Beauty #TBT – MAC Nutcracker Sweet Warm Shadow Palette

I’ll admit that whilst I was excited that I received the Nutcracker Sweet Warm Eye Compact from MAC’s limited edition 2016 Christmas collection from my sister in law to be. I’ll admit though that straight away I was a little nervous, I think we all may remember how much I disliked the last MAC pre-made eye compact I tried, finding the quality no where near as good as what I’ve known from their singles.

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The packaging of this collection was stunning, from the outer packaging which featured embossed gold details that looked like stitching, over pink and purple spotted and dotted packaging. This particular palette had gold embroidery detail over a slightly plasticy, almost matt PVC like covering which went over a plastic palette. This particular palette had a magnetic closure that holds it together and with 9 shades of a different mix of finishes and tones inside it on the surface looked like it should be a great little palette for being on the go.

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The palette comes with a mirror sitting in the lid and a space for the handy dual ended brush it came with to sit in. The brush has a 214 brush at one end which is perfect for under the eye for creating a smoked out look – I actually really love this brush and want to get a full size to keep in my pot to reach for all the time. The 213 looks like a brush that packs on colour but it’s slightly too loose and fluffy to do that, and it’s not really fluffy enough to be a fluffy brush. The 213 end is okay, workable, but doesn’t make the task at hand as easy as it could be.

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Left to right the shades in the palette

Filament A pale silver glitter with a slightly translucent/sheer coverage. Not highly pigmented but workable to layer with other shades, not great by itself.

Whirling a mid cool toned golden taupewith a shimmering gold fleck. Another shade that wasn’t fully opaque but did seem to layer well and could be made opaque. (Limited Edition)

Era is described as a soft brown with golden undertones and a satin finish. I’d describe it a pale neutral brown with a finish that’s more somewhere between a matte and a satin. This one had pretty good coverage. (Available in singles/pans in core collection) 

Woodwinked a classic shade from MAC, a golden bronzed brown shade with beautiful shimmery finish, blended out this reveals a gorgeous orange tone. (Available in singles/pans in core collection) 

Unwind is a shade that’s described by MAC as a dirty medium gold with a warm undertone. This is an interesting one to me, around other browns it looks more brown and gold, but by itself it’s more of a soft olive gold green with a pretty delicate shimmer finish. (Limited Edition)

Lady Fingers (Great name!) is a gorgeous bright matte mustard yellow, more opaque than I was expecting, and also much more wearable than I thought it might be. (Limited Edition)

Twelve Chimes is a warm dark grey with a subtle pearl finish, really nice pigmentation but a little less blendable than some of the others, it sticks and locks into place quickly! (Limited Edition)

Showstopper is is a dark taupe finish, it’s described as a matte, but personally I think it’s more of a satin matte shade – the coverage of this is slightly less opaque and you can kind of tell where I ran my finger over as a second layer, it’s actually a really nice shade to work with to build up a smokey eye slowly. (Limited Edition)

Beyond Gorgeous is a a soft matte black with a fine micro sparkle, it’s quite dry in texture but is not too bad to work with. (Limited Edition)

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On first impression these seemed a little disappointing (but no where near as much as the MAC Amber Times 9 one!). One of the shades in the palette I already had (Woodwinked) and the pigmentation I knew wasn’t as good as the one I had in a pan by itself. From my experience with the BareMinerals palette last week I knew that whilst for the most part these swatched well, they would  maybe be bloody hard to work with on the lid, thankfully whilst the pigmentation wasn’t the best, they never seemed to get much worse and offered a really decent wear time too.

These aren’t the most buttery and pigmented of shadows, but this was also a pretty nice palette, sad that it was limited edition but I can’t help but want to talk about it still. I think that this was priced at £29 (although I’m struggling to find a place to confirm that!), which I don’t think was too bad a price for Limited Edition Quad.

One thing I would say is that I don’t think that this palette is particularly ‘Warm’, there were two other similar palettes in this collection (Cool and Smokey), and this feels like a mix of cool, warm and smokey shades. Personally, I’m not too bothered, I like the shade selections and can create lots of different looks with this palette. But if I was an exclusive warm toned shadow lover, I very much doubt that this would be  palette I’d use frequently.


More Macro Swatches

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Filament, Whirling, Era, Woodwinked & Unwind

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Lady Fingers, Twelve Chimes, Showstopper, Beyond Gorgeous


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I had a lot of questions about my eye look when I reviewed the Tarte Mascara in January, and it was this palette that I’d used, I used Era through the crease, Woodwinked all over the lid, a mix of Twelve Chimes and Showstopper on the outer crease with Showstopper underneath the lower lash. It’s been a favourite look from this palette so far.tarte-tarteist-mascara-close-up

Look 2

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Very similar overall effect using Unwind as the main lid colour with Filament placed in the inner corner.

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What do you think of this palette? Would it be a hit or miss for you?

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44 thoughts on “Beauty #TBT – MAC Nutcracker Sweet Warm Shadow Palette

  1. This is a bit too cool toned for me and woodwinked looks so different! Saying that the looks you created were beautiful!! I feel like Mac shadows vary so much, the pans I bought in America are nowhere near as pigmented as the singles from the uk?!?! Xxx

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    1. Oh good I thought I was mad thinking this was cool toned no other review I’d seen has questioned that this is classed as a warm palette?!
      Woodwinked does look different, I meant to search them side by side and it’s no where near as orangey as the normal pan is!
      Bizarre maybe that’s why they’re cheaper?! They’re like 6 dollars in the us aren’t they and ours are a tenner!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The packaging is soo pretty I love the Nut cracker range but the shades do look a little disappointing! some beaut colours in there though xxx

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  3. I am often disappointed with MAC’s LE palettes, too, but the packaging! It always makes such a nice gift.

    One thing that does generally prevent me from buying the LE palettes is that they always put in a bunch of colors I already have. I mean one or two, I don’t mind, but usually it’s like half the set. :/

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    1. I think I have less than 10 shadow singles from MAC, they’re much less affordable than what you guys get them for, £10 for a pan… jeez! I don’t end up with many repeats other than anything that tends to be a neutral toned classic! I can’t help but think some of the shades that are total LEs in this palette were not good enough to make it to mass production, but good enough for a palette of this stance!

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  4. Lady Fingers surprised me – how pigmented and it definitely stands out against the other colours.
    It’s so disappointing when holiday / LE items don’t compare to the regular line. I’ve stayed away from MAC’s holiday collections for a while now. Both because of the quality and also because of the repeat colours. I’d prefer to see only limited edition shades rather than rehashing from their regular line. I still have a holiday palette from them from more than 10 years ago! I should do a TBT post on that one day.

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      1. I had planned to eventually to show my MAC LE collection but that’s just too ambitious. I will likely break them out – I don’t have ton, but it’s nice to give the spotlight to each. I’ve noted down the request!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I really wanted to get something from this collection as I just loved the packaging but money was a bit tight around Christmas (when isn’t it?) and I decided to be sensible. I must admit, I don’t usually bother with palettes as there’s always at least a couple of colours that I never use. It’s better for me to buy singles I really like. Having said that, the looks you’ve created with this palette are gorgeous.

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  6. such a shame about to pigmentation issues – I’ve heard so many people say that they are different in palette form to in standard pan form. The colours are super pretty but definitely not “cool”! xxxx

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  7. Whilst you absolutely rock those colours – I think they are a little too cool for me! They look completely different swatched than they do in the pan and I was so surprised to see that! The packaging is beautiful on this product though, I genuinely thought it was fabric!
    Sherry x

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  8. I loved the looks you created with this pan ! It’s exactly the warm colors I love ~ gold (with a hint of olive) and browns. So beautiful !!!! Thank you for demonstrating these colors. Now I need to go to the Mall to get some more MAC !

    Liked by 1 person

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