MAC Nutcracker Sweet Collection

Leap into a magical land that’s a bit nutty, a little naughty, and bursting with whimsy. Lose yourself in an eccentric kingdom of oversized treats and rosy-cheeked nutcrackers. Twist, turn and tumble deeper into the Land of Dolls. Out story has only begun…

Proof that my visits to MAC have become less and less frequent, my previous purchase (Faerie Whispers) was around the beginning of 2016, whereas this purchase (Nutcracker Sweet) was literally at the end of 2016. That’s almost a one-year gap! I mean it’s not such a big deal for normal people, but for someone who used to obsess over each and every collection (pouring over every little detail from descriptions to swatches), compulsively collecting every new item (practically stalking local MAC stores and later on, the U.S. MAC website) sometimes purchasing almost entire collections (just check out my earlier MAC hauls), it kinda’ is a big deal. After all those years, MAC just doesn’t excite me anymore, which is a shame because they’ve only now started doing all kinds of promos (25% discounts off all items in-store, free MAC product of your choice with every KD 25/000 spent in-store, etc…) which would’ve been so appreciated years ago, when my MAC obsession was at its peak but alas I’m no longer interested.

With that being said, I still can’t resist their Holiday Collections (clearly). I’m not sure if it’s because of the actual products themselves or because of the festive packaging or just because it’s the Holiday Season but usually I find the MAC Holiday Collections to be quite charming and lust-worthy. Key word, usually. The Nutcracker Sweet (2016 Holiday Collection) did not appeal to me, at all. Based on all the books I read during my childhood (Bad News Ballet and the like), that referenced it, I get that The Nutcracker is a ballet that’s pretty much synonymous with Christmas-time but as much I enjoy Tchaikovsky, I’m not a fan of The Nutcracker (or any other ballet, for that matter). Don’t get me wrong. Ballerinas look oh-so-elegant to me and I fully appreciate and admire how graceful they are… but I just can’t sit through a whole show of that. I haven’t even watched Black Swan yet, that’s how uninterested I am in anything Ballet-Related.

Even the packaging did not appeal to me, this time around. The Hot Pink and Prune color scheme was pretty cool (the stripes on the outer packaging, especially) but there was just way too much Gold for my taste. I don’t even know what was going on with the Gift Sets but I really wasn’t a fan of all the Stars and Polka-Dots. It made everything look so juvenile and cheap. Worst of all in my humble opinion was the Harlequin Print (not unlike the Holiday Edition Jo Malone Orange Bitters Perfume hauled here). Seriously, will someone please explain to me how that horrid Harlequin Print is related to Christmas? It’s just so ugly! To make matters worse, there was this Gold embroidery trim in weird squiggly almost-but-not-quite bows on the Gift Set Bags, Palettes and Compacts. Even the actual packaging of the products themselves (not the outer packaging) had a healthy dose of Gold. There was an over-abundance of Gold literally on everything (yuck).

Not gonna’ lie, I was totally eyeing up the…

Mineralize Brush Kit (the one with double-sided brush) specifically for the two smaller brushes.

Copper Face Compact: Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish (pale gold shimmer) and Pleasure Model Extra Dimension Blush (peachy brown) because on my skin Whisper of Gilt is magical!

Red Lip Bag: Suggestive Vamplify (Intense bluish-red) Candy Cane Lipstick (Intense bluish-red) Trust In Red Pro Longwear Lip Pencil (Bright cool red cream) because I was dying to get my hands on Candy Cane (gorge!). Also, how cute is the name Candy Cane for a lipstick? For some reason, I’ve come to associate the word Candy Cane with a deep, husky, masculine voice with a southern drawl saying “Candy Caaaaane” over a CB Radio (not sure how or why that’s so deeply ingrained in my mind but I wanna’ say it’s from a horror movie) which always cracks me up.

Red Retro Matte Kit: Nutcracker Rouge Lipstick (Intense bluish-red), Fashion Legacy Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (Intense fire truck red), Upward Lash Mascara (Black). This whole Kit is very… me!

Nude Mineralize Kit: Pure Pout Mineralize Rich Lipstick (Dirty cool beige), Happiness Mineralize Lipglass (Frosted nude peach), Global Glow Mineralize Skinfinish (Neutral Tan with silver sheen). I’ve always had a soft spot for MAC‘s Mineralize products. Always.

… but I just could not justify purchasing any of these Kits or Sets (not a one), due to the packaging (so ugly so distasteful) and names (mostly Nutcracker-Related and therefore unappealing to me).

So I skipped the Mineralize Brush Kit because I couldn’t get past the ugly packaging (even on the brushes themselves) and I just knew that in long run, even looking at them (which was inevitable, if I wanted to actually use them) would annoy me.

I skipped the Copper Face Compact because I’ve already got Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish and although I’d love a back-up, it seems wasteful because the Copper Face Compact also includes Pleasure Model Extra Dimension Blush that I’m pretty sure would look way too dark on me and therefore wouldn’t be used. Plus both of them were embossed with that silly, squiggly-bow design so that made me feel even better about passing on the Compact.

I skipped the Red Lip Bag because I only wanted it for Candy Cane Lipstick but I’m sure MAC will re-release it again at some point (no rush) hopefully as a single (on its own and not part of a set or kit).

The Red Retro Matte Kit was perfect for me (I knew I’d get so much use out of the Lipstick, Liquid Lipstick and Mascara) but the the name of the lipstick (Nutcracker Rouge) really didn’t appeal to me at all and again I hated the packaging (on the bag that houses all the products). It is a bit petty… but these are full-sized products (so it’s not like I’m gonna’ use them up anytime soon) meaning I didn’t want to be stuck with something I wasn’t 200% in love with (down to the name of the actual product and even the bag they came in). I mean, imagine if I had purchased the Red Retro Matte Kit and then they came out with the exact same Kit the very next year with way cuter names, housed in a much prettier bag. I’d be pretty annoyed. That’s why I didn’t want to commit to the Retro Red Matte Kit just yet.

As for the Nude Mineralize Kit the tricky finishes (pearl lipstick, frost lipgloss, metallic msf) made me very hesitant to take the plunge. Also, I think the Nude Mineralize Kit products are all permanent (available for purchase, whenever) in case I change my mind.

Instead, I got this little cutie!

So Good For You is described as an intense cool red with a matte finish.

With a name like So Good For You, (so good for me!) I just had to get it. I’m sure the name is referencing something or other from The Nutcracker (as in the ballet, not the collection) but I’m totally going to disregard that and pretend it’s not (let me have this).

Reflective Gold aside, I have to admit, the Hot Pink and Dark Purple packaging is so fun! It’s such an unexpected combination (not very Christmas-y but quite cute nonetheless)! Also, how adorable is the outer packaging? It’s all stripe-y and festive! I swear, if that horrible Harlequin Print (blech) was anywhere near this thing, I totally would’ve passed on getting it (without even a second thought). Best of all, when the cap is on, the tacky Gold is barely visible (only an itty-bitty ring).

I was hoping MAC So Good For You Lipstick would be a dupe for Revlon Strawberry Suede Lipstick but it’s not. That’s fine though, because So Good For You is a beautiful lipstick in its own right. On myself, it’s more pink-y than it is red, and even though it’s described as a matte, it doesn’t fully dry on the lips, kinda’ like MAC Russian Red Lipstick, so I’d call it a demi-matte… maybe? In any case, So Good For You is pretty, er, pretty and if it ever gets repromoted (which MAC is wont to do) I definitely suggest you give it a shot (swatch it first).

It’s been a minute since I last purchased a MAC Lipstick and I kinda’ miss the way they smell (yummy vanilla goodness)! Plus, as awesome as liquid lipsticks are, it’s just not the same as applying an actual lipstick bullet straight from the tube to your lips. There’s something to be said about the way a lipstick just glides on the lips, so easily, so smoothly, that you really can’t duplicate with a liquid lipstick, which tend to be slightly fussier. Plus, it’s a nice addition to my MAC Limited Edition Lipsticks (they were feeling pretty neglected, I know this because they told me so).

So Good For You Lipstick cost KD 9/500

Sadly, MAC So Good For You Lipstick was a victim of Serge Lutens Un bois vanille (full deets here). I’m thinkin’ since perfume is mostly made up of alcohol, the lipstick is still… relatively safe to use (lawl), no?

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