Holiday Haul #3: MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink

Wow, I am lagging waaayyy behind schedule with my Holiday Haul blog segment! It’ll be Christmas in less than 3 days (here in Manila, at least) and I’m not even halfway done with the haul posts, let alone the swatches and reviews. Oh, and my aunt and cousin from the US will also be arriving 2 days after Christmas, bringing with them two of the items on my wish list—yet additional products to write about! To top it off, those do not even include the pending posts outside of this blog segment! OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO OVERWHELMED. 😯

Anyway, before I go into a complete psychotic meltdown, here’s Holiday Haul #3 for you all, and it’s (obviously) about the lovely MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink!

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with minimal post-processing on Pixelmator

The MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink contains 1 flip-top zip-closed makeup purse, 1 mirror enclosed in a black MAC sleeve, 1 limited edition short-handled MAC #129SE Powder/Blush Brush, 1 full-sized cremesheen lipstick (0.10 oz.) in How Darling!, 1 full-sized lipglass (0.16 fl. oz.) in Soft Spoken, and 1 travel-sized beauty powder blush (0.1 US oz.) in Formal.

When I first saw this set online, I read not-so-stellar reviews due to the substandard MAC 129SE Powder/Blush brush but I wasn’t discouraged at all because of the lovely lipstick and blush combo. When I saw how the lipstick looked like with the lip gloss on, combined with the blush on the cheeks, I was sold! And I’m not even fond of lip gloss, mind you! It’s just that the particular lipstick included in this kit bode extremely well with the light-pink-champagne-with-gold-sparkles lip gloss and I just had to have them… oh, and they’re limited edition and exclusive to this set, BTW! It’s also supposedly a Nordstrom (or Sephora?) exclusive, but like the Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes, that isn’t the case here in Manila—I got an SMS from one of my MUA friends at MAC the moment they got stocks of these. Lucky me!

Scroll down for the reviews and photos of the individual items included in the set! You may click the individual photos to see larger versions (if the gallery opens instead, the link to the full version of the photo may be found within the gallery window).

MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink: Makeup Bag

MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink: #129SE Powder/Blush Brush and Mirror

I found the makeup purse alright, but I wasn’t exactly fond of it for a number of reasons: (1) it was too big for carrying just the items included in the set but much too small to contain the other essentials in my makeup kit, such as my MAC Studio Fix Powder + Foundation, MAC Blot Powder, oil film, etc.; (2) it felt a bit bulky despite its size, probably because of its hard-structured shape; and (3) the fabric exterior seemed like the type makeup would stain easily. I also believe it would’ve been so much better if they just embedded the small mirror into the flap of the makeup purse. Not only would it save space—it would keep fingerprints from marking the mirror (one of my biggest pet peeves and apparently a lot of people’s, as well), too!

Oh and by the way, I still haven’t tried out the #129SE Powder/Blush Brush so I can’t review it yet, but I’ll make sure to update this with a review once I’ve tested it!

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with minimal post-processing on Pixelmator

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with minimal post-processing on Pixelmator

MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink: How Darling! Cremesheen Lipstick

The lipstick, How Darling! (in cremesheen finish), is described as a “warm pink cream.” In my opinion, it kind of looked like it had a frost finish on my lips, which was odd but not unpleasant at all. It’s probably one of my favorite cremesheen lipsticks to date—I could be a little biased because of how it looked on me, but in terms of formula, it was still satisfactory. The coverage was mostly opaque and the wear was rather comfortable. It didn’t feel drying on the lips (to think I didn’t feel the need to apply MAC Prep + Prime Lip beforehand), as well. Although it wasn’t as long-lasting as I wished it would be (3-4 hours), it was to be expected based on my previous experiences with other cremesheen lipsticks from MAC. How Darling! reminded me of MAC Bombshell, one of my first MAC lipsticks and definitely one of my favorites.

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with minimal post-processing on Pixelmator

Taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with minimal post-processing on Pixelmator

MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink: Soft Spoken Lipglass

Soft Spoken, the lipglass, is described as a “soft pink with red frost.” It didn’t make much sense to me since it was actually clear with pink-ish gold (rose gold?) sparkles, but it was a good addition to my collection since I had nothing like it. It also looked lovely with How Darling! as a base, and I’m sure it would bode well with plenty of other lipstick shades. It lasted around 2-3 hours on my lips, and felt a bit sticky like most lip glosses do, but not to the extent that it felt like I had cheap lip gloss on.

MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink: Travel-sized Formal Beauty Powder Blush
(3 g. or 0.1 US oz.) vs. Full-sized MAC Pink Swoon Blush (6 g. or 0.21 US oz.)

Lastly, Formal, the beauty powder blush, is described quite basically as a “soft pink.” It supposedly has a barely-there satin finish, but it’s very buildable that you can make it seem as if it’s a matte finish. It’s also extremely finely milled! By that, I mean please don’t use a heavy hand because you’ll be surprised with how much product wastage the sides of the blush palette can accumulate just upon first swipe. It lasted around 4-5 hours on me, which was fair enough since I have really oily skin. Anyway, to say that this is one of my favorite pink blushes is an understatement—I’ve been using it for the past few days because I just can’t get enough of it and how it looks on me! It also looks very natural on my face, apparently, because I wore it to school just recently and a friend asked me if I had a drink or two due to my flushed cheeks… either my theory was right, or my friend was just a horrible judge because he’s a guy. 🙄

Here are casual photos I took of myself (and of my BFF lol don’t mind her on the second photo hahaha) while stuck in traffic, both on the way to school. These were shot Tuesday and Friday, respectively, while I was wearing both the Formal beauty powder blush and the How Darling! cremesheen lipstick. Unfortunately, the blush wasn’t as obvious on the photos as it was in real life.

NOTE: I’ll post the formal, HD photos of my makeup look and swatches of these products as soon as the swelling on my cheek from my dental surgery subsides! For now, please bear with these substandard photos. 😆

Has any of you purchased this set from MAC, too? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know!

P.S. My apologies for the extremely long blog post! It’s a sickness LOL.

Up next on Erika’s Secret Closet…
Holiday Haul #4: MAC Stroke of Midnight Mineralize Brush Kit


22 thoughts on “Holiday Haul #3: MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip and Cheek Bag in Pink

    • Well, at least you’ve been really consistent with multiple daily blog posts for the past few weeks! I’d been MIA for so long, on the other hand, so I’m really thankful that you guys stayed on my followers list. 🙂 I’ve procrastinated so much that the products I’m going to do posts on are purchases I made last month, or even older! 😆

      I think the colors from this collection would suit you really well, BTW! You should go and snag one for yourself. 😉

      • You have a dissertation to write though! I can’t believe how many bloggers I’ve come across who manage to write while still at school, I mean I was like a hermit when I did my dissertation. Just kept telling myself it’s just one year and then it’s over.
        I really wish I could treat myself to some Mac, I’ve still not bought any but I’m on a spending ban until January as I’m trying to get together enough for a deposit on a car. I very almost bought the riri bronzer, but luckily it sold out before I could check out. I love rihanna but I heard some bad things about her Mac collections. Anyway looking forward to seeing what else you have been buying 🙂 x

      • What’s ironic is how I thought of starting a blog during my thesis term! Talk about masochistic. Oh well, I guess it’s still beneficial in a way because all school and no creative outlet probably would have driven me insane!

        I actually got the bronzer! I was supposed to get just the Bad Girl RiRi lipstick, but the bronzer looked so pretty and it became even more enticing when I got the MUA to apply it on me. The makeup bag was.. well, rose gold-ish. I couldn’t resist. 😆 Good luck on saving up for a car! I can’t wait to get a new one that’s actually from my own pocket, too!

      • Yeah I guess it’s nice to have a blog to write about stuff you enjoy rather than just uni work all the time!
        Awh no, don’t tell me that! I am gutted I don’t have it now! Yeah I can’t wait to buy my first car, it will be nice to get it once I eventually get the money together.

    • Thank you so much! And yes, I hope so too because it is such a pain having to drink antibiotics and pain relievers constantly, not to mention treating my cheek to a cold compress every few hours or so! 😦

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