Mac Nutcracker Sweet Blush Highlight Compact

Every now and then, a limited edition product comes along that makes my eyes widen and I just HAVE to have it. In my own defence, this is actually quite rare; lots of limited edition products strike me as over hyped and all too often they aren’t going to work with my milk coloured skin. Plus, living with a chronic debilitating illness tends to do bad things to your disposal income. 

But when I saw this compact in the marketing ads/reviews for Mac’s Nutcracker Sweet collection, I fell in love. I was lucky enough to get it as an early Christmas gift – yay! It’s one of those products that really makes me look forward to the times when I’m well enough to put on makeup.

There were two versions of this compact available in the collection; I went for the Peach version which includes (unsurprisingly) a peachy pink shade of blush called At Dusk. The Copper version was super popular because it included the much loved Whisper of Gilt highlight but those shades just weren’t to my taste for my skin tone.

Both of these products are easy to wear and buildable. I don’t own many peachy tone blushes but have found that I really like it; it’s a soft and natural look that’s great for daytime. I found that is was just the right side of pigmented, meaning that the colour pay off is good but not so stark that one swipe needs endless blending to be wearable. The highlight is a lovely shade called Tutu that you don’t often see on the market, light but not stark or cold looking. Mac descibes it as a pale white peach. It works really well on my very fair skin tone. 

The packaging in this collection is adorable without being juvenile. I love the burgundy/purple and pink combination and the stitched detailing makes the whole thing feel a little luxurious. The detailing is repeated on the pans of product and makes using them for the first time a little sad! Mac have really got it right with this collection in my opinion.

I’m going to include a couple of pics of me wearing these products but bear in mind that I’m no expert at taking such photos – it looks great in real life! On that morning I was well enough to wear makeup but not well enough to remove shades in any kind of light; pretty typical of my rare ‘good hours’ these days.

The Nutcracker Sweet collection is well worth checking out. At the time of writing, this product was still available  online in the UK (yay!) along with some of the gorgeous lip and eye sets.

Did you buy anything from this collection? Have you spotted any other LE holiday products that you’ve fallen in love with?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed in this post were purchased with my own money.


Mac Lipstick Review: Twig

There are some shades of lipstick that you can reach for with complete confidence, knowing that it will work with your skin tone and with a variety of makeup looks. For me, Mac’s Twig  is one such lipstick. 

Mac describes the shade as ‘soft muted brownish-pink’. This shade comes in a Satin finish, which is a nice change from the matte formulas we all seem to have become obsessed with in recent years. It works well with Mac’s lipliners in Soar, Whirl or Dervish depending on your preference. Layering this lipstick over lips that are completely filled-in with one of these liners will really increase wear time. I feel that this shade has a bit of a 90s vibe going on but is easier to wear that some of the darker Browns that were all the range then.

As you can see, I’m very fair-skinned so while Twig is a relatively deep looking shade on me, it would make a lovely nude shade for ladies (or indeed gentleman) with dark skin. I actually can’t think of a skin tone this shade wouldn’t look pretty against. Along with Brave & Mehr, this is a shade I can always count on to help me look put together, even when I’m in a lot of pain and trying to mask it by wearing my shades…which is most of the time to be honest!

There are drugstore alternatives to this colour, but personally I’d rather buy one Mac lipstick than a couple of cheaper ones. They apply so smoothly and smell delicious.

If you’re relatively new to Mac products, I highly recommend checking out this shade. Regardless of current makeup trends, this is a lipstick you can always depend on to look lovely all year around.

Do you have a favourite Mac lipstick?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Mac Lucky Trolls Beauty Powder

I recently went into hospital to have a hole drilled in my skull and a tiny monitor put inside to assess the pressure around my brain. It was not fun 😬. While I was there, I decided I deserved a little treat, so I ordered myself a beauty powder from Mac’s Lucky Troll collection to meet me when I arrived home.

Beauty powders often appear in Mac limited edition collections. They can be used in a variety of ways – on the cheeks as blush, as highlight, on the entire face or even on your eyes depending on the shade and your preference.

The powder I went for is called Play It Proper. Mac describes it as ‘a soft pastel pink with sparkles.’ 

This product isn’t particularly pigmented but as I wanted to use it as an everyday highlight, it doesn’t need to be. I’ve found myself reaching for this compact every time I’ve applied makeup recently. My skin is very fair (approx NW10 right now) and it can be difficult to find a light pinkish highlight; the majority of the the highlights on the market seem to be in the gold/bronze area and such shades generally don’t work for me. This powder turned out to be an ideal shade for my skin and suitable for use as a highlight without being so over-the-top shimmery that I feel self conscious wearing it in the daytime.

The packaging is delightful. It might feel too childish for serious beauty gurus but personally I love it; it appeals to the 90s 14 year old in me! I suspect this packaging is the kind that you’ll either love it or hate it. It makes me happy every time I see it! The little troll outline in the product itself is also adorable, to the extent that I’ll be a little sad when it’s worn away.

I’m really happy with this product and can see myself getting a lot of use out of it. I’d recommend keeping an eye out for other beauty powders in limit edition collections – there may be one that’s ideal for you. Of course the downside is that you have to be quick with limited edition products as the best products tend to sell out fast. I’ve noticed that shades like this do turn up in collections now and then, so I’ll be on the look out for a replacement before this product runs out.

Have you found any gems in limited edition collections?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x 

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Review: MAC Tendertalk Lip Balms

I LOVE lip balms. I’ve loved them since my school days, when we all kept pots of Body Shop lip balm in our pencil cases. Even when I moved on to lipstick, I always kept a balm in every handbag. 

In recent years my life has been altered drastically by chronic illness. I no longer get to wear my beloved lipsticks every day. The one thing I always have on hand though is lip balm, even when I’m stranded in bed by the pain and nausea; sadly that’s most of the time right now.

I was excited to read that MAC were releasing a range of tinted balms – the Tendertalk Collection.


The two shades I went for are Play With Me and Side Dish. These balms claim to produce sheer tint that is individual to the wearer, based on the wearer’s body chemist. Play With Me is a sheer red shade and Side Dish is a sheer plum.


The packaging is absolutely gorgeous. I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to shiny things and these tubes are reflective and change colour in the light beautifully, without being so over the top that you’d feel self conscious using one in public! The tubes are nice and sturdy as you’d expect from a product in this price range.


The signature MAC vanilla scent is present, which I’m pleased about. The balm does what you’d expect a decent balm to do – it makes lips feel soft and moisturised. It doesn’t particularly last any longer than balms like Benefit’s Benebalm but I find the tint to be more smoothly buildable (since they are very close in price, I’d choose these over the Benebalm which until now was my favourite).  As the balm wears away, a hint of colour stain is left behind.


These are definitely an indulgent purchase as you can get nice tinted balms at a cheaper price point, but personally I love these balms. I’ll be needing to go into hospital some time soon to have a hole drilled in my skull and a monitoring thing put in there for a couple of days, so I figured I’d treat myself to these and include them in my scaled-back hospital basics makeup bag. I don’t mind admitting that pretty little luxuries cheer me up and I’m glad I bought these – in fact I’m trying to stop myself from buying the other shades! 

Do you have a favourite tinted lip balm?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me – @chroniccockney

Chronic Pain Cockney – The Little Things is also on Bloglovin.

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil: 1st Impressions 

I made it to Dublin recently for a long weekend with lots of my family. If you’re a regular reader or Twitter buddy, you’ll know that travelling is very difficult for me due to my neurological condition so it’s not something  I attempt often. As this was a one-off event so I decided to give it a go. With the help of many meds and my husband, I managed to get there and take part in some family events – yay! Most importantly, me making it meant my daughter got to make some nice family memories that involve me being upright & not stranded in the dark dealing with pain!

On the way back through Dublin airport I used some left over Euros to grab myself a lipstick and lip pencil in MAC. I went for a matte lipstick in Please Me and a Pro Longwear Pencil in  Good Timing; the latter is the topic of this 1st Impressions post.


I must admit up front that I didn’t realise I’d bought a Pro Longwear pencil until later; as I didn’t have much time, I just grabbed a colour I liked the look of. I normally buy MAC’s standard lipliners but I was interested to see how this one performed.


On the plus side, the formula of this pencil is smooth and soft. There is no dragging on application. The shade itself is very pretty. MAC describes it as ‘light pink’ which it is; I’d add that it has a cool mauve undertone going, but that may just be how it looks on my very pale skin.


On the other hand, this pencil didn’t impress me the first time I used it – as soon as I started applying, the tip broke right off. I don’t think I use a particularly heavy hand so I really wouldn’t expect this to happen on the first use of a £15 lip pencil. I also found that there was a slight patchiness to the look on the lips that only worsened as it began to fade. It could be partly due to the fact that this is a lighter shade than I’d usually wear, but I felt that the fading patchiness was very noticeable as my natural lip colour peeked through.

So, I’m pretty disappointed with my 1st impression of this product, which is a shame as I generally love MAC products. I’ll give it another couple of outings and if my opinion changes, I’ll write an update post to let you guys know.

Have you used this product in any shade? Did you like it?

Wishing you good luck & happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me – @chroniccockney

‘Chronic Pain Cockney- The Little Things’ is also on Bloglovin!

MAC Lipstick Review: Please Me

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to lipsticks. While I have quite a collection of drugstore lipsticks, I find that it’s actually the MAC ones that I reach for most often. I’ve had my eye on Please Me for ages and recently I finally took the plunge and bought it.


It’s a matte finish formula and MAC describes it as a ‘muted rosy-tinted pink’. It’s a popular shade but I’ve found that how it looks on can really vary depending on skin tone of the wearer.


I found this lipstick to be slightly creamier than the other MAC mattes that I own. It applies smoothly and with minimal dragging. On my very pale (NW10/15) skin, it a little brighter than many of the swatches I’ve seen on line; to be fair I find it hard to find swatches on skin like mine generally. Quick digression – if you’re super pale like me, search ‘Beauty with Emily Fox’ on YouTube; she does excellent swatch videos and in the Winter her skin shade is roughly the same as mine all year around 😊.


I’m really enjoying this lipstick. It wears well; I always tend to reapply after a meal but you could not bother and your lipstick would still look good. It’s a great daytime shade and in my opinion would be a lovely option if you are wearing a slightly heavier/darker eye look. For me it’s a minimal effort way of making myself look less sick than I usually feel. On the many days that I’m hiding behind shades due to photophobia, this lipstick is a low key way of looking a bit more put together.

Above is me taking Please Me out for a test drive. Underneath the lipstick I used Rimmel Exaggerate Lipliner in East End Snob. 

Do you have a favourite pink lipstick for the Spring?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me @chroniccockney

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MAC Mineralize Skin Finish – Nuanced 

MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes are soooo popular; ‘Soft & Gentle’ in particular has been a YouTube beauty guru favourite for years now. At the age of 34, I have finally purchased my own Mineralize Skin Finish so it’s only right that I share my thoughts with you 😊.


I spotted the shade ‘Nuanced’ online and was lured in by the four-shades-in-one thing. Admittedly I thought the shades had a slightly pinker undertone than they actually do in real life but that’s always a risk you take when buying without swatching. Mac describes this product as ‘sheer wash of light rosy champagne with slight fine pink and gold pearl.’

I use highlighters sparingly as I don’t want to look shiny; in fact I spend a lot of time battling the dreaded shine! This is a great product for highlighting / as a blush topper. It creates a pretty shimmer without actual bits of glitter. I use the shades separately as my skin is super pale but they can be used swirled together if that suits your skin tone.


{Swatched left to right, top row first}

I like having four shade options that I can choose from depending on what most suits the blush I’m wearing on any given day. The first shade (top left in compact) is the easiest to wear for me and pretty much goes with any blush. As the weather  warms up I may experiment with using the two darkest shades as shimmery blush.

Overall I’m pleased with this product; the shades are a little out of my comfort zone but I’m enjoying them. I probably wouldn’t have bought them separately but I’m glad I have them to play with. The amount of pigment and shimmer you want can be achieved by choosing the right shape and size brush – you can use a small angled brush with a light hand if you prefer a targeted area of light shimmer (like me) or a bigger fluffier brush if you’re after a more full-on glow.

Do you have a favourite Mineralize Skin Finish?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me – @chroniccockney

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MAC Blush in BlushBaby

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed some periods of silence from me of late. I have been battling even more pain than usual and I’m also processing a new neurological diagnosis but all that can wait for a separate post; today I want to share my thoughts on my first MAC blush – BlushBaby.


MAC stock an impressive range of formulas and shades of Blush. I opted for a Sheertone finish as my REALLY pale skin is easily overwhelmed by products that are too pigmented – Coco the Clown is not the look I’m going for! The Sheertone formula lets me build up to the amount of colour I’m after, as opposed to getting so much colour from one swipe that I then have to spend an age trying to blend it out into a more wearable look.


MAC describes BlushBaby as a beige-pink shade which I mostly agree with. It turned out to be more beige than I expected. It’s a lovely colour but I’m still getting used to it; until now I’ve only ever used cool pink blush shades. 


If you’re super pale and/or wary of very pigmented shades for blush/contouring, BlushBaby is well worth considering. The sheer finish makes it very wearable and the shade would work with a wide range of skin tones and makeup looks. I find myself reaching for it regularly. That said I think my preference for a more cool pink shade remains. I’ll definitely look to MAC for my next blush purchase as I’m pleased with the formula and staying power of this one.

Do you have a favourite MAC blush?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me @chroniccockney

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MAC Mini Haul Sneak Peek

Shopping at MAC is an all too rare occurrence for me. Living with a debilitating chronic illness (more than one actually; I’m greedy like that) means that I a) feel guilty if I spend money on luxury things for myself and b) I rarely make it out of the house to a MAC store to swatch all the beautiful products. 

Fortunately my loved ones know that a MAC gift card is always a good way to go re. gifts for my birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day etc. Here are a few bits I picked up recently:
Sheertone Blush in ‘Blushbaby’- 

Mineralize Skin Finish in ‘Nuanced’ (LE) –  

Prep+Prime Fix+ Spray – 

Oil Control Lotion and Prep+Prime Skin Base (sample) –

The Fix+ Spray is a repurchase; I really like this product. I often find that I’ve over powdered by the time my makeup is done, in an attempt to keep the shine at bay. This product does a nice job of calming down the ‘too much powder look’. I also spray some onto a stippling brush and use it to fix any little patches of foundation on jawline or eyebrow area that haven’t  blended properly. These smaller bottles are handy for travel or throwing in handbag for more serious makeup touch ups while you are out. 

The other products are new to me so keep an eye out for upcoming posts on what I think of them. 

BTW the Mac UK website now offers free delivery plus a little free sample at checkout. I went for the Prep+Prime Skin Base, which I’m looking forward to trying.

What’s caught your eye at MAC lately?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/follow me @chroniccockney

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