So what do the Cool Neutral Palette, Pro Beyond Twisted Lash Mascara and the Oval 6 Brush all have in common? Apart from the fact that they’re all from MAC, these products have become staples in my beauty repertoire. With the copious launches this brand puts out every few weeks, it’s easy to overlook standout pieces such as these that also happen to be part of the permanent lineup. How refreshing to not have the dreaded ‘limited edition’ designation to contend with, wouldn’t you agree?
Eye Shadow x 15: Cool Neutral∗ (CAN $85.00/value $134.00) | Meant to enhance those with cool undertones in their skin, this curated collection of 15 shades also happen to work beautifully on those with warmer tones in their complexions, such as mine. There’s a nice mix of finishes ranging from matte all the way to super sparkly, and with the exception of Blackberry, Stalactite (Brun) and Black Tied, the rest are all new colours not found in the current lineup.
With pigmentation ranging from good to excellent on all shades coupled with their effortless blendability, there’s the added bonus of staying power (over primer) that’s bang on. What I really like about this palette is the versatility it presents options-wise; the good mix of light, medium and darker hues means you can use this to create anything from a simple daytime swipe-and-go look, all the way to a more complex evening smoky eye.
- Flounce – chalky white pink, matte
- Sweet Allure – soft light pink, satin
- Sun Tweaked – soft frosty coral, frost
- After Dusk – mid tonal rosy pink with pearl, veluxe pearl
- Blackberry – (permanent) muted burgundy plum/brown, matte
- Pick Me Up – pale ivory, matte
- Cozy Grey – cool grey, matte
- Crushed Clove – dirty gold olive, frost
- Deception – chocolate gold, frost
- Stalactite** (listed as Brun on the website) – muted blackish brown, satin
- Silver Fog – white with silver pearl, lustre
- French Clay – white icy grey, frost
- Cumulus – dirty grey charcoal, frost
- Pearled Earth – deep blue grey, deluxe pearl
- Black Tied – (permanent) black with silver sparkle, velvet
Pro Beyond Twisted Lash Mascara (CAN $28.00) | The name aside, this mascara’s claim to fame has nothing to do with tying yourself up in knots but refers to the flexibility of the wand. With an ability to bend up to a 90° angle combined with a narrow brush head, you can reach every single lash with ease — no specific contortionist skill set required. With a formula that’s meant to provide volume, lift, and curl, this deep black hue is also smudge-free, flake-proof and long lasting yet still easily removed at the end of the day. While not the most volumizing mascara I’ve ever tried, it’s definitely one that gives some of the best definition & length I’ve seen. Bonus: this thin head is just awesome to use along the lower lash line.
Oval 6 Brush (CAN $51.00) | The uncanny toothbrush resemblance has nothing on the effectiveness of this brush; the largest of three Masterclass Brushes offered by MAC (the others are Linear 1 and Oval 3), this is meant to be used as an all over face brush, but I rely on this for so much more. The densely packed synthetic bristles are precisely cut and bear a rounded profile combined with an exceptionally luxurious and velvety finish — all of which means you get some of the best blending you’ve ever seen. The angled handle has a rubber inner grip and narrows at the top so handle with some care; I always place a finger along its length as support when using this brush, since the last thing I want is to accidentally snap the head off by applying too much force ∗shudders∗. Other uses:
- blend cream contour products seamlessly into skin/hide demarcation lines
- help smooth concealer and prevent it from settling into fine lines
Original collections and limited edition products will always have their pull, but mainstays are the lifeblood of any beauty brand — and Lord knows MAC has more than their share of stellar in-line products. By now there are a bajillion knock-offs of these types of brushes and I happen to have several laying about (all PR samples, I might add) but none come close to the quality of the Oval 6. Yes, there really is a difference and paying a bit more is totally worth it in this case. As far as eyeshadow palettes go, of course you can create your own with MAC (I actually depotted tons of individual shades a few years ago and made several palettes), but why bother when one exists that as good as the Cool Neutral? Mascara has been going through something of a reinvention lately and while formulations and brush heads can make all the difference between a mediocre and amazing application, trust MAC to take on the wand and bring things to a whole other level with Pro Beyond Twisted Lash. Kudos are definitely in order.
Available at The Bay, select MAC boutiques & online
Product marked ∗ media sample