MAC Holiday 2014 – Keepsakes’ Smokey Face Palette (Photos & Swatches)

You know how in recent months I’ve been complaining (at times) about my writing being a little off?

I mean, somehow my writing brain is back now and I’m able to string together proper and acceptable (by my standards) sentences but there’s this fleeting thought that it’ll crumble again and I’ll back to that sputtering self where whatever I write is just… missing something.

But let’s not think about that now in case I am willing it to happen again. Though do you know what else seems to be missing a little something?

The MAC Face Palettes for the Holiday 2014 Keepsakes Collection.


It’s quite a bold thing to say, I know, that this palette seems off but I just can’t help but get that vibe from it.

In many aspects, it’s really pretty and quite thoughtfully put together but something just doesn’t sit right with me and I can’t place my finger on what exactly is off about it either.


Though before I get to that, here’s a background about its place in the massive MAC Holiday 2014 collection.

Rolling out with products to cover you from the eyes to lips, cheeks and all, MAC had 2 Face Palettes within the Keepsakes collection and I have the Smokey variant to show.


The other Face Palette is in Natural and it’s quite an earthy neutral mix of browns, leaning towards the warmer scale. It’s quite pretty actually but I do like the dimension found within the Smokey Palette as well.


I just wished the quality was a little more even across the board because what I found here is that the eyeshadows (while a good color mix for they classic smokey eye look) were a little dry to the touch.

The best performer amongst the shadows was Carbon but that’s a loved permanent MAC matte black shadow anyway.


The other 2 eyeshadows within – Filament (light silver) and Aristocratic Aura (mid-silver-grey) – weren’t particularly eventful or inspiring when swatched. They imparted pigment quite okay though it felt a little dry and fallout was inevitable.


Yes, I misspelled Aristocratic Aura. Move along now ;P

Though if you really want this because of the packaging then it’s consolation to say that it’s not that bad and you can still work with the shadows to create a look. Albeit a little more patting and blending is required but if you’re willing to do that, then why not.


The other items within the palette are a little better, I felt, especially the Born to Dazzle iridescent powder which I’ve come to like.

While it looks rather shimmery and intimidating in the pan, and somewhat sparkly when swatched on the hand, it actually wears well on the face.

Enough shine that it illuminates the skin in a slightly fancier way than a soft glow but nothing tacky or over the top.



It’s a nice touch for all the party-ing that’s coming up though I doubt my parties would be as hip as most of y’all since it involves slinging a baby in one hand and a baby bag in the other but I’m sure we can still make the sparkles work.


Apart from the powder pans, the Face Palette also sees the inclusion of some cream products and MAC had thoughtfully included a built-in plastic ‘cover’ so your powder doesn’t get all over the creams.


I like this sentiment because it isn’t a flimsy piece of plastic placed over but rather a proper swiveled and sturdy cover.

Plus the fact that the creams and powders are so closeby and these powders don’t leave the cleanest trail, this extra touch will prove to be a lifesaver in keeping your palette clean.

So for cream products, we have a Pearl Cream Colored Base and 2 Lipstick pans – one in Petulance (beige) and the other in Evening Posh (the red).

I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t cared for lip pan products for such a long time or that all these new ones coming out have seriously up-ed their game but the lipstick pans found within swatch well in both pigmentation and texture.


As for the Cream Colored Base, I’ve always been curious about the exact function of these but I guess the correct answer from a MAC Artist would be, wherever you need it.

My need for categorization and everything to be in its own place feels slightly ruffled at multi-purpose products but for a compact palette as such I believe this would come to great use either as a face highlight or a brow bone highlight (given how flakey and gritty Filament is, you don’t want that near the browbone).


I don’t think any of you would care for this but just to mention, there is a tiny dual ended MAC brush within as well.

One side serves as a shadow brush and the other for the lips (or cream stuff) though I felt that using my fingers for quicker coverage and then going in to refine the edges with said included brush worked better than using the brush alone.

Purple Divider

So, in all, my confusion about the Face Palette lies in understanding the choice and products included because it is a nice compact mix  of items within a darling palette but I’m curious why MAC didn’t want to include a blush within since it is a Face Palette after all.

Or perhaps it’s a clever marketing technique since there are blushes within the Keepsakes collection so it’s good to get those to complete your look, yes?

Though if anything it’s an interesting take on Face Palettes to tout on the go. After all, when you whip out a palette like this adorned with soft shimmers, pearls and a cameo to touch up while you’re out, I’m sure you’re bound to turn some heads!


Though speaking of pearls, I do have a bit of beef with these. While beautiful, they feel a little flimsy and some areas feel like they aren’t stuck on proper since I could wiggle them around.

Maybe it’s paranoia speaking because I haven’t come across anyone saying they’ve lost their pearls (trying to link to something comedic but lost my train of thought along the way) but it’s best to be careful when handling the palette.

It’s built for travel and for you to put on a face on the go but unless I keep it in a special pouch of its own where it can remain protected and pristine, I would think twice before touting this out!

Actually a pouch isn’t a bad idea, MAC should have included a cute sequined one to complete the ‘set’!


Regardless, if this MAC Smokey Face Palette has caught your fancy and you’re willing to overlook the just-miss quality of some of the items within because the packaging is just too awesome then, head down to your nearest MAC to pick it up.

Be it for yourself or that MAC loving friend (which could be yourself as well, heh).

If you ask me, I’m conflicted about recommending this. On one hand the quality on average isn’t superb only because I’m looking for that near perfection and luxurious feel but yet if you want special, pretty, and rather-acceptable/usable in quality then I guess you wouldn’t mind this.

It’s your call really, why don’t you head down to MAC to give it a swatch? Perhaps I’m just being too critical about my expectations.


Thanks for reading!

The MAC Keepsakes Face Palette is from the Holday 2014 Keepsakes Collection. It is out at all MAC stores islandwide and is a Limited Edition.

I’m sorry I don’t have the price of this on hand.

Sponsorship disclosure