As I was arranging my makeup, I saw the MAC Vanilla Pigment sitting back there with all the makeup that I had stopped using quite a while ago. When I had first gotten this pigment, this was all I used every single day for almost 6-7 months. Feeling guilty that I was neglecting so many other beauty items in my collection, I (quite grudgingly) put it away for a few months. I pulled it out again yesterday and decided to write about one of the most popular pigments from MAC.
Price: Rs. 1250/- in India. I had got it for $19.50 from maccosmetics.com
Packaging: I have this in the old pigment packaging which is 7.5g. The newer packaging is smaller – 4.5g.
Shade: In the tub, Vanilla comes across as a shimmery off-white color with gold sparkles. However, on the skin, it transforms into a shimmery duochrome fleshy toned light gold and light pink.
What I love:
• Color: Given all the hype surrounding Vanilla, I had gone to the MAC counter to give it a try. The first look at the product in the packaging completely disappointed me. It looked too stark white and very frosty for my complexion. However, the MUA convinced me to give it a try and she applied a little bit on my cheekbone as a highlighter and Wow!! This blended into my skin into a beautiful gold and pink highlighter. It looks so wonderfully complex and is so wearable.
• Great for almost all skin tones: There must be zillions of websites dedicated to this wonderful pigment but I have seldom come across reviews explaining why this would work for medium to dark Indian skin tones. Here’s my two cents: Vanilla goes on goldy shimmery off white color which can look quite contrasting on dark skin tones. I have tried similar looking shades from MAC and other brands but more often that not, those looked too stark on me. This is where Vanilla scores! The secret behind making it work on our skin tones is blending. It is actually quite sheer when it’s blended out. When you first apply it, it looks extremely pigmented and very white on the skin but once you start blending, it loses all its whiteness and leaves a gorgeous light golden sheen. Personally, I think this can work for majority of Indian skin tones (barring maybe very dark skin tones) as long as it’s blended out properly.
• Huge quantity: The full size jar has so much of pigment that in spite of using it so much, I have hardly scratched the surface. There’s so much of product that it should last me at least this lifetime, if not more!!!! Since a little goes a very long way, this is one product which might never be completely used.
• Shimmer: I have a huge problem with MAC pigments. The shimmer in a lot of them are quite chunky and glittery which I am not a big fan of. That kind of glitter transfers all over the face and looks too sparkly. However, the shimmer in Vanilla is very subtle and very pretty, doesn’t transfer to the rest of the face and causes almost no fallout.
• Texture: As with most MAC shadows, Vanilla is extremely lightweight and gets blended effortlessly. The texture is very soft and is not chalky at all.
• Staying power: Needless to say, being a MAC product, this goes on extremely smoothly and stays on for a very long time. However, if using as an eyelid color, I would recommend using an eye primer because this can look quite horrible if it creases on you.
• Mistake diffuser: As a brow highlighter and a cheek highlighter, Vanilla pigment can blend out, soften and diffuse any harsh lines and mistakes. The great part is it can blend out any color – be it a soft blue or a deep plum.
• Multipurpose & Versatile: Vanilla is one pigment which can have as many uses as your imagination takes you. This is one of the most multipurpose products I have in my collection and can be used in so many different ways. Here are some of the ways I have used it in:
- My most favorite way of using Vanilla is by mixing a small amount with my moisturizer and applying it all over my face to get a wonderful dewy and glowy look. However, special care should be taken to use a very small amount of pigment as overdoing it will make the effect too shimmery.
- Vanilla can be used not just as a brow highlighter but also as an overall lid color. One of the easiest ways to create an eye look with this pigment is to use it with a light hand over the entire lid with an eye base with some mascara and/or liner/kajal.
(In the above picture, I have used Vanilla pigment as an overall lid color, brow highlighter and as a cheek highlighter.)
(Close up of eye. No other color has been used for the entire eye.)
- It looks great when applied on the inner tear duct. It instantly opens up the eyes for a wide awake effect.
- I also mix Vanilla with a clear lip gloss or a lip balm to give a wonderful sheen on the lips.
- Another way is to apply it over darker shades of lipstick to achieve a great 3-D effect and a fuller pout.
- Vanilla pigment is wonderful as a cheek and nose highlighter. It imparts a wonderful golden glow on the cheeks right above the apple of the cheek. However, again use it very sparingly as it can look frosty if applied too much.
- It also boosts matte blushes with a slightly pearly luminosity.
- Use a little bit on the Cupid’s bow for that full lip effect.
- I have also applied it on my neck and collar bone area esp. while going out at nights to impart a glowy overall effect.
- Another way of using Vanilla is to mix it with your favorite matte nail paint or mix it with a top coat and apply all over nails for a golden shimmery look.
These are just some of the ways I have used Vanilla pigment. I am sure there would be so many other ways to use this versatile shade.
What I don’t love About MAC Vanilla Pigment:
• Price: It is really expensive to shell out more than Rs. 1000/- or about $20 for a full size pigment jar.
• Packaging: Pigments come in jars with black screwy tops. It is very easy to spill pigments and because there is no sifter, it is very difficult to control how much product will come out.
• Messy: As with all loose powders, it can be really messy and can fly everywhere. As much as I love it, it is quite difficult to work with the tub and risk spillage. I find it easier and cleaner to work with whatever pigment is on the underside of the top.
• Frosty: A little goes a long way and if used a tad bit more than required, it could look frosty esp. on warm skin tones. A light handed application is a must for Vanilla pigment.
• Not suitable for very dark skin tones: Even though it works on majority of skin tones, it can look quite stark on someone who is very dark.
Rating: 4 out of 5
I really like this pigment because of how multipurpose it is. It is one of the staples from MAC. However, I really dislike how expensive it is and how messy it can get. I wont be repurchasing it ever because I don’t think I will finish the whole bottle in this lifetime. A little goes a long way and there’s just too much of product in it.
I have always felt that purchasing a full size pigment is a sheer waste of money as there’s just too much of product. But if I had to buy just one full size bottle, it‘s definitely Vanilla because of how many ways I can use it in. I would suggest you guys try out the pigment in a sample size and figure out whether it works on your skin tone and then decide on whether you want to get the whole tub or not.
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