Review: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose

By Voxy  

I would love to be able to look down my nose at the Stereo Rose hype and say that I regret buying this product and that it totally wasn’t worth the hubbub and geez! people are like sheep.

Um. Well.

The truth is that I really, really like Stereo Rose and I’m glad I snagged one. There. Sorry. Yes, I am a cosmetics ho.

MAC makes two kinds of Mineralize SkinFinish products: the regular old MSF, which depending on the shade has a texture somewhere between shimmery and frosty, and MSF Natural (“MSFN”), which have a more matte finish. Depending on the shade, either the MSFs or the MSFNs can be used as highlighters, blushes, contour blushes, bronzers, finishing powders, or, rarely, foundation powders (if you have fantastic skin and only want something to make it a little less oily without actual coverage). They are large compacts, and the powders are baked into a dome shape, so they last a long time. Most MSFs have a marbleized texture, although MAC does occasionally release one with a a different look (stripes, for example, or a more-or-less solid color).

Stereo Rose was originally released as part of the 2005 limited edition Goldplay collection. If you want to be a MAC scholar, you can go and look up swatches of Stereo Rose ’05 vs. Stereo Rose ’10 and you will discover that they are not quite the same shade, in the same way that identical twins are not really exactly identical. The rest of us, however, can just feel free to begin whooping it up over Stereo Rose ’10.

Stereo Rose, which sold out online in something less than two hours after it was released, is described on the MAC website as “Coral with golden/bronze shimmering nuances.” Describing colors exactly can be really difficult, but that’s not how I’d have worded it. To me, it’s the coppery rose of a brand-new penny. I was afraid it would be too warm for my cool-toned skin, but it is not. It’s a great blush that is in-between warm and cool shades. It does have a bit of frost in it, but that’s easily toned down with a setting powder applied over the areas in which the finish isn’t what you want. Because it is pigmented, you will want to use a skunk brush and stipple with a light touch. It is blendable and buildable, but it’s much easier to build up than take off. If you don’t have a skunk brush, a blush or kabuki will do, but you will want to just touch the brush to the surface of the product and then tap off the extra before applying to the face.

As I mentioned, Stereo Rose is sold out online on the MAC site, but you may still be able to get it at a MAC store or counter, and it will certainly be going up on eBay.

Closeup and swatch (the swatch was really difficult to take because I couldn’t get it to reflect color properly):

In real life it’s a bit pinker on my skin than it looks in this swatch; like I said, I had real trouble photographing it in a light application.


MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose: $28 (sold out at MAC online; check stores and counters)

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (mid-range: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. The thing is enormous (it’s 10 g/0.35 oz of product), so I’ll never finish it.

Purchase again? In general, I’d buy more MSFs, but there will be a limit as to how many I could actually use in my stash.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted July 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I definitely checked that – thanks for the heads-up! I have been looking at all these makeup artist blogs doing crazy color eyes, and if you’re game to start photoing eyes as well as lips, I’d LOVE to see some of your colored eye looks! I’m wondering about colorful but wearable stuff, and I have a feeling your colored looks are more wearable and less goth than some of what I’ve been seeing–I’d love to get a “normal person, normal job” idea of what works and what doesn’t.

    I sure hope the Zpalettes are better quality. But I’m guessing not since i’ve been reading all this repackaging freakout that I got set on by the LIme Crime crap. I’m now VERY jaded.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted July 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Re: eye looks — yeah, I’ve been thinking of doing that. But I definitely don’t do anything as complicated as those other people out there, so I thought maybe it would just be too boring. But maybe there’s an audience for “mostly neutrals with a pop of color” or “colored but not way the heck out there” kinds of looks.

      Also, it will take time and there will be a learning curve. So yeah, I’m thinking of it, and mulling over how to do it. Originally I thought maybe if I had a good eye look in the morning I’d just photograph it before I went to work, but now I realize I don’t have the discipline to leave time for that in the morning.

      So let’s call it a thought in progress.


      • avatar a biologist
        Posted July 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’d love to see some good daily eye looks with color. I have only advanced to taupe or brown single color for day looks.


        • avatar chaosbydesign
          Posted July 10, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

          “But I definitely don’t do anything as complicated as those other people out there, so I thought maybe it would just be too boring.”

          Definitely not boring. The thing with most of the eye makeup demos/examples I’ve seen is that they are just *too much* for everyday wear–and often even too much for evening as well. Not many people over the age of 16 can pull off extravagant eyeshadow without looking like an 80s throwback.

          I’d like to see your eye looks–I tend to stick to one method of applying eye colour and would be interested to see some different options that are actually practical for wearing to work.


  2. avatar marigolds
    Posted July 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    WOW, it’s pretty. It’s like a combo of bronzer + NARS Orgasm. I think it’s gorgeous, and now I might have to go by my local MAC counter and pick one up!

    On another unrelated note, I just ordered some stuff from TKB Trading so I can try out pressing mineral stuff myself. I have a LOT of mineral eyeshadow and I think it would make it easier to store it. (Also, TKB has the small ZPalettes – except they’re called “Freestyle palettes” – on their site for $4.99. WAY less than I paid for the SAME thing.) I got some little pans and some mixing medium and a squisher/tamper and a little spoon. My only hesitation is that it removes the “infinite life expectancy” of the plain powder, right? (I also got a little bag of what’s essentially clear MAC lipglass, so I can just mix in whatever colors I want and make my own lipgloss. That should be fun and messy.)


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted July 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, SR is like NARS Orgasm plus, say, NARS Mounia. Actually, it’s a lot like Mounia by itself, if the NARS swatch is accurate:

      Let me know how the pressing of mineral powder goes!

      I was looking at other magnetized palettes online the other day and wondering how they compared to the ZPalettes. Maybe the ZPalettes are a better quality?

      One word about the lipgloss thing — if you can, try to find out if the mineral powders and pigments you’re using are safe for use on lips before you go hog-wild.


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