MAC Wash and Dry Collection High-Light Powder in Freshen Up: Before and After

Published in: Face, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac wash and dry collection

MAC Wash and Dry collection High-Light Powder in Freshen Up ($35.50)

In less time than it takes to throw a load of delicates in the wash (read: very little time; i.e. super fast), you can “freshen up” your cheekbones with MAC Freshen Up, the brand’s newest highlighting powder, coming soon as part of the Wash and Dry collection.

So, what’s the 411 on Freshen Up?

It’s a limited edition warm-toned highlighter housing three satiny shades in one pan — a deep pinkish coral, a peachy coral and a yellow gold. Bust it out to add shimmer and shine to your skin. Interestingly, the shimmery golden overspray that coats the entire pan sticks around for a surprisingly long time — this, compared to other oversprays that seem to vanish into thin air after a couple swipes. The shimmer dust here settles into the little holes and crevices in the pan’s design, so even after it looks like it’s all gone, my brush continues to pick up some of the shimmer.

mac wash and dry collection

MAC Wash and Dry collection High-Light Powder in Freshen Up, $35.50

How do you use it?

I sweep the powder on the high points of my face — my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, on my Cupid’s bow and just above my brow bone — where I want to catch the light. Wear the shades individually, like by loading a small tapered eye brush (like the MAC 266), and then applying, or use a fluffier blush or a highlighting brush to swirl all three colors together. In this pic, I’m wearing all of them swirled together.

(Note: if you’re a lighter lovely, you’ll probably also be able to use Freshen Up as a blush, too.)

How well does it work?

Here’s the deal: with more of a satiny sheen than the high-shine finish that many traditional highlighters have, these powders remind me of the Hourglass Ambients. It takes a second to realize, “Oh! Homegirl is wearing highlighter,” so they don’t reach out and slap ya silly, in other words.

It’s more like a gentle tap. LOL!

That said, if you like that kind of high-shine highlight, Freshen Up’s muted shimmer probably won’t do it for you. I happen to really like this level of shimmer, because I think it’s easier for me to wear than highlighters with a high beam, metallic-type finish. Those can make my combo skin look extra dry, and make my fine lines come out to play (which is not good).


As for wear time and blending, neither are bad. No problems buffing out the edges, and the formula stays put for at least 6-7 hours.

mac wash and dry collection

MAC Wash and Dry collection High-Light Powder in Freshen Up from the left: the coral, peach and gold powders swatched individually; and on the far right, a swatch of all of the shades mixed together

Who’d probably like it?

A lover of nuanced sheens and subtlety. πŸ™‚ If you adore the Hourglass Ambients, and/or prefer highlighters that aren’t strikingly shiny, you’ll probably like Freshen Up. If, on the other hand, you live for bold highlights, you may be left wanting more.


mac wash and dry collection

Before I applied MAC Wash and Dry collection High-Light Powder in Freshen Up


mac wash and dry collection

After I applied MAC Wash and Dry collection High-Light Powder in Freshen Up

Look for Freshen Up to freshen up MAC stores and counters when it arrives with the rest of the MAC Wash and Dry collection May 21 (May 14 online).

PRICE: $35.50
AVAILABILITY: Limited edition, part of the MAC Wash and Dry collection; coming May 14 to the MAC website, and May 21 to MAC counters and stores

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 15 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Charisma says:

    This is on my list since the PR came out and your photos just validates it for me. Thanks Karen!
    Charisma recently posted … Marc Jacobs In the Buff! Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Reviews, Photos w/ Swatches

  2. Rachel R. says:

    Ha, that would be more like a blush on me. It’s beautiful, though.

  3. tirurit says:

    It is very beautiful, but for some reason it doesn’t really scream “you need me in your life!!1!” to me. It might look a tad whiteish? Dunno
    tirurit recently posted … Byly cream deodorant

  4. Natalye says:

    I really love the packaging! it looks really pretty on you πŸ™‚
    Natalye recently posted … My 100th Post! – Fixing Broken Makeup Powder

  5. Agata says:

    I kind of wish I liked it more! I love that it has three shades and the design is beautiful but I think it would be more a blush for me than a highlighter. It does add nice glow to your face though.
    Agata recently posted … Ulta is my Indulgence

  6. I like it! It looks so unique and different!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Saintsco Bee Venom 24ct Gold Serum, Eye Cream, Mask & Lip Plumper

  7. Kelly B. says:

    This looks really gorgeous on you! I’m always looking for highlighters for summertime and this would be a perfect buy!
    Kelly B. recently posted … Korean Skincare Wishlist

  8. Fancie says:

    Okay now I’m confused lol. The swatches I’ve seen earlier aren’t nearly as gorgeous as yours. And that glow! I honestly didn’t think the shimmery overspray would last so I was immediately turned off by this but now it just may creep back onto my list. You are rocking that thang!
    Fancie recently posted … MAC Wash & Dry Collection for Summer 2015

  9. This is soooo pretty! Too bad it is sold out online already.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Favorite Face of … April

  10. Erin says:

    WOW, metallic-y!
    Erin recently posted … Vanedo Beauty Friends Sheet Mask Aloe

  11. Daniel says:

    Wow!! It sure warms up your complexion! I like the golden glow!! I hope it reaches my country to snatch it πŸ™‚

    BTW, I followed your suggestion and bought NARS’s Paloma for contour, I LOVE IT!! I also loved Stila’s Shape and Shade contour duo in Light πŸ™‚ Maybe you’ll like it too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daniel,

      I’m so happy to hear that you love Paloma! It’s a wonderful powder. Next time I feel the urge to carve out some cheekbones I’ll check out that Stila powder. πŸ˜€ Thank you for the rec.

      P.S. If you want to share a pic of you wearing Paloma I’d love to see it. You can email it to me here:

      If you’re shy, then no worries! πŸ™‚ Happy Friday!

  12. Meghan says:

    How do I get an avatar/account on here?

    Also I’m loving this highlighter! I wish that the orangey shade came as it’s own blush, I’m loving the swatch of it!

  13. Nel says:

    I have it and use it with the 127 duo fibre split brush and I just love this combo! πŸ™‚ thanks for the review

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