MAC Semi Precious – review, photos & swatches

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MAC’s mineral rich launch, dazzling in stores now…

photos: we heart this

Confession time: I’ve never really been on the mineral bandwagon. I know there are lots of people who swear by it, and whole lines devoted to it, but more often than not…I’m just not that excited. Though there are exceptions. And I’m about to introduce you to one of them.

Hello, beautiful! That’s Blue Sheen, one of the Mineralize eye shadows from the massive 36 item MAC Semi Precious limited edition launch (on sale now). More on it in a minute.

Why does this collection have me booking a trip on the mineral train? The main products of these launch – twelve eye shadows, four skinfinishes and three blushes, contain four finely milled gems; bronzite, black tourmaline, gold pyrite and lilac lepidolite, ethically mined from the Mata Atlantica region of Brazil. Actual sparkles make these products sparkle! Maybe that’s nothing new to mineral fans, but it really intrigued me.

Mineralize eye shadow ($20)

MAC calls these colors a “mélange” and that’s a great description. The colors swirl together randomly, making every pan unique to itself. They looks like sparkling planets to me, with their large domed shaped. Here’s a closer look at the six shimmery shades we tested…

Faux Gold is a warm coppery bronze with not much difference between wet and dry application. A little birdy told me that this is “amazing” on her hazel eyes. I bet!

from left: dry, wet

Mineral Mode is white with a pink sheen. The pink sheen comes out more when dry. Wet, it’s brighter and whiter.

from left: dry, wet

Dark Indulgence is a blackened emerald green, the kind of color that I just can’t get enough of! The color REALLY intensives when wet (as do all the blackened shades in this launch).

from left: dry, wet

Faux Gold, Mineral Mode, Dark Indulgence

Smoked Ruby is a blackened burgundy brown. This color is insanely gorgeous, just so rich! The color REALLY intensives when wet (as do all the blackened shades in this launch) and had me dreaming of it as a vampy lipstick.

from left: dry, wet

Quartz Fusion is a medium warm pink. It looks beautiful in the pan, like a true piece of quartz. But it’s got really chunky glitter that I think may not work for anyone but true glitter lovers.

from left: dry, wet

And here’s a closer look at Blue Sheen. It’s a blackened cobalt blue that absolutely shines when wet (as do all the blackened shades in this launch).

The darkness of the swatches of the blackened shades had me very excited to use these as eyeliners. But unfortunately, as they day wore on, they wore off – the rich swatch a thing of the past. I need to try them with a mixing medium rather then water and see if it’s any better. I’ll report back…

from left: dry, wet

Smoked Ruby, Quartz Fusion, Blue Sheen

Mineralize Blush ($23) and Mineralize Skinfinish ($28)

Three facts hold true for both the blush and skinfinish; they’re finely milled, as pretty on as they are in the pan and feel like butter on your skin!

Warmth of Coral is true to it’s name. Rather than a juicy, bright coral, it’s a warm peachy coral with a pink vein running through it and no shimmer. Very pretty!

Pressed Amber is dark nude swirl with no shimmer. Pretty as a blush, I also imagine this would be a nice contour shade.

from left: Warmth of Coral and Pressed Amber blush

Semi Precious Rose Quartz – The outer shade is a medium yellow pink. And the inner circle is a swirl of copper, mint green and white pink. Swirled together and applied it’s a light warm pink with a sparkly finish.

Semi Precious Crystal Pink – The outer shade is a nude pink. And the inner circle is a swirl of bubble gum pink, slate green and bronze. Swirled together and applied you get a shade that’s pretty true to the outer circle, a sheer, shimmery nude pink.

from left Rose Quartz and Crystal Pink skinfinish

Lipstick ($14.50) and Cremesheen Glass ($18.50)

from left: Natural Flare, Pure Magnificence, Lush Amber, Musky Amethyst

Lush Amber is a medium peachy nude lipstick with a sheer, lustre finish. Long to try nude but fear of it being too pale? This is the perfect intro to nude! Very easy to wear, very pretty.

Musky Amethyst is a semi sheer berry red lipstick with a hint of plum. It has a frost finish, but unlike most frosts, it’s not too frosty.

Pure Magnificence is a milky, grey pink cremesheen glass. It’s very sheer, so I think even warm tone girl could get away with it.

Natural Flare cremesheen looks virtually identical to Lush Amber lipstick, with an added white shimmer. I don’t think you’d need both, unless you’re nude loco like me! Then you do, because they’re both really pretty.

from left: Pure Magnificence, Natural Flare, Musky Amethyst, Lush Amber

MAC has also thrown a few brushes, a face +body lotion and a couple of skin products in the mix.

Mineralize Charged Water ($22 for 3.4 oz) is a hydrating mist that you can apply before makeup, or even spray after you apply it to replenish moisture or re-set makeup. It’s infused with green tea and citrus scents. We’ll have a team member let you know what she thought in the comments.

My mineral train ticket is on stand by at the moment. I do wish I would have had a longer wear time with the eye shadows. But the face powders are amazing and I love the lip shades they launched to pair with everything.

we heartsters and testers, what are your thoughts on this dazzling launch?

Here’s the whole collection:

Mineralize Eye Shadow
Mineral Mode – Mélange White Base with Copper and Gray
Unsurpassable – Mélange Green, Teal, Purple and Copper
Jade’s Fortune – Mélange Bright Yellow, Blue, Lime and Black
Hint of Sapphire – Mélange Pink, Violet, Teal, Copper and Blue
Clarity – Mélange Light Pink, Off White Green, Gold and Black
Golden Gaze – Mélange Gold and Black
Faux Gold – Mélange Coral, Gold, Lime and Bronze
Quartz Fusion – Mélange Soft Pink, Silver, Deep Pink
Rare Find – Mélange Violet, Brown and Gold
Blue Sheen – Mélange Navy, Black and Peach
Dark Indulgence – Mélange Forest Green and Black
Smoked Ruby – Mélange Burgundy and Black
$20 U.S./$24 CDN

Mineralize Blush
Pressed Amber – Mélange Nude, Beige, Brown
Warmth of Coral – Mélange Coral, Peach
Feeling Flush – Mélange Pink, Deep Blue, Pink, Soft Brown
$23 U.S./$27.50 CDN

Mineralize Skinfinish
Semi Precious Pearl – Base: Beige Champagne, Inner circle: White, Plum, Bronze
Semi Precious Crystal Pink – Base: Pink Champagne, Inner circle: Pink, Dirty Green, Bronze
Semi Precious Rose Quartz – Base: Rosy Pink, Inner circle: Silver, Lime, White Pink, Copper
Semi Precious Goldstone – Base: Brown, Inner circle: Rosy Pink,White, Gold
$28 U.S./$33.50 CDN

Lush Amber – Light Nude Beige
Gem of Roses – Mid-tone Strawberry Pink
One of a Kind – Mid-tone Rosy Neutral
Musky Amethyst – Deep Plum
$14.50 U.S./$17.50 CDN

Cremesheen Glass
Pure Magnificence – Light Grey Pink
Natural Flare – Light Caramel Nude
Geo Pink – Strawberry Pink
Looks Like Sin – Mid-tone Reddish Plum
Richly Revered – Deep Brown Plum
$18.50 U.S./$22 CDN

Zoom Fast Black Lash Deepest Black
$14 U.S./$17 CDN

Mineralize Satinfinish spf 15 foundation
$29.50 U.S./$35.50 CDN

Mineralize Charged Water

Revitalizing Energy
$22 U.S./$27 CDN

Mineralize Face + Body Lotion
$29.50 U.S./$38 CDN

234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush
$22.50 U.S./$27 CDN
235 Split Fibre All Over Eye Brush
$30 U.S./$36.50 CDN
128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush
$32 U.S./$38.50 CDN
179 Angled Split Fibre Buffer Brush
$47 U.S./$56.50 CDN

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 Andrews

    Stef is a plethora of things. Amongst them: co-founder of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She also has a touch of wanderlust and, arguably, the cutest dog in the whole world... skin tone: NC 25/30 skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products

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  1. I haven’t seen this collection in person yet, but after reading your post and seeing the swatches, I’m rushing to check it out. Dark Indulgence, for instance, stopped me in my tracks. The Mineralize Blush and Mineralize Skinfinish colors are gorgeous, too. MAC, here I come!

  2. Holy World of MAC makeup! My eyes are on overload- really so I’m heading down to the store to see these in person! Good gravy, they are something else! WOW WEEE!!!
    GREAT review of course Ms. @stef!

  3. These shadows are beautiful in the pan. I especially like Smoked Ruby and Pink Quartz. So sparkly! I love how Smoked Ruby makes a wearable red that would look awesome in a smokey eye. Great pictures and swatches!

    1. Quartz Fusion I mean, not Pink Quartz.

  4. I received Pure Magnificence cremesheen glass. It’s true, almost anyone can wear this because it’s sheered out (but can be built up to a subtle nude if you apply more product) and makes a perfect layer over lipstick. At first when I saw this milky lip gloss, I thought it would be too unwearable for me. I google’d around and saw that it was used during Paris Fashion Week just to top off a lip look, adding shine. I think that’s what I like most about this product. The formula is outstanding. It’s creamy and creamsheen is my favorite MAC lipstick formula so I was really excited to try the lipglass. I could imagine the more pigmented ones would be excellent to wear.

    I also purchased a lipstick in Gem of Roses. It’s a beautiful pink that is just a shade or two darker than my lip color. I am usually drawn to Creamsheens but the Lustre formula isn’t too bad.

  5. I met up with Holly for coffee a few days ago, and got to see Faux Gold for myself. It looks very orange in the pan, but it looked AMAZING on her. It is really a gorgeous color, definitely good for summer! She got me lemming it for sure.

    I’m not usually a huge fan of mineralized/baked eyeshadows because the color payoff is so low. If you like a sheer wash of color with some shimmmer, you might like them. I prefer more intense, pigmented color, which requires applying these wet (too much hassle in my opinion, although some gals might like having the option of wet or dry application).

    1. Yay! Love the coffee and make up talk date! Fun. And the Faux Gold is pretty fantastic too.

  6. @ stef –Well, since it is confession time, I have tried every eye shadow color known to man. But, I have NEVER been so excited about one single color. I was the lucky tester of the “Faux Gold”. This is a dream color for all of the hazel eyes out there. My eye color really pops with a simple swipe of this color.

    Normally, I am a devoted eye pallet junkie because I like all of my colors to be “housed” together. However, this is one beautiful single. I am going to buy a backup or two.

    5 starts

  7. I have the eyeshadow in Mineral Mode, and it’s definitely gorgeous in the pan. I personally like mineral makeup, but I agree that the color payoff is quite low. I really like Mineral Mode, although I was expecting more color variation when I swatched it. Still a pretty color nonetheless.

  8. I got to try Smoked Ruby. And let me tell you I was nervous! It is gorgeous in the pan. But I usually have very bad luck with reds near my eyes. But I was very pleasantly surprised. For some reason it doesn’t read like a typical red on my face-ie. it doesn’t make me look like a zombie. It is a really rich, burgundy brown. It wears beautifully! The color is very vivid! It is not really an everyday kind of a shadow. But it is superb for a going out smokey eye. It is really unique and very flattering for my brown eyes. I really like it. I give this one 4 stars! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for drama and something unique!

  9. I actually saw some of these in person at the MAC counter this week and they really are beautiful. The Rose Quartz blush is at the top of my list because it’s exactly the type of pink I love!

  10. I tested out MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Crystal Pink. I’m about NC35 in MAC foundation (warm medium skintone), and on me, this is more of a highlighter/soft glow than a blush. It adds sheer shimmer to your face. You could layer it over a matte blush to add some shine. I’d suggest using it sparingly–too much, and you’ll look overdone. It’s a fairly good sized compact with a generous amount of product, especially given the amount used per application. If you like the look of a sparkly “healthy glow,” then this might be a good product for you. However, if you have large pores or an aversion to sparkles on your face, you might want to give this one a pass. If you’re looking for a good highlighter, I think there are better ones out there, and for less money. I give it 3 stars.

  11. Too be honest the eye shadows scared me off a bit. While I think they are beautiful, when working on my eyes I always like knowing exactly what color I’m going to get every time.

    Anyway, the group of products that seemed to call to me where the Mineralize Blushes and Mineralize Skinfinish – the swirls of color seemed less intimidating in that form – hee.

    I ended up testing the Mineralize Blush in Semi Precious Rose Quartz and I love it! As @stef mentioned the powders is silky soft and smooth and the color is perfect for summer. The outer medium hued pink and inner light, shimmery pink for now work as both a blush and all over highlighter to add some sunny glow to my face.

    In the winter when I’m (much) paler the blush may be a bit dark and I’ll use this more as a highlighter.

    Oh and I also love the large, compact size, round palette MAC packages their blushes in – with their signature clear lids so you know exactly what you’re grabbing. 5 stars!

  12. Wow Faux Gold and Pressed Amber both look like they need to be on my vanity. This entire collection is the reason MAC is at the top of the beauty game. I think I’ll be stopping by my local store to check these out in person.

  13. Okay, I really really am not a fan of mineral products… but I JUST SAW all of the Semi Precious baked mineral eyeshadows at Nordstrom’s last weekend, and MY MIND WAS BLOWN! Seriously, gals. These colors/finishes are incredibly unusual and beautiful, and I want to buy them all. I know I will go back and buy at least one or two of the eyeshadows. Seriously, I encourage you to go see them in person.

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