MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipstick Swatches - Dozen Carnations, Koi Coral, Little Buddha, Nippon, Obi Orange, Pickled Plum Pretty Boy, Star Magnolia, Sweet Sakura, Tokyo Tizzy

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipstick Collection

MAC's traditional Cremesheen formula has generally been one people either loved or hated. Some found it a tad drying while others liked the fact that its semi-opaque formula gave it a softer final effect. 

MAC recently launched their new permanent Cremesheen Pearl collection, which consists of 10 lipsticks and 5 glosses with a modified Cremesheen formula that includes more hydration and gorgeous pearl shimmer. I have to admit, the Cremesheen formula has been one that I often shied away from because I do not like even moderately dry lippies. I'm happy to say that this new formula was a win for me!

By the way, we're giving away 3 of the lipstick shades we swatched here as part of a fabulous prize with other MAC, Shu Uemura, butterLONDON and Ellis Faas goodies! Click to enter. Ends Sept 1.

Generally coverage was semi-opaque, all lipsticks were at least moderately hydrating and very comfortable and the pearl shimmer varied in depth from shade to shade. 

I found that these worked best when applied first directly to the lips from the tube, then in a second coat with a lip brush for a precise edge and even finish.

And can we just talk for a moment about the names? This hapa always gets a little excited over Asian-inspired beauty that launches here in the U.S.!

Price - $17 retail

Where to Buy - MAC/

Permanent vs Limited Edition - Permanent

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipstick Swatches

All lipsticks were swatched on clean, bare lips. They were all easy to apply. As you'll see below, some were more opaque than others. Some settled very slightly into lip lines, but none settled enough that it could be seen from a standing distance away.

I scratched the edge of my lip (with my own nail like a genius) a few days before swatching, but hopefully it isn't super distracting in these swatches. I tried to wait a few days so it would heal and be less noticeable.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Dozen Carnations lipstick swatch
MAC Dozen Carnations - orange-red with gold pearl shimmer
Gel-like formula with semi-opaque coverage. Very pretty on and easy to apply.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Koi Coral lipstick swatch
MAC Koi Coral - salmon with pink shimmer; very natural looking
This had a slightly less gel-like formula than Dozen Carnations, but it was still very comfortable and very pretty on the lips.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Little Buddha lipstick swatch
MAC Little Buddha - bright medium pink
Mostly opaque, some pigment settled into lip lines, but it wasn't at all noticeable unless up close. This shade was very comfortable to wear.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Nippon lipstick swatch
MAC Nippon - dainty tea rose pink
Very soft and pretty shade. Comfortable to wear with slight settling in lip lines, but only noticeable extremely close up.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Obi Orange lipstick swatch
MAC Obi Orange - medium mandarin orange
Semi-opaque coverage. Very comfortable to wear.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Pickled Plum lipstick swatch
MAC Pickled Plum - glossy fuchsia
Absolutely gorgeous finish and pigmentation--almost fully opaque coverage. Very comfortable on the lips.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Pretty Boy lipstick swatch
MAC Pretty Boy - medium coral pink
Very opaque and smooth in finish. Comfortable to wear.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Star Magnolia lipstick swatch
MAC Star Magnolia - cool medium pink
Mostly opaque coverage with pretty pearl shimmer. Very comfortable on the lips.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Sweet Sakura lipstick swatch
MAC Sweet Sakura - raspberry red base with gold shimmer
Similar to Dozen Carnations, but slightly more raspberry versus orange-red. Mostly opaque, though not fully. Very comfortable on the lips.

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Tokyo Tizzy lipstick swatch
MAC Tokyo Tizzy - light pumpkin-y orange that turned more coral on my lips (which generally aren't very pigmented, but which were a bit stained from swatching)
Very comfortable, but slightly more settling in lines than some of the other colors, especially after lips were pressed together. Still not super noticeable.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am surprised by how much I loves these! They remind me a lot of the Huggables, which I also loved, so if you like that formula you'll probably like this formula as well. The colors were very pretty and while I did find Dozen Carnations and Sweet Sakura swatched very similarly on me, there was a decent variety of reds, pinks and corals overall for a small 10-shade collection in my opinion. 

I'm really interested in checking out the Cremesheen Pearl glosses now since I'm so in love with the lipsticks!

Of all the shades, I think my favorites are Pickled Plum, Koi Coral and Sweet Sakura. Nippon is the type of color I would throw on quickly when on the go or even use on a bride who wants a more natural, no-fuss lip. Super pretty and polished without being noticeable and high maintenance.

Here's a quick recap of all the shades (thanks to my beauty blogger bff Cosmetic Sanctuary for the collage program suggestion!).

MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipstick Swatches

What do you think? Which of these colors caught your eye? Have you tried MAC's Cremesheen Pearl lippies?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR. All opinions are my own.


  1. Those are awesome. I think my favorite is pretty boy!

  2. I love the orange colors! So vibrant!

  3. All of these look gorgeous on you!

  4. Love the colors! The oranges are really pretty, but I think I love Pretty Boy the most!

  5. Ooooooo... I am really loving that Koi Coral shade! :) So pretty!

  6. Nice review. All shades are really pretty and gorgeous too. However, I would like to know the staying power of these lippies

  7. Loving the corals and gold gloss!


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