MAC Makeup Reviews, Cosmetics – Invisible Set Powder; Natural Flare Loose Beauty Powder; Indianwood and Groundwork Paintpot; Plushlash in Plushblack

Published in: Beauty Tips, MAC Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC Makeup Reviews – Part Uno of MAC Pro Store Haul

MAC Loose Beauty Powder in Natural Flare
Price: $21.00 for a 0.28 jar
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+


Oh. My. Gawd. Becky.


The Loose Beauty Powders are frickin’ amazing.

MAC Loose Beauty Powders are sheer, jet-milled powders used to bring shimmer to eyes, cheeks and skin.

There are eight colors, and I think I want them all!

MAC Paperwhite: Soft white with pearl reflects
MAC Micro Pink: Pale pink with red reflects
MAC Lightly Lilac: Soft lavender with violet reflects
MAC Daisy Dust: Pale banana with gold reflects
MAC Natural Flare: Peachy champagne with white and gold reflects
MAC Peach Haze: Soft coral with gold and bronze reflects
MAC Dancing Light: Creamy gold with white gold reflects
MAC Drizzlegold: Flechy beige with copper and gold reflects

I have MAC Natural Flare, a peachy champagne with white and gold reflects. Not only is the color beautiful, it’s incredibly versatile.

In the past two weeks I’ve used it in several different ways, including:

– on top of matte blushes to give them dimension
– as a highlighter on the nose, chin and upper cheekbones
– with lotion and applied to legs and arms
– mixed with sunscreen on days I’m too lazy to wear foundation but still want a little glow.

What I liked about MAC Loose Beauty Powder

– gorgeous, refined glitter that isn’t too in your face
– perfect, natural looking sparkle
– very sheer, yet buildable coverage. Even when I’ve accidentally overloaded my brush and the results still look great
– great for a luminous J.Lo skin look

What I didn’t like about MAC Loose Beauty Powder

– nada! I just wish I picked up a few more colors!

The final word
Words can’t even begin to capture how much I love this product. Ladies, get your hands on this asap. Tis the shizz.

… Loose beauty?

REVIEW: MAC Paintpots in Indianwood and Groundwork
Price: $16.50 for a 0.17 oz jar
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: C+/B-


I’m a big fan of MAC Paints as eyeshadow bases. Barely a day goes by when I don’t reach for my beloved Bare Canvas.

I’ve been a little hesitant to get on the Paint Pot train because the last thing I need is another MAC obsession to fuel. However, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And if it’s for the sake of beauty blogging, then I’m down to make the ultimate sacrifice of possible product obsession.

I had great expectations for the MAC Paint Pots and was entirely hoping they’d rock me, Amadeus.


Although I liked the colors, I was disappointed with the texture and performance of MAC’s Paint Pots. My wallet will be happy to know that I will not be shelling out le dough to get all of the colors into my makeup stash.

What I liked about MAC Paint Pots

– great packaging
– natural and pretty colors
– long wearing
– doesn’t crease

What I didn’t like about MAC Paint Pots

– drier formulation

If you’ve used the previous MAC Paints in a tube, you know that one of the big issues is that the product is hard to control. It tends to shoot out of the tube, a lot ends up going to waste and the metallic packaging just sucks!

The MAC Paint Pot packaging is a vast improvement. And the stuff stays on forever and doesn’t crease, which is great. I often use Indianwood just as a wash of color all over the lid on days when I’m too lazy to do a full eye.

However, I just feel so-so about the paint pots as a shadow base. Maybe I’m nuts (hey, it’s entirely possible) but the drier texture of the new formulation doesn’t grab or blend shadows as well as the OG MAC paints.

The final word on MAC Paint Pots

I’ll probably buy Bare Study just to see how it compares to Bare Canvas, but then I’ll stop there. I don’t lust after these enough to collect them all.

REVIEW: MAC Invisible Set Powder
Price: $24.00 for a 1.1 oz jar
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B


By far for the past few months Laura Mercier Translucent Loose setting powder has been my favorite thing to top off every range of foundation – tinted moisturizer, liquid foundation, etc.

Yet old beauty habits die hard, so I’m always on the hunt for new makeup.

I’ve been wanting to try MAC Pro’s Invisible Set for a while, so during my last trip to the MAC Pro store the first thing on my list was this product. The Set powders are loose powders designed to stabilize and fix makeup, and you can only purchase them at Mac Pro stores. By the way – you don’t have to have a card to shop at the MAC Pro Store! All you need is your credit card and a massive amount of self restraint.

The skinny on MAC Invisible Set Powder…

– jet-milled
– contain micronized pigments and talc for pure colors and soft application
– sheer-light coverage
– matte finish

There are seven shades, including:

MAC Lilac: Whisper soft lavender
MAC Peach: Light-medium beige peach
MAC Deep Peach: Medium-deep beige with neutral peach undertones
MAC Soft Yellow: Creamy soft yellow
MAC Dusty Rose: Very soft pink
MAC Porcelain: Soft white
MAC Invisible: Transparent ivory

One of my issues with Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose setting powder is that it doesn’t have enough lasting shine control. I’ve read that Invisible Set is a great for ladies with oilier skin, so I was very excited to see how it performed in comparison.

I’ve been alternating MAC Invisible Set makeup with Laura Mercier Translucent over the last two weeks. I wish I could scream from the rooftops that MAC Invisible Set is my new favorite powder but I just feel so-so about it.

What I liked about MAC Invisible Set Powder…

– matte finish that absorbs oil for long periods of time (although this seems to be dependant on the base that I use)
– only have to use very little to get good coverage
– no weird grey cast
– huge makeup jar!

What I didn’t like about MAC Invisible Set Powder…

– has a more stark finish and not as “soft-focus” as Laura Mercier Translucent Loose
– requires more thoughtfulness during application. I can’t just slap this on and go. I really have to be careful not to overload my brush and have to dilute, dilute, dilute; otherwise my makeup looks too Memoirs of Geisha
Invisible Set makeup definitely keeps me less oily throughout the day, but on my skin it really depends on what type of base it adheres. I’ve tried it with various types of coverage, from light tinted moisturizers to medium coverage liquid foundations. By far the best results were from the heavier coverage products. When I wear Laura Mercier Oil-Free foundation, Invisible Set makeup really grabs onto the color and won’t let go. But when I use Laura Mericer Tinted Moisturizer, Invisible Set seems to get oilier much more quickly.

On me, Invisible Set gives a more theatrical, dramatic finish than Laura Mercier Translucent. Laura Mercier’s Translucent is like “I’m running barefoot through a field of sun flowers in afternoon light in sun-dappled Tuscany” while Invisible Set is like “I’m wearing Dubonnet red lips, a black Armani suit and four-inch Manolos and you better move out my way when I’m strutting down Market Street.” Get the picture?

You might like MAC Invisible Set Powder if…

– you like to have a range of powder finish options
– wear heavier foundation
– have really oily skin

The final word on MAC Invisible Set Powder…

I probably won’t buy it again simply because of the fact that this particular jar is going to last me into the next lifetime. It’s huge! And I barely need to use any of it to get great coverage.

Also, I also like to have different powder options on hand, and will use this on days when I want a more dramatic look to my skin. It’s a fun option to have in your makeup arsenal, but if you’ve got a limited budget then it’s not a must-have. However, if you’re skin is super oily and you wear heavier products, this could be a godsend.

I think in the future I’ll actually mix MAC Invisible Set Powder with Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. I’ll keep ya’ll posted on the results of this Franken-powder experiment.

REVIEW: MAC Plushlash in Plushblack
Price: $11.00
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+ and a big fat HELL TO THE YAH!


MAC Plushlash will kick your Plushass!

I’m usually a big fan of drugstore (aka cheap!) mascaras and makeup, but MAC Plushlash is actually worth spending your hard earned cash on. And, baby, I know you work hard for that money.

Plushlash awesomeness begins with the huge brush. It’s all puppies and rainbows from that point on, ladies:

– excellent curl hold
– great lengthening and thickening
– deep, dark black color
– doesn’t smudge

Just for fun the other day I applied four layers of MAC Plushlash in Plushblack, and I actually went out in public without feeling like a total freak…
After three years of heavy weight domination, MAC Plushlash now knocks out DiorShow as my new fave higher end mascara. LOVE IT!


How’s your Saturday been? I’ve been slightly out o’ commission because earlier today I was listening to “Get Low” by Flo-Rida (She hit the floor, next thing ya know she got low, low, low, low…). I started dancing around the house, which is standard operating procedure ’round here, and then proceeded to pull a muscle when I got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low. Yes, this is what happens when you’re 32 and you don’t warm up! So I’ve been wobbling around all day like a pirate with a wooden leg. Not cute!

Anyway I hope whatever you are doing is fun and that you are enjoying your day!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


If you enjoyed this post, check out MAC Makeup Reviews – MAC Royal Assets Tan Lips Palette and MAC Makeup Tips: MAC Does Makeup for Music, Too.


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

  1. Christine says:

    *sings* I have all eight of the beauty powders… I have all eight…!

    Somehow I caved and got the three I didn’t, plus the other glitters I didn’t. David had them sent over and waived shipping (because he’s such a doll, and perhaps because I ordered the next day, HA).

    Didn’t I tell you the paint pots were so-so? ITA – they weren’t making blending perfect-o nor intensifying my shadows. I guess they work better as cream shadows than cream bases. If I think that way I’m less disappointed!

    Wow, Plushlash beats DiorShow!! And Plushlash isn’t even that expensive ($11 – hell, most drug store mascaras are pushing around $8 these days!). I’m still workinng with it; haven’t made my decision yet.

  2. Karen says:

    Hey girl! Yeah, the biggest thing for me was that it didn’t smudge and kept the curl. And the price tag, yay!

    I know, I know, you told me so! I am really disappointed. I think next on the experiment list: Shadesticks.

    I am debating on whether to go to Safeway to get a carrot cake for dinner.

  3. Christine says:

    I really need to remember to curl my lashes!

    Hopefully you like shadesticks more. I used to like them, but not so much anymore.

    I vote yes, but I say this while eating carrot cake from the Cheesecake Factory.

  4. kia says:

    the paint pots creased on me =(

    plushglass will replace your diorshow?? that’s a strong argument karen! wow! i will now have to try it for myself.. so it beats out loreal voluminous too?

    i love the pressed beauty powders (no shimmer, just a wonderful lustre and sheen) so i hope i’ll love the loose beauty powders.

    please share the results of mixing your translucent powders!

  5. Karen says:

    I’ve never had the Cheesecake Factory carrot cake, hmmm! How is the frosting?

    You so don’t need to curl your lashes, lucky brat! Just skip the step if you don’t have to!

  6. Karen says:

    yeah, kia…it’s quite an impressive mascara. and the price tag is “cheap” in comparison to diorshow! The only thing that I think diorshow and carbon black does better is the fact that they fatten up the lashes just a touch more. Plus, carbon black has a really beautiful glossy sheen, which other mascaras don’t seem to have.

    you will love the loose beauty powders, i just know it! i want the lilac one next!

    and yes, I will for sure do an upcoming post on the FRANKENPOWDER EXPERIMENT!

  7. Christine says:

    Cheesecake Factory carrot cake is subpar – a bit dry, not nearly enough frosting. It’s three layers, but hardly any frosting in between so it’s far too much cake (especially since it’s a touch dry) to eat.

    Lately I’ve been thinking my lashes need more curl. Do you have a favorite curler tool? I need to create a holiday wish list, and it’s not very long, so I could always use some more recs!

  8. Karen says:

    Right now I like MAC’s. I’ve tried tarte, revlon, a buncha other ones but i like the MAC one because it doesn’t pinch. I’ve heard great things about Shu’s but at this point I think I’ve heard so much hype about it that I’ll probably hate it if it doesn’t take me to the moon or teach me Russian, ya know?

    That Cheesecake factory cake sounds GROSS. I ended up going to Safeway and getting the cake, and there are some weird ass people there on Saturday night. You know that if you went to Safeway with your Robotic MAC face that it would’ve been so COOL!

  9. Jane says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for the Plushlash review and pictures! I’ve been dithering to and fro on whether I should get it because I really don’t need another mascara, and Zoomlash and Pro Longlash have just not been as good to me as Chanel Inimitable, but this one looks amazing! I need to get that next time I find myself at a MAC counter. 😀

    Also on the loose beauty powder! Looks awesome. I’ve really been ignoring these because of my MSFs but they look very interesting. I need to try these out.

    Have a great day! 🙂

  10. Josay says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for your reviews. It is always interesting to read you 🙂

  11. Kimie says:

    Karen ur awesome! Thanks for the tips I’m seriously drooling over the plushlash! I didnt like diorshow..I know im probably the only person on the planet, but it really flaked on me literally lol. I’ve been using Fresh mascara which is kay, but it flakes a little too and can be super clumpy so Yeah off to the MAC store 🙂

  12. Christine says:

    Yeah, I only have a cheap Revlon one (c’mon, I hate shelling out $$ for things I’m not sure I believe increase in quality relative to price), which does curl, but I’m no curling expert and don’t pay attention to how well it holds, ha.

    I was thinking perhaps asking for Shu’s for Christmas (I have pretty much nothing on my list, so I guess I’ll fill it with beauty products in the meanwhile – but can I wait til December? Not likely.). But Erika from Makeupbag swears by it! It has to be good, please be good!

    It wasn’t AWFUL, but definitely not worth it and stay clear of it!! How was the Safeway cake? I think if I left the house, people would have called the cops “there is this weird thing slinking around my neighborhood!”

  13. Karen says:

    You are very welcome Josay! 🙂 Have a good weekend!

  14. Karen says:

    Hey Kimie,

    Plushlash doesn’t flake a lot on me, so hopefully it won’t on you. And for $11.00 it’s not too bad…just save your receipt in case you don’t like it so you can return. Let me know if you get anything else good!

  15. Karen says:

    My friend Bernadette swears by it too, and she’s quite the lash junkie. According to her it has this amazing curl ability and good tension and it never pinches. I probably won’t buy it cause I’m happy with my MAC one…it’s only $14 bucks, so I think it’s at least worth the try.

  16. Irene says:

    I was just going to tell you that if you wanted a good oil-control powder that could set foundation, etc., I have been hearing great things about the new Dream Matte Powder from Maybelline. Apparently, it is on point even with the higher-end brands. I’m not sure if you know this site but “” is where I go to do all my cosmetics research or rather practice makeup restraint…..
    But anywho, you might like to check out the reviews on that product.

    Happy shopping! =)

  17. nilla cookie says:


    LOVE the post today!

    I’ve never really played with a lot of MAC products before but it’s so fun to read your reviews that I feel I must try EVERYTHING!

    I used to use MAC Paints in the tube as my eyeshadow base and was happy with it, but really hated that it was in the tube and the fact that I couldn’t squeeze out what I KNEW was still in there before I had to get it replaced.

    That annoyed me a little so I switched to the Beige-ing shadestick for my base. I was in love with this until I bought my second one and the texture wasn’t as creamy and easy to work with as the first stick I bought. But I originally loved it so much that I bought a third time and it was indeed the product that I fell in love with the first time. If you’re going to try the shadesticks next, be aware that there might be consistency issues. Because if this, I wanted to try the Paint Pots, but from your review, I don’t know if I want to try it. I guess it wouldn’t hurt, but maybe I should just go back to the Paints in a tube??? Oh the dilemma!!

    Thanks also for review the loose powder. I’m actually a HUGE fan of Laura Mercier’s translucent and her tinted moisturizer. I personally think that MAC’s powders and foundations are too heavy for me and make me look like a clown 🙁 LOL

    And finally! After your review, I think I’ll try PlushLash. My lashes are so short and thin that I’ll try anything! Even though I love my Loreal Original Voluminous, I’ve been using it religiously for years and it’s about time I try something new, right?? I also have the Shu curler but if you’re happy with MACs (and it makes your lashes GORGEOUS!) then why switch? Unless you’re curious for $4 more bucks?? Let us know when/if you ever try it out! Would love it hear how you think it compares 🙂

  18. Christine says:

    Watch me buy Shu’s, hate it, and wind up getting the MAC one later!

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Irene,

    Makeupalley is a great site! I’ve been wasting time on it since 2003, HA! I will check out that powder, thanks for the recommendation. The other day I was in the drugstore and bought a tube of Maybelline Pure Makeup on impulse and surprise, surprise, it’s pretty darn good for 6 bucks! If you’re a foundation girl you might like it!

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    Ya know, MAC product performance seems to really vary according to a person’s taste, so the Paint Pots might be worth a try. So many women I know love them so who knows? They might be your holy grail.

    I agree with you on the look that one gets from MAC foudations/powders. I can’t use their foundations because they break me out, however, I’ve had success with several of their powders, like Select Sheer and Sheer Mystery, but I use them alone and not with anything else.

    I know you are a Bay Area girl so if you plan on heading onto MAC go to the Pro Store in the Marina and ask for David, he is the BEST! (And tell him I sent you!)

  21. Karen says:

    Girl, you know it’s your destiny…just get the MAC one already!

  22. Maria says:

    Oh, I want to try the loose beauty powders now! Outta curiousity, how are they compared to the MSFs? Also, is the “I’m not a player I just crush a lot” thing from a Daddy Yankee song?

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Maria,

    You know, I only used MSF *once* and I wasn’t impressed at the time with it, so I can’t really say if one is better than the other. However, these beauty powders are just really great, so it won’t hurt ya to have at least one in your kit! Plus, you barely have to use any so the jar will last you forever.

    The “I’m not a player” lyrics are from the edited, non-nasty (ha!) version of the Big Pun song, “Still Not a Player,” but I do believe that Daddy Yankee has a version too. Are you a hip hop fan?

  24. Apple Diva says:

    Hmm a lot of info…..Where should I begin??

    The paint pots are delish. Everyone needs at least 4 (Bare Study, Painterly, BlackGround, Contrustivist) Oh yeah Delft too!! I use them w. Matte gel. 🙂

    I want those beauty powders….I need those bps. I need to get to a pro store.

    Maybe I will check out the Plushlash.

  25. Karen says:

    Apple Diva,

    One of these days I’ll get my hands on Bare Study. I dunno if it’s meant to be.

    You will love the beauty powders!

  26. Maria says:

    I think I am going to check out those beauty powders.

    I occasioally listen to hip hop, but mostly (newer) Reggaeton. I should have known it was a Big Pun song!

    Just outta curiousity, do you speak Spanish?

  27. Karen says:

    You’ll like em, especially if you like a subtle glowly look!

    I love reggaeton and reggae in general. It seems to be one of those genres of music that either moves your soul or doesn’t.

    Funny you should ask if I speak Spanish. I don’t, pero I live in an area where there’s a large Spanish speaking population and people come up to me and start speaking Spanish all of the time. I can usually pick out words (I understand Tagalog, which has a lot of Spanish words in it) and can tell sometimes what they are trying to tell me just by inflection and context. 🙂

    Are you a Spanish speaker?

  28. Jessie says:

    This is way late, but I’m addicted to MAC paint pots, like heroin. It’s pretty sad. Which is saying something because I’m not a MAC junkie. I don’t even love their shadows. It started when I bought Constructivist from MAC after a MUA used it on me during a make over. Luckily for me Makeupalley is allowing me a more affordable way to satisfy my needs. If this swap works out I’ll be going on number four in less than a month.

    I have dry skin and I’ve never had much of a problem with shadows melting or creasing on me, primer or not. What I love about the paint pot is that formula isn’t drying to my lids and the colors really pop.

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