MAC Pro Blush: Azalea

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Jan 082010
 

MAC’s Pro blushes include Azalea, a gorgeously blue-based pink that looks crazy in the pan.  I’m fair-skinned and warm, but find that cool blushes work well.

This blush must be handled with care. This is swatched very heavily using a compact eyeshadow brush so you can see the color in my photograph.  I would never suggest wearing this color on your cheek like that.  To avoid a full-on “MAC force field” effect, apply very lightly with a skunk (also called a “duo-fiber”) brush, or wipe a standard blush brush on a tissue several times before applying to the cheek.  This delivers an incredible, unusual and beautiful color.  However, keep in mind that this is a Pro product and so can be far too intense if you apply this in the same way as a standard blush.

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Jan 072010
 

MAC sells a Pro line of products in selected stores, referred to as “MAC Pro Stores,” in major cities throughout the world.  I find myself in a Pro store only once or twice per year, and with only a few exceptions have received excellent service in every one of them.  I’m not sure whether the company has better hiring or training in those locations but their associates are usually a few steps ahead.

Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas has an enormous selection of shops (called the “Forum”)  that has been upgraded and expanded over the years.  It includes a MAC Pro store.  If you enter from the Strip, you must go up some escalators and travel through the reproduction Roman streets to locate it.  Ceasar’s is always very busy, and I can imagine that the MAC Pro store gets an enormous amount of traffic.

I was greeted by a sales associate who, typical of MAC makeup artists, was an expert wearing their products.  I asked to explore MAC’s Pro blushes, especially Taupe which I had heard was an excellent color to contour the cheeks.

The MAC artist quickly informed me that MAC had discontinued Taupe.

Sigh.

MAC has a reputation for issuing limited releases and short product cycles.  It makes economic sense from their perspective (it must, they do it so frequently!)  For makeup buyers, this scarcity means committing to buy now or risk paying outrageous prices on eBay later.  Fortunately, my brilliant makeup artist found a pro pan version of the product.  See, I told you they know their stuff.  These pro pans  can be easily placed into one of MAC’s blush palettes, which look like this (first one closed, second one open):

For $12, this palette is a nice way to accommodate six blushes in a very small space.  The palette’s spaces and the back of MAC’s pro pan blushes are both magnetized, so it’s very easy to create and change the palette.

My patient MAC makeup artist helped swatch nearly all of the MAC Pro blushes.  Another artist pitched in too.  At the end, the backs of our hands were swatched in vibrant colors, sometimes with the same color in varying degrees of heavy to light. By the time I left, I owned six MAC Pro blushes ($15.50 each) to fill my new palette.  Each is pressed powder held in a little metal pan, sold in a cardboard sleeve.  I’ll be reviewing and swatching these in the days that follow.

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