Thursday, 21 November 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight: Review and Swatches

This is a collection that I have been pining over ever since I first saw it. As I live in France, I had to wait a frustrating couple of days after the UK release to get my hands on some of these goodies, but when I did, it was well worth it. I ordered the Violet Lip Bag and the Nude Eye Bag, and I've been trying them out for the past week. Here are my thoughts...

The Packaging

All of the sets come with a beautiful little, black make up bag, with white and gold trim. The design of the bag is very Art Deco, which I love. Linking holiday glamour to the opulence of the roaring twenties is very apt, and also a very clever move by MAC seeing as the release of the film The Great Gatsby has made the 1920s very fashionable. I personally think that I will find these bags very useful, as I'll be going back to the UK for Christmas, and will need something to pack away a few cosmetics. I've been putting the whole Lip Bag into my handbag when I go for drinks, and it is so handy, it keeps all of the products nicely contained, so they aren't floating around the bottom of your bag.

The Product

Nude Eye Bag

Inside you get a Pro-Longwear Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming, a fluidline in Past Twilight, Extreme Dimension Lash and a limited edition 209 Eye Liner/239SE Eye Shader Brush.

Utterly Becoming is a pink nude colour, that is quite close to my skin tone (NW20), so is an excellent base colour for light to medium skin tones. You could use this as a base, but I like to use it on its own, just to cover up redness and capillaries and let the eyeliner do the talking. This is very pigmented, creamy and it applies like a dream. It lasts all day and doesn't crease, so definitely lives up to the name of Pro-Longwear.

Past Twilight is a dark burgundy brown. I've had Blacktrack for years, and I was excited to try the formula in a different colour. This offers a softer alternative to black, which I think would really suit those with fair skin and hair. The hint of purple in this will really accentuate green eyes, but it is neutral enough to wear with a bold lip. It's nicely pigmented, but it applies so smoothly, that you can use a smaller amount for a lighter colour, or build it for a rich brown.

The Extreme Dimension Lash is quite a nice mascara. It has a plastic brush with lots of small bristles. It is quite lengthening and quite volumising, but it doesn't blow me away. It isn't clumpy at all, though and it lasts all day without running or flaking

Finally, the brush. The brush is quite good quality, it isn't the softest brush I've ever used, but it's strong point is how handy it is. Having two brushes in one really saves space for transportation etc. 

Violet Lip Bag

Inside you get and Amplified Lipstick in the colour Dark Deed, a lip pencil in Vino and a Lipglass in Art of Seduction.

I've been after a berry lipstick for ages, but I was struggling on finding a colour that wasn't too violet, or too brown, or too red. I don't live near a MAC store, so I only managed to preview Dark Deed by looking at other people's swatches online. It sits nicely in between purple and red (I'd liken it to the colour of red wine) and it has a little bit of gold shimmer. I've only ever tried matte lipsticks from MAC, but I was impressed with the staying power of this, even though it has a bit of a slip. It lasts for about 5 hours if you don't eat or drink anything. Although, I can't go for more than five hours without eating or drinking, so it may last even longer...who knows. I have two ways that I like to wear this: I either apply it and leave it, for a bold purple look, or I blot it, so it is more of a stain which shows off the pinky tones.

Left: Vino Right: Dark Deed



I've actually never used a lip pencil, but Vino is a good match for Dark Deed, and helps neaten up the edges, which is important for such a dark lipstick. It is soft, so is easy to apply, and it has good lasting power.

Finally, Art of Seduction is a pink mauve with gold shimmer. This looks very glamourous on top of Dark Deed, and is also pretty on its own. On its own, it doesn't add that much colour to my lips, but instead adds a slightly blue tone, which I quite like. It isn't sticky at all, but I didn't find that this lasts very long on my lips. Although, I always lick off my lipgloss for some reason.

The Verdict

I've never managed to buy products from a MAC holiday collection before, but they seem to get a lot of negative press. However, I really like what I bought from Stroke of Midnight: it is super glamorous, and the vampy, purples of the products I bought emulate the 1920s, which is always a plus. I can take or leave a lip pencil, and the mascara, but the products all look really nice as a whole which is the most important thing. I even think that the nifty cosmetic bags you get would make one of these a really nice Christmas present, too, and the cost actually works out quite well when you look at the amount you get.

Utterly Becoming and Past Twilight on the eyes and Art of Seduction on the lips

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  1. I've fallen in love with one of the two-toned blushes, Perfectly Poised. It's gorgeous! And I definitely think I want to pick up the pink lip bag. I dunno, personally I think this collection is way better than the stuff they have coming out next month from the next Riri collection. Am I the only one getting sick of these Riri collections? We get it...haha


    1. I am a bit sick of the Riri Collections...they seem a bit meaningless to me. I actually really liked everything in this collection and thought it was really well thought out! It's a bit of a shame, but I guess MAC are getting a hell of a lot of money from them!

  2. Replies
    1. Lovely aren't they! I was super impressed with the formula too!

  3. Gorgeousssss, I adore the lipstick and paintpot! you look very pretty :)

    Tigerlily's Beauty Blog


    1. Thank you! It's a great collection, and perfect for the Holiday season!

  4. You look adorable! And Im jealous of that haul ;) Definitely a lipstick for me this, I'm in love with everything dark during A/W :) x

    1. I think I was celebrating the arrival of my ERASMUS grant haha! Me too! It's so chic and classy!

  5. I love your eye makeup in these shots :)



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