MAC has always had great holiday sets and I definitely think that this collection is hands down one of my favorites. I love the fact that this collection embodies a classic holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.” The packaging is so fun and I love the fact that most of the sets come with pouches and even the sets that don’t come with pouches become some type of storage.
Here are my top 5 picks (not in numerical order):
Nutcracker Sweet Mineralize Brush Kit | $52.50
Who doesn’t love a brush set? I picked this particular brush set out of the 4 offered because I felt like it was the most cohesive and versatile. In the kit you get: 188SE Small Duo Fibre Brush, 159SE Duo Fibre Blush Brush, 287SE Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush, 283SE Duo Fibre Small Eye Shadow/286SE Duo Fibre Tapered Blending Brush. These brushes are smaller than a typical brush, but it’s great for travel and for those starting out in makeup. You don’t only get face brush, or just eye brushes, you get a nice mix and technically you get 5 brushes for $52.50 – which isn’t too bad considering they are MAC brushes.
Nutcracker Sweet Plum Eye Bag | $42.50
I picked this particular eye kit over the smoky version because I felt like it was more user friendly and not too intimidating. In the kit you get: Extra Dimension Eyeshadow (Smoky Mauve), Technakohl Liner (Purple Dash), Pro Longwear Paint Pot (Stormy Pink), and False Lashes Mascara (Black). This is a great value, because not only do you get items that can be used together, they can also be stand alone items. I love the extra dimension eyeshadows because they are so stunning and easy to work with. The paint pots are one of MAC’s well-known products and they provide such a great base for any look. The only product I’m not so excited about is the technakohl liner – I wish it would have been like a brown or maybe event a dark navy. Other than that, I think this is great for those who like easy, go-to eye looks.
Nutcracker Sweet Nude Patentpolish Kit | $35
This might be my favorite set out of the whole holiday set collection. Again, I love the fact that all these colors are neutral colors and that all the shades have a different tone to them. In the kit you get: Pleasure’s All Mine, It’s Really Me, Revved Up, and French Kiss. For the holidays this is probably the safest kit you can get someone because it’s neutral, has colors that beginners would feel comfortable using, the product itself is easy to use, and who doesn’t love neutral colors?!
Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lipstick Kit | $35
Now, this lip kit isn’t that high on my list because I feel like the colors aren’t universal shades that will match everybody. This kit includes: Creme Cup, Kinda Sexy, Nauvelle Vogue, and Whirl. In my opinion Creme Cup and Kinda Sexy are the colors that may not necessarily work for every skin tone, like most lip products there are ways to make them work, but on a regular basis, I’m not sure some will go the extra step to make the color work. Though the colors may not necessarily work for everyone, the formula of MAC lipsticks are some of the best I’ve tried. It’s not too drying, it’s pigmented, and the formula is just so comfortable. MAC has great lipsticks and I think this is a great kit for someone to try MAC’s lipstick and find they’re go-to/never fail color.
Nutcracker Sweet Pink Retro Matte Kit | $35
Yes, another lip kit – well I would like to call it a full-on lip kit, but in reality it isn’t because there is a mascara in there. In this kit you get: Upward Lash (Black), Pendemonium (Retro Matte Lipstick), and Bing Bang Boom (Retro Matte Liquid). I like the variety of products this kit has for the price, however, I feel like this kit doesn’t cater to a lot of skin tones. There is another kit with the same type of products (different lip colors), but I feel like it’s too intense for the holidays because it is purple/plum tones – to me, these types of colors can be a bit intimidating.
- Eyeshadow Compacts: There are 3 versions of the eye shadow compacts and they all go for $39.50. Now, I haven’t personally tried them, but just looking at the pictures, there’s nothing “wow” about them and I have also read/watched reviews that said the pigmentation in these are just sub-par. I feel like if you’re going to spend $40 on an eyeshadow palette, you might as well go all the way and really invest in something that they will use FOREVER – like MAC’s Warm Neutral Palette (15 full size pans – $65). The Warm Neutral Palette does cost a pretty penny, but trust me it’s worth it because as much as a makeup lover loves to use different colors, you can never go wrong with neutrals. I have a palette that is semi-similar and I honestly find myself using it every single day – even on days when I use different colors, I always go back to my palette because it has the basics.
- Pigments & Glitter Kits: I love pigments because you get a huge impact in terms of color, but they just aren’t practical. MAC seems to always incorporate some type of pigment in their holiday collection and to be completely honest, I would never get this for anyone, even if they are a makeup lover. If I’m going to spend $35 on a makeup product, I would want it to be towards something that can be used everyday.
- Lip gloss kits: Personally I don’t like lip glosses and my life has been better off without it, however, I do appreciate good lip glosses and I like the fact that MAC’s lip glosses are a little tacky because it lasts a lot longer on the lips and the pigmentation is better than most other lip glosses. The only reason why I would pass on these kits is because the colors seem so similar to each other, that there wouldn’t be a huge difference between them. The Nutcracker Sweet Red Lip Gloss kit has a little more variety, but 2/4 colors look a little similar and when it comes to glosses I feel like if they’re in the same color family, there won’t be a huge difference.
For this year’s holiday set collection, I definitely love the fact that the packaging for each kit is functional which means that there’s little waste and it can be re-used. I also love the packaging scheme itself, to me it screams the holidays, but it can also be used for everyday purposes without it constantly screaming holidays. The only thing that really bums me out about the overall holiday kit collection is that I wish there was more variety to some of these kits. I get that there was a nude theme and a pink theme and a purple theme, but I feel like some of these kits are just missing something. Overall, I think these kits are a great way for your loved ones to find their favorite holy-grail colors and products.
Are you picking anything up for the makeup junkie in your life? Or maybe you have friends that are just getting into makeup – these kits would be great for them! To keep up with more of my holiday gift ideas, don’t forget to follow me here and also on Twitter and Instagram @ciaociao808.