One thing you can always count on when it comes to MAC, is that even if a current collection doesn’t grab your fancy, the next one just might – case in point: their latest It’s A Strike Collection that’s aiming to bowl you over this coming August 18th. Kitschy bowling names aside, this grouping includes a surprisingly number of totally wearable shades, along with a face powder that is almost too adorable to put a brush to. I mean … bowling pins!
MAC | It’s A Strike Collection
Trophy Pearlmatte Face Powder, limited edition (CAN $32.00) | Apart from the total cuteness overload, this is actually a very user-friendly face powder. The stripes on the bowling pins are an overspray that gets wiped away with the very first use (which is actually a shame, as I’m really liking the depth they gave to my initial swatch), and then you’re left with the white, green, & pink portions – all of which are meant to be swirled together. Once combined, the result is a cool-leaning pearly hue with a refined shimmer (no glittery bits), that provides skin with a lovely ethereal-type of glow. I wouldn’t recommend using this all over the face, unless you like ‘beaming’, but swept along the cheeks and temples, Trophy gives that soft-focus kind of radiance that I’m really loving lately. Staying power is hard to predict, but I can say that it continues to look good even when warmed up along the skin and merged with your natural oils, without really emphasizing pores either.
MAC | Pearlmatte Face Powder
MAC | Pearlmatte Face Powder
116 Blush Brush (CAN $42.00) | Part of the core range, this brush is unique in my collection as it’s slightly thinner overall than most of my standard blush brushes. With its rounded tapered end, you can also use this brush to help ‘sculpt’ your features (if that’s your thing), as well as being a perfect size for use with powdered highlighters; large enough to add product on a good-sized amount of skin without looking ‘stripey’. Also perfect for those with narrow features and/or have always found conventional blush brushes much too wide.
MAC | Pearlmatte Face Powder swatches
MAC | Eye Shadow singles, It’s A Strike Collection
It’s A Strike Eye Shadow singles (CAN $19.00/each) | There are 6 shades in this collection, and from the 3 I was sent, Carbon is the only one that’s also part of the core permanent range. These are all perfect for those that prefer their eyeshadows packaged individually and they can also be de-potted and inserted into a larger compact if desired (you can read my de-potting post here on how it’s done).
- Bowlarama (satin) – bright lime green with a strong yellow undertone, excellent colour payoff
- 300 Game (matte) – blackened cherry, richly pigmented which blends effortlessly
- Carbon (matte) – sooty black (definitely not intense black as described), decent pigmentation but seems to have a slightly dry texture that keeps it from appearing too dark/deep
MAC | Bowlarama, 300 Game & Carbon swatches
Fluidline Pen (CAN $24.00/each) | One of the only marker-type eyeliners that I’ve actually used up completely, is the original Fluidline Pen in black from when it was first launched some years back. Since then, I’ve tried others but I still prefer the MAC version due to the intense black shade you get, the excellent combination of flex + rigidity to the felt tip, and the long-lasting wear of the product, which is also bonus crease & flake-proof as well.
- Indelibly Blue – deep navy (such a great alternative to black)
- Vintage Brown – darkest brown (not as harsh yet still provides the depth of black)
- Retro Black – black but with a slightly ‘murky’ tone to it for a little something new
MAC | Indelibly Blue, Vintage Brown & Retro Black Fluidline Pens
MAC | Indelibly Blue, Vintage Brown & Retro Black Fluidline Pen swatches
MAC | Have A Lovely Day! & Blind Score Casual Colour, It’s A Strike Collection
Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour (CAN $27.00/each) | Long-wearing cream shades that can be worn on either lips or cheeks. The finish is somewhere between dewy and satin-matte, appearing neither too flat (as in 1-dimensional) or shiny, while the texture is smooth and effortless to blend out. I personally prefer using these on my cheeks for the seamless way you can buff them into the skin. On lips, I found the texture of Blind Score was much easier to apply and carry off, while Have A Lovely Day! seemed to wash my lips of all colour to a certain degreet, although it does look totally amazing on cheeks.
- Have A Lovely Day! – neutral nude, soft rose undertone
- Blind Score – dirty reddish lilac, mauve tinted
MAC | Have A Lovely Day! & Blind Score Casual Colour swatches, It’s A Strike Collection
MAC | Lipsticks, It’s A Strike Collection
It’s A Strike Collection Lipsticks (CAN $21.00/each) | There are 7 lipstick shades in total released with this collection, with only Liquid Lurex an online exclusive. The finishes range between either matte or retro matte (with the exception once again of Liquid Lurex that has a dazzle/glittery finish):
- Babes And Balls Matte Lipstick – deep plum burgundy, blue based with incredible colour saturation from the first swipe, long-wearing and smoothly textured.
- Honeylove Matte Lipstick – pale rose/beige toned, trickier to pull off for those with warm complexions and also has a trickier texture/finish; this is the type of shade that looks more even once it’s settled in a bit.
- Perfect Score Matte Lipstick – deep red with a good mix of both cool and warm undertones in the base, making it universally wearable. Smooth texture & long-lasting.
- Liquid Lurex Dazzle Lipstick – definitely UNIQUE; described as ‘tarnished gold’ is putting it lightly as this shade is all kinds of unicorn-sparkle. The coverage is on the sheer side but the shimmery bits make up for that with their reflective abilities. Smoothly textured and easy to apply, I love wearing this solo but it also looks amazing layered over other shades (it made Honeylove that much more wearable on me).
- Bowl Me Over Retro Matte Lipstick – deep burnt brown wth a burgundy undertone, slightly more flat in finish than the regular matte but still quite easy to apply & comfortable to wear.
- Bonus: Liquid Lurex over Honeylove – adds depth and more dimensionality to Honeylove‘s paleness, making it especially easier to wear (and slightly more comfortable too) against my light-medium skin tone.
MAC | Lipstick swatches, It’s A Strike Collection
MAC | Lipstick swatches, It’s A Strike Collection
It’s A Strike Studio Nail Lacquer (CAN $15.00/each) | Forget the temperamental nail polishes of MAC’s past; these are all relatively effortless to apply and come to a natural glossy finish. For all swatches below, base coat was applied first followed by 2 coats of each shade – no top coat.
- Rack ‘Em Up (cream) – café au lait/mocha hue in a hybrid crème-jelly formula, excellent flow & colour saturation even with the first layer. Self levelling and non-patchy.
- Baby Split (cream) – white based minty green in a crème finish, a touch of patchiness seen with the first coat which reaches full opacity with a second layer. One word of warning: this shade sets/dries quickly so you’ll need to pick up your application speed.
- 5 Pin (cream) – deep maroon in a hybrid crème-jelly formula that is totally self-levelling, has an amazing flow and good saturation even at 1 coat, although it does deepen quite a bit with a second layer. As this shade has stain potential, do NOT skip first applying base coat.
MAC | Studio Nail Lacquer, It’s A Strike Collection
MAC | Rack ‘Em Up swatch, It’s A Strike Collection
MAC | Baby Split swatch, It’s A Strike Collection
MAC | 5 Pin swatch, It’s A Strike Collection
Even without laying eyes on the rest of the collection in person, I’m quite pleased with the selection here. The eyeshadows are all shades I’d wear, especially 300 Game, as I’m so into the red family right now while Bowlarama looks really amazing when worn as an accent colour (don’t ask me to pull it off as a total lid shade. Not going to happen). Carbon is a shade I already own in several palettes as well as a single that I’ve de-potted into my own palette and oddly enough, this version seems to have a much more difficult texture to work with than mine — I’m thinking it could be a batch issue. The liners are all excellent, and I’m really digging Have A Lovely Day! for a go-to nude cheek option. Trophy is such fun and a perfect face powder/highlighter for anyone shimmer-phobic, as it’ll give just the right amount of glow without going disco on you. As to the lacquers, the stand-out for me is Rack ‘Em Up, scoring the highest marks re: versatility, formulation and finish.
So I’m curious to know – what do we think of these lovelies?
Available August 18 (North America) at all MAC locations, September for Int’l
Right up my alley/As always, all opinions are my own