Review: MAC “A Tartan Tale” Collection

Here’s my thoughts on each part of the collection- these are just my opinion, so take it for simply that ;)


These aren’t anything too unique, but they still are pretty.  The most unique color to me is the “Courting Lilac” which is a pretty lavender color- very “in” at the moment. The “Full Fuchsia” is the most fun color  (is a bright pink), but you can get anytime at a pro store.

Dazzleglass Creme

These are my favorite lip products by MAC as they are super pigmented, glide easily, and don’t feel sticky at all.   If you want to splurge on any lip product, get one of these!  The most unique color is “Gone Romancin'” as it’s a beautiful light purple color.

Eyeshadow ($19.50)

Each eyeshadow has a plaid pattern imprinted on the eyeshadow and is similar in size to Mineralize Eyeshadows.  They are very pretty, but go on fairly sheer.  I would personally pass on these as I have eyeshadows in similar colors already.  I will admit the plaid pattern is very unique though…

Pigment ($19.50)

These pigments are super pretty- definitely worth checking out!  My favorite is Moonlight Night as it’s a dark shimmery green that looks like NARS famous Night Porter eyeshadow.

Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner ($14.50)

These are excellent eyeliners as they glide easily, have a slight shimmer to them, and are beautiful colors.  BUT, I feel that some less expensive eyeliners work just as well so spend your money on other parts of the collection.

Blush ($18.50)

Both of these are beautiful, and are a satin finish which means no shimmer!  I like matte looking blushes sometimes as they don’t emphasize pores or blemishes on the skin- that way I can choose where I want the shimmer. I really like “My Highland Honey” as it’s a peach color that is flattering on fair to medium skin types.  “Her Blooming Cheek” would be beautiful on medium to dark skin.

Nail Lacquer ($13.00)

I don’t usually wear nailpolish, so couldn’t say whether I like these or not- I’ll leave it up to you whether it’s a “buy” or “save my moola” ;)

Gift Sets ($36.00 or $49.50)

Every year MAC comes out with their holiday gift sets that include eyeshadow palettes, lipgloss sets, lipstick palettes, brush sets, and a wide array of other sets.  All the sets are great quality except the brush sets (they’re not bad, just not worth the money as most of them aren’t practical).  I would say to use the money and buy 1 or 2 regular brushes that you will use all the time- like the 217 or 239 brushes.

Eyeshadow Palettes: great quality, but nothing incredibly unique.  They make great gifts for anyone who doesn’t have similar eyeshadows already or for those looking to have several colors in one palette.  My favorite palette from what I tried is the “Reelers and Rockers” palette as it was somewhat neutral, but not boring.

Blush palettes: beautiful, but ordinary colors

Lip Palettes: I never use these, quality is ok, and not worth the price

Pigment sets: Can’t go wrong with these as you get several colors, cute containers, and amazing quality!

Lipgloss sets: I don’t buy these anymore as I can get full size NYX lipglosses for cheaper

Lipstick Palettes: I also don’t buy these as I end up not using them, and I don’t like having to use a brush to apply my lipstick.

Combination Sets: these are great for a new makeup geek looking to have MAC products in a cute little bag.  I love the plaid pouches as they are fun and great quality!  I just don’t buy these for myself, as the products are from the regular line.

I hope that helps you all!  This collection is a wonderful one and is SUPER huge!  There’s something for everyone- just have to decide which is a must have for you ;)

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CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


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Great Overview – I could not agree with you more on everything (see – I am one of the agreeable ones that reads these reviews :)). I dont know why Mac does not branch out and put together some really unique new colors for the eye palettes – it always looks similar to a historical palette.

Thanks for your hard work!!! you are doing a great job and your dedication to helping all of us out there is appreciated! :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Marlena. I’ll definitely will check out the products you suggested. The peach blush looks very pretty on you, I might get it too :)

Hi Marlena, can you tell us what makeup your wearing in this video? I love love love natural looking makeup and you often don’t do many tuts on it so I wanted to know about this look. It’s fabulous!! Please respond!! xxxooo

Marlena I have a question about “My Highland Honey”, isn’t too similar to “Peaches”? I own Peaches and wouldn’t like to buy a very similar shade. Thanks very much for the wonderful review!!!

Thanks for the review Marlena. I couldn’t find the nail kit online. I own two of the previous pigment collections and I’m glad to know that the colors are similar. Are you going to be selling pigment samples from the collection in the MUG store?

GODDESS MARLENA .. Looking extra sexy today :-)

Steven Spilberg gave us .. Close encounters of the 3rd kind .. …… .. Goddess pictures has just given us .. Close encounters of the Marlena kind .. and what a box office smash we have been treated too … xxxx
As us your devoted servant geekie Earthlings can only sit and watch in awr at our Goddess,s Supernatural beauty ..

Captian Clerk said .. “Beam me up Scottie” .. if he saw this review he would say “Beaver me up Marlena” .. and id sure agree with him as Goddess the sexy .. Top piece of Kit .. within the planets of our solar systerm is her very own Venus that us slave geeks gaze at through the periscope on maximum magnification for a closer look at …….. Goddess Perfection :-)


Hi Marlena!

Thank you for this wonderful review! I love the packaging. I’ve never used pigments, but I’m very curious about how to apply them. As always, you look beautiful. I especially love, love, love your eye makeup.

Again, thanks for all of your hard work. We love and appreciate you.

hi marlena!!


Oooh those plaid eyeshadows look very cool…..What a beautiful kit! I might have to get that beautiful purple lipgloss! I wanted to ask if you used self-tanner or got a professional spray tan. You look beautiful, as always! Also, I think you should definitely come to Texas sometime… just sayin :)

This is a great review and it is very informative!! And doesn´t matter if you make an hour video I´m sure we all will be glad to see you without getting bored …
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, is very very appreciated!!

Is there an inexpensive dupe for the My Highland Honey blush? I love the color but most of all love that it is matte!

I wanted to ask the same thing! I love the look of this blush but hate paying MAC prices when I am sure a similar matte peach exists for less somewhere!

Marlena, please help us!

Also, can yoy explain how you work with the pigments, they are new to me and look messy.
Thanks Lovely

Great review, Merlena! You look so beautiful also!!! Do you plan the sequence of your videos, you are doing? Or is it spontaneous? I’m just curious… You are just great!

oh boy! watching your tutorials/reviews always makes me wanna go shopping! hehehe. good for the face but not for the wallet. what a great gift for your “muggies” would be a workshop with one and only YOU. we love <3 your videos so much and would love to meet you……would you consider having any workshops in the near future?!

Hey Marlena,

Thanks again for your honest opinions…you’re always so helpful!!!

Just a question, what was the nice pink gloss/lipstick you had on your lips before you wiped it off to apply the MAC one?? I absolutely loved it and want to buy it!! : )

Thanks hun,

OMGosh Marlena, you’re hair looks so fabulous!!!!! And you look amazing too!!! That’s all I really wanted to say, lol. Hopefully you can have another UD contest, I am going through a phase of UD right now I have no idea why lol. My friends and co-workers are either shoe or purse whores I’m more of a MUGee lol =) Okay enough with the chit-chat have an amazing weekend and keep up the amazing work!

Marlena, you always make my day when you post a new vid. I so look forward to what you have to say every week!! If you ever make it to Vancouver, Canada, you have a friend here! :)

Great makeup in this vid btw!

I am soo disappointed in this MAC collection. I did a presale purchase on a couple of the items and just ended up returning everything. The quality of the brushes are horrible. Even temptalia gives them a poor rating. I really wanted to love something here but couldnt. Not to mention that the plaid is ugly and reminds me of my school uniform back in the days.

amazing reviewww thank u for ur honesty! but wat about the eyeshadow sets? i was sooooo waiting for u to tell me ur thoguhs about those! i got 2 sets today! and i got one of the blush set also!

Thanks for the wonderful review. I just was at the MAC counter the other day browsing at this collection, and the brushes. Glad to actually see the colours …and get some great pointers.!!!
I am enrolled in a make-up artistry certificate course which starts in Jan. and could use some pointers on the essentials needed to build up my kit from MAC. Also….Love the colours on your eyes…..what products/colours are you wearing in your review?

Ohhh thank God you exist Marlena and share you thoughts with us, Great Review… great tips… I have to buy everything from a distance (Not all collections come to Brazil) I always check on you before, I really appreciate you honest opinions
thanks again.

Thank you very much for the review, and most of all: thank you for being 100% honest despite being sent products from the company!

HI!!! Thank you for being so honest with your reviews. I really appreciate you saying “yes I like it, BUT you could find a cheaper alternative that works just as well. You have no idea how that makes you stand out from other GURUs. I hope you have a great day and keep up your good work. :D

OH and which eyeliners would you use instead of the mac ones, ive been searching for a cheaper alternative. THANKS

WOW! I’ll get some of it! coz i love it before i didn’t able to get even 1 product from the villains collection it’s been sold out for a day! I promise to get some of this =) thanks MISS MARLENA STAY PRETTY

Thanks so much for the review. I was interested in the eyeshadow singles with the unique designs. Too bad they don’t have great pay-off because I definately wanted to get that from the collection. I’m still on the fence about purchasing a blush though :-)

thank god u did this review i was just in mac and they asked me if i wanted to get it early and i passed on it, now that i have seen your review i will no what to get thanks so much

hi marlena , i just watched your review on the x-mas smashbox palette , i had gone with my husand to an exchange store and had seen that they carry it for only 30 ,so if u could tell all women who’s husband’s are in the military that they can get smashbox cosmetics cheaper at all exchange and all military stores, thanks so much

Thanks for another great review! I love when you do the video reviews because we really get to see you and your personality as well as the products in action. Also Marlena, you look fabulous! Whatever it is your are doing, keep it up! Your make up looks lovely too :)

I ran to Mac store as i was to excited, but I was a little disappointed with collection. I am fair skinned and was looking forward to “highand honey” and “her blooming cheek”. However, when i tried on “highland honey” was just not pigmented enough, and i felt i owned prettier colors-like peaches, I tried “her blooming cheek” and it wasnt very flattering with my warm undertone. My bff tried “her blooming cheek” as she has cool undertones and it looked great on her, but a little much. It is very pigmented so you have to use with a light hand. All in all i passed on everything on this line.

Hi Marlena,
Quick quesiion, I was about to order the 10 blush palette and I realized it’s now sold out. Do you know when it will be back in stock?? Thanks.

Hi Marlena – just wanted to drop a hint on the tartan collection. I was sad to see that MAC discontinued their Fresca Rose paint pot – but one of their Christmas sets includes a great replacement, another pinkish colored paint pot- a guy at the South Coast plaza location showed it to me, and it’s available for pre-order now. Just a tip, in case you’ve run out of yours! There are some additional pink products in that set as well (eyes, lips and cheeks, i think). Thanks for all the great tips!

Just to let you know, with the eyeshadows, the “plaid” colour does not go all the way through. MAC hasn’t been very up front about this but a blogger in Britain actually cut one of these in half to see if the colour goes all the way through and it is only on the surface.

I Love your make up in this video! and the dazzleglass cremes look so pretty. Ithink I’m gonna get one of the the kits for my best friend.

Hi Marlena, can you tell us what makeup your wearing in this video? I love love love natural looking makeup and you often don’t do many tuts on it so I wanted to know about this look. It’s fabulous!! Please respond!! xxxooo

thank you marlena for the review, i cant decide what to buy of these collection, i have medium to dark skin. i will look. keep it up, love your tutorials !!!!!!!

Hi, Marlena. How are you?Two questions for yu:

1. What do you think about the new Mac pro longwear concealer?

2. What is your favorite concealer?


I love beauty! That’s why I made a website called, I love stories. That’s why I made up one about a girl named Kathleen who LOVES beauty (as much as Marlena!). Please check ‘er out.
Peace out, Mirabelle

Does anyone know when they end this collection thing? I really want to buy a kit as I’m new to makeup and want to start collecting, but I don’t know when I’ll have money to buy it.


Ok so I was very happy to see/read the reviews on this collection. I had just purchased 2 of the eyeshadow groups and one of the brush sets.

I used the eyeshadows for the first time today, one of them is the bronze/browns and the other the plums. So dissapointed!!! very sheer , not as much pigment as my mac eyeshadows usually give me. Brush set is fine, the purse is cute. But, I am kindof an eyeshadow junkie myself and so this really dissapointmed me.

The packaging is beautiful, thats about it.

Hello would really like to know what lip color are you wearing on the first part of your MAC “A Tartan Tale” Collection review?

Thanks for the review Marlena! I love the lip cremes too and I was going to pass on the eyeshadows this time, I didn’t see anything special about them, except the cute pattern. I think I will try the blush, you convinced .e, I love matte blushes too. :) I can’t wait to see your Christmas Makeup Look with that greenish pigment. :)

hello Marlena!!i have one question:what do you think about e.l.f cosmetics?i noticed that a lot of people use them,but they are really cheap so I’m wondering if its good quality.
Thank you.
I love your videos and you are very beautiful and intelligent!

ciao bella Marlena!!!!!
grazie di tutto, sei una dea!!!!!
credo che capisci l italiano :-)

tanti baci a te!!!!!!!!

This was such a nice review, and as I watched I did a mental checklist that I have great dupes for most of this collection except the pigments. I have lots from other brands but I wouldnt mind that collection. and Im a package junkie so the scottish theme is making me anxious for that contest. Im practicing some restraint on making too many makeup purchases so thank you for the great review, Im starting to develope a new interest in mac cosmetics again, yahooo!

Hi Marlena, have you try smashbox brushes, the #15 ,#10 and #7 are the ones I more like of all of them ? !they are soft and good quality for me, I will like your opinion;)

I was hoping to see the eyeshadow and blush kits. Can you do a video of the look you’re wearing in this video? Love your eyes!

You look beautiful!!! could you do a tut on the makeup you’re wearing in this video. I have a really hard time with natural looking makeup, I feel like I have to use dark eye shadows all the time. Great review on this collection!!!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do a tutorial on the look you have on your eyes in this review. The eyes look AMAZING and I’ve tried it out twice, but would like to get them done exactly like yours. You are the BEST. There’s just no one else out there who is better! Love Ya!

I personally love the packaging on this, especially for the holidays. The eyeshadow pallets are nice too :D

I just bought the “undercurrent”, bright green eye pencil with glitter! It’s fantastic! I must say that in this particular collection the hit was the lipsticks and of course the pigments! The eyepencils were great too. The eyeshadows were very sheer indeed! Nice collection overall!

Thanks for the review! I got “My Highland Honey” and I LOVE it!!! I have fair skin and it works really well (plus I didn’t have a blush in that color). The eyeshadows look nice but the different color stripes do not go all the way to the bottom. I’m glad I passed on that.

You look pretty! ^_^

I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks Hori.

As I do appreciate your honesty, I feel that you should be a little more informed about the products before you can give a true opinion. A few things that I noticed you said, were false. There are a lot of times when people watch these reviews and take what you say as 100% truth, when it isn’t. You should be careful of what you say before you steer people toward or away from certain products.

To name a few:

The accent plaid line colors on the Tartan Tale eyeshadows do not go all the way through. They are just the top layer.

Full Fuschia is permanent at MAC Pro stores only.

In Synch is not available, it was limited edition for the Too Fabulous collection and brought back as a small size for the holiday sets.

I agree with what you said about the brush quality, however, MAC does not promote that they will last years and years, like the full sized ones. The brush kits are great for a backup kit, someone just starting, or for someone that can’t stomach paying 20-50 dollars for one brush. Also, maybe you should expand your brush knowledge? The 129 brush is for powder or blush; to suggest getting a Kabuki brush instead, isn’t really comparable.

Hi! i’m a make-up newbie and i bought the Reelers and Rockers palette upon the SA’s recommendation. But I have no idea how to use this for daytime look. Hope you can do a tutorial. Thanks.