A few months ago my friend Karla, who travels the world with her job on cruise ships, sent me a text that said:

“Hi de hi I am in New York in ten days. Shopping here I come. Off to Macy’s. Let me know if you have a wish list x”.

Seriously?! Aggh. What a good mate (she’s done this before, I call Karla my Makeup Pimp). After getting over mini heart palpitations I sent back a very enthusiastic email with an image of my wish list that I designed in Polyore. Polyvore, for Pete’s sake (if you haven’t heard of Polyvore but you are creative/like shopping then check it out – you can create neat design boards). Choosing what to get was like all my Christmases had come at once. Is anyone else like me: The option to buy is just as exciting as having bought?

My Macy's Wish List for Karla

I knew exactly what I wanted: I’d done hours of beauty research ahead of Karla letting me know she was going to Las Vegas last year (I’d received a similar heart attack inducing text). I had to draw a line in the sand and demonstrate some self constraint on that makeup haul, so it was a no brainer this time that I’d get everything that didn’t make the cut in Vegas. Easy.

At this point I need to add that I don’t usually like blog posts with beauty hauls, I always think to myself “don’t tell me what you got, tell me if it’s good”, but in this case: a) I’m excited and need to share and b) I’ve tried out nearly all of these products out so I know what I’ve got myself into!

How did I know what to get? I’m a vigilant beauty consumer. I usually do some kind of research before hitting the checkout. That research might be as informal as poking around the MAC store, getting them to try stuff on me so I can wait and see how it works on my skin. Or, I simply watch a You Tuber (like Tanya Burr, that girl is BAD for my wallet) and I’m so captivated by the makeover/transformation that I make a note on my ‘Have to have’ list (I have these all over the place: One on my iPad, one on my iPhone and there’s a notebook in my handbag!). On other occasions, particularly if I’m buying something fairly big, like an eyeshadow palette, I’ll poke around to see what other bloggers or makeup artists thought (noting I’m always a tad suspicious of beauty bloggers waxing lyrical on products that comes with the disclaimer “This was a PR sample”.)

Anyhow, here’s what I got, it’s all MAC. It’s Christmas for me.

Oh yes. This makes me happy.

MAC Prunella Eye Kohl

This is my third Prunella eyeliner – one ran out, and one got lost… And, because of Sod’s Law, I knew that as my new Prunella was about to arrive I’d find the lost one. Well, guess what? I found it under the passenger seat of my car last week. Sigh. This eyeliner is a must have in particular for green-eyed/hazel eyed gals, it’s a slightly shimmery dark brown liner with burgundy/plum undertones that really makes green eyes pop. That said, it’s a universally flattering colour on all skin tones and eye colours and it’s my most reached for eyeliner. I love it smudged on the lash line paired with a medium shimmery bronze eyeshadow, or with any of the eyeshadows in my Naked 3 palette.

MAC Costa Riche

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that this warm red/brown eyeliner made my wish list after I saw a photo of (cough) Kim Kardashian wearing it on her waterline. It looked stunning. I wore it out last night and it was as gorgeous as I’d hoped. Just in case you are thinking I’m mad for buying two brown MAC eyeliners, here’s a swatch of Costa Riche and Prunella, with MAC’s Coffee so you can see that MAC’s brown eyeliners are definitely not created equal.

Mac eyeliners prunella, costa riche, coffee
MAC brown eyeliners, same, same but very different (even though Prunella and Coffee look nearly identical!)

MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle

I’m guessing all makeup geeks will have heard of this cult product. Soft and Gentle is a face product which I’ll be using as a cheek highlighter. A light brush of this over my blush for a glow, or above my blush, on the very top of my cheekbones and I’m going to look like I’m glowing from within. My friend has this and I’ve borrowed it a few times. It’s simply stunning.

That’s highlighting goodness right there. Swoon.

MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus

My ‘go to’ pressed powder, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, has nearly gone to heaven so I thought I’d try a higher end version to see if Rimmel is as good as I know it is! I’ll be lightly dusting this over my foundation to lock my base into place. With my oily skin, if I don’t set my foundation with a powder, my foundation has practically vanished by early afternoon, even if I have used a foundation primer.

MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter pens

I got two of these, one in Bright Forecast, which is a back up version of one I already have (I mentioned it in this blog post). I use this in my under the eye area in place of concealer. It is brilliant on olive/Mediterranean skin tones to brighten and miminise any discolouration. I also got Light Boost because Tanya Burr uses it when she highlights and contours and I’m always in envy of her flawless makeup finish. Thought I’d give it a go.

MAC Syrup Lipstick

I know I don’t need any more nude-toned lipsticks, but I couldn’t resist, I’ve wanted Syrup for ages. It’s a gorgeous muted mauve pink that’ll go with ANY makeup. It’s a tad similar to my beloved Art Deco 35 Passion lipstick.

Mac syrup blog review
Yes, another nude(ish) lipstick. But this is sooooo pretty.

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush

Yes, another fluffy blending brush. I don’t think I’ve ever done an eyeshadow look without using a brush like this to finish off the look: Take a clean fluffy brush and blend out the edges of your eyeshadow to eliminate any harsh lines. This makes such a difference. This isn’t as soft as I was expecting which was surprising, I’ve just given it a wash, hopefully that softens it up a bit… Hmmmm.

Fluffy brush goodness

Alright, let’s get right into the detail: How much did this cost?

NZ$249 – Yes, yikes, but that’s exactly why I took advantage of Karla’s Makeup Pimp offer. All of these exact products would have stun me NZ$367 if I’d bought them here in NZ. Yup: I saved $118. Whilst I love supporting NZ retailers, the opportunity to save some coin, and big coin at that, is often too hard to resist. This is precisely why NZ shoppers are increasingly turning to on-forwarding services like NZ Post’s You Shop* (or in my case, Karla my Makeup Pimp).

I can’t wait to get stuck into these products. Talk about way to make me happy! Thanks Karla. x

PS: I’ve been advised that Santa isn’t bringing me any presents this year. Lucky my birthday is also at Christmas time.

**If you aren’t familiar with You Shop, here’s a rundown:

  • You Shop is a service offered by NZ Post which allows you buy online internationally from websites that don’t offer shipping to NZ.
  • When you register with You Shop you enter your own NZ address and then register for an address in the USA or the UK, This USA/UK addrses is the address you give when you are ordering online.
  • As part of of your UK/USA address you get your own unique identifier so that when the item arrives at NZ Post’s UK/USA warehouse they know it’s yours. Clever!
  • When the parcel arrives with You Shop they will contact you say “we’ve got your parcel here and here’s an invoice for your postage”. You jump online, fill out their invoice template thingy. When NZ Post gets the payment they biff in the post to you in NZ (to the address you gave when you registered with You Shop). Easy.
  • A couple of things to note: International You Shop postage prices can be, well, pricey, so you need to take this into consideration. More importantly, you need to be very mindful of NZ Custom’s duties and charges so you don’t stung for duty or GST when your goodies arrive in NZ. I’ve heard some horror stories on this, but so far, by keeping any purchases under NZ$220 I’ve got off scot free (touch wood).
  • Lastly, check out You Shop’s list of what you can – and can’t – ship to NZ. I tried to get some awesome nail polish without reading the detail: This is on the verboten list and they wouldn’t send it to me. Agh.