MAC HOLIDAY 2013! Stroke of Midnight & Nocturnals

So when I mentioned in yesterday's MAC Night Divine post that I would update you when I received any additional MAC holiday items, I bet you didn't think it would be that fast, huh?
Yeah, literally when I published that blog post, this box of MAC "Stroke of Midnight" holiday stuff hit my doorstep.

So much in the fashion of MAC holiday collections past, this year's group contains the typical brush bag sets, eye bag kits, lip bag kits, collective face palettes, eye shadow palettes, and more.

I have to be totally honest... I've been really let down by the MAC holiday collections over the past few years.. I remember getting the most beautiful packaging in the past (maybe five, six years ago) with the most beautiful collection of lip and eye products.
So the past few years, I've felt like the packaging is either really cheap and child-like, or the products are not a good mix. Remember the year of the all red and bordeaux lip colors? Yeah, that year made me angry...haha.

But let me just be honest. It's mostly the packaging.

I know I know. Packaging isn't the most important, but I just think that the holiday collections should be extra special and beautiful. Something that should be really ornate and glamorous to look forward to every year.

I had not done ANY research on the holiday collections. Hadn't even seen a photo. So when I opened the box to find this...

I got kind of excited. I'm a sucker for black and gold. Already it looked like my style.

SO much prettiness inside too...

I love how it feels sort of Hollywood Regency/modern. Not too over the top. Just elegant and special-feeling.

Seriously, aren't the compacts gorgeous?? They feel really nice, have a magnetic closure, and aren't too bulky like holiday palettes past (we remember the legit snow globe and the fabric TUFTED compact last year that matched my ottomans... anyone anyone?). Yeah. MUCH better this year, MAC.
I feel like I could actually pull this one out of my bag and be proud of it and not feel like I'd need to hide it.

Ok, so let's just skip straight to the products I have and some photos.

*There are SO many sets and products in this collection.  Keep in mind, this is not the complete collection, just what I was sent. To see ALL of the products, check out the details at Nordstrom HERE.

Let's start with the compacts...

Face Kit, $49.50

Stroke of Midnight Face Palette/ COOL

 Sparkling Rose Iridescent Pressed Powder
eye shadows: Scene, All Races, Magic Moor
lipsticks: Sublime Pleasure, Romantically Inclined
Ebony Eye Kohl

corresponding swatches below

Eye Shadow x5 Compact, $39.50

Stroke of Midnight Eyes/SMOKY

Chillproof, Retrospeck, Gaelic Gold, Well Put Together, Carbon

Next up, the bag sets.

Stroke of Midnight Brush Kit/ MINERALIZE, $49.50

includes: 287SE, 286SE, 159SE, 187SE

pretty lining inside of the bag...

There are two other sets as well. One that is a mix of essential eye and face brushes, and another that is a mix of eye brushes to create a smoky look. Each of those contain five brushes, whereas this mineralize one contains only four. All are the same price. I've said it before, if you don't have a lot of brushes and really need some variety and you have your heart set on MAC brushes, check these out. The face brushes are a bit smaller than their full sized counterparts (not just the handle, but the density of the actual brushes), but the eye brushes would be my pick. Those are the most similar to their full-sized mates.

Eye Look Bag, $39.50

Stroke of Midnight Eye Bag/ NUDE

set includes: In Extreme Dimension Lash mascara, Utterly Becoming Paint Pot,  Past Twilight Fluidline, 209 Eye Liner/259 Eye Shader double-ended brush

below: Utterly Becoming Paint Pot, Past Twilight Fluidline

I think for the price, these kits are great.  Full-sized products and a double-ended brush. Can't beat that for $39.50 from MAC.

I really like this particular shade of paint pot. At first it scared me because I thought it would be too dark for my skin tone, as I was comparing it to Painterly which matches my skin tone perfectly.  This one is a lot more tan. While people with darker skin tones would be able to use this to match their tone, for me, I like the idea of blending it really well and diffusing it a little past the crease sort of as a colored base for my entire look, crease and all. Sort of like the effect of soft brown to blend out the crease like I love to do so well. Only thing is that the consistency was a bit chunky. Super weird. Maybe it's just because it was the first use (you can see some of the chunkiness in the swatch), but they're normally super smooth.

The Fluidline is an awesome shade too. It's described as a "blackened plum", although at first glance, it seems more like a blackened brown to me. Either way, I love it and I'll be wearing this a lot. MAC thank you for reading my mind. I needed a new dark brown gel liner.

Obviously the double-sided brush excites me. Have I ever mentioned that to you all? How much I love double-sided brushes? Well I do. This one is a good combo.

Oh and let's not leave out the mascara. I've had a tube of this for several months now (MAC sent me a sample before it was released a while back), and I lost it. I think I left it behind at a hotel. I'm guessing it rolled off the table and didn't make it back into my makeup bag. Tragic.
It's good stuff too. Really lengthening and volumizing. Very similar to my beloved Le Volume de Chanel. However, like most mascaras with sort of a "wetter" formula (including that Chanel), it sucks right when you use it the first few times, but ends up being fabulous after it's been opened and closed a bit and allowed to thicken up a bit.

And as always, they have an assortment of lip kits.

Mini Tinted Flavoured Lip Conditioner Kit, $32.50

MAC Tastitint Lip Conditioners
Mintessence, Sugared Vanilla, Taste of Paradise, Dash of Lavender

This is the only lip kit I have, but I'm really glad I got it. Probably because this is honestly something I would never be drawn to really check out or purchase myself. I love the consistency. They're not sticky like normal MAC glosses and the scents are really nice. My favorite by far is the Dash of Lavender. More lip glosses need to be lavender scented, just saying.

There are three other mini gloss kits in different themed collections- Pink, Coral, and Nude.

There are lip bags that contain a lipstick, gloss and liner as well. I like how one is more nude and one set is more berry. A little something for everyone.

There are also three mini glitter and pigment sets.

So what do you guys think? How do you feel about the overall "look" of this collection? Any must-haves on your wish lists??

Again, you can check out the entire collection here for more details on everything available!

products provided for consideration by MAC with no agreements or obligations to feature or review post contains affiliates


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