Average Rating 4.7/5
Review by Seclusae2
DESCRIPTION OF ME Asian with a warm complexion (C3-C4 in MAC) with strong yellow undertones and some peach. Black hair. Very oily skin that is prone to breakouts.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION Loose powder pigment that can be used on the eyes, cheeks and mixed with lip products. Some people have even used it with nailpolish. Available at MAC counters and stores, and maccosmetics.com. $18.50 for a full-sized jar containing 7.5 g/.26 US oz. I got a glass vial from a previous MAC collection from a swap. It holds approximately a tablespoon's worth.
PACKAGING Full-sized pigments come in a tall tub with a black screw top. It is sturdy but, as many reviewers pointed out, it is a disaster waiting to happen. It is easy to spill pigments and there is nothing that will control the out flow. Adding a shaker top would be a major improvement. I rated the packaging a four out of five.
The glass vial that I have is no better. The mouth and the cap are too small to dip your brush through. It truly is worthless. I transferred the pigment into a bigger tub I bought from Michael's. If you are interested in buying some too, you can look through the paint or beads sections.
COLOR This is the big selling point of this product. In the tub, Vanilla is a shimmery creamy off-white color with gold flecks. It does not look anything spectacular and that is the big reason why I was so skeptical about this pigment. Ooh, shimmer... Big whoop! Just yet another overhyped MAC product. However, on the skin, it turns into a very shimmery duochrome of light gold and fleshy pink. It is wonderfully complex yet versatile. I have never seen anything like it and I own over 150 eye color products.
The first time I tried it, I was hooked. I have been using it constantly as a wash or as a highlighter for browbone or the inner corners of my eyes. The great thing about using this as a highlighter is that you can apply it at the borders of your other eyeshadows and it will soften and blend out any harsh lines or mistakes. It melds with any color I've thrown at it, whether it be a cool baby blue or a hot burgundy. The neat thing is that the gold really melds with warm colors and the pink is really picked up by cools or neutrals. (All psychological, I know.) It is a subtle effect but as particular as I can be (as well as many other MUA members), it makes a whole world of difference.
I've also applied Vanilla with a skunk brush on my cheeks. It imparts just the tiniest hint of pink and it gives a shimmery glow. However, I have to be careful not to apply too much since Vanilla can look too frosty on my warm skintone. Vanilla also amps up matte blushes and, again, helps diffuse blending mistakes.
TEXTURE Very soft on the skin and easily blendable. No complaints here at all.
APPLICATION On my eyes, I apply Vanilla with my finger or with Sonia Kashuk's blending brush. (It is a fluffy teardrop shaped brush that can be used for a sheer, diffuse application.) It is very easy to apply and, if you pick up the right amount, is almost mistake-proof.
Since MAC pigments are loose powders, it is a little bit more inconvenient than a pressed product. However, you can simply work with the pigment that collects on the underside of the screw top. This is a lot better than messing with the inside of the tub and risking spillage.
LASTING POWER All the MAC pigments I have tried stay true and vivid throughout the day but crease on my oily lids. However, I have never had a powder product that never creased on me so I don't hold it against MAC or any other powder product. However, Vanilla doesn't look really obvious and ugly when it creases.
OVERALL FANTASTIC product. Even though I was a hardheaded skeptic towards it, Vanilla has quickly become one of my most used products. I will repurchase if I ever run out and I definitely recommend it. However, as wonderful as this product is, I don't think purchasing full-sized tubs are very practical. The vial will provide me with at least a year's worth and so I see no reason to pay retail for a tub.