I can't start the review of this new, 18-piece makeup collection without acknowledging the craftsmanship behind the makeup bag. Not only is it designed to match T'Challa's signature Black Panther suit, but the interior is a thoughtful purple, blue and yellow fabric, similar to traditional African garb. I even hesitated to unwrap the plastic from the zipper charm of the Panther's mask imprint. Pristine.
There's a lot to unpack and I'm pleasantly surprised, but let's start with the eyes, particularly the Eye Shadow x 8: Marvel Studios' Black Panther Collection. A handful of colors in the eyeshadow palette are peppered with a shimmer while some are matte. My favorite shade, "Our Cause" (a deep gold), looks like MAC shaved down a literal gold bar and packed it into a pan.
All the hues look rich, but they're not too heavily pigmented, and actually, are quite subtle. This is a plus if you like buildable powders. If you're more of a one swipe and done person, you may want to wet your brush to boost the intensity. There's also a white liquid eyeliner thrown into the mix that accentuates my cat-eye.
Let's get into the lips. The Black Panther collection supplies us with three liquid lipsticks. Similar to some of the eyeshadows, they also shimmer, and I have to admit that this turned me off at first. I find it hard to subscribe to glittery lips as an adult, but I don't judge a lipstick by its tube. It actually applied metallic and was very creamy. "Show Off" (deep salmon) and "Wakanda Forever" (simple purple) are very cute. That said, "Thicker Than Water" stood out the most. Contrary to its implied shade, it's not as blood red as it is burgundy, dare I say even garnet.
I don't understand the recent attraction to black lipstick outside of Halloween, but I was actually excited to try this one out. Luckily, it's a suede texture and doesn't dry matte. Heavenly words for people like me with commitment issues. It's an easy wipe-off, too.
It's obvious a lot of thought went into planning this family of products, especially the lipsticks. MAC stuck to its signature soft texture while still paying homage to the Marvel storyline. For example, lipstick "Dora Milaje" is named after the elite all-female special forces group for Wakanda. Its redness is close to the clay used to make brick, but is also the color of the warriors' uniform. Meanwhile, "Royal Integrity" is a beautiful shade of mocha that made me feel regal just wearing it.
Last but certainly not least, I can't sign off without telling you about the absolute gems of this entire collection (IMO): the highlighters. The product's technical name, Extra Dimension Skinfinish, is accurate because I literally looked like I was from another
galaxy dimension while wearing it.
With each compact I popped open, my jaw slacked further. Both "Royal Challenge" (sandy tan) and "Royal Vibrancy" (a godly bronze) had me counting down the hours to embrace peak golden hour. The Skinfinish alone with a clear lip gloss? The world was not ready for me.
With this collection, anyone could easily pull off a stunning full-face look — many different ones, too. Just BYOF (Bring Your Own Foundation). Impressed isn't the word to describe my admiration for these pieces. As a Black woman, I've had firsthand experiences of feeling left out of the beauty conversation. So, to have a major brand pay homage to an all-Black film, while properly serving inclusivity, gives me hope. I've never experienced a non-minority-owned makeup collection that embraces my Blackness as much as I do. Thank you, MAC.
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