them again 🙁
    .-= Pinch’s last blog post… Urban Decay Guilt =-.

  22. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    Oooh, pretty! Also, OMG Tabs in your lap 😀 😀

  23. stephanie says:

    I LOVE THIS. im so glad you did a detailed post about this. this is my absoloute love at the minute, i bought one and liked it so much i went and got another one the next day. it is released here in the uk and it’s one of the best products i have ever bought. i also use it lightly on my cheekbones and sometimes the apples of my cheeks with 187 brush and its an absoloute miracle for me.

    i have broken capilleries quite bad on one side of my face but i find the shine takes away the attention from the redness, nwhereas blushes usually emphasise the redness in my cheeks.

    another reason to love this! great!

  24. Carolina says:

    Such a beautiful pair!

  25. Kylie says:

    By Candelight looks great on you. On the NW20 it looks a lot like Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmerbrick looks on me, so maybe I will pass on this.

  26. melissa says:

    oooh i smell a dupe-Hard Candy So Baked…which is what i use.

  27. Jessica says:

    Also try aglow by clinique! it gives a very similar effect, loooove it

  28. Vonvon says:

    Hmmm…the more I read raves on By Candlelight, I think I should go check it out again, swatch them on my cheeks and decide fast.

    It looks a pretty pink glow on NC35, but I am between NC20-25.
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… EOTD Marathon- Vol 1- All Four LOreal Paris Open Eyes Chrome Intensity Palettes – Part 2 =-.

  29. beby says:

    i am so confused i have perfect topping, im light fair skin, but i heard candle light is shimmery and that what put people off buying this. i kind of feel i want it, but im not sure if i should because perfect topping is also used as a highlighter.

  30. LOLARIS says:

    OMG I know this is such an old, old post. But I can’t help commenting on Mr. Tabby on your lap! EXACTLY what my cats do everytime I’m working with my laptop. They’re somehow jealous with laptop and books!

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