In July of 2008, MAC released a color collection called Cool Heat, and it just blew me away. I was surprised to love basically the whole collection, despite not being the sort of person who wears turquoise eyeshadow on a regular basis.
I thought that this summer’s Surf Baby collection might remind me of Cool Heat, and it does — not because the colors are the same, but because it similarly caught me by surprise. I find myself embracing elements I didn’t expect to love.
Once I had Surf Baby’s five eyeshadows on my arm, one of the sales associates leaned over and described the color palette as “70s.” As soon as she said it, I could totally see it.
Short Shorts is a cream white with a slight sheen/satin finish. Sun Blonde is a dirty mustard yellow with a slight sheen. Saffron (repromoted from Mickey Contractor) is pigmented, but slightly dry feeling, compared to the other shades. It’s a muted red-orange with a slight sheen. Surf USA is a brilliant teal green with tiny sparkles. Swell Baby is an elephant grey with tiny sparkles.
The eyeshadows are $15.50 each. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen limited edition/special packaging items priced slightly higher, but it’s always been in conjunction with a licensing agreement (such as with Disney’s Venomous Villains or DC Comics’ Wonder Woman). I always thought the extra cost was to cover MAC’s royalty fees, but I guess a slight increase on limited items is just something the market will bear.
The two Powerpoint (non-mechanical, water-resistant) eyeliners are also $15.50 each. Gilded White is a limited edition repromote, white with a gold sheen. Blue Noon is a sheeny aqua-teal.
And this collection repromotes two permanent pigments ($19.50): sparkly (tiny sparkles) beige-pink Naked and sparkly (big sparkles) orange-pink-gold Melon.
Like last year’s Spring Forecast, Surf Baby features two “stacks” (stacked jars) of loose pigments. These are called Crushed Metallic Pigments instead of Spring Forecast’s Crushed Metal Pigments — I don’t know if there’s a reason for the name change.
Summer Stash includes a white, a mauvey-beige pink with strong silver reflect, a royal orchid purple with silver sparkles, and a warm, nutty brown with gold sparkles. Surf the Ocean is truly incredible. It includes a very cool grey silver, an iridescent seafoam/fairy green (it looks grey at an oblique angle, shines Little-Mermaid green straight on), an antique (bronzed) gold, and a blue-grey-charcoal with blue, green, and gold sparkles. It’s breathtaking. The pigment stacks are $32.50 each. I swatched these dry, though you can also spray your brush with Fix + for a more intense application.
There are four Surf Baby lipsticks. Naturally Eccentric is a ballet white-pink (somewhat sheer, because it’s Lustre formula). Hibiscus is bright coral. Bust Out! is an artificial-grape purple. Mocha (a repromote from the permanent line) is a brown rose. Like the eyeshadows, these are $15.50 each.
Naturally I had to try on bright, warm Hibiscus. I wasn’t sure I loved it right off the bat… but eight people in quick succession told me how fantastic it looked. Who am I to argue with that kind of consensus? I bought it.
There are four lipglosses (also $15.50). Girl On Board (love the name) is a sparkly beige cream. Good Lovin’ is a warm, very sparkly, granite pink. Strange Potion (repromoted from Venomous Villains) is bright coral pink. Krazy Kahuna is warm (red) Kahlua brown.
This collection also brings back Suntints (“Liquid Lip Balm” originally released with 2009′s Baby Bloom). They’re super sheer glosses with SPF 20, packaged in a squeeze tube with a slanted tip.
I put a bead of each gloss on the back of my hand to show you the colors, but applied to the lips, these are all basically sheer (I tried on Full of Grace). They’re lip-sunscreen for someone who prefers a sticky, lipgloss feel. Like all the other lip products, they’re $15.50 each.
If there is a MAC limited edition blush, we must all go nuts over it — especially if the powder is patterned in any way. But I am surprised and delighted to say I think My Paradise ($28) is totally worth the hype.
In the pan, the powder is a bright coral with a gold hibiscus. The hibiscus is overspray, but it’s unusually thick/deep. The gold is VERY sparkly, but this means that you choose how sparkly you want your blush to be. For a less sparkly blush, keep your brush on the matte powder, and lightly tap the flower to pick up sparkle. If you like more sparkle, go for more. The thickness of the flower means the sparkle will last you quite a while (and if you just hate it, you can rub it off with a sponge-tipped eyeshadow applicator).
My Paradise is an absolutely gorgeous coral-guava, and you can bet it’s going to sell out in a Jumping Jack Flash.
There are two nail polishes ($15). Hangin’ Loose is a semi-sheer, Essie-esque beige-clay-pink. Ocean Dip is an opaque muted teal creme. The tape swatches are each two coats. (I think Hangin’ Loose might be opaque in three, but I wanted to preserve the sheerness for you to see.)
While I was swatching, I also painted one hand with Ocean Dip. I am really digging the muted teal, but the color is VERY close to American Apparel’s Malibu Green, which I already own. Ocean Dip is more muted; Malibu Green more vibrant/saturated.
Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks look a lot like NARS Multiples. They’re wide, water-resistant cream sticks in a twist-up tube. I’m slightly concerned about the cap; it’s not quite as secure as I’d like. The product was also firmer than I expected (not as creamy/emollient). And they dry pretty quickly, so blend fast.
Tan-Tint is rosy. Billionaire Bronze is yellow-peach brown. Gilty Bronze is a burnished reddish shade, and the only sparkly one. The sticks are $29.50 each, and my sales associate recommended applying stick to cheek (lightly!), then blending with fingers.
And finally: the bronzers. MAC introduced a new formula of bronzer this summer: Studio Careblend/Pressed. Like the Careblend powder foundation, Gold-Go-Lightly and Lush-Light Bronze are a hydrating formula. (They also have the MAC logo printed on the powder.) Gold-Go-Lightly is a very yellow peach. Lush-Light Bronze is rosier. Both are $28.
Refined Golden you’ve seen lots of times before; it’s a permanent bronzer. It’s more brown than either of the Careblend bronzers, but it’s a peachy brown. It also has gold sparkles. Solar Riche is a limited edition repromote, last seen in Style Warrior. It’s a peachy brown, softer and less intense than Refined Golden. These two are only $24 each.
This collection officially launched this week in the U.S., and it was out almost two weeks ago in Europe — what have you all gotten so far, or what are you planning to get?