MAC Iris Apfel – review, photos & swatches

Act quick if you want to catch a glimpse of this rare bird

MACIris1 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatches

MACIris7 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatchesDear whoever makes these kind of decisions,
Can you please make sure I’m even half as stylish as Iris Apfel when I’m 90?
XOX, Stef

That’s right, the “geriatric starlet” (her term) you see here is 90 years old. And understandably so the subject of MAC’s latest collection. With a penchant for accessories and a fashion collection that people would kill for (in 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute held an exhibit plucked straight from her closet called “Rara Avis” – Latin for rare bird), Iris’ style blows away trendsetters 70 years her junior.

And the MAC collection? It blows away every launch that’s passed my vanity in quite some time. Color! Pigment! Beauty Powder! If I had giant owl-like spectacles, they’d be fogged up at the sight of it all.

MACIris3 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatchesParty Parrot

Perhaps the most exciting component of the collection are the lipsticks. Five of the brightest, most breathtaking, shocks of color I’ve seen in ages. I almost hate to talk about them because a) all but one are limited edition (Morange) b) Morange is the only one you can still buy online. But if you shake a tail feather and get to a store, you can still pick these up.

Like I did! At first glance of Temptalia’s swatches, I knew Party Parrot had to be mine. And it’s all I hoped for and more. This electric red-tinged pink has a dreamy matte finish (i.e. not at all dry) and completely opaque pigment. It’s got all the drama of red, but in a total unexpected color. It reminds me a lot of OCC’s Harlot (which I adore too). LOVE this. And honestly, I’m tempted to drive straight back and get all four other shades.

MACIris6 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatchesSee? Not red! That’s Party Parrot next to Kanga Rouge for comparison

MACIris2 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatchesDiamond Dove

Not ones to be outdone in the color and pigment department, the eyeshadows are darn near perfect as well. The range is beautiful, MAC did fabulous representing exotic feathers here. Again, check out Temptalia for the swatches, then tell me which one you want to fly your way.

For me, it was Diamond Dove. This grey-tinged deep matte brown has taupe tendencies. I suspected it was going to make a fabulous smoky liner – and does it ever. I’ve used every days since I bought it, in numerous combos. It’s one of those “works with everything” sort of shades.

MACIris8 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatches

Last up is Too Chic Beauty Powder, which I did receive for review, but would have bought had I not. Confession time: I’m a bit addicted to Beauty Powders. These multi-tasking highlighters peek out their beautiful heads at MAC every once in awhile and I get obsessed every time. Beautiful on the cheeks, pretty on the browbone, finely milled and buttery soft – I just love them. And this light peaches and cream shimmer shade is no exception.

MACIris4 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatches Too Chic, Diamond Dove, Party Parrot

MACIris5 MAC Iris Apfel    review, photos & swatches

So, well done MAC and Iris. This collection has me all a-flutter. Readers, what’s on your must-have list

Silver Gull (velvet): Blue-gray with sparkle
Robins Egg (matte): Mid-tone teal
Diamond Dove (matte): Deep gray-brown
Early Bird (matte) – Bright coral
Howzat (satin) – Deep gray with silver sparkle
$15 US

Pink Pigeon (matte) – Bright cleanest pink
Scarlet Ibis (matte) – Bright orange-red
Party Parrot (matte) – Bright red-pink
Flamingo (lustre) – Light milky bright coral
Morange (amplified creme) – Loudmouth orange
$14.50 US

Lip Pencil
Entertain Me – Clearly orange
Embrace Me – Vivid pinkish fuchsia
Redd – Red
$14.50 US

Beauty Powder
Too Chic – Soft peachy cream with fine shimmer
$25 US

Nail Lacquer
Oriele Orange – Bright orange coral
Toco Toucan – Bright blue-fuchsia
Sandpiper – Creamy pale stone beige
$15 US

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

Stef is many things. Amongst them: co-editor of we heart this, graphic designer, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.

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Written by stef


  1. Katie

    I picked up Flamingo and Party Parrot and they are fantastic! I passed on Pink Pidgeon because I have Candy Yum Yum, but the more swatches I see, the more I think I need to go get it before my counter sells out =)

  2. Profile photo of lyssachelle

    Collections like THIS are why I can’t walk past my MAC store without going, “Oooo….” and strolling in. These look so great on you, @stef! A great pop of color without being vampy or too bright…

    And can I put a order in for some of Iris Apfel’s style NOW? Forget when I get older, I need some of her fabulous ju-ju at 32…

  3. Profile photo of lucylemonade

    How did I miss the launch of this! Grr, so angry I didn’t get to grab up Party Parrot and Flamingo! Those are pretty much my perfect bright lipsticks. Diamond Dove looks amazing as well for great neutral/smokey eye looks. I love how MAC doesn’t only focus on 20 something starlets for their collections and really branches out on what cosmetic collections can be.

  4. Profile photo of mandabear

    Party Parrot looks so amazing! Looks like I’m late to the party…I think it’s because I’m so behind on MAC collections I can’t ever keep up! I might have to step into one of their stores to look at these pretties in person.

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