MAC Fascinating Ruby 3 Plum Lips: Is that Ruby Big Enough for Ya?

Published in: MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

Stare deeply into the ginormous gem on the top of MAC’s Fascinating Ruby: 3 Plum Lips ($22.50) palette… IF YOU DARE!


Concentrate hard enough, and the gem will imbue you with mystical makeup powers and reveal the deepest secrets of the universe.

Okay, not really… This gem doesn’t do anything cool like that, but it does contain some pretty cool makeup.

From left to right: Mutual Attraction, Insinuate, Marvel

MAC likes to push the envelope with the packaging of their holiday stuff, and they’re at it again.

Part of the MAC Passions of Red holiday 2008 collection, Fascinating Ruby doesn’t work for me the way that the elegant and edgy packaging of last year’s Royal Assets holiday collection did. Matter of fact, I think it’s a little corny, but who cares, right? I’m here for the makeup more than anything else.

And speaking of that, I like each one of Fascinating Ruby’s three plum lip shades. The set comes with two lipsticks, a gloss and a teeny, tiny lip brush.

I ended up ditching the brush because using it to apply product was like trying to paint with a needle, so I opted for my trusty MAC 316 covered lip brush instead.

  • Mutual Attraction gloss: A shimmery, reddish plum gloss. The silver glitter turns up the drama factor, but I think I’d like it more if the glitter were gold.
  • Insinuate lipstick: I love this cool pink-plum with subtle golden pearl and can’t wait to wear it with purple smokey eyes!
  • Marvel lipstick: A shimmery, deep magenta plum. My lip color really brings out the red in this lipstick. I bet it’ll be a nice option for when I want to wear red with a conservative look.

From left to right: Mutual Attraction, Insinuate, Marvel

I have a good time with plum. I think it’s a user-friendly color, and all of the shades in this palette feel perfect for the season.


MAC Fascinating Ruby: 3 Plum Lips

Price: $22.50
Use: Plum lip color and shine
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

In addition to the Fascinating Ruby 3 Plum Lips palette, the MAC Passions of Red holiday collection includes four eyeshadow palettes ($38 each) and two additional lip palettes ($22.50 each) in shades of cool pink and coral.

So, what do ya think of that giant ruby on the package? It’s like MAC meets Raiders of the Lost Ark, LOL!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 28 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Tekoa says:

    The fiance’s responce to the Red She Said packaging was “Abu (from Aladdin) would have a field day with that thing.” Unlike some, I’m not mortally offended by the packaging and even think its rather cute. If I’d designed it though, it would be minus the gem and covered in the snakeskin pattern.

  2. Glosslizard says:

    I must confess, I continue to be disappointed with MAC’s interpretation of “plum”. I bought the 3 Plum Lips set last year, and I felt the colors were more in the realm of dark pink, a feeling that returns looking at these pictures! I guess I want a deeper, mauve-y, berryish, vampy plum, not a pink, no matter how deep! The packaging neither thrills nor repels me!

    Fascinating contribution, hmmm? Basically a long-winded “meh”! 😀

  3. Shiny says:

    I have the viva glam palette from last year and this year and not only does the packaging look tacky compared to previous releases, the weight is very different too. Last year it just felt more expensive and of a higher quality compared to the snakeskin one. I had a GC otherwise it is likely I wouldn’t have bought it.

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Tekoa,

    LOL! I totes agree with him! I want to bury this for a pirate to find, er something.

    Good call on nixing the gem and just going for an all over snakeskin pattern. I’d do the same.

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I still have that plum lips set and bust it out from time to time. Maybe you can layer a deep layer of a dark lip liner underneath the shades?

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Shiny,

    I noticed the same thing. I guess some people like the fact that it is lighter, but I’m with you — I like feeling like the compact has sturdiness!

  7. Marisol says:

    All these colors look great on you.

    Marisol´s last blog post..Online Tarot Card reader

  8. Miss QQ says:

    Hi Karen. This is my favourite lip palette out of the three. But I’m lazy to use lip palettes so I skipped it. I like the gem on this year’s palette. LOL. This is the first year I’m spending on MAC’s holiday collection so I have nothing to compare to. I did see last year’s, but only from a distance. I didn’t play with the palettes then.

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Thanks! Will you be getting any of the holiday stuff this year?

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Miss QQ,

    Both 2007 and 2006 MAC collections were pretty swoon worthy! I remember going crazy when I first saw the pictures. I didn’t feel the same way when I saw these, though… le sigh.

    What do you like most in this collection? I think Red She Said was my favorite.

  11. cloudburst says:

    I have to say I find this year’s packaging cheesy – I like the embossed skin, but I hate the huge rhinestone – but like you I’m here for the goods. I’m seriously contemplating that plum lips set. They look great on you.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Cloudburst,

    Right? Totally cheese-tacular… so cheesy that you could even serve it with crackers!

    If you get this be sure to have your lip brush handy. That small brush is a PIA.

  13. Kitty says:

    Insinuate is absolutely gorgeous!

  14. Dao says:

    For some reasons I do not prefer lip palettes. Maybe deep down inside I’m a germaphobe? The colors do look very lovely but I wish they put them in mini lipstick tubes 🙂 How’s Tabs doing? Is he enjoying life?

  15. Ellery says:

    I really like the packaging, but why did they put the lumpy-crocodile-like effect on it?!

    I love Insinuate though, the rest just do nothing for me.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Kitty,

    It is! Smokey eye time… 🙂

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Sometimes I find them a pain, too. It’s just *that* much easier to take a lipstick tube out, ya know?

    Tabs is doing great. He stayed the entire night (second night in a row), and even slept on the bed between both me and El Hub. I think, though, that all this love is due more to the weather. It’s cold outside and we have this magical thing called central heat! I think Tabs loves that more than he loves us!

    How are you?

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Ellery,

    LOL, I think that’s supposed to be snake skin? I guess they felt the need to go OTT. Sometimes it works… in this case I think it was a bit too much. I want to pry off the jewel and hide it in a treasure chest!

  19. Dao says:

    LOL at Tabs! He’s such a user, hopefully he can be house-trained during the cold season. It finally got cold in my place and I’m happy to wear sweaters. I’m doing fine, planning a post for Tabs on Friday 😉

  20. Amanda says:

    I think I’m indifferent to the packaging as well. But I haven’t seen it in person, so I can see how it have the potential to be WAY cheese-tastic. I don’t really like lip palettes either, but these colors are so, so pretty. And you are right-so pitch perfect for the trends/season.

  21. Shefali says:

    I am not cheesy or gaudy at ALL and can identify cheese-o-rama stuff. I’m wondering why I don’t find this cheesy? I’m not buying any of them because I don’t like the colors or have dupes, but that’s the only reason I’m not.

  22. cloudburst says:

    I think I pinpointed what exactly I don’t like about the big plastic gem – it’s something you would see on a child’s toy makeup set, not something on a sophisticated makeup case.

  23. Eva says:

    Karen, the colours look lovely on you!
    The swatches Christine posted on Temptalia were really disappointing th in terms of the colours not showing up on her..
    I agree on the packaging, so corny! I think they would look great without the fake gems..

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    He’s potty trained! I got him a litter box a few months ago and he uses it.

    Awww, I’m looking forward to your Friday post. 🙂

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Yeah, it’s not as pretty as last year’s, that’s for sure. Are you a plum lip kinda girl?

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Shefali,

    Hmm… well, I can appreciate the color of the palettes and the print. And the gem is okay by itself. I think just it all together it’s a touch too much.

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Cloudburst,

    AHHHHH! That just might be it. I mean, if they went all the way with making it kitschy then I would be on board. It just seems like they threw too much together!

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Eva,

    Thanks! I think my lips tend to bring out red in these colors…

    Do you plan on getting any of the holiday items?

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