MAC Art of Powder Perfects the Art of Subtlety

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

Wearing Street Art Eye Shadow on my eyes; In The Abstract Highlighter and Optical Bronzer on my cheeks

How does that song go again — “These boots heels aren’t meant for walking, because that’s not what they do”?


Something like that… You know what kind of heels I’m talking about. Most of us have at least one pair in our closet. Heels that look great on the shelf but hurt like hell when you take more than a few steps in ’em.

Don’t tell El Hub (shhh!), but I, uh, have a few heels like that in my closet. I call them my “look but don’t touch” shoes. Beautiful to look at, but they’re completely useless attached to a pair of feet.

That’s what I thought of today while playing with the pretty pans in the new MAC Art of Powder collection. The arresting designs emblazoned onto each of the three limited edition powders ($38 U.S./$46 CDN) are works of art in their own right.

So. Damn. Beautiful.

MAC Art of Powder

But when I try to transfer that beauty from the pans to my skin, well, that’s another story…

And it’s a complicated tale. One with two different endings. You see, it’s not like these powders don’t bring it. I think all three of them feel softer than cashmere, and I doubt anyone could have milled the grains in the bronzer or highlighter any finer. Even the flecks of shimmer in the Street Eye Shadow, with the way they softly illuminate my lids, are worthy of a house like Chanel.

I’m just bummed that some of the colors don’t register better on my NC42 skin. The pastel eyeshadows and golden highlighter are barely visible on my warm tan.

MAC Street Art Eye Shadow
Street Art Eye Shadow, $38 U.S./$46 CDN

MAC In the Abstract Highlighter
In The Abstract Higlighter, $38 U.S./$46 CDN

MAC Optical Bronzer
Optical Bronzer, $38 U.S./$46 CDN

MAC Street Art Eye Shadow swatch
Swatches of the Street Art Eyeshadow

MAC In the Abstract Highlighter swatch
Swatch of In The Abstract Highlighter

MAC Optical Bronzer swatch
Swatch of Optical Bronzer

Lighter lasses should have better luck wearing these than I do, but I still might hang the open palettes on my wall. 🙂

PRICE: $38 U.S./$46 CDN each
AVAILABILITY: Coming September 29 to North American MAC counters, stores and also online; internationally next month

(Hopefully) These boots are made for walking…

Speaking of shoes, have I mentioned my quest to find a pair of gray boots that I can actually walk in? Right now I have my eye on this pair by Blowfish:

The heels are a manageable 2.5 inches high, and I like the look of the sturdy wedge.


I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I’ve told myself that if I stick to my workout goals for the rest of the month, these bad boys are mine!

I’ll do whatever it takes to get my bum on the treadmill, ma!

Anywho, time for a quick bowl of tomato soup and pita chips for lunch. How’s your Wednesday coming along?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 21 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. The highlighter looks fantastic on you! I like that it’s not too shimmery. Werk it! 😀

    Those are some great boots. Perhaps I should bribe myself into working out. Do you happen to use Nike+? It’s a very fun and motivating way to track your running!
    Soleil Doux @ Soleil Doux Blog recently posted … Urban Decay Giveaway!

  2. Vonvon says:

    The patterns are really pretty but too bad the color payoff is just so so.

  3. Joyce says:

    The highlighter looks very subtle. It almost looks like it has a matte finish in your swatches, but on your face, it looks like it has a subtle sheen, which looks pretty. =)
    Joyce recently posted … MakeupByJoyce’s Pick + Choose Giveaway

  4. Vijaya says:

    Those boots look really awesome–I’m a boot *fiend*!
    Vijaya recently posted … Pop.C Lenses in Dark Brown

  5. HouseOfPhotoProps says:

    Very pretty in the pan!!

  6. Makeupandbeautyjunkie says:

    Lovely,but I will pass!

  7. Jessi says:

    They look so gorgeous in the pan, it’s a shame they don’t live up to the aesthetic. Like my architecture teacher always said, “Form follows function,” so if these aren’t functional, they have no use!
    Jessi recently posted … Milani Baked Blush in Terra Sole Swatches and Quick Review

  8. Jen W says:

    What a shame they don’t register well on your skin!

    You’re right about the gorgeous designs though, they are a work of art. Almost too good to use.
    Jen W recently posted … Estee Lauder Orchid Surrender Pure Color Sensuous Rouge lipstick: review, swatches, FOTD.

  9. Chris25 says:

    That’s one benefit of these powders: they can double as wall paintings in case they fail as makeup products. 😀

  10. Crystal says:

    Oh I love the boots!
    Crystal recently posted … Currently Lusting For….

  11. If I had these I wouldn’t have the guts to touch them! I would just keep them safe in their boxes and whip them out every now and then just to admire them. Works of art for sure!

  12. Donna says:

    I love those boots! I have a similar pair – Naughty Monkey’s Detective. They are grey suede and they are on sale AND they have a wedge-ish heel that is super super easy to walk in. They are a bit slouchier looking though. And they look super hot on.

  13. BooBooNinja says:

    I like how you are making the boots a reward.
    I think I’m going to have to do this with my own workout goals.

  14. Stacey says:

    I love the look of these….in the pan…but honestly I don’t think I will purchase them. Whenever I buy makeup that has a pretty design on it I tend to not use it as much since I don’t want the design to fade off!
    Stacey recently posted … FOTD: Burgundy Eyes….& a New Hairstyle

  15. cydoniac says:

    I love the boots!!! the MAC powders on the other hand….nah…I’ll pass…

  16. Yianna says:

    I know what you are talking about when you say see but not touch shoes 😛 I have 3-4 pairs of these and I enjoy only two things about them: 1. see em enchanting my shoe collection 2. the couple of times Ive wore them i enjoy 5-6 comments about them..( if people only knew how much the shoes hurt :P) Anyway do you think that the bronzer and highlighter will show up on my NC15 skin?? i really want them 🙂

  17. Nina says:

    oh i want these … not to use but to stare at. they are mesmerizing

  18. Kim says:

    That’s too bad about the pastels but they still look lovely in the pan! 🙂

    Oh, I like your boot choice. I’m a riding boot kinda gal and can actually manage some heel, since it’s chunky. I have a black pair that gets a ton of care as the weather cools down. That said, these are really pretty.

    Good luck with your workout goals; I know you’ll stick to them. I’ve been doing Insanity, which I don’t love, but I really needed a break from the treadmill. I should actually work on using my arm strength to push myself away from the table instead! 🙂

  19. Melissa says:

    Karen, I know you talked about the new MAC Foundation earlier this week and your pictures ever since look airbrushed – your skin looks flawless. I think this foundation might really be worth checking out if this is the case – and I really love the foundation I’m currently using. Have you been wearing it all week? (especially with that Kiss Me Quick pencil on your lips – gorgeous!)

  20. Stèphanie says:

    If I had those products I wouldn’t even use them.. they are too pretty!
    Stèphanie recently posted … China Glaze "Anchors Away" Collection

  21. yuri says:

    i would never used this. there are so pretty to use

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